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

Pete McCrary

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Well spoken, Don.  As a freshman physics major, I bought “cheap,” a used K & E rule that looked just like your Versalog — from a graduating senior named “Iverson.”  The name sticks because over the next 30 years of use I would see his name that he had written on the lovely leather case with white paint.


At AVCO Everett Research Laboratory, where I worked until 1977, we gave our customers, as good-will “favors,” a pocket Sama & Etani circular rule shown below:



A useful and handy reference easily carried in a shirt pocket.  Besides an instruction booklet with reference tables, the rule itself had an insert that was inscribed with convenient conversion tables for Length, Area, Volume, Mass, Energy, Pressure, Velocity, Flow Rate, Gas Constant Values, and other Constants & Data.  Also decimal equivalents of n/64 (for n=1 to 64).


And on the back of the rule was a temperature conversion chart and a detailed Periodic Table of the Elements.


Now all those things are available on any “smart” cell phone.  Oh!  How things change.  In Reading, Massachusetts (1977), only kids further than 2 miles from school were bussed.  Now (Manassas, VA) nearly all kids are bussed even though no child lives further than 2 miles from their school.


And, Child Protective Services will investigate any parent that allows their 13 year old to run an errand (unsupervised) away from home.  Hard to believe!  Oh well, I guess some consider that’s progress ???

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Mine is bigger

As a research chemist, my dad always had a pocket slide rule in his shirt pocket (complete with pen and pencil all in a pocket protector.)  But, on his desk he had a 2-foot+ slide rule. I inherited it in junior high school when we were introduced to it, and used it in subsequent science classes.  It’s somewhere in my house... and I don’t have a photo (to prove its existence.)
     My mom (Norma T) often told stories about going out to eat with the guys from the lab... the bill would arrive and the slide rules would come out to figure up each person’s portion. ?
     I suggested that my daughter show it to her chemistry teacher in high school and it created significant excitement in the science department that day. All the teachers were called in... they broke out the six foot classroom slide rule and spent time telling their classes about all the virtues of the math tool.  ?

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Received this from Textron Systems Retirees Association.  Thought some of our forum members might enjoy it.


“Do You Remember? Did You Have One? Do You Still Have One?


“‘A TSRA Member recently sent us this humorous paragraph on the ancient computing device called a Slide Rule.

“BREAKING NEWS: Mathematics Teacher Arrested at JFK... A school teacher was arrested today at JFK International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, an ancient wooden device called a “slide-rule” as well as a code device called an “abacus” that he claimed was a calculator. At a morning press conference, the new Attorney General selectee said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. “Al-Gebra is a problem for us,” the Attorney General said. “Al- Gebra has terrorized many young people for years. They derive solutions by means and extremes and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values” “They use secret code names like ‘X’ and ‘Y’ and refer to themselves as ‘unknowns,’ but we’ve determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.”

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Remember my “tube” fix to keep the mast in its step?  Well, I abandoned that concept — and went with a “stop-collar.”  Here it is:


Fabricated from two pieces of marine ply (3/4” & 1/2”), each having a band-saw cut into it (from the side) and then a circle cut [out of it] the same diameter as in the step and partner.  The pieces then glued together (outside cuts not in alignment).  Then a hole was drilled and tapped for a 3/8” thumb tap-screw.


I first considered simply tapping a hole into the partner (for the tap-screw) — but I was concerned that it might weaken the 3/4” partner just at its point of greatest stress.  So, I went with the stop-collar concept.  This is how it works:


Collar just after stepping the mast.



Collar lifted snugg up against partner with thumbscrew tightened against mast.



Under-side of partner and set just thumb tight.



The stop-collar is shaped to slightly straddle the mast step and fit nicely between bulkhead #1 and anchor for the mast rigging lines.



Finished stop-collar in it’s non-sailing or transport position.  In the photo the oar handles are in their stowed positions held snug against their chocks.

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Very clever, Pete.  I think this would give a lot of security to the mast staying in place in an unfortunate situation. 

