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Aswayze 08-17-2015 11:10 PM

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

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.

Aswayze 08-17-2015 11:13 PM

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.

Aswayze 08-20-2015 01:53 AM

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 *****in 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.

Aswayze 09-29-2015 08:18 PM

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.

randyrhines 11-12-2015 08:24 AM

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.

Aswayze 11-12-2015 08:21 PM

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.

paikea 11-13-2015 04:04 AM

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.

Aswayze 11-13-2015 05:42 AM

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.

paikea 11-13-2015 06:38 AM

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. :)

Aswayze 11-13-2015 07:54 AM

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.

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.

cw3hogan 10-21-2016 03:45 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Thanks so much for the sage advice! I hope I can return the favor or at least pay it forward!
Once I figure how to up load photos I attach them to this thread.
Once I hit 15 posts I can then PM. :grin
I think the foam filler in the bow stowage compartment was OEM.
I am getting more and more excited working on my first boat!! :pirateraft:

Aswayze 10-22-2016 01:24 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Parker Dawson/Midships are a small community so the more you know the more you can help others out so paying it forward goes a long way.

If you need detailed pictures or measurements of either of our boats do let me know.

cw3hogan 10-27-2016 06:19 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
3 Attachment(s)
Hey Allan, this is my first attempt to up load pics on this site. Let me know what you think re. the engine bay. I had to show off my boat too. :grin
I welcome any suggestions for buying a rebuilt or used powerhead and sail drive. I can do rebuilds if parts and service manual are available. I'm picking up some great ideas from your projects. Very helpful.
Thanks again.

Aswayze 10-28-2016 12:35 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Good looking boat! You've done alright on that one.

Looks like someone added the pedestal steering as the tiller steering cable is still in the engine bay.

Not much of anything left of the saildrive stuff but the hole. If you want to go back to original equipment, you are looking for a Balwin Saildrive unit. I would seek the unit itself and not worry about the power head, I am pretty sure you could spend 15 minute on your local Craigs List and have a running 9.5 Evinrude outboard to poach the head off of for less than $250 in your hands. You DO NOT want an OMC unit, just a Balwin. They did not make a ton of these but they are around, do some calling to some used marine parts places and see if someone has one sitting about they can cut you a deal on. If you get the majority of it, most of the rest can be made out of chunks of metal and a saber saw (that's how Balwin did it) We will have Staggs out soon and will take pictures. In reality, these are just an adapter that goes in the hull that allows you to attach an otherwise standard Evinrude outboard lower end to an otherwise standard Evinrude outboard power head. Not much to it, but you will need it!

I would see this as an opportunity to make the jump over to a standard inboard diesel. The original diesel in these us the Yanmar YSE-8 which is what I have in mine. It's a fairly dated design and is quite large/heavy for all it does so I would measure to see if you could fit a more modern (and easier to find) 1GM10. Dealing with adding the tube and shaft, the motor mounts etc will be a nuisance but it will only be a nuisance once and after that you will have power on demand and a very economical means to putter great distances sipping fuel when sailing is not practical (inland waterways, windless days, etc).

Post up some pics of your cabins, looks like you have a "Deluxe" model, I am curious what that looks like in the Midships time frame.

Aswayze 10-28-2016 01:00 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

This is the saildrive unit in Staggs prior to us cleaning it all up. As you can see, it's mostly just fabbed up plates and commercially available bits and pieces that sort of allow everything to bolt together. In a pinch, I am pretty sure you could make all this stuff yourself, there's no intricate castings and such involved, mostly just drilling holes and cutting/welding plates. They were CLEARLY made by hand, one at a time, in a basic work shop, you can see in the above picture for instance where someone came in from the side with a band saw to cut the inside circle freehand rather than springing the extra money for a hole saw.

cw3hogan 10-31-2016 04:40 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
5 Attachment(s)
As requested some additional views.

cw3hogan 10-31-2016 04:43 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
4 Attachment(s)
And four more. I'll send some of the full forward and aft cabins tomorrow.

cw3hogan 10-31-2016 05:35 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Yanmar diesel is a good way to go. I downloaded specs for the engine including the SD10 SD. Need to take some measurements. Way the engine bay appears I would have to have the engine facing aft. Not sure that is doable. May require a smaller powerhead. This boat is worth investing in a tier 1 motor and SD.
Just speculation at this point. Once I'm more knowledgeable and learn to avoid ban assumptions and common mistakes I'll commit to a particular engine and drive. Long learning curve here. :)

bzohio68 10-31-2016 11:16 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hello, nice sailboat! Would a tacoma pull this boat ? I believe I have a 6000lb tow package

Aswayze 11-01-2016 12:16 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

That's probably a better question for Toyota guys than us. My Parker Dawson with its inboard diesel, fully loaded for cruising tanks full etc, tips the scales at just at 6000 pounds on it's tandem axle trailer. With much less stuff and the gas inboard Staggs boat weighs noticably less but we have never ran it across a scale. If Toyota means up to 6000 is fine, you should be fine, if they mean 6001 pounds will destroy time itself then I might be worried. My Tundra is rated for 8000 and it seems to do just fine.

@cw3hogan looks great!

Glad to see I was not the only one who's thought to stick a plate rack there. If you want to double up your coffee cup capacity you can fit 4 of the USGI melamine coffee cups in that holder. I do like the silverware behind trick, I wish I had thought of that.

If you search my posts you can find a tutorial on converting the Kenyon Homestrand stove you have over to Kerosene. That worked stellar and made that a much more useful cooker.

Quite a bit of floatation foam in there!

My YSE 8 diesel engine is fitted facing forwards (the normal way), to service the front of the engine I get to do a little bit of the cat with his catnip mouse stuck under the refrigerator act fishing around in there but it's pretty manageble even on the relatively huge YSE engine. I can take detailed pictures for you if it helps. Access to the transmission and the exhaust elbow is excellent from the back end obviously.

