ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
C/O Tom and Kaye
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
John Bax (IMMUNITY) writes from Mississauga, ONT. that he is interested in hearing from those members that have 'BLUE WATER' experience in their A-37's.
Steve Novak (MIST) writes from Water Mill, NY., that he has made many modifications to his A-37. His list of modifications hopefully will appear in the next issue. Thanks for the input.
Brian and Kathy Marsh (TUNDRA) write from Sarnia, Ont. that they also have made many improvements to their vessel. Thanks for your input, I hope to include them also in the next issue.
Neil Baylie (RAPCU) reports from Monroeville, PA. reports that the Boyle Boat Works, of Columbia, SC., purchased the manufacturing rights , molds, forms, and remaining unused parts from the Whitby Boat Works, and hopes to put the A-37 back into production. I plan to contact the company and see what the plan is. They may be interested in perhaps supporting our organization.
Jack Lackner (CANADA GOOSE) has sent a change of address note stating that he is now in Malaga, Spain. He neglected to say whether he sailed CANADA GOOSE to Spain.
Malcolm Blackburn (KAILA II) of Sault Ste. Marie, ONT. reports that they had a cold summer, and that instead of going cruising, they were touring New England (looking at boats of course).
Des McCrindell (ROB ROY) of Etobicoke, ONT., reports that their sloop was quite well equipped when they purchased her in 1987, and has main furling, which was installed by a Toronto sailmaker Joe Fernandez, who was the previous owner of PENINA, and have installed a new main-sheet system called the EASYMATIC endless sheet system, with 8:1 purchase. How about some more information on both systems??
Martin Violette (SLYBOOTS) of Ithaca, NY. reports that after a long search, he has finally purchased the boat that best suits his needs. He is now in the process of refitting her, and installing a fully battened main and mizzen. Martin also reports that several A-37 owners are using COMPUSERVE SAILING FORUM as a means of communicating sailing information via PC and MODEM.
Jerry and Lea Warwick (AVALON) report that they have been busy with their cruising group in St. Michaels, Md.
Also, welcome to all those new members who have responded to the 'call'. Word appears to be getting around, as we now have a roster of 51 members.
Want to stop the top of the icebox from sweating in humid weather, without requiring a major rebuild of the box? Try gluing pieces of rigid foam builders insulation (the blue stuff which comes in 4' x 8' sheets and is about 1" thick) to the underside of the box. The lids themselves appear to be fairly well insulated. Cut the foam to fit and glue in with paneling adhesive. Also, making a lid gasket using 1/4" self adhesive weatherstripping foam also helps. Jerry Warwick says he uses a piece of sailcloth on top of the ice box contents to conserve ice and keep perishables colder.
For new members, I'm asking for $10.00 a year to cover costs of putting out a quarterly newsletter. Unfortunately, I'm not able to do xeroxing 'free' at work, and postage being what it is.
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, cruising information and to maintain a roster of Alberg 37 owners.
Eventually we may attempt to schedule a rendezvous. How about Labor Day weekend, September 4,5,6, 1993 in Kinsale, Va. Some of our Canadian friends might be able to make is as part of their journey south for the winter. Think about it. More about this in the next issue.
Also, you should be aware of our group's agreement with BOAT U.S. whereby we get membership for half price as members of a cooperating group. Just mention that you are a member of the Alberg 37 Owners Group and the Cooperating Group number GA 8325 S when you send in your membership dues.
As you may have noticed, I have changed the name of the organization to the ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION to reflect the true internationality of our members.
Jerry Warwick has provided some discussion on some of the improvements that they have made on AVALON. A Mark III sloop, with no quarter berth (all nav station). They relocated the batteries from over the bilge, to under the "L" settee, which makes for easier servicing (we did this also on SHEARWATER). They also have retired the small, shallow sink under the companionway step and now use it for winch handle storage (one less hose to disconnect for engine access).
John Bax (IMMUNITY) wrote concerning the trials and tribulations regarding the water heater installed behind the Westerbeke 4-107. Seems that the heater kept burning out heater elements when using shore power. John stated that after much thought, and numerous applications of liquid refreshment (to himself), he decided that the tank had somehow turned and the element was not always covered by water, causing it to burn out. By simply turning the heater about 8" thereby lowering the element, and installing a new element, the problem was solved. John also reports that if anyone has problems with their LUCAS M459 starter that was used on circa 1971 WESTERBEKE 4-107 diesel engine, an alternate model is available (LUCAS S4545). Also, he is looking for design/drawings and engineering specifications for the 1971 MKII yawl bow anchor plate and rollers to accommodate a 45 CQR and chain, and design/drawings/details of converting the pilot berth to a cupboard/bar/entertainment center. Any help out there???. John has also done some deck strengthening, and chain plate work on IMMUNITY. Hope to have John give us some articles concerning this work.
