37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS
Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
P.O. Box 32
Kinsale, VA 22488
(Please Remove 'nospam' Before Sending)
VOL. 17 NO. 3
(To keep continuity, there
is no Vol. 17 No.1 or No. 2)
Home in Kinsale
(We Are Now ‘Dirt Dwellers’ Again)
By Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
After spending a very interesting and spectacular winter cruise to, in,
and from the Abacos, we are finally back home in Kinsale.
We left Kinsale aboard our 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER
Our special thanks to Lou and Jean for their forbearance, guidance, good humor, patience, knowledge etc., as Kaye and I, aboard SHEARWATER, trailed about 200 yards behind PIKA for most of the trip (there were a very few times when we ‘went first’!!
We logged about 2515 Nautical Miles since we left Kinsale (the majority of
the miles were logged on the ICW going to and from
The only notable equipment failures occurred on the way back from the
Bahamas, in South Carolina, within about a week of each other:: The Hurth/ZF
M150A transmission (installed by the Skipper); Transmission shift cable (again
installed by the Skipper); and an electric fuel pump (spare carried on board).
Both transmission problems required towing by TowBoatUS.
Thankfully, we had "Unlimited" Towing Insurance from Boat
We both thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, learned a lot about the culture of
Places in the Abacos that we visited included Great Sale Cay; Green Turtle Cay (one of our favorites); the infamous “Whale Passage”; Marsh Harbour; Lynard Cay; Hopetown (another favorite); Great Guana Cay; Treasure Cay; Man O’ War Cay (still another favorite); and numerous other great anchorages. Actually, all the places are fantastic with crystal clear turquoise water.
We still have quite a few photos
of our cruise (including PIKA
and crew) posted on the A-37 Web site – we’ll leave them there for some
time – so take a look. You’ll want to go to the
We may also publish some cruising “Lessons Learned” articles in subsequent Newsletters.
We won’t be cruising the
Thanks for all your patience etc., etc., during our ‘sabbatical’ – we especially appreciated all the emails! We would recommend this cruise to anyone - but don't wait till you are over 65 – DO IT NOW!!!!!!!
37 Rendezvous Planned
The 15th Alberg 37 IOA Annual Rendezvous is set for
Featured Alberg 37
1967 MK-I Alberg 37 sloop,
Owned by Todd and Natalie Stebleton of
Copperhead is a Mark I sloop built as hull
seventeen in 1967. My wife, Natalie, and I bought the boat in 1998 as a complete
restoration neared completion. We were fortunate enough to benefit from
countless hours spent on a project that could only be called a labor of love by
the previous owners. I am sure they understood as they built their
"boat of a lifetime" that they would never recover the dollars spent.
An urgent business deal forced the boat to be listed for sale. A very speedy
transaction made Copperhead ours in four days.
The interior restoration was nearly completed before we bought the boat. I believe the basic configuration of the interior is unchanged from when the boat was new. Materials and some surface changes are evident in the pictures. The counter top surfaces in the galley are now stainless steel; surfaces around the portlights are now teak and mahogany; and the cushions have been recovered. The most notable change from original is the quality of the finish. All interior surfaces are seven coats of hand rubbed varnish. The deep semi-gloss effect is not achievable without spending hundreds of hours. I have duplicated the results on trim pieces I have replaced and it requires enormous effort. As you review the interior pictures, you will no doubt recognize other small changes, but, for the most part the boat is unmolested inside and out.
Mechanical upgrades include a new Universal M-50 diesel ( less than 100 hours when we bought the boat), complete rewire, new plumbing, and new mast and rigging.
When we bought Copperhead, the biggest project
that remained was a repaint of the hull and deck. This was completed in July 06.
Natalie and I worked from January until June to prep the boat for paint. A
friend (professional painter) sprayed the Awlgrip to a mirror finish. After the
repaint it took us another month to put everything back where it came from.
