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ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION

C/O Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
Box 32, Kinsale, VA 22488
EMAIL: a37ioa@sylvaninfo.net

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VOL IV, NO. 3

June 25, 1994


NEW MEMBERS

Welcome aboard to new member George Rollo of Toronto. George heard about our group in a recent copy of "GAM on Yachting", in which we had sent an article concerning the upcoming rendezvous. George is the owner of a 1981 Sloop, (MOLLIKETTE).

New member, Mario Brunetta, has recently purchased a sloop (LOTUS), hull number 16, which had been stored in its cradle at Worton Creek, MD. As far as Mario has determined, all gear, equipment and rigging are original, which means he probably has his work 'cut out' for awhile. Mario expects to replace the aging Atomic 4 with a diesel within the next year, and is seeking advice from anyone who has made a recent diesel installation or conversion. (You might contact Gerry Warwick who recently converted to a new 2000 series VOLVO). If all goes well in recommissioning LOTUS, Mario may try to attend the Rendezvous in September. We will be expecting you!

Welcome also to Peter Barnes, who, although not currently an A-37 owner, confesses that he would like to be. There are several good A-37s for sale, so Pete, you too can have your chance.

 

NEWS FROM MEMBERS

Robert and Lynn Gambrell (SAFARI) report that they are living aboard SAFARI at the Regatta Pointe Marina in Bradenton, FL. SAFARI is the only (to our knowledge) Alberg 37 KETCH. They even sent a photo, and, by golly, the mizzen IS in front of the rudderpost.

Gene Farrell (SALLY ANNE) has graciously written a summary of improvements which have recently been made to SALLY ANNE over the past several years, a portion of which is in this newsletter, and perhaps will continue in future newsletters as space permits.

Frank and Linda Smart (BRANDELARA) write that they enjoy reading about other's renovations, and find it reassuring to find that they are not alone in thinking about major renovations to the A-37 which they are in the process of making. BRANDELARA, after having made numerous trips to the Caribbean, finally was transported back from Florida by its then elderly owner and, after lying in a yard for several years, was placed for sale. Frank and Linda saw her by chance one day in September 1989, went aboard, and two hours later were the owners! Although well equipped, most of the soft items, dodger, Bimini, sail covers etc. required replacement. In general, the boat was generally sound, but well worn and in need of lots of TLC. Renovations so far include: New main salon cushions and covers; Repainted the cabin ceiling (this vintage A-37 has no hull liner); Refinished all interior teak (Epifanes "rubbed effect" semi-gloss varnish; Removed the aft-facing nav station and put counter top right across and butted up against the wet locker. Installed a new deep sink and the original shallow sink in this new counter top. Along the hull, built deep storage cupboards with sliding doors; Resurfaced the wood cabin sole (had been carpeted and were black from oil and glues) with 1/4' teak and holly; Built a drop down 2 leave table; Other interior modifications either completed or contemplated are galley stove conversion to propane, reworking of the water tanks, and modification of the one piece forward cabin door to a bi-fold door. Exterior modifications include: Replacement of a section of toe rail (substantial piece of teak on the early A-37s); Repairing numerous tiny gelcoat cracks prior to repainting her with Awlgrip; Refurbishing the decks, hatches and cockpit locker lids, and renewing some of the plumbing. They still have several projects remaining prior to preparing to go 'south in 1995. Frank and Linda also sent copies of the original A-37 sales literature from the 1960s (introductory price of $20,800!!)

Dan and Donna Daciuk recently sent a photo of FOOTLOOSE II which is located in Traverse City, MI.

Bob Adams (PENINA) reports that they are back in Kingston Ont. after 4 years in the Bahamas, Caribbean and U.S. East Coast (must be great work if you can get it). Bob will have several articles in the future regarding innovations and upkeep.