Aswayze 11-01-2016 12:56 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
A few other mentions as well:

The original light fixtures while somewhat dated looking do lend themselves to easy conversion to LED, nothing more to it than just switching bulbs. Stagg wanted a red or white option so we switched his front cabin lights over to 2 position switches and added sockets for red LEDs as well. Switched to LED, you get really good lighting in there and we rarely run my 110V lights even when at the dock.

If you look at your paneling, you will notice that there are cut outs behind several places where the paneling is solid. We gained a lot of useful cubby space by opening up matching holes on the panels and gaining access to the space behind. It's easy to see on the boards, just look at the dust marks on the back and trace yourself out a suitable oval and go to town.

Stagg opening up some space on his.

We also gained some additional use out of that area by attaching 48" flat web bungees along the line of screws that secure the panels in place. These have proven WILDLY handy in practice and were a cheap and easy mod.
You can see some in use in the back cabin behind nappy time Windy here.

cw3hogan 11-08-2016 07:17 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
5 Attachment(s)
Some more views of the fore and aft cabins.

cw3hogan 11-08-2016 07:24 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
1 Attachment(s)
Starboard profile. I'm still just doing survey at this point. The plate and cup rack I believe was OEM but great idea. I can't believe anyone would use shag carpet in this fine sailboat!

Aswayze 11-09-2016 11:18 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Looks really good!

Have you winched your keel up and down a bit yet to make sure everything is moving? You can generally get a bit of movement on the trailer and at least make sure everything is free.

Your back cabin seems to have a combination of the great throne box that came on Staggs Midships encasing the porta john and the vanity that came on my Dawson. That does seem to eat up a good bit of space. Are you planning to keep it or are you going to reduce it in size and stash the head elsewhere?

You also have the odd panels over the cut outs in the back that Staggs midship had. On the Dawson, they have little bookshelf cubbies in there. We copied them and they pretty much just popped right into the recesses on the Midships as well. It was an easy project requiring nothing much more complex than a mitre box.

cw3hogan 11-09-2016 04:38 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
There used to be an actual marine head in the movable console. There is a macerator motor still attached. You can see the outlets on the transom. They are well situated above the waterline. I intend install a new (or used refurbished) marine head. I'll have a porta-potty placed in the niche in the forward cabin.
I like the cubby hole storage set up. Very nice cabinetry! I shall plagiarize your ideas shamelessly!

Aswayze 11-10-2016 10:40 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Aswayze 11-10-2016 10:43 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

This may also be of interest to you. It's the updated style latch for the front hatch. We have been less than impressed with the front hatch retention on Stagg's Midships and are making a set of these up for his, It's not much harder to make 4 than to make 2 so I'll make you some up as well.

cw3hogan 11-10-2016 02:21 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Just WOW. I agree, I have very Micky Mouse OEM front hatch latches. I'll take you up on the kind offer and let me know how I can repay you guys. Your gracious sharing of information, time in replying, and just plain being great shipmates warms my heart. Thanks for including me in your project!!
I'm going to set up the rigging and sails this weekend and check EVERYTHING. Lots to do. Still doing a survey expanding my list of TTD. Working on my boat is very therapeutic. :)
My wife and I are visiting our oldest Coast Guard son and family next week near the SF Bay Area . There is a Marine Engineering outfit recommended by my brother in Sausalito that rebuilds marine engines. I'll see what they have to offer. :)

Aswayze 11-10-2016 09:22 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Make sure you get good measurements so you know your space constraints, even if they don't have something they may know a clever solution. Obviously if you happen to spot a Baldwin saildrive you should think about it a bit too.

Staggs front hatch has blown open in wind storms out here... It's absurd... The Parker Dawson style hatch latch is WAY more secure.

Aswayze 11-15-2016 05:03 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

East Wind and Sunflower pulled out and derigged for highway transport in preparation for a final trip of the season down to Kentucky Lake.

One last hurrah for 2016 before we finally admit it's time to winterise and tarp everything up.

Aswayze 12-18-2016 11:27 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
One last trip for the season!

We decided to make use of the Thanksgiving Holiday in concert with the remainder of our vacation days to haul both East Wind and Sunflower down to Kentucky Lake for a 10 day trip.
East Wind at anchor one cold and frosty morning.
Sunflower tacking down the lake
Previous owner hillbilly repair found! Sunflowers rudder snapped in half on the only day we had decent winds to work with. We rigged a jury rudder that did fine for the remainder of the trip but it looks like we have a project for the winter making a proper rudder for this guy!

It was an OK trip, a little cold which was a bummer given that the week before the weather had been perfect. Lake levels were annoyingly low and Kentucky Lake is already a pretty shallow lake which really limited our maneuver room but we made the best of it none the less. We mostly wanted this trip as a dry run for the recently overhauled trailers and a first trip for Sunflower which is only recently out of derelict status.

Aswayze 02-20-2017 10:59 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Getting this guy ready for the next season.

Plans for this year are to visit Isle Royale in the early Summer then the Dry Tortugas in the fall/winter again around Thanksgiving time frame.

Many of the usual boat maintenance items as well as some improves learned from past trips.

I installed this Raymarine A78 last year and it did sterling service at both Lake Superior as well as Kentucky Lake. But... I really wanted to have wind data as well and the Raymarine path forward to that involved more displays and doo dads.

Which means HI YA! B&G time... Switched to a Vulcan 7 since it's a good bit more sailboat oriented than the Raymarine and allows me to display useful wind data on the same display
Obviously that means a wind transducer and while we are playing the wires up the mast game I went ahead and added a Masthead Smart LED light by Marine Beam and replaced my VHF cable.
Having to scamper down into the cabin to play 20 questions with the Coast Guard when sending the Pan Pan about SV Sunflowers rudder failure at Kentucky Lake while trying to take them in tow while single handing in a storm convinced me it was time to add a RAM mic up in the cockpit.

