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Pete McCrary

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Pete McCrary last won the day on July 8

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About Pete McCrary

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/30/1934

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Manassas, Virginia
  • Interests
    Small boatbuilding, sailing, cruising, woodworking, history ..

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  1. Mark, I just remembered that I hadn't answered your questions. So,... The Suzuki was a 2.5 regular length (15") shaft and it fit nicely into the cockpit locker -- but not an easy task for an 85 yr old. I made a "cradle" for it in order to keep its tiller-down as recommend by Suzuki. Otherwise you'll get oil into the cylinder chamber. The 2.5 hp is enough to push the CS20.3 to 5 knots. The wash plate just cleared the bottom of the transom which allowed 360 degree rotation (for reverse). However, in chop or big wake, there was often cavitation. I now have a 4 hp Honda (long shaft) with a reverse gear and 9 amp alternator to keep the battery fully charged -- because as a solo sailor I often use a tiller-pilot which draws fairly heavily on the battery. I still have the Suzuki as a standby. The well is 9" fore & aft x 10". Its depth is 5" at the transom sloping up to about 1" at the forward edge. The transom cutout is about 1" deep and the top-aft edge of the engine mounting block (~ 1.5" thick) is 5" from the transom. It needed to be that far out because the transom has a forward tilt and the Suzuki's shaft is already set at ~ 5 degrees out from a vertical transom (I think Suzuki assumes that most transom have a slight aft tilt). So, in order to keep the OBM shaft vertical, the mounting block is set at about 10 degrees with respect to the transom.
  2. Don, I'll definitely take you up on sailing your BRS 15 at the Messabout in October. I plan to be there showing off Chessie -- hoping to impress potential buyers who may want a CS20.3 without investing two years of sanding and poxy work.
  3. Nick, the end roller will be a 5" one like the others. There will be guide-ons on each side reaching out to the bunks. It will look something like this: The roller trough will end about 6" aft of the trailer's aft crossbeam. It hasn't been a problem lining up the boat's stem with the trough centerline. BTW, I've found the wooden trough gets torn up by the ss oh wood screws that attach the 3/4" half oval to the keel batten. Here's the link to the wooden trough build. The concept worked just fine until after a few launches and recoveries. That's why I'm building the roller trough.
  4. I'm sure Laura is honored. Remindes me of how I named the Penobscot 14 that I built in 2003. I was working on a list of favored names and casually asked my wife, Anna, what she thought of naming the boat "Anna." After a brief thoughtful pause, she replied, "I'd be honored." That happily ended the search. "Anna" is still in the family and with my daughter Suzie in Pennsylvania. However, she's returning it to me because [in Pennsylvania] home-built boats can be titled and registered only by its builder. I'm told that the same is true in Ohio and a couple of other states.
  5. Progress report re Roller Trough for CS20.3 trailer. Pressure treated 5/4th x 6 dried, trimmed, and dry-fitted. Bottom trimmed to 1" x 5.25" x 12' and sides to 15/16" x 5.5". Fasteners are 1/4" x 2" hot dipped lag bolts on 8" centers. There will be 13 rollers on 11.75" centers. The roller, bolt, locking nut, and 1/16" washers weigh the very close to 2 lbs each. Total all-up weight: ~ 70 lbs The hardware is 5/8" x 8" SS machine bolts. The rollers are Smith 5" heavy duty rubber with 5/8" plastic sleeve bearings. This is the 1 x 6 board cut to the design profile of the keel. Next I'll lift Chessie off her trailer, clamp this template to the keel batten, and then scribe the "as-built" keel profile onto the template. That will then be the pattern for locating the 13 5/8" holes for the roller shafts. I'll disassemble the trough and clamp both sides together [ so their hole locations will be identical] -- and setup my drill press. Still need to decide if epoxy or epoxy w/FG should be applied -- and on what surfaces? Suggestions?
  6. Thanks, guys -- for good advice. There's no hurry, especially while getting ready to sell Chessie. At the MessAbout I'll try to sail a number of small sailers. You all have just given me an idea. My daughter, Suzie, has the Penobscot 14 (a plywood lapstrake w/a lug rig, designed by Arch Davis) that I built about 10 years ago. It also has 2 pairs of beautiful oars that I made out of Sitka spruce. It sits on an aluminum Trailerx . I know she doesn't use it much. It's a little heavy, but she sails really nice. I'm sure she'd let me have it back. I'd have to build another tiller for it -- the designed tiller doesn't tilt up. So when you come about, you have to practically "walk around" the end of the tiller in order to move to windward. You guys got me thinking an all 'nother way.
  7. Thanks, guys. Good information, lots to think about. Plenty of time. Might try some small boats at the next MessAbout.
