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Pete McCrary

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Pete McCrary last won the day on April 24 2021

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About Pete McCrary

  • Birthday 01/30/1934

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    Manassas, Virginia
  • Interests
    Small boatbuilding, sailing, cruising, woodworking, history ..
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  1. In my opinion, even a mast as slender and light (~ 22 lbs) as the main on our CS20.3, shouldn't be raised or lowered except on the tarmac or in very protected waters with enforced "no-wake" speed limits. A silent & surprise wake or wave at just the "wrong" moment can cause disaster -- severely damaging the mast-tabernacle assembly and injuring crew! A neighbor sailing friend had just that happen to him. He wasn't hurt, but there was expensive damage to his Eclipse. I struggled to raise/lower Chessie's mast solo -- and finally worked out a method that was within my aging strength. See my Pg 34 post dated July 31, 2017. I have occasionally lowered the main mast while on the water, but only in the early morning at a slip in very light or no wind conditions. I know others do it, but it's risky. Getting it done quickly, of course, lowers the risk of a momentary upset. But if you could predict the unexpected -- it wouldn't be unexpected!
  2. Have a look at my June 26 post and following posts on page 7 of my Seabiscuit build at Don't know why that boat pix keeps showing up when I past the link to my Seabiscuitbuild ?? . .
  3. Here’s an audio and sheet music for the “Recall” bugle call: https://www.bands.army.mil/music/buglecalls/recall.asp
  4. I believe that conversion of the sail for a laced luff is the solution to this very real problem. See my postings at page 7 of my Seabiscuit (a Spindrift 10) at: Although I’m selling Seabiscuit, I’m very satisfied with the inexpensive (< $300) modification to the sleeved luff.
  5. Thank you Graham. I'm hoping to make the trip. October's a busy month with the MASCF in Saint Michaels and a 65th VMI reunion right after that. Probably skip the Mid-Atlantic and make it to Bayboro. We'll see. Presently waiting out this hot spell, then get used to the Peep Hen (named "Recall" after the army bugle call.
  6. Hay, guys. Go for my 10 foot Seabiscuit. All spars, including the 3-piece, tapered mast, oars, rudder, and CB all fit in the boat for road transport or towing on the water. Hull (alone) just weighs 100 lbs. And with the modified laced luff, reefing is very easy. So also is raising/ lowering the sail and furling it. Mast, boom, sail & lines all fit in a zippered Sunbrella cover. For forum members I’d offer a nice discount.
  7. Thank you, Dave. I'm accepting delivery on Thursday. I'll let you how she works out.
  8. Since July 5 I’ve had several sailing sessions and the laced luff works just fine. I now consider Seabiscuit safe for solo sailing. That is, when on the water the sail may be easily and quickly doused (or raised) without moving forward. Also, it may be furled and kept out-of-the-way (using topping lift and sheet) for rowing. That’s important in case of sudden turn of the weather. It’s also useful for rowing away from a dock or launching ramp. HOWEVER, I’ve decided that I’m just not up to sailing such a small dinghy. For my age (88 yrs), its just too tippy and very hard on my knees — mainly because of the low height of the seats. Also, my reduced agility makes moving across the boat when tacking very problematic. Entry and exit was also very unstable. So, she’s FOR SALE. Here is the sign I’ve put on her: I certainly enjoyed building her AND i really hate to sell her. So, I’ve learned a lesson at not-so-great an expense (call it “tuition”): Old guys shouldn’t think they can sail a dinghy like in their youth! Another reason for selling is that I’ve found and bought a small sailing cruiser — a 1993 Peep Hen in very good condition. And before buying her, the owner allowed me to demonstrate [for myself] that I could easily raise and lower the mast, and move around the cabin and cockpit with ease and find the seats and bunks comfortable. She will be named “Recall,” which is a [military] bugle call that announces “… the end of drill and all hard work.” Here are a few pixs: Pete McCrary
  9. Use “rigging tape” of different colors. You can buy a set of red, green, blue, and white. 1/2” wide. Use same color on all lines: reefing luff, reefing leech, halyard & throat, and snotter/out-haul. Use different color for shallow, deep, and extreme reefing. On my Chessie I used red for the deep reef and green for shallow and blue (indicating “sky high”), meaning no reefing at all. I wrapped the lines just a couple of inches short of the cleating spot so as to avoid the cleat chaffing the tape. Occasional inspection gives warning as to wear and tear. Get the sequencing right for releasing each line and setting/trimming in the final steps — and it works like a charm. See Chessie’s Owners Manual (Part 2, page 14 — the paragraphs on reefing) on her build.
  10. Yes. Within the next few days or next week. Still needs a bit of fine-tuning on the rig. Also, our 62nd is this Sunday, July 11.
