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Princess Sharpie builders


Greg Luckett
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Okay gang. I need to catch up on who is, or has built, or plans to build, a Princess Sharpie. Either the PS22 or the PS26, as they are very similar boats. That PS28 is different enough to be a different boat?

 

My wife has given me the green light to build my PS26, leaving it up to me to find the money and get it done, so I am in the planning and budgeting stage. I have plan set #10. I learned a lot by building the Spindrift 12, and several other boats since I bought the plans, and feel confident enough to get it going.

 

How many of us are there, where are we all, what stage are we in, etc.

Thanks  :)

Greg

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Beatifull boat your Pilgrim!
I ordered the P26 plans 3 Years ago. it would be the perfect boat for our Waddensea here in northern Germany.
Unfortunately my job does not allow me to do some boatbuilding.
I hope the economy will rise a little bit in future and i can spend more time and money for that nice boat...

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Hi Greg,

 

As you know, I built a Princess 22. Bought the plans in 2001, studied and studied and things aligned allowing me to start building in May of 2006. I launched in September 2008. Except for this past summer, I have spent the second weekend of every summer month on my Princess. For my location, and for my purposes, the 22 is as near perfect as I could ask. It's a good size boat. I could sail by myself. But I have not been able to set up and launch by myself. It looks like you have a good handle on the magnitude of this project. 

 

I did not keep track of my expenses. I guestimated material costs that I had purchased online and not paid taxes on, when it was time to register her with the State. I didn't have any problems with that method, but I can see how keeping better track has value.  

 

I lucked into a 2004 Honda 8hp 4 stroke. More engine than needed, but the ability to charge batteries as a standard feature. I was looking at the 6hp which can handle a generator but it's an add on. It was a 2 year old floor display at 40% off. It was in my basement when the build started. My motor well is a custom fit. It's nice to have, but mostly we sail.

 

I used the birdsmouth construction method to make my masts. My thinking was, wooden boat, wooden masts. But I saved a bunch of money too. And it kept me busy during the winter months when outside epoxy use was done.

 

I also sewed my own sails. Kept me busy the second winter. About $700.00 in materials for both sails.

 

My lead keel was probably the most difficult part of the project. I had access to a couple automotive garage scrap buckets. A brother in law and two good friends. I used an outdoor propane burner. Cleaned the material in several small melts, then when I knew I had enough, I made my mold. My melting pot was not large enough to do it all at once, so I did it in three pours. Then used a torch to weld the seams shut. I put wooden dowels in the mold where I wanted the bolt holes, made it easy to drill through. Made the mold upside down so the smooth side mated to the boat sweetly.

 

I hope you find this helpful. Any specific questions will be gladly answered to the best of my ability. Have fun.

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Thank you, Norman, for the excellent report and the offer of helping me with questions later. 

May I ask, what are the things keeping you from launching and setting up? I ask because I really need to solo as much as I can, and one of the main reasons I choose the Princess Sharpie design is the ability to "easily" raise and lower the mast for going under bridges. That is also why I like not having to deal with shrouds and stays. 

 

That reminds me of another question. I like the birdsmouth wooden mast and spars idea, bought two router bits about 10 years ago, then a friend of mine who builds boats for a living told me that he tried the birdsmouth mast design and was very disappointed because the mast bent too much and was not rigid. I never tried it then, but am wondering where the truth of things are about this method.

 

I like the idea of making my own sails too but have always shied away from doing so. Did you use a special sewing machine, as the cost of those and materials for a one time project was more than just buying the sails. We do own a nice sewing machine that might do the trick, but it is a normal sized space wise, rated to sew canvas and heavier materials. What worries me about it is the room between the needle and the back.

 

I hope things are progressing well with your current "projects" or endeavors. :)

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It is in fact the stepping of the masts. I can't hold it in the tabernacle and fasten it. There is probably a solution for one, I use my Mate.

 

I used the specs Graham supplied for my masts. I think there is supposed to be some bend, part of the joy of free standing masts.

 

Years ago I salvaged an old machine from a local Army National Guard armory. A little TLC and I soon had a machine that punched

 

through anything I needed. You learn tricks for handling material feeding.

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It is in fact the stepping of the masts. I can't hold it in the tabernacle and fasten it. There is probably a solution for one, I use my Mate.

 

I used the specs Graham supplied for my masts. I think there is supposed to be some bend, part of the joy of free standing masts.