Aside from that, many a day and hour has been consumed running down and removing ghost wiring and generally bringing all the wiring to standard.
Keel winch assembly is out, it's quite a substantial thing! I have pulled the gearbox apart and am replacing all the seals and changing the gearbox grease. The crane is out as well, it was damaged during the Apostle Islands trip and will be rebuilt prior to installation also. I cannot change the cable sitting on the trailer so I plan to wait till the water is warm enough to dive under and get to it in the water.

cw3hogan 04-10-2017 08:54 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hi Allen! Tough luck with the rudder. Some how I think you will make a new improved one.

It has been a while. Made it through a heavy winter. Hope you and yours are well.

For my Midship 25 I am going electric propulsion. Thunder Struck Motors has a great 5 Kw motor kit that should be enough for the boat. Looks like I'll be able to hook up the motor direct drive too. I'm still shopping for a used (to be rebuilt) sail drive (SD) leg. My concern is the length of the SD. What are the dimensions of Skaggs SD? I cannot find any specs on the Baldwin SD. I guess I'm just not using the right search criteria. :P
I will be setting up PV panels over the stern deck. Fo! passage making I'll probably include a small gen set. I'll be using a folding prop.
I keep learning new things from you guys! I hope to post my efforts in photos soon on my own thread. Refinishing and making new woodwork first.

Aswayze 04-11-2017 01:10 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Stagg is working on a page for saildrive stuff here:

Balwin Saildrive information - Operation East Wind

You can also see the album of pictures here:

Stagg has much more to add as well so there will be more info coming up soon. We'll be out there today and will see of we can get a measurement.

For what it's worth, I would not look for a rebuilt saildrive unit, I would look for any suitable outboard motor lower end and just build what you need off of it exactly like what they did with these. If you don't have access to an AC TIG welder yourself, I am still quite sure that paying someone to do the work would be a far site cheaper than anything involving an original saildrive unit.

I am adding solar to my aft cabin top. I had planned to do panels on an arch but the semi flexible panels allow me to just use the coach roof and hatches instead leaving me a lower profile for around the same power input.

cw3hogan 04-11-2017 02:04 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Thanks for the timely reply Allen! Apologies about misspelling Staggs name.
More later!

cw3hogan 04-12-2017 05:09 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hey Allen, what brand of marine varnish do you recommend? I'm ready to pull the woody parts off top deck and in the cabins and refinish, rebuild, and or replace. I like the book cubbies you mentioned and will build them. Also I think I'll replace the stern cabin hatch and forward cabin washboards. Weather is fine now. I'll be doing my natural wood cabinets in my home bathroom at the same time. :) I figure the marine varnish would be great for the bathroom too.

Aswayze 04-13-2017 07:26 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
I am quite certain that there are better qualified people than me to answer that question. I just use the Minwax Helmsman spar varnish since itís really the only thing available in my area and I am not the sort to bother mail ordering varnish.

stagg 04-16-2017 08:56 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Boats are in the water this weekend. Neither one sank yet.

Swayze tested out his new dinghy, which we have decided rows very well considering its fellow inflatable rows like a barge.

cw3hogan 04-25-2017 03:00 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hey Allen, I need to do one more public message to be able to PM. :P I'm pretty sure the fuel tank was pulled along with the power head and sail drive. I assume the fuel tank was secured in the compartment under the seat hatch along with the battery. If I had it I would have given it to Staggs! Anything else I can be of help please PM me!
Thanks again for all the great advice and information you both have posted!!

Aswayze 06-04-2017 02:17 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Updated pics of the new panels installed. The idea was to integrate some solar in a manner that would be low profile and not a burden to stepping/unstepping the mast as well as trailering since I do trailer this guy quite a lot.
Panels on the aft cabin roof. Front one is 80 watts 18V aft one is 40watts 18V. If I had taken the time to have the aft one constructed to spec, I could have eeked out another 20 watts and not ran out of space. All the panels are stood off of the deck by about 3/4 inch to help them cool as well as obviously help them not turn the cabins into ovens.
Single 100 watt semi flexible on the front hatch. This is likely to be a fairly shady spot so it'll most likely not pump out crazy power but it's also space that's not really being used for anything else so there's really nothing lost by having it there. There's room forward of the mast as well where you can see the previous 100watt rigid panel propped up out of the way but for now I am leaving that space alone.
Now what to do with that power? Well, I have long wanted one of these and it just so happens to fit perfectly in the same spot I had been stashing my Engel Deep Blue 35 cooler up front.

Off to Isle Royale at the end of the week!

Unless I decide not to be cold then I will be off to Florida!

Either way, I will be off.

CrusPD26 07-09-2017 06:29 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

I got a great running YSE8 I just remove from my PD 26.
$1000.00 if anybody is interested.

Aswayze 07-10-2017 01:43 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Just out of curiosity, what did you replace the YSE with?

Where are you located at?

CrusPD26 07-12-2017 11:22 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
I sail on Lake Powell. Super strong winds in narrow canyons. I needed more power. I got a deal on a new Honda Power Thrust I could not refuse. Had to fabricate a custom stern mount for everything to be in right alignment. My PD26 now has 15HP.
We are in St George UT.

stagg 07-13-2017 11:09 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
That ought to leave plenty of new interior storage space.

CrusPD26 07-17-2017 12:48 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Yes. Plenty of room and easy service. Now, I just have to replace my swing keel cable.

Aswayze 07-18-2017 07:51 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
That's on my list too. It would be much easier to do in an area with marine service providers...

