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Spindrift 10, #1329 -- "Seabiscuit" . .

Pete McCrary

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Greetings fellow builders, ...


Last Saturday I sold my Penobscot 14 ("Anna") and "Chessie's" tender ("Catnip') to my nephew.  I already miss them, but at least they are still in the family.  Next will be "Chessie" herself (Core Sound 20 Mk 3 [#4]).  I'm still cruising her and she's available for demo sails and inspections by interested buyers.  If not sold by October, I plan to bring her to the B & B MessAbout.  Maybe a buyer from the south could take delivery at the messabout.  We'll see.  I'll be placing ad's this week.


As soon as "Chessie" is sold, my plan is to order a kit for a Spindrift 10 and have her ready for the 2021 sailing season.  Being only about 100 pounds, it should be much easier to launch, row or sail, and recover.  This will be my 11th boat-building project.


My other boats:

   1 -- 1963, "Outcast,” an 11 ft 1 in sailing dinghy from plans by Popular Boating.

   2 -- 1971, "Sandi," a Sailfish from a kit by Alcort.

   3 -- 1972, a DN Iceboat (sail # 2141) from plans.

   4 -- 2003, a 15 ft cedar-strip canoe (a Bob's Special) plans from Canoecraft by Ted Moores.

   5 -- 2005, "Anna," a Penobscot 14 sailboat from plans by designer Arch Davis.

   6 -- 2008, "Copycat," a 7 ft 7 in Nutshell Pram by J. White, kit from WoodenBoat Magazine.

   7 -- 2009, "Tattoo," a 14 ft 10 in PocketShip sailboat, a kit by Chesapeake Light Craft.

   8 -- 2011, "Pluto," an 8 ft "nesting" sailing dinghy, a kit by Chesapeake Light Craft.

   9 -- 2017, "Chessie," a Core Sound 20 Mk3, a kit by B & B Yacht Designs.

10 -- 2019, "Catnip," a 7 ft "nesting" dinghy, a Two Paw 7 kit by B & B Yacht Designs.

11 -- 2020, "Seabiscuit," a Spindrift 10. #1329 . . .


Name suggestions for the Spindrift 10 would be welcome.  For the selected name -- a nice SURPRISE !!


At this point I'm searching the internet for a light-weight trailer.  Recommendations from other Spindrift 10 builders and owners would be appreciated.

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Brad, thanks for the suggestions.  I like “Jetsam.”  Presently, you are in line for the SURPRISE !!


There’s a story about that sailfish.  In 1959 a colleague built one and had great fun with it — and I just couldn’t wait to build one myself.  But marriage, new job, and four children just kept getting in the way.  Then in ‘68 living in Massachusetts with water nearby came my time to build one.  But Alcort had switched to fiberglass and was no longer selling plywood kits.  I called all around the Bay Area trying to find a kit.  Finally, I found one at a lumber yard south of Boston.  The owner said he had kept a kit in his loft for years and I could have if for his cost (he guessed about $200).  Of course we made a deal.  The kit had everything needed — even the bronze fittings, spars, sail, lines, fastenings, and even glue.  I had to replace the glue which had gone bad.  I still have some of the leftover bronze boat nails.  Now my grandson has the boat — which his three kids (my great grandchildren) will soon be old enough to enjoy.

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Chessie, my Core Sound 20 Mk 3, #4 has been sold!  Pleased to say, to an owner who will take good care of her.


Upon consummation and delivery of Chessie, I promptly ordered the kit for a sailing with reefing, non-nesting Spindrift 10.  Plans have arrived and kit should arrive within a week or so.  We've decided on the name "Seabiscuit."  BradW had suggested "Jetsam," which I liked -- but Seabiscuit won out.  Sorry BradW.


We also ordered a CE Smith Multi-Sport Trailer which came as a kit -- delivered to my grandson, Nathan.  He has assembled it and will deliver it carrying the Sailfish that I built back in 1971, which needs a bit of restoration.  The Sailfish and Seabiscuit will share use of the trailer.  Paid $1,320 (shipping included) for trailer kit.




Trailer kit parts . .IMG-8762.thumb.jpg.67900339c0eab4ea67c2b9ecf70a7249.jpg

Great grandson Luke . .


Trailer just about finished . .

Nearly finished . .

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My wife, Annie, liked that!


Seabiscuit’s boom was cut from a leftover piece of 2 x 8 Douglas fir — trimmed to dimension, sanded, marked for the rigging hardware, and edges rounded over.


Waiting for the kit’s arrival —  I’ll next cut the parts requiring 3/4” stock.  I like yellow pine that builders use for stair case “risers.”  They come in long lengths up to 16 footers.  All of it straight grained and nearly all clear — the few knots are tight and small.  It has to be [clear] because wooden residential stairs are never painted — they’re finished natural with varnish, like ladders.  If you ask sales people [at builders supply] for yellow pine, they’re likely to say “Don’t have any.”  Then ask for stair riser stock — and check it out.

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Great name. We have a Wanderer dinghy (Ian Proctor design) that we called Seabiscuit.

When we build our SN11 (hopefully later this year) it will be named 'Jean-Noel' for a close friend who was a great inspiration to us. I think he would have approved.