If you attempt a project like this the best advice I can give is to mark every
single piece of hardware as to location and orientation when it is removed. My
small mind could not possibly recall how each piece came off the boat after that much
time had passed. Digital photos are also helpful.
The last project on our list (before we start all over again) is to replace the sails. Except for our smallest jib, all our sails are original and in the original bags which are dated early 1968. They are somewhat tired but we still manage to win a race every now and then.
I could write much more about the virtues of the design and the execution of the restoration. Those of you who sail A-37's already are familiar with the design. The pictures complete my thoughts of the restoration.
Please contact me if you are near Daytona Beach and wish to see our boat. It is very near what Alberg 37's were when new. Todd...
(Editor's Note: We visited with Todd and Natalie as we were passing through Daytona Beach, FL on April 19, 2007 aboard our 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER on our way home from spending the winter in the Abacos. They brought their boat to where we were anchored in Daytona and we had a most enjoyable "raft-up". COPPERHEAD is an exceptional example of an early (1967 - the first year of production) Alberg 37.)
Photos of COPPERHEAD
By Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
We’ve had quite a few visitors stop by at our dock in Kinsale since we
returned from the Abacos in May. Of
course in company with us were Lou and Jean Wayne of
Then in mid-June, Lynn Thoresen and Scott Williams stopped by aboard their
1974 MK-II Yawl (currently rigged as a sloop)
Grieb, of Chestertown, MD recently wrote:
“CATRINE (ex - TIDINGS) is
almost ready after a 3 year refit at Sailing Associates Marina on the
We recently received an email from Geoffrey Barrow, of Munster, IN, who owns the 1968 MK-I Sloop LAURA, which is in service for youth sail training for disadvantaged youth in East Chicago, Indiana (see www.indianasailing.org)---“we are on a very tight budget, often running in the red but.............. WE SAIL ONWARD”.
and Mary Carr of
Joran Gendell and Friend
and Kim March of
ARTEMIS Crosses The Starting Line
and Linda Newbould of Coles Point, VA recently purchased the 1970 MK-I Yawl TEVAKE
from Chris Anderson.
Kip and Linda plan a complete rebuild/refurbish of
TEVAKE including installation
of a new engine. Kip and Linda own
the boat transportation company BOAT
LOVERS TRANSPORT (http://www.boatloverstransport.com/index.html)
– they haul large (and small) boats throughout the
Hewitt recently launched his 1984 MK-II Yawl FLORENCE GRAY at the Krentz Marina near
Bill and Pat Shrader of
My eventual decision was to put an HBW-150 behind the W-40. Since that transmission has an offset, some creative re-siteing of the engine is necessary (ugh). I’ll send pictures when I’m all done. (Work’s gone slowly, because I also have to finish a book...but that’s another story).
I’ve also been installing a propane system, now about 90% done. I’ve gone with a fiberglass tank on the afterdeck, avoiding the whole issue of making an airtight locker with a vent that exits at least two feet from any exhaust, etc., etc. I’ll send pictures of that as well (eventually).
Finally, in one of the best moves I’ve made in years, while the engine was out, I decided to paint the area from the engine back to the prop with the same off-white paint I’d used on the few bits of exposed fiberglass on the cabin sole. To prep the area (sanding was out of the question), I sprayed oven cleaner on it, let it wait 20 min, rinsed, and then wiped down with stove alcohol (leftover from the Shipmate Alcohol stove I’m removing!). What used to be black-to-brown-colored suddenly became a light-brown-to-yellow color like the insides of the sail-lockers, and everything back there was far easier to see. Two coats of off-white paint, and it’s positively bright back there!” --John
Ian Dunn of
Tom McMaster and Rose Hansmeyer of
Tom and Rose have a website whereby you can keep up with their adventures aboard SOJOURN (http://spaces.msn.com/Sojourn-A37/) or (http://sojourn-a37.spaces.live.com/). Tom’s new favorite saying from sailing friend BRIT – “You can always make money – but you can’t make time!”