I am likely to trailer mine off to the nearest yard that has a lift (hundreds of miles away) and just get the swing keel assembly yoinked out for the winter and plunked onto a flatbed trailer so I can fair the keel, replace the pivot pin, and change the cable before next season. Right now I am most certainly dragging a slab of iron through the water rather than a nice smooth foil shape.

Got any pics of yours?

CrusPD26 07-20-2017 06:10 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
5 Attachment(s)
Living in South UT Mountains is challenging as far as marine services go. After weeks of planning I have decided to purchase my own boat hoist from gohoist. In addition I made my own boat stands .
Here are few pics of few modifications and my boat stand:

CrusPD26 07-20-2017 06:12 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
1 Attachment(s)
One more pic.

Aswayze 07-20-2017 07:41 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Ha, my boat's newer than yours by 4 boats!

Also seen that keel cable thing before too:

In my case I caused it by neglecting to lower the keel onto the trailer before trailering up to the Apostles. It collapsed the keel crane that the cable runs over and sproinged one strand. Not fun!

Make sure to take a look at your keel crane and specifically the sheave the cable runs over. I replaced mine with a stainless sheave with a solid bronze bushing after straightening the crane back out slowly and carefully. I plan to make a new one out of stainless at some point but so far the old one is doing ok:
Bent over crane
Old explodiated sheave and new replacement. It was a commercially available sheave that I shaved down on the lathe to fit in the crane.
Also, the crane was not particularly impressively bedded so while I had it out I filled this void in and leveled everything up so it now has a much better base to sit on.

Aswayze 07-20-2017 07:47 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Worth pointing a few things out about the gearbox as well.

Firstly, it's still commercially available from Boston Gear if you ever seriously goof it up. Otherwise, it comes apart pretty easily and all the seals were fairly common off the shelf parts as well. I pulled mine out and went through it while I had the keel crane out and it was well in need of a good cleaning out and seal change.

If you get yours out and the keel assembly dropped, post up some pics to guide the way for the rest of us!

CrusPD26 07-22-2017 01:05 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Thank you!!!
I greatly appreciate your help. Just looked at my sheave, looks pretty straight.
I will document my keel removal the best I can. However, it is still few weeks away.

bartman99 09-01-2017 08:51 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hi all,

I am interested in the PD26 and have found one near me. It's a '77 Dawson that apparently was never sold by the dealer. The only problem is (as mentioned in an earlier post), it's drains clogged and the cabins filled up. Interior is wrecked and the motor (diesel) is ruined. Hull and sails never used. Seller is asking ~1000, also includes the original trailer. I am handy, but not a carpentry/motor expert. How hard to redo the interior and replace the engine (the original is gone)? Any other motors that would work? Is there a risk of hull damage from years of water inside? Are rudders available? How hard would it be to make one? Any other ideas/advice? Not much on PD26on the web.

Aswayze 09-02-2017 11:56 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
That is a fairly common problem. The Parker Dawson's cockpit drains get clogged and as the water in the cockpit rises, there is simply nowhere to go but into the cabins.

Good news is, these are VERY solid little boats and believe it or not, they survive that sort of thing much better than you might think.

Stagg reworked a Midships 25 (same boat, different name) that suffered from the same problem.

This is the Flickr album showing the process:

Mostly just a mess. The cabinetry, oddly enough, cleaned up just fine after sanding cleaning, and refinishing. Stagg had only one bulkhead that needed fixing and it was not all that significant so it's been ignored so far.

Having had a diesel means that the repower should not be too tough to do, just round up another YSE-8 and drop it in would be the easy route. The main issue with other engines you will find is height. I have pictures of a 1GM10 Yanmar installed without modification and other pictures of the little Beta 14 generally installed with some modification to the hatch to gain a bit more clearance.

As far as being an expert, just work on what you can as you can and soon you will be expert enough. None of that stuff is as tough as people like to make it out to be. Get some Don Casey books and brew up some coffee, you'll be fine.

Aswayze 09-02-2017 12:01 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Not really available. I had a spare, but it's being used by Stagg. They are not really a super high tech item, you can just make one.

CrusPD26 09-02-2017 03:22 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
If you need a direct replacement for your engine. I got a perfectly running YSE8 out of my PD 26.

bartman99 09-03-2017 09:49 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
For Stagg:
What would you guesstimate you put into the "resurrection" of your boat, both time-wise and dollars? I know and completely understand that time and money is somewhat, "besides the point", but I will need to get the idea of doing this past my SO.


bartman99 09-03-2017 10:26 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Originally Posted by CrusPD26 (Post 2051185913)
If you need a direct replacement for your engine. I got a perfectly running YSE8 out of my PD 26.

I suspect shipping that thing would be cumbersome:laugh I live in Virginia.

WHat did you use to replace the motor?

CrusPD26 09-04-2017 08:55 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
The replacement motor is Honda BH15 Power Thrust.
FYI shipping to Virginia via FedEx Freight would be around $350.

stagg 09-04-2017 11:09 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
The cost in time and money? I keep that a secret from myself, since it would be bad for moral if the facts got out.

Here is my take on it (as well as a guesstimate)

The time is as much as you put into it. As an example of time needed. The interior is mostly made from the fiberglass liner. There are some plywood bulkheads, the cabinet doors, the kitchen drawers, and most aggravating the locker lids under the cushions. I am not a cabinetry maker and we managed to make things work, so skill is not the limiting factor.
You could very easily replace the area under the kitchen counter with shelves and doorless openings (which would increase storage space tremendously) and for the want of some wood trim have a very functional boat.
Your time to do enough woodworking to be sailing would be a few weekends of work and ready to go in this regards.... heck you will spend more time scrubbing the slime off the fiberglass than doing this minimal woodwork.

There is of course a whole list of things that also need doing.

