C/O Tom and Kaye Assenmacher

P.O. Box 32

Kinsale, VA 22488



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VOL XIV, NO. 1 (WINTER – 2004)                                                                                                  12 January 2004



Now is the time to dust off all those resolutions that fell into the trash can of life this time last year.  We are all going to resolve to keep our Albergs in top condition, ready to become seaborne at a moments notice to capture the great sailing weather that we just KNOW will not be too distant in the future, even if we are knee deep in the white fluffy stuff (no, this doesn’t apply to those Albergers who are enjoying the southern latitudes).  We wish all a happy, prosperous, safe and PEACEFUL 2004.



The annual Alberg 37 Winter Rendezvous will be held on Saturday evening, 6 March, 2004 at Harrison’s Chesapeake House in Tilghman, MD.  A cocktail and informal social hour will begin at 1800, with dinner at 1930.  Please check the website ( for additional details, or contact Tom and Kaye Assenmacher at (804) 472-3853. 



Stanton and Cheryl Smith of Wilmington, NC recently purchased the 1973 MK-II sloop OASIS from Rick Jeffs.  They shipped OASIS from Cocoa Beach, FL and plan to sail her on vacations to Beaufort, NC, Charleston, SC and eventually to Bermuda.  “This is a wonderful upgrade for us as we recently sold our 1979 30’ Seafarer Swiftsure.  We will also be racing the Alberg against other cruisers in our local racing club (Wrightsville Beach Ocean Racing Assoc.).  Stanton and Cheryl will have their two twin daughters (age 13), Katie and Chris, as crewmembers aboard OASIS.”

Pat and Wayne Jobb, of Sherwood Park, Alberta, recently purchased the 1970 MK-I sloop, BRANDELARA II, #66 from Frank and Linda Smart of Sarnia, Ontario. Brandelara II made its way from Midland, Ontario to West Vancouver, B.C. by truck. It is currently in the yard there where some pre-launch maintenance is being done. Pat and Wayne are hoping to launch and sail her to a marina on Vancouver Island, near Sidney, in January or early Feb.


Ted Richman wishes to know if anyone has installed a “Mast Collar” (also called a deck collar - the metal piece bolted to the cabin top at the base of the mast and used to anchor a vang, halyard blocks, etc.) on a MKII, and if so where did the collar come from; also, how does the cabin top have to be reinforced?  Anyone having  information helpful to Ted should contact him at:

67 Bristol View Drive

Fairport, NY 14450

David and Joyce Lahmann recently sent the following: “We have been hard at work with SHE 'N I in winter storage, and several more repairs slated for this haulout.  We also were looking into charter daysailing at an invitation by a community in Wisconsin.  Now we have found out through the insurance company that handles business insurance that because our sloop is foreign built it is not allowed to work in the US and confirmed by the Coast Guard.

Our plan is to sell the Alberg and purchase a US built vessel because we do want to take people on charter sailing and put my Masters license to work.”

Peter Boyajadian wrote back in late November that he was looking for a replacement transmission for the MD-11D VOLVO engine aboard his 1983 yawl INIA.  Any help out there for  Peter  should contact him at: 5023 CENABER COURT, BURLINGTON, ONT. L7L 4Y6

Karen Kinnear and Marcel Steinz aboard SOUTHERN CROSS recently sent the following update on 12/28/03: “Just to let you know that we are across the Gulf Stream and in Port Lucaya. It started out as a good crossing but it became a replay of the last time we came to Lucaya. We were hit with 3 line squalls, the 1st sending us in a spin. It was rough but we made it. Step 3 and Ariella (2 Beneteaus in company with SOUTHERN CROSS) are sitting right across from us here in Lucaya Marina Village. We are enjoying Lucaya and had a delicious Christmas dinner sitting around the pool. It is cool but the warm Bahamian sun is wonderful. We only shovel pure white sand here – no snow.”

Jim and Jeanne Sadler of Punta Gorda, FL report they recently sold their 1972 yawl, ISLAND TIME.

Nick Valci, aboard the 1978 sloop NANCY ANN recently called from the Caribbean reporting that he needs the timing gear case (part # 1833067) for his MD11C Volvo engine. If anyone knows of someone parting out/or has the part please contact Nick as soon as possible at:

Gerard Seguin of Sherrington, Quebec and crew made a TRANSAT aboard the 1977 yawl CAP-LIB last summer.  CAP-LIB will stay at the dock in Carentan, France for one year or more.  In May, 2004, Gerard and his wife Suzanne will go to south England (Scilly Isles).  For an account of the TRANSAT, check out the following website:




(1979 Sloop, Hull # 200)

By Bunkey and Geoff Cunliffe

(Ed. Note:  Geoff and Bunkey are cruising aboard THE EVERDEN in the Caribbean this winter – excerpts from their Emails.)



St David’s Harbour, Grenada.

Well we finally left Trinidad. Sailed along the north coast of Trinidad, then crossed to Tobago from the eastern end. Had very little wind, and motored all the way. Traveled with “Decibelle” Jim and Gwen, and “Carioca” Jack and Julie. Went into Store Bay at the western end of Tobago, and took the bus into Scarborough to check in a couple of days later. Store Bay is by the airport and the most touristy part of the island. But even so its modest sized hotels and hasn’t spoiled the scenery – endless sand beaches, palm trees, little thatched shelters on the beach, big protected (Buccoo) reef with good snorkeling. Stayed there for several days, then slowly went up the north coast stopping at every sheltered anchorage. Asked directions of a bunch of fisherman at one spot (Plymouth) and ended up spending over 1 ½hrs helping them haul in a huge seine net with about a ton of fish. We had fish for supper that day!! One anchorage (Englishman’s Bay) was particularly beautiful and had the best snorkeling we found on the island. Ended up at the northern end at Charlotteville. From there we took a bus over to Speyside, and visited Blue Waters Inn and all the places I’d been to back in the 80’s when I was there on a dive trip. Its changed but its still lovely country!!

