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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. 4

10 October 1996


NEWS FROM MEMBERS

Pat and Bill Shrader (PAT-SEA) had a visit at their marina in Buffalo with Tip and Jean Corey as the Coreys were on their way back home after having spent the winter in Florida.

Dick and Diane Munt recently sent an account of their recent work on D2, which is included later in the newsletter. Dick also wishes to know if anyone has installed a watermaker (especially the PUR reverse osmosis "power survivor"), and if so, where and how was it installed. Also, they plan to take D2 to salt water in the near future and need to install a sacrificial zinc (stainless shaft/bronze prop). There is no room to put anything on the shaft behind the prop. How have any members solved this problem? (Ed. Note: We had the same problem when we bought SHEARWATER (157) back in '82'. She had spent her previous 7 years in Toronto, and had no zinc. Our solution was to take the bronze prop nut and have a short length (about 1-1/2") of heavy l" bronze tubing brazed to it. We then mount a standard 1" zinc "donut" in front of the prop instead of behind the prop. I guess this may cut down on prop efficiency but it's not noticeable. Other solutions we've heard about are: shortening the cutless bearing housing; enlarging the prop aperture in the rudder and extending the prop shaft enough to install a zinc between the prop and cutless bearing.)

Dwight and Carol Kraai (SAUCY) had planned on attending the Labor Day Rendezvous, but last minute commitments precluded their attending. SAUCY was docked for the summer at Northwest Creek Marina in New Bern, and survived (a close call at 10 miles) the hurricane with no problems. They spent the winter at the Miami Beach Marina on South Miami Beach, and had a great time. They arrived back at New Bern at about the end of April. Also, we received a call from Dwight the last week of September during which he stated that they plan to leave this fall for Florida. They are becoming old hands at the ICW. Dwight asks that if anyone wishes to contact them about their trip on the ICW, they would be glad to pass on their "lessons learned."

Cathy and Malcolm Blackburn (KAILA II) sent a change of address, as this was to be the year they were going to be ready to sail by the end of May. Malcolm retired on 1 April, and the boat was going to be ready to sail by the second week of May. However, "the best laid plans....etc." Launch was postponed a week, because of ice in the marina. A friend, as they went down to rig the sails, commented that there was a very nice house, with 8 acres, about 5 minutes drive from the marina, going for a very reasonable price. To make a long story short, they purchased the property, moved in, and having a wet and cold summer, did not spent much time sailing. And of course, their long term sailing plans have been postponed somewhat.....so maybe next year.

SAILING THE INTERNET

For those who may be new to the Internet (or those who already do a bit of 'surfing') I have developed a list of some interesting Internet sites. There is even some A-37 information out there, and we advertised the Rendezvous and the Association on several sailing forums (haven't heard that anyone read them).

http://www.mtam.org/ - Marine Trades Association of Maryland

http://www.maratime.com/ - The Annapolis Maritime Directory

http://www.vnet.net/users/efilkins/sailing.html - The Liveaboard and Cruising Page

http://www.iwol.com - Internet Waterway - Links to numerous marine related sites.

http://www.soundingsmag.com - Soundings Magazine Home Page

http://www.cruisingworld.com - Cruising World Magazine Home Page

http://www.webcom.com/canyacht/alberg37.html - Hank Boorsboom’s account of his trip to Bermuda in an Alberg 37

http://www.webcom.com/canyacht - Canadian Yachting Home Page

http://www.marinemart.com/index.html - Marinemart has multiple links to boats, brokers, accessories etc.

http://www.sonic.net/~petere/ - Lots of boating stuff, Alberg 30’s etc. etc.

http://www.ea.net/spinsheet/ - Spinsheet, a Chesapeake Bay monthly magazine.

http://www.boatus.com/ - Boat U. S. Home Page

http://www.iwol.com/Iww/National/ClubAndAssoc/ClubAndAssoc.html - Listing of boat clubs and associations (including the Alberg 37 Intl. Owners Assoc.)

