Cool to see folks are using these boats and restoring them!
I coveted a PD26 when I was an avid trailer sailor, especially after reading about Bob Lengyel racing one in the 1976 Ostar race
I almost bought one that was for sale in RI but opted for a Chrysler 26 which had nice cabin space but didn't sail as well as the PD26.
I'm in bigger boats these days but still like the ability to trailer remote plsces, and keep the boat at home.
Bummer we could not meet up Johney, it would have been great to cross notes a bit.
Nearly polished off my heater install. Having been sailing on Lake Superior the last vacations and even in the summer it was plenty cool up there. We tried a buddy heater, it worked OK but was clearly not particularly safe to use in anything other than a nice still anchorage and obviously adding propane canisters into a boat is not a great idea. We tried an Origo heat pal. It worked OK but added a lot of moisture into the air and used quite a bit of fairly expensive fuel that we otherwise did not need to buy.
I knew from long ago having a Esperpacher heater in my VW camper that the ultimate answer would be one of those guys but the Dawson is fairly tight little boat to stuff things into so I hadn't really pursued it.
I noted that with the stove pulled out there was a decent chunk of space between the hull and the countertop there that might do.
A 2K and 5K unit were ordered off of eBay. With a little measuring, it turned out that either one would fit but the 5K unit was a bit tighter space wise and used larger diameter ducting which would not be quite as easy to fit up.
A few pics noting that the boat is a bit of a mess right now:
Heater in place. I built a bracket for it but in reality, you could probably buy brackets from a hardware store
Heater exhaust drops down to the muffler which is rigidly mounted to the bulkhead. The first exhaust pipe gets quite hot so it's very well wrapped up with lagging. The muffler gets fairly hot as well so it too will get wrapped once I get more lagging. From there, I have a 90 degree elbow with a coily condensate drain to allow water to drain out but keep the exhaust in the pipes where it belongs. From the 90 we go to high temp silicone exhaust hose. This stuff is rated to more than double the temp that we have measured at this location so it's good to go and is MUCH easier to route smoothly out to the through hull.
Exhaust thru hull pokes through the outside edge of the cockpit coaming.
Hot air outlet drops down to floor level between the drawer unit and the undersink cabinet.
Controller heads over to the side of the cabin just between the two cubby faces just above the V berth bunk where I can just lasily reach up and turn it on in the morning if I feel so inclined. This was done in January and yes, the boat was a mess from a bunch of other work just then.
There are two styles of controllers commonly available. This is the "basic" one which is little more than a knob and a few buttons. The "fancy" version has a lot more functionality built in including diagnostic info and lots of indicators to let you know what all is going on. All well and good but I hate blinky lights and distractions in my cabin, particularly right above my bunk so I opted not to have the fancy version sitting there playing super mario cart above my head.
I still need to permanently plumb in the fuel pickup to the tank. Right now I just have it running to a temporary day tank which works just fine but obviously feeding off the engine tank is the better option.
Oh man, I've been thinking about getting a heater for potential cold mornings in Puget sound and have been puzzling over where I could mount a little wood burning stove and chimney, this is pretty great. Are you planning on putting a little ducting through to the aft cabin as well? You'd pretty much have a 26' boat with central air.
How much power does it draw when it's heating and does it maintain a temperature or is it more of a "turn it on until I'm not cold anymore" sort of application?
I did not duct any heat to the aft cabin. My theory being that I did not want to fritter away any space in my cubbies or where my head needs to be with ducting to get the air back there. Aside from that, I mostly envision it being used to toasty the place up in the mornings or to make the cabin warm and dry for the off watch when sailing in poor conditions. Either case, the aft cabin does not usually fit into what's going on so I put the effort up front.
Stagg's talking about locating his in the water tank locker and piping heat to front and back but I stuck with the location I chose since it's otherwise completely unusable space and makes for a fairly lean install.
It draws a good bit of power on start up probably about a minute total pulling nearly 10 amps as the glow plug gets things going but after that it's pretty easy on the energy. I cannot remember exact numbers but it was not much over 1 amp. You can adjust the heat output up and down fairly effectively. It basically has a little injection pump that pulses in fuel at a set rate. More pulses = more fuel = more heat. Easy peasy.
I thought about the wood stove option, I looked at bulkhead options and we just don't have a good place for that work of stuff on the Dawsons as near as I could see. Besides the little forced air guys really excel at drying things out which I find way more helpful than even lovely radiant heat.
It's supposed to rain cats and dogs over the weekend and I have a long weekend that I plan to sail down to Tangier Island with so perhaps I'll have a complete report when I get back.
Speaking of the heater.... Just ended up with 6 days off in a row and decided to hop down the river and visit the Chesapeake a bit. Stagg flew out Friday and we departed Saturday morning from Dahlgren heading down the Potomac in cold blustery weather but with fairly ideal sailing conditions making very good time down to the mouth of the Potomac at the Chesapeake that night. We anchored snugged up in a nice little creek and sort of took a lazy day the next day checking out the local sites and fixing a few minor things on the boat.
The following day, we again took advantage of some fairly favorable winds to scoot across the bay again in the mostly cold rain to go to Smith Island where we again got the old Monte Python cheese shop skit trying to get crabs at the only restaurant that was open on the island at the time. (They did have good crab cakes)
From there, taking advantage of the NW winds that were scheduled to foil our attempts to get up the Potomac in a timely fashion later, we sailed down to Reedville which was a pleasant stop as well. The sun finally came out and everything!
After that, it was pretty much all Yanmar all the time hammering our way up wind, up river, up up up to get back to Dahlgren. Great trip overall but would have been even better if we just had another 22 days or so to do it in.
A few pics:
Rolling down the Potomac with Otto at the helm. Wind and rain meant that it was jacket time but not quite cold enough yet to require the bibs.
Playing frogger across the shipping channel towards Smith Island. Not too bad with AIS on the plotter, pretty easy to keep track of everyone and adjust as needed. Still a little eerie with the visibility being fairly poor.
Only one we had to adjust slightly for was this guy, the LNG Tanker Sakura Maru who passed about 2.2NM behind us after we adjusted course and sped up a bit.
Navy target ship American Mariner. Pretty confident that this one is not going to run us down...
Forced air heat was an absolute game changer. It allowed us to easily and completely dry every single thing out every night. I had figured warm was going to be nice but I cannot stress enough how great that thing was at drying the insides of the boat as well as us out. I will never have a boat without one of those in it again.
Flew the asymmetrical on the way back across from Smith Island to Reedville. The conditions were pretty good, about 2-3 foot seas and steady winds of about 10 kts. Naturally as soon as we got it up, the wind piped up a bit more and before too long we were screaming along at fairly unheard of speeds for East Wind but we were clearly over canvassed as she was handling like a bag of angry cats so we doused it and switched back to the main and partially furled genoa still managing to hit a new boat speed record of 7.1 kts.
Nevermind a chicken in every pot... Every single aid to navigation and I mean EVERY ONE had an resident Osprey couple with nest. Made me feel bad for the poor Ospreys that showed up late to the game and had to settle for the bell bouys....
Perhaps we'll get some input from the other "Parker Dawson" branded boat owners but I believe that they were standard on the Parker Dawson. Staggs Midship 25 does not have them either. I find them quite valuable both as minor stowage under way as well as a handy and somewhat sheltered place to put electronics and plugs. My remote mic for the Icom VHF plugs in there as well as my backup autopilot controller.
They don't really steal any useful space from the lockers or bunks so adding them seems like a win/win situation.
I'll try to add some pics and details this weekend.