 

HELPFUL TIPS

During the first week of June we hauled Shearwater for her bi-annual look at her bottom. Fortunately, the weather really cooperated nicely for the work which needed to be done, and this was one of the shortest and easiest haulouts which we've done on her. A few tips which may make your next haulout easier:

- Instead of dry sanding the bottom (power or by hand), consider wet sanding using a 'drywall' sanding board and drywall sanding mesh, which is available at nearly any hardware or building supply. The sanding board (about 8" long) with the sanding mesh (looks like black screenwire, and comes in several grits) is easy to use, smooths out any small bumps on the hull, and if used with water, really does a nice job, no dust, and is much faster (and healthier) than dry sanding.

- Use the 3-M green plastic thinline masking tape for masking the bootstripe. It leaves a nice sharp line, and is easy to remove if left on for several days.

- A 3-M sanding sponge works great for scuffing up the bootstripe should it need repainting. Again, wet sand and you'll not have any dust.

- We've found that Rule Fiberglass Restorers Wax works well and is easily hand buffed. After 19 years, Shearwater's original gel coat still shines. We wax about 3 times a year. Does anyone have a 'favorite' wax?

- We've gotten into the habit of installing small 'teardrop' zincs on the rudder shoe and rudder gudgeon to keep their fastenings from electrolyzing.

 

If anyone has good haulout/recommissioning tips, send them to us, and we'll get them in the winter or early spring issue so you can apply the information on your haulout.

Frank and Linda Smart sent plans which they developed for a helmsman's (person's?) seat, which can be used when the boat is heeling. They say it works great, and it even folds up for stowage. Let me know if you want a copy and I'll send a copy to you.

 

SPINDRIFT
by the Editor

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 ($8.50 vice $17.00) 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 83253 S when you join Boat U.S. or send in your annual renewal of membership dues. We are required to maintain a certain percentage of our group as BOAT U.S. members to qualify as a Cooperating Group. If anyone wants some Boat U.S. literature, I can send you some.

 

WANTED

Does anyone know at which hull number, the transition from the early A-37s (those with no hull liner, heavy teak toe rail, embossed non-skid, companionway offset to the starboard etc.) to the later versions occurred? If anyone has this information, please drop us a line.

We would appreciate any articles from live-aboards and extended cruisers who would be willing to share their experiences relating to storage optimization, how to manage resources, provisioning for passage-making etc. etc. Such articles will be of great interest to those contemplating extended cruising.

We need accounts of cruising in the A-37! How about sending some cruising articles for publication in the newsletter. They are especially nice to read during the long winter months.

 

FOR SALE

Mario Brunetta has indicated that since purchasing LOTUS, he no longer wishes to be a two-boat owner, and wishes to sell a fantastic Newport 28 which is in great shape and the "deal of the century".

If anyone knows of a potential home for it, contact Mario, as the boat may still be for sale.

We recently received the very caring correspondence from Ralph Rose, which is published with his permission in it's entirety:

THE OTTER'S POOL
Rt. 2, Box 299
Heathsville, VA. 22473

Dear Alberg 37 Friends:

In my 80th year I am forced by physical limitations to consider selling my sloop "BRIGHTLINGSEA". This, as you can imagine, is a little like selling off a member of the family. She has been a faithful provider of many hours of delight and has never, since she came down from Whitby's on a tractor-trailer in 1968, been out of our hands or sailed by anyone but the two of us, our children and grandchildren.

Everyone who knows the 37 knows that this is one of Carl Alberg's happiest creations. Fast, stable and forgiving, she is ready for the afternoon day-sail or a circumnavigation.

We will only sell this splendid boat to someone who plans great plans and who appreciates a well designed and well found little ship.

Over the years we have made changes and she now has a Westerbeke 40 with only a little over 1000 hours of operation. She has all the usual and some unusual features: Wind velocity and direction meters, depth finder, FM radio, speed log, pressure hot and cold water, shore-side electrics and refrigeration. A main cabin center hatch, two anchors with 300' of new nylon braided rode. The Hood roller furling uses taped No.1 and 2 genoas and a working jib. The sails are in good condition and were cut by a local sail-maker some six years ago. There has never been any damage to the hull or rigging.