http://www.gsn.com/bin/read_forum_by_date.exe?-21&graphics&guest - MarineNet's Sailboat Forum

http://www.gsn.com/bin/fishing.exe?/sports/boating/marinenet.htm&graphics&guest - MarineNet Home Page

http://www.gsn.com/bin/welcome_enter.exe/Boston_Whaler/OpenMarket/sports/boating/boats/whaler/whaler.htm?mode=graphics&customer_id= - Boston Whaler Home Page

http://www.yachtingmag.com/ - Yachting Magazine Home Page

http://media2.hypernet.com/woodenboat/W - Wooden Boat Magazine Home Page

This is by no means an all inclusive listing of sailing URLs, but at least it’s a start. Be adventurous and do some "surfing".

WEST COAST ALBERG RENDEZVOUS

John Volc (STORNOWAY) of North Vancouver, BC, sent the following report of the rendezvous held in June:

"The West Coast Alberg Rendezvous went off without a hitch. In total, 9 boats, including 2 A-37s, 3 A-30s, 1 A-29, 1 A-27 and 2 A-22s stopped by. The rendezvous was a casual affair with boats arriving on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There were no formal activities planned which left a lot of time for visiting other boats and socializing.

After talking to the Alberg Owner's in attendance, the most startling fact to reveal itself was the satisfaction they had with owning their boats. There was a lot of talk about what they changed and what they wanted to change, but there was no discussion of buying something more modern. This loyalty seemed to stem from the feeling of confidence in the boat ("sailing the West Coast was like kayaking sometimes") and it's predictable handling characteristics in adverse weather ("starts to really go at 200 heel"-"no need to reef until you're well past 300 heel"-"tracks like a train"-"only pooped once; off the coast of Oregon"). This loyalty was most clearly proven by the number of owners that had their boats for 10 and even 20 years.

As a wrap-up to the event, a swap list of gear and ideas was developed and mailed to all participants and those that could only attend in spirit. Included as well was a rough collection of original data sheets, write-ups, even an ad in Pacific Yachting (circa 1978) for a brand new Alberg 37 for $53,000!

Next year's Rendezvous is planned for Silva Bay for around the same time of the year. If interested in this year's event or the next one, by all means give John Volc a call at (604) 983-3036.

The Refitting of D2

Dick and Diane Munt (D2) report that they have overhauled the Volvo MD-11 (still cheaper than getting the new Volvo form, fit, and function replacement engine now offered) and a fresh water cooling system installed (bought through Defender). New engine mounts were added (had to use the same model which doesn't isolate that well, but they didn't want to attempt remaking the engine bed), as well as a new electric water heater (the old one worked fine after 15 years, but they never wanted to pull the engine again if they could help it). They also replaced all hoses, replaced the propshaft and cutless bearing which had worn, apparently from some fishing line, installed a new stuffing box (one of the new packless type), inspected the steering mechanism (had absolutely no wear and tear despite observations of other Alberg 37 owners). The also plumbed for two separate electric bilge pumps. They had previously installed a 125 Amp Lestek alternator which saves a lot of engine time. They oversized the pulley so that the alternator puts out close to full power at slightly above idle. They hope to find room for two more batteries to fully exploit this capacity. Having previously installed full length battens on the main which have worked very nicely, they are considering also installing them on the mizzen, and have converted the mizzen running back stays from pelican hooks to block and tackle. Other rigging improvements included replacing the old Hood roller furling for a Schaefer 2100, replacing all wire halyards with rope (hoping for the new paint on the masts to better survive).

They had earlier installed a Dickinson diesel fuel space heater in the cabin and plumbed in a fuel line to the main tank and added an electric fuel pump that also provides boost pressure to the engine. While that adds the risk of pumping fuel into the bilge, it eliminates the risk of sucking air into the fuel line which has plagued them.