As for money? I have spent thousands, and have been pretty frugal too.

The question is what do you want the final product to look like?

This is the short answer: If you want a nice PD-26 as seen in the brochures then buy as nice of a PD-26 that you can afford.

If you can not afford a nice one now, save your money and buy one a couple of months from now. The amount of time you will save working on projects, and the amount of boat/sails/motor you can get by buying a complete boat is hard to beat!

I have restored (with very generous help) several old houses, vehicles, and now boats, and can safely say that the purchase price of a nice boat/car/house is very close to the overall COST of restoring a junker. The difference is your time and the final result.
The reality is that buying the boat/trailer for $1000 and then spending another 5-6 thousand on all the tiny junk needed to finish it, would be a lot easier to just buy a nice sail-able boat up front.

I have as of this writing restored my Midship-25 to nicer than stock condition in most regards. It needs some finish work, and paint, but is very capable.
It was a complete blast to challenge Lake Superior for two weeks this summer, and I trust the boat.
These boats make for a very doable project.

Why did I go this route?

-Foolishness, maybe.
-Being broke, but determined to start sailing (meaning fixing boat stuff).
-But the real reason. I wanted something different from the original! and I knew it from the very beginning. Why buy a nice boat, and then tear it up to remodel it?

And even then...... it probably would have been cheaper to buy a nice, maintained boat.

Aswayze 09-05-2017 09:01 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
I will add the following having also been involved in Staggs boat project.

How much did it cost Stagg?

Answer: All the money...

Let's contrast that to my boat which cost me $7000 more than Stagg's and was deliciously well equipped.

How much have I spent on my boat?

Answer: All the money... In fact, without a shred of doubt I have spent more on mine than Stagg spent on his. Why? Because both Stagg and I are the "spend all the money on the project" kind of guys. Prior to these things we both had M151 military jeeps that we spent all the money on, before that we had M35A2 deuce and a half trucks that we spent all the money on. It happens that I am currently better positioned money wise than Stagg so my spending "all the money" happens to add up to more than his.

Truth is, he could have raked all the junk out of the cabins washed his boat off and been sailing (admittedly poorly) the next day. Likewise, I could have done little more to mine than than pay the mooring fees and still be sailing but in both of our cases we are the types to constantly improve bits at a time every aspect of anything we are working on so whether it is a Parker Dawson 26 or a collection on Precious Moments figurines, we would spend all the money on it...

Short answer, rake the muck out of the cabin be prepared to fill and drain the bilges approximately 500 times to finally rinse the last bits of the stink mud out from under the floors. Sand and refinish the cabinets, adjust the drawers as needed. Replace all the locker lids if they need it. Rummage up a motor then start sailing. Only you know what you eventually want to do, once you figure that out start spending all the money to set your boat up to do it.

For what it's worth, if you want to spend more money up front you should look at Justins PD26 up in Duluth. He's got a very nice boat with 90% of the hard stuff already done. I assure you that if Stagg or I had this boat available when we got ours we would have grabbed it.

bartman99 09-05-2017 09:14 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Thank you both for the insightful answer to my rather pedestrian question. I pretty much thought as much as you two said. In any case, I've got another line on a mothballed (20+ years in storage) PD26 "relatively" close to me. Needs work, but more approachable. The boat in Duluth sounds great. Duluth is a LONG way from Virginia though, so I'll probably pass.

Aswayze 09-05-2017 09:19 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
If you have links or pictures of the boat you are looking at post em up and we'll be happy to look things over and see if there are any obvious watch outs for you.

bartman99 09-13-2017 11:31 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
How hard/easy is it to launch and re-trailer your boats? What do you tow them with? In one of the pics I see a Ford sedan (Crown Vic?) How did that work?

Aswayze 09-13-2017 01:23 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
I tow mine with a Toyota Tundra V8 with a tow package. It does just fine. Stagg now pulls his with an Ford E350 van. I also own the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor that you see pulling SV Sunflower. It did OK, the CVPI has plenty of power and the police package includes a substantial transmission cooler so no issues there. We were just moving Sunflower from one level parking lot to another which is a fairly simple task. I am not so sure I would want to have to try to pull a Parker Dawson up a slick boat ramp with that car, the Police Package cars are not great handling vehicles on slick surfaces. I would say that about any V8 car would pull one Ok, better if you add a transmission cooler, best if you can manage a ĺ ton or better pickup truck or van just for the added braking power and weight.

Launch and recovery goes fairly well for a boat that size. The biggest trick is raising and lowering the mast. If you have a few people around, it’s just a matter of shoving it up, if you are shorthanded, you can use the gin pole rig that these guys came with. The boat you are looking at almost certainly has the bridle laying in the bottom of a locker somewhere, if not bug me and I’ll send you the measurements off of mine so you can put one together.

Going into and out of the water is not too bad once you develop a system, the only real trick to it is to makes sure that the keel ends up centered on the trailer and that once it is out you do not neglect to lower it down so that the keel is resting on the trailer rather than hanging from its cable.

It should tell you something that Stagg and I tow our boats all over for vacations. If it was as harrowing to launch and recover as many of the other boats I help pull out every fall and launch every spring up here at the local lake I would not be subjecting myself to that sort of abuse for vacations.
Stopped for lunch in Duluth on the way home from the Apostles in 2016

bartman99 09-26-2017 02:30 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Originally Posted by CrusPD26 (Post 4001250)
. In addition I made my own boat stands .
Here are few pics of few modifications and my boat stand:

Can you tell me about your DIY boat stands? Looks like steel? Do you have the specs/dimensions? Does it work well? I may need to build stands or a cradle

CrusPD26 10-08-2017 02:39 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
The boat stands are:
48" tall X 42" wide. The base is 5' long 3" X 3" angle iron. The posts are 2.5" x 0.25" square tubing. Adjustable plates are made from 10" X 10" 3/8" steel plate, topped with 1/2" CDX plywood.
Pivot assembly is a ball joint] with 5/8" cross bolt.

