Neena at Clingstone

Neena at Clingstone

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The First Week

After owning three wooden sailboats over a forty year span, I've bought a fiberglass sailboat. I love wood but time is growing short and I wanted to experience a shoal draft presto sharpie. I thought I could build a boat and I could but I had a thirty five foot sloop and couldn't sell her and even if I did, I would need upwards of twenty thousand dollars to build. Two things happened this fall to change the landscape. While searching Craigslist, I found a presto sharpie in N.J. for little money. We ended up buying her with a trailer and 98 Yanmar diesel among other things. This made us try and sell Miracle, our 1961 Eldridge McInnis mast head sloop with new found urgency and lo and behold we found a buyer who fell in love. So, in the space of a few weeks, I've gone from a wooden boat guy to a plastic boat guy. Pretty easy actually. So much of what I do has always been about aesthetics, especially boats. Bronze and wood are about perfect in every way, stainless and plastic, not so much. So here I am with a plastic boat, crazy! But this isn't just any boat, this is a Sandpiper 32 designed by Walt Scott and built in Clearwater Florida in 1978. Walt, like me had been enamoured with Commodore Munro's writings about his pioneering days in south Florida and his designing boats for shoal waters. So Mr. Scott scaled down Muro's famous Presto and built a dozen or so at Marine Innovators, a company he started. He also built a 25 footer called Beachcomber. I had no idea these boats even existed. I knew of many wooden builds of Egrets and similar craft. I bought plans from Reuel Parker for his Exuma 27 and was familiar with his great interpretations of Monroe's work. A dream come true for me, now I have a true presto boat, for the price of a day sailer. Of course, you don't get something for nothing, she needs lots of work.
  This blog will be about the re-fit and the experience of the new boat. We had a de-naming ceremony on Sunday. No new name yet but lots of ideas. We've got all winter to come up with the name.

In the backyard
Skinny


9 comments:

  1. Good luck with the refit. If you hear of any other Sandpiper 32's up for sale, please let me know at .... mc1959er@gmail.com
    Thanks.

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    1. Sorry to not answer sooner. There was one for sale in North Carolina last fall, asking 8500.

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  2. Came across your blog and wanted to cheer you on. Really good to see my father's old Egret, as she was called at one time, being brought back to life. Many in my family have many many memories of sailing on her around the Fla. Keyes. Good luck. Sam.

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    1. Sam, thanks for the reply. We're enjoying "Neena" as we've renamed her. Shoko was wonderful to deal with and was sweet, hoping we would enjoy her as much as she and your father had. I'll post some pictures on this blog. Thanks, Bro

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  3. testing to see if this actually is sent.
    Of so, will share some experiences

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  4. Britton Chance Sr advised me to discard the flagpole stock masts and install Soling rigs, which you photos suggest he did. Said the boat would be faster and less top-heavy. Might have been right but we have preferred the convenience of roller reefing on the masts (only 2 sets of sails in 35 years) and the ease of getting under weigh and buttoning up on return, while our friends struggle with sail tracks, bags, covers, etc. 600 lbs of lead pigs along the sole stiffened her enough and we don't race.
    We installed a bowsprit for a blade jib, rigged from Phil Bolger's description but the swiveling tag at mast top prevented the luff from being stiff enough so we gave up after a few seasons, and bobbed the jibstay back to a suitable site for the anchor.Airforce Sails (formerly Johnson Sails) made a main staysail to Scott's design which we use in light airs, which greatly improves speed.
    Attempts to hoist a pig stick were also wastes of time.
    My only complaint about the boat is the annoyance of the row of screws needing removal to get the deck plate to come up for access to the engine.
    We were the first to specify the Edson wheel steering which works very well and allows my lady skipper to sit on the wheel box and see over the cabin house while her crew does the rest. We also recommended they move the head to the bow and used the port side space for a locker. The hinged roof made from the forward end of the deck house allows space to stand in the head area and a hinged block lets it draw air through the cabin while under weigh.
    If you decide to install the flagpole masts, the 1" Fafner bearing does a good job but at the partners you should annually renew the polyethlene sleeve that separate the mast from the partners and grease it thoroughly to keep it from binding. And we suggest having a local metalworker create a removable bearing aloft under the rotating tang instead of the several plastic discs they dropped over the pole...the grease doesn't last ling and when stiff makes furling can difficult.

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    1. Sorry to not get back sooner to you're interesting comments. We got Neena in the water last August and had a lot of fun getting to know her. The Soling rigs are demanding in that sail shape has to be attended to, depending on the conditions, to get the most out of them. But that aside, we love how easy she is to handle after our 35 ft.,14,000 lb. woodwn sloop we had for 32 years! I've rebuilt the interior and need to recondition the boards as they don't go down all the way. Tell me how you sail ,her to windward, Main sheeted in more than Fore? I'll have to update my blog with some photos. Thanks, Bro Dunn

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  5. How is it going?

    We've sailed a Sandpiper 32 for ten years or so. After the first year, we replaced the greased partners with Teflon sheet & have had no complaints.

    My boat:
    http://s200.photobucket.com/user/mf70/library/Boat

    Abuhasad's:
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/user/Abuhasad/library/Sandpiper%2032%20Sharpie%20Schooner

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    1. Great to hear from another owner. Where do you keep you're boat?

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