On the hull, they had a teak rub rail installed over the cove stripe and the deck painted with Awl-Grip for ease of cleaning. The rub rail was mounted with thrubolts every 4 inches where accessible and with 3M 5200 everywhere. Teak pieces were about 12 ft. long and cut to have a 1-1/2 inch base on the hull, tapered to 1 inch on the outside and capped with a stainless rail. They may paint the hull in the future, but it doesn't show the grief of age like the deck did. They also had the anchor roller modified to take a second CQR or Danforth (turned on its side), with either working nicely. They replaced the old hand-powered Simpson Lawrence windlass with the smallest S-L electric model. They never attempt to pull the boat up to the anchor with the windlass (using the engine), nor do they ever leave the windlass under the rode load when at anchor (cleating the rode). They protect the deck from the chain by a large piece of teak which is mounted only with caulk.

Lastly, a few years ago, they installed an Autohelm 4000 (the gear driven one) which is satisfactory in steady breezes and modest seas. They also done a lot of convenience and cosmetic work too, such as a teak steering wheel, covers for all wood, etc.

1996 ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS

ASSOCIATION RENDEZVOUS

This summer, being the most hurricane prone season in several years, had it's indirect impact on the A-37 Rendezvous held over Labor Day Weekend on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River, near Kinsale, VA. Hurricane Eduard was churning up from the south, and kept several boats away for the weekend. Actually, the weather in the Chesapeake Bay couldn't have been better, as the hurricane passed well out in the Atlantic, and the weekend turned out sunny, breezy and relatively cool. We had 4 A-37s in attendance: (SHEARWATER, Tom and Kaye Assenmacher; DOLPHIN, Charlie, Amy and Katie Frasher; TELOK, Wayne and Sherrill Bower; AVALON, Gerry and Lea Warwick). John and Becky Long drove down for the weekend because SOLSKIN IIs engine was out for an overhaul. Glenn Arthur and friend drove down on Sunday.

As usual, the normal "boat talk" occurred along general "shmoozing" and visiting. Wayne Bower had a great photo album that visually recounted this summer's cruise from the Chesapeake to the Canadian Maritimes including cruising Down East the coast of Maine. The Boston Whaler was put to good use by providing tours of some of the neighboring coves and 'Hurricane holes' in the Yeocomico. All meals, including breakfast were pot luck community affairs on the Assenmachers' dock. On Sunday, a local waterman neighbor delivered 2 bushels of blue crabs (already cooked) for everyones' enjoyment. Becky Long even "constructed" her world class crab soup. Plans were made for next year's Rendezvous to be held over the Labor Day Weekend (1997) at the same location. Gerry Warwick and Wayne Bower will organize an "Upper Bay Flotilla" of A-37s to sail as a group to next year's rendezvous in hopes of improving rendezvous attendance.

NEW MEMBERS

Welcome aboard to the following new members:

George Chapman is the owner of LITTLE BIT IV, a 1976 yaw, which he sails out of Seaview Harbor, Longport, NJ.

Dr. J. Roger McKelvey, of Fredricton, NB, who owns A-37 #247, a yawl.

Jeannie and Jimmy Sadler of Irvington, VA

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). This is a very tastefully done and durable pennant.

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 5 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.

CRUISING NOTES

Wayne Bower (TEELOK) spent the summer singlehanding cruising from the Chesapeake Bay to the inner reaches of the New Brunswick lake area above the Reversing Falls at St. John, NB. Wayne has written a 3-installment account of this cruise, and if anyone is interested in reading it, we would gladly provide a copy as it is a bit lengthy. We may condense it for inclusion in a later edition of the newsletter (provided Wayne will provide us with digital version, Hint, Hint!!). As usual, Wayne's style of writing is entertaining, informative and interesting.

