ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
C/O Tom and Kaye
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Well, it's high time that I get this newsletter together and in the mail. We've been pretty busy during the late summer, and with the rendezvous, I'm a little late. My apologies. Anyway, I'm writing this edition from onboard SHEARWATER lying at anchor in LaTrappe Creek, of the Choptank River, near Oxford, Md, waiting for a cold front to pass through. Kaye and I are on our annual 2 week cruise of the Chesapeake.
The first annual A-37 rendezvous, held over the Labor Day weekend at our property on Hampton Hall Creek, near Kinsale, Va., was declared a great success by all in attendance! The weather was typical late summer, Chesapeake Bay, warm, humid, but not unbearable. We had a good turnout considering the fact that not too many A-37s are in our part of the world. John and Becky Long (SOLSKIN II, #58), Neil and June Baylie (RAPCU, #125), and Martin Violette (SLYBOOTS, #140) arrived by boat, with Charlie and Amy Frasher (DOLPHIN, #100), and Mike Fish (EAGLE, ex-MAID MARION, #177) taking the land route.
A large list of unscheduled sporting events took place during the weekend: John Long and I fishing for deck chairs which blew off of the dock; Eating steamed blue crabs in the rain (7 of us ate a bushel of crabs, with Martin Violette winning the honor of requiring a 'hose down' upon finishing); John Long dredging for (and retrieving) my large U.S. flag which somehow departed from my mizzen topping lift; John somehow has an uncanny knack of doing exactly the right thing at the right time with great luck (or skill, we haven't figured out yet). We even had un-announced informal dinghy races early on Sunday morning between Neil Baylie, myself, and Martin Violette.
All who attended pronounced the rendezvous a great success (Kaye and I included). A greater group of sailors could not be found anywhere. We must have had 20 boat tours, everyone getting new ideas on layout, etc. Martin gets the award for the most improved boat, since he has completely rewired, re-instrumented and generally overhauling most of the systems. Martin was on his way south from Ithaca, NY, and plans to be gone at least a year. John and Becky Long were on their annual Chesapeake cruise from the Magothy River, north of Annapolis, MD. Neil and June Baylie sailed down for the weekend from Cuckhold Creek, near Solomons, MD. We had anticipated that Isabel and Ralph Rose would attend from the Great Wicomico River, VA., but since on Saturday, the wind was out of the North, it would have been a nasty beat up to Kinsale.
Next year, we may try to hold the rendezvous a little later in the fall, perhaps toward the end of September, as the weather tends to be a little better (less humid).
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Lois Jacobs and Merle Galbraith (INTERLUDE #225) were last heard from in July lying in Trinidad. Must be a tough life!!!
They are interested in hearing from anyone who has installed either a manual windlass and/or an electric on with manual backup. They would appreciate knowing models, which ones work, which don't, installations etc. Their address is P.O. Box 2096, Chicago, Ill. 60690. If anyone has information which they could share with them and the newsletter, send it to me also, as I would like to run an article about bow rollers and windlasses.
We recently heard from Tom Barnier, 14606 C.R.W., Weldona CO. 80653, who previously owned a Pearson Vanguard, and who is ready for another boat. He met an A-37 owner in the Bahamas, who gave him our address (name and boat unknown). Tom really likes the A-37 and is interested in an A-37 hull, with which to rebuild as he has previously done with a Vanguard hull. Anyone with any leads should contact Tom. It's interesting how the word is getting around about the A-37 Owners Association.
Mary Ellen and Scott Woodward (prospective A-37 Owners), write that their current boat, a Cape Dory sloop suffered some recent damage, when their harbormaster decided to put their boat an a mooring with an old chain which failed. The boat suffered considerable damage when she eventually grounded on a rocky section of beach outside of two jetties. They note with interest that the Alberg design, when properly built, can withstand severe grounding conditions and still come back to life. They have recently arranged a day charter on an A-37 Yawl, "FIGMENT" out of Rye, N.H. whom they met through the Cruising World's "Another Opinion". If you could send us "FIGMENT'S" owner's name and address, we'll include it in the mailing list.
A welcome aboard to Isabel and Ralph Rose (BRIGHTLINGSEA #26) which they have sailed for 25 happy years. They belong to the Great Wicomico Cruising Club (Va.) which Ralph founded some years ago. They are also proud members of a Nutshell sailing group, six of which have built 9 foot prams which are raced on Friday afternoons on the Great Wicomico. While not having many opportunities for fellowship with other A-37 owners, they noted that they have encountered several A-37's in their travels over the years, once in Paris tied up along the Seine quayside, and in Canada and on the West coast.
