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deltaten 11-13-2015 09:17 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
My ! What a curiously pretty little pocket cruiser! Probably the smallest CC design I've ever seen. :D Visually, quite balanced, too. As a matter of fact; I was wondering just what my W27 would look like with an aft "garage". ;)
Now I know it could be done with style and grace .
Good luck getting her set up
Fair winds,

krisscross 11-13-2015 09:34 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Neat boat. Congratulations. Taking off the mizzen mast should improve boat stability. These boats have only a marginal ballast to displacement ratio, which is fine for sailing on an inland lake.

Aswayze 11-13-2015 10:09 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Should be fine on inland lakes I think:

I am not the least interested in sailing on lakes, I consider that akin to driving my car in the Walmart parking lot. I do not live near a coast so whatever I get needs to be practical to trailer since otherwise I just end up with a blue water super cruiser marooned forever in an inland lake due to transport costs and the amount of time it takes to move them.

Short term, I am enjoying the heck out of the boat and tolerating the lake. :P

Aswayze 05-09-2016 08:12 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Update with the winter work done. Boat is now sitting merry at it's ball getting to run about the lake rather than languising on it's trailer.

Over the winter:

Redid exterior wood

New sails

New bottom paint

Painted boot stripe

Painted cove stripe

Compound, polish and wax hull (hell of a lot of work but worth it)

Lots and lots of interior work!

Now that it's warmed up some and I have the water system commissioned again I am going to start fooling with all of that stuff. Planning to basically pull all the plumbing out of the fresh water as well as head system and redo everything as the current system is a little slipshod and does not inspire confidence.

Aswayze 09-10-2016 04:40 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Finally got to get out cruising with this guy! I was out for a 10 day trip to the Apostle Islands and it did splendidly in spite of some fairly heavy weather. Above pic is the boat tucked up snug in the little harbor on Devils Island just before a fairly mean southerly blow in the evening.

Good times!

cw3hogan 10-03-2016 07:39 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hi Allen, I've been following this thread ( and will continue to do so) with great interest as I just acquired a Midship 25 and trailer gratis. :) Long story there. Anyway, my Midship is missing a sail drive and a marine head. No sweat. Fixable. There seems to be so little information on Midship and Parker-Dawson boats. I would welcome any advice on information sources for these great pocket cruisers! Like you I intend to sail my boat in the ocean. Any recommendations for a sail drive for this boat would be greatly appreciated.

Aswayze 10-08-2016 10:40 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hi there Shannon! Congratulations on your new boat.

Happens that I know a bit about the Midships 25 version and it's associated Baldwin saildrive. My buddy Stagg bought a Mid 25 and we have been working on it over the last year or so.

You can find our flickr album on the Midships 25 here:

Additional pictures and such of my Dawson here:

More pics of the Apostles trip here:

The saildrive on these is not that common but the good news is it's a pretty simple arraignment unlike the later OMC ones and although an odd bird it does mostly use fairly easy to source parts. The Midships was fitted with a 9.5 HP Evinrude power head set up with a delco starter generator. We have the engine running just ducky on Staggs now but unfortunately are now plauged by an issue with the shaft between the motor and the lower unit. Stagg is up in there air on whether to fix it or to succumb to the temptation to yoink it out, glass over the hole, and refit a BMW diesel we happen to have sitting around over here.

Where you are currently sitting I recommend starting to think along those same lines:

As fitted saildrive advantages:

VERY light weight. Stagg is not a particularly burly fellow and he can pull the motor out of this thing by himself and carry it up and down the ladder without resorting to using lifting gear.

Engine is fairly reliable. The 9.5 Evinrude power head is well regarded by all the outboard mechanics we talk to. Parts are common and cheap and honestly we have had nearly no issues with the engine itself.

Starter generator spins the bejesus out of that thing. Literally faster than the engine idles so in a pinch you could bump in and out on it alone.

Multiple starting options. Starter generator fails? Pull start it, starter generator AND pull starter fail? Rope start off the flywheel.

As fitted saildrive disadvantages:

Saildrive unit sits lower than the keel when the keel is wound all the way up. That means that if you are slinking into a shallow spot and get it wrong, it's your saildrive that will hit first.

