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Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
P.O. Box 32 Kinsale, VA 22488
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VOL 20, NO. 4 (FALL-2010)                                                                                                                         23 October, 2010


18th Annual A-37 Fall Rendezvous A Great Success!

Saturday/Sunday, October 9-10, 2010 

Click Here For Rendezvous Photo Slideshow

The 18th Annual Alberg 37 Fall Rendezvous was held at the Assenmacher dock near Kinsale, VA on Saturday/Sunday, October 9-10, 2010.  The event really began a bit earlier with the arrival of MISCHIEF (Kip and Linda Newbould's 1970 MK-I Yawl) on Wednesday before the Rendezvous.  Of course, Tom and Kaye Assenmacher's 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER was already at her home berth at their dock.  Then HERON (Rob and Julie Lee's 1981 MK-II Yawl) arrived on Friday afternoon.  Also arriving (drive-ins) were Henk DeVries of Cobourg, ON (PAWBEE); Wayne and Sherrill Bower of Bowie, MD (TEELOK); Lou and Jean Wayne of Rochester, NY (PIKA); Mark and Debbie Crowe of Toronto, ON (SEA CYCLE - Currently on the hard in Panama); Ian Dunn and friend Jennifer of Milford, CT (VECTIS); and Catherine Bennett of Lancaster, VA (TWO TARS).  Others attending the Rendezvous were friends/neighbors/A-37 Wannabees: Della Noone of Toronto; Sandy Romer of Welland, ON; Becky and Jerry Knop of Reisterstown, MD; Don and Judy Polifka of Kinsale, VA; Hubert and Pam Sears of Jacksonville, FL; Geoff Cunliffe of Mississauga, ON (former owner of the 1979 MK-II Sloop THE EVERDEN); Carol and Richard Hackett of  Solomons, MD;  Ralph and Sally Sell of Richmond, VA anchored off the dock in their Pearson 35 SANDPIPER.

Those arriving on Friday enjoyed a pot luck dinner on Friday evening along with a lot of 'sea stories', renewed acquaintances and a good time was had by all!  Saturday dawned with perfect Rendezvous weather - sunny with crisp early fall temperatures.  Saturday's events included 'crab picking' where a bushel and a half steamed local Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs were consumed.  Later on Saturday, a hot dog and hamburger BBQ was held, along with Becky's (Knop) famous Crab Soup!

Sunday's weather was a repeat of Saturday's, with a 'Pot Luck' Breakfast enjoyed by all who were still here. Most folks left by late Sunday, although a few stayed over until Monday.  A great time was had by all!!

Our thanks to Good Old Boat  which provided 2 complimentary subscriptions to their fine magazine!


LEEWAY II Visits Kinsale

Wayne and Cindy Milroy of Whitby, Ontario, owners of the 1984 Yawl LEEWAY II, had intended to attend the Rendezvous 2 weeks ago in Kinsale, on their way 'south', but foul weather kept them in Atlantic Highlands, NY longer than expected.  Nonetheless, being the intrepid sailors that they are, they arrived in Kinsale on Tuesday, 19 October (2010).   They had arranged a 'crew swap' at our (the Assenmacher's) dock, and friends Derek and Susan Bernard of Cobourg, Ontario arrived by car on Wednesday, 20 October.  We introduced 'the crew' to some Chesapeake Bay living by treating them to home grown Bay oysters and steamed Blue Crabs on the dock, and various 'Seafood Treasures of the Bay' at the Driftwood Restaurant in nearby Coles Point, VA.  Cindy and Susan departed Kinsale by car on Friday morning, and Derek joined Wayne as crew on LEEWAY II. As the fall weather is rapidly approaching, LEEWAY II and crew departed early on Saturday morning, 23 October bound for 'points south'.  Wayne and Cindy plan to position LEEWAY II in Florida this winter, and are planning extensive cruising adventures in the upcoming years.  Fair Winds and Following Seas!!

Wayne Finishing the Crabs

Pre-Departure Photo
(Derek, Susan, Hosts Tom and Kaye, Cindy and Wayne)

LEEWAY II Ready for Departure


LEEWAY II Departing

(Ed. Note: To follow the adventures of LEEWAY II Click Here)



New Members

Welcome aboard to Bruce Hauer, of San Diego, CA, who is the owner of the 1972 MK-II Sloop KAI ROUX. 

Welcome aboard to John Yardley of Victoria, BC who owns the 1972 MK-II Sloop TAGLU.  His boat is one of the recently ‘discovered’ Alberg 37s, inasmuch as we have no record of this boat or its previous owners!  John recently wrote: “I am the 4th owner and purchased it from Wayne & Kerry Stevenson who have cruised and raced Taglu since 1979. I am just getting up to speed on the boat and starting my refit list. Oh boy, what an adventure!”