Ralph noted that a recent survey of their 'old girl' suggested that she now draws 77" which he finds hard to believe, even after installing a moderately heavy diesel. But as Ralph mentioned, "she carries a cargo of stuff so extensive that we have forgotten what lies in those many lockers". How true, Ralph, especially after 25 years...
ROLAND AND DANIELLE POOTMANS (LANIKAI) had previously reported that instead of overhauling their old VOLVO engine (too expensive) they planned to re-engine using a new VOLVO 2003. They recently sent an account of the engine change:
'I did try to get help with the bed modifications, but to no avail. So after measuring and remeasuring, etc., I went to work with a 6" grinder. I went through 5 disks to notch all four supports to receive the angle irons. The angles were then epoxied and bolted to the remainder of the original supports. The night prior to lifting the engine aboard (with chain hoist off of boom), I dreamt I'd done it all wrong, but it went in like a glove. A new shaft had to be made, longer by 2 3/8". Everything lined up great and we launched May 25th. The engine started right up!!My wife asked when was I going to start the new engine, and I told her it was running! So much quieter with hardly any vibration. We have about 25 hours on the engine and very happy with it. If any contemplates this engine change they can contact me if they need any help or encouragement. In retrospect it was quite easy. About 75 hours of actual work and 'contemplation' were required. Incidental additional expenses amounted to approximately $400.00. The only inconvenience being the transmission selector is reversed (reverse down - forward up), which could be fixed with a new prop (RH vs LH). The transmission can be run either way.'
Roland also comments regarding venting of the water tanks: 'My modification consisted of eliminating the vent to the filler neck and venting both tanks to the extreme end of the forepeak using PVC piping. This also prevents "vacuuming" the tanks'. Another modification consisted of adding a water pump (same as water system) to provide a water outlet aft for hosing down the deck and an outlet forward for hosing down chain as it come over the roller to keep sand and mud out of the chain locker. It all works great. Water is tapped off engine water intake after the filter. The forward fitting has a valve and a small 3/8" copper pipe, slightly flattened to spread the water jet'.
John Bax (IMMUNITY #77) writes that several A-37s drop in at the Fifty Point Marina, and he included the names and addresses of the owners. He also sent me the name of the former A-37 production foreman for Whitby Boatworks. I intend to contact him for some possible input to our newsletter. John also says he recently purchased a computer, and will begin sending articles to me on diskette as soon as he "figures out how to turn it on".
Jim and Mona Anderson (ROBIN HOOD, #134) report that they are in contact with Jack Lachner (CANADA GOOSE, #202) who is in Malaga Spain. Do you know if Jack has CANADA GOOSE in Spain? It would be good to hear from you, Jack. They also sent the following update on ROBIN HOOD.
'For the present, our renovations continue on Robin Hood. We enlarged the bunk in the forward cabin this winter by removing the hanging locker and extending the bed deck to the central bulkhead on the port side. Jim is 6' 2" so the old v-berth arrangement was just too short. We actually fared better in terms of usable storage space once the cabinetry was completed as the lower portion of the hanging locker is still available with a new shelf and a smaller cabinet put in place on the bulkhead under the portlight. 12" does not make much of a hanging locker but it sure makes a big difference to the bed. We also moved the batteries up out of the bilge by putting a new box under the saloon seat next to where the water lines come up to the pump. They are much happier being dry and clean and we can readily get into the deep bilge now which is sporting a new pump.
The fuel tank came out this winter, was emptied, scrubbed and fitted with a new filter system for the engine. We had a new mainsail made, and a snuffer for our spinnaker to make it a little easier to handle - put in a new Force Ten cabin heater and cooker so we pretty much cleared out the boat budget for this year.
We didn't have much luck with the PU Clearcoat (Sikkens) on the exterior wood. It blistered just like any other varnish over the winter. Partly to blame, we think, was shrink wrapping the boat, which we will never do again. So we stripped it again and have gone to Cetol. I don't know if you are familiar with that brand name in your next of the woods, but it is also a Sikkens product and highly touted among the sailing fleet in our neck of the woods. So far, we are very pleased with the results. It is a flexible, breathable, but durable sealer which gives a satin luster when dry.
Not exciting news but we are very pleased with the way our boat is coming along.'
The following is from Hank Boorsboom (RABASKA, #193).
'As I promised, I would write a little article on how my trip to Bermuda went.