  8. That's a very nice photo of your boat. Beautiful! Any craftsman should be proud such an achievement. The bottom paint forms a nice waterline. Maybe you don't need a boot? If you ever paint one on, IMO keep the color low key. I really like the combination that you now have.
  9. That's great, Steve! Looks like ## 3 & 4 will be sailing together at the Mid-Atlantic. Maybe we could talk Jay into bringing #2 to Saint Michaels? And Dough's #1. It would be a regular fleet of CS20.3s. And a repeat for the Messabout. Both times I'll be showing off Chessie to raise interest of possible buyers. Hope you can get some good photos.
  10. Anticipating that next year I will be "downsizing" from "Chessie," [CS20.3 #4] to a sailing Spindrift 10 -- I'm remembering some very "wet" experiences sailing my 11' 1" dinghy back in 1963. Its mast was stepped forward (cat rig) and I was at the dock dousing the sail. With my weight forward, the little boat was so unstable that she went right over! An embarrassing moment. Question for Spindrift sailors: With the zippered luff and sailing solo, how do you douse the sail in a hurry?
  11. Stareed -- It's been a while. Hope you're ok? I'll soon start my own Spindrift build myself and have reviewed your build for guidance. Have you restarted your build?
  12. A 100 lb Spindrift 10 and a pair of oars has got to be a lot less hassle [for old guy] than a cruising twenty foot sailboat and trailer with combined weight exceeding 2,200 lbs. I'm looking forward to it -- remembering the easy fun I had sailing "Outcast," the 11' 1" sailing dinghy that I made (from plans found in Popular Boating) in 1963. I had the sail made by Ted Hood. Had to sell her twice because of work transfers. Twice, because when we moved back to Massachusetts I found a sailing dinghy in the Classifieds -- and it was my Outcast! The second sale was when we moved to Virginia in 1977 to start my law practice. I like to think that 42 years later -- she's still sailing on Quanapowit Lake, Wakefield, Massachusetts.
  13. Thanks Steve, for the kind words. You're right -- not an easy decision. But for some time I've been concerned about some near misses that should've been avoided. Better to cool it now than risk an accident and injury or worse. My extended family is "more than happy" with the downsizing plan. I'll still be doing some solo sailing -- but in cool weather and not-so-distant venues. I'm still planning to sail alongside Skeena at the MASCF in October and maybe at the Messabout. I'll probably get a lot more sailing with the 10' Spindrift that I'll build this off season. Let your friends know that a fully equipped very good sailboat is available. A good offer from a quality buyer would be accepted even ahead of schedule.
  14. FOLLOWING UP on my posting on Monday, July 29. After trailering Chessie home Saturday night, I continued [my] physical recovery from near exhaustion thru Tuesday -- and on Wednesday I backed Chessie into her space in our garage. In the process I noticed that the mizzen mast was not secured in her forward crutch -- and neither was either mast secured in the aft crutch (the one stepped in replacement of the mizzen mast). The only thing holding the mainmast in place was its hinge and a line from the rudder cover up to the mast. If the pickup and trailer had hit a big bump (e.g., uneven bridge surface, RR crossing, etc) -- it could have bounced the mizzen mast entirely off its transport crutches and onto the highway. With likely disastereous consecqunces! LESSON TO REMEMBER: Dehydration and exhaustion also affect brain function! And although you may realize you're in a diminished mental state, it's too late -- awareness and extra concentration won't bring your brain up to standard. The only real answer is to AVOID getting into that state OR avoid entirely working with potentially dangerous systems until fully recovered. So, considering my age [86] and the demands of solo sailing and transporting a 20' sailboat --- Annie and I have decided that my years of solo sailoring are near an end. We plan a downsizing by selling Tattoo, Catnip, and the Tacoma tow vehicle (separately or all together) with a target date anytime from summer of '20 to the B & B Messabout in October 2020. In the meantime, I'll still be sailing in cool weather, occasionally demonstrating Chessie for interested buyers, and building the 10' Spindrift. Her tentative name: "Betsy Ross." In order to promote her sale, I'm presently in the process of drafting a "Chessie" Owner's Manual. Here is a tentative Table of Contents: Boat Sails Electrical Systems Outboard Motor Dodger Deployment Safety Systems Dinghy and its Transport Trailer and Transport Gear It will include procedures, specifications, and photographs -- and be made available to all in ".pdf" format -- along with links to Chessie's Build on this forum and to B & B's web page. Here are just a few of the photos that could be included: Family outing, Mattawoman Creek across the Potomac from Leesylvania State Park. Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival. Chessie's slip at Higgins Marina, Saint Michaels, Maryland. Catnip, nested and ready for stowage. Perhaps in a large closet. Catnip and owner/builder just before her maiden voyage, 7/27/2019. Owner/builder Pete McCrary with wife, Anna, and Chessie a month or so after her completion in 2017. Chessie & trailer with her tow vehicle. With her anchor & roller removed and the tongue folded back -- Chessie can be entirely inside the 22' garage with its door closed. It's a tight fit, but there's still enough room to move all around her. Masts need not be removed. However, in the off season the masts are usually removed and stowed in the garage attic. I do not have a good photo of Chessie under sail. If anyone who attended a recent Messabout has such a photo -- I'd appreciate receiving a copy. I have an [under sail] photo, but it shows Chessie back-lighted by the sun and is out of focus. Looking for a photo taken with the sun behind the photographer.
