New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 40 Old 08-18-2015 Thread Starter
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New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Hello All!

I have wanted a PD 26 since I was a kid in the 70s, always thought they seemed like a particularly cool little boat capable of taking one out on any adventure one manages to squeeze into ones life.

A tidge about myself:

Name: Allan, I'll let you figure out my last name, it's pretty obvious.
Age: 45 now...
Location: Kansas City
Background:

Lived on a wooden Chris Craft for a short time during college. Learned to hate wooden boats, revile through hulls and particularly dislike seawater on my bunk

Did long distance backpacking for several years after college Appalachian Trail 1 1/2 times, Pacific Crest Trail once, started on the Continental Divide but stopped by and injury in New Mexico after only 300 miles.

Got a real job working for the man every night and day then took on running a 24 hour a day, 9 day long reenactment event with a friend of mine that ran once per year for the last 8 years or so. That kept me busy as a bee with project after project ranging from rebuilding trucks to repairing vintage radio equipment.

Now coming back around to boating after years away.
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post #2 of 40 Old 08-18-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Now about that boat... Pics tell the story best:







I picked the boat up off of a Craigs List ad in Fon Du Lac Wisconsin. Quite a ways from home base here in Kansas City, but we don't have much variety to choose from around here so I was planning to travel anyhow. There were three on the market at the time I got this one. One in Texas with a stuck keel (hard to fix in a place with no boat yards) one in Detroit with a kaput saildrive and this one. All were Ketch rigged boats although this one is sort of a mix but more on that later.







First order of business was to make sure the trailer was up to standard so that we did not pose a menace to society on the drive home. The previous owner had already done the brakes as well as the bearings and electrics leaving only the tires which looked good but were plenty old. No reason to risk it, a quick visit to a local farm and home store had us sitting on 4 new tires and wheels with the originals then riding along as a full set of spare tires.



The nice thing about trailering a boat is that you always have a place to stay for the night. As long as you do not pack up so snug that you lock yourself out of course... I did leave enough clearance to get into the back cabin. [smile]



A quick stop at Walmart got us easy access to the boat (it was taller than it looked and just recovering from surgery I am not as springy as I usually am)


Some of the crew still needed a hand getting up there.


But settled in fast.



We arrived at Smithville Lake on a quiet sunday morning and set about the task of figuring out where everything went and how she rigged up with the help of a few saavy friends.





Quick wash down once the masts were up and she was ready to hit the water.



In the water tied up at the marina (we are stuck on a mooring ball for now, on the waiting list for a slip)



On a broad reach headed back down the lake with my friend Mark at the helm after a quick shake down cruise.
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post #3 of 40 Old 08-20-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Quite the dragons hoard of documentation with this one!



This is just some of the main bits. Lower left shows the original owners manual for instance.



Most of the docs are originals from Parker Yachts in South Freeport Maine.



Others are for accessories added later like the Yanmar Engine and the, uh... 8-track player. (long gone)



Some original sales stuff plus a review from a magazine.


This bitchin picture of a PD 26 being towed by a Olsmobuillac of some sort.





And of great interest, this notebook full of illustrations and notes on the unique rig on this boat including many 4x6 photos showing the layout a rigging.
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post #4 of 40 Old 09-29-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch


Now trimmed back to a cutter for my convenience. This boat was originally a sloop that had a mizzen added on by someone who was a great deal more excited about excess standing rigging than I am. My sail shape on the mizzen was always pretty lousy since the sail did not particularly fit well and I now have a great deal less to buy when I replace standing rigging this winter.

Next up, the cutter dilemma. Tacking is more of a nuisance and again, my staysail really does not fit well so I am likely to end up once the music stops with a sloop.
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post #5 of 40 Old 11-12-2015
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Nice boat brother! , very interesting I am a ketch and schooner sailor so any ketch , catches my eye, had never heard of a Parker Dawson, hope you get that rig sorted out.
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post #6 of 40 Old 11-12-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

It is mostly sorted now. Set up as a sloop and tuned up, she sails much better. Lesson: If you want a ketch, buy a ketch! Don't ketchificate a sloop and think it will work out the same. I'll always miss the class of the rig but sure don't miss all the extra stuff on the back of the boat.

The good news is the Mizzen half has been the gift that keeps on giving to a buddy of mine who happened to be riding along with me when I drove down to Arkansas to look at a suit of sails a guy had for sale on a boat he was parting out. Turns out that my mast is actually taller than the OE mast and therefor the original suit of sails would not fit but the raggety looking little Midships 25 that was being parted out turned out to be too much for my buddy Stagg who just had to have it once the guy dropped the price down to "seriously, just get this damn thing out of my yard" pricing. The mizzen rig has done wonders in providing little bits and pieces for the second boat.
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post #7 of 40 Old 11-13-2015
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Congratulations! She looks awesome! Interesting to see the two masts on her. I also have a mast lowering system on my boat, I still have to figure out how I do that, alas, I have to figure out a lot of things. For now the mast is upwards and stays like this.
You must be excited and with a lot of plans. I know!

Would be interested to see some inside photos and design papers.

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post #8 of 40 Old 11-13-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Parker Dawson Sales Brochure - Parker Dawson 26/Midship 25 Sailboat Owners

Above link is to an original sales brochure. I still need to scan in my original owners manual as well as the SAIL mag article on the thing and the promo ad from the OSTAR race one of the little Parker Dawsons raced in. Neat stuff!

I have a few inside pics but like most smaller boats it's tough to get decent inside photos. This is exacerbated by the double cabin on these guys since now I do not have the usual 26 footer cabin I have a 22 footer cabin up front and a 19 footer cabin in the back!



Galley, port side front cabin


Quarter berth, starboard side front cabin. Currently set up as a seat to the dinette.


Marine head sits under quarter berth.


Vee berth forward (popular with the chihuahua as you can see) Also doubles as second seat to the dinette.


Aft cabin. Both berths are quarter berths that run slightly under the cockpit giving reasonable legnth but are kind of scrawny width wise. Perfect for scrawny people of course but not so great if you have broad shoulders. Aft is a vanity with sink. That's probably going to suffer under the yoke of my simplicity tyranny and get turned into a dry vanity. The port side berth is likely to get converted into additional storage space. I am not hauling space marines to Klendathu for the big invasion, I'd rather have space than berths.


One last pic of it parked at it's mooring a few weekends ago.
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post #9 of 40 Old 11-13-2015
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

She actually seems to have a fairly good space.
I am pondering changing the interior in mine a little, to make it more airy, but I wonder if its as easy as I think it is.

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post #10 of 40 Old 11-13-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

It really does have decent usable space as long as you do not pack too many people along anyhow. I am a single guy and as you can see my dog is no horse so the layout works well. I have my front cabin for livin in and my back cabin to use like a walk in closet. Additionally, the cockpit locker is fairly substantial so I can jam all manner of loot in there when I need to.

I have full standing headroom in the galley which is a big help and with all the hatches up it's pretty airy inside.

So far, I have been very impressed with the quality of construction on this thing. I am a very picky person and I cannot find much wrong at all.
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