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1979 Sandpiper 32 “Presto” for Sale

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1979 Sandpiper 32 “Presto” for Sale

By Original Owner



Firm Fixed Price - $7,000

Located in St. Petersburg FL



BEAM - 8'



ENGINE - OUTBOARD - 4 Stroke, 6 HP

DISPLACEMENT - 7400 lbs.

BALLAST - 2500 lbs.





Google Album of Photos - http://goo.gl/c2EHv


Boat features include:

· 6 HP four stroke Nissan still under warranty

· PortaPotty

· Cushions for all berths

· 10 watt Solar Panel, voltage regulator, two 32 Amp-Hr gel cell batteries.

· Garelick 71091 outboard motor mount with very robust installation.  Will support a much larger motor

· Cockpit converts to double berth for sleeping outside on pleasant nights

· Forward berth converts from two singles to a very large double.

· 8’ Bimini top with storage cover

· Coleman two-burner propane stove

· PopTop over galley area


I bought the Sandpiper 32 in 1979 with an unfinished interior.  The cabin was done with heartwood from local old growth long leaf pine (Pinus palustris) , local red bay (Persea borbonia), commercial western red cedar and commercial redwood.  The anchor roller was turned from rock hard pasture live oak. 

The sails are original.  The sailcloth is still fine but the sail covers and stitching need some TLC.

The boat is very easy to singlehand with everything except  anchor handling done from the cockpit.

The boat is in very good shape though showing some signs of age and the effects of the Florida sun as is her owner. 


Also available are:


· Two Axle Trailer with contour bunks for the Sandpiper and four new ($238 ea.!) tires.  I have pulled the boat behind a standard pickup truck (Ford F150) on fairly level roads but it really requires something like a Ford F250 for hills, highways or significant distances.  - $1,000

· Junk rig foresail - $800

· Mooring (two 35 lb. folding fishermen anchors, a 35 lb. CQR plow, 80 feet of 3/16” hot dipped galvanized chain, 18’ of 3/8” hot dipped galvanized chain, seven lead plates weighing 38 lb. each, assorted swivels and shackles and a mooring ball.  - Free for the effort of raising it.)


Below is from Walt Scott’s original write-up on the Sandpiper (with a little editing).  My Presto has the enlarged cockpit, transom mount outboard  and unraked masts.


SANDPIPER has evolved from over 45 years of designing and sailing shoal draft boats. In addition I have spent many hours over the writings of Chapelle, L. Frances Herreshoff, Beebe, Colvin and other devotees of the sharpie. Finally, Munroe's. "THE COMMODORE'S STORY", and Gilpin's, "THE GOOD LITTLE SHIP", convinced me that what I needed for my own cruising boat here in the shoal waters of the west coast of Florida was a scaled down version of the Commodore's PRESTO.


PRESTO was the first of a long line of round-bilged sharpies designed by Commodore Munroe for use in general transportation and salvage operations in the shallows of the Florida Keys from the 1880's into the twentieth century. They were derived from the original flat bottomed sharpies used for oyster tonging off New Haven in Long Island Sound. The long narrow flat bottom work boat existed in various forms along the entire Atlantic coast and around into the Gulf. They were easy to move with oars before the gasoline engine existed; their rigs used simple unstayed pole masts; they could carry a heavy load with little draft; they could be beached without damage; and they were inexpensive to build.


A SANDPIPER hull is very similar in lines to PRESTO except that it displaces 7400 lbs. on a 28.3 ft. waterline instead of 17,000 lbs. on a 35.5 ft. waterline for PRESTO. This makes for an easier boat to move around on land and take home for winter storage. PRESTO carried 4 ½ tons of inside ballast. SANDPIPER carries 1800 lbs. of ballast sealed in 200 lbs. of polyester bonding filler in a molded fiberglass grounding shoe which is integral to the hull and fiberglassed over inside the hull. The remaining 500 lbs. of ballast is carried inside for trimming. The low ballast center of gravity combined with the light weight rig and the low cabin profile result in a positive righting moment even in a 90 degree knockdown.


PRESTO carried a large heavy centerboard which took up a lot of space in the cabin. SANDPIPER instead has two bilgeboards which swing into trunks which are integrally molded into the hull under the berths. The trunk covers are above the waterline, so by unbolting the covers, the boards can be removed through the midship hatch while the boat is in the water. The use of bilgeboards not only eliminates the internal space problem but it reduces the vulnerability of the slot to damage or jamming from grounding.


Sharpies, being long and narrow, favor a divided rig to get sufficient sail area along with a low center of effort and a low rig center of gravity. PRESTO was rigged as a gaff ketch and required some staying, mainly due to the use of a jib. The SANDPIPER rig is a cat schooner rig with unstayed masts of aluminum. The sails are of the sleeve type, permanently fixed to the masts, and reefed and furled by rolling the sails on the mast. This is far less complicated than other mast furling schemes but obviously can only be used on unstayed masts. The masts are stepped in thrust bearings bolted to the keel and cast epoxy low-friction bearings at the deck, with a furling line leading from a drum on the mast to the cockpit. The clew outhauls also lead to the cockpit so the furling line and clew outhaul can be worked in unison. The booms are wishbooms similar to the WINDSURFER. They bear on the masts via a pair of roller wheels similar to a boom claw on a roller furling boom. The boom is held in vertical position by a strut to the deck at the forward end, by a topping lift at the clew leading to a swiveling tang at the mast head. This rig will provide excellent sail shape with no need for tracks, travelers, battens, reef points, and boom vangs.


One of the disadvantages of the sharpie has always been lack of headroom. With the relatively narrow and shallow hull it is necessary to keep the cabin weight low to maintain good stability. With the help of the arced bottom I have been able to attain a minimum of 5 ft. head­room in SANDPIPER.  For additional headroom at anchor, a tight fitting pop-top spans the main cabin area, providing 6 ft. of headroom or even more if required. A seal around the sides can be fabricated of vinyl coated cloth with snaps and Velcro bug proofing.




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