Decibelle and Carioca left from Englishman’s Bay headed for Isla Margarita, Venezuela. We left Charlotteville for Grenada a few days later (downwind at last!!) and have been in this bay ever since. Today/tomorrow there’s a wooden boat regatta on here, so its quite interesting, plus only a short bus ride to St George’s. We’re anchored with Brian and Debbie of “Chinook”, who introduced us to Denis and Arleen on “Tiger Lily II” (, who know Dennis and Shirley, our boat’s previous owners. (They send their regards and said they would contact you) Heard some other old friends of ours, “Duchess” and “Kandu” on VHF as we were coming in, but can’t reach them from this bay. Hopefully we’ll meet up in a few days when we go west to one of the many other bays along the south coast of Grenada. Bye for now. Regards.....Geoff and Bunkey s/v The Everden


We’re still in Grenada, but plan to leave for Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou in the morning. We’ve had a good 2 ½ weeks in Grenada. Saw the wooden boat regatta in St David’s Harbour, where we met up with “Chinook”, met “Dutchess” in Clarke’s Court Bay, and Derek (“Dream Weaver”) in Prickly Bay. For those of you not familiar with Grenada, there are several deeply indented and sheltered bays along the south coast. The ones I’ve mentioned above are just some of the ones we visited. Went on the hike to Seven Sister’s Falls with Derek one day, and planned a longer hike with him a few days later, but the weather turned wet, and Bunkey turned into a hoarse, coughing wreck, with some virus that laid her low for best part of a week. Anyway, Derek left for Isla Margarita to catch up with friends there, and we finally managed the long (4 ½hrs)hike yesterday. We went from Grand Etang, a crater lake near the center of the island, up to Mt Qua Qua, the highest point in that mountain range at 2300+ ft, then down to the west coast via Concord Falls. It was hard going, with lots of gooey orange clay; up to Mt Qua.  Qua was “challenging”, the rest of it really needs some goat in your ancestry...but the views were spectacular, and it’ll get us in practice for the “Boiling Lake” in Dominica in a couple of months!! On our walk back to the main coast road we came across a young local guy in welly boots, with a sack of something balanced on his head, a garden fork and a live Possum (hog tied and muzzled) in one hand, and a machete in the other, and with four dogs following him, all looking very pleased with themselves and taking it in turn to circle round for another sniff of the possum. We asked him how he’d caught it. The answer wasn’t clear but seemed to include the dogs flushing it out of its hole, or “tree-ing it” so he could then grab it or stab it with the fork. We never did figure out what was on his head or what role it played in the possum’s demise. Went for a “Day Sail” up to a lovely little Bay, “Dragon’s Bay”, on Sunday, just stopping long enough to make lunch and go for a snorkel round the point and back. More to follow.... Geoff and Bunkey s/v The Everden


Marigot Bay, St Lucia

Arrived about 1500 after loooong trip from St Vincent, hard on the wind with 20-25 kts and 2.5-3m steep nasty seas (all the weather forecasts lied to us again!). Had a beautiful anchorage last night at Chateaubelair, by a sheer rock cliff with coconut palms clinging to it and a big rainbow over top (definite photo op!). Enjoyed St Vincent. It was a pleasant surprise. We skipped right by it on the way down, but it has some pretty anchorages, and some great snorkeling and diving. Went into Kingstown, the capital, by bus (read 20 in a minivan going round every corner on two wheels! – typical Caribbean transport) to clear customs. Neat bustling city, good market, good rotis. I used up a tank of air on the bat cave and a great wall dive just off Petit Byahaut where we anchored for one night (scuba club guys note its worth a visit). We had planned to be in Bequia for Christmas but we got there kind of early, and decided to press on. We’re probably going to shoot for Antigua for Christmas now. Just want to fit in the hike to the Rain Forest/Boiling Lake in Dominica first. Marigot Bay is one of those picture postcard perfect, hurricane hole anchorages. Apparently the British Fleet hid in here with coconut palm fronds tied to their masts and had the French Navy sail right past once. They’ve recently started extending the (“Moorings”) docks here and will demolish the old “Hurricane Hotel” to complete the marina expansion. Oh, and of course the inner lagoon will be filled with mooring balls, so sayonara cruisers. At least we came in here one more time!!! These days there seem to be more French boats (mostly charter) down here than any others, including American. In Bequia, even all the cruise ships coming in to anchor were French, disgorging a constant stream of tourists to the beach via launches. I was ashore one morning on the beach, doing the hairdressing thing on Bunkey, complete with the folding chair, the spray bottle, comb and scissors, and one of the French tourists came along, was very amused and said she was a coiffeur. We had an interesting chat, including how we both had mutually beneficial hairdressing lessons from Della before we left Canada.

The other amazing thing is the number of catamarans down here, which in some anchorages outnumber monuhulls now – many of them huge 45 -47 ft vessels, mostly all charter. We stayed one night in Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau, Grenadines and there were 9 cats and 5 monos there!! That’s a gorgeous anchorage, which we missed on our way south. Geoff and Bunkey s/v The Everden PS. Doug – Tell Sandy I should be in Rodney Bay in a couple of days and I’ll give her brother a call. PPS. Dave W – Still hoping to be in Saba 1st half Feb!! PPS. Paula – They still remember you at Dive Bequia, and can even pronounce Mississauga nearly correct. If you haven’t been there you must try “Tantie Pearl’s” restaurant up the hill past the cemetery – Its worth the walk/climb - $20EC lunch.


Roseau, Dominica

Well I finally did the hike up to the Boiling Lake and back today! Two days ago I almost gave up as they’d had a landslide in the area and the forestry department were advising people not to go there, but I met up with Octavius (Sea Cat) who acted as guide for myself and two German guys. Bunkey stayed home (claimed she was tired, was glad of a day without me, and was still concerned about more landslides). As it turned out, only about 100yds of trail was washed out (going down from Morne Nicholls into the Valley of Desolation) and it wasn’t too difficult to pick your way through the mud and rock. The lake really is boiling (part of a volcanic crater) and the second largest in the world, plus there are huge areas of hot vents, bubbling steaming little springs and a pervasive sulphur smell, plus places to take a bath in the hot pools and finally a swim at the falls near the bottom; well deserved after the 7 hrs hike.

