Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

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opie
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Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by opie » Tue May 19, 2009 5:37 am

Hi Pete and others in the area. I saw your posting about a Memorial Day trip. Sounds great, but we will be out of town.

BTW, did we meet at the Wynn Plaza dinghy dock last week? I had the MacX and met someone briefly with a Venture as we were both docked there. Sorry we did not have time to talk more.

I have been in touch with Erik, Larry, Scott and Roger, other Mac owners, about setting up a place to exchange sailing invitations and possible gumbo dinners at Dockside or elsewhere. If this forum works for that purpose, great!

Erik, how went your surgery? Larry, did you get your lower unit fixed yet? Scott, did you make it to Bald Head Island or points south last week? Roger, did the water main leak get fixed? (ha... Roger's water problems were not on his boat, but at his son's house.) Roger's boat and mine were dockmates for a couple of days at Wynn Plaza.

The admiral and I had the best sailing of the season last Friday and Saturday in Masonboro Sound area. That included morning walks on M.Island, with my passion of building beach-trash sculptures fullfilled each day. The wind was constant 12-15 from the east and south. Super.

Here are the Marin (Jack's) and L'efant Du Vent (Roger's)
Image

Let's get together. How about the name above in the title for our new sailing club. The MOMAW......... just sorta kidding... there has to be a better acronym... Any more Mac owners in the area? Let's get together soon.

Opie (Jack in real life)

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C Striker
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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by C Striker » Wed May 20, 2009 9:08 am

Yes I'm healing up well from carpal tunnel surgery, thanks for asking Jack. The stitches stay in for 1 more week. Hopefully I'll have some strength back by then.
Seems the rain finally stopped here !!! I HOPE to put in this Saturday and sail on Sunday. I think the punkin needs to be back Sunday night. She is sitting on the fence about my hand though. Time will tell.

Pete, Where do you put in on the river?

Erik

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by Pete » Wed May 20, 2009 5:40 pm

I put the boat in on the ramp on the NE cape fear in Castle Hayne on 117 as it is just a few miles from my house. I put the V22 in there 2 weeks ago for the first time and had a nice sail up river. The ramp is between 117 and I40 so you have to leave the mast down untill you clear one of the bridges depending on which way you go. I have been thinking about putting in there Friday and cruising down river, Thru Snows cut and up the ICW to Masonboro. However there are at least 4 sets of power lines that I may be able to get under with the mast up (but maybe not), and the river side of Snow's cut can be a challenge especially at low tide. One way or another I will be out to Masonboro Saturday.

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by C Striker » Fri May 22, 2009 5:51 am

Thanks Pete. I'm always looking for more ramps. I believe that's the 1 about 10 minutes north of GE.

Admiral and I will be dipping very early Sunday at Wrightsville and spending two full days on the water. Younz guys have my e-mail. I am happy to give my cell number if anyone is interested. This forum works for me too.

I've been looking at the charts for Masonboro Island, If anyone has some insights as to navigating or good spots to beach...anything useful would be appreciated. The tides are perfect for an overnight beaching with high tide in the morning. Beaching, or near beaching is very important for our boxer. She just needs a morning and an evening pitstop. Nothing can compare to local knowledge. I have my zoomed charts printed and waiting for ink, soon as I get out there and learn.

Erik

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by teethlaw » Fri May 22, 2009 7:00 am

Hello local crew,
I'd also be interested in any Masonboro spots people might have to suggest. Beaching would be fun for our first overnight stay. We may try to head out Saturday or Sunday. Erik, if you can email your phone no. we'll try to contact you if we make it out.
We did put in at Carolina Beach a few weekends ago and enjoyed a short trip. Motor issues (darn ethanol) kept us to just an afternoon event rather than the two days we had planned.

