My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-15-2018 Thread Starter
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My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

I'm not sure if build threads are common around here, but on all the motorcycle and truck forums i've been apart of, everyone loves em, both for tracking their own progress and for others to BS and get ideas from. So i'm getting mine in here and started, despite it being winter and the boat being in storage.

Back story: I moved to Jackson after a summer of working on Tall Ship schooners in the Keys (and a trip to Europe), and just so I had a toy to play with on the lakes in the summer, planned to bring out an old Prindle 18' my dad and I had drug out of a field and fixed a few years back. In the process of working out when to make the drive to get the cat, i was at work listening to Trash and Treasure, a local call in radio show where people sell things. This dude phoned in and said he had a Hunter 22 for $500. I called bull ****, and assumed it was in half or something. After much deliberation on weather or not i should try and buy it, i just went and looked for the hell of it. The guy selling it was classic, sana looking guy in his 60s, hawaiian shirt, boat shoes and a hawaiian shirt. He was moving to FL (in like a month) to buy a catamaran because he was tired of winters, and just needed this boat out of his storage space so he could cancel the lease. First off, this thing was huge. Way bigger than I expected, especially sitting up on this tall trailer. I got the tour...the interior was pretty clean (ya know, except for the rotten bulkhead) the deck had its fair share of gelcoat cracks but it was all firm and only aesthetic, the sails were there, and the motor was tucked away in a van. It hadn't been in the water for a few years and there was, as i got digging closer the following summer, a bit of disrepair hidden away.
So many hurdles to figure out if i could make this work, luckily i was 3rd down his list of calls so I had time to think about it. I lived in an appt at the time, my truck couldn't tow it, storage in Jackson doesn't exist or is hundreds a month. Luckily, i found a place i could store it at 45 min away, I found a truck i could use to tow it with, I found a free place to store it in the winter, and everyone i knew that had boat experience said yes, buy it and you can at least recoup your costs in parts or i take to boise or a bigger city and sell it for a profit. It was enough to make me confident to take on the risk of just having to deal with it. Everyone else backed out and it was my turn. So I bought it, and the guy was pretty stoked it was going to somone who actually knew how to use it and would enjoy it (not many sailors in Jackson). He said a bunch of people came to look at it and just had no clue what they were looking at.

I brought home the Coconut Coaster in June, immediately decided it needed a name change, following all the proper channels of maritime folk lore of course. I parked it in front of my friends house to work on it, and my buddy and I got to work dry rigging it, setting the motor up, inspecting the trailer, and figuring what needed to be done before the maiden voyage.

The trailer wheels had no flat spots or cracks, the lights worked, and the bearings all had brand new grease in them, bearings all good as well. The boat came with a host of tools and a ton of spare parts, a 4 speaker stereo system, all the cushions, fenders, bilge pumps (new in box) and paddles. We set the motor on the mount, put it in a bucket of water, and it fired right up after 10 pulls. That beautiful 9.9 2 stroke sounded like success to me! I arranged the stays and shrouds to make sure the mast was ready to rise, and I determined it was ready to go trial run at the lake. Over the next week i wanted a pretty looking boat, and because it didn't need any obvious repairs...we removed all the teak and sanded and stained it.
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Last edited by IDtrucks; 07-02-2018 at 04:13 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-15-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

The first launch went basically perfectly. A few hiccups like getting permits and having to fill the outboard at the parking lot of a napa, but it really just worked great! When I bought the boat the PO said the jib had rust stains on it and was dirty and would probably need to be replaced, and that it came with 110-120% main sail. Not thinking much of it i put up what he said was the jib...and it was strikingly apparent after about 30 second that it was not the right sail and did not fit at all. We pulled out what he said was the other "main" and sure as ****, it was spotless and fit perfectly. That dingus had been using the wrong jib sail for years and never realized it SMH. As it turned to evening and we tried to get back to the marina our motor wouldn't run for more than 3 or 4 minutes for dying and refusing to start. This was annoying and took us forever, and made it basically one shot to get off the dock and stab it back on the trailer. It took many more outings for us to realized the hose line was backwards and the bulb direction was going away from the motor lol. We never saw the arrow.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-15-2018
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

Freakin' awesome. Well-done my good man. I love the wake surfing. Classic.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-15-2018
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

IDtrucks, yes, I think we all like modifying our boats, and we all like a deal too.


