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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. 3

1 July 1996


NEWS FROM MEMBERS

Reid Tomlin writes that he is still in the process of restoring GENESIS, but hopes to give us an update by fall.

We recently received correspondence from Jack Lackner (CANADA GOOSE) who resides in Malaga, Spain, in which he reported some of the preparations made for the Atlantic crossing. CANADA GOOSE has been lying at Estapona Harbor since last September. Nothing has been done to her since then other than a thorough cleaning, and she is still the object of many complimentary comments. Jack's preparations included the following:

- Adding jacklines bow to stern, Port and Starboard.

- Retrofit full battens to main

- Added lazy jacks to main.

- Put 3 reef points in main.

- Add jiffy reefing to reef points.

- Add vang to boom.

- Main and genoa overhauled and re-stitched.

- Replaced all running rigging.

- Improved bow roller by adding 3" SS cheeks to keep anchor rode from jumping off roller.

- Added 250' 1-1/2" nylon rode to 43' of 3/8" chain. To anchor added heavy duty SS swivel between anchor chain and rode.

- Examined all blocks - 2 replaced.

- Serviced and lubricated all winches.

- Opened rudder at top to check for play between rudder and stock - none found.

- Replaced all seacocks with Marelon seacocks.

- Replaced all hoses to the engine, fuel tanks, cockpit drains, head and freshwater system.

- Rebuilt Volvo engine (all but crankshaft and main bearings new).

- Added fuel filter, and electric fuel pump as backup.

- Added bi-direction electric pump to engine and transmission sump for oil changing and putting in fresh oil.

- Added 100 amp. alternator to charge 2-200 amp.hr. gel cells.

- Added 1-60 amp wet cell as backup to gel cells for engine starting.

- Removed waste tank and replaced it with new SS tank for 35 gal extra water.

- Added heat exchanger to engine. (Fuel consumption 3/10 gal. @ 2000 RPM.

- Added depth sounder to replace echosounder, added Micrologic handheld GPS, hardwired to 12v. panel plus battery packs and spare.

- Resealed cabin hatch.

- Rebuilt forward hatch with strengthening bar across inside.

- Added SS plates under deck to all stanchion bases.

- Rebuilt head.

- Added new refrigerator - 1 hr. engine charging per day allowed refrigerator to be used every day of Atlantic crossing.

- Added 2 gallows - 1 just forward of the dodger (for the boom) and 1 as far aft as possible (for antennas, sun cover, and good hand holds).

- Added fail-safe fasteners to all door drawers lockers.

- Added teak removable panels to cover shelves main cabin.

- Added aluminum angles to cabin sole supports to which cabin sole panels were screwed.

- Rewired boat to two panels on bulkhead at front of sink - 1 shorepower, 1 12v.

- Replaced teak plywood in cockpit seats, and lazarette cover with fiberglass.

- Replaced dodger and sailcover.

- Carried 2-20 lb. propane tanks in after end of cockpit (in the open).

Should anyone want amplification on any of the above preparations, Jack will be glad to provide help.

Maureen and Roy Brankley purchased SEAFORTH in June 1995 and moved her from Toronto Island on Lake Ontario through the Welland Canal to Port Dover on Lake Erie (Dover is on the outer bay of Long Point).

They have found they have a great deal to learn about the A-37 and have found the newsletter very informative. Maureen further accounts: 'The comments by others about how hard it is to back up under control recalled our first experience backing which produced some notable surprises and embarrassments. The former owner had given us no forewarning of this upcoming challenge, or perhaps in our enthusiasm to own one of these lovely boats we failed to listen. Some urgent thought given to the problems we encountered produced the following solution applicable when backing from the slip.

It appeared that any air motion, even light air, across the bow would take the bow with it and initiate a turn that the rudder was unable to counter at the low hull speed typical of backing clear of the slip. The solution for us was to set the mizzen and tie it straight aft whenever the wind was on the "wrong side" of the bow. The bow would then be forced to rotate against the wind and the stern would back into the channel in the desired direction.

We checked the trim of the vessel, wondering if the bow might be riding a bit high, and moved three spare anchors from the cockpit lockers to the bow locker forward of the of the Vee berth. The trim was improved but it did not reduce the bow's tendency to follow the slightest breeze.