  15. Last weekend Chessie (with Catnip in-tow) attended the 78th Annual Regatta hosted by the Corsica River Yacht Club. All are invited from all over the country and the races are organized by class. Lots of Pinquins, Comets, Lazers, and several classes of Catamarans. Also Catboats -- which is the class Chessie sails with. They let me in because her front half looks like a "catboat,". But they don't know how to assign a "handicap" number. So, I was hoping simply to come in FIRST by getting there first. But it was not to be. It was too hot and humid (~ 94, feel like 100 degrees). Although I was drinking lots of water and avoiding alcohol , by race time I was beginning to feel weak and light-headed. So Chessie and I didn't start any races. I decided to head for the ramp (and then home) after an on-the-water trial on the reboarding ladder. I anchored in midriff-deep water and waded ashore -- looking to recruit someone to take a video of me using the ladder. I did -- but it turned out poorly. So, I'm limited to simply describing the experience. Keeping my feet off the bottom, I easily managed to release the ladder from the transom. The lower tread "floated" (might add weights). However, by holding onto the transom with my right hand, I could lower the tread enough to place my left foot [on it] while keeping my right foot off-of-the-bottom. Then, with both hands on the transom and left foot on the lower tread -- I could pull with my arms and push up with my left leg -- to a standing position [on the lower tread]. Then I could steady myself by holding onto the tiller (right hand) and the coaming (left hand). Next, raise right leg up and place foot on the top tread. The next step was quite difficult (for this 86 yr solo sailor): extend right leg while raising left leg up-and-over the transom -- keeping hold of the tiller (and the coaming after left leg on aft deck). From there (keeping body CG low), the other leg brought over the transom and onto the aft cockpit seat or sole (can't remember which -- probably the sole to keep weight low). A younger person would have a much easier time of it. My opinion is that the ladder is much more effective than many SS folding ladders. Mainly because the SS ladders have treads much narrower and right above each other. The lower tread [on Chessie's ladder] is ~ 4" X 10" wide and extends aft of the upper tread, which has a width of about 6" X 8". And Chessie's ladder has a low profile and is easily deployed from the water. One of these days I'll have a competent partner who can document the boarding procedure in a video well-edited. Patience. CAUTIOUS NOTE:. The cruise ended (very poorly) after only one overnight (planned 2 0r 3). I returned to the ramp by about 3pm (a 10 nm trip, 2.4 hrs by OBM). Clear sky, little wind, lots of hot sun. I was very tired -- near exhaustion. The dock master allowed me to tie Chessie to an out-of-the-way slip while I resisted in the shade and tried to increase my intake of water. After about a 40 minute rest, I started the recovery process. It went well until cranking her onto the greased trough. It was a hard crank [for me] and when finally on the trailer -- I was exhausted and light-headed. I had to rest on the edge of the ramp for a good 5 minutes before moving the tow-rig up the ramp and under some shade. Then the routine process of making the rig road-ready had to be interrupted with frequent rests (in the air conditioned pickup). I dreaded the task of recovering Catnip and loading her halfs into Chessie's cockpit. I was spared that ordeal by a Good Samaritan father and his two teenage sons. Finally, all was road-ready -- but almost 8 pm! I got underway, but within 15 miles (110 mile trip) I was having leg and hand cramps. Stopped and retreated into a 7/11 air conditioned store and bought some cool water. Walked around a bit and noticed that I had failed to stow two throw cushions (which were on top of the sliding hatch!). A wounder they hadn't blowed off. Stopped 20 minutes later for dinner -- felt much better 40 minutes later. Didn't get home until 11:30 -- traffic was not congested, but very fast. We thanked God for safe arrival. Had leg cramps that night (up and stretching at least 5 times). Next day very weak and wobbly. Didn't feel right until Monday. I keep telling myself: Don't sail on the Chesapeake in hot weather! Just stay at home if the forecast is above 90 degrees. If I don't follow my own rule -- one day I could just keel over on the Tarmac or forget something much more important than two throw cushions.
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