ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
C/O Tom and Kaye
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Irving and Frances Wintrob (MONSOON) recently wrote that they enjoy reading all about the problems and pleasures of the Alberg 37 Owners.
Frank and Linda Smart (BRANDELARA II) and Tip and Jean Corey (TYPHOON III) stopped off in Solomons, MD on their was south in October. We had a "mini-rendezvous" over dinner one evening, and of course got to tour two more A-37s in the cruising mode. How about dropping us a line sometime.
Dwight and Carol Kraai (SAUCY) have written several notes since the rendezvous in September. They spent some time in New Bern on their way south where Dwight installed a wind generator and the last word was that they were in Vero Beach.
Roger and Linda Gilmore (TALISMAN) responded to an earlier request for stories of cruising with cats. Their 5 year old, part Himalayan, "Onion" (her IQ resembles the food) usually joins them on TALISMAN. They have converted the forward port side locker (over the V-berth) into the cat's stateroom, complete with a brass "Private Stateroom" plaque, and leave the middle locker door open for access. She seldom comes out until the hook is down. Onion has managed to fall overboard twice so far. If anyone knows how to rescue a swimming cat without risking the inflatable or getting one's arms punctured - please advise. (Ed. note: Some friends of ours cruised extensively with a cat, and kept a knotted piece of line overboard for the cat to climb back aboard). Roger and Linda also constructed a fine looking silhouette of their boat, made of sheet aluminum, for the front of their home. Using a photocopier, they scaled up the sail plan to the desired size (taping copies together as required. They then cut out the paper pattern, taped it to the aluminum, and spray painted around the edge to mark the outline. The aluminum was then cut with a saber saw (they cheated and made the mizzen a separate piece), spray painted it black and attached it to the house with black screws. It still looks new after 7 years.
Hank Borsboom has undertaken a major refurbishing of RABASKA including resealing the hull-deck joint, installing a new toe rail, sealing many deck voids and delaminations and re-applying gel-coat and non-skid. Hank intends to embark on a trans-Atlantic voyage to the Mediterranean this spring. If you remember, Hank made a passage to Bermuda in June 1993.
Our thanks to Marcel Steinz/Karen Kinnear (SOUTHERN CROSS) who recently sent a very interesting article (which is included in this issue) from the June 1995 edition of Canadian Yachting titled: The Alberg 37: a dream-boat circa 1970 and 1995.
Rob Larsen (ALDEBARAN) would be interested in any information regarding structural upgrades (see the toe-rail articles written by Gene Farrell: Vol. 4, #3; Vol. 4, #4;). Last year Rob doubled the hull thickness on a portion of the hull sides (3' forward to 3' aft of the side chainplates and doubled the length of all the mainmast chainplates). Rob has indicated he would be willing to write an article for the newsletter relating to this project .
Malcolm Blackburn (KAILA II) recently wrote of their sailing season: "With the sailing season about over, a new list of things to be done 'next year'. We plan to remove the water tank from under the cabin sole and use the space for storage. Since we cruise in fresh water, we are already floating in our water supply.
We would like to know how others with yawls use their sails. We tend to sail under jib and mizzen under most conditions, but really need a drifter under light wind conditions. Last year when we lost the mizzen halyard, we had to use the main during our holiday, but it was almost always reefed. When at anchor, we normally leave the mizzen up as it keeps us quietly head to wind, preventing the usual swinging.
One job I really must put my mind to for next season is some means of grounding of the mast. We had three thunderstorms in two weeks, and it is hard to sleep when you are thinking that your head is only a couple of feet from a fifty foot metal pole -- with no easy exit for a strike! What have other people done??" (Ed. note: On SHEARWATER, we installed a Dynaplate on the hull abeam and slightly lower than the mast on the starboard side. We bonded the mast to the Dynaplate by attaching (bolting) a HEAVY stranded electric cable (about 3/8" diameter) to the mast and to the grounding plate (about 18" distance). We soldered heavy copper lugs to each end of the cable for good connectivity. Must work, as we haven't been struck, and we have the mother of all thunderstorms here on the Chesapeake during the summer. We should probably add a pointed lightning rod to the top of the mast).