We took SEAFORTH off Port Dover in a dead calm and spent some time, to the amusement of landlubbers on the pier, backing around and around trying to feel the steering effects of the helm, but there seemed to be too little positive response and the trial was disappointing. We found that it was possible to steer a course in reverse at a moderate hull speed with the helm down hard in what ever direction required a course correction. We wondered, with a bit of humor, about adding a custom fin to the rudder to induce better response in reverse, but never developed this unlikely idea further.

Speaking of yawls, we have discovered how steady she lies at anchor with the mizzen set, and how the vessel will back down wind, head to the weather, while we retrieve and stow the anchor, making for an orderly departure.

We were quite interested in the experiences of other yawl owners we saw reported in the newsletter.

SEAFORTH is cutter rigged - a well conceived and executed custom alteration by the original owner. It has a high cut yankee (173 sq. ft.) on roller furling with forestay mounted 36" forward of the bow on a bowsprit (which finishes the bow quite nicely). It has a loose footed staysail (180 sq. ft.) on a club (the club of course is self tacking - a handy feature). The mast above the spreaders is fitted with jumper struts and jumper stays to counter the load of the staysail forestay.

If anyone is seriously considering the cutter rig for their vessel, we would be pleased to supply details and photographs of this alteration. Our calculation gives SEAFORTH a total sail ares of 700 sq. ft. as a cutter rigged yawl.'

Maureen and Roy also report they are in the process of re-caulking SEAFORTH's teak decks, and will provide a report of the lessons learned at a later date.

Bryce Inman recently wrote asking for a copy of the A-37 half model offsets.

John Bax (IMMUNITY) recently wrote stating that IMMUNITY, ESTORIL and WATOOKA all wintered in the Water at Lakefront Promenade Marina and it was very successful. The nearby generating station pumps its hot turbine water into the marina and hence no ice. With the outside temp of -18C, John was able to maintain 63 deg F. in the cabin with the help of a heater.

We recently heard from Bryan Zeeuw (SERENADE) who asked for a set of half-model offsets provided by Stuart and Helen Gillespie. Bryan also sent a photo of SERENADE's stainless bow roller. Since SERENADE (#32) has the higher toe rail, those of you wanting some ideas about bow rollers for this series of A-37s should contact Bryan.

NEW MEMBERS

Welcome aboard to the following new members:

Christopher Morgan who berths WINDSWEPT V at the Lakefront Promenade, Port Credit, Ontario. WindSwept is 1975 yawl, #145, which sports a 51 Hp. Perkins diesel. Christopher was referred by the ever faithful John Bax (IMMUNITY), who has seen this diesel installation and says it's a "tight fit".

Julie Baxter Jackson recently wrote that they purchased A-37 #150 in January 1995. They are currently in Puerto Rico enroute to Venezuela. We hope you will keep us posted of your journeys and adventures.

Nick and Nancy Valci of St. Louis, MO recently purchased Alberg 37 #189 (1978) in Wiarton, Ontario. The boat had been listed in the April issue of Soundings, and they were on vacation an on an impulse, decided to drive up and see the boat. They knew that there were several boats in Sarnia and felt that the trip would be worthwhile if they could see one or two other Albergs that were well maintained.

Their trip was a huge success. In Sarnia, they made contact with Brian and Kathy Marsh. Brian was working on his boat and was very gracious and helpful answering every question asked by Nick.

May 28th was the closing date on their A-37. They hope to work in a visit to Brian for more ideas and a closer more educated look at his boat. Nick and Nancy planned to take five weeks to hopefully sail the boat back to St. Louis motoring down the Illinois River. We hope to hear from them soon.

Daniel Sullivan has owned the yawl INISFAIL since she was built in 1986. Dan keeps her in Marblehead, MA and usually spends summers cruising Maine, Nova Scotia and Cape Cod, as well as Massachusetts Bay.

