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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. 4

October 12, 1994


NEWS FROM MEMBERS

New members, Frank and Gail Lavalley, write that they are the proud owners of MAROONED, a 1981 sloop that is chainplated for a mizzen. According to Frank and Gail, theirs is the only 'Maroon' hull ever launched. They were unable to attend the rendezvous this year, but suggested that perhaps in the future, the membership who plan to attend the Annapolis Boat Show in October should plan to get together for dinner or lunch. A good idea, we'll try to coordinate something through the newsletter next year.

We recently heard from Bob and Peggy Grant (WINDDANCER) who are currently in Nassau. WINDDANCER was built in 1975, and was nearly completely destroyed by fire in 1985, and again in 1987 (through no fault of her own). She has been restored to better than original condition and has been their home for the last six years, logging more than 10,000 miles. After returning from the Exumas, they plan to leave for the Gulf side of Florida in May, 1995. They previously lived on the Patuxent River, near Solomons, MD and miss the Chesapeake, but love the warm weather. Peggy and Bob both write for MID GULF SAILING and COASTAL CRUISING, and have graciously offered to write for the newsletter.

Welcome aboard to new members, Glenn and Kate Arthur, owners of a 1981 sloop, #220. We understand that they are doing a complete refurbishing of their sloop, and plan to do some extensive cruising in her. They were referred to the organization by Charlie and Amy Frasher.

Welcome aboard to Robert and Linda Grindahl (NARCISSA #160) who cruise Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and the North Channel.

Clayton and Gudie Cole have recently purchased (RESOLUTE #242) from Gary and Judy Rumohr. They had a leisurely vacation last year on her cruising from Sarnia, up Lake Huron, through the straights and down Lake Michigan to Saugatuck, Michigan.

They are presently living aboard, and have made several improvements. They claim the plumbing system is a mystery (!!) and ask if anyone has a piping diagram. Our suggestion is that since most A-37s have been modified, there probably is not a "standard" plumbing system, and you may have to trace out your own system.

Mike and Barb Carlson of Olympia Washington report that they have recently purchased a 1967 sloop. Their A-37 spent much of its life in the South Pacific, having returned from that area about two years ago. They plan to upgrade her and plan to do some extended cruising including Mexico.

Irving and Frances Wintrob write from Toronto that they plan to write the story of "#13 Alberg 37". We'll be looking forward to hearing from you.

George Rollo (MOLLIKET) passed information that about 2 years ago, he spent 3 weeks aboard "PENINA" with Bob Adams sailing from Georgetown and ending up in Nassau, covering Cat Island and other points during the 3 week period.

Peter Barnes, Clare Wegert, Deanne and Dick Munt write that they find the newsletter interesting and a good source of information about the A-37.

Dave Mann reports that he is considering going south in GANG AWA. In preparation, Dave stripped off all the old anti-fouling, put on five coats of Interprotect 2000 anti-osmosis treatment and two coats of Interlux Ultracoat. Dave says there was no sign of osmosis anywhere, and that the bottom sure looked nice on launch day. His only major improvement this year was the installation of a holding plate refrigeration system. He chose a 12 volt system by E.2 Cold of Whitby, Ontario, a unit which is both air and water cooled. We will be interested in hearing how both the reefer and the bottom job hold up down south.

Welcome aboard to Mark Backstrom and Susan Durbin, (SUNDAY'S CHILD, Hull # 233), a 1984 yawl.

They were referred by John Bax (IMMUNITY) who keeps an eye out for all A-37s which come into Fifty Point Marina.

Fred and Phyllis Owen (PRINCE MADOC) is requesting any information from members relating to the installation, care and feeding of the Volvo MD-11C. To quote Fred "We have owned PRINCE MADOC for 14 years, cruised for 5 years, rode out hurricane "GLORIA", were hit by storms on Lake Erie and the Chesapeake, went aground 10 times, cruised without refrigeration, and I still have my wonderful spouse, Phyllis". That's quite a testimonial!