Mike Rostron of
“I am still trying to find more information on how to maximize sailing performance on my boat. Mine has a shortened boom as many others apparently do, but the logic in doing it seems shaky at best. I also have a "Solent Rig" and have finally figured out what is good for and some of its limitations. In general I think we need more discussion of this topic.
As I said before; there seems to be plenty of info out there on toilet installations, cabin modifications, and engine replacement. Why not more on what many of us bought the A-37 for: that is; performance under sail. I don't necessarily mean discussions on the best way to race the boat (although that too would be very interesting), but comparisons of how the variously rigged A-37s perform might lead to finding the best rigs for various styles of sailing. Some of us at least could care less about getting maximum engine performance and would willingly down size the "infernal combustion machine" or deep six it altogether if it helped sailing performance! Has anyone actually taken two A-37s with similar sized jibs and the original versus shortened boom main and raced them against each other? In races with more than one A-37 are there large differences in performance and if so, why (other than crew competence)?
So what I hope to see in your latest news letter is not only where you went but how your boat performed under various sail trim etc. How is your rig tuned? How about actual ft/lbs instead of tight, tighter, and tightest. Someone must have this information for a design that has been around this long and raced at least some.
Note: OK you racers out there!! –
Let’s have some non-subjective information regarding rigging setups, tensions,
etc. etc. Responses will make
interesting reading!! If anyone has
such information that they would like to share, please forward it to us in
Kinsale, and we’ll forward the info to Mike and also include it in future
Replacement on SHEARWATER in 2002
By Tom Assenmacher,
We receive a few questions about our fairly recent engine replacement back in 2002. I've never gotten around on doing a web article on the re-engineing project, although I intend to do so some day.... Anyway, in 2002 we had to replace the old MD-2B which suffered a catastrophic hydraulic lock in the rear cylinder. I looked around for a "proper" engine, and considered the Yanmar 40 (cost too much), the Beta Marine Kubota based 37.5 hp (again a bit pricey), and then settled on the PHASOR - a 37.5 Kubota based engine and trans (at that time about $1500 less than comparable Yanmar). I did all the installation myself, with the exception of having the old engine lifted from the boat and the new engine lifted into the boat by the yard folks.
I ordered the PHASOR 37.5 with the optional Hurth/ZF 150A (now called a ZF MA15) 8 degree down-angle transmission, due to the extreme angle (18 deg.) of the prop shaft plane to the horizontal plane. The new engine lays at a much more reasonable (10 deg) to horizontal, which makes the engine a bit more serviceable and also all the oil in the oil pan is not at such a high level in the rear of the engine. The 8 deg transmission does however, complicate the location of the new engine beds somewhat, since the engine crankshaft plane is not parallel to the transmission output shaft plane/prop shaft plane. I probably spent a week or more 'pondering' the re-engineering of the engine mounts/beds before I did any modifications of the existing engine beds. I had to lower the front mounts approximately 3" in order to accommodate the down angle trans / prop shaft centerline. I built a wooden mockup of the engine and trans (2x4's, plywood, and some 3/8" long bolts) which helped quite a bit in determining the modifications. I finally got out the Sawzall and trimmed the front mounts to what I had determined would be a correct height. I only needed to slightly modify the rear mounts. One modification required was to extend the engine mounting pads approximately 3" closer to the centerline of the boat, as the new engine mounts were spaced closer than the old engine. I had to do some fiberglass work on the front mounts, and was able to fabricate new front engine mounting beds using some 6" x 1/2" aluminum angle, all through bolted to the modified fiberglass beds. The rear mounts only required extending the existing beds the required amount to accommodate the narrower Phasor mounts, again using some 1/2" aluminum plate.
I determined the prop size by using the BoatDiesel.com prop formulas (www.boatdiesel.com). The reduction gear ratio on the new engine is 1.875-1, and with the A-37 displacement, waterline length, etc. as entering arguments, I finally came up with a 14" x 11" RH prop (the Volvo had a 13"x 14" LH prop). The formula originally came up with a 16" prop, but I didn't want to open up the aperture that much. The good thing about the prop formula is that you can enter a constraint (i.e., max prop diameter of 14" and it figured out that 11" pitch would work.).