Tomorrow, plan to go down to Soufriere and Scots Head on the local bus, then maybe Trafalgar Falls or another hike the next day. Dominica’s interior is unspoiled and has all kinds of hikes up through the rain forest to various crater lakes, and waterfalls, and many of the easier ones can be done without a local guide.

We’re hoping to clear out of Dominica later this week, do a fast in and out at Guadeloupe and still make Antigua by Christmas, weather permitting. We’ll see!

In case I don’t get another update out before Christmas, all the very best wishes for the Christmas season, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all our readers. Now go out there and shop – you’ve only got 10 days left!!

Geoff and Bunkey

s/v The Everden


English Harbour, Antigua

We’re now in Antigua for Christmas at least, then up via Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Martin. Very best of wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Geoff and Bunkey

s/v “The Everden”

(To be Continued.)




By Tom Assenmacher
(1975 yawl SHEARWATER)


We had not cleaned the fuel tank on our A-37 yawl since we bought her in 1982 (and it hadn’t been cleaned before we bought her).  After completing the 2002 re-engining and general refurbishment of SHEARWATER, we didn’t get around to giving the fuel tank a much needed cleaning until late this summer (probably because we dreaded the job).  Finally,  in anticipation of perhaps some extended cruising in the near future, we decided to “bite the bullet” and do the job.  The following is roughly what we did:

- Preparation for tank removal: (Although the tank COULD be cleaned in-place, we decided it would be much easier to clean the tank if we removed the tank from the bilge.) In order to gain access to the fuel tank, we removed the outboard part of the “L” section of the port settee. This is easily done by removing about a dozen screws and the assembly simply lifts out.  We then removed the house batteries that we have installed in this areas and set all items aside outside the boat. As we had installed an electric fuel “boost” pump (with a “T”, shutoff valve, and length of fuel line hose in the line) as part of the new engine installation, we simply turned on the pump, opened the valve and pumped all but about 2 gallons of  “old” diesel fuel from the tank. Once we had most of the fuel removed, we then removed the access panel screws and removed the access panel and set it aside.  We were then able to see the inside of the tank for the first time in 28 years!  We also removed the sheet metal screws which secure (sort of) the fuel tank to the floor pan.  To remove the remainder of the fuel, we used a wet/dry shopvac with a length of ½” PVC pipe attached to the end of the vacuum hose (we used a long piece of vacuum hose, with the shopvac on the dock.  There was about ½” of black ‘sludgy’ stuff in the bottom of the tank.

- Tank removal: The tank (with the access panel and tank attachment screws removed) simply lifts out of the bilge area.  We did not actually remove the tank from the boat (not sure if it would pass through the companionway – it would be a close fit), but sat it on the cabin floor for further work and cleaning.  Make sure you have a lot of padding and rags available if you plan to work on the tank onboard the boat.

- Tank cleaning:  Since the tank appeared to be in relatively good condition, we used an industrial (water soluble-used in pressure washers) degreaser full strength to remove the “crud” in the tank.  We sloshed this around inside the tank with an old mop and scrub brush, and vacuumed out the dirty cleaner and “crud”.  There were some areas on the bottom that were hard and crusty, which were easily removed with a putty knife (the bottom of the tank is just within arm reach).   We flushed the tank several times with clean water (again using the shopvac to remove the water) and allowed the tank to dry overnight.

- Tank inspection: We had envisioned some pitting of the aluminum tank, but a thorough inspection revealed no pitting on the inside of the tank, and were pleasantly surprised to find only very superficial pitting on the outside (it appeared that at one time there may have been some water in the bilge at the lower level of the tank).  One of the reasons to remove the tank is to inspect tank exterior and to clean the bilge area.  We found several small tools and debris lying in the bilge area (wood chisel, screws, etc.).  We inspected the tank access plate for excessive corrosion (there is some around the bronze pipe fittings, but not serious), and checked the engine fuel intake pipe (piece of copper tubing soldered to a bronze “street ell” which extends to within about 1.5” of the bottom) for integrity and corrosion.  We also inspected the fuel return line, fuel vent, etc. for condition.

- Reassembly and installation:  Reassembly was basically the reversal of the tank removal.  We fabricated a new gasket for the tank access plate using rubberized cork gasket material available from your local NAPA auto parts store (it comes in a roll and is wide enough that piecing of the gasket is unnecessary).  We used “anti-seize” compound on the access panel screws to ensure against corrosion and seizing.  We lowered the assembled tank into the bilge area and reattached the tank mounting screws.  Since these mounting screws are only screwed through the thin fiberglass flange of the floor pan, we decided to add some strengthening in order to keep the tank from shifting under less than optimal conditions.  We fabricated 1.25” square cleats that surrounded the periphery of the tank and secured the cleats to the walls of the tank area floor pan with large SS sheet metal screws, making for a much more robust assembly.



We then reconnected all fuel lines, and connected the tank bonding wires, refilled the tank and checked the engine operation (self bleeding system).  We are now confident that we have a CLEAN fuel system. (Ed. Note: We intend to post a more thorough version of this article complete with photos on the web site in the near future.)



By Tom Assenmacher
(1975 yawl SHEARWATER)

We receive quite a few calls about “how do we fit a  zinc to the prop when there isn’t enough space to fit one”. When we bought our boat in 1982, it had no zinc as it had always been in Lake Ontario.  I took a bronze prop nut, welded a short piece of 1" bronze tubing to the nut, and placed a 1" donut zinc on the aft end of the prop nut.




Probably cuts down a bit on the prop efficiency, but not enough to notice.  We’ve used this system since 1982.