Welcome aboard to Christopher Likes who recently purchased the 1978 MK-II Yawl STORNOWAY.  Christopher recently wrote: “By this time you might be aware that I purchased Stornoway.  Please remove my wanted ad.  Thanks for the web site and all of the time you have devoted to it.  It is a tremendous resource.  Right now I am aboard in Hyannis, MA. It's been quite a trip, including avoiding being hit by (Hurricane Earl). I was sailing her back to Daytona Beach, but from here it looks like delivery skipper (know anyone?) or truck. Thanks for everything.  I’ll be back in touch after I get her settled in Daytona Beach.



B Richards of Pittsburg, PA is the owner of EUPHORIA, a 1982 MK-II Yawl.  EUPHORIA is berthed in Erie, PA - welcome aboard!


Maarten and Joan van Hasselt Eischen of Houston, TX recently purchased GOOD NEWS, the 1975 MK-II Yawl, previously owned by Ashley and Stephanie Walker of Kemah, TX.  Maarten and Joan are re-naming the boat to JOAN III.  She will be berthed at the Houston Yacht Club.  We recently received the following E-mail from Maarten and Joan: "..... The Alberg 37 website with a wealth of information has been a source of endless hours of research on the A37. Yesterday we (my wife Joan and I) have acquired “Good News” from Ashley and Stephanie Walker. A picture of me and the yacht during the survey is attached. We will re-name the yacht to “Joan III”. Joan I being my wife and Joan II the Bristol 40 we lost as a consequence of damage suffered in hurricane “Ike”. We will keep “Joan III” at the Houston Yacht Club at Galveston Bay’s city of Shoreacres SE of Houston TX.  The yacht is now 35 years old and will spend some time at the yard for refurbishment. The excellent survey done by Louis Stahlberg (lots of Scandinavian heritage in this story: the documentation was done by Martha Alandt) showed no un-surmountable structural issues though the aft deck around the mizzen is de-laminated and will be rebuilt. All chain plates will be renewed as we found two with a crack and serious pitting. We hope to be able to post the ‘before’ and ‘after’ on the website as the project progresses. The website has provided us with many ideas and good tips and we plan to return the favor.  Kind regards, Maarten J. van Hasselt and Joan Eischen..."


A-37 IOA Member Passes

We received word in early September of the passing of fellow member, Robert Benoit of Port Townsend, WA.  Robert was the owner of the 1980 MK-II Sloop MAYA.  Our condolences to Robert's family and friends.



Racing News

The 6th Annual Penbay (Penobscot Bay/Midcoast Maine) Race & Rendezvous was held July 17th, and Jon & Helen Kuhl's 1968 Alberg 37 MK-I Sloop (hull #33) "Kemo Sabe" took top honors in both races. 

This joint event with participants from three Midcoast Maine yacht clubs (Rockland, Rockport & Camden) features two races of approximately 7nm each.  The weather was Maine perfect, clear blue skies with 10-15kts out of the S & SE.  All three clubs participated with 17 boats competing.  As races go this one was much more simple than most.  The morning race over to Pulpit Harbor required a jibe or two to get around Robison Rocks and the afternoon race from Pulpit Harbor back was a start to wind and then an easy "gun'nls awash" broad reach back.

Kemo Sabe (with corrected time of course) won both races for us and for our club (Rockland Yacht Club).  Her average speed in the first race was approximately 6-6.5kts, and on the return a solid 7.0 to 7.7kts "hull down" all the way.  Joining the captain & first mate Jon & Helen Kuhl was crew Doris Smart & George Sayre.   Kemo Sabe has an original sized fully battened mainsail with Dutchman Reefing & a 155% Genoa.  The prop is a three bladed fixed 14" "Campbell Sailor Prop".  The return race fit this Alberg 37's design quite nicely, with 10-15kts wind on the beam, and proper sail trim we were able to keep the rudder amidships most of the time.

The wins were especially sweet as we were the envy of all the club members at that evening's cocktail/dinner awards ceremony hosted in beautiful Camden Harbor at the Camden Yacht Club.  This race like most has its share of "grudge"; there are scores to settle, and reputations to maintain.  The competing boats we faced for example were Sabre 34, Sabre 36, Sabre 38, Elan 43, J-35, J24, C&C 37 & prettiest boat of all the Hinckley B-40.  The latter has a PHRF similar to our Alberg, so beating her across the line was "sweet".

All in all it was a day to remember and will warm our hearts through many Maine Winters. Kemo Sabe means "trusty scout" according some sources.  What better way to honor a little boy's hero than with a couple of prominent wins with a big boy's toy. 