Malcolm also enclosed some pictures taken on their last cruise in the Hocham Island/LaCloche Mountains area -- beautiful.
Welcome aboard to the following new members:
Richard and Marlene Duval of Ajax, Ontario, who, while not currently owning an A-37, are actively looking for one. We wish you luck in your search.
Michael and Joan Doucette (KINDRED SPRIT) of East Haddam, CT. She is currently lying in Mystic, CT. Mike and Joan recently purchased the 1979 sloop and have undertaken a few projects such as:
- Revarnish all interior woodwork and repaint of the interior.
- Removed the teak plywood in the cockpit and lazarette hatch covers and replaced it with solid teak inlays.
- Replaced the companionway all wood slider with a teak framed slider with smoked Lexan center.
- Installed the Autohelm ST4000 autopilot.
- Added a Force 10 propane heater in the cabin.
- Re-plumbed all the water lines and added new fixtures.
- Replaced all the wiring from the DC panel outward to the mastlight, bow lights, cabin lights, pumps and instrument panel.
- Added a stereo system with a 6-CD changer.
Future plans are to add a Dutchman system on the main, install a propane locker in the lazarette and relocate the water heater to the starboard locker. They are also planning on replacing the Volvo MD-11C engine with a larger one. The engine of choice seems to be the Volvo MD2040 (40HP), which looks like it will require the least modifications.
Reid Tomlin of Larchmont, NY and his father, Donald Tomlin of Charleston, SC. Reid has recently purchased a 1968 sloop that he says, while structurally sound, needs a lot of cosmetic work. Reid's father, Donald, is helping with the work.
Lynne and Gerry Purvis of North Vancouver, BC who currently are cruising aboard TRONDELAG at La Crux, Mexico, a small town near Puerto Vallarta, and who learned about the A-37 Owners Assn. from Steve and Brenda Cooper (SOJOURN) who are at presently anchored with them. Lynne and Gerry purchased TRONDELAG in 1989 and began to ready her for offshore cruising. They departed Vancouver in September 1993 for Mexico and have been cruising there since. They plan to head for the South Pacific in March. Lynne and Gerry are the 6th owners, all of which lived in British Columbia. TRONDELAG was built in 1975 and was originally named SAVROLA. The second owner changed the name and sailed her to the South Pacific. Since then she had been used as a liveaboard or cruised in Vancouver area waters.
TRONDELAG was originally configured as a yawl, but had her mizzenmast removed in 1991. Her sink has been moved from over the engine to alongside the stove, and the original Westerbeke engine has been replaced with a 2 cylinder, 28 BHP MWM. Her rigging has been upgraded and she currently has a full batten mainsail. They have been having a great time cruising and hope to be able to continue for many years to come.
Lynne and Gerry also are ham operators, callsigns VE0MVP and K7IUC.
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.
We suggest $10.00 a year to cover costs of publishing the quarterly newsletter. We also might suggest to our Canadian members that they send either U.S. currency or 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.
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. If anyone wants some Boat U.S. literature, I can send you some. (In 1995, we had 34 members participate.)
To all A-37ers transiting the Chesapeake, Kaye and I extend the offer to stop by our (future) homesite near Kinsale, VA, about 10 Nm from the mouth of the Potomac River, on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River. We have several slips, water and electricity. Also, we live about 3 minutes away from Solomons, MD, on the Patuxent River, which is a major stopover on the Annapolis - Norfolk run. We will be disappointed if you don't at least give us a call as you pass through the area.
Neil Baylie stopped by in early November for a short visit, just before he left for a winter of skiing in Utah. Neil still has RAPCU for sale and is VERY INTERESTED (meaning low $$$$) in finding a buyer. RAPCU is currently lying in Solomons, Maryland, on the Patuxent River, mid-Chesapeake Bay area. Neil can be reached at 207 Spartan Drive, Monroeville, PA 15146, (412)372-6303.