I am a Prindle sailor as well. Got a worn out old 1981 Prindle 16 for about $800 US about a year and a half ago. Been building it up into a coastal raid boat. My sailmaker just called this morning to let me know my new double reef main is ready, looking forward to getting my hands on that
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-15-2018
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

Got to agree, the wake surfing is a great shot but I like 4 of 5, boat with snow capped mountains in the background, magazine cover shot if there ever was one.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-15-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
IDtrucks, yes, I think we all like modifying our boats, and we all like a deal too.


I am a Prindle sailor as well. Got a worn out old 1981 Prindle 16 for about $800 US about a year and a half ago. Been building it up into a coastal raid boat. My sailmaker just called this morning to let me know my new double reef main is ready, looking forward to getting my hands on that
Nice! We had the same boat, just an 18, our first sailboat...my dad literally got it from the person for a case of beer and towing it away. It needed a lot of help, new tramp and shrouds and tiller hardware...but it was a fun learning experience! I had a blast flipping that thing though! Could just toss it around!

My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE-10577008_660710424025918_7124606645987485247_n.jpg

Action shot with my friends from the other field find we worked on (in much better shape to start with), the 19' flying scott. That one just needed hardware and new lines.
My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE-11204880_873603602736598_8928795102579390352_n.jpg
My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE-11698643_834144416682517_2682042557319508036_n.jpg

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Freakin' awesome. Well-done my good man. I love the wake surfing. Classic.


ha thanks all! Im surprised how well it does towing a "surfer" under wind power alone. When we get good speed on a fast close hull tack, and the boats hulled over towing somone on a board as they bounce around in the chop, its a blast! We use our paddleboards so no need to pull them up. We did it at our first regatta in between races, not wanting to waste the 10+know winds. Everyone else at the marina enjoyed the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper Jer View Post
Got to agree, the wake surfing is a great shot but I like 4 of 5, boat with snow capped mountains in the background, magazine cover shot if there ever was one.
Ya, im extremely fortunate to be in this position. I'm only a 24 y/o ski bum with a bunch of ski bum friends, so owning a toy like this normally doesn't happen, especially here in Jackson. Between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone Park, we get some amazing wilderness to sail in. And this boat offers some exciting new adventures, like using it as a base camp to ski big mountain lines in the park in the spring, and scuba diving off it in yellowstone this summer, we have some good plans on the docket for this year!

Last edited by IDtrucks; 01-15-2018 at 06:05 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-16-2018
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

You're livin' it right dude.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-11-2018 Thread Starter
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Well Nellie came back a little earlier than expected. I wasn’t planning on bringing her back u til may 2nd when I get back from a wedding in the Dominican Republic, but a big storm blew off the tarp while in storage so instead of driving an hour and a half to fix it then again 2 weeks later, I just brought it back now. Still spring time and storm here in Jackson with rain and snow so I had to recover it again. Well the tarp survived the first storm. There are no grommets in it now so I had to strap it down another way
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-11-2018
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Re: My Hunter Build: LIL' NELLIE

Nice find! My son lives near Jackson and just bought his first sailboat. I think its a 18' Hobie Cat. I think he will be in that same lake. Beautiful! I need to go for a visit.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-17-2018 Thread Starter
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With spring here (it’s still snowing in Jackson) the projects are getting started. It’s not only the boat that gets some love. In order to tow the boat the relatively short distance to the lake every time I want to sail, my Toyota needed a few upgrades. First, I installed an aux trans cooler and a new radiator to help with transmission temps. Fairly simple install, just had to fab up a bracket to sit in front of the radiator and run the hoses from the radiator trans cooler, into the aux cooler, and back to the return tube. Tomorrow I’ll start working on adding a brake controller to the truck, and converting the truck and trailer from a 6 pin to a flat 7 pin, and cleaning up all of the loose trailer wiring just clipped to the frame
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