New to me Hunter 26 clean/refit

Jun 8, 2004
8,893
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Anything can happen. I always instructed everyone to go 10-20 miles pulling over to check hubs, lashings, winch line to see if taunt, etc... Every 100 miles, stop and check again. Learned from experiece with a poorly tied 26 rudder which I looked at after a truck warned me and it was cut off smooth where it was in the down postion sanded down by the highway.
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Shouldn't have come loose, let alone fall out. Hope it wasn't some mischievous person in a parking lot somewhere.
My guess is that the pin retainer simply broke and the pin bounced out. Since I hadn't removed that retainer so I can't say what the condition it was in. While on the trailer it wasn't left unattended for any significant time. With all the COVID weirdness our stops were very short. Doubtful anyone would have even walked by it the rare time we were both out of sight.

Learned from experience with a poorly tied 26 rudder which I looked at after a truck warned me and it was cut off smooth where it was in the down position sanded down by the highway.
Yah I took your word of caution on that and have used a loop rope around the rudder. The Wing nut/clamp bolt also loosened up on the trip at one point and that extra bit of rope definitely saved the rudder from a similar fate :)
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,893
-na -NA Anywhere USA
We all learn through experience. I call it a walk around inspection like pilots do a pre flight inspection of the plane before flying. Loosing a rudder is expensive. It happened to me
 
Mar 12, 2021
52
Hunter 26 Gulfport
Wow where has the time gone. Been busy. Thursday I had the day off and it was reasonably warm so we spent it in the boat. I've been mostly working on the trailer, motor and rigging. I and haven't spent much time inside the boat though Katherine has been cleaning the inside. So it was fun to be inside and check it out. We setup the popup tent/canvas thing (what's it called?) that we have over the top of the companionway.View attachment 188737

It was looking like it could rain and it's a nice way to keep out the rain while maintaining the extra headroom. Oddly though I couldn't close the companion way slider all the way with it on. Is that right? Anyway we decided we like it and want to bring it on trips. However it's a bit bulky and won't fit in the storage compartments. May have to modify the frame so it will come apart into smaller pieces so it can be stored more easily.

Checked the interior of the boat over and did some nice boat yoga, Including climbing entirely into the bow storage compartment. Wanted to see if I would fit. Once done with that I removed the portapoty from the boat. Katherine couldn't figure how to get it lose to remove it. When removing it I couldn't help but notice it wasn't empty. Not even close to empty. Seriously? This boat hasn't been used it quite awhile so that's been in there far too long. Neither of us were amused and ended up searching the net for possible new replacements. After reading the ads and looking at different options we somehow found it all hilarious and began making jokes and laughing. I guess even at our age poop jokes can be funny.

We also removed the faucets for cleaning. The bathroom faucet was still attached to a water tank under the sink. The inside of the line was black with mold except where it was grey with mold. The tubing was cut off and the tube and tank discarded. The kitchen faucet didn't have a tube attached to it. Perhaps it was because the electrical outlet they installed is kind of in the way? Maybe. Both the faucets were removed from the boat and brought in to be cleaned thoroughly. View attachment 188738
This is before cleaning.

We looked at the stove with the idea of testing it out. It was dirty from bugs and dirt and I decided it'd just be easier to remove the whole thing from the boat and take it inside to clean it (also warmer inside). We later cleaned in and then filed tested out a burner. Had not used that kind of stove before. It seems to work.
View attachment 188741
Stove after cleaning and testing inside the house.

Friday was colder. So we finished our Coastal navigation knowledge test. That was a long one and happy to have passed it. We also worked on cleaning the bow bed vinyl covers (the foam has already been washed). I read in a post on this forum that a person cleaned badly stained dinette cushions with grill cleaner. Yup sounds weird to me too but hey the bow cushion covers were pretty gross and honestly if it hurt them I wasn't worried as I don't need a bed up there anyway. We didn't have any grill cleaner but oven cleaner is about the same. What do ya know it did a pretty good job. They aren't perfect but much nicer looking.

Saturday, today, it was in the 50's. So a great day to be outside working in the boat. I removed the bulkhead/partition aft of the aft bed. We wanted to clean back there and the two access holes weren''t enough room. Oh while I"m typing what do the early, non hinged covers, for those holes look like? Or did the early ones not have covers (find that hard to believe)? But they seem to be one of the few parts we don't have. Anyway. I also want to install a battery charger back there so when plugged into shore power it will charge the battery. Still scratching my head on how to attach things to surfaces where I don't want to drill holes.