Martin Harris, who recently acquired Bob and Peggy Grant's WINDDANCER (HULL# 149), has decided to place her on the market for $50,000 US. WINDDANCER is well equipped for live-aboard or extensive cruising. She is powered by a 4-107 Westerbeke and is a cutter rig yawl, built in 1975. With a new full sun cover, almost everything in this boat is new or rebuilt within the last two years--dodger, electric windlass, cruise air, wind generator, solar panels. Many modifications and upgrades. Martin can be reached at 1401 S.W. 11th Place, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 (305) 728-9595
We finally heard from Jack Lachner who sends the following account of his adventures aboard CANADA GOOSE:
"CANADA GOOSE made the Atlantic crossing without mishap. For those who have not sailed in deep water, let me tell you, the A-37 just revels in it. It is a pleasure to lie back and let the steering vane do its thing. You may be close to the water, but Carl Alberg knew what he was doing; she is a sea going boat, and she handles beautifully.
The one disappointment in the whole affair was that I did not do the whole journey. I sailed to Bermuda, where, the crew on the basis of flimsy reasons, refused to go on to the Azores, and left me to my own devices. I hired a crew from the U.S., and they brought the boat to Cadiz. Transmission troubles developed 90 miles offshore and they sailed the boat through the Gibraltar Straits and on to Estepona, Spain without incident.
I had no idea what was involved in readying a boat for a journey such as she has recently completed. It is possible that she was built in a shorter time than it took to outfit her.
(Ed. note: Jack, we would like a complete account of your Atlantic crossing, outfitting and of course, sailing in the Med. For anyone wishing to contact Jack, his address (which won't fit on the roster) is:
Donna and Dan Daciuk are currently cruising "down south" and have sent the following account of their adventures aboard FOOTLOOSE:
"Having left FOOTLOOSE at a yard on the St. John's River October, we will be returning to Jacksonville in early January to continue our cruise to the Bahamas.
Except for the initial trip when we brought FOOTLOOSE from Lake Ontario to Traverse City in 1979 and except for the annual cruises to the North Channel area in northern Lake Huron which we have been doing for the past 8 - 10 summers, our 1995 trip from Traverse City to Florida was the longest and most challenging venture we have undertaken.
Our route took us through the Straits of Mackinac, down Lake Huron, along River St. Clair to Lake St. Clair (which seems to fast becoming a sea of grass), down the Detroit River to Lake Erie. Then east and through the Welland Canal and east along the U.S. shore of Lake Ontario to Oswego where we began the New York - Erie Canal trip with our mast down. After six days, we came out on the Hudson River at Troy, NY, re-stepped the mast and sailed down the Hudson for another week stopping along the way at places like West Point. As we were passing through New York City harbor, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty, we blew out the mainsail in the Narrows under the Verrazano Bridge. We had that repaired in Atlantic Highlands, NJ and then sailed 'outside' to Atlantic City. It was our first time in the ocean. Our second ocean day was from Atlantic City to Manisquan, NJ and the third hop took us to Cape May, NJ. From there we sailed up the Delaware Bay, motored the top part of the bay and the Chesapeake - Delaware Canal and then entered the Chesapeake Bay. This must have been very close to Labor Day so we realized that we wouldn't make the rendezvous as much as we might have liked to do so. Out goal was to get to northern Florida by early November and we really had no idea how long this would take. As it turned out, we got down there well ahead of schedule and we regret not having taken more time in the Chesapeake Bay. We did spend some time in the Sassafras River, in Annapolis, at St. Michaels, MD, Solomons, MD, and Norfolk - Portsmouth, VA. From Norfolk, we motored and motor-sailed the ICW to Charleston, SC. At Charleston, we went outside again and after 24 hours and 160 miles, we came in the inlet at Ferandina Beach, FL.
That's our story so far. We left out a lot of details, but a trip like this is something that is difficult to share. The sense of personal accomplishment is a major element. We didn't doubt for a moment that FOOTLOOSE could do it, but we had major concerns about her captain and first mate. But we all came through this first leg of our adventure in fine shape.
The equipment we added prior to our trip did much to enhance our trip. The Maxwell anchor chain winch with a washdown spray made our anchoring times very easy. The dodger which we ended up having made locally kept us drier on many occasions. The Autohelm 4000 was a really enjoyable and reliable second mate, and the Mark IV davits made carrying our Achilles hard bottom inflatable quite easy.