(1967 Sloop, Hull # 20)

 By  Lou and Jean Wayne

(Ed. Note: Following Lou and Jean’s arrival in the Chesapeake, we sailed with them for several days in the mid-Chesapeake Bay area (Solomon’s on the Patuxent River, and Reedville on the Great Wicomico River.  They departed the Mid Bay area in early November, 2003 on their trip south to the Bahamas. We pick up their Email cruising account …)


Got to Annapolis about 1:00pm, picked up a mooring and headed for the laundromat.  Next day we met our Alberg 37 friends Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) for lunch. They also drove us to the supermarket and liquor store, great friends!  Struck off the next morning for Solomon’s Island.  While dropping the mooring we were entertained by the “Nantucket Clipper” (a cruise ship familiar to you Rochester folks) cruising thru the mooring field.  Pretty much a light wind motor to Solomon’s but along the way we got a VHF (radio) call from our friends TJ and Kaye Assenmacher, fellow Alberg 37 sailors.  They had decided to sail up from their home in Kinsale VA, on the Potomac. We rafted for the night in Solomon’s and agreed to cruise in company to Reedville, VA the next day.  Good thing we got an early start since the day turned into a motor into head winds and nasty chop.  We did however arrive in time to buy some crab cakes and shrimp at the crab house next to the anchorage and Jean made New England clam chowder. Next morning we set off for points south while TJ and Kaye were deciding when to return home.  Miracle of miracles, we had a favorable tide and no waves, even occasionally a helpful breeze so we pressed on to Hampton Roads. This will get us into the Dismal Swamp canal on Sunday.  We may have a good chance of meeting our Jacksonville schedule! Sunday 1pm – 82 degrees and sunny. We are anchored at the 1st of 2 locks on the Dismal Swamp Canal cooking burgers on the grill while waiting for the 1:30 opening.  We opened the window in the dodger because it was getting very warm, even while under way.  We also had to dig deep into our lockers to find shorts.  Hope the warmth made it to wherever you are too. 

Lou and Jean aboard Pika, Dismal Swamp Canal, North Carolina Visitor’s Center


Apologies for this is a composite of many days travel.  We are on a schedule and a budget so we aren't stopping at marinas or going ashore very often. After transiting the Dismal Swamp Canal we docked in Elizabeth City NC, (11/3) where every evening they host a wine and cheese party for visiting boaters.  They claim to be the "Harbor of Hospitality" and this is only one of the ways they show that.  We went into the local True Value hardware and heard more and learned more about the town than we ever wanted to know!  We learned they are home to the largest Coast Guard aviation base on the east coast. They also were home to the east coast anti submarine blimp fleet during WWII. In fact one blimp hanger remains which could host three NFL football, or NL baseball games simultaneously indoors. The larger hanger however burned down about 6 or 8 years.  It had been the largest wooden structure in North America.  We saw none of this the next day (11/4)when we left as the fog was very!

  thick, in fact if it wasn't within about a boat length we didn't see it no matter how big or impressive.  Awhile later while motoring down the Alligator River we got a real treat as pairs of fighter jets broke into dog fights complete with chaff and flares. I don't know my planes very well but they were either Marine Corps F-18's from Cherry Point or F-15's from Pope AFB.  Really neat and very, very fast.  I couldn't sneeze as fast as those guys have to think and react.  We anchored for the night off Bear Point on the Alligator river.  Wed (11/5)was spent in an uneventful motor through the Pungo/alligator canal and a quick stop for fuel and water at Dowery Creek marina. Next morning (Thurs. 11/6) we awoke to some fog which by the time the coffee had perked was very thick.  Instead of hauling anchor I cooked up bacon/egg/cheese on toasted English muffins.  (the least a good captain could do for his hard working mate).  The fog lifted a bit by 7:30 and we were off. Motored d!  own the Neuse River while those fighter jocks from two days ago turned  more taxpayers money into loud noise. This time without the visual stimulus.  While headed down the channel into Beaufort/Moorehead City we were waked hard by the 80' motor yacht "Grand Promise".  A little while later we got our revenge by seeing that the Grand Promise had become the "Broken Promise" as they had tried to negotiate the Gallent Cut channel which has been closed to navigation for several years due to shoaling.  This fact was detailed in Skipper Bob's book but a professional delivery captain is not about to consult a lowly $14.95 publication!  Oh well two bent props and shafts plus towing plus haul out plus delays, what's $20,000 to some big insurance company.  We anchored at Moorehead City and watched one of the most dramatic skies either of us has ever seen.  It varied from cobalt blue to red to pink to gold to gray to black.  All of that produced a few sprinkles, a bit of breeze and nothing more.  Friday morning (11/7)we were up and away about 0720 to catch the flood tide coming into the Beaufort inlet.  We were able to ride that for many miles and with the help of some breeze we got to our anchorage by 1330.  This is a bay within Camp LeJeune (Marine Corps base). We were entertained once again by military aviators converting more jet fuel into noise.  This time it was a pair of Chinook helicopter. Lou and Jean aboard Pika, Camp LeJeune, NC


We left Camp Le Jeune early Saturday morning intending to make Wrightsville Beach before “Castaways” marine consignment store closed. We did this without trouble but it isn’t easy with two bridges which open only on the hour and of course they are 2 hours and 10 minutes apart at our cruise speed.  We got anchored and hiked the mile or so to the store but didn’t find the radar or cabin heater we were hoping to find. Those two items have been elevated on our wish list since we have made tentative plans to cruise the Maine coast next summer with our friends TJ and Kaye who also sail an Alberg 37.

Back to Wrightsville Beach, Sunday we did not even venture forth from the cabin as the weather had turned very foul, cold, very windy and some driving rain.  This morning (Monday 11/10) was much more promising.  We ended up going much farther than planned because we were making good time and the anchorage we had picked out was very iffy.  After enduring a long wait for the Sunset Beach pontoon bridge we arrived in Calabash Creek along with a half dozen other boats. This made for a tight fit since the deep water in the creek is not very wide and anchoring in the channel where the shrimpers travel seemed a poor idea.  We all fit and the swinging with wind and tide did not result in any of us making new “friends”.  Could not leave Tuesday morning until 0900 since a layer of dense fog hid the world around us.  We made a quick stop for fuel at the Myrtle Beach Yacht club.  $1.09 for diesel fuel.  We won’t see that price the rest of this trip!  Decided to stay the night at Barefoot Landing a free dock in North Myrtle Beach because the mate was determined to take her favorite veteran to lunch today.  We dined at the Mad Boar, a pub/micro brewery, had great yellow fin tuna sandwiches.  Later we invited another sailboat to raft up with us for the night as the docks were full.  They turned out to be from Kingston Ontario, a lake Ontario port. We ended up returning  with them and another couple to the Mad Boar for happy hour.  After tons of wings, nachos, cheese sticks and potato skins not to mention beer and wine we wandered back to our boats expecting to meet down the road somewhere.  Off toward Charleston this am.  Lou and Jean aboard PIKA, North Myrtle Beach.


