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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So in the mid 90s my dad, who had previously cruised in mexico for six years with me, my sister and my mother in the late 70's and early 80s on a 32 foot westsail, decided he wanted to get back into sailing and found a Parker-Dawson 26 for sale in Texas that he went down and picked up. He and his sailing friend cruised on the coast of texas for a week or so then packed it on the trailer to come home. Something happened while they were loading it on the trailer and it damaged a section of fiberglass on the keel. Apon returning the desert of eastern washington state, it sat on the trailer in front of our shop for the next 20 years.

I was actually born while we were cruising mexico in the 80s and after getting getting back to the states me and my sister learned how to sail on a little West-Wight Potter 15 that my parents bought for us to toodle around the little lake we lived on. I've still got that little Potter, I use it to take my six year old out on jaunts around the large lake we live near in the summer. So now I just turned 35 and decided I want to try sailing some new places and maybe take the kids with eventually (the wife is a farm girl and hasn't much interest in nautical tom-foolery) ... and while the potter is a fun little boat it's a bit cramped for camping with the kids.

So I started looking around craiglist for a 20+ foot swing keel in the 3000-5000 range when Dad brought my attention to the old PD26. At first I was hesitant because about 6 years ago our shop caught on fire and all the contents went up in flames and my parents were certain that the sails and the cushions were in the shop. I wasn't optimistic about being able to find sails at a decent price, but I decided to take a look (I hadn't been in the boat since I was probably 15). I found a mixture of pleasant surprises and a few unpleasant things that didn't surprise me much. On the plus side, the cushions for the rear cabin hadn't been put in the shop, so at least they survived. Even better, in the aft cabin I found a bag that contained a mainsail and a jib! My parents were surprised, and surmised that it must have been the genoa that burned up in the shop fire. The negative; I think there must have been thousands of generations of opposing civilizations of wasps that occupied the fore and aft cabins on this boat. The hatch doors were literally covered in wasp nest. So every level surface is covered with pieces of dead wasps that crunch underfoot at every step. So I figured i'll give it a try to see if I can get her seaworthy and update a little bit

As soon as I get enough posts under my belt to post links i'll post the pictures I took of her and the conditions of various parts. I've been studying aswayze and stagg's posts about their boats for a couple weeks now. They've at least made me optimistic that I might be able to pull this off.

If I can come up with a decent sailboat after investing a couple thousand dollars instead of spending a couple thousand dollars and then having to spend a couple thousand more to get a decent sailboat i'll be ahead of the game.
 

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Clean up goes a lot faster than you think. Just pull everything out, attack it with a pressure washer, then vacuum up all the muddy water. Once you get the thing clean, polish it up so it stays cleaner and makes it harder on the wasps in the future.


Just got done polishing and waxing mine next weekend. Cushions go back in this coming weekend.

What engine do you have? It happens that Stagg has 1 each of the more common engine options as a spare, both a complete Balwin Saildrive as well as an extra YSB-8 Yanmar.

I have some various cabinet doors, a spare keel winch assembly and some other small parts here and there.

The VBerth cushions you can either get made up custom or per Stagg's findings, you can substitute the V Berth cushions out of a much more common Catalina 25.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It looks like it has the yanmar YSE-8, which i've heard good things about but don't know much about honestly. It's a little rough looking to be honest.

I've got a friend who thinks he can make cushions for it if I give him measurements, foam padding, and fabric. We'll see what actually transpires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My dad said he did some sort of preservative measure to the engine that he can't quite recall, but I'm not sure where to even start before checking out the engine... I guess trying to get the engine out would be a good first step. I have a feeling that isn't going to be a one person job.
 

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It's some work... I pulled mine out this season to do some overhaul so I know by experience.

First pull the starter and alternator to give yourself some maneuver room.

Unplug the everything (it's all pretty obvious)

Disconnect the drive shaft, use the opportunity to remove the shaft and renew the cutless bearing.