The trip was rugged but spectacular. The boat was made for those conditions and handled very well. The breakdowns were all peripheral equipment, but the rigging and sails took up very well. I also have to realize that the boat is 15 years old and some parts are worn down. I found the most annoying problem, the leakage in the cabinets. The next time I will remove all stanchions and other hardware and recaulk these. A lot of the wood is old and has dried up and due to the circumstances, this kind of thing is unavoidable. This is all stuff that, in fresh water and with normal maintenance, is overlooked. I did quite a bit of upgrading in the previous years and all that worked out very well. I added an engine driven Gruenert refrigerator and that was great - works like a charm. I also overhauled the electrical system and added a new panel with 18 different breakers. The charging system was overhauled and a 100 amp alternator was installed. For batteries I put two regular batteries parallel hooked up in the space in the quarter berth and added two sets of golf cart batteries. The golf cart batteries are on the selector switch and are used as house batteries. All equipment and lights are run from those too. The two regular batteries are dedicated to the engine and cannot be used for anything else. The whole set gets charged through a 3-way separator. I was never without power even though I ran all instruments and navigation lights non-stop. Rabaska is a sloop and has mast steps all the way to the top. Some people swear by them, but from the spreaders up I will remove them. Too much trouble with halyards and lines getting caught when the boat is in motion. For my next trip a few years from now, I will probably cross the Atlantic to Europe. You can rest assured that I will check her out very carefully before I start my journey!
RABASKA, A TRIP TO REMEMBER!
MAY 31, 1993
At 13:30 hours with a south easterly wind and fog, we left Bluffers Park Yacht Club to cross the lake to Wilson to start the first leg of our journey to Bermuda. The mast was securely tied to the coachroof and pulpit. With the five foot swells left over from a previous storm, this was no idle luxury. Six hours later we tied up in Wilson and cleared customs. The next day was spent getting the proper cruising permit and on Wednesday the boat was loaded on a truck to start the journey to Tarrytown, New York for launching. The original idea was to make that part of the trip the conventional way through the Oswego and Erie Canal System, but the severe winter had put two locks out of commission and our choices were either truck or cancel the trip.
After launching and restepping the mast, my crew Peter joined me and we were ready to start the ocean part of the trip. Early in the morning of June 5, 1993 we cast off in Tarrytown and proceeded down the Hudson. The holding tank was full and since Tarrytown had no pump-out facilities, we had to look for one that did. Rabaska does not have a discharge pump so we have to rely on the shore facilities. We finally found one in Empire Top Marina across from Manhattan - a rip-off at $20.00. In the future we will have our own pump on board. I read in the latest A-37 letter that other people had the same experience on the Hudson.
As soon as we cleared the Verrazano Bridge the wind turned to the east and with the accompanying rain, made for a miserable ride. We decided to postpone the departure into the ocean till the next day and spent the night in Great Kills Harbour. We got a reciprocal at $1.00 a foot - some discount.
JUNE 6, 1993
The wind was from the N/W at approximately 10 knots and we set out. By 11:30 we cleared the Sandy Hook Channel and set the course for Bermuda. For Peter this was cause for celebration and a toast with his favorite Schnapps. A real supper of home made spaghetti concluded the day.
JUNE 7, 1993
At around 10:00 a. m. a two engine jet passed about fifty feet over our mast. It looked very official, probably U.S. customs or Coast Guard. Since there was no other vessel or landmark insight, they must have checked us out. Winds are light from the N/W with confusing seas. We are setting in to a reasonable routine of two hours on and two hours off. It is a bit hard on the system, but we are getting used to it. Supper tonight was fried chicken, since I have always been of the opinion that just because one is cruising does not mean one has to eat canned food. I go the other way and try my hand at gourmet cooking in mid ocean.
JUNE 8, 1993
A nice morning, but a brassy glare on the horizon gets us worried. Winds are light from the S/W and by 11:30 we have a rain storm. By 18:30, the rain stops and so does the wind. The skies still do not look very clear and maintain that brassy look. By midnight, the wind picks up really good and the brassy look has changed into winds blowing between 20 to 35 knots. Rain keeps falling throughout the day and following night even with a third reef in the main and the genoa reefed back to a number three, we make 7 to 8 knots. The boat is awash with breaking seas and spray keeps flying over the boat. My gourmet cooking suffers as cutting and cooking become a lethal exercise.
Canned food does not look that bad, but even handling a can opener poses a problem.
