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New owner of a Parker Dawson 26 Ketch

60650 Views 164 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  ScharpeStGuy
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.
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Is it open at the top for bottom of the winch access?
Neither. You just take it out when you need to remove the winches. (Actually makes it easier)
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A few quick notes for Johney regarding bringing her YSE/YSM-8 back up and running on her Dawson.

Key points:

The front side is your engine oil. The yellow circle, shows the dipstick/engine fill. To change the oil, you just use a siphon pump down the dipstick hole to suck the old oil out and then put new oil in till you hit the full level on the dipstick. On the YS series, your oil pretty much instantly looks black and icky so don't be surprised. Just change it at a reasonable interval and you'll be fine. I run Rotella 10W30 in mine, it has the right additives for a diesel and is not as prone to attack seals as synthetic oils.

The red circle shows the very basic oil filter. Basically just rotate the little knob a few turns prior to each run.

On the backside reached from behind the aft cabin steps is the transmission oil dipstick. Same as the other side, pump out the old, fill with the new. I used the same oil here as the engine. Note that this oil stays pretty clean by comparison.

Under the head, you will find this little drain ****, it allows you to drain the water jacket. In practice, this part of the water jacket collects a lot of debris and sediment so it's a good idea to drain this periodically regardless. If you open it and nothing comes out, back flush it with a little hose to get stuff broken up and flowing.

This is the decompression lever. All it does is open the exhaust valve and prevent the engine from compressing which makes it spin quite easily. This is handy when you need to spin the engine over and bleed the fuel system or get the engine spinning when you have a low battery.

This is the sacrificial zinc on the YSE. It's mounted on the side of the water jacket and is pretty easy to switch out.

The YSB and YSM have their zincs mounted here. Either way, I would suggest replacing the zinc if you have not seen it just yet.

This is the primary fuel filter/separator on on Johney's boat. Most any of the Dawsons will have a similarly mounted canister filter here. Pull it apart, clean it, replace the filter.

This is the secondary filter again on Johney's boat. Unscrew the retaining ring and tap the bowl off. Replace the filter as well as the Oring.

Once you are done, you need to bleed the fuel system. As long as your electric fuel pump still runs, this is simply matter of removing this cap screw and letting the fuel pump run till fuel runs smoothly out of this port with no more bubbles. Generally the YS series will start fine from there but worst case, you need to loosen the fuel line to the injector and crank it over a bit with the throttle all the way up and the compression release activated till again , you see consistent little spurts of fuel coming out of the loosened line.

Your water pump sits here on the YSM. Not as convenient a spot as on the YSB and YSE but still not too hard to get to. Reach down there and remove it then replace the bearings, the impeller, the seals and if it's scored up at all, the back plate. Restored as such it will be quite trouble free.

Somewhere around here on the Dawson you'll find a strainer which filters the cooling water for the engine. Obviously, clean the strainer. Aside from that, if you want to run the engine on the hard, you can open the top of this and keep water in the bowl while the engine is running.

From there, it will pretty much kerfoom itself to life and run like a swiss watch.
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Your so awesome! Looks like I'm going to be getting my hands dirty this week. It's the only thing keeping us out of the water right now. Thanks for the info. I will keep you posted
It looks like a lot but it's actually not all that bad.
Just to give you an idea how much work is involved in testing one of these. Roger and Wendy stopped by on their way by back to Idaho after picking up this YSM from a Craigslist seller in Michigan. Since these guys will run on their own pretty easy, we dig up a little diesel and dipped a water hose into a bucket and fired it up. In this case, we just checked the oil (clean and new), checked the Zinc (good), bled the fuel system and it pretty much immediately fired right up.

Love these little engines.
This is a great thread for new owners of an old PD. I recently joined the club. My boat number just over 300. I'm guessing one of the last ones made!

She is in really good condition. Need to do a bit of work before putting her in next spring. The keel removal info in this thread was really helpful. I've got a frayed cable and need to cleanup the keel like others have done.

