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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 VI, NO. 2

10 April 1996


NEWS FROM MEMBERS

We recently received a postcard from Gord Murphy (INTERLUDE) while he was cruising in the Virgin Islands. Gord mentioned that the tang that holds the bottom of the forestay broke at the bend, causing some damage to the furling gear. He replaced the tang in Tortola and was able to repair the furler. We've had several reports of this problem. Seems that the tang becomes fatigued at this point and lets go - it is under a great deal of stress and does work to some extent. Better check it out as part of the spring commissioning.

Roly and Danielle Pootmans (LANIKAI) recently requested some information from members regarding prop diameters/engine RPM comparisons. Roly presently uses a 13" x 13" x 3" prop with his VOLVO 2003 with good results, but is always looking for better performance. Also, has anyone attempted using a 14" diameter prop?

Concerning sailing in light winds, they normally sail with mizzen, main and No. 3 130% genoa. Their mainsail's foot is 12" shorter than the sailplan, which was a suggestion from their sailmaker, GENCO. They have installed a Harken Furler and have kept the 130% genoa on the furler, with the 160% genoa spending its last few years at home in the bag. They also have a drifter/reacher and mizzen staysail for light wind days. When the wind pipes up, they double reef the main and finally stow it, and with mizzen and 130% genoa, they have handled winds in the 30 - 40 Kt. range. They never leave the mizzen up at anchor, but have 200' of 3/8 chain to dampen movement.

Concerning electrical systems, Roly mentioned that his electrician mentioned that soldering is no longer approved for grounding wires, or high power loads where high heat can melt the solder with possible failure. Terminals should be mechanically crimped (the same as 12 volt starter cables). (Ed. note: we haven't seen any articles on this, can anyone contribute some authoritative references, such as ABYC? Also, does this apply to lightning and bonding protection?)

Roly and Danielle commented on the recent article on flag etiquette. They fly their yacht club burgee on the main masthead and also fly a personal flag on the mizzen masthead. They enjoy dressing ship and fly them in the order as suggested in a vintage Chapman's (circa 1957), which has the following order: AB2-KE3-GH6-IV5-FL4-DM7-PO Third Repeater-RN First Repeater ST0-CX9-WQ8-ZY Second Repeater. This arrangement is designed to effect a harmonious color pattern throughout, avoiding heavy groupings of a single color. They fly theirs from water level to pulpit to maintruck, to mizzen truck, to aft end of mizzen boom to water level and "looks great".

Roly has provided us with drawings of his backstay chainplate "fixes", which are included in this issue and also drawings and specs of A-37 rigging, water and electrical systems (original A-37 and as modified on LANIKAI, and other drawings and diagrams too numerous to mention). He also wishes to know if anyone has used an ozone generator to get rid of mildew.

Roly and Danielle are anxiously awaiting spring, and have no special projects planned for LANIKAI this year.

Irving and Frances Wintrob (MONSOON) wrote in February that they were enjoying WARM WEATHER in Arizona (Ed. note: Must be nice.)

Stuart and Helen Gillespie (HIGHLANDFLING) have graciously provided drawings and photos of their recent construction of an Alberg 37 half-model. Stuart writes that the boot top is holly and the hull is modeled from 75 year old Honduras mahogany that came from the old (not new) Elco Boat Works, in Bayonne, NJ, where Stuart was a cadet draftsman from June to October 1933. (Ed. Note: Anyone interested in a set of offsets, just give us a call.)

Tom and Agnes Westran (BRIGHTLINGSEA II) have decided that "come hell or high water", BRIGHTLINGSEA II will be ready to go by next season at the latest, by increasing the level of contract work on the refit/renovation process so things get done much faster than if it remained primarily a do-it-yourself project.

As BRIGHTLINGSEA II was being prepared for the installation of their Autohelm 6000 autopilot, a thorough examination of the steering gear was conducted.

The pins in the steering pulleys were found to be worn, the worst at -0.050 inches. Another A-37 in the area (COUNTESS) had pins worn 75% through. Both steering cables had several broken strands where they met the quadrant. The broken strands in the cables were not evident until the cables had been removed, as they were not detected by feel. A call to Edson for new pins (they now use stainless pins to replace the original bronze), and a new locally fabricated cable assembly solved these problems.