I also removed one of the center trailer bunks. The boat is loaded slightly to the right so the center left bunk has nothing on it. The center bunks are very rotten at the aft end. Later when cleaning the cockpit area I could see why. Water would run around the boat and drip off the hull right onto the center bunks. Humm. Have to cover them to keep the water off when i store it. It rains a lot and it is often very humid here. Will start collecting the bits I need to make both replacement bunks. In the pic below there is a pressure treated 1x1 screwed to the back. I don't think this is was there in the original design. Someone let me know if it's supposed to be. I'm thinking it's not supposed to be there.
View attachment 188740
Katherine washed the rain channels around the companion way and forward hatch. There were leaves, pine needles and dirt in them. opening and closing things caused specks of dirt to get into the freshly cleaned insides. Took the Christmas lights down from the mast, put on a new licence plate bracket and it's new license plate. Also removed the remaining registration stickers from the boat and put on it's new ones.

Oh while under the boat I noticed that the ballast valve was open about an 1". I thought it was closed for some reason. I pushed on it to see what it would look like in place and it didn't budge. Oh, that's not good. I put some penetrating oil on it from the bottom and the top. I could get it to wiggle a bit from the top but not much else. Will come back to that another day.

Damn the stove looks amazing!! Tried to do a good clean of the faucets but they’re pitted. The black gasket has degenerated. Havent been able to find a replacement gasket. Anyone find one?
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Look what showed up today. An upgrade for the boat!
8BBF5F0C-D698-49D5-BC01-C3E0D1E25732.jpeg
It is used and there was no promise it would work. But in initial testing it looks like it works. Yay. Now to install it.
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
I have a Simrad TP10. If you're interested, here's how I installed mine.
Hunter 26 Owner Modifications and Upgrades

View attachment 194481
Thanks. That looks like a great installation.

Question it appears to take control of the boat the autopilot has to be physically removed. Is this correct? Is there any other solutions. Not sure about trying to pull it off in a panic, especially because helmsman tends to freak out under pressure
 

Doug J

.
May 2, 2005
1,192
Hunter 26 Oceanside, CA
Thanks. That looks like a great installation.

Question it appears to take control of the boat the autopilot has to be physically removed. Is this correct? Is there any other solutions. Not sure about trying to pull it off in a panic, especially because helmsman tends to freak out under pressure
The rod snaps on to a pin installed on the tiller. You can just press the red standby button and lift the rod off from the tiller connection, leaving the other end still connected to the cup and swing it out of the way. When you want to activate it again, simply swing it over and snap it back on to the tiller and press the red button again.

I only use mine for holding a compass heading and tacking. It's awesome, you'll love it. The model you have has more capabilities. I believe it has the ability to interface with a GPS and actually take new headings, more of a a true autopilot. I personally don't want that. The function of holding a heading and tacking is all I want, giving me the freedom to handle the sheets while single handing.
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
The rod snaps on to a pin installed on the tiller. You can just press the red standby button and lift the rod off from the tiller connection, leaving the other end still connected to the cup and swing it out of the way. When you want to activate it again, simply swing it over and snap it back on to the tiller and press the red button again.

I only use mine for holding a compass heading and tacking. It's awesome, you'll love it. The model you have has more capabilities. I believe it has the ability to interface with a GPS and actually take new headings, more of a a true autopilot. I personally don't want that. The function of holding a heading and tacking is all I want, giving me the freedom to handle the sheets while single handing.
Thanks for the info on disconnecting. Sounds pretty easy to use. I have a bit of fear of it popping off and going overboard. Perhaps it's not a big concern.

Yes it should a wonderful thing to sail with and I am looking forward to it. I'll likely use it just as you do. It can connect to more stuff but I don't have anything else to hook to it. For now it'll be great for it to just hold a heading and tack.
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Hello All,
Been awhile. Some family activities have kept us busy all summer. Our intention was to take another sailing trip in the summer but that wasn't in the schedule. So after dropping my son off at college we started preparing for a trip. Sadly my 20 year old SUV which I tow with decided it was time for some repairs before it would be good for towing. That took 3 more weeks (lots of waiting on parts, then the wrong parts etc.) After that was sorted the boat was moved to the house and preparations for the trip began.

To prepare for the trip we got out our list of things we wanted to fix or upgrade that we wrote on the last day of our last trip. Whoa we wanted to do a lot of stuff. Heck it sailed when we were on it last why is it so long? We focused on the repairs and left the upgrades alone. That is except for the auto pilot, I so wanted that installed.