Scott

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by C Striker » Sat May 23, 2009 4:46 am

opie wrote:That included morning walks on M.Island, with my passion of building beach-trash sculptures fullfilled each day.
Is that the trick? Make a beach sculpture for others to appreciate. I swear we hardly grab any shells anymore since we end up with a ton of trash. You can find some crazy stuff too.
teethlaw wrote:Beaching would be fun for our first overnight stay.
Beaching is awesome for me. I sleep so much better and don't dream of waking up in China!! Seriously though I can tell you from experience, check out what you plan to sit your baby's bottom on. Little coves just scream beach here, but they are screaming to the oyster shells. Next time I beach it will be on an open beach like Jacks picture from post "Beaching as an artform"

Striker

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by Chilly Willy » Sat May 23, 2009 10:20 am

Have any of you sailed out of Southport? Just recently read your posts and would like to take a look at your boats one day. The wife and I are looking at purchasing a 26m this fall. Would like to get on board one and get the ins and outs of it. Particulary interested in how much problem there is trailering, rigging and derigging with a roller furler jib.

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by opie » Sat May 23, 2009 8:27 pm

Comments below picture. (Click for larger image.)
Image
Masonboro Sound and Masonboro Island- (with regard to Macgregor Sailboats)
1 - Recommend not going to this area on a summer Saturday or Sunday afternoon and especially not Memorial Day or Fourth of July weekends. It is a madhouse, by any description. On busy weekends, you can almost walk across the sound on the decks of boats in there, plus jet skis going by plus boaters dropping anchors on yours.
2 - Great place on Monday thru Thursday if not a holiday.
3 - (A)(refers to photo) this is the green buoy before entering Masonboro Inlet. To get into the sound without getting into shallow water that can be seen in the picture to the west of (A), head toward but not past the green buoy and then follow the red path to (B) which is normally 6 feet even at low tide. It is a bit scary because 20 feet away there will be seagulls sitting on the sand spit that appears at low tide, but the dropoff is quick and the best water is here if you pay attention to your depthfinder. Definitely avoid (Q) or you will find yourself walking.
4 - (P) looks like a nice area and many boats will be in this harbor, but stay out of there with your sailboat. It is very, very shallow. Use your kayak or tender only. For similar reasons,stay away from(C).
5 - The wind may determine which anchorage you choose. I tend to prefer a lee shore, which sounds dangerous, but the wind turns my boat into the wind. And the shores that show sand do not have oyster shells. Oyster shells abound in the grassy shore areas and they will cut your bare feet or scratch your boat bottom in a flash.
6 - Before I mention places I have anchored, I must say that I stay away from all boats when anchoring. I have plenty of bad experiences when I anchored and then another (power) boat anchored nearby. Big problems. The reason for this is the high freeboard and swinging characteristics of the Macgregor. When the tides change and the wind blows the Mac wants to move. The smaller power boats throw out a tiny anchor and just sit there like they are in concrete. Unreal. Whereas, my Mac goes back and forth. And even if I string the two anchors tight, when leaving, I have to release one of the anchors first, and that is a problem if another boat is nearby. My standard procedure is therefore, go to the sound early in the morning to anchor and walk on the beach, say, before 8am, and leave the beach before noon. I then either leave the sound or else anchor out in the sound away from the shores and have lunch and sit and watch the scenery.
7 - The white sand of (D)(M)(F)(H)(K)are all nice and (H) is where I beach my boat. But, I have only done it twice since I prefer now, having proven I can do it, to anchor very close to shore, stern first, and just step off the stern ladder into 2 feet of water and not even get my shorts wet. I keep the tide in mind and adjust the two anchors to keep the boat exactly where I want it. (More on anchoring specifics later.)
