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Thread: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

  1. #1
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    Question 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, and I’ve messaged with Lee Baxter - but... surely there are some other well informed opinions on here...

    https://oregoncoast.craigslist.org/b...030072667.html

    If I go look at this boat, are there any specific things I skulls worry about? Obviously, condition of the hull is major. I’m just planning to do a normal knock/push test all over - any other tips for checking it’s integrity?

    I’m aware of some of the inherent drawbacks of the 26’ boat with a well mounted motor, but I’m open to any other input.

    My main use would be running out of Newport or Depoe Bay for rockfish, lingcod, and crab. Sure would be nice to get way out for tuna, but that might be an overnight venture based on speed.

    I’m budgeting in repowering as part of my costs on this, and probably selling that 60hp. Any suggestions on a new motor?

    I’d also be open to mooring it down at the coast, I’ve never moored a boat though. Is the cost worth the trade off in less fuel/hassle with trailering? Sure would be nice to just run down to a waiting boat.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    I am not sure why you would want to repower ? - a 4 stroke with 350 hours seems like it would last quite a while

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Sounds pretty reasonable. Would like to hear what you find after you take a look.

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    In going over a bunch of the historical posts about bartenders on here, there was a lot of talk of poor handling when underpowered - especially with the larger bartenders.

    If I'm crossing any of the coastal river bars, I'll be doing it in good weather - but, I want to make sure I've got the power in reserve to manage a return to port if the weather turns.

    The Yaquina bar isn't something to be taken lightly, and its not even the "worst" bar on the coast.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    A light hard plastic headed mallet is my favorite test tool. I go with light wrist action 2 to 3 beats per second just moving along in a sort of lazy figure 8 pattern. You will quickly hear the differences where the hull is backed by interior structures. So you should have two basic sounds and anyplace different takes a deeper look.

    Common problem areas are the house-to-deck joins, down under the sole along chines and keel, and the hull-to-deck join.

    Keeping the boat on a mooring may limit your choices of where to roam and depending on the mooring site may take as long to row out as launching from the trailer. Having her at home may make maintenance easier. Trailering may make one more willing to set out in a bit of rain as you're not rowing out getting all wet. On the other hand, the fuel bill towing a boat like that might hurt. Lot's to balance there.

    G'luck

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    A light hard plastic headed mallet is my favorite test tool. I go with light wrist action 2 to 3 beats per second just moving along in a sort of lazy figure 8 pattern. You will quickly hear the differences where the hull is backed by interior structures. So you should have two basic sounds and anyplace different takes a deeper look.

    Common problem areas are the house-to-deck joins, down under the sole along chines and keel, and the hull-to-deck join.

    Keeping the boat on a mooring may limit your choices of where to roam and depending on the mooring site may take as long to row out as launching from the trailer. Having her at home may make maintenance easier. Trailering may make one more willing to set out in a bit of rain as you're not rowing out getting all wet. On the other hand, the fuel bill towing a boat like that might hurt. Lot's to balance there.

    G'luck
    Thanks, I'll take all the advice I can get.

    I'm in a weird place with this boat, stumbled on it and thought it was interesting to see a bartender this cheap. I mentioned it in passing to my wife... she asked for photos... I got them for her.

    Inexplicably, she's all kinds of excited about it.

    I feel like.... isn't that the holy grail here? I keep looking around for the trap door....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Aren’t these supposed to plane? 60HP in a 26’ boat seems away too few ponies to get the boat out of the hole. I don’t know anything about crossing a dangerous bar, but the videos I’ve watched indicate power is a BIG part of the equation. Being able to put the boat in the right place at the right time. I’d be looking to repower.
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon213 View Post
    Thanks, I'll take all the advice I can get.

    I'm in a weird place with this boat, stumbled on it and thought it was interesting to see a bartender this cheap. I mentioned it in passing to my wife... she asked for photos... I got them for her.

    Inexplicably, she's all kinds of excited about it.

    I feel like.... isn't that the holy grail here? I keep looking around for the trap door....
    The voice of experience, eh? However - if she's onboard (so to speak) - that makes life a whole lot easier. Do note that there may be a $5500 purchase for her down the road...