Aswayze 03-18-2018 11:13 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Some updates on the winters festivities!

Firstly, the plant I am working at is closing after 115 years of operation so I will either be relocating or jobless soon. I was prepared for this and one thought is to take this little demon out cruising for a few years. I will likely do the responsible thing and relocate instead as long as the package is good but the cruising trip does tempt me so.

Anyhow what been going on over the winter?
This thing... This thing... This is my Yanmar YSE8 diesel engine. Firstly let me point out that it runs flawlessly. It consumes nearly no fuel starts instantly and has never given me a lick of trouble. However... The previous owner had ran it for some time with a hole in the exhaust elbow which resulted in the entire engine bay being quite sooty and icky.
Not kidding, it's icky. No oil leaks at all but the soot situation was quite out of hand.
Engine came out without too much of a fight and after several days cleaning and scrubbing as well as cleaning up some of the fiberglass work down there it's got new paint and is ready for the return of the engine.
Engine got a new injector, new cylinder and rings and everything else checked out. This is it right now, going to rework the bearings and impeller in the raw water pump and add the wiring harness later today but it's basically ready to go back in sitting on new mounts. I also used the opportunity to make myself up a set of Yanmar special tools on my lathe since however the winds may blow me in the future I will likely not be taking my trusty old SouthBend with me.
Shaft is out, nows a good time to redo the Cutless bearing.
Since the engine bay work was guaranteed to make a mess, all the cushions came out for the winter. While everything was out I attacked the interior with the 3 inch Groits polisher and then waxed everything up. Should be much easier to keep clean now.
I probably over think things... I had a Weems and Plath clock that just did not keep perfect time. It did ok, but it tended to lose time over too short of a period for me to trust it with nav work in the event I ever get goofy and try to use my sextant again. I saw these clocks in an ambulance last summer (don't ask) and thought that might be a neat clock to switch to. The new clock keeps perfect time.
Conveniently, it came apart well enough for me to add tritium beta lights to the hands and clock face as well so it's night readable.
My boat came from the factory with a *****in 8-track player that allowed the original owner to listen to his BeeGees tapes while sailing. Over the years it was upgraded several times and by the time I got it, it was all set up to listen to Pearl Jam CDs pumped to the max via a Clarion amp and EQ. Naturally, the multi generational nonsense meant it was a birds nest of wires and I had all manner of do dads, knobs and levers right where I would much rather have a cubby to keep me nav stuff in. Out came the stereo bits, I relocated a Fusion stereo tucked way back in the footwell of one of the aft quarter berths and just ran a little remote up here. This means I can access all the music I care to from both the tiny wired remote, the MFD in the cockpit or the Tablet.
And the remote is even an NMEA repeater so I can get info right there at me quasi nav station.

Aswayze 03-18-2018 11:25 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
And the dingy madness of 2017-2018...
I had bought this little Achilles LT2 since it packs up quite small and takes up basically no space when not in use.
We used it up on Lake Superior last summer and it did OK but was honestly a bit small when there are two people and would be right out of the question if you had 3.
So I says to myself, I should get one of them Avon things. Stagg has a Redcrest that packs up reasonably small and is a MUCH better boat. I found this nice little Redstart on Craigs List and managed to get the owner to ship it to me at a reasonable price. TaDa! Now I have a much more reasonable dingy for carrying 3 people +groceries with ease.
Wait what? Why is there another boat on my dining room table? (Who can believe I am single eh ladies) I found this Avon 8 on Ebay reasonably cheap shipped and thought I would give it a try. It lands between the Redstart and the Achilles size wise and again packs up small so soon enough we will be able to have the ultimate trailer sailor dingy shootout!

Aswayze 03-25-2018 12:31 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
While I had my Yanmar out I thought I would post up a few notes on it for any other Parker Dawson owners who happen to have this power plant.

This is the YSE-8 sitting out of my Parker Dawson 26. It's a pretty sizable thing for no more horsepower than it makes and it's pretty tough to really see or take pictures of much when it's installed so I thought this would be the time to take a few pics and explain a few things while I have the thing out and easy to photos.

The YSE-8 does not have a spin on oil filter. Instead, they have this odd filter system which relies upon you, as the owner, occasionally rotating this little fellow on the front of the engine. Pretty easy to do, just know it's there and you need to do this little bit of preventive maintenance. I crank mine daily when I am using the thing. You are supposed to, from time to time also remove the entire thing and rinse it clean in some fresh diesel to really clean it out. You just remove the 3 M6 hex head bolts and it pulls straight out. Note that there is a sealing oring there that you definitely need but the good news is it's the same oring that the standard Yanmar fuel filters use so you quite likely have a spare in with your fuel filters. (You do carry spare fuel filters right?)

There is a handy compression release on the valve cover. This is a handy add on when you are bleeding your fuel system or if you happen to run your battery down and need to give a low battery a bit of a run at starting the engine.

Under the head there is a handy drain **** that you can use to drain the water out of your engine when winterizing. You will want to open this drain from time to time both to drain the system and also to remove any sediment that accumulates in the low point of the system which inconveniently happens to be the water jacket right under the lower part of the cylinder and the head. If you happen to open this valve and no water comes out then I would suggest hitting it with a few spurts of compressed air to beak the sediment up and get it to flush free.

The exhaust elbow... The OEM exhaust elbows are cast iron. They can be prone to rusting and can soot up. If you end up replacing one, like I did, there are stainless steel versions available.

Also do heat wrap them since not doing so can cause you to melt nearby fiberglass in the fairly small Dawson engine bay.