8 - (E) is the "COVE" and very tempting. Many boats go in there. There is shallow water at the mouth, but the north side of the mouth has enough depth for our Macs. Water depth in the cove is 4 to 5 feet. By yourself, with NO WIND, it is a very nice place to go. But with other boats and some heavier wind and you will not enjoy getting out. Once I was blown into the grass for quite a ways and had to push the boat out by hand over oyster shells in 2 feet of water. Another time I got surrounded by power boats on all sides and had to get 4 guys to push me around and in and out until I had a clear shot out. I avoid this nice cove altogether now.
9 - (G) is the path out of the sound back to the ICW. You MUST study the charts and Google Earth carefully to get thru this channel. There are shoals in a couple of places. Go slow and watch what others do, if you think they know what they are doing. I can do it now, after grounding only once in the past near the ICW end of the channel.
10 - My favorite anchorage is (F). Again, it is best when I am there alone or only with two or three other boats. (Or if we all are Macs someday, we should all swing the same way and have a good time without too much trouble.) (F) is very narrow, you can see the shoals on either side.
11 - To anchor at (F) or any of the other white sandy beaches shown here, what I do is this: (caveat - I accept no responsibility for damage or injury. Boating and anchoring have inherent risks.) I pull up and tie off one rudder. I loosen the other rudder and tie it loosely. I raise the engine some but still have strong "pee" from the indicator. (Some of the prop wash will churn up the water in the rear.) I slowly go until about 60 feet from the beach and study how the tide and wind are affecting the boat. (If this is not obvious to a new captain, then just sit there in idle and watch what happens to your boat.) I throw out the bow anchor and then, either by drift or motor, I get the stern near the beach and in a frantic display of crazy action I simultaneously throw the stern anchor to the beach or at least into very shallow water and lift the remaining rudder and kill the engine (after putting it in neutral) and raise the engine and go into shore, step off the stern ladder, take the stern anchor and bury into wet sand up the beach (never dry sand) and then adjust the anchors for the position you want. If staying with the boat, adjust the anchors as the tide changes or wind changes. If leaving the boat to go to the ocean side of the island, I put the stern anchor in deeper water in a way so that the boat can not touch shore before I return. I may have to get wet to go get this anchor later. You MUST know the tide tables or else you risk having your boat stuck on the beach, unless you want that to happen...... You can see how much easier this will be if you are on a lee shore meaning that the wind is driving you to the beach. Then you do not need the engine or rudder and you can raise them both out of the water and with the bow anchor holding, just drift near the beach and step off and secure the stern anchor. This is by far the easiest method. (about 80 feet of bow anchor and 30 feet of stern anchor.)
12 - I have the "local" knowledge now, after being in the sound area shown many times, to go in to any anchorage at any tide, high or low. I like going in at low tide, because there is much less current and I know the boat will be floating when I return. Going in at high tide means you will have to stay with the boat and adjust, or do other things and worry a bit about what happens when the tide goes out.
13 - With sufficient wind, you can sail the Mac in this sound around high tide if you know where the shoals are.
14 - (L) Shoal area, exposed at low tide. Other shoals are visible in the Google Earth image of the sound.
15 - Finally, (N) is 7 miles !!! of pristine beach, with no access by car, only boat. Meaning, most of the time, after walking 1/2 mile, you are almost the only one there. Great shelling. Great sea treasures (read: sea junk) after a storm or if you are the first one there in the morning. Dogs are FREE to roam with you on the beach year-round!!! But, if they do not behave and stay with you, there is danger they will go into the dune system and disturb wild nesting shore birds. Don't let them do that. And try to stay of the dunes as well, except the paths that are well used to get to the ocean from the sound. Be responsible and keep Masonboro Island as clean or cleaner than when you got there.