I’m currently installing a step in the forward thwart of my CS15 (without a mast tube) I thought about the issue a bit since the mizzen mast could be placed there as a means to help manage a high wind, and would the downhaul be enough to keep things tied together?  Your idea could easily be included. My current thought is to add a hitch pin through the mast somewhere beneath the thwart and the mast could still turn.  Your approach of adding a collar (maybe without the flat spot since there isn’t a bulkhead) would make things work more smoothly than just a pin, I think. 

Hmmm.... ?.  Maybe a hitch pin THROUGH a fiberglass collar...  I just made a thin three inch one yesterday to serve as inserts to the thwart and step holes (after I cut it in two.)  I could easily make another thicker one as a collar. 


Or, maybe a nut embedded in a fiberglass collar to take a set screw.  I’m writing this as my ideas keep morphing around... ??.  

Another edit/thought: tightening a set screw would be easier than finding holes in which to insert a hitch pin. One of these thoughts might become my actual approach. Thanks. 

Plus, The Wheezer just glued in the mast step on her Spindrift 10 build. Again, we could add your innovation (if she wants to.)

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Note that the Spindrift mast does not rotate and is kept in line by a key that’s on the heel of the mast shat slips into a “keyed” receptacle at the bottom of the step.  However, if a Spindrift mast would be designed to rotate, the stop-collar could easily rotate [with it] —  and its outside profile would only need to be cut to a circular shape.  Because bulkhead #1 is just 1/2” forward of the mast (at its heel), the outside radius of the collar would have to be limited to < 1/2” greater than the mast radius.

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Here are some of Seabiscuit’s features.



A bow line chock cut from a scrap of 3/4” marine ply.



Once I arrived at the launch ramp only to discover I didn’t bring a painter.  Now it’s always present — don’t need to remember to bring it [along].


Aft cockpit showing oars held in stowed position snug up against their chocks.



Here one of the docking lines is used for a left-hand purchase for hiking.  Note that the [same] line can also be used for foot-purchase [in hiking].



Forward cockpit looking aft.  The paddle doubles as a boat hook.  It can be extended to almost 9’.  The red stick along side the oar is a folding “X” crutch that is deployed to keep the boom above head-level while rowing.



Plug for CB housing while not sailing.


CB plug deployed.  When rowing the skipper will sit on the cushion and won’t be bothered by the lumpy seat top.



View forward.



Throw cushion, scoop bailer in which the small anchor is stowed.  Also waterproof sandals in case the skipper is dumped into shallow water.


In another posting Seabiscuit will be shown in her final “livery.”



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And I thought Garry built an expedition Spindrift.


I have never built a plug for my trunk.  But then a nesting version has an angled aft slot. I did once tow it fast enough for water to come up, but she was planing at the time.  So I stuffed a rag in.  Does water really come up the trunk on a conventional perpendicular trunk when rowing?


It may not matter much with a Spindrift, but having your winch line come up over the bow means it will be pulling down harder as you get your boat up on the trailer. I have a similar situation with my Lapwing as I didn't want a bow eye or a hole in the stem.  I have to get behind my boat after I retrieve it and push it on the last few inches. I have learned to live with that as I still don't want a bow eye or hole.

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Dave — The photos of the bow chock and painter may be a bit misleading. The winch line doesn’t come over the bow — it goes thru the hole in which a bow-eye would be installed.  The aft side of the hole is reinforced with a yellow pine doubler.  The 3/8” winch & tow line is made fast (on the boat side) with an eight-knot — and the bitter end is reeved thru a hole cut in the breast hook just aft of the bow-line chock.



For towing, the line going out forward thru the chock is used to hold the bow down tightly against the trailer’s bow roller.  The other end (going out thru the stem) ends with a bowline loop for the winch hook.



Here you see the line going over the bow, down under the wooden stabilizing block, up thru a hole in the block, and belayed to a cleat.  To make a snug and tight hookup, the winch is made slack — then the stop knot is pulled tight up against the underside of the breasthook, and while pushing down on the bow, the down haul line is pulled tight and belayed to the cleat.  At that point the slack is taken up on the winch line — which pulls the stop knot down and close up against the aft side of the stem.  Now the winch is tightened to proper tension — and the bow is held tight against the bow roller from two directions at right angles to each other.



