New to me Hunter 26 clean/refit

Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Hello Everyone. I've spent many hours reading this forum and there are a lot of good people and information here. Thought I'd join in and introduce me and my boat and the work I'm doing.

About me.
I've sailed a small catamaran a little as a teen. A very little. So I'm a beginner. I had done a ton of power boating and water skiing so not unfamiliar with boating. My wife and I think cruising the Caribbean in a sailboat some years in the future could be a lot of fun. Looked into what it takes to charter a boat and surprise they don't charter to beginners. So we decided to buy a boat and try out sailing and in the process get some experience. Together we've already learned a ton about sailing and passed a bunch of knowledge tests which has been fun. Now that we have the boat we are learning more about how things on the boat function.

About boat.
We were looking for a 25 ft.+ trailerable boat. We don't live near big water so we will have to drive to sail and so won't be doing it frequently. A trailer sailor make sense to me. Had been considering an older Macgregor 26 but really like the larger cabin interior and layout of the hunter 26 cabin. However the hunters were going for a lot more than I wanted to spend on my first sailboat. But we saw a 1995 Hunter 26 forsale about 5 hours away at about 1/2 what seemed the going rate for a hunter 26. Of course that meant it needed a lot of elbow grease (something I'm not afraid of). So Saturday the 12th we bought it recognizing it needed a lot of love to get it ready to sail. The boat is in the driveway now and we are doing a bunch of cleaning, repairs and maintenance in hopes to take it on a sailing vacation in the warmer areas in the next few weeks.

The boat best we can tell was kept in the Virginia beach area for most of it's life. And from the size of the barnacles on the hull it may have been in the water quite awhile without a cleaning. The barnacles, while big can easily be popped off by lightly pressing with a finger. Expect they will be easy to clean up. By amount of the lichen on the lines it appears it was stored with the mast down (probably on the trailer) for quite awhile too. The last time the trailer was registered was 2003. The registration sticker on the boat says 1999 but expect that there was a more recent one on it that has fallen off. It has Johnson 9.9 hp motor 4 stroke on it that is the same vintage as the boat (1996). Running condition is yet unknown. The interior is appears all there but was musty and had mildew apparently from rain getting into the boat while it was forsale (was told it was accidently left open during the rain).

Once home we emptied the interior so the cleaning could begin. The flares found onboard had expired in 1997 and the charts onboard were from a similar year :-(. Then we stepped the mast to ensure all the rigging was there and sort out what we have. Stepping the mast was quite exciting to do but was uneventful. Well other than getting the last couple of inches to get the forstay to attach seems to be quite difficult. Is this normal? Could be I was being timid and not putting enough pressure on to pull it down.

We needed to change the main and jib halyard. They are quite old and needed replacing. Stepping the mast with that old halyard wasn't probably the best idea. With the mast standing we used the old halyards as messenger lines. The main went flawlessly. So we attempted the jib and our joint where the new to old halyard met, while the same as we did with the main, apparently couldn't easily make it through the pulley near the top of the mast easily. After trying to work it trough a few times the old halyard broke off. No problem I'll just lower the mast. Oh yah that requires using the jib halyard. Oops, that was dumb. So I tied the main halyard to the middle of another new line and fished the new rope ends over the spreaders, one end on each side of the mast, to make a bridal to support the mast similarly to how the jib halyard did. That worked and we lowered the mast with no drama. Then used fishing tape as a messenger to run a new jib halyard. Then stepped the mast again. Took longer than it should have if we had done it right the first time but the halyards are now replaced and only loss was some time. More to come.

Attached Pictures:
Towing it home. Stopped at a rest area as the sun goes down.
At home raising the main sail to check it's condition.

Thaniel
 

Attachments

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  • Like
Likes: jwilcoxon78
Jul 7, 2004
8,036
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Welcome aboard!
You got it home and that's a big step! Usually a trailer needs some work before it can be used to haul the boat. The H26 is a good choice:thumbup:
 
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Likes: Thaniel
Jan 19, 2010
10,029
Hunter 26 Charleston
Congrats and Welcome!!!

I love mine and have already done a lot of upgrades.

Here is the first thing you need to buy...
2018-05-31 18.50.37.jpg


They sell the companionway cover right here on the SBO store and @Dave Groshong can give you the exact part number. It is the only way you will ever keep your boat dry and eliminate that musty smell.