INISFAIL unfortunately was in Padanaram Harbor in Buzzard's Bay during Hurricane Bob in 1991 and was washed ashore along with about 150 other boats. In its travels to dry ground it took out a solidly constructed private wharf (with pilings), and spent quite a while pounding against a stone walled patio connected to a beach house. It managed to knock out the beach house windows and do significant damage to the wall and to the roof with it's mast. It finally ended up on the lawn of the estate. It had serious damage, but, amazingly, the hull was never holed. The only opening was a two foot long area at the main shrouds where the deck meets the hull. It was repaired at Morris Yachts in Southwest Harbor, Maine and actually looks better than new with its Awlgrip job. It looked so good that Morris used it as a feature in their Newsletter along with pictures.

Another story which may be of interest is that Carl Alberg was an acquaintance of Dan's and lived a couple of blocks from his house in Marblehead. He provided a copy of his plans and sighed them for Dan. He was really excited when he found out that Dan was having INISFAIL built and mad Day promise to take him out for a sail when it was commissioned. Dan had intended to have him be the first to sigh the Guest Log. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple of weeks before INISFAIL was launched. Dan belongs to the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, in which he was also a member, and the BYC Race Committee Boat is named "Carl Alberg" in his honor.

Rick Falkenberg recently purchased TENAKE #63 1970 (formerly LESGO) in 1992, and re-rigged her as a yawl and uses her for day-sail charter in the Virgin Islands National Park.

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.)

A-37 pennants are still available for $26.00 U.S. (cost plus postage).

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, and is an easy sail from Solomons Island, MD. 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.

As you have probably noticed from the letterhead, we no longer have our home in California, MD. We sold our home there this spring and now have our mailing address at Kinsale, VA. We do however, still live in the California/Solomons Md. area during the week, but hope to begin building a home at our waterfront property in Kinsale. Believe it or not, but Kaye and I have moved onto a 40' houseboat about 3 miles (by water) from Solomons. Since we still plan to work for a while (Kaye at Bay Books in California, and I at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station) we jumped at the opportunity to "house sit" the houseboat. We spend every weekend on board SHEARWATER in Kinsale, where we have been busy getting house plans in order etc. Unfortunately, the sailing this year has taken a back seat to building preparation etc.

 

ALBERG 37 RENDEZVOUS

LABOR DAY WEEKEND

31 August through 2 September 1996 AT THE ASSENMACHER DOCK

Hampton Hall Branch, Yeocomico River, Kinsale, Va.

It's ALBERG-37 RENDEZVOUS time again! No, we still do not have a house built, (but it just might be under construction). We even have an old 17' Boston Whaler to 'putz' about in. 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. Last year, we had 5 A-37's participate along with several owners who arrived by car. We expect to have a few more folks participate this year. We have slips for 4 A-37s, with room for more rafted alongside. The creek also is quite protected and has plenty of room for anchoring if desired. We have water at the dock, as well as (limited) electricity. Attached are directions both by water or by land. Kinsale is about 35 nm from Solomons, Maryland.

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, and assuming you are driving in from the north (if coming up from the south (i.e Norfolk area, you have to figure it out yourself to get to the 203 turnoff) 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 (at 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. There, you will see a red "12" "daymarker" marking our driveway (we have lot 12). Also look for the Alberg "A". 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. 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 you will anchor out or raft alongside overnight), there is a motel in Montross, and several Bed and Breakfast's in the area.

There is also a small marina in Kinsale (about a mile by water) which has diesel fuel, water, gasoline etc. It also has plenty of water depth for A-37's. Groceries and other supplies are available nearby, and we have plenty of available transportation.

CRUISING NOTES

The following letter was received in May from Ron and Eileen Holmes aboard TIGGER in Queensland, Australia:

"We had just recently received our copies of the Oct. '95 and Jan. '96 newsletters and decided it was time we wrote again. We se you have TIGGER as being in Bora Bora, which of course, has not been true since August 1993.

We made our way from the Society Islands to Suvarow, the northernmost of the Cook Islands. From there we were off to Tonga and then New Zealand for Christmas 93. We had a wonderful season in New Zealand and our diesel cab in heater did double duty and made life bearable on the mornings we got up to 54 deg. F in the cabin.