Engine comes out into the aft cabin then can be lifted straight up and out.

Mine was a mess mostly because the previous owner had ran the engine for some time with a broken exhaust elbow which resulted in a sooty messy engine bay,



Engine bay when I got the engine out



Cleaned up and with a fresh coat of seafoam green paint (my inner armored vehicle crewman peeking out)

All of that said, I would first just try rotating it and see if it moves. If it does, clean the fuel system and it will most likely just fire up and run. The YSE is a tank of an engine.
 

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Not too bad Lot of clean up but a weekends worth of work would put you quite far down the road.

You have a "deluxe" version boat with the snazzier interior and the diesel (of course). In addition, you have a fridge which is pretty cool as well. My boat has the same marine head you have but mine is situated midships in the location where your fridge is.



My head, same unit you have but the black water tank is located behind the head in the locker under the quarter berth. Your head will be much easier to use since mine is kind of packed up in normal use. Mine has a bit more floor space in the aft cabin. Yours is likely the better layout if you plan to use the head much.

The exterior wood will clean up just fine. Mine was exactly the same to start with.
 

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First pic appears to be very old riggers tape, second is a rubber spreader boot, widely available, so you don't damage headsails on spreader tip. Underneath it the shrouds were probably seized to the spreader tips with stainless seizing wire which has turned to rust long ago, and will need to be done anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ah, good, then I can just cut those off and order a replacement. the standing rigging and the mast all looked to be in pretty decent shape from what I saw, no rusty strands. Now I just gotta get the engine sussed out and the "Bits that make the sailboat go" category will be looking good.
 

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Hope I'm mistaken but is that a busted up centerboard I see in the second flickr picture? And is that Styrofoam in the centerboard? Maybe before you put any money in this boat investigate the cost of replacing the centerboard, if that is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep, it was one of the main reasons this boat sat on its trailer for 20 years. It was damaged when it was put on the trailer the last time. After doing some research I learned that this swing keel, which is made of solid cast-iron, has a little indent in the front that was filled with foam and fiberglass. The function of it was keep from damaging the hull if the keel got pushed forward too far, so it's a kind of "Sacrificial foam/fiberglass." So in theory I should just be able to cut some foam to shape and fiberglass it in.

It's one of my concerns and probably the first real project i'm going to tackle once I get her cleaned up a little bit.
 

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Correct.

The keel itself if cast iron with a faired section up forward. Just go down there and chisel all the jacked up stuff out, make a new foam block to match and glass over. Best if you can drop the swing keel but you could probably work around it. In the short term, clear all that damaged stuff off, it's mostly fairing, make sure all the important parts are ok.

The spreader boots and rigger tape are normal maintenance items, don't sweat them.
 

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Slanter,
I too am located in eastern WA. Outside the tri-cities to be exact. I spent the last two falls and winter putting a couple of sailboats back to seaworthy condition. The first was a Clipper Marine CM26, and the one I am currently working on is a Newport 28. If you are near to the Tri-Cities, and need a hand, drop me a line and I will be glad to help. I have already been through a lot of what you will be going through. so maybe I can help you avoid some of the pitfalls associated with an old sailboat in the desert!

Mitch
 

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These are interesting boats,have enjoyed following aswaze and staggs rejuvenation,good to see another being brought back to life,they seem pretty solid,sturdy boats....look forward to further updates...I think you should start the engine befor you pull it,may cost a bit fresh oil,fuel filters and such,but you will have an idea where it's at and what needs doin...less your gonna just do a rebuild anyway,but if it ain't broke...Ralph
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Today I spent about three hours with a shop vac in the cockpit and the cabins. the piles of wasp carcasses are gone so now I feel a little bit more comfortable going through the interior. So now the cockpit and cabins just look dirty, not disgusting. The aft cabin's cushions are a little dusty, and muddy in a couple places where water dripped on them so I might have to take them off and do some google searching on the best way to wash them short of throwing them in a laundromat washing machine.

