H26 from lake to sea

Sep 21, 2020
111
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
I'm moving from Las Vegas to Puget Sound and I am planning to take my H26. I'm wondering what issues I need to be aware of. Is this a reasonable boat for island hopping in Puget Sound or is it on the smallish size for that? Is it ok to beach when tides are rising or falling? I might upgrade from my 9.9 Honda to make sure I can fight any tidal currents. Any opinions are appreciated.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,881
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Transom is designed for max 10 hp. Even with a 9.9 motor, you never need to use all the power. You will be fine on motor but you may slow some going against tidal current like I did on the east coast but sure helps to have a 9.9 engine. As for the Puget Sound I would encourage you to listen to those who sail that area as it may be different from the east coast.

I was never a fan of beaching a boat particularly the 26/260 as it could damage the bow. IF you insist, please put on a hull bow guard to protect the bow. However, the west coast is rougher than the east coast. You are very WISE TO ASK YOUR QUESTIONS and may I suggest listening to those who sail the Puget Sound as they have more knowledge particularly coming from an inland lake.

Although I do not have a Facebook account, I understand there is a hunter 260 group that you may want to reach out to. We can also suggest safety issues transferring your boat to the west coast if you have never trailered your boat that far. One is to have two spare tires fully filled for the journey.

I am not sure if I should be on the 26/260 Facebook as I encourage all owners to share their thoughts and ideas with each other
 
Sep 21, 2020
111
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
Transom is designed for max 10 hp. Even with a 9.9 motor, you never need to use all the power. You will be fine on motor but you may slow some going against tidal current like I did on the east coast but sure helps to have a 9.9 engine. As for the Puget Sound I would encourage you to listen to those who sail that area as it may be different from the east coast.

I was never a fan of beaching a boat particularly the 26/260 as it could damage the bow. IF you insist, please put on a hull bow guard to protect the bow. However, the west coast is rougher than the east coast. You are very WISE TO ASK YOUR QUESTIONS and may I suggest listening to those who sail the Puget Sound as they have more knowledge particularly coming from an inland lake.

Although I do not have a Facebook account, I understand there is a hunter 260 group that you may want to reach out to. We can also suggest safety issues transferring your boat to the west coast if you have never trailered your boat that far. One is to have two spare tires fully filled for the journey.

I am not sure if I should be on the 26/260 Facebook as I encourage all owners to share their thoughts and ideas with each other
Dave, good to hear from you. I've never beached my H26 even in Lake Mead where there are no tides to worry about so I will anchor instead based on your advice. For the journey, I just bought a new surge brake actuator and it is time to replace all 4 tires anyway. Thanks for your always sage advice.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,881
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Carry two spares. Yesterday the right front brake on my truck pulling a camper froze causing the wheel to the right on top of a mountain. Pulled over feeling the rim which was very hot. I dedcided to wait till the rim cooled down and backed up. The brake became unfrozen with no pull to either the right or left but came down the mountain very slowly in a lower gear. It cooled down to normal temperature. Less than an hour later, tread on one camper came off at the intersection of two interstates. Thank goodness we carry two spare always.

When do you plan the trip?
 
Nov 18, 2016
115
Hunter 260 Lucky Peak, ID
We trail and sail our H260 in the San Juans/Gulf Islands almost yearly.

As Dave said - preventative trailer maintenance is key. Do your brakes work? I'm much less concerned about a flat than hubs - the finger test is good but a $20 infrared thermometer provides great data and a base reference.

Re: motor and tidal flows. There are some passes that run too strong for a 9.9. I'm going up to a 15 hp as we had a tow/tide situation a few years back where the Bigfoot was maxed - not fun.

We don't beach (although stern tie a lot in lakes). You will want to look at a heavier anchor and more chain (with the caveat that you are a human windless). Anchorage can get crowded.

The crabbing is good.

1631562060291.png


However, there are shipping channels (not close but a cool pick of the H260). A hard wired radio with AIS is handy.

1631562263490.png


You will love it!
 
Aug 12, 2018
132
Hunter 26 Carter Lake, Colorado
If your boat does not require full throttle to reach top speed through the water in a flat calm, then a bigger motor will not help you fight a current. Boat speed through the water doesn't care if it's the boat moving through still water or the water moving past the still boat. It's all the same.