New members, Randy Park and Marg Buhlman (MOZI ex MISTRIS XI) were introduced to the A-37 group by Terri and Alan Pateman whom they met during spring commissioning. Randy and Marg bought MOZXI last November. Basically a sound boat, they spent several weekends in the spring sanding the inside fiberglas for painting, which they plan to do in the fall. They also replaced all standing rigging on the suggestion of the surveyor. Of interest to all of us yawl owners, they had to replace 6 chainplate mounts (mizzen and backstays) because the plywood blocks that the stainless chainplates are bolted to were rotted. Water had leaked in through the chainplate holes in the deck, and since the sides and bottom of the chainplates are glassed, water could not escape. One backstay chainplate had pulled out 1/4". Yawl owners might be well advised to check for this problem. (Ed. note: We checked ours on SHEARWATER, and they appear to be OK, but we do have some slight leakage around the chainplate. We've had to reseal them periodically, and 3M 5200 seems to work fairly well. Any others have the problem and good solutions???)

Randy also noted that they plan to convert from tiller to wheel steering, and is interested in comments relating to the positioning of the wheel. (Ed. Note: We seem to like the forward position because it is somewhat shielded by the dodger, and is close enough to the companionway making it easier to hand things from the galley to the helmsperson).

If we've missed anyone who wrote, our apologies.

RENDEZVOUS '94

The Second Annual A-37 Rendezvous was again quite a success! Normally, the Labor Day weekend (September 3,4,5 1994) on the Chesapeake is hot and humid, but thankfully a strong cold front passed through the area on Friday, and the weather was superb. A total of 5 A-37s came by water: TEELOK, Wayne and Sherrill Bower; SOLSKIN II, John and Becky Long; EAGLE, Mike Fish; SHEARWATER, Tom and Kaye Assenmacher and DOLPHIN, Charlie and Amy Frasher. Other owners driving to the rendezvous included Glenn and Kate Arthur, NORTHSTAR; Charles and Mrs. Deakyne, SKRIMSHAW; Karen Kinnear and Marcel Steinz, SOUTHERN CROSS, who drove down from Oakville, Ont. An enjoyable time was had by all, a lot of "boat talk" occurred, and Becky Long's crab soup was great! We hope more members will participate next year.

HELPFUL TIPS

Dick Wilke has replaced the yawl running backstay gear with two sets of Schaefer fiddle blocks (05-45 and 22-55). The lower has a cam cleat to allow instant setting and release, and the 4-1 purchase will make it possible to properly snug the rig to prevent the usual wobble of the mizzen mast.

Dick has also installed a new rule 2000 computerized automatic bilge pump and three-way panel switch. He decided on this unit because of the difficulty of mounting a pump and float switch in the deep Alberg-37 bilge.

Dick also sent word concerning Whitby Boat and Specialty Wood Work LTD (Alex Magnone). Members may be interested to know that there is still someone in Whitby who knows their boat and may be able to help with refitting.

Speaking of bilge pumps, shortly after we bought SHEARWATER (ex-RHUMB RUNNER) we installed a Rule 3500 pump and float switch. Confronted with the difficult of installing these items in the bilge, we came up with a solution which has worked for about 10 years: We mounted the switch and pump on a teak board which would fit on the floor of the bilge sump. We weighted the board (with pump and switch attached) with a lead weight of about 10 pounds attached. This solution permits relatively easily removal of the pump and switch for servicing.

George Rollo writes that he has solved the low oil pressure warning problem while motoring with the boat heeling. George's original engine instrument package only has the low oil pressure ("idiot") light, which comes on at approximately 6 PSI. George supplements the light with an oil pressure gage and an audible warning. These additions are relatively easily installed and may save some inadvertent engine damage.

The conclusion of Gene Farrell's upgrading of SALLY ANNE:

'The most important improvement, fixing the rail leaks, was daunting. The teak toe rail was beautiful, but a pain to maintain and I knew that underneath it lay a multitude of sins.

 

The bedding was old and hard; the deck and hull laminate seams were not properly caulked; and were fastened together with small pop rivets every 8 or so inches ... not throughbolted, except in the areas of the genoa tracks. See Fig. 1.