Jon & Helen Kuhl, Camden, Maine

(Check out the Web Site for the complete write-up and photos. )


News From Members

Brian and Kathy Marsh of Sarnia, Ontario, who for years have been cruising the Caribbean and beyond aboard their 1977 MK-II Sloop TUNDRA recently wrote: "We hope to spend Xmas with kids and grandkids, then off to Guatemala to Tundra. We're busily looking for a tentmaker sewing machine on EBAY. Give our warm regards to all. Kathy".


Al Peckenpaugh of Trumansburg, NY and the owner of GYPSY LADY, a 1967 MK-I Sloop is looking for a 13x14 LH prop (7/8" shaft) to replace a damaged prop on his Volvo MD-2B diesel.


Tom and Kaye Assenmacher, of Kinsale, VA (also newsletter editors etc.) finally got their 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER back in the water in mid-September, and after giving her a thorough cleaning both inside and out, repainting her bottom, installing a new transmission and prop, etc. etc. etc.,  were finally underway.

"Since we are having really nice beginning of Fall weather here on the Chesapeake Bay, we decided to take a week off, and do a 'shakedown cruise' for a week or so.  Today we are motoring (flat calm) up to the Patuxent River, from Kinsale (about 40 NM).  So far we are really impressed with the new transmission (Twin Disc) - smooth, and quieter and more vibration free than the old one.  We plan to spend a day or two on St. Leonard Creek, about 8 miles up the Patuxent River, and one of our favorite 'gunkholes' from our many years of living in the Solomons, MD.  We plan on spending a day or two in Solomons before heading toward home next week".
(Ed. Note: Readers of the Newsletter may remember that we had 5 transmission failures since we re-engined the boat in the early 2000's, the most recent failure occurring off-shore last spring on our return from our last
Bahamas cruise.)


David Sullins,  of Seabrook, TX, the owner of HARMONIOUS REPORT,  a 1987 MK-II Yawl, recently reported that he had a failed stern tube and cutless bearing assembly which needs replacing.  David sent a couple of photos, and the cutless bearing assembly showed major deterioration.   He's looking for a replacement cutless bearing assembly - we suggested he contact Hamilton Marine in Maine as they carry a good selection of marine hardware.  Anyone have other suggestions??

(Ed. Note:  Several years ago we replaced the shaft log on SHEARWATER (actually, we've done a couple of replacements - due to electrolysis - before we added zincs to the cutless bearing/shaft log assembly, which as solved the electrolysis problem).  For further discussion of shaft log replacement, check out the ALBERG 37 CUTLESS BEARING AND SHAFT-LOG REPLACEMENT DISCUSSION  in the "Project Database" section of the A-37 website.


We recently received the following from Ashley Walker who recently sold his 1975 MK-II Yawl GOOD NEWS: “With mixed feelings I write to let you know GOOD NEWS #144 has sold today to Maarten Van Hasselt who will keep her here on Galveston Bay in Texas.  Spending 13 years with her after buying her from David Huck in Ft. Myers, FL in 1997 gave me many memories as well as lessons on sailing, maintaining and enjoying her many fine attributes.  I understand Maarten has big plans to bring her up to date and will be contacting you soon to join the A37 group.  He’s familiar with the website and I’ve encouraged him to make use of the wealth of knowledge there.  I expect you’ll hear from him soon.  I’ve moved to an Alerion 28 which I’m enjoying singlehanding as well as doing a little racing.   Please remove the ad listing GOOD NEWS for sale on the website when you can.  I’ve enjoyed the friendship and appreciate your good work on keeping our group together. Stay well, D. Ashley Walker”.


Gord Martin who owns the  1975 MK-II Sloop MAGGY FIELDS IV posed the following question in a recent E-mail:
“Have you heard of Telo #28 winches? There is nothing on Google. They are large, 4" drum dia., 2 speed, self tailing, but I have never been able to get them to self tail. There are shims between the gripper plates and I'm experimenting with different thicknesses to try to make them work. At a replacement cost of over $2000 ea, I am highly motivated to get these things to work. The internal works appear to be very high quality. If anyone had any info it would be much appreciated  Best regards, Gord Martin SV Maggy Fields IV”
Ed. Note: If anyone has any info regarding the maintenance of these winches, please contact Gord at:  (remove ‘nospam’ before sending the email).

Shawn Sprinkel reports that he recently sold the 1971 MK-II Sloop EMMA ROSE.

We recently received the following from Reid Tomlin who owns the 1967 MK-I Sloop GENESIS: “I have owned Genesis (1967 hull #23) since 1995. Over time, we completed a fairly extensive refit which is now 10 years old (Awlgrip deck & topsides / complete re-wire & plumbing / new electronics, including Raymarine chart, radar, & under deck auto pilot / engine rebuild with Westerbeke 44B / rope halyards that lead to cockpit / replaced ports / new sails & canvas / & many, many other smaller items).  The work was completed over 5-7 years, and most was done professionally.