If you have not figured out that the YSE-8 is a thumpy hoppy motor then you probably have not started your engine yet. Do keep an eye on your engine mounts. They can "seem" good but be separated at the bottom edge. You don't want that!

If you are like me and would prefer gauges to unlabeled idiot lights, you can remove the idiot light senders and replace them with standard senders for both oil pressure and engine temp. Keep in mind that the oil pressure is 1/8 BSP threads so you will want to use a BSP to NPT adapter before attaching your sender.

There is a zinc on the water jacket right beside where the thermostat goes in. Cheap insurance on a raw water cooled boat.

cw3hogan 04-03-2018 04:20 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hey Allan,(Stagg too) I had a hiatus over a year due to my wife's cancer. She passed away in February. So I put my boat on hold. I'm back and planning to get the boat in water this year. So anyway do you have a recommendation for an outfit that can build stays etc? My side stays are frayed on my Midship 25.
As I said before I'm going electric to include PV panels etc. I'm going to order through Thunderstruckmotors in California for the drive system. I need to get a sail drive off of an Evinrude to match up to the motor. So glad to be back on board and I will post pics of my progress either on this thread on start a new thread.

Aswayze 04-03-2018 06:24 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
I am sorry to hear about your wife, that is a serious drag.

Stagg has a complete operational saildrive coming out of (or potentially already out of) his Midships 25. Near term, I would give some serious thought to just getting the whole system and plunking it directly in since that would get you fully operational in a days work. From there, I generally find that it is a great deal more pleasant to work on a boat that does something other than loom down on you from it's trailer in the boatyard. At least when you get mad working on things with the boat in the water you can go swimming.

Also just so happens that he is currently working with some riggers down there to get new stays made for his boat so you could quite likely just get him to double up everything since he is already pulling all of his rigging to get the new stuff made up.

stagg 04-06-2018 02:03 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Indeed it is already out. I haven't cleaned it up yet, but it is sitting in the shop out back waiting its turn.

I'm about halfway through the rebuild of my yanmar, and am not looking back. So if you are interested in the saildrive we can certainly figure out how to get it shifted over to you.
It may be small and light enough to literally mail in a box.... I will have to look into it.

We used to joke about using the dewalt drill as emergency power to spin the saildrive, I suppose an electric motor would be straight forward to rig.

Aswayze 05-06-2018 11:27 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Making progress towards having a boat again rather than just a very tall and inconvenient travel trailer.

With Stagg's help we used the mast crane up at the lake to noodle the engine back into place. In theory this gets the engine off of the table in the middle of my shop....
Except of course it doesn't since he left another engine on my table...

I was watching the Free Range Sailing guy on YouTube as he replaced some bad mounts on his Yanmar and he made up some clever spacers to try to end up with the engine sitting a little lower on the mount once it's adjusted down. Seemed like a pretty clever idea to me so I cut some sections of phenolic board to use once I start lining everything up.

Since I already had the aft cabin stripped to avoid getting everything dirty from the great soot monster I figured it would be a good time to pull apart the rudder scabbard and overhaul everything there. Everything came apart easily enough other than the pivot bolts which were pretty solidly stuck in there with corrosion. The big impact finally shook them loose.

These guys are fitted with 1/2 ID 5/8 OD 5/8 long 3/4 flange nylon bushings easily enough found at most places that sell lawn mower stuff. I thought about going to bronze oilite, but the Nylon seems to have lasted pretty well and I don't need still another dissimilar metal.
I painted it with Brownells Alumahyde II matte black paint. I have found Alumahyde to be an exceptionally good paint for adhering to aluminum and of course I just so happened to have a can on hand.

Naturally the tiny central Iowa tiki god of spray paint was angry so I ran out of paint literally THIS close to being done. Oh well, another can ordered....

One more tip for you Parker Dawson owners out there. The slot for your rudder in the back of the hull will admit some amount of water in during rain. Occasionally when you get pooped by a big wave it lets more than a little in. Not a huge deal, it runs down to the bilge hopefully sucker punching the mud dauber wasps along the way but it can get the stuff in the inset portion of your cabinet wet. If you prefer to keep your Harlequin romance novel collection dry, it is worth slathering a layer of glass over the top of your cabinets here. I will not be seen once installed but will keep your goodies a little drier.

cw3hogan 05-24-2018 05:07 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Hey Allan! Your rudder scabbard is more robust than my MS 25 ensemble. I am shamelessly plagiarizing your ideas i.e. nylon bushings, Allumahyde II paint, and fiberglass enhancements. My oldest Coast Guard son and family are visiting this Memorial weekend and we will be setting up the rigging with the new stays from Zern Rigging, Check all sails and just have a damn fine time. We will also be placing the Flag on my wife's gravesite (she was in the Women's Army Corps.) Have a wonderful safe Memorial weekend.

cw3hogan 05-24-2018 05:26 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
OH, yeah, a question re. my Midship 25 project. Would you guys mind me posting my boat's (SV Second Wind) progress on this thread? I figure consolidation of ongoing projects of practically identical boats would be helpful to other owners of similar
craft. Otherwise I'll start my own thread. :)

Aswayze 05-24-2018 11:04 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Do it, of course!

Yes, the Parker Dawson's scabbards are a little built up compared to the Midships. Need to get a picture of the scabbard on Prodigal from Roger, his boat seems to be the turning point for some of the transition from Midships to Parker Dawson.

We'll have to get some notes from Daniel on Yeraz's scabbard as well since it looks still different again.

I am just about to get East Wind in the water, hopefully this weekend. It is starting to get hot and crappy out here and it is a lot more enjoyable to work on the boat bobbing around at the mooring ball that sitting in the middle of a gravel parking lot.