Since this engine/trans is about 4" shorter than the old Volvo, I had to buy a new shaft (1").
This eng and trans made a nice compact installation. I achieve hull speed at about 2100 engine rpm, but normally cruise at about 1900 - 2000 rpm, which give us about 5.9 - 6.0 kts at a fuel consumption of about .65 gal/hr. I can just barely get full engine rpm at max throttle with no smoking, which tells me that the prop is just about right for the boat. Also, I get 6.0 kts or a bit better (with a clean hull and prop) just at the intersection of the torque curve and the fuel consumption curve. It's a nice and quiet engine.
The only problem is we had to replace the trans at about 300 hours (under warrantee, they gave me a brand new trans) and again at about 900 hours, on our way back from the Bahamas near Savannah GA (which was no longer covered by warrantee – we had to ‘eat’ this one to the tune of about 2 major boat units, i.e., $2K.). We still haven’t quite figured out why these transmissions are failing as the alignment is good, we do frequent oil changes on the trans, etc. etc. ZF hasn’t been much help other than supplying us with new transmissions (we now have a spare – if we get around to rebuilding the last one we replaced). We are in the process of adding a transmission oil cooler which, although not called for in the ZF specs for a 37 hp engine, certainly won’t hurt. We’ve heard from Phasor that they are now using a Twin Disc Transmission in this application. Guess time will tell… I’ve gotten quite good at removing and replacing these transmissions, and can do it in about 6 hours actual work time. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be able to crawl around behind and over the engine.
I had to replace the entire exhaust system since the Kubota uses a 2" exhaust (new muffler, etc. - we used Vetus components.)
This was a fun (sort of) project. We are quite satisfied with the new installation, performance, fuel consumption, lack of vibration, etc. etc.
Alberg 37 Rudder Stuffing Box
By Tom Assenmacher
Regarding repacking the rudder stuffing box, we repacked ours several years ago with the boat in the water. The rudder stuffing box is slightly above the water line (at least on our 1975 MK-II yawl SHEARWATER, but you might want to check this out first!). The stuffing box is somewhat difficult to reach, but can be done through the port cockpit locker (at least on the MK-II - not sure if you have the same setup on the MK-I).
In order to remove the stuffing box gland and move it up the rudder post , you will need to loosen the rudder quadrant (assuming you have wheel steering), and slack off the steering cables (2 eye bolts on either side of the quadrant), and then loosen up the quadrant clamp which attaches the quadrant to the rudder post.
After you have loosened up everything, you will need to slide the quadrant up the rudder post (may require some tapping with a hammer, as the quadrant is keyed to the rudder post). You don't need to remove the quadrant, just move it up enough to completely disengage the packing nut.
Anyway, on our boat, the stuffing box is accessible, although you have to be somewhat of a contortionist to get to it! Suggest that you back off the stuffing box jamb nut, and then back off the stuffing box nut itself, to see if you get an influx of water (if you do, you will probably need to haul the boat to repack the rudder stuffing box). If you don't get any influx of water, you can do the job in the water.
If the packing nut has nearly bottomed out, you may not really need to remove the old packing, but it's probably just as well to remove the old packing (may require some innovative use of an ice pick, or small screwdriver). Recommend that you use PTFE Flax or TefPack packing, which is great stuff. My (original) prop stuffing box has been repacked with PTFE, and it simply doesn't leak. Our rudder stuffing box uses 5/16" PTFE packing material (yours may be slightly different), which is available at West Marine. We last did this job about 4 years ago, and have had no leakage since that time.
37 Association Rudder Mold
previously reported, the A-37 IOA is
in possession of (what we think is) the original Rudder Mold for the Alberg 37.