Potentially more serious problems were also discovered: As the pulleys were being removed, some motion was seen in the starboard longitudinal bulkhead between the cockpit locker and engine room. Further examination revealed that some of the tabbing that bonds the bulkhead to the cockpit sole had never been properly bonded to the plywood with the result that the bulkhead had come adrift along approximately 1/2 of its length. Since the steering pulleys are fastened to this bulkhead, one good heavy load could have collapsed the whole assembly with disastrous results.

After the old tabbing had been ground away and the plywood and fiberglass part thoroughly cleaned, an oak fillet was cut and bonded to the bulkhead and deck with epoxy and four layers of cloth. Two cross members were constructed from 2" x 2" oak and fitted between the port and starboard bulkheads adjacent to the steering pulleys. The steering loads are now shared between the two bulkheads.

The steering pulley mounting screws (16 total) were also found to be loose. This was due to too small washers becoming embedded into the wood due to the steering loads. The machine screws were replaced with 316 SS bolts, and heavy guage flat washers and self-locking nuts.

The steering gear cannot receive too much attention. A friend of Tom and Agnes vividly described being blown around the North Atlantic trying to hand steer with the emergency tiller after the cable steering failed.

Tom and Agnes plan to make a full report of BRIGHTLINGSEA II's renovation upon completion.

Mario and Jackie Brunetta (LOTUS) planned to have her deck Awlgripped, and have been busy removing deck hardware before the snows. As LOTUS is 29 years old, it was interesting to note that a lot of the deck hardware was factory installed and never rebedded. There was no sign of moisture entrance and small rubber washers seemed to have been used between the hardware and the deck.

Mario plans to install an anchor roller, possibly using an URM-1, and wishes for anyone having installed one over the tall wooden toe rail (as the older A-37 have installed) share their knowledge.

[Ed. Note: We have a newer boat (1975-i.e. low toe rail), and have attached ours to the cast aluminum stem fitting by using 3-1/2" machine bolts through the existing holes in the stem fitting. Minimal modification of the URM-1 was required - it requiring drilling 3 holes in the side and cutting a notch out of the URM-1. It made a nice installation.]

The Yanmar diesel installed last year has over 100 hrs. on it and has been most satisfactory, presenting no problems, although the motor mounts will need to be adjusted this spring.

Mario encourages others to use Cetol on the teak, as it seems to be holding up well for them. They also did away with two spreader lights and installed a Forespar Spreader/Deck light combo.

Richard and June Miller report that spring is returning to Rhode Island (obviously, it got lost on it's way through Maryland) and are readying SPIRIT for a late May or early June launch. They spent 10 days in Florida with 2 days in Key West, where they took a cruise on the schooner APPLEDORE, whose skipper let Richard steer for about 20 minutes. Dick has an E-Mail address: SPIRITjr@AOL.COM.

Dick and Dianne Munt (D2) intend to write describing the "zillions" of changes that they've made to hull #206. They also have several "good deal" items for sale - see the FOR SALE section of the newsletter.

Dick and Joan Wilke are spending the winter months at their "new" home in Florida, but plan to return to Michigan in mid-April to launch IOLANTHE. They met Robert and Lynn Gambrell aboard SAFARI at the Regatta Point Marina. Dick indicated that he planned to meet Gord Murphy in Tortola in February, and sail a couple of weeks with him.

Dick had an exciting experience in July when they were hit with 80 kt. winds and 15 ft. seas on Lake Huron, under bare poles. The boat heeled 50 deg. (water over the starboard ports), and eventually the ties on the main slid together and the head of the sail ran up to the spreaders and was ripped to shreds (several people have since advised that in such a storm, one should start at the mast and wrap a line spirally the length of the boom). After a couple of hours they were able to get underway, finally arriving in Bayfield, ONT at 2:00AM. Dick reported no other damage to IOLANTHE.

Reid Tomlin is in the process of restoring his newly acquired A-37. Reid says he plans to write a newsletter article when he completes the project. (Reid, we need to know the name and hull number of your A-37 along with your phone number for our roster.)