I'm guessing that if you did buy it in the Virginia Beach area it was originally sold by @Crazy Dave Condon ... he is a regular here and knows everything about ther boat.... and he is fun to talk with (there is a reason we call him Crazy:biggrin:)

I'm guessing you will need a new main. When you finally get her in the water... if you find that you are wrestling hard with the tiller to keep her from rounding up... then your main is most likey blown. A new main will fix that... also raising the center board just a tad will help with the weather helm also. BTW, the hunter 26 will hove to very nicely.

If you decide you need a new outboard... I highly recommend the Tohatsu Sailpro 6hp with the extra long lower unit. It is half the weight as the 10 hp you have and with the lower gear ratio and higher thrust prop, gets the boat at hull speed at 2/3 throttle. It also has a 6 amp alternator.

I've done a lot of upgrades on mine and can point you to part numbers etc.
  • I've added a solar panal off of the mast crutch pole
  • I've added a port side set of deck organizers and three more rope clutches
  • I've replaced the compas
  • Added a AIS enabled VHF with a RAM mic and a GPS antennae (also on the mast crutch)
  • New battery charger
  • New sails
  • All LED lights
  • Replaced the center board lift line
  • Added a stern anchor "locker";);)
  • New O.B.
  • New breaks on the trailer
You will probably need to pull the carpet that lines the inside of the hull if you ever want to completly eliminate the musty smell... If you search for outdoor carpet tile... you will find a bunch of choices of peel and stick carpet tiles. Very easy to install.
 

Jeff

.
Sep 29, 2008
195
Hunter 33.5 Carlyle Lake in Central Illinois
Thaniel, I agree with Justin. Great choice for a boat. I had a 1996 H26 for several years. They have huge cockpits and are quite versatile. When you posted about the difficulty raising the mast the last few inches it brought back familiar memories. Just be certain the “T-Bolts” at the base of the standing rigging are probably oriented when the mast is going up. They bend easier than you might think. Don’t ask how I know.

I mod many owners made was drilling an upper hole in the compression post allowing the dining table to be re-pinned to the ceiling of the boat. It opens up the boat inside quite a bit. Just be cautious of the center board line inside when drilling. Try propping it up with a boat hook to see if it makes sense for you.

Regarding chartering boats, my first couple of trips were as crew. This should be included in your sailing resume. It’s a great way to learn and will be favorably looked at when you charter.

Enjoy your new adventure!
Jeff
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Thank you all for the greetings and the tips. They are most welcome.
Usually a trailer needs some work before it can be used to haul the boat.
Yes that was the case with this one too. Despite being towed for hours to the location where I bought it, it took hours of work after buying it before I drove it off the property. And that was with plans to pull over and tidy up some things some more in a mile or so :) The funniest part I couldn't get the cap of the master cylinder to check the brake fluid and I didn't want to break it forcing it. It had been recently towed and based on the braking effort to stop it felt the brakes must be doing something. (based on the weights and past towing experiences towing similar weights without brakes). Once home I got the cap off the master cylinder and there was only dust in there. The brake lines were completely rotted and some fell apart in my hands. So no, I don't think the brakes were doing anything. Perhaps all the Aero drag of the big boat make it feel like it was easier to stop :) Based on that I ordered a new brake system. Went with disc brakes as we have to have our trailers inspected in Virginia and to inspect the pads they have to pull the drums which means taking out and repacking the bearings. Which not only adds $ to the inspection and more hassles. With that in mind I bought a vented disc brake setup. Saturday I got the hubs and calipers on and started on the brake lines.
IMG_6277.jpg
trailered
 

Attachments

Jul 7, 2004
8,036
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Sweet! :thumbup:

My trailer doesn't have brakes or fenders. Just free-wheeling tires on rims. Don't use it except for yard to crane movement. Someday I would like to get it roadworthy in case we ever have to relocate.
 
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Apr 11, 2014
97
Hunter 260 Lake Lanier
Thank you all for the greetings and the tips. They are most welcome.

