A letter from America

In trying to obtain a good selection of Seal Class boats for the new Seal Web Site, and keen to include photographs from members outside of the UK, Brenda, my wife, contacted Marvin Kowalewski who lives in New Hatfield, New York. Marvin was generous to send a large number of photographs, some of which you can see on the Album page of the Web Site. As a side issue, this contact has resulted in an 'email' friendship being struck with much correspondence flowing across the Atlantic; but that's another story.

One of the original emails from Marvin was so technical and showed such continuing enthusiasm for his Parker 27 'Happy Seal', purchased in 1988, that I asked if he would like me to publish it in the Newsletter. The following is the result. I have included the pictures but the rest is Marv's own words……..

Don Harvey 05-03-98

Dear Brenda and Don

I thank you for the letter regarding photos of "Happy Seal". I an enclosing some pictures for your consideration.

My Parker 27 has been extensively modified for comfort and ease of handling. Since I have been fortunate enough to fit a good road trailer to the boat, I have moved it to Florida for cruising the coast and the islands called The Florida Keys.

First, I have installed an "instant" hot water heater and a cockpit shower. I have converted the hot-cold water system to pressure and completely changed the plumbing system. The water pump and heater are mounted on a fold down (for service) panel that was the former portside hanging wet area. Now, we can shower, wash dishes and clothes using our onboard water supply. When cruising in salt water, I carry an addidonal 10 gallons of fresh water.

I have installed Harken roller furling with dual luff for racing and cruising. This unit is lighter than the Roto Furl but that is the only advantage since the Roto system works easier.


Happy Seal on Oneida Lake,
New York

All my sails are Spectra Mylar and very light weight--I can carry the main sail in one hand and the headsail in another. These have proven themselves over 6 years to be a wonderful modification.

My main is cut to have a high roach with thin full battens in two places and trail battens in two places. The main is very fast and trims wonderfully with no stretch. I have two headsails. One for racing and another for cruising. Both are 150's but the cruising headsail is heavier mylar and stays on as the working sail. I am not an experienced racer but report that the Parker has been an excellent racer when tried.

I have added a traveler and moved the main sheeting system from the cockpit floor (lots more room and comfort). My traveler is a a radiused track bent 3.5 inches and runs along the cabin top just ahead of the hatch cover. I made special brackets to elevate the track to pass the hatch. My sheeting car is a Harken windward sheeting system and I could not ask for a simpler system to trim the main.

I have installed a marine radio, a GPS, Tiller Pilot, and a CD player. I often take a small TV in case we get tired of reading. Because of battery drain, I have changed to 120 AH batteries and have installed an adjustable charging system which allows fully controlled, rapid battery charging. I had to remove and replace the "sense" regulator on the alternator in order to allow the charging system to be remotely adjusted.

Other minor changes such as dish racks, hidden wet hanging lines, towel bars add to comfort.

I have changed the head to one that is more seaworthy. It has a bronze base--the Parker installed head was not adequate and developed leaks.

Finally, I have a Cystic Copper Clad bottom on the boat. I think it is the greatest because any haulout is a simple brush down and hose off. Note: In the Florida Keys, the boat develops a green hair. I use a painters trowel to remove. No barnacles appear to stick and I can do my own cleaning.


Drying out at Florida Keys

The pictures that I am sending show the different modifications. I can write about how these things are built for the newsletter. The Membership appears very knowledegable so a picture should do. If you need further explanations, I can email.

I hope that the enclosed gives you a picture of what is done in the USA with this fine boat.

For your information, there is a Parker 21 someplace on the east coast--I've lost track of it after it was sold.

Fair winds to you all.

Marv Kowalewski