Kaye and I (SHEARWATER) had not intended to take a fall Chesapeake cruise this year, what with starting construction on our home in Kinsale and all that entails, and since already having a negative vacation balance (yes, we both still do the 8-5 thing). However, during the third week of September, we suddenly realized this would be the first year since 1983 that we had not taken even a few days off in the fall to enjoy the fall weather on the Bay. We left Kinsale on the 29th of September for a week aboard SHEARWATER, and visited St. Leonards Creek, off the Patuxent; Solomon, MD; Crisfield, MD, Dymer Creek and Ashley Cove, VA; and back to the Yeocomico River, VA. Oh well, one of these years......

BOOK REVIEW

CRUISING THE CRUISING GUIDES

BOOKS FOR THE CHART TABLE

There are few statements truer than "An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure" when applying this to a first-time visit to new harbor. If you promise your wife a nice dinner ashore when you are cruising the headwaters of the Little Choptank or tell your kids the swimming is great at the Inner Harbor then you just haven't done your homework. Cruising guides make life easier for the Bay's sailors and can help you plan for a successful cruise even before your boat leaves the slip.

For cruisers on the Chesapeake Bay there are four references to choose from. They include International Marine's Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide, Putnam's now out-of-print A Cruising Guide to the Chesapeake, the 1996 Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake by Chesapeake Bay Magazine, and the ADC Chesapeake Bay Chartbook. If you're lucky enough to own a bookstore, then the best alternative is to stock them all at your chart table as strengths in one offset weaknesses in the other. The fanatical nautical reference bibliophile will even carry aboard land-based guide materials such as Whitey Schmidt's Bay Tripper or a recent Soundings and Chesapeake Bay Magazine Calendar of Events page. No one book that I am aware of can be considered the complete bible of Bay cruising.

I have been victimized, amidst good intentions, by learning the hard way. My family and I were anchored in Oxford on July 3rd when fireworks were held in St. Michaels, and we met a scheduled rendezvous in St. Michaels when the fireworks were in Oxford on the 4th. The kids weren't happy, so the first mate wasn't happy, and - well, you can guess the rest.

As a preface, none of the "textbook" style guides offers charts from which you can navigate. Hopefully, this is self-evident, but just in case the publishers tell you their charts are not for navigation. To complement the Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide, A Cruising Guide to the Chesapeake, and the 1996 Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake the skipper will have NOAA or some third-party charts aboard. I have used, recommended and even dropped overboard the ADC Chesapeake Bay Chartbook. Practical Sailor, the expensive consumer advocate of today's boaters, rated it as a top choice in chart kits - a recommendation that I'd gladly second. The latest edition - the fifth - came out this year and is available just about everywhere for $39.95. There are several great things to mention about its user-friendly format. Most noticeable is its convenient size, about 12"x16", which can fit flat in your lap or a cockpit seat without hanging over like the larger single charts or large-style chart kits. Also, having individually laminated waterproof pages, it does not blow in the wind to opposing pages or need to be slid in and out of a protective cover. Lastly, ADC has superimposed highway and street routes, boat ramps and popular fishing grounds with all of the standard chart information. The Chartbook also includes an index, a navigation terms glossary, marina listing with services available and fish identification guide (which curiously shows many fish which aren't indigenous to the Chesapeake).

Cruising the Chesapeake: A Gunkholer's Guide by William Shellenberger is so comprehensive it even includes many little backwaters that don't ever make it into print. Shellenberger has brought cruising guides into the 90's with icons that denote Siskel & Ebert-like ratings for Beauty/Interest, Protection, and Facilities. I think they're relatively accurate. Descriptions are pretty much to the point and maybe even sometimes terse, leaving you wanting to know more. This book is the Fodor's of the bay and can be found in most local bookstores for $34.95. It has a wonderful introduction which gives an overview of the Bay, local navigation, weather patterns, and general hazards. Whenever possible, each port is provided with a summary of the approach, dockage/provisions, and things to do. Maps - oops, charts! -are conspicuously missing and photographs are minimal.