Yes that was the case with this one too. Despite being towed for hours to the location where I bought it, it took hours of work after buying it before I drove it off the property. And that was with plans to pull over and tidy up some things some more in a mile or so :) The funniest part I couldn't get the cap of the master cylinder to check the brake fluid and I didn't want to break it forcing it. It had been recently towed and based on the braking effort to stop it felt the brakes must be doing something. (based on the weights and past towing experiences towing similar weights without brakes). Once home I got the cap off the master cylinder and there was only dust in there. The brake lines were completely rotted and some fell apart in my hands. So no, I don't think the brakes were doing anything. Perhaps all the Aero drag of the big boat make it feel like it was easier to stop :) Based on that I ordered a new brake system. Went with disc brakes as we have to have our trailers inspected in Virginia and to inspect the pads they have to pull the drums which means taking out and repacking the bearings. Which not only adds $ to the inspection and more hassles. With that in mind I bought a vented disc brake setup. Saturday I got the hubs and calipers on and started on the brake lines. View attachment 188421 trailered
I feel like i work on the trailer more than the boat:)
 
Jul 7, 2004
8,036
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
On the subject of trailers: I need new tires. Mine are cracking between the treads. I don't want to buy them until I know I can add brakes behind these rims

20201106_115254_resized.jpg20201106_115332_resized.jpg
 
Apr 11, 2014
97
Hunter 260 Lake Lanier
Congrats and Welcome!!!

I love mine and have already done a lot of upgrades.

Here is the first thing you need to buy...
View attachment 188404

They sell the companionway cover right here on the SBO store and @Dave Groshong can give you the exact part number. It is the only way you will ever keep your boat dry and eliminate that musty smell.
On the subject of the cover. Do get it. However, I found that you can make the companion way pretty water proof by sealing up a few areas. There are two strips of wood on the forward side of the lexan. The bottom of the one on the top needs to be sealed (i used Butyl tape). This strip diverts the water to the side into the channels on either side. The you need to seal the head of each screw for the bottom strip. I believe this is just a handhold to open/close the cover while you're inside.
 
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Likes: CaptainRan
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Thanks for the tips on sealing the companion way. I'll look at that. The boat came with a companion way cover on it. It's coated in lichen, dirt, mold whatever. Decision hadn't been made yet on clean or replace. One thing I found as it looks to be a good idea to remove it when trailering. The low pressure area behind the cabin tries to pull the vertical section off. In our case it did and it starts to whip around.

Latest update on the clean/refit. We have been cleaning the cushions. As mentioned the boat had lots of mold/mildew in it. When we bought the boat the cushions looked like this:
IMG_2308.JPG


After removing the covers from the foam and washing in a vinegar and water solution they unfortunately looked like this:
IMG_5653.JPG


Also tried washing with Muphy's oil soap and also laundry soap solution (inside and out. The insides were surprisingly dirty). The cloudy surface remained :-( . On close inspection it looked like a coating. Substantial rubbing with a dry wash cloth could get a small section clean. But that in no way was practical for cleaning all 10 cushions, or even one. My theory is the owners had the cushions scotch guarded or something and the washing loosened it. I read where non-acetone nail polish remover was good for removing scotch guard. Gave it a try on the back of one cushion and the results were astonishing good. So applied it to the entire cushion cover.

After rubbing with the non-acetone nail polish remover:
IMG_5655.JPG


Now that's what I'm talking about :) (cover is dry in the image. Even with the film they looked good wet).

After maybe 4 man hours of rubbing down all the dinette cushions the white film is gone.:
IMG_5657.JPG

We are just about finished washing the foam insides and can reassemble them in the next few days. Now on to the rear bed cushion.....
 
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Jun 8, 2004
8,893
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Can you tell from paperwork or any stickers if the selling dealer was Either Norton Yacht Sales or American Marine & Sail Supply Inc
 
Apr 11, 2014
97
Hunter 260 Lake Lanier
I feel ya. The year we moved to our new house and prior to slipping the boat, we got some water in the cabin during the summer. We'd just had our first born so no sailing to be had. The boat sat for a few months I suppose and mold grew like crazy. We had to pull everything out to clean it. Wipe down every surface you could imagine in there. Now, it's like it never happened. When it did though, I was close to "accidentally" felling a tree on it:)
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Can you tell from paperwork or any stickers if the selling dealer was Either Norton Yacht Sales or American Marine & Sail Supply Inc
Sadly I don't see anything on it indicating where it was bought. At least I haven't found anything yet.

The boat sat for a few months I suppose and mold grew like crazy. We had to pull everything out to clean it. Wipe down every surface you could imagine in there. Now, it's like it never happened. When it did though, I was close to "accidentally" felling a tree on it:)
Yup that's where we are now. Most of the interior surfaces have now been washed and we are making our way through the cushions. Getting the dinette cushions looking good is a good boost to morale.
 