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The big tractor trailer arrived at my driveway about 5pm, the driver's last stop.  He remembered delivering the Two Paw 7 three years ago.   He was very helpful and volunteered to haul it into my garage (in the backyard) on a hand-powered fork lift.  At the dip in the driveway we needed my two-wheeled hand truck to get beyond the dip.

I'll organize everything tomorrow.  Hope to see some of you all  (with Seabiscuit) at the MASCF.


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The shop is mostly clean and ready for building Seabiscuit.  The shipping crate has been emptied and disassembled.  All kit parts are “present or accounted for” sir.  Here are photos, the first showing panels requiring “finger” joinery.


At left are the transom and foredeck parts, then dagger board, with rudder at far right.


Temporary bulkhead and the cradle ends.


View of Seabiscuit’s garage building space with shop in background.



Next will be stowing all parts to be easily retrieved as building progresses.  Then glueing up all finger joints.

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Today did the finger joints for one side of the bottom (## 3 & 4).



The trailer didn’t have a drop-down wheel on the tongue, so I’ll be attaching the 6” caster wheel shown on the panel.  There are grease nipples for the roller bearings for both the vertical and horizontal axix.  Here’s a close-up:



Tomorrow will do the fingers for the other side of the bottom.

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Yes, it is, Don.  But I didn’t want it in my way when stepping over the tongue.  If this doesn’t work out, I’ll have to go that route.  Here’s the installed caster using 8” carriage bolts:




Making progress.  All CNC cut parts have been “dressed” — removing burrs and connecting bridges and bumps left after the CNC process.  And all finger joints have now been glued up and are ready for the butterfly puzzle joints.


I plan to do the “puzzle” glueing job on the level wooden floor of my garage with plastic sheets under and over the glued-up puzzle and all that covered with a flat 3/4” ply and lots of weight.  After an overnight cure (and trimming [squeeze-out]) of the joint (both sides), I’ll recover the fresh joint with plastic and glue-up the 2nd butterfly right over the first one — assuring identicality.  Next, after an overnight cure, I’ll move the top butterfly enough to expose the joint [on the bottom butterfly] AND epoxy the 3” FG tape (on the exposed side) of each.  And, after another overnight cure flip both — and epoxy the 3” FG to the other sides.

I figure it will take 4 mornings followed by 4 overnights.  COMMENTS and SUGGESTIONS please.  Is there a way to shorten the procedure?





Presently, the transom is dry-fitted and all’s ready for gluing.  But it’s after 10am and the shop is already 86 degrees and reaching for the mid-90s.  I’ll probably just do the horizontal pieces today — leaving the verticals for tomorrow.  An EDIT update: now, after lunch, temp only 87 — so I did the WHOLE glue up!  Saved almost a whole day.  I’m probably on-target to launch Seabiscuit at the MASCF.





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The transom cured overnight and all glueing surfaces appear to be properly aligned.  It’s now ready to serve its role in the “butterfly” transformation into a 3-D boat.



The construction cradle forms have been attached to an extra pair of sawhorses.  Note that the legs were trimmed so that the interior of the boat is at a convenient height for filleting, etc.  After the puzzle joints have been glued up, each horse and cradle form will be “trued-up” fore & aft and the legs screwed to the floor.



I was originally going to glue up the puzzle joints on the floor.  However, thinking of my knees and the effort of multiple “getting-up-off-the-floors” — I just had to figure another way.  So I’m trying a “dry setup” shown here:


The forward ends are supported by a pair of store-bought sawhorses (providing a firm surface width of two 2 x 6s) covered by a leftover 8’ panel of 3/4” ply.  Another [transverse] 8’ panel at the aft end is supported by a pair of [height-adjustable] table saw extensions.  It should work out OK.  Should any forum member see possible problems — please let me know what to lookout for.  I probably won’t start the process for a day or so.



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Everything was ready — so I just did the puzzle joint for starboard side panels.


That’s about 40 lbs on about 20 sq.in.



Tomorrow, after dressing the cured epoxy, I’ll do the the port-side pair right over this pair.  Then two more days applying the FG tape.

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FELLOW BUILDERS: A little help please.


Photo below shows my problem: How to hold a 3/4” FHMS in place while screwing on a lock nut in order to secure the lower gudgeons to the cheek that is only 1/2” thick —within a space only 3/4” wide.  I know I managed to do it for “Chessie,” but that was several years ago — and I can’t recall the procedure.  I doubt that finger pressure will do it.


I have (shown) a ratchet driver, but it is 1” wide.  I could use a hex drive with a “Phillips” bit, but the shortest bit I have is also 1”.  I’ve considered cutting (or grinding) the 1” bit down to 3/4”, but got nowhere after about 5 minutes with a hacksaw.


I’d appreciate knowing how others solved this “small” problem.

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There is not enough room between the cheeks for a tool. I can apply enough enough friction with my fingers pressing on the machine screw head to tighten the nut. Sometimes I have had to use the flat blade of a screw driver pressing against the head for a bit more friction. Of course you cannot use a nylock nut. When I assemble the rudder for the last time after painting, I make sure that I get some caulk into the thread.

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