Wayne and Sherrill Bower are busy refurbishing TEELOK for a cruise to the Canadian Maritimes this summer. In work is some engine work (Wayne pulled the Westerbeke 4-107 for a minor overhaul, new gaskets etc.) checking all thru-hulls etc. Hope they make it back in time for the Fall Rendezvous.

NEW MEMBERS

Welcome aboard to the following new members:

Maureen Brankley of Woodstock, ONT recently purchased SEAFORTH, a 1972 cutter rigged yawl. SEAFORTH is laid up in Port Dover, ONT on Lake Erie, where her owners are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and the restoration of teak decks. (Ed. note: several members have expressed interest in learning about the cutter conversion - also the teak decks sound interesting....).

Mark Lay (ELIXIR) of McLean, VA. Although currently in a yard in the lower Chesapeake, Mark says that ELIXIR will soon be moved to a closer berth in the West River, just south of Annapolis, MD.

Derek Osmond/Wanita Gray of Mississauga, ONT. recently purchased DREAM WEAVER III and plan for extended cruising beginning in '97 following a major refit. DREAM WEAVER III has had only one previous owner, and was only sailed in Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) and Lake Ontario. Derek and Wanita plan to keep fellow members appraised of their progress in achieving their goals.

SPINDRIFT
by the Editor

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.)

Recently, we received correspondence from one of our Canadian members who stated that BOAT U.S. had refused his membership in the Cooperative Group, and that Canadians are not eligible for the Cooperative Group discount. We have been in phone contact with the BOAT U.S. Cooperative Group representative, and will attempt to resolve this issue. In the meantime, we would like to hear from other members who have similar encounters with BOAT U.S.

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, a beautiful cruising area. 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.

We have some A-37 reference material which we have collected over the years from other members (such as Roly Pootmans). We think it might be time to organize an A-37 "Owners Manual". 1) Is there any interest in such a reference? 2) Is any member willing to take on the effort to collect and assemble the material? and 3) Would members be willing to pay a nominal fee (enough to pay for the Xeroxing and binding) for the manual (probably bound in a 3-ring binder). If anyone is interested in taking on this project, let us know.

WANTED

Cruising/maintenance/galley articles for publication in the quarterly newsletter.

FOR SALE

Dick and Dianne Munt have the following items for sale:

Chimney exhaust cap (Cole Stove), 3" dia, $20 plus shipping.

Barlow #2 wire halyard winch (reel??)(w/o wire) $30 plus shipping.

All prices negotiable. Call Dick at (313) 662-6131.

 

 

WE STILL HAVE SOME A-37 PENNANTS FOR SALE AT $26.00 U.S.

Get your's now for the '96 sailing season.

**********

 

THE YAWL RIG

Submitted by Mike Hughes

(MARYNYA #123)

The advantage of the yawl rig is that it has all of the windward performance advantages of a sloop while the mizzen mast provides a bunch of additional capabilities. It is a remarkably subtle rig and after owning one for 5 years, I don't pretend to know all there is to know about it. Both Don Street and Tristan Jones have said that the yawl is the i deal short-handed cruising rig. I have come to appreciate this viewpoint.

The mizzen itself is really a heavy air sail. It doesn't do much for you when hard on the wind although it should carry its own weight. On a reach, it provides some drive although it isn't too significant. It comes into its own when it is time to reduce sail. A good yawl will balance nicely on jib and mizzen, a very handy rig for singlehanding, especially with a roller jib. This works well in winds around 20-30 knots and will go to windward although she won't point quite as high as with the main up. If you decide to stop and wait it out, she will heave-to very nicely under mizzen only or with a scrap of jib backed to windward. The strongest winds I've done this in to date were about 40 knots, but she was very stable and quite comfortable in that mode. She should be able to handle stronger winds. The mizzen should be strongly made and cut fairly flat.