We did a lot of work on TIGGER in NZ, had her fiberglass dodger and associated hatches, etc. professionally painted and it looks wonderful. The cockpit coamings were replaced with teak we had imported from Burma. An interesting note here. They are not allowed to ship raw teak out of Burma anymore and so it is built into a house, then dismantled and can then be shipped. We had holes in the ends of the boards from the house nails. We found the original bedding under the coamings had never been good, accounting for the black water marks around the bolts. There are no bolts showing on the face of the coamings now and we raised the back board by about 3" and brought the side boards back full length at that height. It stops a lot of water. With TIGGER in fine shape, we sailed out of New Zealand in May and made our way back to Tonga, American Samoa, Western Samoa, Wallis Island and Fiji.

In Fiji, we acquired a 14" color television and VCR, both of which have provided much pleasure and entertainment. Fiji is a fascinating group of islands and the people a rich blending of native islanders and Indians. We enjoyed Fiji very much and it was soon time to return to New Zealand for a second season. This trip entailed our, once every 3 years, haulout. We took off 9 years of bottom paint and happily fount TIGGER's bottom blister free, but for a very few tiny spots. She was treated to 5 new coats of epoxy barrier coat and then 5 coats of hard bottom and 2 more of an ablative paint. It is our first time using ablative paint and we are happy to report that one year later, TIGGER has a clean bottom every time we sail. She'll get a fine fur all over if we sit a long time, particularly in a marina environment, but as soon as we move, it's gone. Ron had to build a new evaporator for our 12v refrigeration system...it's all copper and works fine.

The best thing we did for ourselves before leaving NZ again, was build a complete cockpit enclosure. Having put rope bolt grooves all around the dodger at time of building, we were able to use the bimini to suspend the "tent" from and it ties into the previously existing lee cloths which slide into the rope bolts. Seventeen zippers and several meters of heavy-duty clear plastic plus matching Sunbrella framing, we had a water and windproof tent that has made life unbelievably improved. The visibility is excellent and our safety valve is a row of clips along the bottom of the lee cloths which will set go if a large wave hits us fully broadside. Otherwise it keeps out tons of flying salt spray and most of all, the cold driving winds during southerly blows.

We returned to Fiji in May 1995, moved on through New Caledonia and in November of 1995, arrived in Brisbane, Australia. We have been at the Moreton Bay Trailer and Boat Club since Nov. 23 and have loved every minute of our stay, except for the cockroaches. We have been cruising over 12 years and it's the first time we ever had cockroaches come to stay. They are gone now.

On arriving at the marina, our first job was installing a new cabin sole. We used Australian spotted gum, a member of the eucalyptus family and are delighted with the results. The new sole was put down on top of the original. The original lift-out hatches were discarded and strips of wood cut to elevate the new ones. It is tongue and groove lumber, and so we have no lines in it..never miss them. The wood is heavier than teak, extremely hard, 3/4" thick and finished up a lovely mixture of blonde shades.

Our next project was making new cushion covers for the main cabin and we are delighted with the results of our efforts. We recently installed a new stainless steel rack to hold the two aft solar panels and GPS antenna. We have also installed a crane for lifting our 15 Hp. outboard engine. It will also provide a place for the proposed installation of radar.

On May 11, we are flying home to Sarnia, Ontario for a month, leaving TIGGER here at Moreton Bay. We return on June 14, will provision and leave for New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and north to Guam by Christmas.

Australia has been a wonderful experience and we have made such great friends here. They have shared their homes and time with us, making sure we saw all of the indigenous animals, at least the marsupials and monotremes. What an incredibly diverse and unique flora and fauna!

We know the whole world will know by now, of the tragic massacre in Tasmania, with the death of 35 souls. It's one of those terrible things that can happen anywhere and does not reflect on the Australian people. We'll come in at Cairns and work our way down the coast through the world famous Great Barrier Reef, Whit Sunday Islands and no doubt back to Manly to visit with all the friends we've made here.

TIGGER is doing just fine, she turned 27 on May 1 and has found a friend here, hull #179. Her name is Wirringa (meaning Pelican in the aboriginal language). She was sailed here by an Australian several years ago and has just gotten a new owner, a friend we referred to her, so the beat goes on.

We are pleased to hear so many Alberg owners have cruising plans. They are all over the world, we know 4 here in this part at this time, and it's nice to be part of such an enthusiastic group. If anyone has specific questions they might want answered, we'd be pleased to respond through Brian and Kathy Marsh (TUNDRA).