A few pics of recent jobs:
Who needs a milling machine! (I do) Using the lathe and a big two flute 1 3/8 end mill to mill out a slot for the adapter plate for my masthead wind indicator
Newly built plate locked into place and fastened down nice and tight.
Wind indicator installed.
Got the Schaefer furler apart and replacing the bearings.
Got the new Icom installed and on the network. (Now hopefully I will get AIS on the plotter)
The original stuffing box was a 1 1/4 using a adaptor hose to the 1 1/2 shaft log. I was not wild about that, and once I switched to a new 1 1/2 stuffing box I needed a bit more clearance around the shaft log. I made up a spud on the lathe and adapted a hole saw to it so I could keep it straight and skim out a little bit more space.
Quick buff and wax

Aswayze 07-01-2018 12:46 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Rearranged the solar a bit. Was not terribly happy with the flexo panels so went back to rigid. New arch built, currently mounting just a single 100 watt panel, will add another later. Moved one 100 watt flexo panel up forward of the mast where it gets better sun as well and now we are making good power again.

Ready to pull out of the water on July 4 and head up to Grand Marais for a few weeks up on Lake Superior!

stagg 07-08-2018 03:11 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
1 Attachment(s)
For those who want some nail-biting suspense.

SV Eastwind was Launched this long holiday weekend at Grand Marais MN, and is currently snuggled in at Windigo, Isle Royale.
I am stuck on dry land, and hence am providing shore-side support and SAR based on their float plan.

The weather up there is rather serious at the moment, but Isle Royale is basically a series of Fjords and Hurricane holes radiating out from a spikey rock center.
So they are safe and sound, with a plan to sail from one bombproof anchorage to the next. Eventually crossing to the Keweenaw Peninsula..... and lets just see what the weather allows after that.

Most Recent Report:
N 47 54.730
W 089 09.473

Overnighting at Windigo floating dock. One motorsailer at anchor in Harbor, one sport fisher tied up at ferry dock. Otherwise the place is empty. Much much warmer in here even though the wind is howling.

Uneventful trip, too much motoring as the promised wind did not materialize till late in the day.

Did pass fairly close to Rock of Ages and got a good picture.

Saw only Seahunter and 3 local fishing boats all day.

Note that Google phone has some degree of coverage at Windigo slightly up the hill.

End Report:

I will update Notable events, but we don't expect a lot of pictures during the trip. The connection to the outside world is pretty spotty up there (perfect reason to go)
Lots of cool pictures will show up afterwards I'm sure.

If you are out sailing Lake Superior in the next couple of weeks, be sure to wave if see a 26ft Center cockpit sailboat. White with green trim.

CrusPD26 07-27-2018 03:51 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
3 Attachment(s)
Got the GoHoist to lift my PD26!

Aswayze 07-28-2018 08:54 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Wow! A hoist AND indoors AND a tile floor? I am going to go work on my boat at your house, that looks ever so much better than a boatyard.

How do you like your hoist? Stagg and I are likely to buy one this fall for the same job.

As an aside, when you get a moment, snap a pic of how the keel cable attaches to the keel. Roger, the guy out in Idaho who owns Prodigal, was asking me about that the other day and I have not yet seen that part on mine since the home lake is murky and the only clear lake I travel to is Lake Superior which is forbiddingly cold and therefor not so inspiring to dive in and take pictures.

Aswayze 07-28-2018 01:53 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Had not noticed Staggs post until today. Wx turned out to be a non issue as it split with half of it going all whirlly haily yuck yuck on Thunder Bay then the southern end heading down to the Keweenaw and washing out roads down there. It mostly just boomed and acted vicious around us but in the end did little more than rain a bit. If I had to ride out a violent storm, there would be fewer more suitable places than Isle Royale, lots of great hide outs up there.

Only other real weather issue we had was an upwelling on the north shore where persistent winds blew out all the surface water bringing up a lot of very cold water from deeper down. Nothing like driving up from a place with 100+ degree days and arriving in an area with lake surface temp of 38 degrees F. Lucky for us that only persisted for a few days and we were soon surrounded by comparatively warm 55 degree water.

CrusPD26 07-28-2018 04:17 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
5 Attachment(s)
Few pictures of my keel removed from the boat.
1. The lift cable attachment is completely encapsulated with rust. There is no way I could remove it underwater in order to replace it. The pin was soaked for 2 days in Liquid Wrench before I could hammer it out.
2. The lift cable snapped in two during the lift!
3. GoHoist Tall Boy worked great. However, it is best done with 3 guys helping.

Aswayze 07-28-2018 05:42 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Excellent pics, thanks!

How did your pivot pin look?

CrusPD26 07-28-2018 08:14 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
1 Attachment(s)
The top one is the pivot pin.
The bottom one is whatever is left from the lift line pin.

CrusPD26 08-08-2018 04:14 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

Aswayze 08-09-2018 08:10 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Looks like I need to get one of those things for sure.

How hard to handle was the keel when you got it free?

CrusPD26 08-16-2018 11:15 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
1 Attachment(s)
Not that hard. I lowered it with 5-1 pulley system. The boat seats high enough for the engine hoist to fit under.

Johney2554 09-08-2018 09:09 PM

Hi guys OMG I found Parker Dawson information. Love this. I'm brand new to sailnet and own hull number 200. I have projects to do. So exciting I'm full of questions I've read the whole thread from the beginning thanks for the free info!!!!!

Aswayze 09-09-2018 06:56 AM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Glad to hear there is another Parker Dawson running around in the Midwest! Post up some pics!

Aswayze 09-09-2018 11:44 PM

Re: New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch
Answering a few questions for Johney with pictures:

Firstly, I snapped pics of each page of the owners manual here for those of you who do not have the original owners manual:

Mast hoist system:

How the gin pole rigs up.
This is what the attachment point on the boom looks like
The loops on the cabin top look like this.

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