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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All!

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

A tidge about myself:

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

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

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

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

Now coming back around to boating after years away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now about that boat... Pics tell the story best:







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







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



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



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


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


But settled in fast.



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





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



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



On a broad reach headed back down the lake with my friend Mark at the helm after a quick shake down cruise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quite the dragons hoard of documentation with this one!



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



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



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



Some original sales stuff plus a review from a magazine.


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





And of great interest, this notebook full of illustrations and notes on the unique rig on this boat including many 4x6 photos showing the layout a rigging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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

Next up, the cutter dilemma. Tacking is more of a nuisance and again, my staysail really does not fit well so I am likely to end up once the music stops with a sloop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is mostly sorted now. Set up as a sloop and tuned up, she sails much better. Lesson: If you want a ketch, buy a ketch! Don't ketchificate a sloop and think it will work out the same. I'll always miss the class of the rig but sure don't miss all the extra stuff on the back of the boat.

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

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Parker Dawson Sales Brochure - Parker Dawson 26/Midship 25 Sailboat Owners

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

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


Galley, port side front cabin


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


Marine head sits under quarter berth.


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


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


One last pic of it parked at it's mooring a few weekends ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It really does have decent usable space as long as you do not pack too many people along anyhow. I am a single guy and as you can see my dog is no horse so the layout works well. I have my front cabin for livin in and my back cabin to use like a walk in closet. Additionally, the cockpit locker is fairly substantial so I can jam all manner of loot in there when I need to.

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

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

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·


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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157659925972816

Additional pictures and such of my Dawson here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157657339628026

More pics of the Apostles trip here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157672409435380

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·


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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
@bzohio68

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
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.



 
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