The next few days we live in our foulweather gear. On the third day out we are visited by two groups of dolphins, the second group stays around for a while and put on quite a show.
JUNE 11, 1993
We are now past the Gulf Stream and the water has a turquoise, bluish look. At night, breaking seas produce a phosphorescent light show like thousands of fireflies dancing in the waves. We are now 50 miles out from Bermuda, the wind has died a bit but the waves are still confused and spray keeps flying over the boat. The Autohelm 4000 has packed it in, the clutch does not stay engaged. The Edson Wheelsteering makes clicking sounds when the wheel is turned, another problem we have to check when in port. At 23:00 hours we raise Bermuda radio and request permission to enter port. We finally get there at 02:00 after the wind changes. To our surprise, customs were waiting. Final Log - 6991 - we celebrate with two full glasses of Friesengeist Schnapps. It must be brewed by the Devil himself, but it sure tasted good!
We spent the next week in Bermuda, sent the Autohelm 4000 in for repair (which appeared to have salt build-up) and repaired the wheelsteering. One pin on the starboard side had worn out to 1/4 of its original diameter was also repaired and replaced with a stainless steel bolt.
THE ACCOUNT OF THE RETURN VOYAGE FROM BERMUDA WILL BE COVERED IN THE NEXT NEWSLETTER!!!!
The following is the saga of toe rail refinishing on SHEARWATER (#157): Since, for the past 8 years, we have varnished the brightwork on Shearwater, portions of the toerail were in bad need of being wooded. It seems that in several places, water would get under the toerail and in the course of time portions of the varnish would lift, especially during the winter. The compound in which the toerail was bedded had deteriorated in some places, allowing the teak to become water soaked. We finally decided this spring that the time had come to fix (hopefully) this problem once and for all. We decided that we would not remove the toerail and re-bed it, as that would most certainly destroy the teak, and be a costly proposition. Here's what we did: First, we removed all the old varnish using a small heat gun, which, if used with care, does a great job, with little mess. Secondly, we rove out all the old bedding compound that we could get to easily, which was no small job in itself (it appeared to be 3-M 5200 or similar). Next, we gave the toe rail a good sanding with #110 paper and scrubbed it down with acetone in preparation to priming the teak. We then gave the toerail a primer coat of WEST Epoxy, hopefully to seal the teak from moisture, brushing the epoxy well into the area where the bedding compound had previously been. Next, we masked both inner and outer surfaces of the toerail and deck/hull and ran a bead of 3-M 5200 compound between the hull/deck/toerail joints, smoothing it by running a dampened finger along the joint. The masking tape was immediately removed, and the resulting white line of caulk looked pretty good, and hopefully will resist the intrusion of moisture. We then gave the toerail 6 coats of Captain's Varnish. It looks good so far, but I guess that this winter will tell if sealing and re-caulking have done any good. One point however, is that epoxy does not stand up very long to UV, and should be top-coated soon after application.
For members, I'm asking for $10.00 a year to cover costs of putting out a quarterly newsletter. I might suggest to our Canadian members that they send their dues either in U.S. currency or via a Canadian Postal Money Order payable in U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, in order to cash a check drawn on a Canadian bank (even if in U.S. funds), a $5.00 fee is charged. I've tried several banks, but the story is the same.
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.
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. Please mention that you are a member of the Alberg 37 Owners Group and include the Cooperating Group number GA 8325 S when you send in your membership dues. Also mention these items when renewing your membership, as we are required to have a certain percentage as BOAT U.S. members to qualify as a Cooperating Group.
If anyone wants some Boat U.S. literature, I can send you some.
We have received quite a few photos of A-37s, and have begun a nice collection. If you have a spare photo to send of your boat, we would appreciate a copy.
I think it's time for our group to have a organization pennant! If anyone has any ideas for a design, please let me know.
Neil Baylie is looking for information relating to holding tanks/pumpout systems for the A-37.
If anyone knows of a good (or rebuildable) Westerbeke 4-107 engine, transmission and controls, please contact Tom Assenmacher (301) 862-3573. I may repower in the future, and would like to use this reliable engine.
WANTED!!!! SEND YOUR FAVORITE CRUISING FOOD RECIPES TO SHARE WITH OTHER MEMBERS.