Happy sailing to all even if some of it will be either armchair or hard water type for a few months at least.
Donna and Dan Daciuk"
(Ed. note: Thanks much, hope to hear the "rest of the story".)
ALBERG 37 PENNANT
After an initial flurry of orders for the A-37 Pennant, the orders have slowed to less than the proverbial "snails pace". After an initial order of 22 pennants, which were delivered and mailed in October, we have received only several additional requests, but have placed an order for an additional 12 pennants (minimum order) which should be delivered to us in January, so be the first in your marina to show the A-37 International Owners Association pennant. For those who may not be aware of the A-37 Int. Owners Assoc. pennant, it has a white background, with the Canadian Maple Leaf (red of course) superimposed on the long leg of the stylized Alberg "A" (royal blue). The pennant has a 1/2" royal blue border, and is quite attractive. It is well made of dacron cloth (not nylon) so will last many seasons. The cost is $26.00 U.S. and includes shipping.
Albatross by Deborah Scaling Kiley
Reviewed by Chuck O'Brien
It is surprising it doesn't happen more often: a sinking with fatalities. An unfamiliar boat, a compressed schedule, a delayed departure and an incompatible crew are not uncommon circumstances in which novice, amateur or professional sailors can find themselves. In this true story all of the above came together to form an ill-fated passage from what should have been a routine delivery from Bar Harbor, Maine to the Caribbean via Annapolis and the Intracoastal waterway.
Albatross is must reading for anyone serious about offshore cruising. In some ways I feel odd saying that I enjoyed this book, because it is all anguish, stupidity and helplessness with a sad ending. Albatross holds the readers' interest throughout; sometimes making them shake their heads, but all the time wondering how the scenario will continue to unravel.
What strikes home in this story is the plausibility of the entire affair. It is also recent enough that many cruising and delivery sailors along the East Coast will recall it. Ms. Kiley, then 25 years old, was an accomplished sailor having completed a Whitbread and an all-women transatlantic race. Just prior to the story she had spent three years in the Caribbean charter and racing circuits.
The story begins with the forming of a crew for the delivery between Bar Harbor and Annapolis of the 58 foot Alden- designed Boothbay Challenger ketch, Trashman. Deborah begins early in the trip, well before heading offshore, to doubt the competence of the captain and the maturity of the sometimes less than sober crew. The crew consists of the captain, his girlfriend, two male crew and the author. They are anything but a team. Kiley was aware of resentment, open arrogance and hostility from the start. She emphasizes her disdain of three of the crewmembers obviously and, unfortunately, repetitively from the start. At times she portrays herself as both a martyr and a victim, but she stays on board and silently condones the worsening relationship as she parties often with the crew, "making the round of all the bars" and joining in the "frequent celebrations." In Kiley's version the stereotypes are formidably present - an incompetent captain, his non-sailing girlfriend, a drunk chauvinistic crewman, a noble crew.
The book shows that you cannot prepare for the mental stress during the post-abandonment period. No one can predict how they would react in such an environment where the degradation of mind, body and spirit are so rapid. The author writes effectively about the eternal discomfort and emotional breakdown experienced after abandoning ship. At this point Albatross becomes not really a story of survival but one of imprisonment; five days in a dinghy without any provisions or supplies.
It is apparent that everyone in the crew played some part in the formation of the tragedy. Should there be any reservations before a passage about the capability of the captain, the vessel, the route, the season or the shipmates, then the passage should be avoided. Even a large boat at sea is small. Albatross serves best as a warning of what can go wrong and of how fast it can happen.Albatross is available in paperback for $5.99.
(Ed. note: Chuck is a former live-aboard and cruiser, who, with his wife Barbara, took a year off the mid '80s to cruise the Caribbean in a wooden Mariner 40).
Book reviews are contributed monthly by the cruising staff and patrons of Bay Books in California, MD (that's next to Hollywood, of course, and just south of Solomons). For information call (800) 862-1424.