We stopped in Charleston hoping to meet up with a couple of friends. Kathy lived in Rochester until late summer then moved here. However this is the weekend she planned to go back to have a garage sale, expecting to return on Monday. Unfortunately she had much more to do back in Rochester and decided she could not return until Tuesday or Wednesday.  Our other friend Paul has come down with a cold or flu and just didn’t feel up to the 4.5 hour drive from Athens GA.  We’ve made tentative plans to meet him in St. Augustine FL. After Thanksgiving.  We are sadly disappointed to have not seen our friends but it perhaps worked out for the better, as a cold front is coming through on Tuesday night and our anchorage is exposed to the near gale force south east winds expected. Leaving Charleston early will give us at least one day to hunker down if the weather dictates. Thus we should have no trouble making our Jacksonville date.  We did get a couple of important things accomplished while here, one was a massive load of laundry the other was the purchase of Radar, one step closer to cruising Maine next summer.  Continued 11/20.  Heading south from Charleston we were able to make Beaufort SC before the weather turned foul.  We anchored in Factory Creek Just north of the town.  The weather forecast was for thunderstorms and winds of 50 kts. The creek wasn’t very wide and we decided the safer thing to do was to take a dock until this thing blows over.  Tuesday afternoon and evening were fine and we hiked to the Winn Dixie and loaded up with Thanksgiving type food, including a turkey which was free since we spent so much on other stuff.  Wednesday afternoon, after a rainy morning with max 30 kt. Gust, we went back to Winn Dixie for another load.  After that we had happy hour with Pat and Lucie, aboard “Illusion” the boat from Kingston Ontario.  Thursday morning we got up very early to take showers and get to the draw bridge before 0700, after which it doesn’t open until 0900.  Stopped to pick up fuel at Outdoor Resorts Marina.  Unfortunately while leaving an angry tide drove the stern of Pika back into the dock and the dinghy caught a piling forcing it up into the support for the solar panel, puncturing the port tube.  Later we anchored in the Moon River and our first chore was to get our little boat patched.  We’ll see tomorrow, after the adhesive has set how successful the patching was.   11/21, the dinghy is doing fine after it’s repair and we are enjoying fine warm weather. This evening we are anchored in New Teakettle Creek, after having just negotiated Old Teakettle Creek. Warm, high in mid 70’s low mid 50’s, bugs are becoming a problem.  Looking forward to Thanksgiving in Jacksonville Beach.

Lou and Jean aboard Pika, New Teakettle Creek GA.


Ok it’s been awhile, we stopped at Cumberland Island but were reluctant to go ashore since the patch on the dinghy began to look somewhat “iffy”.  The weather was blowing up and we decided to seek the better anchorage at Fernandina Beach. Before we moved however we did get to see a couple of submarines one going out one coming in.  Big things, “boomers” they were and I couldn’t help wonder what “targeting information” was programmed into their nuclear missiles these days? We made Jacksonville Beach without a problem and have spent many (5) days here at Beach Marine. Two of my (Lou’s) sisters and their families rented a condo in nearby Atlantic Beach. Throw in our niece and family and that made twelve for thanksgiving dinner which Jean, the wonder woman, catered from the humble galley of Pika.  This included the traditional roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, homemade applesauce, and pumpkin and pecan pies. Needless to say Jean was the heroine as most of this crowd didn’t roll in until 4:30 Thursday afternoon and would have been content with turkey sandwiches!  Friday afternoon my youngest sister, brother-in-law, and large dog arrived to spend a couple nights with us {the condo was a) too small and b} no pets}. We were all fine with this arrangement with the exception of Angus who being elderly (12 people yrs, 84 dog yrs) is not as mobile as he once was. This coupled with his longish toe nails made for hazardous navigation around Pika’s hard fiberglass decks.. No doubt he was wondering why he was being subjected to all this when a quiet weekend in that oh so comfortable town house back in Winston Salem would have suited him just fine.  We got more patching materials for the dink and are waiting for the new bigger patch to cure before we inflate.  I did such a meticulous job with this new bigger patch I’m sure it will be fine.   We had hoped to take the thing to an inflatable/life raft shop here but they have gone out of business so I was forced to rely upon West Marine, Boat US and my feeble efforts, we shall see. We did get entertained this morning by a couple of Manatees swimming around the marina basin.  After everyone left on Sunday we set about doing many loads of laundry, and lots of cleaning up on Pika.  We had expected to get away early on Monday but we found more laundry to do and wanted to scrub the deck and fill the water tanks while we had the chance. Finally off by 12:30 but this was not soon enough to get us to St. Augustine so we anchored behind Pine Island. The forecast did not sound promising with 25-30kts from the north east for the next few days, and sure enough at 0600 Tuesday morning it began to blow.  The anchorage at St Augustine is not the best and downright unsafe in a north east blow so we spent the day right here with our good friend Bruce the anchor keeping us firmly tethered to the bottom.  The day was not wasted as I did some much needed battery I and installed the new replacement stereo.   The plan is to sail to St.  Augustine on Wednesday.

Lou & Jean aboard Pika,

 Pine Island, Fla.


We came into Harbortown Marina to escape a cold front with it’s accompanying wind, rain and cold.  We also needed the West Marine just up the street as well as the Kash & Karry supermarket.  We are also waiting for some “general delivery” mail which will no doubt find its way here through the holiday crunch eventually.   While waiting I busied myself by tightening the shaft stuffing box, changing out the raw water pump, and installing the spare heat exchanger.  This as far as I can tell at the moment has stemmed the tide of incoming water into Pika’s hull.  Not that we were on the verge of sinking but it will be nice not to have to pump the bilge a couple times a day. After all that plumbing I treated myself to a bike ride (bikes courtesy of the marina)to the Marine Connection, yet another surplus/used marine supply place.  Not as much sailboat stuff as the Sailors Exchange back in St. Augustine but lots of good stuff none the less. I found some parts!