Genesis  has served us extremely well over the years, but with two kids to raise, our family trips have been limited primarily to Long Island Sound, except for a fun jaunt to Newport and Martha's Vineyard in 2008. In early 2009, I took a job in Naples, FL, which afforded opportunities to sail beyond our "safe harbor" of LIS.  This last summer, we (3 old high school friends) left Larchmont, NY and embarked down the East River. We saluted NYC with a wave and then headed "outside" via the NJ  and DE coastlines to Norfolk, VA.  We then went "inside" until we ran out of time; she now sits in Little River, SC.  Conditions were not ideal for sailing, with very limited wind on our venture from Sandy Hook to Norfolk.  As the crew thinned out, relatively heavy "on the nose" SW winds forced us to traverse the tried and true  ICW from Norfolk onward  -- thank goodness for the trusty "iron genny".   Had problems with several "soft landings" in ICW past Beaufort, NC, but no major trouble.  Always get the Boat US unlimited tow package; worth every penny when you need a friendly tug!

Looking ahead, we plan on sailing her to Charleston, SC in the spring (my parents live there). From there,  we will likely venture down the coast in the Fall as more favorable wind directions set in, perhaps down to Augustine, FL. If life keeps us in FL, then perhaps around the peninsula to Naples in 2011, although SW Florida is not kind to sailboats with drafts over four feet (Gulf fine, but harbor destinations are limited). 

 That's a quick update. I've attached a few pictures. Overall, very pleased with the performance of the boat.  We got caught in a brief but intense squall in one of the inland sounds in NC, but she didn't flinch at wind speeds at 40+ knots, although we didn't have to deal with the kind of waves that would likely accompany those types of winds offshore.

 Long term, given the extremely difficult economic times, it is increasingly harder to justify the expense and limited use of the boat with college tuitions on the horizon, the need for retirement planning and tepid job security. We are trying to hold on to her with white knuckles! We've owned her for over 15 years (our two daughters are 12 & 6), so she is definitely part of the family.

 Thanks for maintaining the website and preserving the vital cohesiveness over so many years. It is so important for an older class such as ours to maintain a central base of contact”.  Reid Tomlin

Recently heard from Ken Vaughn who owns the 1974 MK-II Yawl IMAGINE: “We have been following your travails on SHEARWATER and it sounds like all the work has paid off and that you all are once again "mission capable" as we say in the military. We are undergoing something of a refit ourselves. We have come to the conclusion that it is in fact a multi-million dollar refit, done at 4 to 6 hundred dollars at a time. We figure we may not live long enough to complete it, and if we do, we will be too poor to sail. How many folks do you know in the poor house who own yachts.     Wait a minute, don't answer that! Anyway, all our electrics will be new by the end of the day, and our newly reconditioned sails and covers will be done soon. We have a new dodger and bimini, and are installing a new oven and propane system. Ugh! It will be nice once we are done. IF we are ever done”.  Ken Vaughn, S/V Imagine Savannah


The following is from an email received from Ken and Anita Tillotson who is cruising aboard their 1975 MK-II Yawl  JOINT VENTURE in Venezuela:

Subject: Bonaire to Margarita -

"We 're in Los Roques sitting in the town square with a free connection in an otherwise remote locale. We left Bonaire at 0630 on July 31...headed for Los Aves Sotovento. The wind was rather light and variable when we first left to the extent that I thought we wouldn't  make it in time before dark. As the crow flies the total distance to Sotovento was 42 miles. After 3 hours we'd only made 8 miles. Ahead of us we're low-lying thunderheads with flashes of lightning. The wind began to freshen from the SE.  Anita expressed some concern and continually urged me to lay off in an effort to avoid rain and lightning but not necessarily in that order.  I found that by trying to stay about 3 miles from the lightning, we had very good wind and made good progress. We had some squalls and some hard driving rain... I was a little chilled after just 15 minutes of this...wearing nothing but my shorts at the helm. Fortunately we had a double reefed main.  In the first squall I had about 2 thirds of the genoa out and we we're charging along at 7 knots.  Anita had Ebonera in her arms...but neither we're impressed.  The wind died a little and I had the whole genoa out and that's' where the 2nd squall with pelting rain hit. Anita and Ebonera we're huddled under the dodger, as I took the brunt at the helm.  15 minutes later the squalls we're over but we kept a SE wind of 14 to 16 knots. We made it to our anchorage, in the lee of Round island at sunset.

