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Message board > Miscellaneous topics > 18 Navigator: Your thoughts on my planed conversion

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Message 1 of 4
Posted by member ribfreak on Wednesday 27 September 2017

Hello to all!

I´m new to HOG and this will be my first substantial posting in this forum, hopefully I´ll get some feedback from other Navigator owners......

First of all I like to introduce myself: Wolfgang, 52, german. I`m located in the uppermost north of Germany, almost Denmark- some of you might now a popular german island named "Sylt" and that`s about where I live, just on the mainland about 10km away from the North Sea.

Got my Hardy 18 Navigator at the beginning of this year`s season but had her out only a few times before starting to take anything apart- the boat wasn`t precisely in a state which I`d call seaworthy!

I want to change a couple of things to make her more "my style" and would really love to hear your opinions on it. I`ve made a picture in Corel which covers the basic things I want to alter, so maybe it would be a good idea for anyone interested to download it from my server (just copy and paste to a new tab in your browser, pictures allowed in here are way too small):


Here are my thoughts and intentions, sorted by the numbers you`ll find on the picture:

1. I`m 6ft2 so the wheelhouse roof is too low for me. To be honest I could live with that but I´ll convert it because of the hard edge at it´s rear on which I constantly bang my head... Another benefit of the added height could be getting enough space now above the front windows to instalI some sort of box/shelve for plotter, radio, speakers without having them in your direct line of view out the window.....

1.2 The side cover of the roof will hide most of the height extension because it reaches down to the windows almost as far as the original roof. I think it`ll add some safety in case of emergency because of it´s bright orange colour. While in the german Navy we once took part in a SAR mission searching for a small danish fishing boat- it was finally spoted just because of this exact feature!!!

3. The new roof will extend about 16 inch further aft and after two panels have been added to the sides I will install a rear bulkhead with a sliding door- that way I can completly close, lock and even heat the wheelhouse.

2. When the bulkhead has been installed and it`s lower part been glassed in, I`ll raise the rest of the aft cockpit`s floor to a height which stays above the waterline in any case. The new floor will also be glassed in so that it`s 100% waterproof. The I´ll add some cutouts (don`t now the english word) so that incoming water (swell or rain) can drain immediatly. When this is finished, I can

1.4 take off that goddamned canvas top and throw it away forever!!! I hate this thing, it`s always causing trouble, never tight, flutters and rips in storms and hinders each and any activities aboard! When I move the boat on its road trailer I`m always anxious about losing it or having it damaged by windforce........ but the best thing is to get rid of its tubing too, should make a nice and clean aft cockpit.

4. Finally I might give this a try: Two sponsons on port and starboard side of the transom should improve the boat`s speed and economy drastically. I´ll possibly have them welded together from aluminum sheets after making a jig from plywood. Did this before on a 5m RIB with an outboard
that was a little heavy and it worked excellently!

Please excuse my english but hopefully you`ll get the idea anyway.....


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Message 2 of 4
Posted by member Philip Sanderson on Wednesday 27 September 2017

Wow, that is some modification and looks like a lot of hard work.
I have no real advice as the modifications I have made to my Navigator are so insignificant compared to your plans that they probably are not worth mentioning.
I am intrigued by the sponson extension and would love to hear how you get on.
My only real question is why not buy a bigger boat? But I guess that defects the point and lacks the spirit of adventure that you seem to have.
Good luck and please do keep us informed.
Phil Sanderson

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Message 3 of 4
Posted by member ribfreak on Thursday 28 September 2017

Hi Phil,
thanks for your comments. You`re absolutly right with your remark about the hard work all those modifications will require.... but I`ve set myself a schedule over the next 3-5 years! I`ll have to start with the higher wheelhouse roof and then do one job after another. I only posted in here to get some other suggestions or additions to my plans.

As for your remark on a bigger boat: You`re right in that and you aren`t. Why? Ok, let´s say that a bigger boat is almost always the solution for one or two additional features one wants to install or have. But on the other hand it`s almost always a more costly solution as well. Since I`m not a rich person my goal is rather to get the max out of the limitations I`ve set for myself or my gear. Here´s what limits my boat size to a Navigator:
- it has to be trailerable and the Nav 18 is about the maximum I can handle all by myself on the ramp
- it has to be economical so I don`t want to go higher than 60hp at all.
- it has to be easy to maintain and since there`s not much on a Nav 18 it surely is.

My dad used to own a small coaster so I´ve basically been brought up on the water and somehow this has perhaps influenced my sense of "beauty" on boats and ships? I`m not sure about this but the more my boats resemble a working boat the more I like them- big point for the Navigator, haha!!

I`m almost sure that a pair of sponsons will have a very positive effect on the boat`s performance. When you read through this forum you`ll find a lot of posts about problems with bringing the Navigator on plane, installing trim tabs, wether power trim is necessary and so on.... but in the end it all comes down to two simple facts: Too little buoyancy at the stern and not enough planing surface for producing the needed lift. Sponsons will cure this and since the boat has a flat transom anyway it won`t be too difficult to hide them optically as a kind of bathing platform or likewise......

That said my Nav really doesn`t NEED them, but wouldn`t it be great to see her go on plane 2 knots earlier and keep her there with 400rpm less? That`s something I want to try out.


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Message 4 of 4
Posted by member Simon Kidd on Thursday 16 November 2017

Hi Wolfgang.

Your drawing looks very interesting. I remember another Hardy Navigator that had an orange roof for Search and Rescue Reasons - she was based in Guernsey and the owner was an HOC member - he used her between Weymouth in England, the Channel Islands and France!

My Only concern with your modifications would be the effect on Stability - the Navigator is quite a tender vessel already, and you must avoid adding weight at a high level - this will likely make her quite unstable. I am sure you already know this, but please be careful.

Best Regards

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