 I can use to support the radar mast which will make the job easier. On the bike ride back from the Marine Connection we picked up a huge bag of fresh oranges at a bargain price.  No scurvy aboard Pika the next few weeks!  I spent a good part of today filtering and refiltering fuel from our 5 gallon jugs. It has become a source of amazement to me how fast algae and crap develop in diesel fuel in a few short weeks even with biocide added. In any case our supply is about max near 50 gallons which is enough to motor us to Georgetown and half way back. We did pick up the mail this afternoon but there is still the one last major grocery shopping to be done and tomorrow night is expected to be near record low so I suspect we will not leave here until Sunday. I can’t understand that we made commitments to others, Charleston and Jacksonville and we made both of those with ease but to ourselves we committed to be snorkeling in the Bahamas by Christmas.  That now seems unlikely unless we get very lucky with the weather.  With cold fronts coming through with regularity we will most likely end up working our way south for another week or so. Aha but the good news is near record cold is upper 30’s and the lake effect snow that reached as far south as Spring Creek PA (that’s Spring “Crick” for you Pennsylvanians) will not reach us here. Saturday 12/20,  A few things from West Marine and two shopping carts of food from Kash & Karry sort of finishes our purchases. Now for the laundry and filling the water tanks and jugs.  Promises to be record cold tonight low 30’s, glad we stayed here connected to the grid. The guy across the dock from us is planning to cross on Tuesday but the window is too short for us. We want time for the big waves to die down and then not get slammed with north winds as soon as we get there.  No thanks we’ll chose our own crossing time.  We’ve set the alarm for a 0255 launch of a Delta Rocket carrying a GPS satellite, we should have a good view.  And yes we did have a good view through clear cold skies, we could see clearly as the booster rockets fell away.  Too bad we weren’t farther north so we would have heard and felt power. This is Sunday morning, will be leaving the dock soon to head farther south and wait for that mystical weather window. Merry Christmas to all,

Lou and Jean aboard Pika.


We arrived in Lake Worth Monday  afternoon to wait for our weather window to cross to the Bahamas.  There are dozens of boats waiting, including Marcel & Karen.  We are anchored next to them.  It has warmed up to the 70’s and is a beautiful day.  Hope we may be able to cross tomorrow or Wednesday.

 Update Friday 12/26 we did cross Tuesday evening/Wed. morning. Didn’t take the same route as Southern Cross, they went to the south side of grand Bahama Island to Lucaya while we took the easier route north onto the little Bahama banks. I learned from another boat that took our route but spoke to Marcel (A-37 sloop SOUTHERN CROSS) via the SSB that their trip was much less pleasant than ours.


We have not talked to Marcel directly but have been kept up to date by Richard from Kelissa who talks to him almost every day.  Apparently they did not have a I crossing and got caught in several squalls with 50+kt gusts.  We got some rain from those but no wind. When we left Lake Worth we looked at heading toward Lucaya but the combination of head winds, steep waves and the north bound current reduce our speed well below 3kts. And I did not deem that acceptable given the near 80 mile trip and the option of the much more comfortable, 5.5 kt. Northern route.  As it was there were two boats on our route who encountered engine trouble, Spotted Moose with a broken water pump and Jay’s Nest with a broken rocker arm.  Speaking of Marcel and his travel companions, did you know a boat Windswept IV? They crossed with Southern Cross and as soon as they arrived the first mate Heather came down with a gal bladder infection which has kept her in the hospital ever since.   Hearing!

  That is scary but it also reinforces the notion of “do it while you can”. We’ll be heading south into the Exumas in the next week or so but it will be when the weather dictates.  After all this is supposed to be fun.  We (Pika and crew) are having fun taking one day at a time and doing what the weather gods allow.  So glad the holidays are being so enjoyable for you.  This is different for Jean and me but being warm and sunny makes up for a lot of other things.  Lou and Jean aboard Pika Green Turtle Cay.   Still working on installing the radar and looking forward to next summer’s cruise. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and will have a great new year. 

Jean & Lou aboard Pika,

Green Turtle Cay.

(To be continued.)


(1977 Sloop, Hull # 181)

By Brian and Kathy Marsh

(Ed. Note: Brian and Kathy have for several years alternated  between sailing TUNDRA in the Caribbean area during the winter and spending the summers at their home in Sarnia, Ontario.  The following has been excerpted from their cruising website: )


Tundra Pre Christmas Message
November 12, 2003

Hello All,

It’s getting chilly and we’re ready to migrate south. This year we’ll board Tundra in Trinidad and if the political climate is friendly we’re hoping to sail to Venezuela and perhaps on to Bonaire in the Dutch Antilles. We will update our web page accordingly at

2003 has been action packed for us. Grenada provided lots of wonderful hiking. We toured the island enjoying the flora and fauna and rain forest very much. One highlight was a guided tour of a nutmeg factory. Grenada is known as the spice island. Spices and fragrances are literally in the air. Another interesting experience was hiking through the Italian Villa that consumes the northern half of Canouan. What a surprise!

Martinique was our northernmost destination. We love the Francaise exposure and lovely people.

Brian reached a hallmark year and was feted royally at 60 by all the family on Galiano Island.

Our northern stints keep us abreast of local and international politics. With this in mind, we wish you all a peaceful Christmas and New Year.

December 10, 2003: Arrived Venezuela

Holas Nos Familia Y Amigos,

As we departed Scotland Bay, Trinidad about 600 pm last eve, the howler monkeys were in full swing. They sound much like lions roaring. What a send off. Our full moon downwind run has brought us to a tiny group of islands 92 miles NW of Trinidad. They are the Testigoes which means disciples. Fifteen hours of rock and roll under jib alone was plenty and we were glad to check into Venezuelan customs at Isla Iguana. Only 160 inhabitants live here and survive on fishing. We are loaded with sugar and flour of which they are in short supply. Amazingly enough there are seven boats in the anchorage tonight. We have had our first snorkel and swim. The water is very nutrient rich owing to discharge from the Orinoco River some 40 plus miles away. Tomorrow the Coastaguardia said they would pay us a visit. The nice young man who checked us in gave us a warm welcome –bienvenudo- complete with lots of loud Spanish music. He spoke English quite well and we tried out some of our amateurish Spanish on him. It was great fun.