(Ed. note: Because of several inquiries regarding the proper flying of the A-37 pennant, the following was condensed from an article "Flags for Yachtsmen", Yachting Magazine, September 1981. Hopefully, this article will not cause too much controversy.)
A few basic terms are in order: Whatever a flag's shape, its vertical dimension is its hoist, and its horizontal extent is its fly. The main part of the flag is called either the field or ground; the upper left quarter of the flag is known as the canton or the union.
There are several types of flags that concern the yachtsman. First and most important are the national colors, often called the ensign. We commonly refer to the nation's flag in the plural, but when one talks about "making colors,", the phrase normally includes several flags, one of them the national ensign.
Next most common aboard yachts is the burgee, a usually triangular flag that denotes membership in a yacht club or other local boating organization.
In the U.S., an owner's individual flag is called a private signal, while in Britain it is sometimes referred to as a house flag. In either case, it is most often a swallowtail shape, although triangles and rectangles are not uncommon.
Related to the private signal is the organizational officer's flag - yacht club commodore, Coast Guard Aux. Flotilla Commander , etc. Incompatible combinations are officers' flags from one club displayed with burgees from another or two burgees raised at once.
Seldom seen aboard yachts, the Union Jack is a national flag that derives from naval usage. In the U.S. it is the 50 star union of the national flag, displayed only at a vessel's bow or jack staff, only at anchor or tied up, and only on Sundays or holidays.
There are also numerous signal flags serving more or less useful purposes, from the oversize Race Committee banners seen at regattas to the International Code flags to the various gag flags suggesting the presence of booze, lust or terminal bad taste aboard the vessel hoisting them.
Single masted sailboats normally have three possible locations from which to display flags - the masthead, the starboard spreader and aft (the mainsail leech or the stern staff). Underway under sail alone, the traditional recipe has been that the burgee appears at the masthead and the ensign at the gaff or two-thirds the way up the leech of the main. An organizational flag, a courtesy flag when in foreign waters or a signal may appear at the spreader hoist.
The ensign has migrated from the mainsail leech to the stern staff, a move formally recognized in the early '70s by both the New York YC and the USYRU. Purists resisted the change, but it seems safe to say that a vast majority of Bermudian sloops now carry their ensigns at the stern under sail or power.
Another change that's taking place - albeit unrecognized by any authority - but now apparently standard, is the descent of the burgee from the masthead to the starboard spreader. Now that most mastheads have become electronics forests, it has become not only difficult but potentially expensive to plant a flag among all the delicate feelers.
When a single masted sailing yacht is underway under power, or a combination of power and sail, former usage called for the ensign to be removed from gaff or leech and reappear on the stern staff. Now, the ensign is normally flown from the stern staff.
At anchor, under normal circumstances, the flag conformation is the same as under power. On festive occasions the boat may also be dressed overall with the flags and pennants of the International Code.
The flag usage aboard yawls is essentially the same as aboard single-masted sailing yachts, except that the mizzen offers a third possible location for the ensign, as it can be carried on the leech (normally about 2/3 up the leech).
Although today's tendency seems to be to hoist as many flags as one can possibly fit on the boat, each of them is likely to be too small for the purpose. Barring absurd extremes, however, a large flag generally looks better than a small one, and the rule of thumb for size ought really to be considered a minimum.
That rule calls for the ensign to be one inch on the fly for each foot of boat length overall. The burgee, house flag and officer's flag are half an inch on the fly for each foot above water of the highest truck, for sailing yachts and auxiliaries (Ed. note: Obviously, the A-37 pennant is in violation of the rule, but the cost of a pennant approximately 25" on the fly would have been prohibitive). The courtesy flag used in foreign waters is normally half the size of the yachts own ensign, but flags intended as meaningful signals - Code signals, etc. - should be as large as can conveniently carried.
The basic rule is that colors are made at 0800 local time and at sunset. Flags may be displayed before or after the hours for colors when entering or leaving port.