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Likes: jwilcoxon78
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Merry Christmas!
IMG_5669.JPG

Our original Christmas plan was to be sailing in Florida today. But the weather and sanity haven't been coordinating so we are still home working on the boat. Usually it only snows here a few times a year. And in the little more than a week we've owned it, the boat has been snowed on twice. The first time it snowed it wasn't much but made the decks slick and was dangerous to be on deck until it melted. This snow is worse.
IMG_5671.JPG

Will just have to wait until it melts. Which will probably be Monday when I'm back at work and won't have time. Ugh. More delays. Guess we will miss the holiday break and will prepare for a spring vacation sail.

Did get some work done before the snow. Katherine got the entire inside cabin 100% emptied and washed down. Now we can start to refill it with items.

I got together all the things to start the motor. The temperature was in the 50's though windy, rainy and dark. Hooked up the battery and turned the key, nothing. It's a new battery and fresh off the charger. Start tracing wires and looking for diagrams on the web. I have a Johnson 9.9 4-stroke from 1995 and apparently it's odd or something as documents on it seem hard to find. Growing up we had a ski boat with a 90 hp 2-stroke Johnson on it. It never broke and we gave it only minimal maintenance (essentially just lower unit oil changes) for 15+ years I was around and using it. That thing was great and it always started, always. Anyway so I have fond memories Johnson power and lots of hours running one but zero experience repairing an outboard.

I found if I jumpered the neutral switch it cranks. That's without turning the key on at all. After awhile of looking I find there is not "Start" wire in the key switch. What the? It's a tiller version without remote controls only a remote key switch. I surmise that with the key switch unplugged at the motor the motor should start and run. But I can''t find a start button anywhere on it. I find a video of a similar engine being test started and he touches the gear lever and it cranks and starts. Really? I go and look and yup in the side where the neutral switch is a place to press and it cranks. Looks like the cap to it is missing but it still functions.

Connect up the fuel and pump up the bulb. Done this a million times on the ski boat. The bulb start pumping up and Katherine calls "there is fuel coming out over here" Here being what looks like a vent in the carburetor. Humm. Deal with that later. Let's see if we can get it to pop. Crank, nothing, Long story short something in the electrical system isn't right. After gobs of reading and testing It look like that it may be the items under the flywheel. Will pull that...sometime...When the snow melts?

Sorry for all the long post. The snow has wiped out my plans for the day.

What is the hull number
I'll send it via PM.
 
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Nov 14, 2018
75
Hunter 26 / 33.5 Eden isle, Greer’s ferry lake
Before you start tearing things apart my tohatsu has a small fuse holder under the cover on top of engine. Possible yours might have one too
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Before you start tearing things apart my tohatsu has a small fuse holder under the cover on top of engine. Possible yours might have one too
Good idea. Think I found the fuse when I took off the recoil. Was unexpected. Sadly that wasn’t it.
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Got a few more things done. Looking for some indoor projects I decided to make sure the cushions were completely dry.
IMG_6305.jpg

I call it foamhenge. Was effective at drying them all the way. Can put them in the cushion covers Monday.

The wind died down and I ventured out even though there was still snow. Have to say I'm not a fan of snow anymore. I used to live in one of those northern states and don't remember how we survived. Anyway went out and pulled the flywheel to see what was happening under there. Visually it looked good so I pulled off the stator and CDI/power module to bring them inside for more tests. Happily I finally found a repair manual for it. It's called "1990-2001 Johnson 1.25-70hp" if anyone else is searching. Due to the fact it has so many motors it makes reading difficult. But I managed to find the right data and the circuit in the stator that feeds power for the ignition system is a completely open circuit. My own body has more continuity. So that is atleast one thing that needs replaced.

I also switched the coupler to the new one. it is a bit longer than the old one. But once a trailer is this long what's a few more inches :)
IMG_6314.jpg


I stretched out the tongue to it's full length and test fitted the brake lines I bought. I'd like to shorten a couple of brake lines and got a flaring tool. Practiced on a few spare sections and sadly haven't mastered it yet. Looks so easy on the demo videos. Think I'm getting close to a repeatable technique. Will have to try it a few more times.

Oh and this is what the pin that holds the tongue shorter looks like
IMG_6308.jpg


That's some impressive rust. Nothing was holding it in other than it's weight and a little rust. The end of it was completely gone. That'll be replaced.

More to be done. Looks like getting the motor running will be our biggest delay (waiting for parts)