My other need is for a trailer. I'm looking for recommendations, specifications and dimensions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome to the family Wmullikin! Sorry for the slow reply, been a busy season for me between moving, career, and a decent amount of international travel.

What part of the country are you in? My boat is on hard stands right now and I plan to get additional pictures of the keel assembly and the pendant since I will also be replacing my keel cable this winter.

Trailer wise: My trailer is also empty so it would not be too tough to get measurements off of it if you are worried about getting an exactly matching trailer. If you are looking for a very simple one sentence answer I know that you can easily stuff a PD 26 onto a Catalina 25 trailer since for a period of time Staggs boat was on a Catalina 25 trailer.
Thanks for your reply! I'm located about an hour outside of Philadelphia. The PD is currently up in northern Maine. Plan is to get a trailer and bring her south so I can put her in the Chesapeake.

The suggestion to look for a Catalina 25 trailer is a good one. If you happen to stumble across one, give me a shout. If it is no big deal, I'd appreciate it you could get some basic measurements off your trailer in case I can't find a Catalina 25 trailer. Thanks for the offer!

I'm hoping to tackle the keel during the winter with a yard in Maine. Like others, I'll take notes and pics to help the next guy.
You're pretty nearby to me. If you want to just borrow my trailer to move it with you are more than welcome to do so. It's just sitting in the storage yard down in King George, Va. I live, for the time being anyhow, in Martinsburg WV although in a few years I'll be relocating again to of all places Maine... Got to keep the Parker Dawson's evenly distributed you know...
Thanks for offering your trailer. That was very thoughtful! I'll keep that in mind as an option should I find it difficult to get one for the boat. My challenge is timing when the keel work will complete. Maine generally operates on it's own clock :) Patience is a virtue there. The Maine coast is an amazing place to sail. Just keep an eye out for lobster pots and ledge. I'm in a little harbor north of Bar Harbor. Mostly lobster boats.
Hi Alan,

Wonder if you can help. I'm talking to a trailer supplier and they have 2 questions. (I'd do this except my boat is 600 miles north!)
1. When the keel is retracted, does it go all the way up inside the hull or does some stick out? If it sticks out about how many inches?
2. 30 inches in from from the stern, how far down does the prop or shaft extend down from the hull?

Yes, the keel sticks down a good bit. I will be at my boat probably next weekend and can give you a good measurement then.

Likewise on the prop and strut.

One thing to keep in mind is that trailers on these guys don't tend to be terribly long since the more stuff you have coming past the area that needs supporting the more ways you have to end up with your trailer getting into trouble on a short ramp. One of the as designed advantages of the Dawson is the ability to launch and recover off of fairly "normal" ramps which can be handy.

If you look at this picture here you get something of an idea what I am talking about although in this exact pic, the boat is actually about 6 inches further back than usual since we just had the boat out for a bit to pull the engine and do some service work. Either way, keep in mind that most of the weight on the Dawson is pretty well centered
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30 inches back from the stern (not counting the rudder) the bottom blade of my prop measures 12.25 inches from the hull.

"Travel" position for my keel has it protruding 13 inches from the bottom of the hill. It can ride higher but I let mine down to rest on the trailer to avoid straining the lifting assembly.
Hi all,
I'm new here and this is my first post. I would love to be a new owner of Midship 25/Parker Dawson 26. So I'm Hardly looking around for one. I would appreciate for any help.
Where are you looking for one at? I do tend to keep track of Parker Dawson 26s.
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hi Allan, I'm in Ontario, Canada, first of all thank you so much for your reply. I wasn't here for a while for a good reason I FOUND ONE!!! AND IS MINE!! I've got it for free - huge project vessel. Her name is Godspeed. So far she is sitting on trailer in Mathews, Virginia. Can't wait to bring it down home and restoring. Already working on it. Thanks God I found you. If you do not mind i will use your published materials and experience for it. really appreciate.
Excellent work, that's not too far down the road from me let me know if you end up needing anything when you go to pick it up.
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I have hull #101 manufactured in November 1973. Working on cleaning her up and getting her out on the water this summer!
I love all your posts and your trips documented on flicker!
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