    There is a Coast guard station, Guardacosta that requires visiting yachts to check in. It was late so we waited until the next day.  Rather than try to communicate over the VHF we decided to dinghy the 2 miles to the station.  We had to cross some 'open water' with a 5 mile fetch from the surrounding reef. And so we began to encounter some steep 1 meter waves.  I had to slow down at Anita's' urging. The 10 minute ride became 20.. but we made it OK.  We were greeted at the beach by a 20-ish young guy who ushered us to a Gazebo type place where there was a table and chairs.  I guess he determined there that we could move up to the main station where 6 or 7 guys were. 3 of them asked questions while 1 of them filled out documents.  We're in Venezuela, but we aren't officially in until we clear customs and immigration depending on where we land. Isla Margarita or Puerto la Cruz.  So we're considered 'in transit' I told them that we wanted to stay 3 or 4 days in Sotovento and 3 or 4 days in Barlovento. They had no problem with that...but when the paperwork was done, they requested that they wanted to come aboard JV for an inspection. I said no problem. We went back to the dinghy and headed for JV . They followed in their 30 foot powerboat overtaking us just before we arrived back at the boat.  We climbed aboard and took the Guardacosta line to a stern cleat. Three of them came aboard and proceeded to ask questions sometimes requesting to see things like flare guns, strobe lights, fire extinguishers etc and all in English.  This went on for half an hour or so. We gave them some cold water to drink and when we were done ..they were hinting at getting something to eat...I said no cerveza...their eyes lit up when I brought out 4 very cold premium Venezuelan beers. they readily accepted - after which I replied 'su la orde'  They were amused and impressed. We laughed , shook hands and they departed for another boat that had just arrived. 

     Sotovento is a massive expanse of reef about 5 miles wide in a half moon shape. So the prevailing trade winds and waves are mostly broken up. There are 5 or 6 main islands. We picked round island that's pretty well in the middle. We explored around on foot a little but found that the dinghy exploration landing on various beaches was preferable.  Early on the 2nd day 2 fisherman approached with Conch to offer.. looking for cigarettes which we don't have but offered a bottle of rum. We wanted lobster but they had none saying that they'd return manana with same. hey didn't come back but I was given  2 conch about a half pound each still moving in my hands. I put them in the fridge until later that day. Anita boiled them up for about 10 minutes before cutting them into chunks for a chowder of sorts.  It didn't taste too bad but it was like rubber. we found out later, that you have to pound them with a mallet for half an hour or so to soften them up.  Oh well, live and learn.  We also found out later that the lobster have been mostly fished out.  Very sad with overfishing happening all over the world seems that nowhere is exempt. 

   We travel with the weather windows especially when going against it and so onto Barlovento about 14 miles east. We found a more comfortable anchorage  in Barlovento...story to be continued...I'm getting tired and it's too hot..later.


Cheers, JV"


Ken = Continuing our time in the Aves,  it was a day sail to Barlovento.  The next day or so, we explored the wetlands, seeing hundreds or even thousands of seabirds  which are quite large...some the size of a goose but ever so graceful in the air.  The mangroves were literally covered with them. They would dive into to the sea to get fish. If they missed, they'd come back out only 5 or 10 feet  to dive again sometimes 4 or 5 times before success, but more often on the first try.  It was quite a spectacle. 


Anita = There was one other boat  anchored in our immediate vicinity They dinghied by, and waved as Ken was preparing the outboard to be lowered via our mizzen halyard onto our dinghy.  After some brief interaction, it was evident from their language, and haphazard English and accent-they were German speaking, but in fact Austrian.  We invited them to come visit us later in the day. After our dinghy sojourns and  back at the boat we realized we didn't have any snackies to serve our guests.  What to do!  We had some cans of crab meat and Ken assured me that he could make up something.  So he mixed up crab meat with various other things...*the recipe is Ken's secret (off the cuff)  We made the concoction into small balls and refrigerated them.  Helmut and Anne Marie from their boat Anne X arrived about 5. They were  thrilled with the crab balls and later asked for the recipe.  Ken was very pleased too.

This couple are from Austria and are sailing around the world, but plan on taking 10 years or so. They  invited us to Anne X, the following afternoon, where we were treated to her home made bread.  Just delicious.  Anne Marie offered to show me how to bake bread in a large pot on top of the stove and the next day, we went back to their boat and she gave me several recipes and baked a loaf while we were there.  The secret is to put several metal objects (large long bolts) in the bottom of a large pot and a smaller pan put inside the larger,  which effectively turns it into an oven once the lid to the larger pot is on.  The bread is mixed while the lidded pot is heated on the stove top. The bread mixture is formed into a round loaf and placed into the pan then baked for a half hour then turned over and baked for 15 minutes more and you have a lovely round loaf of bread-mmmm.  (I have now made three loaves of bread which have turned out well.)  We had run out of bread so this was great.