She has a Shipmate 3 burner alcohol stove with two burner oven, and a two gallon alcohol pressure tank, and has an Electrosan head treatment system. Screens for hatches and ports, cockpit cushions, a very good dodger and sail-cover, awnings, life rings, fire extinguishers, cabin Cole stove etc. round our her equipage.

Our price is $35,500 and is firm, for this is about the price of a fancy sports car, which could never give half the return of this really beautiful sloop.

If anyone in the association knows of a responsible buyer who knows this design, please have them call us at (804) 580-4964.

Thanks for your interest,

(signed) Ralph A. Rose

(Editor's note: Kaye and I recently enjoyed a visit with Ralph and Isabel. Ralph is able to do some limited sailing, but is looking for a GOOD home for BRIGHTLINGSEA. Ralph proudly showed her to us, and she is in very remarkable condition, having always been maintained in a smart and seamanlike manner. She really deserves a good home, and if anyone knows of someone who may be looking for a good A-37, this is it!!).

 

CRUISING NOTES

For those of us who still have the 8AM to 5PM routine, and have trouble getting out on the boat except on weekends and perhaps during the much anticipated 2 week annual cruise, we have a suggestion (may not work if you have children).

Kaye and I often 'mini-cruise' aboard SHEARWATER to nearby creeks, or to Solomons, MD harbor (all about 10 minutes away by car, here in the mid-Chesapeake), after first 'stashing' a car in an area reachable by dinghy. We 'depart' on our mini-cruise on Friday evening, doing the normal weekend cruise routine and return to the home waters area on Sunday evening, and spend the remainder of the following week anchored in a favorite harbor or anchorage. We dinghy ashore early enough to go to work, and return work and dinghy back aboard. It's the next best thing to actual cruising, gives one a sense of 'adventure', and does wonders to one's 'outlook'. It also gives you a chance to see how well you get along with your cruising partner!

LETS ALL GET OUT AND USE THOSE ALBERGS!!!!

 

ALBERG 37 RENDEZVOUS, 3-5 SEPTEMBER 1994

Hampton Hall Branch, Yeocomico River, Kinsale, Va.

It's ALBERG-37 RENDEZVOUS time again! Hope that you have included this event in your late summer cruise plans. This is a "come as you are" event, no planned activities except relaxing and visiting with other A-37 folks. Plan on pot luck get-togethers as this is a most INFORMAL rendezvous. The weather will probably be a bit sticky, and the jellyfish will be plentiful, so don't plan on much swimming, but do plan on having a good time. Last year, we had 4 A-37's participate along with several owners who arrived by car. We expect to have a few more folks participate this year. Attached are directions both by water or by land.

Directions by water: If you have chart #12233, proceed west from Point Lookout (Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay) about 10 miles to the Yeocomico River Light.

It's on a concrete base sometimes referred as the 'birthday cake', sort of tilted, and somewhat hard to discern from the shoreline background. However,you will see it in plenty of time. From the Yeocomico light proceed westward to Fl G 6sec "3", then to "2". Note the shoal area to the Southeast of "2". Give "2 a wide berth to the Southeast, and you will have no problem (we've never run aground, but the depthsounder shows a pronounced shoal there. Continue in the West Yeocomico where there is plenty of water 12' or more. Continue to where the West Yeocomico stops (at Kinsale) and you must either turn left or right. Turn left (right takes you to the grain elevator and marina) and follow the channel into the Hampton Hall Branch. You will see it open up into a small bay, just continue around the bay until you see a point on the right. Give the point on the right somewhat of a wide berth, and continue to the second boat dock after passing the point. Hopefully you will see Shearwater tied up there anxiously awaiting all her sisters!