Since we received the mold from Ed Kunkel, it has been used at least once
to fabricate a new rudder. Ian
Notes Of An Occasional Sailor: Used Marine Hardware
By Charles F. Bahn
(RAVEN - 1985 MK-II Yawl)
I'm a used boat store junkie. I can't pass one without
going inside. And once inside, I have to buy things. Usually expensive things I
can't afford. Like another radar unit- never mind that I already have four. This
will be perfect when I need spares. Or a diesel engine.
I can sniff them out- no matter how remote. Once, when
taking my son to a far away summer camp, I found not one but two. I brought home
a prized pair of custom aluminum davits. I didn't even know if they would fit
our boat, but for $100 I couldn't pass them up. The Mate couldn't believe it
("measure twice, cut once" she said), but they actually fit perfectly.
Experience teaches that the more run down the store
is, the more likely it is to have just the item you can't live without. A case
in point is our autopilot. I had been eyeing one at my favorite
My most worthwhile purchase at the same store was a
used diesel engine. During one of my forays, I saw an engine just like mine
sitting in the back of the store with a For Sale sign- $800 -on it. I thought
about how the Mate would kill me if I actually bought an engine so I walked
away. As I was leaving, I walked past the engine from the opposite direction,
and noticed that it looked different from the back. A Turbocharger! So it was a
done deal. I had to rent a truck to get it home, and of course it didn't run, so
I had to rebuild it over the winter. After three years it is still running
Other "finds" have been a refrigeration unit
and spare compressor, various anchors, a headsail furler, a single side band
radio, Satnav, and GPS units, two or three outboard motors (don't ask)
and about a ton of various shiny marine hardware (cleats, shackles, etc).
Of course not everything has worked as advertised. The Satnav and the GPS were
DOA, but after I took them apart and changed their batteries they both fired
right up. The only thing I got burned on was a small gas generator. It wouldn't
run, and despite my best efforts, I just couldn't fix it. "I told you
so" I heard from the Mate.
But then tragedy struck. We had a bad winter, and the
roof at Ocean Outfitters collapsed. Now they’re gone, and apparently will not
reopen. The Mate was neither surprised or disappointed. "What did you
expect, you were their only customer!"
But sometimes God closes a window and opens a door.
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:
CDN $78,000. Check Website
for Inventory and Photos.
For a detailed inventory list or answers to any questions. Email Mitch (Gonzo_Sailing@yahoo.com) or call: 519.859.6129)
or Email "Mike" (firstname.lastname@example.org) http://www.niagarayachtsales.com/ phone: 1 905 468 5659; toll free: 1 877 624 6312 Yours for only CDN$72,000
Alberg 37s Wanted
37 in ready to-go offshore condition. Please call Wolfgang at 250 923-2315.
- Alberg 37 project boat.
Contact Art Svaldenis (email@example.com)
Gear For Sale
Tom McMaster has
a winter cover made by TopShop for
sale. It was purchased in 2000
(initial cost approximately $1500) for their 1985 Sloop SOJOURN and used during winter months. It can be used for
either a sloop or yawl (This cover allows both sticks to be left up or down.).
It would be shipped from zip code 55377 -
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.
Sites of Interest
Marine and Coast
Guard Agency (
Resources - A
collection of useful, (and not so useful), items in medicine and sailing,:
Hurricane Resource and Tracking Center http://www.BoatUS.com/hurricanes
PHRF Ratings for Various Boats Including Alberg 37s: http://www.phrfsocal.org/ratings.htm and http://www.phrfne.org/page/567
Courtesy of John Hughes
1970 MK-I Sloop SARAH
“I've got another "safety first" bit of advice
(along the lines of "don't get trapped in the seat locker"). I was
reminded of it a month ago when I was helping a friend try to get his
When you're working on the electrics, and you have to keep connecting/disconnecting things (like a battery being hooked up to the engine so you can turn it over, but NOT being hooked up while you're messing with other things), you really, REALLY, want to keep the battery in a battery box, with an insulated cover over it. Once (many years ago) I had the battery cover off, and was working with a 12 inch crescent wrench nearby. It slipped from my hand and as luck would have it, managed to end up across the battery terminals. There was a loud "pop" and it bounced off. My crescent wrench now has two "weld spots" with brownish-black stuff around them as a reminder of my stupidity. If it had stuck rather than bouncing, I'd have surely had a fire (complete with lots of boiling sulfuric acid) on my hands.