Ken = On shore nearby, there was a clearing in the mangroves, that was almost invisible. Once there, we found a path that  took us to a place where boating visitors have left their names and dates painted on various shaped rocks, which we did as well.  We saw the names of  one of our Alberg compatriots. Mark & Deb on 'Seacycle' who evidently had visited Barlovento in 2009.  We met them in Bequia a couple of years ago and later visited them at their condo in Toronto. 

We burned our garbage in a pit,  with the aid of a little gasoline (which was a relief as we had quite a lot by now). 

   With a favourable weather window, it was time to move on to the reef formation of Los Rogues. This magnicent conglomeration of reefs and islands is some 30 miles long and 12 miles wide. The most western anchorage was about 35 miles distant and took us about 9 hours with the aid of the engine, as we had very little wind for the most part.  The approach to the anchorage was more shallow than the chart or the gps chartplotter indicated and the accuracy of the chartplotter was less than normally encountered. Anita was very frustrated in her efforts to direct me from the shallow areas by pointing from the bow.  Everything looked  shallow.  We anchored for the night and were the sole vessel there.  Early the next morning,  we pulled the hook and headed for the main island ( El Gran Roque)  This was a 17 mile motorsail ( 5 tacks)  

The first order of business was to present our yacht documentation and passports to the  various Venezuelan authorities in order to get permission to stay. Since we were considered  'in transit' we would be permitted to stay only a day or 2.   If  one has already checked in formally, you can stay for up to 15 days, for a nominal fee. After   the first day on the island, we realized that we wanted to stay longer and went back to the Guardacosta and requested an extension.   Well, after great hesitation, we were told we could have it if we payed extra money( a bribe)... we could stay 5 more days, but no longer. 


Anita = The island is lovely with palm trees and quaint little houses and stores.  The streets are simply sand, but very clean.  The people are pleasant and accepting of the visitors.  We sat down to rest at a table on the veranda of a small restaurant in the main square and our order was promptly taken by a rather petite waitress who looked to be about 10 or 11 years old but very self possessed and efficient.  She spoke only Spanish and very quickly. Ken did his best to understand and place the orders for our beverage and Caesar salad.  The service was good and the food was quite delicious as we hadn't had any salad for some time. We were to eat our supper there later where we ordered pizza....absolutely the best pizza I have ever had. 

The square is in the central area of the town and has a raised terrace surrounded with a red brick wall  about two feet in height.  Teenagers congregated there in the later evening to enjoy each other's company.

This is where Ken typed the initial part of our story to date as there were shady trees and it was the only place on the island or on the boat that he could get internet.  Unfortunately, the access was sporadic which was very aggravating. 

There are small airplanes flying in tourists every day.  So between the tourists from Venezuela and the cruisers, the streets were busy.  We were able to get groceries in town and stock up for the next part of our voyage.


Ken = There was a place off the beach where we were told we could find water. There was a hose that could be brought to the shore that provided reverse osmosis seawater when it was working. We took our three 5 gallon jerry cans to get filled.  I tried to offer money but it was politely refused. Also, right nearby was a tugboat of sorts that was loaded with diesel fuel brought in from the mainland. A large power yacht was taking on fuel from it. We had an empty jerry can with us, pulled alongside and asked for it to be filled.  It took about 10 minutes,, but again, any remuneration was refused...only in Venezuela !! By the way, the water normally costs more than fuel in most Venezuelan ports.

    With a favorable weather window, we set sail early one sunny  Sunday morning bound for Porlamar on the island of Margarita. We had an  ESE wind of 16 to 19 knots and proceeded under a full main and a half reefed genoa.   It took a long time before the 400 foot peaks of El Gran Roques disappeared from the horizon. 


Anita = During this trip, we had a variety of weather...some of it quite challenging which I found hard.  Ken is such competent a sailor that he deals with strong winds and waves with a confident and steadfast enthusiasm, but I am not as comfortable especially at night and when tired.  However, I stood my watches as normal. Upwind sailing is much more stressful and tiring,  We've crossed the Atlantic twice, but it was all downwind which was much easier.


Ken = We sailed northeasterly, but also had a cross current against us, that meant more leeway than expected. (not good). We held this point of sail for about 15 hours, waiting for an expected wind shift which  eventually came.  The 30 degree initial shift was enough to warrant a tack as we were now north of 12.5N latitude. The wind had moderated to 13 to 15 knots and things were a little more comfortable ..although our net progress was somewhat disappointing. By morning, it was evident that some thunderstorm activity was a threat.   The wind had come around more to a NE direction as we were making good progress and right on course for Margarita.  For a few hours we maintained our course and avoided the squall clouds. Then suddenly the wind went south, and we were enveloped in a 30 knot squall with full main. The jib had been furled and the engine was running and I was immediately head to wind, to save the main and minimize the impact. We made no forward progress during the brunt of the squall. I maintained the helm for a few hours, but back on course with a SSE wind. It moderated and then died out.  We were both tired, and so I decided to motor the 52 miles easterly to the island of Blanquilla. We arrived about 3am. I didn't expect precise GPS  chartplotter mapping and had to rely on the depth sounder and lights ashore. We anchored in a very small fishing harbor and promptly went to sleep.