Directions if you come by road: Assuming that you can find the state of Virginia in a Road Atlas, proceed south on Rt. 3 out of Montross, Va. About 2 miles south of Montross, you will see Rt. 202 (Ford Dealer), make a left on Rt. 202 and proceed on Rt. 202 through Hague, Va. (about 12 miles, don't blink your eyes, you might miss it). About 4 miles from Hague, you will see Rt 203 (as BP gas station and a sign to Kinsale), make a left on 203 for about 1.2 miles and you will be coming into Kinsale. As you approach Kinsale, (again, don't blink) you will be coming down a hill, just at the bottom of the hill you will see a sign saying 'Hampton Hall Estates'. Make a right turn on the gravel road at the 'Hampton Hall Estates' sign and continue for 1 mile. We'll have some sort of a sign, balloons, etc at the driveway. Just drive on in and come on down to the water. That's where we will be. Let's face it folks, you have now arrived in the boonies, (that's why we bought the place). To our knowledge, there is not one stoplight in Westmoreland County! Please be advised, that we do not have a home there yet, but do have electricity and water. If anyone wishes to stay overnight (those who come by boat, we assume they will anchor out overnight), there is a motel in Montross, and several Bed and Breakfast's in the area. There is a small marina in Kinsale (about a mile by water) which has diesel fuel, water, gasoline etc. It has plenty of water for A-37's also.

Hope to see you over Labor Day weekend.

 

UPGRADING THE ALBERG 37
by
Rear Admiral Eugene H. Farrell

The Whitby Boatworks showboat of the 1971 Annapolis boat show was a beautiful yellow Alberg-37 yawl, hull No. 83, fitted with a Westerbeke 4-107 diesel auxiliary.

I had never owned a sailboat, or any boat, before but was determined to mend my ways. Even before I boarded the Alberg, I was smitten with a severe case of love at first sight. I knew she was the boat for me.

Years earlier I had gotten some very sound and useful advice on what to look for and what to overlook in shopping for stock boats from a competent and reliable source: Everett F. Pearson, the current builder of Freedom yachts. Pearson had been a wardroom member of the USS HUNT, a destroyer under my command during the 1950s. Even at that young age he, a Brown U. graduate, knew more about sailing and sailboats than I had learned at the U.S. Naval Academy. During his bridge watches we spent many hours discussing sailing and the desired characteristics of "the proper yacht". Fifteen years later, after I had accumulated the resources to own a sailboat and the luxury of time to sail her, I blended Pearson's advice with my own research and came to the conclusion that only three boats then in production matched my requirements: The Northeast-38, built in Holland, a comparable boat built by Hinckley, and Whitby's Alberg37. I settled for the Alberg, not because she was the best ... she wasn't ... but because she was the only one I felt I could afford.

I looked the showboat over, talked with the builder, Kurt Hansen, made an offer which he accepted, bought the her on the spot, and over the years since then have sailed her more than 30,000 n.m. with no regrets.

Like all stock boats, my Alberg-37, as built by Whitby, had some shortcomings, one of which was a leaky deck/hull joint, a source of considerable annoyance during a voyage from the Chesapeake to San Diego, her current home port. In 1992, as part of a plan to sail to Hawaii, I initiated an extensive do-it-yourself boat improvement program, which included:

    1. A watermaker.

    2. An inverter to run the 115-V reefer off ship's 12-V DC power.

    3. A GPS system driven by ship's power.

    4. An SSB transceiver.

    5. A mizzen mounted 360-degrees visibility wind generator, a high output alternator and two more batteries to feed those energy-hungry      accessories.

    6. A main boom vang.

    7. Self-tailing genoa winches.

    8. A dodger.

    9. A cure for the perennial leaks.

The logical place for a watermaker is the pump compartment in the main cabin at the foot of the port bunk.