Jerry and Lea Warwick (AVALON) report that they had to replace the little round 5# propane bottles which came with A-37s that have propane service, with bottles that were about 1/4" taller than the top of the box located behind the rudder post in the aft portion of the cockpit. They solved the problem by installing a 1/2" cuff under the lid and a 1/2" piece of the part of the lid to which the hinge attaches. We had the same problem on SHEARWATER a couple of years ago when the old round tanks became too rusty to safely fill. Tried to find aluminum tanks that would fit, but none were available. Was finally able to special order from BOAT U.S. 2 steel bottles made by WORTHINGTON that required only very minor modifications to the lid. Jerry also stated that by actual measurement in the boatyard last winter, AVALON draws 5'8" or 5'9" instead of the advertised 5'6". I think most of us will concur with that measurement.
Neil Baylie (RAPCU), while repairing the prop shaft packing gland, discovered that the shaft log (brass or bronze tube) had broken off from the Cutless bearing mount, however, it was bedded sufficiently that it had not leaked. We had a similar problem shortly after we purchased SHEARWATER. Electrolysis had caused a small hole in the tubing wall just aft of the stuffing box. Had to haul the boat, remove the prop and shaft, remove the Cutless bearing mount (the shaft log was screwed into the bearing mount), have a new bronze shaft log made (actually a 1 1/2" bronze pipe about a foot long, with pipe threads on one end) and reinstall everything. Re-bedded it with 3-M 5200 (probably a mistake if we ever have to remove it again).
Does anyone have any stories relating to troubles that they may have experienced with the VOLVO MD2B diesel? We have the original MD2B in SHEARWATER (#153 1975) with about 2000 hrs. Two years ago I blew a head gasket on one cylinder, and upon replacing it I discovered that the oil rings were stuck. Freed them up, and it runs fine, and burned virtually no oil. I had been using Quaker State HDX 30 W, but have since changed to Wolf's Head 30 W diesel HD because I cannot get the HDX locally. Now the engine appears to burn some oil, (also has a small oil leak that defies all attempts to isolate), approximately 1 quart every 10 - 15 hours. Get a bit of blue smoke at startup, but not really any smoke at cruise settings. I may do a ring job this winter and see if that helps. I feel that this engine should last for 5000 hours at least before major problems. The engine has been well maintained with oil changes every 50 hours. I really don't want to repower now, but may consider repowering in a couple of years before a planned trip south. What I would like to find is a Perkins 4-107 and transmission from an A-37 which was rebuildable, which would be an easy switch. If anyone has a rebuildable Perkins (Westerbeke) let me know.
For those interested in computers and such onboard their A-37, I carry a laptop 287 onboard that I can plug into the 12 v. system. (in fact I'm writing this while anchored in Shaw Bay, Wye River, Md.). I recently received a small catalog from a company called SSC (Software System Consulting) 615 S. Camino Real, San Clemente, CA. 92672 (714) 498-5784, FAX (714) 489-0568. They have software for PC HF Facsimile service (Weather satellite images etc.). Interesting stuff, and could be practical to those planning offshore voyages. The catalog is free, and contains a lot of information.
If anyone has anything they would like to buy or sell, drop me a line, and I'll include it in the next newsletter.
WANTED!!!! SEND YOUR FAVORITE CRUISING FOOD RECIPES TO SHARE WITH OTHER MEMBERS.
Down to the last cans stored above the water tank? Here's the way we end almost every cruise. Usually we have extra cans of zucchini and tomatoes which makes a great sauce over pasta of any kind. Heat it all together and add a handful of cheese until it melts and you can survive another day on cruise.
There's a lot of one skillet meals on SHEARWATER - but sometimes we end up cooking more on board than we do at the house. Chicken breasts start out frozen in the bottom of the ice box and gradually work their way to the top. They become main dishes with any rice or pasta. McCormick sauce mixes are terrific - maybe because they hail from Baltimore MD., but with Brown Minute Rice (only minute rice worth carrying) they do make a quick (not too much propane used) hot meal.