Tonight we’re anchored behind a small island and reef with the wind filtering through to provide enough air for the wind generator.

All is well.

Brian and Kathy

Isla Margarita – December 14, 2003

Exploration was on the agenda for yesterday. Testigo Grande is almost 2 miles long and a half mile wide with an 800 ft elevation. Sand dunes on the windward side are spectacular and covered in shells. Sand fleas drove us back to the boats promptly on the lee side.  Bird life here is exceptional. One sociable pelican rode around on our dinghy with us. This is a nesting ground for frigate, booby, and pelican. One male frigate was showing his brilliant red mating colour. How neat to see.

Today we rallied before the sun in Los Testigos and hauled anchors at first light. In company with 2 other Canadian sailboats, we sailed the 50 nautical miles in tandem to Isla Margarita. We could hear the fishermen commenting re our little armada. Quatro veleros, etc. So far we’ve had very pleasant reception and lots of friendly waves.

Tomorrow we’ll venture ashore to do an international check in. Meanwhile we’ll enjoy the music and merriment ashore, from afar. Porlamar is a resort city with many high rise hotels and great numbers of people.

Brian and Kathy

Poralamar – December 21st

Hello All,

Tundra is resting quite nicely in the anchorage here in Porlamar. When the wind gets up we all have a tendency to roll a little. Brian has rigged a bridal so we don’t rock and roll as much as before.

Our check in was smooth as could be with Juan doing the paper work for us. He is a charming Venezuelan who oversees his business and provides a guarded dinghy dock service for we yachties. We really appreciate his assistance. He organizes grocery shopping by bus and is ready to assist in most matters. Our money is exchanged at 2400 bolivars for one US dollar at his establishment. His orientation included tips such as: use taxis- don’t walk. They are extremely inexpensive and safe. Stay out of the mangrove areas. Banditos abound. Keep your diesel tanks topped up and be ready to sail. The political climate is volatile to say the least.

History dates back to Spanish 1500s. Several forts made of mud have survived well. Churches, mostly Catholic, are magnificent with lavish Virgin costumes displayed. Beaches are plentiful and pristine.

An Xmas light tour with dinner was amazing. One high light was a crèche constructed totally of banana leaves. Party goers from the mainland of Venezuela are here for the weekend so we are having a quiet day aboard. The mainland is quite visible with the mountains stretching into clear blue skies. It’s only a matter of 70 miles away. The eight of us have become a close knit group and are planning Xmas together. Xmas eve is the big celebration here. We plan to eat at a seafood restaurant only minutes from the dock and Xmas day we’ll cook our own potluck fare. Via con dios y prospero ano.

Kathy and Brian

Isla Blanquilla, January 6, 2004

Christmas was noisy and busy in Porlamar. The Venezuelans love fireworks and music and both abounded on shore. Margarita is holiday land for the mainlanders.

After Xmas we all provisioned for a lengthy stay in the out island of Blanquilla, 60 miles northwest of Margarita. From Porlamar we moved around to Juangriego on the west coast for a day, one more go at their delightful cuisine, then off to Blanquilla. It was an 11 hour trip for us on the 29th of December with frequent squalls en route. Arrival at Trece Playa Bay around 1600 gave us just enough light to anchor amongst the coral patches before the sunset.

Our weather window closed quickly and we have all done a little ‘rock and roll’ with heavy northeasters and swells nipping at us. Spirits are not to be dampened. Blanquilla is a desert isle with miles of cactus, caracara birds (eagle like), green parrots, and a species of burro which exists only here, was brought over in 1492 by guess who, and number 300 today. Shoreside gatherings and cookouts have been great fun. New Years Day was another great adventure. A short walk to the coastguard station was a delight. The commandant, Jose, welcomed us and invited us for delicious sopa for lunch. He and his coastguard contingent of 16 to 28 year olds, man the post for Venezuela.

On the 5th of January we hauled anchor and moved over to the fishing village. It’s still rolling, but we are collecting water with each passing squall. Dinghied down to Guardacosta and Jose invited us to anchor in their lagoon. Manana.

Today, January 6, 2004, we anchored at the station and snorkeled the surrounding reefs. What a peaceful place. My pizza was a great hit with the young men and we exchanged espanol for anglais for four straight hours. Tomorrow we will play bocce ball and watch the full moon rise. Life is wonderful and we feel so fortunate to have met such kind and generous folk. Brian and I will certainly drag our feet when we decide to move on.

  Brian and Kathy

(To be continued).


Two full-page advertising pages from 1967 and 1971 have recently been posted on the A-37 web site.  They make interesting reading and the posted prices are amazing!



A-37 Coffee Mugs are available for $15 U.S. which includes postage (within the U.S.). The mugs have a line drawing of the A-37 (sloop or yawl - please specify your choice) imprinted with "ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION" and a color drawing of the A-37 Pennant printed on the outside of the mug. (We can place your BOAT NAME under the line drawing for no additional cost if you so desire - please specify). Please allow at least 3-4 weeks for delivery, as we have them made up individually. 

Also, a few A-37 Pennants are still available for $30.00 U.S. which includes postage (within the U.S.). This is a very tastefully rendered and durable pennant.

For those ordering mugs and pennants outside the U.S. please add $5.00 for additional postage. We can only accept payment by check drawn on a U.S. bank, OR an International Money Order (for Canadians, a Canadian Postal Money Order works best.)



For Sale - MK-I Portlights 

Replacing all portlights on my 1969 A-37.  If anyone wants the old original portlights after I remove them, you can have them for $20US per portlight plus shipping and handling.  Call Bruce McFarland.

(302) 999-0100 Days

(302) 994-8850 Nights




(Disclaimer – A-37IOA has no financial interest in any products listed.)


U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center - Whether you navigate using GPS, DGPS, LORAN-C, or good-old-fashioned paper charts and a sextant, this site provides you with information that will help you fix your position!


U.S. Naval Observatory - U.S. Naval Observatory is the preeminent authority in the areas of Precise Time and Astrometry, and distributes Earth Orientation parameters and other Astronomical Data required for accurate navigation and fundamental astronomy.