The combination of the stopknot and bowline loop knot (on opposite sides of the stem) assure that the 3/8” line is always with the boat.  It’s bitter end (up thru the hole in the breasthook) serves as a short painter.  But more useful, it’s a terminus for a much longer painter needed at launch to keep the boat from getting away from the dock after launching off the trailer.

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For Dave,...  Not any water coming up when rowing without much wave action.  But on a test run using the motor, there was a lot of water splashing up thru the CB trunk.  Made a wet mess of the rowing thwart.  Same would probably happen if towed as a tender.


For Don, ... The Spindrift 10 doesn’t have a down haul — but the boom vang or reefing line (if reefed) would hold the mast in its step, so also would the halyard while sailing.  But if her sail is furled (or lowered & stowed) and boat is being rowed, towed, motored, anchored, moored, knocked down, turtled, or even docked — her mast could be jostled enough to bounce it an inch and a half out of its step.  Even an unseen pot-hole at the ramp — or on the water in calm conditions, a rouge wake could wreck havoc.  So, the turning of a thumb screw “finger tight” is a small chore to eliminate even a slight worry.



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The building of Seabiscuit is now complete.  Here she is in her best red, white, green and gray livery:







The mast, boom, sail, and rigging lines are in the red Sunbrella cover.


Seabiscuit has registered to enter the Triton 3 (mile) race on May 22 at the Big Little Boat Festival being hosted by Chesapeake Light Craft.




There are three other races:  A 1 mile for beginners, an 8 mile, and a 20 mile.  We will do our best and report on our performance.  Wish us luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  1. ATTENTION Spindrift BUILDERS . .
  2. There are four mast locations that are critical for proper sail bending and sail adjustments (when) sailing.  These you have control of during construction — and a fifth dimension (the distance between the tac and head cringles on the sail’s luff) that the sailmaker establishes from the sail plan.  The four are:
  3. The two stopper bushings, the gooseneck, and the halyard pulley at the masthead.  If the sum of the distances between them (on the assembled mast) is too short, then the skipper will not be able to properly tension the sail’s luff.
  4. on Seabiscuit that sum was enough so that only a slight tension could be set when the sail was raised to its maximum.  In order to have the control I wanted, I needed the halyard pulley to be higher (but not by much.). So I fabricated an extension plug that raised the masthead pulley by 1.5”.  Here’s are a couple of photos.




This pulley arrangement is an alternative to a cheek block at the head of the smallest mast section — which would  prevent “nesting” of that section into the middle section of the mast assembly.  See builder’s post of October 14, 2020, on page 2 of this build.

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Because I didn’t think of it !!!  I just looked it over and tried a hand-held dry fit.  With the scooped blades — their forward (concave) sides fit real nice against the seat sides.  Probably a better arrangement.  Not on the floor of either cockpit and some foot purchase for hiking.  Without some latching or “snap-in” mechanism — not as secure (from floating away in a tip-over) as my present arrangement.  I’ll probably do it and have it both ways.  But not until I’m in the mood to again messabout the boat.  Right now — I just want to sail her.  Thank you Don.

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Following Don’s lead, I’ve relocated oar stowage from the bottom of the boat to the long corner formed by the sides of the longitudinal flotation (seat sides) and the boat’s bottom.  A much more useful location — and it’s almost totally out-of-the-way of otherwise useful space.

It was a fairly easy modification.  I was able to use the same hold-down brackets used for the original oar stowage location.  From this photo you can see the starboard side bracket is too long.


The new length was determined by removing the bracket, placing the “bu#iness” end on the oar (in its new location) and then rubbing the (other) end over the head of the (axis) carriage bolt head — and with a piece of carbon paper [inserted], the rubbing left an arc on the underside of the bracket.  The arc was measured to be 27/64” from the center of the original hole.  Keeping the same profile, the business end was trimmed by that amount.



With the shortened bracket installed, the oar is held snugly against the cockpit bottom and side corner.


Port side . .


The forward end fits nicely into the corner aft of Blkh #1 (below photo). To prevent the oar’s handle from chafing the boat’s interior, I’ll fabricate a small chock for the handle.  The blade end may not need a chock because its forward side is nearly flat fitting against the slightly concave cockpit #ide..  We’ll see.



Thank you Don.

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