    The price does seem pretty good. I'd sure want to check the boat carefully - as if you didn't know to do that. Glass sheathing can separate from the hull if not really well applied & the hull not perfectly prepped. If it has, it leaves a space for a wood stew to ferment - IOW ugly!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Note that an inboard 26' Bartender has 210 HP. [http://www.boatersresources.com/bfs_...p?adid=458029] With 60 HP she's likely in semi-displacement mode at under 10 kt.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    I'm out of Portland, and been in a few Bartenders.

    What... no Bartender dealers in beautiful downtown Weatbery??

    Lee is definitely a good person to talk to. Have you also contacted George, up in Olympia? New owner of Bartender Boats. He can answer questions about the boat itself. And advise you about repowering - which I agree is a good idea. Lee, for instance, has a substantial inboard diesel. But for an outboard in a well, and just shooting from the hip, I'd be thinking double or even triple the present hp. George can give you the real skinny. Or maybe Lee.

    When I do a Quick Survey, I find Ian's method good for a quick peek. I combine it with a sharp instrument - awl or knife tip - for further exploration of any iffy spots. I'd put her on the trailer and take a look. That be the simplest way to get access to the hull for such an inspection.

    Just from the ad, I see no obvious red flags. Looks like a boat owned by someone competent and at least somewhat knowledgeable. Hard to imagine there's enough deck space for them to do anything by way of commercial crabbing out of her. Maybe that's why they're selling. But for your use, with a companion or two, she'd be a sweet boat. I like what he's done with the pilothouse, making her usable year-round, if you're so inclined. At least from what we can see. Nothing beats a first-hand ogle. He might even let you hang onto the 'tip jar'...

    If you do decide to get the boat, let me be the first to invite you to show her off at the annual Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show & Crab Feed... and to join our little boat club - the Western Oregon Messabout Society, aka ''The Coots". Let me know if I can be of further help.

    http://www.coots.org/mb/DepoeBay/
    Last edited by David G; 01-21-2020 at 11:59 AM.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'm out of Portland, and been in a few Bartenders.

    What... no Bartender dealers in beautiful downtown Weatbery??

    Lee is definitely a good person to talk to. Have you also contacted George, up in Olympia? New owner of Bartender Boats. He can answer questions about the boat itself. And advise you about repowering - which I agree is a good idea. Lee, for instance, has a substantial inboard diesel. But for an outboard in a well, and just shooting from the hip, I'd be thinking double or even triple the present hp. George can give you the real skinny. Or maybe Lee.

    When I do a Quick Survey, I find Ian's method good for a quick peek. I combine it with a sharp instrument - awl or knife tip - for further exploration of any iffy spots. I'd put her on the trailer and take a look. That be the simplest way to get access to the hull for such an inspection.

    Just from the ad, I see no obvious red flags. Looks like a boat owned by someone competent and at least somewhat knowledgeable. Hard to imagine there's enough deck space for them to do anything by way of commercial crabbing out of her. Maybe that's why they're selling. But for your use, with a companion or two, she'd be a sweet boat. I like what he's done with the pilothouse, making her usable year-round, if you're so inclined. At least from what we can see. Nothing beats a first-hand ogle. He might even let you hang onto the 'tip jar'...

    If you do decide to get the boat, let me be the first to invite you to show her off at the annual Depoe Bay Wooden Boat Show & Crab Feed... and to join our little boat club - the Western Oregon Messabout Society, aka ''The Coots". Let me know if I can be of further help.

    http://www.coots.org/mb/DepoeBay/
    Thanks for the invite, I'll take you up on it if I get the opportunity.

    I'm broadly budgeting on going up to closer to 100HP, I sent an email to George about power last week.

    We'll see, I'm probably running down to Coos on Sunday to take a gander.

    Thanks.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    They are designed to be light and seaworthy...the coast guard testing of the 22' Bartender showed that it had a difficult time planing with 4-5 people. It is imperative that the boat isn't overbuilt or weighed down with too much gear/people/fuel/ etc. I agree with previous posters that asking George is a great idea for an idea of what size powerplant you want to install. He is very knowledgable and helpful. Look around the motor well area for damage and rot as well, I've heard that can be a problem area.