When a yacht visits foreign waters, custom calls for her to hoist the courtesy flag. Many countries have more than one national flag, and the proper courtesy flag is a half-sized version of the nation's yacht or merchant vessel ensign. In Canada, the national flag is flown on ships and yachts and also by visitors (Ed. note: Is this still correct?). As a matter of politeness, the courtesy flag occupies a place in the hierarchy second only to the vessel's own national ensign, but it is primarily a signal, and thus takes the position normally reserved for that sort of flag. On sailing or masted power yachts, this is usually at the forward starboard spreader. The foreign-going yachtsman is well advised to keep an eye on what other visiting yachts are doing, and follow their example.
On festive occasions a vessel fully dressed in flags and pennants of the International Code adds a colorful touch to any harbor.
A yacht dressed overall wears the flags she would normally hoist under the circumstances, as well as the 39 code flags. Since there are 26 square alphabet, three triangular repeater pennants and 10 truncated pennants representing numerals, normal procedure calls for alternating two letters with every number or repeater. There is no absolute arrangement. The arrangement is supposed to run in an unbroken arch from waterline to waterline, which means that two flags will almost touch the water.
In summary, on a larger sailing yacht, there are five or sometimes six places from which flags may be flown: a) the stern staff (national ensign under power or under sail); b) the leech of the aftermost sail (national ensign under sail); c) main or foremast truck (yacht club burgee, or, in the case of a single masted vessel, the owner's private signal or officer's flag); d) mizzen truck (owner's private signal or flag officer's flag); e) forward starboard spreader (organizational flag other than burgee, courtesy flag when in foreign waters); and f) the bow or jack staff (Union Jack at anchor on Sundays or holidays).
Backing the A-37
Peter Boyadjian (INIA) recently wrote an interesting account of his problems in backing the A-37:
"I have been interested in the difficulties of A-37 owners trying to go astern. A problem that continually plagues and humbles me.
The engine is a Volvo MD11D with reduction of 0.6:1, 3 bladed LH prop, 13" X 18" pitch, engine RPM of 2500/prop 1562 and HP 23/25. My slip (finger docks, 2 boats/slip) faces E - W. Shipping channel between rows of slips is about 45 ft. wide.
If I go full astern in a burst, the stern will go to starboard as expected. But the slip is sufficiently narrow that the bow will hit my neighbor to port (slip to starboard side to). If I go astern in a reasonable way, INIA takes over, and most of the time the stern swings to port. On a calm day, the shipping channel is just wide enough to back and fill to exit South (i.e. the channel is North/South, blocked to the North, with exit to the South.
With the wind forward of the beam (SW/W/ NW) I can warp out on a breast line, however, with a wind aft of the beam when docked (SE/E/NE), even if warped, and a necessarily slower than required speed, the wind blows INIA down onto my slip, and the boat in the next slip.
Consequently, with an easterly wind, INIA faces the wrong way in the shipping channel, and I am required to back and fill, with the boat gradually being blown in the wrong direction and running gauntlet of hitting boats with bow, stern or beam.
I have seriously considered docking stern to, but it would be necessary to warp in, which is easily done, except that the boat in the next slip would be a hazard, as inevitably getting the breast line onto the dock would take time (I am singlehanded). There are no pilings in the marina."
Pete also asks if anyone has experience with the "Max Prop" or the "Autoprop"? Pete says both companies claim improved performance. Other than warping the boat into the slip, I don't have any suggestions - does anyone else have any tips to offer????
You'll notice that this issue we are not including the A-37 roster sheets. Including the roster sheets with each issue of the newsletter not only is redundant, but often its inclusion causes the weight to go over 1 oz. with a resultant increase in postage. We'll include the roster at least once a year; and if anyone wants an updated roster, just let us know and we'll get an updated one out to you. We'd appreciate any feedback that you may have.
That's about it for this edition. Thanks to all who wrote, sent $$ contributions, submitted articles etc. You might be interested in knowing that the A-37 Assoc. has been mentioned a few times on the Internet (YachtNet). We have on our roster, nearly half of the A-37s built (although not all correspond, we get very few 'address unknowns'), and we get a few new contacts each month. Keep spreading the word!!
Looking forward to an EARLY spring and a great '96 sailing season. Keep in touch.