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I ripped off the teak toe rail in order to clean out the old, useless bedding and apply a permanent fix to the joint. That consisted of a thick bead of white Marine-Tex epoxy, glassed over with two layers of 311 fiberglass tape, followed by installation of a new high strength anodized aluminum toe rail, generously bedded with polysulfide (don't use polyurethane .... you may want to lift the rail someday), through-bolted every four inches with 1/4" X 1 3/4" flathead SS machine screws. See Fig. 2.

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The question of what size and design of toe-rail to use was answered by TACO METALS, INC. of Miami, FL. (TACO has other offices in Orlando, St. Petersburg, New Bedford, MA, and Wheeling, IL). The system best adaptable to the Alberg-37 is A62-0135 toe-rail, stocked in 33' lengths.

Three are needed to flush out the rails, port and starboard. Also needed are two end fittings F16-3002/A62-0135 for the starboard rail, and two F16-3004/A62-0135 for the port rail. These end fittings are designed to be chocks. To extend the 33' sections to the counter, measure and cut two approximately 5' lengths from the spare rail and join each to 33' section. The connectors, F16-3010, are slotted and make good chocks, too.

Installing the new toe-rail is somewhat tricky. Here are some hints for doing it right: First, you will have to remove enough joiner work and plywood to gain access to the deck/hull joint from inside the forward cabin, main cabin and quarter berth. While this is essential in order to torque the 1/4" nylon lock nuts onto the 1 1/4" fasteners of the toe rail .... there will be about 214 of them ... it also offers the opportunity to replace or repair any loose or broken stringers that hold the plywood or shelves to the hull. Bed them in with polyurethane and keep them under pressure for several days by rigging battens and wedges fastened to the nearest stringers that are fast in place.

Next, fit the toe rails and drill all 214 (more or less) holes through the deck/hull laminates with a bit one or two sizes smaller than 1/4". When installed the 1/4" machine screws will self-tap their way through the fiberglass, assuring no-leak tightness. To fit and drill, first rig out the boom and use it to secure a light suspension tackle to hold up the after end of the 33' rail. Attach a line to that end of the rail and lead it perpendicularly to a snatch block somewhere on the boat and thence to a winch for springing the rail to the curvature of the boat as you proceed from bow to stern in the drilling and fitting process. Next, place the bow end of the rail where it ought to be and drill one hole, using the first 1/4" hole in the rail as a jig. Drive one 1 1/4" screw (Phillips heads are preferable) through the rail and deck, tightening just enough to hold the end of the rail in place. It is not necessary to apply the washer and nut at this time. Repeat this process every two or three feet, increasing the tension on the snatch block lead to ensure confirmation of the rail to the sheer of the hull before drilling the next hole. Once the entire 33' section is neatly in place, go back and drill all the remaining holes before removing the rail. Temporarily install the rail connector and fit the 5' end section of the rail in a similar manner.

A helper is recommended for the bedding and final installation of the rail. Spread on the polysulfide bedding; lay on the rail just as you did for the initial fitting; lubricate the screws with polysulfide and drive enough intermittently to hold the rail in place. Then go back and drive all screws, setting them up firmly but not hard. A brace with a screw bit of proper size and design is far superior to a screw driver for this purpose.

Now enlist the aid of your helper to hold the screws while you go below and apply the washers and nylon lock nuts. Torque them firmly but not hard. After two days, the moderate pressure of the fasteners will have forced the bedding into all irregular spaces between the rail and the bed. Finally, with your topside helper holding the screw heads, making sure they don't turn and break their seal, set up the nuts moderately hard.

You now have a boat that is watertight and stronger than when built.

The TACO system also provides cleats and stanchion bases that fit the toe-rails, a much stronger mounting location than on the cored deck as in stock Albergs- I used these to relocate the four gangway stanchions and all forward stanchions onto the rails. I retained the existing bow and quarter cleats, but installed 8" TACO cleats F16-3014/A62-0135 amidships on each side ... ideal for mooring springs. The stanchion bases, F16-3022/A62-

0135 accommodate the Alberg's stanchions, but require a spacer inboard for the through-deck securing bolt. I contrived a fairing mold for West Systems 105 Epoxy Resin, laced with their 404 high strength filler, to accomplish this, both for the stanchion bases and the cleat bases. See Fig. 3.