CHESAPEAKE CRUISING NOTES
For those who cruise the Chesapeake, or who are passing through on their way south, a very nice, protected and quiet spot in the Annapolis, MD. area is Hopkins Creek, off Little Round Bay, on the Severn River. If you plan to stop in Annapolis, Hopkins Creek is only about 5 miles north of the city, and is easily accessible. Just proceed up the Severn to the entrance of Little Round Bay, then head for Green #3 on the southern side, which is near the entrance of Hopkins Creek. Give #3 a wide berth, as there is a shoal on the southwest side, as you proceed to the creek entrance. Off to the left, you will see a sand spit which marks the entrance, which carries at least 10' of water. As of this writing (we spent several days there in October) there is a private "no wake" buoy in the center of the narrow entrance channel at this sandspit, we took the buoy on the port side of the boat, and never saw water less than 10'. There are several nice anchorages, the first immediately inside the sand spit, the second being a small cove a few hundred yards further in the creek, and finally, in the southerly leg of the Creek, just after you turn right around the first point. The creek is well protected from all directions, depending on where you choose to anchor. We have spent several days there waiting for cold fronts to blow themselves out and hardly experience a ripple. What we really like about it is that the area is relatively undeveloped, unlike most of the other creeks on the Severn, and normally, we have been the only boat on the creek. The only problem which we have experienced is that the bridge at Annapolis, as of this writing, which used to open on demand, now only opens at 0900, 1200, 1500 and 1800. There is a new high bridge under construction, which should be open in a year or so. Hopkins Creek is the only place we care to visit on the Severn, you just might enjoy it also!
NEWS FROM 'TIGGER'
If you remember from the last newsletter, we had a report from Malcolm Blackburn (KAILA II) that a ham operator friend of his had been in contact with an A-37 named TIGGER. I had put out a call for any information which members could provide. We certainly received results, including a very nice letter from the owners themselves, Ron and Eileen Holmes. They own the sloop TIGGER, #49, built in 1969, now lying in Bora, French Polynesia, as of August 1993. They are the third owners, having purchased TIGGER in 1973. In 1983, they departed the Sarnia Yacht Club and cruised south through the Bahamas, out to Bermuda, back to the Bahamas and south to the Dominican Republic, returning to Sarnia in August 1985. They departed Sarnia again in September 1986 and have been out ever since, cruising between Puerto Rico and Venezuela 1987 through 1992. In September, 1992, they departed Curacao for Cartegena, Columbia, on through the San Blas Islands, Puerto Bello, and spent Christmas 1992 in Panama, transiting the canal on January 8, 1993. They then proceeded north to Golfito, Costa Rica for final provisioning, and departing there on March 2, 1993 for the Marqueses Islands, a 38 day, 3750 nm. passage. They then cruised the Marqueses then on Tuomotus, on to Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raitea/Tahaa and finally Bora.
They intend to depart Bora for the Cook Islands, New Zealand for Christmas 1993.
They report that, although TIGGER is 24 years young, she still has her original gelcoat, original Westerbeke 4-107 diesel, Shipmate stove, Wilcox Crittendon head (never completely rebuilt). A small blister problem appeared at year 17, and is still not too bad, very shallow, minimal osmosis. Having owned TIGGER for 17 years, they can still say that they love her!
They plan to continue their circumnavigation eventually, but will spend 2 or 3 years in and out of New Zealand cruising the islands groups to the North..Fiji, Marshalls, Carolines, etc. They send their best wishes to all A-37 Owners, and appreciate the opportunity to tell their story of their love affair with TIGGER.
Ron and Eileen sent an interesting photo of a fiberglass dodger which they built in 1992, having a removable windshield, and 4 lexan side windows, which they say has made an unbelievable difference in their cruising comfort, especially while going to windward. They have installed 3 48 Watt Arco solar panels on top of the dodger, and 2 on a transom mounted rack, which power an Adler Barber refrigeration system, and house system. They also noted their ham radio call sign (Eileen's) KP2BY.
As a side note to the TIGGER account, we recently received a letter Lois Jacob and Merle Galbraith stating that they had first met TIGGER in the Turks and Caicos Islands in February 1987. In February 1990, they met again in Grenada, and they came aboard INTERLUDE to compare notes. Also, Ron and Eileen noted that Dr. Brian Marsh (TUNDRA #181) is in frequent contact with them.
As we say farewell to the '93 sailing season (for us northerners), It's been a great year, and we hope to have a great sailing season in '94. Please pass the word of our group to any A-37 owners in your area who have not contacted us. The word is getting around, from the correspondence which we've received this past year. It's been a lot of fun hearing from everyone who has written or called. We really appreciate those who have shared their experiences with us to make for an interesting and informative newsletter. Keep the correspondence coming!!!!
Till early in '94, have a great holiday season.