    If you're looking for a boat to cross a bar...this one was designed on the oregon coast to do exactly that.

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Definitely talk to George. My understanding is that the Bartenders that were built for fishing were never expected to plane. Looking at the cutaway at the stern of that boat I'd guess that it has been opened up so that the OB can be raised (which I don't think is possible with the stock design of the well in the OB powered 26-footer, although I could be wrong). Or it may even be that the OB is mounted farther aft than it would be as-designed, and they cut away the stern to make room. Either way you may find that simply adding power will make the boat heavier and less efficient without making her any faster. Nothing wrong with a slow boat. I have two of them. But if you are looking for a planing Bartender I suspect that this one isn't it.
    - Chris

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Definitely talk to George. My understanding is that the Bartenders that were built for fishing were never expected to plane. Looking at the cutaway at the stern of that boat I'd guess that it has been opened up so that the OB can be raised (which I don't think is possible with the stock design of the well in the OB powered 26-footer, although I could be wrong). Or it may even be that the OB is mounted farther aft than it would be as-designed, and they cut away the stern to make room. Either way you may find that simply adding power will make the boat heavier and less efficient without making her any faster. Nothing wrong with a slow boat. I have two of them. But if you are looking for a planing Bartender I suspect that this one isn't it.
    No, they all plane, if sufficiently powered. To that end, the ones I know have a fold-down plug to reduce the size of the outboard penetration aperture... and planing strakes/wings down near the water line aft.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    If you're looking for a boat to cross a bar...this one was designed on the oregon coast to do exactly that.
    Except it's a displacement speed hull which means you have limited your choice of where of when & where you place your hull to cross that bar. You can't spin & bail out when you spot a ugly set coming, you can't sit & wait safely for your moment & then roar in @ 20 kts to grab your window. The boat was designed to plane, they don't plane very efficiently because they lack bearing aft - most are fitted with "wings" that help some. It's light & unballasted I'd carefully consider it's behavior in surf without the HP it's designed for. It might act like a cork & pop up - or it might roll over...Moe
    Last edited by MoePorter; 01-21-2020 at 02:27 PM.

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    No, they all plane, if sufficiently powered. To that end, the ones I know have a fold-down plug to reduce the size of the outboard penetration aperture... and planing strakes/wings down near the water line aft.
    Pretty sure that's not true across the board David, other than in the general sense that if you put enough power on a shingle the shingle will plane after a fashion. The fiberglass Bartender trollers from Westport definitely do not. And I know that the 22' design has a well plug but I'm not sure that the 26' hull does. Either way, this one does not look at all stock so all bets are off.
    - Chris

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Pretty sure that's not true across the board David, other than in the general sense that if you put enough power on a shingle the shingle will plane after a fashion. The fiberglass Bartender trollers from Westport definitely do not. And I know that the 22' design has a well plug but I'm not sure that the 26' hull does. Either way, this one does not look at all stock so all bets are off.
    You could be right about the fiberglass version. I know nothing about them, and fg boats tend to be substantially heavier. Other than that... pretty sure.

    ETA - you might have a point about the non-stock additions. While BT was designed as a planing boat, it was on the edge, and required discipline to keep it from growing too weighty with gear, supplies, etc. That's why the hole plug and planing strakes were stock... to get them 'over the edge'. If that pilothouse was built too stout, or the boat itself was 'improved', and many amateur builders are apt to do, by adding 'stoutness' (weight)... it might be a boat doomed to displacement speeds. Certainly worth checking out.
    Last edited by David G; 01-21-2020 at 02:52 PM.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    You could be right about the fiberglass version. I know nothing about them, and fg boats tend to be substantially heavier. Other than that... pretty sure.
    Well, you certainly have more experience with them than I do. I have lusted in my heart for one but the only example I have been aboard was on a trailer. I just look at that heavy enclosed cabin (those doors!) up forward and the cutaway stern (where do the planing strakes go? Does it even have them?) and wonder how much power you would have to put on that thing for it to be able to get out of its own way.
    - Chris

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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    I appreciate all the input so far, lots to think about here.