We would like to continue the GALLEY TALK feature, so send your favorite cruising recipes to share with the rest of us.
CHESAPEAKE CRUISING NOTES
I'm going to bore you with our annual fall cruise narrative. I know this is tame stuff for all you real adventurers, but maybe in a few years we'll be able........
10-2-92 Friday. After arriving home from work, we completed loading the boat for our cruise, including the proverbial 'kitchen sink'. We were away from the dock by 1830, and decided to do a short motoring stint over to Cuckold Creek, just off the Patuxent River, near Solomons, Md. An old friend, former Navy Captain, and colleague of mine was celebrating his retirement by having a party at his house on the creek. We arrived at just at sundown. Had a great party, including steamed Maryland blue crabs. The party broke up at about 2200, so we retired to Shearwater, and enjoyed a beautiful evening.
10-3-92 Saturday. Up at 0730, had a quick breakfast, and brought the anchor up at about 0830. Thought we might make a run up to the Oxford, Md. area on the Choptank River. The weather forecast called for Southwest winds at 10 - 15 KTS, so that looked like the way to go, a reach and a run all the way. Once out in the bay, we decided to go to the Severn river instead, as we wanted to perhaps do a little exploring in the Northern Bay again after an absence of several years. Unfortunately, the wind never quite developed as advertised, and we ended up motorsailing nearly the total way. Lots of boats out in the Annapolis Md. area. We finally dropped the anchor in Saltworks Creek at about 1800. Saltworks Creek, about 3 miles above Annapolis, Md. off the Severn River, has deep water to 10' nearly to the upper end, and is a very snug, although narrow creek, with high bluffs on both sides. It's getting quite built-up in the recent years, so it doesn't quite have the charm that was quite apparent several years ago.
10-4-92 Sunday. The weather had turned cloudy and humid overnight, but no rain was forecast. We decided to do some exploring on the upper Severn River, so the anchor was up at 1200, and we were under way. There are several deep creeks in the upper Severn (Valentine, Plum, and Forked Creeks). All would be good anchorages, but are a little too crowded for out taste. We finally dropped anchor in Hopkins Creek, our favorite creek on the Severn. Hopkins Creek is located just behind Helena Island, and carrys 9 - 10' of water. The entrance looks tricky, but as long as one stays in the center of the creek, there's no problem.
10-5-92 Monday. With a cold front passage after midnight, the breeze picked up, and we drug anchor (35' CQR), and had to reposition at 0330. Dawn finally arrived clear, cold, and blustery. requiring use of the Chesapeake diesel heater in the morning. Since small craft warnings were posted, and we had nowhere in particular to go, we decided to spend the day anchored in Hopkins Creek, and give us a chance to catch up on boat chores, reading, and of course give me a chance to begin writing the next edition of the news letter.
10-6-92 Tuesday. Cold night, down in the 40's (I suppose that our Canadian friends think that we are a bunch of wimps), and the Chesapeake heater looks like a great investment. I bought it for $100 this spring from a sailboat owner who decided not to install it. It was still in the carton! We decided to see what was happening in Annapolis, Md. arriving there at about noon. Preparations were underway for the sailboat show, with quite a few boats moored and anchored in the anchorage. We dropped the hook near RAPCU and found owner Neil Baylie settling down following an all night sail from Solomons. Neil is hoping to sell RAPCU and hoped to get some exposure during the show. We spent the P.M. in Annapolis and Eastport doing a bit of shopping and looking at the boats being positioned for the show. An awfully lot of Plastic Boats there. Later in the afternoon, Ed and Beryl Goveia (ESTORIL) stopped by in their dingy for a short visit. They are on a 2 year cruise south, having departed Toronto during the summer. Wish we were going along also, perhaps in a few years. Hope that Ed and Beryl will keep us posted on their progress and adventures.
10-7-92 Wednesday. We departed Annapolis harbor at 0830, with no wind and calm seas. We decided to go over to the Wye River, and spend a few days in that area. Finally reached Dividing Creek in the early P.M. after motoring all the way. Dividing Creek is one of our favorites and is totally undeveloped, a good place to watch the fall Canadian Geese migration. Only one other sailboat there, a Westsail 32.
10-8-92 Thursday. A prime day on the Eastern Shore. Numerous flocks of geese were evident all day and into the evening. Spent the day in Dividing Creek doing boat chores and enjoying the fall weather.