There are endless tricks you can do with the mizzen. It is always the first sail I set when singlehanding. It will hold her head up under power while I set the main, or I can unroll the jib and sail close-hauled on jib and mizzen while setting the main. Coming in, I will hand the main where I have plenty of room and approach with reduced speed under jib and mizzen. I'll turn up to my anchoring spot, roll the jib and drop the hook. With the mizzen centered, she will drop back downwind stern first and I can control this by pulling the mizzen boom out on one side or the other if I want to. She will sail backwards, even on a reach, under mizzen only if the mizzen boom is pulled to windward. This startles people, but I haven't really found too many uses for it! It might be a trick worth knowing if you had to maneuver into a marina with a dead engine. Leaving the mizzen up and sheeted on the centerline keeps her from sailing around her anchor. I don't often do this because the sail will flap some, but it can be nice on occasion.

I've thought about having a mizzen trysail made to use for this purpose and for heaving to in really heavy conditions.

But the biggest reason for the yawl is the mizzen staysail. This is a wonderful sail for reaching in light air. It is nearly as large as the main and it really pulls! When broad reaching in light air, I often sail on jib or drifter and mizzen staysail only. It works better than using the main and there is less banging around. When we sailed MARYNYA from St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) to northern Florida outside the Bahamas, we made most of the trip under this rig. We rigged the sheets through blocks on the ends of the booms and held the booms outboard with preventers to broaden the sheeting angle. We found it well worth while to "tack" downwind. She is enough faster on a broad reach than a near run to make the extra distance worth while. She is also more comfortable and the wind vane steers her much better. Finally, the mizzen mast is a nice place for mounting things like radio and radar antennas, wind generators, etc.

WEST COAST RENDEZVOUS

John Volc (STORNOWAY), in cooperation with the Alberg 38 International Owners Association, the Chesapeake Bay Alberg 30 Association and the Saltspring Island Yacht Club is hosting the 1996 Alberg Rendezvous June 22 and 23 at Ganges Harbour, Saltspring Island, British Columbia, CANADA. We wish you the best, and hope that some of the A-37 members can participate. See the attached flyer for details.

CHESAPEAKE BAY RENDEZVOUS

This is the advanced announcement for the Annual Alberg 37 International Owners Association rendezvous to be held over the Labor Day weekend, August 31 through September 2, 1996. The rendezvous will be held as usual at the Assenmacher dock on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River, about 10nm from the mouth of the Potomac River. More details in the July newsletter. We hope our friends who are planning a trip "South" this fall will consider making the Rendezvous part of your cruising plans. The Chesapeake is a great cruising area in the fall.

MID-WINTER RENDEZVOUS

A mid-winter A-37 gathering was held in Annapolis (MD) on Saturday evening, 10 February. Charles Deakyne kindly arranged to have the Annapolis Yacht Club available for the event. After a very pleasant social hour at the bar overlooking Annapolis Harbor, we all adjourned to the dining room for a most enjoyable dinner (the new A-37 pennant was the table centerpiece), followed by more socializing over after dinner drinks. A very pleasant evening, and our collective thanks to Charles and the Annapolis Yacht Club. In attendance were: Tom and Kaye Assenmacher (SHEARWATER); Charles and Helen Bahn (RAVEN); Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK); Charles and Mrs. Deakyne (SCRIMSHAW) and John and Becky Long (SOLSKIN II). As this first attempt at a mid-winter event was a success, we may try to schedule such an event next winter.

CRUISING NOTES

Guess we'll have to wait until summer.

BOOK REVIEW

At Any Cost: Love, Life & Death at Sea
by Peter Tangvald

Reviewed by Chuck O'Brien

It makes one wonder just what the author Peter Tangvald has on his mind when the opening page of his autobiography At Any Cost: Love, Life & Death at Sea starts with this quote "Whoever lives without folly is not as wise as he thinks." This is written by a man who has lost two wives and eventually loses a daughter and himself. The book is intriguing, depicting the "hard core' of long-term global cruising sailors. This isn't the kind of seaman who outfits a Tayana or a Bristol and heads out for the Bahamas or the Caribbean or maybe ports beyond. Even the typical circumnavigator will appear a pampered novice when measured alongside the adventures depicted in At Any Cost. Peter Tangvald is the kind of man who starts with hand tools, builds a boat on his own and then spends over three decades cruising to the obscure ports of the world.