Recovery Engineering's PowerSurvivor-35, with its raw water filter, fits nicely therein. However, one has to orient the axis of the pump motor fore-and-aft and the axis of the pump and membrane athwartships, pointing outboard and elevated about 30 degrees, in order to allow room for unscrewing and removal of the membrane. This attitude requires removal of the mounting bracket from the normal right-side-up attitude and bolting it onto the top of the motor body (holes are provided) for upside down operation. To provide feed water (sea water) for the pump place a Tee on the engine's raw cooling water sea cock and run the feed hose to the filter provided with the PowerSurvivor-35. The product line (sweet water) can be led to one of the fresh water tanks, or to a galley sink faucet or to either via a Y-valve. The brine from the unit (about 93% of the feed water) can be discharged to any through-hull drain. I tapped it into the galley sink drain. The unit performs as advertised and, if operated in accordance with instructions, is quite satisfactory.

Two inverters were tried, a Trace SB 2512, and a PowerStar UPG 1300. The former is big and heavy. While it has almost twice the capacity (2500 watts) of the PowerStar, the latter won out because of space limitation. The only place to mount the Trace was on top of the reefer against the after transverse bulkhead. In that location it is vulnerable to fresh water splashing from the galley sink, or salt water from shipping a heavy sea through the companion way. In hindsight, it might have been smarter to replace the old Grunert 115-V/AC reefer with a 12-V/DC unit, like the Adler Barbour, which is popular with Pacific sailors. I would still opt for an inverter because it energizes the ship's 115-V system for offshore use of drills, soldering irons and trouble lights.

The Magellan 5000D, mounted above the navigator's table, with external antenna and energized by ship's power has proven to be a good choice among the many GPS systems on the market today. This and the SSB transceiver of the skipper's choice are wise investments for extended offshore cruising.

Careful research should precede purchase of a wind generator. Since my SALLY ANNE is rigged as a yawl I searched for a wind generator that can be mounted atop the mizzen mast and operated on all points of sail. The FOURWINDS MM2 engineered and produced by Everfair Industries of Pompano Beach, FL, appeared to be the optimum choice at the time (1993). Bill Owra, the president, is a sailor, a marine electrical engineer and a very helpful person whenever any advice on electrical equipment or problems is needed.

I purchased his wind generator, all accessories and seven feet of 1411 aluminum pipe (not tube) on which to mount the generator 36", above the masthead.

(The radius of the twin blades is 32"). Before attempting the installation, you should mount mast steps (which Everfair markets). It is necessary to drill three holes through the pipe and mast for 5/16", SS bolts to secure the mounting pipe fast to the latter. Don't try to drill the holes in the pipe and mast separately. They won't match. It is best to match up the pipe and mast and mark where the holes are to be drilled, then drill the pipe on tierra firma, take it aloft, clamp it to the mast firmly with 5", hose clamps then, using the pipe holes as a jig, drill through the mast with a long 5/16" bit.

A word of precaution: The masthead cap on my boat was secured with five aluminum 1/8" pop rivets. I was forced to abandon in midocean a sail to Hawaii when the cap (which holds the tangs for the backstays) came loose. Later inspection showed all five rivets sheared. Two were old breaks; two were fresh and the fifth half and half. Hindsight being 20:20, I should have, as I have since done, drilled out all pop rivets, drilled and tapped the masthead casting for 1/4" SS machine screws, and set them up hard, sealed with LocTite. Also, the casualty might have been averted had I shut down the generator when the winds piped above 22 knots, causing considerable mast vibration, and ultimate failure of the remaining rivets.

A rigid boom vang offers two advantages to any boat over 30 feet long. It tames the boom in the vertical plane and helps control mainsail twist. The Dec. 1992 issue of Practical Sailor contained results of a field test of vangs which influenced me to order a Hall Quik Vang size C-16, recommended for 37'-42' boats. It proved too long, but a local rigger shortened it for less than the price of shipping it back for exchange. Now I wonder how I ever got along without one. (To be continued).

(We'll continue with Gene's account of his work on SALLY ANNE in the next issue: The next project involves replacing the toe rail and solving a hull-deck joint leaking problem.)

 

Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for the articles, letters, and YOUR INTEREST IN THE ALBERG 37!!! See you over Labor Day.

Tom and Kaye Assenmacher