    Any more discussion/insight around this issue around semi-displacement/planing is of interest to me...

    Just to make sure I'm on page...

    A true planing bartender can be relied on to cross basically any bar, in most conditions...

    A semi-displacement bartender can be relied on to cross most bars in some conditions...

    This boat - a potentially under-powered semi-displacement may only be relied on to cross some bars in good conditions...

    Right?

    I'm not planning on running out across the Columbia Bar during a gale, if I were to snag this boat - I'll be a fair-weather sailor until I get a good feel for the boat... but, I'd sure like to get a sense of what its "top end" should be before I take a look at it.

    Thanks again.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoePorter View Post
    Except it's a displacement speed hull which means you have limited your choice of where of when & where you place your hull to cross that bar. You can't spin & bail out when you spot a ugly set coming, you can't sit & wait safely for your moment & then roar in @ 20 kts to grab your window. The boat was designed to plane, they don't plane very efficiently because they lack bearing aft - most are fitted with "wings" that help some. It's light & unballasted I'd carefully consider it's behavior in surf without the HP it's designed for. It might act like a cork & pop up - or it might roll over...Moe
    The bartender is not a displacement hull. It is a decent boat when underpowered and can put along, but the idea was that it would have the power to do what you’re describing in the surf. This particular boat is underpowered and has been modified from the original design...I can’t speak to that. It is a planing hull and you’re correct that there are lifting strakes aft to add planing surface and stability in turns. There are several videos of 22 footers and 26 footers on YouTube showing them spinning around on a dime and planing.

    I am a fan of bartenders.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    [QUOTEA true planing bartender can be relied on to cross basically any bar, in most conditions...

    A semi-displacement bartender can be relied on to cross most bars in some conditions...

    This boat - a potentially under-powered semi-displacement may only be relied on to cross some bars in good conditions...

    Right?][/QUOTE]

    I'd say yes. If the back deck is self draining that helps of course & skipper experience is the biggest factor but I think you've nailed the nature of a Bartender.

    IMHO (as an impatient fisherman) a slow 26ft Bartender is an odd duck. Too slow to be an efficient day boat for fishing (to get out & back with enough fishing time) but not big or comfortable enough for multi-day trips. The safety issue only comes up in a bar crossing - I'd be inconvenienced returning from a tuna trip & forced to wait outside till conditions improved & a light hull like that is pretty miserable bobbing like a cork but there's no danger...
    I wouldn't consider a boat like this I couldn't trailer - just on the ability to work on it & store it cheaply. If the hull is sound & you add a trailer & a 200hp? outboard you'd have a bargain offshore boat even @ 30 or 40 grand... Even as it is you'd have a useful slow coastal boat to learn on... One thing - listen carefully to experienced people about how much power it actually will take to efficiently plane this thing - the only one I've been on had a 350 Chevy running a jet in it & that was fine but not excessive.
    I'd definitely experience first hand the handling with the 60hp - a lot depends on how it's rigged, it might be slow but responsive to steering quickly & feel safe - or it might be a slug...It's not much money if it's not rotten...Good luck Moe

  22. #22
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    What does a boat like that weigh? Do you have a vehicle capable of towing it, or will that be an added expense?
    I like the boat. Hope it works out for you. Given the price, I wouldn't wait around too long. Better go look now.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: 26’ Bartender: Deal or No Deal?

    The price is really the question isn't it? The nicest 26' bartender I have seen (Bonnie Doon) was for sale a couple of years ago for around $12k. I took a serious look at the time and would have bought her if I didn't have too many boats already. There have been several for sale in the past year for between $6-$8k. In need of some work, but still inboard-powered and closer to original than that one Coos Bay. If that boat is exacly what you want when you see it and it doesn't need a ton of work then I think it's probably a good buy. If you need to repower, make repairs or lighten the boat so it would plane then I would pass on it and look for one that is closer to what you want. You can find something better for less money than you will have into that one once you are done.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

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