Anita = We were glad to rest for several days, doing a little sight seeing on shore which is quite rough and wild.

Every day we shared the anchorage with one, two or even three colorful fishing boats.  The fisherman were friendly but intent on their fishing.  They would leave and then the same or other boats would return.  Ken asked them for lobster but apparently there aren't any ones large enough to be even a small meal.  Babies.  So no lobster meal for us.

Finally it was time to head to the large island of Margarita, a passage of about 85 nautical miles.  Ken had us sailing close hauled with about 7 knots of breeze and forward progress of just 3 knots, After 4 hours the wind abated even more so we motored  and it stayed calm all the way.  ...  We motored without any running lights or radar reflector and doing watches of only two hours during the night.  It took us 22 hours and by the next morning we were approaching Porlamar on Margarita Island.  We have spent considerable time here in the past, and have met so many interesting cruisers, that it felt like coming home as we dropped the anchor inside the big bay. Normally it is filled with sailboats. The last time we were here, there were 70 or 80 boats, but now only 40 or 45.

Will we move on to the mainland ...not decided yet.  Apparently there is a new and less expensive marina/storage facility here that we will check out.  Tonight we will join other cruisers for "happy hour" at 'Jak's Place'

At last, the tough passages are over!


Cheers,   JV"



'Freeware' Navigation Software (OpenCPN) Available

OpenCPN is a free software (General Public License) project to create a concise chart plotter and navigation software for use as an underway or planning tool.  OpenCPN is developed by a team of active sailors using real world conditions for program testing and refinement. OpenCPN includes embedded Tide and Current Tables which are a very helpful addition.  We recently installed OpenCPN on our new Acer Netbook (10" screen/LED display) and it was very easy to download and install.  We've tied the Netbook into our 'homemade' NMEA bus, which 'talks' to the SIMRAD Autopilot; the JRC Radar; the VHF Radio; and (normally) a Laptop Computer.

We've not actually used OpenCPN while underway, but it looks good, interfaces quite easily with our GPS, and appears to be fairly easy to use, and best of all, it's 'free'! 

 Our laptop/Netbook is our 'poor man's chartplotter, and although we DO carry hardcopy charts of all areas we plan to sail, maintain a log, etc., the 'chartplotter' is quite handy to solve chart ambiguities, provide instant orientation, etc.  We are of the opinion that Chris Columbus used the latest and greatest navigation technology available to him over 500 years ago to discover America, there's no reason we shouldn't take advantage of  the 'latest and greatest' nav technology available to us (up to date charts/GPS/DR/Radar etc.).  Most of us already know that NOAA charts are available as free downloads (as are many foreign charts), and it's good to have up-to-date digital charts to go along with our hardcopy charts.

We found the Acer Netbook 'on sale' at TARGET several months ago, for less than $200.  Although it doesn't have an internal CD/DVD drive, we bought an external CD/DVD drive for a few $$ from Ebay which works fine to load software/create DVD's/CD's, watch movies (who has time to watch movies anyhow!!).  The 10" LED backlit display is good and bright (fairly good sunlight readability), and uses a very small amount of power (the Netbook has a 6+ hour battery life).  We've also integrated the Netbook to handle Sailmail (Email service via Single Sideband Radio ), and other ordinary computer software.


Happy News!!

We recently received news that Joran Gendel and Lin Hayes of  Williamsburg, VA were recently married, and celebrated the event at their home on 11 September, 2010.  Lin and Joran own the 1984 MK-II Yawl ELIXIR.  Congratulations and best regards to the newlyweds!



A-37s For Sale

(Please check the Alberg 37 web site (A37's For Sale/Wanted) for the latest postings.) (Ed. Note: Several Alberg 37s have recently changed hands – so there are people out there looking for these great boats.)

Current offerings include:

For Sale - 1980 Alberg 37 MK-II Sloop MAYA - Located in Port Townsend. Washington Great offshore boat. Excellent condition well maintained. Lots of sails, Profurl roller furling, Volvo diesel, Windless, Monitor and Autohelm self steering, GPS, VHF and single sideband radios, Bruce anchor with 200' chain and 150' rode, recent survey. Depth and knot meters. 