Another expensive lesson from last summer: never trust anyone with your fuel.
See Ron Cole’s starting line photo on page 2 of this newsletter.
By the Editor
Since Kaye and I are back home from our winter cruise to the Abacos, we will gradually get back to ‘normal’, A37IOA wise at least. We’ve probably missed a few of your emails over the past 8 months or so, so if we’ve missed something really important, just shoot us another email. Also, if you see that we made a ‘glaring error’ somewhere on the website, or in a Newsletter, please point this out to us (thanks Jay!!) – it’s difficult being ones own proofreader!!!
check your calendar to see if you can attend the Fall Rendezvous at Kinsale, the
weekend of 13-14 October 2007. We
already know of at least 3 boats that plan on heading ‘South’ after the
Rendezvous, so there will be a lot of Cruising Talk!
Additionally, the weather is normally very nice in the
The A-37 IOA
participates as a cooperating group with BOAT
U.S., and members receive BOAT
a great sailing SUMMER!!!!!! See you
at the Rendezvous in October…….
and Kaye Assenmacher
Upcoming Rendezvous Events
2007 ALBERG 37 FALL RENDEZVOUS
may arrive on Thursday or Friday)
(This is the weekend after the Annapolis Sailboat Show)
Hall Branch, Yeocomico
(On Virginia 's Beautiful and Historic Northern Neck)
NOTE: ALL POSITIONAL INFORMATION IS APPROXIMATE – DO NOT USE FOR NAVIGATION
Here for Previous Rendezvous Write-ups and Photos
NOTE: Rendezvous which were held prior to 1998, are not recorded on the Alberg 37 Web site except in the archived newsletters. The first Alberg 37 Rendezvous was held over the Labor day weekend in September, 1993 in
ALBERG-37 FALL RENDEZVOUS time again! Plan
to include this event in your fall cruising plans (especially you
BY WATER: From Point Lookout MD (Chart
#12233 Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay) proceed west about 10 miles to the
Yeocomico River Entrance light Fl R4s 18 ft 4M “2” (38-02.44N
076-30.04W). From the Yeocomico River Entrance light proceed (Chart #12285
Potomac River Yeocomico River Inset 4) westward to Fl G 6sec "3" (line
up on the large white house with red roof on Horn Point), then to "2".
Note the shoal area to the Southeast of "2". Give "2" a
slightly wide berth to the Southeast, and you will have no problem.
Continue in the
IF YOU COME BY CAR: From
Fredericksburg, VA, proceed on Rt. 3 to Montross, VA.
Proceed south on Rt. 3 out of Montross ,
2 miles south of Montross, VA you will see Rt. 202,
make a left on Rt. 202 and proceed on Rt. 202 through Hague, VA.
About 4 miles from Hague, you will see Rt. 203 (at BP gas station and a
sign to Kinsale), make a left on Rt.203 for about 1.2 miles and you will be
coming into Kinsale. As you approach Kinsale, you will be coming down a small
hill, just at the bottom of the hill you will see a sign saying 'Hampton Hall
Estates' and also a street sign “
Lodging Information in the Kinsale Area is Available on the Alberg 37 Website
The Port Kinsale Marina, that you passed on you way in by water, is a full service facility, and has a fuel dock. Groceries and other supplies are available nearby, and we have plenty of available transportation.
If you have any questions about the rendezvous, send us an Email (firstname.lastname@example.org - remove "NoSpam") or give us a call at 804.472.3853 (leave a message if we are not at home).
you plan to attend, please contact us at the above email/phone number no later