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Two additional advantages accrue from relocating the lifeline stanchions to the rail: More free space on deck and elimination of potential leaks through the four base mounting screw holes. The gangway stanchions particularly, in their former location, had been stressed to the point of cracking the deck laminate and admitting moisture to the balsa core, as well as to the interior of the boat.

Solutions to problems in a boat often create others. In this instance, elimination of the genoa tracks raised the question of how to lead the genoa sheets to their winches. Because the new toe-rails had slots measuring 11/2-1 X 5/8" every six inches, the answer appeared to be snap shackle lead blocks and turning blocks shackled onto the toe-rail at appropriate locations. In practice the lead blocks worked out well, but I was apprehensive about the turning blocks, even though they,too, worked well in moderate airs. The toe-rails can sustain enormous longitudinal and vertical loads. But could they sustain the lateral tension of a genoa sheet hardened for close-hauled sailing in a stiff breeze? I decided not to find out the hard way and ordered a pair of 672 Harken standup blocks, intending to mount them upright on deck, ignoring a basic principle of physics: The axis of a turning block sheave must be perpendicular to the plane of tension. In other words, the sheave must lie in the same plane as the bight of the line whose direction it is changing.

Stuck with the expensive Harkens, which I had bought at a discount and could not return, I designed and fabricated two stainless steel base brackets for them and mounted them at a 75-degree angle on deck, 18", abaft the genoa winches. See Fig.4.

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For aesthetic reasons and to provide a broader stress distribution to the deck, the brackets were mounted on a solid teak base, faired to match the outer sheer of the cockpit bulwarks, bedded, through-bolted with four 5/16" X 5", SS bolts, secured with 1" fender washers and nylon lock nuts. This arrangement has satisfactorily withstood several severe weather tests at sea during 1993 and 1994.

The final chore was to seal the deck holes, cracks and depressions left by the old lifeline stanchion bases. Once they were filled, glassed over and sanded, I brushed two coats of marine enamel onto the deck. Before applying the second coat, I bounded the old non-skid sections (which had become quite slick) with lo-tack masking tape, applied the enamel and sprinkled them generously with fine-ground silicon immediately thereafter. Thirty minutes later I vacuumed off the surplus silicone, using a soft brush pickup to avoid marring the uncured surface. If silicon, or some similar abrasive is to be applied over a fresh coat of enamel, care must be taken to be sure the enamel distribution is full and complete. The non-skid material will not stick to any "holidays" in the coat. True, they can be "patched" later, but the texture and tone will differ from the original coat.

My labors, which lasted the better part of a year, were rewarded by a boat that is now sounder, safer, drier and more comfortable than ever. There was another small, but well appreciated bonus. A few weeks after I had completed the work, I received a letter of commendation from the manager of the large marina where the boat is moored which, in effect, stated that the SALLY ANNE was the smartest looking, best maintained boat on the dock, home to fifty other yachts, most of which are decades younger.

 

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.

Members should be aware that we can provide copies of the newsletters (as some of the oldtimers remember, the first few were a little short of content), preferably on 3.5 diskette. A lot of members have access to a computer and could either read or print the back issues. It's a lot cheaper to mail a diskette than send a lot of paper. The format currently in use is WordPerfect 5.1 (DOS), the text could also be provided in ASCII for those who don't have WordPerfect or who have programs that cannot convert from WordPerfect.

Kaye and I just got back on the 10th of October from a 2 week fall cruise on the Chesapeake. Part of this newsletter was written on board SHEARWATER while at anchor in the Wye River. Great weather, great sailing and lots of Canadian Geese. We may include a short account of the cruise in the next newsletter.

In the last issue, we published a letter written by Ralph and Isabel Rose, in which they expressed interest in selling their A-37 (BRIGHTLINGSEA). We are happy to report, that as a result of the newsletter, they have found a buyer, Tom and Agnes Westran, of Ottowa who will be taking BRIGHTLINGSEA back to Canada. Its good to know that news of our organization is spreading. Welcome aboard, Tom and Agnes.