You might wish for a bigger motor if you have trouble maintaining the desired speed at full throttle against a strong headwind, which is quite possible in a high-topsides boat like our Hunter 26/260s.

The Honda 9.9 on my Hunter 26 is quite sufficient for top speed at far less than full throttle, so I wouldn't expect a bigger motor to help me against the San Juans currents.

I have chartered the San Juans and the currents can be amazing. It's just that a bigger motor isn't likely to matter without a planing hull.
 
Sep 21, 2020
111
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
We trail and sail our H260 in the San Juans/Gulf Islands almost yearly.

As Dave said - preventative trailer maintenance is key. Do your brakes work? I'm much less concerned about a flat than hubs - the finger test is good but a $20 infrared thermometer provides great data and a base reference.

Re: motor and tidal flows. There are some passes that run too strong for a 9.9. I'm going up to a 15 hp as we had a tow/tide situation a few years back where the Bigfoot was maxed - not fun.

We don't beach (although stern tie a lot in lakes). You will want to look at a heavier anchor and more chain (with the caveat that you are a human windless). Anchorage can get crowded.

The crabbing is good.

View attachment 198247

However, there are shipping channels (not close but a cool pick of the H260). A hard wired radio with AIS is handy.

View attachment 198248

You will love it!
Great information, thank you so much! I have a marine radio and a fishfinder/chartplotter. I have a danforth and a box anchor, and I should probably up-size the anchor. We'll be running a bed and breakfast in a Voctorian in Port Townsend, you'll have to come stay with us next summer. I cannot wait to snag some fresh dungeoness.
 
Sep 21, 2020
111
Hunter 26 Lake Mead
If your boat does not require full throttle to reach top speed through the water in a flat calm, then a bigger motor will not help you fight a current. Boat speed through the water doesn't care if it's the boat moving through still water or the water moving past the still boat. It's all the same.

You might wish for a bigger motor if you have trouble maintaining the desired speed at full throttle against a strong headwind, which is quite possible in a high-topsides boat like our Hunter 26/260s.

The Honda 9.9 on my Hunter 26 is quite sufficient for top speed at far less than full throttle, so I wouldn't expect a bigger motor to help me against the San Juans currents.

I have chartered the San Juans and the currents can be amazing. It's just that a bigger motor isn't likely to matter without a planing hull.
That is good advice, I think I'll sail it a while and see how she fares.
 
Nov 1, 2014
26
H23.5 H23.5 Bradenton fl
I'm moving from Las Vegas to Puget Sound and I am planning to take my H26. I'm wondering what issues I need to be aware of. Is this a reasonable boat for island hopping in Puget Sound or is it on the smallish size for that? Is it ok to beach when tides are rising or falling? I might upgrade from my 9.9 Honda to make sure I can fight any tidal currents. Any opinions are appreciated.
Beautiful Puget Sound !!!!! It’s deep , lots of currents and adventurous , sailors dream !!!! Watch out for orca pods !!!!!
 
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bmorr

.
Apr 5, 2009
62
Hunter 26 Pueblo Lake CO
I have a Hunter 26 which I love because of the open access to the water, the head room and great sailing. A 26S was my previous boat. It was fun and a great sail. It did have a traveler added. My good friend has a 26x.
Mac’s get a lot of criticism, but my personal experience was only good. Yes everything on the 26 is heavy duty compared to the Mac(and more expensive when replacement required). The key is how do you see your self sailing. If you don’t need a big motor skip the c or m. However don’t be scared of the water ballistic - it works.
 
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Nov 1, 2017
14
Hunter 37 Legend Nanaimo
I used to have Mac 26M and just like you I have moved from Alberta Lakes to Strait of Georgia. I have had spent some time learning about tides and currents and a boat behaviour on the much more open waters than the lakes I was used to. I had nothing, but fun and I have not encountered any significant problems at all. Mind you, that under 50HP motor capable of reaching 12 knots it was easier that you 9.9. Nevertheless, the only warning I would have to you is being carefull when going with/against current in narrow spaces. Your Hunter and my Mac are very light comparing to "regular" boats and sailing in such narrow spots makes them very jerky, as they jump from side to side. That requires to be extra careful, even in fairly slow currents, like 2-3 knots.
Other than that you should have a lot of fun here
 
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