Contact James at (360) 765-3222 


FOR SALE - SOLA GRATIA, Alberg 37 Mk II Sloop #107

Clean and well kept A37. Ready for cruising! Solar panel, manual windlass, Aries windvane self-steering, 250' chain anchor rode, furling genoa, main with 3 reef points, lazy jacks, upgraded self-tailing winches, 1000 watt inverter, propane stove and BBQ, new anti-fouling, and more.  Deck recently professionally repaired and refinished.

On the hard in Toronto. Asking $51,500 Cdn.


FOR SALE: 1972 Alberg 37 MK-II sloop; recent Westerbeke/roller furling/radar etc., etc. / ready to sail! Too many toys and no time. $29,900.00 - On the hard at West Newbury, MA 

Contact Dan Lord at: 978 462 1112   




Gear For Sale
(Check out the Gear For Sale/Wanted section of the website for latest listings)


Alberg 37 Custom Cover for sale . The cover was made by Fairclough Sailmakers, and is listed at $1,500USD. It has been used 4 seasons and recently has been serviced for extra reinforcement and stitching (cover is currently at Fairclough's facility in New Haven, CT) .Cover retails new for $4-5,000. I have recently moved to FL and have no further need for a winter cover. I will be driving  the cover (among other items) from New Haven CT to Florida in mid November (2010); I can personally deliver to anyone in between CT and FL at that time.

Contact Reid Tomlin at: (239) 263-6877 .  Check the Gear For Sale page on the A-37 Website for a photo of the cover.


Lou and Jean Wayne of Rochester, NY, have some gear from their 1967 MK-I Sloop, PIKA, which they no longer use.  The gear includes a Halyard Winch, an Edson 24" aluminum wheel (with leather covering).  All items are in excellent condition and are fairly priced.  All items are located in Kinsale, VA (at the Assenmacher's 'Marina'). Click here to view the items, and for contact information.


For sale - Zodiac, 4 man offshore valise liferaft. Never deployed, purchased new in 2000. Always stored inside and is in great condition. Buyer responsible for shipping and repackaging, however if it cannot be repackaged for any reason send back and we will refund the purchase price (shipping not included). Asking $800 USD.  Contact Bill and Debbie Horne:  (replace AT with @).


Dodger Frame For Sale, Geoff Cunliffe of Mississauga, Ontario, the former owner of the 1979 MK-II Sloop, THE EVERDEN, now cruises aboard a Lagoon 410 Catamaran, PARTY OF TWO.  As part of his re-outfitting PARTY OF TWO, Geoff had a new hard dodger built for his boat.  He has a very heavy duty dodger frame for sale, which could be adapted to a large catamaran, or a wide beam monohull.  The frame is built of 1-1/4” heavy wall Stainless Steel.  The Frame is approximately 12’ wide. Good for use 'as is' OR could be parted out for davits, or other uses. Geoff is asking $200 (USD) for the unit.  Check the Gear For Sale/Gear Wanted page on the Website for photos.  The frame is located in Kinsale, VA Contact Tom Assenmacher  at: (remove 'NoSpam').

NOTE: This dodger frame is NOT for an Alberg 37


Gear Wanted

Wanted as spare - Datamarine S-200 DL LCD Digital Depth Sounder Instrument.

Tom McMaster

S/V Sojourn


Web Sites of Interest - Dedicated to independently providing detailed information on Marine Diesels and Associated Equipment-This site have a wealth of information for boat owners, and especially for those who are contemplating re-engining their boat.  Includes a very good ‘Prop Calculator’ program.  (Ed. Note:  We’ve used the Prop Calculator when we installed a new power plant in SHEARWATER in 2001-2002; and most recently when we installed a new transmission (Twin Disc) which had a different reduction gear ration than the old Hurth/ZF, requiring a larger pitch prop.)

By the Editor

We are always looking for articles (cruising, racing, maintenance, etc.) and photos of your boat for inclusion on the website and newsletter.  Send the articles via email attachment in MS WORD and the photos in .JPG format if possible.  Please don’t send large files, especially high resolution photos.  Photos should be 100 kilobytes or smaller if at all possible.  We’ve had some emails with attachments which take HOURS to download. 

Hopefully, we've included most or all of the pertinent correspondence that we've received over the past few months.  Our appologies to those items which we may have missed.


We need a good candidate for "Featured A-37"  It's been several years since we had a new addition to the Featured A-37 list.  If you would like to do a write-up and submit photos of your boat, we'd like to hear from you!  Take a look at the articles on the website (click on the link above) as examples.

The A-37 IOA participates as a cooperating group with BOAT U.S., and members receive BOAT U.S. membership for half price. Just mention you are a member of the Alberg 37 Owners Group and include the Cooperating Group number GA 83253 S when you join Boat U.S. or send in your annual renewal of membership.

Have a great Alberg 37  FALL! 
Get working on those PROJECTS!!!

Tom and Kaye Assenmacher