Regarding an association pennant, during the Rendezvous, the "pennant committee" came up with some ideas. One idea which we think might work is the stylized Alberg "A" (color navy blue) over a white background with a red Canadian maple leaf placed above the long horizontal leg of the Alberg "A". It was felt that this choice of symbols would reflect the "Internationality" of the organization and would remind us of the point of origin of the A-37. Kaye and I stopped off at the Annapolis Boat show last week, and obtained some pricing information. For a quantity of 50 pennants or more, the cost would be in the neighborhood of $20.00 U.S. If you are interested or have comments please let us know. I'll try to have a design worked up for the next newsletter.

 

Carl Alberg
From Cruising World

Thanks to Dick Wilke who sent the following article, a portion of which was taken from a November 1986 Cruising World editorial by Dan Spurr on the occasion of the death of Carl Alberg:

'Carl Alberg was a venerable 85. Best known in recent years for his conservative, full-keel designs built by Cape Dory Yachts, he was also creator of some of America's most popular sailboats, including the Typhoon, Ensign, Triton and the Alberg 30, 35 and 37.

Carl was born in Goteborg, Sweden, and studied naval architecture at the Chalmers Institute of Technology. In 1925 he immigrated to the United States because he felt there was no future for yacht design in his homeland. For a time he worked as a sparmaker in a Massachusetts boatyard, where he was fortunate to meet John Alden. He showed Alden some of his designs and in 1929 joined Alden's firm, working alongside Al Mason.

During World War II he worked for the U.S. Navy and afterward opened his own design office in 1946. For three years he designed wood boats, then went to work for the U.S. Coast Guard where in his spare time he was able to continue designing yachts. It was during this tenure that he met Clint and Everett Pearson, who in 1959 turned his 28-foot Triton into the first successful auxiliary fiberglas sailboat. In all, over 10,000 boats were built to his 56 designs.

Upon his retirement from the Coast Guard in 1963, Alberg began work on a series of 10 designs for Cape Dory Yachts, ranging in size from 19 to 45 feet. Andy Vavolotis, president of Cape Dory, was a good friend and colleague. Alberg, he remembers, had no use for IOR-influenced boats; indeed all his designs were firmly rooted in the traditions and sea-kindly hulls fostered by the old CCA Rule. "I always asked Carl to design the beamiest and shallowest boat possible" Vavolotis recalls. "Then he'd go away and what he came back with was what we used. Of course, it was never as beamy or as shallow as we liked. He never compromised his design principles"

Alberg's aim, in his own words, was to create "easily handled family boats to satisfy the majority of cruising people". It is those thousands of cruising people who know best why his cruising boats and his sailing philosophy will endure.'

 

FOR SALE

Neil Baylie is offering his 1974 yawl, RAPCU (HULL #125) for sale. She is presently out of the water here in Southern Maryland. She has had a fairly recent engine change (diesel) and comes well equipped. Neil's asking price is in the upper $30's (U.S.). If anyone knows someone who is looking for a yawl, please contact Neil Baylie, 207 Spartan Drive, Monroeville, PA. 15146 (412) 372-6303.

It would be nice if we could come up with a buyer for RAPCU as quickly as we did for BRIGHTLINGSEA.

 

WANTED

CRUISING ACCOUNTS, RECIPES, BOATKEEPING AND MAINTENANCE ARTICLES TO SHARE WITH OTHER MEMBERS.

 

CRUISING NOTES

Since our organization has many 'world travelers', it would be helpful if we could publish and maintain a roster of those members who have taken their A-37s down south, the Caribbean, etc. etc. and would be willing to share their experiences of their voyages. Particularly useful would be provisioning tips, maintenance considerations, weather problems etc. I know there are a number of folks who are considering extensive cruising, and such help would eliminate a lot of "wheel re-inventing". Think about this, as we may include a questionnaire in a future newsletter soliciting cruising expertise information.

 

Have a great holiday season. Keep the letters and articles coming.

 

Till January, '95.