  11. Steve — I really think it will be a big improvement. Especially for a solo sailor. Aerodynamically it’s almost like the zipper sleeve as the luff rotates following the boom and sail angles. A cars & track luff doesn’t rotate unless the mast does. We’ll see how well she does after I sail her a few times. Also, with the topping lift, I’m able easily to switch from sailing to oars and vice versa. When launching from a Marina ramp you often need to row or paddle out thru a maze of docks, slips, breakwaters, etc. — and you just can’t do that with the sail up. And another thing: without the zippered sleeve, the sail can be furled. That was nearly impossible with the sleeved luff. The sailmaker only charged me $264 for removing the sleeve and installing seven new cringles, properly reinforced — keeping the existing tac and head cringles. That provides eight equally-spaced lacing “spaces.” More to be posted as I learn best how to sail Seabiscuit with her new rig.
  12. Proof of concept: removing the zippered sleeve and modifying the sail’s luff for lacing — I believe has been a success! There are six photoes followed by two videos (raising & lowering the sail) at the end of the posting. There were no problems of the lacing “hanging up” on the “shoulders” at the two joints of the three-section mast. View from starboard. Lacing ends at the reefing cringle. View from port. Sail fully deployed. Looks little different from a sleeved luff. Top of the mast with luff under tension. Looks like I could have attached the gooseneck a little higher — getting a little more “headroom” at the helm. Here I’ve held together the lacing with a small Velcro loop. To avoid reeving the lace line thru the nine cringles at each setup, I’m planning to simply slip the lace loops (held together by the Velcro loop) over the top end of the first section of the mast before assembling the other two sections. That may make stepping the mast a little more difficult — but not by much, I hope. I think raising and lowering the sail can now be done on-the-water safely from the aft cockpit. And furling the sail too. The most forward sail tie could also be safely placed from a sitting position on the midship thwart. The two videos follow. I also have a video of reefing. But it’s too big at this point to send by email. If I can reduce its size, I’ll post it later. Also, later this month I’ll report on actual sea trials. IMG_2552.mp4 IMG_2551.mp4
  13. The 11th and 12th “wedges” were cut-to-fit and the whole assembly glued to the 1.5” OD top mast section — right up against the stopper bushing. Don, notice that to the left of the stopper bushing — there are two more bushings spaced about 5” apart. Their outside diameter just fits the ID of the lower (2” OD) mast section. When assembled, those bushings disappear into the lower section. Here’s what the assembled mast sections look like. So, the joined sections [will] now show only one small (low) shoulder — of approximately 1/32”. And this will be smoothed out by trimming the 1/16th edge of the 2” tube. The joint between the lower and mid-mast sections have two small shoulders (~ 1.5” apart), each about 1/32” — and also smoothed out by trimming the edges.
  14. By "those," do you mean the sloped bushings? If ANS is yes, then they aren't needed because there are no "shoulders" impeding a lace line moving up the mast. Maybe I've misunderstood your question?
  15. We’ll, the fat’s in the fire. On Tuesday I took Seabiscuit’s sail and mast over to Quantum Sails in Annapolis for their opinion as to whether a lacing system would work (on this sectioned mast) and could the sleeved sail be modified for lacing. In their expert opinion: yes. However, not having done something similar, they couldn’t guarantee that I’d be satisfied with the result. They did require that I eliminate the shoulder(s) presented by the stopper bushings. Their charge: just $268 including a 1/8” high-tech lacing line. Here’s a photo of the design sketch that they will work from: They recommended the 8-grommet 7 spacing shown. Here’s a photo of the shoulder created by the stopper bushing on the 1.5” mast section: It actually measures 3.3/16”. The three other shoulders are all < 1/16” and can be smoothed over without adding any “wedges.” However, the big hump required a special “wedge-type” bushing. Here’s the design sketch showing the dimensional calculations. I decided on a ten-sided wedge. Using lumber yard “shims” provided 1.5” x 8” wedges with approximately a 20:1 slope. The 18 degree long-edges were made with a disk sander. My 10 wedges (as cut) were slightly small in width and I’ll need to close the gap with an eleventh cut-to-fit. I wrapped the mast with packaging tape and held the wedges close together and up against the shoulder — in two 5-wedge half-rounds, slightly separated — and all held together with a pair of Velcro 1/4’ ties. Then I applied a little neat epoxy along each joint (not touching the Velcro). Using a knife, the epoxy was seeped into the joints along with some slightly thickened epoxy. The two half-round sloping bushings, along with the eleventh wedge, will be glued to the mast (roughened with 80 grit). Slight glueing pressure will be applied with the Velcro ties lined with packaging tape. Here’s a photo showing the bushing up near the shoulder that will be covered. This photo shows the assembly dry-fitted before glueing. The sailmakers will have Seabiscuit’s sail ready by July 9. Then trials in the driveway and on the water. Report will be posted.
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