The exploits of Peter Tangvald are recent enough that readers may remember him through references in Cruising World magazine. Tangvald is a Norwegian who, as an adolescent, experienced nervousness and generally poor health. His father felt good food, fresh air and exercise would be preferable to psychiatrists and medication. That decided, a mooring went in, a boat appeared, and he received aggressive daily training until his health returned. Henceforth, sailing affected his life forever-becoming the only thing over his entire lifetime that provided any continuity. A succession of failures and a few minor successes defined his early adult years. A lifetime of disjointed careers began when he left school early to join the Coast Guard and found that commercial or regimented seafaring had little to do with recreational sailing.

Peter left the service and returned to school where he failed all his subjects and eventually dropped out before being drafted by the Air Force. A discharge followed. Next, he was apprenticed as a tool and die maker where he again found intermittent success. This brought him to the United States where he went from one tool and die job to another. At one point, he even had his own business but went bankrupt after four years.

Bitterness, bankruptcy and divorce led to the all-too appealing idea of heading overseas to England to purchase a yacht cheaply, and then sail it to California to sell at a favorable profit. Thus, in 1957, Peter began over 35 years of ill-fated adventures as a sailing vagabond. An around-the world voyage, sinking and poverty eventually found the resourceful Tangvald in French Guiana building his own dream boat, L'Artemis. Between 1973 and its sinking in 1991, Peter and various wives roamed the world aboard this boat. It is this part of Tangvald's life that is the focus of At Any Cost.

L'Artemis was an engineless, Spartan boat which reflected the personality of its builder-durable, flexible and eccentric. Dynamic changes seem typical for Tangvald. There are many wives (at least six) and numerous other romantic interests. In regards to L'Artemis, the rig configuration changes at least five times varying from yawl to schooner to cutter with variations in between. It is hopeless to assume a planned itinerary ever existed.

This book will take you to the out-of-the-way locales where Peter and his family lived. And, even in the remote regions to which they tended to migrate, they manage to fit in with the local people and culture. For the Tangvalds, life was a subsistence existence and anything but a world sightseeing travel adventure. Stops include Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Aden, Tunisia, the length of the Red Sea and many of the more common ports along the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Each port of passage has incredible stories, often tragic, associated with it. An ordinary person, in his entire life, may be called upon only once to endure extreme hardship or personal suffering. Aboard L'Artemis, this was frequent: two children are born at sea, one wife is killed by pirates, another is lost overboard, constant financial problems, misplaced confidences and unstable employment are all part of the mix. Peter's seamanship is commendable and also condemnable. He sails when he wants to without regard for weather or routes.

At Any Cost is available in paperback for $13.50

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.

 

COMMISSIONING THOUGHTS

- Ensure all seacocks are closed prior to launch.

- Check security and clamping of all hoses.

- Check stuffing box for leaks immediately after launch.

- Remember to close the engine block drains prior to starting engine.

- Check security and condition of all engine belts, hoses and wiring.

- Check the engine oil prior to engine start.

- Check engine coolant level (fresh water cooled engines) before start.

- Open engine seawater intake seacock before engine start.

- Open engine exhaust seacock before engine start.

- Ensure exhaust cooling water is evident immediately after start.

- Have plenty of docklines rigged before entering slip.

- Have a lot of fun during this sailing season.

************

PARTING SHOTS

We are not including the roster of members this issue, but will include it in the first issue of the year - helps keep the postage costs down. We've been sending a roster to new members upon initial contact. If anyone needs an updated roster, just drop us a line. At last count, we have 103 members.

In the next (summer) issue of the newsletter, I hope to include an article for those members (primarily the Chesapeake Bay and East Coast sailors) affected by the Clean Water Act. We've read a few articles relating to holding tanks, Type I MSDs, holding tanks, no-discharge zones etc., but find a lot of speculation, misinformation and so forth. Here in the Chesapeake Bay, the laws have been on the books for some time, but the laws have not been rigorously enforced. We have heard that in 1997, the laws WILL BE ENFORCED WITH SUBSTANTIAL FINES!!!!!! If any members have any FACTUAL information to pass along, we would welcome it. We need to develop some logical and practical solutions to incorporate into our vessels (short of the oaken bucket).

Again, have a great sailing season. Please keep in mind the safety aspects of sailing - don't take any unnecessary risks.

Also keep the Labor Day Rendezvous in your cruising plans!