10-9-92 Friday. Began to rain early in the morning, but fortunately, the temperature was in the upper 60's so we weren't too uncomfortable. Plans were to make the short trip down to St. Michaels, and since the rain had stopped, we decided to leave at about 0900. The rain began with some intensity about 15 minutes later, so we decided to drop the hook in Shaw Bay, and go to St. Michaels on Saturday. Of course, the best plans didn't quite work out, because the wind really began to blow from the Southeast, and Shaw Bay was beginning to get a bit lumpy. We decided to find a more sheltered spot on the Wye, but not really wanting to return to Dividing Creek, decided to find a secluded cove somewhere on the Wye. Found just the place: a small cove about 1 mile from Shaw Bay up toward Dividing Creek. Has no name, but has 10 feet of water and is protected from all directions but the East. A really nice place to spend the evening during a thunderstorm (which occurred at about midnight).
10-10-92 Saturday. The morning brought fine weather, however not much wind. We decided not to go to St. Michaels, but move over to Oxford, Md. instead via the Miles River, Eastern Bay, Knapps Narrows, and the Choptank River. Unfortunately, the wind did not develop as expected, and we had to motor most of the way. We had not been through Knapps Narrows for many years, (never in the A-37) because the channel carried a depth of only about 5 feet or so, but has recently been dredged to a controlling depth of 10 feet. We found this to be true, and experienced no difficulties, except on the Choptank River side, be sure to give the green daybeacons a fairly wide berth, as we bumped the side of the channel a couple of times. Stay at least 30 feet or so away and you should have no problem. We dropped anchor in the beautiful Oxford Harbor at 1400.
10-11-92 Sunday. We spent our time in Oxford doing laundry, shopping and boat and geese watching. The geese were really spectacular, what with a full moon and excellent weather.
10-12-92 Monday. We decided that today we would sail to Solomons, weather permitting. With about 15 knots of wind from the Northwest, we experienced the typical Choptank River "Chop" (could that be the origin of the river's name?), which made for an uncomfortable sail until we were able to fall off a bit down by Sharp's Island. Turned out to be a spectacular reach down the bay at 8 1/2 knots all the way to Solomons. We spent the night in Solomons Harbor, one of the most enjoyable ports on the Chesapeake Bay.
10-13-92 Tuesday. Tuesday morning brought some more spectacular fall weather, unfortunately not much wind was forecast. After topping off our fuel tank with 17 gallons of diesel, we were off down the Bay for the Potomac River, the next port of call to be St. Mary's City on the St. Mary's River. There is no "City" at St. Mary's City, however in early Colonial times it was the first capitol of Maryland, being founded in 1634. Currently, it is the site of St. Mary's College, and a reconstructed colonial village, all very traditional, and a very lovely place to visit by water. The St. Mary's river has several remarkable historical homes situated on its banks, including Porto Bello, Frog Marsh, and West St. Mary's Manor, all dating back to the colonial era. Also located in St. Mary's City is a replica of the 1633 pinnace, the Dove, which was one of 2 ships bringing English colonists to Maryland in 1634. As we proceeded up the St. Mary's river, we had the pleasure to sail in company with the Dove and also the Godspeed from Yorktown, Va., which was visiting St. Mary's City. We dropped anchor just below the reconstructed statehouse, and spent a very quiet evening enjoying this remarkable cruising area.
10-14-92 Wednesday. Today would be the last sailing day of our fall Chesapeake cruise. Our objective this year was to spend some time at our waterfront property on the Hampton Hall branch of the Yeocomico River, near Kinsale, Va. Only about 12 miles from St. Mary's City, it was a short sail today. We hope to build there in the next few years (hopefully a 5 year plan), but already have the most important portion completed, a pier and boatdock. Our neighbor just returned this summer from a 2 year cruise to the Caribbean and Bahamas, and is leaving again soon for a 1 year cruise to the Bahamas. There are several avid sail cruisers in our community.
We remained in Kinsale through the weekend, regretfully returning to our home in California, Md. (4 miles from Solomons, Md.) on Sunday afternoon. I guess we cruised in excess of 250 miles during the period, not a very ambitious schedule, but one of the best cruises that we have taken. We hope to be able to repeat the adventure next fall.
Well, I promised myself that I would get this edition out before the fall sailing season was over. Let's hear from you! Drop by, or give us a call if you are in the area.