Ron and Eileen Holmes
Aboard TIGGER, #49 and holding"

BOOK REVIEW

CAPSIZED

THE TRUE STORY OF FOUR MEN ADRIFT FOR 119 DAYS

by James Nalepka & Steven Callahan

It would be natural for any bookseller to shelve Capsized alongside either boating or other non-fiction titles. Maybe a better spot would have been in sociology. This story is as much about relationships as it is about survival. Jim Nalepka, one of the four survivors of a 1989 yachting tragedy, writes an honest, albeit sometimes personally biased, account of probably the most remarkable tale of ocean survival this century. The book is also co-authored by Steve Callahan, an editor at Cruising World magazine, and himself a victim of a 76-day ordeal alone on a liferaft. His previous book Adrift, caught the public's imagination and was a New York Times bestseller.

The books title says it all. An equally appropriate title could have been taken from Tristan Jones' Incredible Voyage. And incredible it was. Four men existed in the upside down world of a capsized trimaran, the only semi-dry space being the raised area between the footwell and the hulls bottom, now turned ceiling: a space about 20 inches high and the width of a double bed. As if dealing with dimensional limitations wasn't enough, they also had to contend with the debilitating cold waters of the high southern latitudes (35-00S to 42-00S) off New Zealand's east coast. Lastly, and possibly worst, was the conflict among the victims and their inherent differences in personality, background and sailing experience.

The crew consisted of the 47-year-old builder/owner/skipper who was South Pacific bound for loves yet unknown, a liveaboard cruiser wanna-be, a "gotta prove myself to me and the world "Outward Bound instructor, and the never-been-sailing author, a 38-year-old Minnesotan road worker who needed some kind of life change. Only the skipper had offshore experience, which had actually been decades earlier. At this point none of them knew each other very well, but well enough to find weaknesses in each other that they didn't like even before casting off dock lines. However ill-found the comraderie or experience levels were at the outset, the capsize would likely not have been prevented. Whereas each crew member had his own motivations for being aboard, each sailed thinking that he would each be off on his own within a couple of weeks or back at his own home.

None of us goes to sea wondering how we would share a survival situation with crew members. This is not something that is contemplated in selecting crew or planning a voyage. We expect to arrive at the intended destination in a reasonable time. Safety preparedness is typically in the form of purchasing and knowing how to use survival gear. Surprisingly, survival equipment does not really play any part this crew's existence or rescue. The merit in reading this story is to observe and learn aspects of survival often overlooked - improvisation and relationships. It is easy to say what you would do from the comfort of a bar in Annapolis or the docks of your marina. But in the everpresent motion of a boat while living within the cramped cave-like confines, and the constant physical contact of others and corresponding lack of privacy, personality flaws and strengths are exploited. Within their community of four were cliques, deceit, thievery, and humiliation. The author implies that there is a synergy of the complimentary skills, talents and weaknesses of the survivors. However, the open hostility often exhibited certainly had to contribute to the decaying spirit and deteriorating team effort needed. It could have just as easily led to life-threatening situations.

The majority of the book deals with the day-to-day reality of the crew's existence, which began with early hope and moved on to complacency of the condemned. Capsized is slightly over 200 pages and by the end the reader is beginning to wear from the continuous rivalry and personality clashes. Depending on your beliefs and perspective you will side with different survivors. The ending seems sudden after the protracted period adrift, not surprising considering the length of the ordeal. This episode may have set a nautical record that hopefully will never be surpassed.

by Chuck O'Brien

Capsized is available in paperback for $5.99 at local bookstores or autographed hardback copies can be purchased direct from Steve Callahan for $24. Write him at 804 Newport Green, Newport, RI 02840-6428.

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 across the Patuxent River from Solomons Island).

For information call (800) 862-1424.

 

Unfortunately, it's time to get this edition in the mail. Seems like the summer will be over before we know it. We'd like to hear from those heading south for the winter, and also hope you will include the Rendezvous in your fall cruising plans.

Keep the letters, cruising stories and maintenance articles coming. You are what makes publishing the newsletter so much fun.

Have a great sailing season.