NWS Marine and Coastal Weather Services Marine Forecast Offices and Centers provide links to their products as well as additional regionally focused information.

National Geospatial Agency - NGA-related product information specific to Nautical Publications and Publications Available to the General Public and the Earth-Info Site.  Includes lots of good information regarding Digital Nautical Charts and Vector Product Format databases.,2420,3104_12135,00.html


Garhauer Marine Hardware – Source for lower priced  stainless steel marine hardware.


Blue Peter Marine Systems - Hullform is the name given to a family of hull design programs. They all allow both lines fairing (to generate a fast and easy-to-build hull) and hydrostatics (to make sure it floats - and more).Included on this site is some freeware.


(We often get inquiries regarding A-37s for sale.)

John and Lee Cunningham previously owned the1968 Alberg 37 sloop, "QUICKSILVER" for 12+ years and had a great time sailing her out of  Gloucester, MA and in Maine.  They sold her 4-5 years ago while working on other projects, during which time they were members of the A-37 IOA.  They are hoping to find an Alberg 37 that has had good care and the occasional upgrade. Their preference is for a sloop and the closer to New England the easier it is for them to see and think about.  They are not planning on any distant voyages or live-aboard status. They had a lot of fun with short trips, daysails and cruising in Maine aboard their first Alberg 37, and look forward to more of the same. They have a slight lean toward the early boats, but will consider any Alberg 37 that is available.

Please contact:

John and Lee Cunningham

122 Dennison Street

Gloucester, MA 01930


(Check the Website for further details and photos

we often get inquiries regarding A-37s for sale)

Recent offerings include:


1981 Alberg '37 Sloop. Hull # 217. Lightly used Great Lakes only, single owner. Lying at Whitby, ONT.

US$59,500.00.  (Click here for photo)

Contact Frank LaValley at 647-223-3536




1968 Alberg 37 Yawl, equipped for cruising.  On the hard at the Indiantown  Marina, Indiantown, FL.


Ron and Cindy Strahm

2820 S. Crenshaw Road

Independence, MO 64057


TEL: 816.228.6325

FAX: 816.229.6100



1967 Alberg 37 Sloop, many updates, slipped in Manitowoc, WI.  Asking $28,000 U.S.  Call for information.

David and Joyce Lahmann

TEL: 319.882.3023




Unfortunately, the Owners Forum is still down for maintenance.  It became subject to multiple “Spams”, pornographic links, etc., and was becoming very slow to access.  We are STILL looking into other forum type software, and hope to have a new forum up and operating in the next few months (hope to have time during the winter months).  If any members have knowledge of forum type software (freeware/shareware), we’d be interested in learning about it. We thank those who have expressed their thoughts on this matter. Your patience is appreciated.



We are working on a new “Featured Alberg 37” article for the website.  The new “Featured Alberg 37” will be SOUTHERN CROSS, a 1977 MK-II sloop owned by Marcel Steinz and Karen Kinnear of Oakville, Ontario.  Check the website periodically for the new  presentation. (SOUTHERN CROSS is currently cruising in the Bahamas).




Due to the proliferation of SPAM on the Internet, we no longer publish Email addresses on the A-37 web site (or in the quarterly newsletter) unless you request otherwise. We also invite you to send maintenance, project, cruising, etc. articles to us for inclusion in the newsletter (and for posting on the web site). We prefer you send the text material in WORD format via email attachment (text in the body of an Email is OK, but takes a bit of “massaging” to get it into the proper format).

We also welcome photos of your boats for inclusion in the “Photo Gallery” – we like the photos to be in JPG format if at all possible but can handle most other formats (we can also scan your photos if you want to send a hardcopy). Keep the file size fairly small (50-60 Kb works well). We still need your Email address updates for the A-37 Roster, which is not publicly posted (Note – email address lists are not provided to any third parties- only members).  If you want a copy of the roster let us know and we'll either Email a copy to you or send a hardcopy if desired.


Tentative plans are to hold the 2004 Alberg 37 Rendezvous at the Assenmacher dock in Kinsale, Virginia over the last weekend of September (September 25-26, 2004) or the first weekend in October (October 2-3, 2004).  Snowbirds planning their transit of the Chesapeake Bay should keep this period in mind. (Note: The Annapolis Sailboat Show is scheduled for October  7 - 11, 2004)



By the Editor

The purpose of the newsletter is to provide a vehicle for the exchange of ideas relating to our Alberg 37 experiences (good and bad), maintenance tips, and cruising information and to maintain a roster of Alberg 37 owners.

We suggest a donation of $10.00 U.S. a year to cover costs of publishing the quarterly newsletter, postage, Xerox services, and of course, maintaining the web site.

We suggest to our Non-U.S. members that they send an International Money Order payable in U.S. dollars.  A Canadian Postal Money Order works best for Canadian members.

You will notice a date on the label of the newsletter mailing, reminding you to help maintain the newsletter / association. For those receiving the newsletter notice via Email, we ask that you honor your commitment to the Association. The Association appreciates your help!

The A-37 IOA, participates as a cooperating group with BOAT U.S., and members receive BOAT U.S. membership for half price ($9.50 vice $19.00). 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


If you are transiting the Chesapeake Bay, please plan to stop by Kinsale for a few days (or longer). It's only about 12 miles off the Bay (up the Potomac to the Yeocomico River), and our area is very secluded, protected (good hurricane hole) and quiet, and a very good cruising area, especially in the fall. We always have a couple of open slips.

Each fall/spring we have several ‘snowbirds’ stop on their way south/north.  Please note our Kinsale VA phone number: (804) 472-3853 - leave a message if we aren’t at home.

If we inadvertently missed any of your correspondence, just hit us again – we like to receive correspondence, especially email, as it’s the grist that makes the Newsletter interesting. REMEMBER, THIS IS YOUR NEWSLETTER!

Have a great Alberg Winter and keep the letters and emails coming.





Tom and Kaye Assenmacher


P.S.  Anyone interested in taking over the web site/newsletter for a 6 month period???!!!  We plan to do some extended cruising this summer.