 

Years ago I salvaged an old machine from a local Army National Guard armory. A little TLC and I soon had a machine that punched

 

through anything I needed. You learn tricks for handling material feeding.

That is exactly the same problem I had while stepping the mast on my Catalina and also on the Laguna. I did learn to raise using a block on the bow and line and using that to hold the mast while inserting the bolt into the tabernacle.

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Either of the masts  should be easy enough to step using a line from the block on the fore part of the mast used to tension the sprit. A line to the bow or deck in front of it to hold it in place. The difficult part might be getting it started up from horizontal up to about 45 degrees. I was thinking you could raise the mizzen first and use the sheet for it to raise the main mast most of the way up. Reverse it coming down.

 

On masts and such, I have built a birdsmouth wooden mast for my Spindrift. It was not that hard. It can be built to not bend that much (not be floppy), but as Graham pointed out to me once, wood is not consistent, thus it is hard to engineer a wood mast. Two of us can try to make it the same way, but since the wood we would use would not be the same, we could easily get different outcomes. Metal masts, however are predictable. So my plan is to make mine from all aluminum stock.

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Howard, 

I decided I did not like the aluminum mast that I was using on my Spindrift and will make a wood mast for her. I also plan to convert her to a Cat configuration and a keel stepped mast instead of the sloop rig on her currently. This will get rid of the stays and shrouds too and make for a better mast. How much does your Spindrift mast weigh and what did you make it from?

Thanks.

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I actually have two masts. The wooden one was made from Doug Fir and is one piece. 12 sided birdsmouth. It was something I designed and built.

 

The other is made from aluminum to the plans. Remarkably, both weigh almost the same amount, which from memory I seem to recall was around 17 pounds. I could be wrong about that one.

 

I have two sail rigs for this Spindrift. The stock sail and another I had built, which is a standing lug rig. The main claim to the latter is I can hoist or douse the sail while on the water without having to step or unstep the mast. For that rig, I only use the two lower sections of the aluminum mast. Of the two, I'm thinking the stock rig would win most of the races, but in cruising mode, the lug performs well enough.

 

Come to think of it,  I also have a third rig.......a leg of mutton sail made from plastic tarp material. It also works OK, although not as well as the other two. It can be used with either mast. It can be raised and doused while on the water, but this sail cannot be reefed. When the wind gets up, you better be paying attention and have your hand on the sheet. The stock and lug both have one reef point to help calm things down when the wind is up.

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HI Guys,

 

I sewed the sails for my boat using a regular sewing machine that I picked up used and a Sailrite kit.   I didn't trust myself with designing the sail myself since shape is so critical.  If I was a production sailmaker, there's no way I would tolerate the regular jams and snags that I encountered, but we got the job done.   For about the first 1/2 of the project I tried very hard not to put any little white creases in the nice dacron sailcloth, carefully rolling and clothespinning sail material to pass through the gap between the needle and the body of the machine.  A cardboard tube, like from a carpet roll, would have been helpful to control all that cloth.  Eventually, I gave up on trying to make it pristine.  Less stress, more fun.   

 

Bob

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Hey Greg. I built and sailed Princess Sharpie #1. i raised the masts by myself. I don't recall having a problem holding them up. One difference was that I inserted the bottom bolt from the side, rather than having to install a nut onto a bolt sticking out through the front. (Is that the way it is designed? ... like the core sound?) The bolt slid through from the side is much less awkward.

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If you're into pain, make your own sails. I've made real sails once and learned this lesson. Sail makers earn every dime they charge.

I sent an email to B&B several days ago asking what a sail suite for the PS26 would cost and have not heard back from them yet. I would prefer purchasing them too.

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Greg, i think every sailmaker could make a pair of p26 sails if you give him Grahams plan and the dimensions of the sails.
Show him some photos of the arrangement of the "boom" and the snotter and he will know what to do...
It is more an oldtimer sail than a modern "hightech laminate thing" that every skilled sailmaker could make for you ...
regards
Sönke
 

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Greg, i think every sailmaker could make a pair of p26 sails if you give him Grahams plan and the dimensions of the sails.

Show him some photos of the arrangement of the "boom" and the snotter and he will know what to do...

It is more an oldtimer sail than a modern "hightech laminate thing" that every skilled sailmaker could make for you ...

regards

Sönke

 

There is just the one sheet in the plan set for the sail plan. Is that all a sail maker needs?

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