Here's a few more random pictures.

20180314_183318

Here's a fun little piece, this little kerosene lamp is solid as heck. I'm kinda looking forward to using it (and might not have to worry about finding a way to heat the forward cabin) the only problem is it's in an awful place... the fiberglass roof is only about 8 inches over the top of this lamp where all the heat would be pouring out. It would be much better if it had been mounted on someplace like the compression post or something. Where it is now i'd be too worried about it damaging the fiberglass.

20180314_180708

Here's the little power pack for the fridge/warming compartment thing. I guess it's just going to be used as a passive cooler because I'm not sure if it works, there are bare wires sticking out of the front of the koolatron, and the wires coming out of the power pack are bare too.

20180314_190541

I haven't found out what this is, but i'm assuming it's some sort of water pump. Interesting name.. found it under the starboard side bunk in the aft compartment.

20180314_175616

this is the electrical area under the port side cockpit compartment. Looks like its going to be fun checking all this stuff out.

20180314_175354

This panel is definitely going to need most of the wood replaced. Probably wouldn't be that difficult to do, but I hope the guages and electrical components aren't too damaged.

20180314_175349

There's a surprising amount of moss for the desert, I think that it's because for years there was a balled up tarp right in front of this panel that made for swampier conditions than the rest of the boat dealt with. I have a feeling that I might need to replace that ignition... or take it out and submerge it in CLR for a month.

Ending on a positive note, the shaft of the diesel rotates surprisingly freely, i'm going to clear out and replace whatever oil might still be in there, clean out of fuel system, and see if I can get her to start up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Mitch! I live in Moses Lake, if you know of a place nearby that'll lift a boat on stands so I can take a look at my keel it would be much easier to get down there than to haul this thing over the mountains. Thanks for the offer, it's entirely possible that i'm in over my head with this so we'll see what happens.
 

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Towguy is right, I would look at the engine only slightly after getting a base clean up so you have a deck to stand on rather than a wasp graveyard.


If you look in the locker under the starboard side aft cabin berth you will see an access hatch that the Parker Yachts people were nice enough to add. Remove it and you have good access to the head as well as all the mounts and such on this side. See that little lever on the valve cover? That's a compression release. It's not hooked to anything on our boats since we have electric start but if you actuate it you should be able to rotate the engine with not too much effort.

If it rotates, it will almost certainly run. Change oil, drain the fuel, rinse out all the fuel lines, change filters, bleed the system and it should fire up nearly instantly. I don't think my YSE has ever needed more than 2 rotations to start.

If it works, then decision time.

You know you better than we know you. If you prefer everything tidy and nice then spending a day plucking it out and a weekend scrubbing everything up before putting it all back would give you a much more satisfactory diesel engine owning experience. I only mention this because my YSE was the embarrassing ugly aunt that lived in the basement on my boat for 2 years before I pulled it out to work on a few problems. If I knew then how easy it was to remove and how well it would clean up, I would have done it long ago.


This is a picture of mine very early in the process before I got it "really" clean. Here I am soaking the water jacket in phosphoric acid prior to removing the cylinder liner.

If it is "bad" and you need to work on it, pull it out and tear it down, you will find that the YSE is extremely easy to work on and parts are available and reasonable price wise. If you need any of the various funky special tools, let me know I made several on my lathe to support both Stagg and I as we work on ours.


Low clearance injector removal tool. I pulled my engine mostly to get a stuck injector out which I did with a slide hammer. Obviously the angle and location of the injector meant that a slide hammer would not work with the engine installed so I made this fella to pluck the injectors out within the confines of the space we have on the Dawson.





This is my take at building a cylinder liner plucker for Stagg. I pulled mine with a brass drift and an air hammer in about 1.1 seconds. Stagg doesn't have air tools so a puller will be easier on him.
 
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