Engine does not make much power. Technically, the starter generator will make 15 amps. We have not got it to make any yet in spite of new generator and new regulator, I am sure we will get it worked out. Either way, that's not a lot of electricity which makes catching up the battery charge situation with the engine take a bit longer. Compared to the 35 amp alternator on my YSE-8 Yanmar at least.

Slow acceleration. It will eventually catch up to hull speed but does not get there in much of a hurry. It really does not make much way when confronted with headwinds and waves. By comparison, my YSE-8 8HP diesel is a rocket. We suspect that a prop change may improve this but need to do additional testing to know for sure.

Can only effectively service sail drive unit with it out of the water. Lower unit oil changes etc require the boat be out.

Aswayze 10-08-2016 10:48 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions or if you see something that we are building that you are interested in as well. We'd be more than happy to share plans, measurements and the like.

We have a bit of an advantage having both the Midships and the later model Parker Dawson right next to each other, it makes it easy to decide we want something the other boat has and just yank it apart and copy away.

One bit of sage advice for you. When storing it outside either tarp the dickens out of it or don't park within 100 miles of any trees because it takes disturbingly little tree related debris to clog the cockpit drains and promptly fill the cabin and bilges full of rain water. When our boats are on the water, the bilges are dry as a bone, when on shore, we constantly have to pump the silly things dry. The Dawson has slightly better bilge drainage but honestly both are sort of Mickey Mouse. When we yank our keels for servicing we plan to upgrade to bigger drains.

cw3hogan 10-20-2016 07:09 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Allen, thanks for the detailed reply! I can't do PM's yet. Too few posts. Anyway, Wow, a lot of work on the Midship! She's beautiful. So is the PD 26. I lucked out when I found out my colleague's dad was trying to give away a sailboat. No one seemed to be interested! The Midship had been stored in a large shed for several years. The boat is in great shape, very clean and mostly dry. As I said before there is no engine and the aft marine head was missing too. I'm doing a detailed survey chasing wires, scuppers, water lines, hull, etc. Currently the boat has been fitted with an outboard motor mount on the transom. It is an awkward set up for handling with the aft cabin in the way. So I'm going for a sail drive setup as best choice. 2nd choice would be installing a prop shaft through the hull with all the associated hassles like shaft alignment, thrust bearings, etc. I have some experience working on and handling motor vessels as a deckhand. Anyway, any suggestions where I could find similar drive systems for the Midship? This is a new area for me. I intend to sail most of the time. The motor is mainly for safe navigation in and out of marinas. To motor sail or just motor seems I would need a bit more horsepower e.g. 15+ HP. The fuel tank is 15 gallons I believe.
On a side note I noted in the forward cabin under the cushions near the bow is a stowage area filled with foam! Not sure why. I suspect the designer did not want any excessive weight stowed near the bow to prevent the bow plowing into waves. Just a guess.

Aswayze 10-21-2016 02:51 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
If you get a chance snap a picture of what is currently in your "engine compartment" If it was at one time a sail drive and there does not seem to be much there, you might be surprised at how little it takes to have "a lot" there. HP wise, the original 9.5 would move the boat along just fine we just think a better matched propeller would get things moving a tad quicker. My Parker Dawson with the diesel has well more than it needs so I don't think you need to really go much bigger. Bigger just uses more fuel and takes up more space in the fairly small engineering spaces down there.

Don't forget the side effect of motoring, making electrical power. Both my Dawson and Stagg's Midships have solar panels but even on the best days they cannot touch what my Yanmar can make chugging along here and there from time to time. We didn't even take the panels up to the Apostles because I figured we'd motor enough here and there to keep up on our power needs.

Some nice person was probably going the for the "fill the most likely pierced area with foam approach" to keeping the boat on the right side of the water. Which makes sense and really does not loose much really useful space particularly given that one if often tempted to do silly things like store over sized Mantus anchors and rodes up there like me. (Which, yes, causes the boat to get angry)

You will be happy to hear that the Dawson/Midships are VERY easy to handle boats.

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