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by opie » Sun May 24, 2009 5:48 am

A couple of more things about Masonboro Sound:
- There are oyster shells scattered around in the water, wear thick sole'd water shoes or sneakers when in the water, especially if you jump off the boat into the water.
- There are many sea urchins in the water. Wear shoes to avoid an ugly encounter with your feet and the urchin spines.
- The current is swift during middle tides. If in open water, tie a 100' line behind your boat for a swimmer safety line. If at shore, don't go too far into the current. I have seen dogs barely able to make it back to shore after a tennis ball was thrown too far out into the water for them to retrieve.

(The Cove - 2007)
Image

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by C Striker » Tue May 26, 2009 9:37 am

Wow, thanks for the great info Jack. I knew I shoulda checked my e-mail at 4 am sunday ! the scratches sustained about 4-6 weeks ago were from the cove E. And i have the scar on my foot to remind me of my shoes.

We basicially spent the weekend in banks channel. Anchored for a few hours sunday morning by an X. If you are reading, hoped you didnt miss the show of my mast raising anchored ! We were about to motor out to sea around 12 - 1 sunday, but the sky out there didnt look favorable. So we anchored across from the coast guard station on a lee shore. 2 anchors at low tide in 2 ft of water on a sandy beach for the sarge, my dog actually pooped in the water and i didn't have the opportunity to bag it, good Pepper!
So it was about 2-3 pm when we noticed that yes there were about 1k boats in sight. masonboro looked like a parking lot i was in total shock. so we just kicked back and enjoyed the show.
I woke at 3 am swearing we somehow ran aground, even though i set the bow anchor. We didn't budge, it was just perfectly calm. i couldnt believe it was like ice, and was total chaos just hours earlier.
the next morning around 8-9 we attempted the channel out again. the waves were chaos and we ended up turning back and sailing in banks channel. we could hardly maintain a knot headed north, i need to actually learn to sail. i swear my main stops a few inches short of where it needs to, going up the mast.
the Admiral did awesome at the healm! she even put us back into the ramp on her first attempt. she's got the full reverse move under her belt for sure. We had a great time and the boat did great. most importantly, i didn't rip out my stitches. sorry about the lack of proper caps in this post.

Erik

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by Pete » Tue May 26, 2009 5:51 pm

i was camped between K and H on Opie's map friday and saturday night. i did not see any macs all weekend. I did however pass a Tall ship on the river. By this time all my cameras were either wet or dead. Somebody told me there was one in town. not sure what it was thou.

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by Pete » Tue May 26, 2009 6:12 pm

By the way, when's the next big cruse. I was thinking 4th of July.

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by opie » Wed May 27, 2009 5:58 am

I hope to hear from Roger here. Roger? He told me he wanted to go Cape Lookout for the 4th. Sounds good to me, maybe. Other than that, we plan to be at the Sound and sailing out of the inlet at Masonboro this weekend (May 30-31).
For your comments about heading out of the inlet and then turning around when you hit rough water..... don't feel bad. I do it alot and power boats turn around all the time, especially the ones with a passel of kiddies on board. When the wind and tidal current oppose each other, there can be high swells. Could be dangerous. But if you make it out of the inlet, the sea could be much calmer even though the inlet is terrible. Check your tide tables and the wind. Either go out at slack tide or go out/in when the wind and tidal flow are in harmony (the same direction) and return in similar circumstances.

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by opie » Wed May 27, 2009 6:12 am

Pete,
Sounds like your plans worked out pretty nice, sailing all the way down to Snow's Cut and back up to M.I. Last fall, the admiral let me have a solo venture and I went down the ICW from M.I. and thru Snow's Cut, and motored all the way to Wilmington. I spent the night up in that crooked loop on the Cape Fear river, the one 1/2 way to Navassa Bridge. And then I sailed back and forth the next morning on the Wilmington waterfront. I always wanted to do that since I had never seen a boat sailing past the restaurants. (I had to motor-sail north each time, all the way to CFCC and then sail back down to the Memorial Bridge again.) Then I had the wind at my back all the way south, sailing, on the CF to Snow's Cut. An absolutely great weekend!!! Maybe we can get more boats to go with you next time, Pete.

(For one stretch of sailing south on the C.F., maybe 1/2 way south, with a gentle wind 45 degrees off the stern, I tied down the helm and went to the bow pulpit and leaned way out for a while. Dangerous, maybe, since I was solo, but it was a memory for sure.) *on edit--- Tide was south and wind was only 2-3 kts. I was mostly drifting with the tide.......

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Re: Macgregors of Masonboro and Wilmington (NC) - (MOMAW)

Post by C Striker » Wed May 27, 2009 8:37 am

My wife and I are shooting for hopefully the weekend after the 4th. I'm more of a decide my weekend on Thursday type, since that's when I know if I'm off 3 days. I'll send out the group mail n post here. E-mail me if anyone else wants my cell number.
Tons of ideas and so glad my sailboat sits 10 ft from the garage! :macm:
Striker

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