Things we repaired:
The plastic that holds the tiller handle in the rudder housing. I had purchased a sheet of plastic and it was pretty simple to cut it out to replace the plastic/nylon that fell out on the last trip. incidentally I needed a halyard divider to save time I ordered that with some other stuff from the forum store. Oddly it came from the store was simply a square with the wrong sized hole. not shaped as the original at all. Well if I have to shape the whole thing i may as well just used a piece of my left overs from the rudder. Ugh. So that didn't get done as I had other tings to do.

Replaced the deck connector for the mast electrical system. Happily this matched the one that was already on the boat. Well I had to drill the screw holes larger but that could have been a mod done by a previous owner. I kept the old deck side connector and will install that on the trailer so I can plug the mast in to run the clearance light I had added to top of the mast.

Replaced the side port hole seals and screens. Replaced the port-a-poty. On the last trip we never used the one we had, which looked original. Lucky thing too as it developed a leak at a the bottom corner from years of rubbing around I guess. So out it went and we found a new one that fit almost the same as the original. It was about 1" higher at the mount points. So added some spacer blocks and it's all good.

Tired of the motor dragging in the water when sailing I decided to rework the mount. After looking at what others have done i started fabricating a new bracket. Then it hit me if I flip over the original one, add a shim and shave a bit off the board it will be nearly vertical with just a little slope tipping it up. Guess if I made my shim a bit bigger it could be dead vertical. So that's what I did. Now the engine tips so it's perfectly horizontal to the water. In use this was perfect for sailing and still plenty of motor in the water for use.

Fabricated a new tiller bracket to hold the motor link. Formed it from a piece of stainless and put it in the same spot as the cleat for the uphaul/down haul line. This way the bolts from the cleat hold the bracket from rotating or sliding down the tiller. This worked beautifully. We also found we could move the motor link to the forward side of the stern rail. This made is much easier to remove and reinstall when on the water. Win win. Left me wondering how we missed this arrangement the first time. Oh well it is working great now.

Tiller pilot. Didn't I say I had to have this? Yes I did. So I put time in to fabing up a tiller mount bracket and a bracket that comes off the stern seat mounts. Then i had to add some wiring. My tiller pilot was missing it's pigtal so I just soldered on some wire and connector I had around, including a fuse between it and the battery. I was a bit surprised at the tiller pilot power wires being so small. So stupid me found the smallest fuse i could find around my place (5 A) and installed it. On the water the tiller pilot was totally fun to use. Well for those 5 min before it blew the fuse. According to the literature it should be on a 10A fuse. Oh why didn't I think to look what the instructions suggested. Oh well next time we take the boat out will have the right fuse.

I changed the hitch on my SUV from a 2" drop to a 6" drop to more level the trailer. Also reading about others and what they do to get the tongue weight correct by shifting things like the motor or gear inside we decided to try moving things around to get a better weight distribution. I had assumed the manufacturer would have planned on towing with a motor and gear and put the axles in a suitable place. Seems this may not be the case. Since our motor has controls and is about all I can lift we decide to move other things instead. First was the gas tank. At about 30 lbs and far behind the axle moving it to the front of the trailer makes a noticeable change in tongue weight. We also had the rudder off fixing it and weighed it. Ours weight 30 lbs (just the gel coated piece). We put this in the bow of the cabin. In total we moved 60 lbs from behind the axle and put it about twice as far in front of the axle. When loading other gear we put nothing behind the axle and most gear as far forward as possible. Result of all the changes was it towed MUCH better. Much less twitchy. Which was great as we towed it 5 hours there and 5 hours back. Sadly it's really hilly in this area so it was still no fun going up and down the hills. The truck could do it but ate gas like it was going out of style and being 20 years old I'm thinking it's not the best to be towing with, which added some stress to the trip which is supposed to be fun. Thinking I need to buy a newer truck or sell the boat. Seems kind of silly to buy a vehicle to use it only a couple times a year. Living far from big water is a downer. We decided to list the boat and see what happens.
 

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Jun 8, 2004
8,893
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Thaniel
Any time you pull a boat, car, camper and so forth, going thru the mountains uphill you will use a lot of fuel no matter what and save going down some. That is par the course particularly trailering alot thru the same mountains as you do since 1976.

Why sell the boat if you enjoy it ?
 
Dec 20, 2020
87
Hunter 26 Virginia
Why sell the boat if you enjoy it ?
Driving I-81 is never fun and towing makes it less fun. Everywhere I want to sail is 5+ hours away and it reduces the over all trip fun and I only have so much vacation that can be used for sailing. However, we are considering moving closer to the coast too. But until retirement, perhaps a day sailor and sticking to the local lake is more practical. After retirement expect we will join the cruiser life even if only for a year or so. When that happens we will want a bigger boat :)