Unfortunately, the A Cruising Guide to the Chesapeake, a collaborative effort by William Stone, Fessenden Blanchard and Anne Hays (Annapolis-based author of Through the Spyglass), is now out-of-print. If you come across one, buy it. At this time the publisher does not have intentions of reprinting it. Since its last publication, the information is now getting dated and it will not include any changes which have been happening on the bay in the past few years. The reader will find that this is more of a traditionally written cruising guide. It does not cover as many ports as the Shellenberger book, but the ports included provide greater detail and antidotal stories about the location. It has a few more pictures and charts here and there but lots more history and background about the individual ports.

Probably the most popular is Chesapeake Bay Magazine's annually updated 1996 Guide to Cruising the Chesapeake. This spiral-bound guide is available for $34.50 and is the best attempt at a comprehensive and current reference. Included is suggested cruise itineraries, walking tours of favorite towns, a detailed marina listing, tidal differences, and even lots of advertising. The only drawback, albeit minor, is that only about 80 harbors are listed compared to the hundreds that are in the other two books. The focus is apparently on the tried and true locations, both crowded and secluded, and overlooks those that are genuinely off the beaten path. This book is unique among the cruising guides in that it offers illustrations of the harbors in addition to the text and chart excerpts.

For the skipper who doesn't want to be caught unaware of what's going on where and when, local crab legend Whitey Schmidt published two regional travel guides last summer, Bay Tripper, Volumes I and II, covering the Eastern and Western Shore activities respectively, at $12.95 and $14.95. These books describe and list festivals, parades, fairs, restaurants, inns and a zillion other things in all of the large and small towns surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. I know of no other source like it except a box full of brochures from every county's welcome center, 3x5 cards from obscure bulletin boards, flyers under windshields, banners from tow planes, or notes written on scraps of paper from your car's glovebox.

Finally, if you use an electronic chart to make your way around the 'ole estuary you're on the leading edge. Sailing for me has been low tech and traditional, so I've got charts and books and cannot comment pro or con, but I recognize that the potential for an electronic guide is inevitable just like the charts on CD.

Money spent on cruising guides is an investment in pleasure - for the joy of reading and learning as well as deciding where to cruise. Whatever book you choose, your sailing will be more fun with fewer groundings and your time ashore should be more interesting.

Reviewed by Chuck O'Brien

Book reviews are contributed by the cruising staff and patrons of Bay Books in California, MD (that's next to Hollywood, of course, and just west of Solomons). For information call (800) 862-1424.

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WANTED

Does anyone have a formal extended cruise provisioning plan, such as locker diagrams, provision lists, brand names of foods that work well etc.? If someone has such a plan, would you be willing to share it and have it published in a future newsletter? Also, we are looking for Westerbeke 4-107 engine, transmission and control panel in rebuildable condition. We would prefer to obtain a unit that had previously been installed in an A-37 (although we cannot imagine anyone replacing such a good engine/transmission combination with a more modern unit.) Please contact Kaye or I at Kinsale by mail, or call us at the number listed on the newsletter letterhead.

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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 received a call in early October from Carol Albert of Potomac, MD, during which she offered her father's 1978 Alberg 37 sloop. Carol's father is ill, and no longer can care for or use the boat. She also mentioned that although the boat has been used very little since her father brought her down from Whitby in '78, she needs a "lot of work". Carol thinks most of the equipment and sails are still aboard, but isn't sure. She would like to find an owner without going to a broker, and wishes to know if any of our membership may know of someone who might be interested. Carol has indicated that she would make someone a "really good deal" on the boat. This could be a real "sleeper" of a deal for someone looking for a project. The boat is currently located in the water near Annapolis, MD. Carol can be reached at (301) 762-8032.

Again, it's time to get this newsletter wrapped up and into the mail. This last quarter, it seems like we didn't get as much mail as usual, so we would really like to hear from more of you. Share those cruising experiences and tips, maintenance and upgrade projects, and sailing adventures with the rest of us.

Best wishes for a mild winter, a happy holiday season, and remember, the days get longer after the 21st of December. See you in January 1997. We may try to have a mid-winter/mid Chesapeake shore rendezvous in February--details in the next newsletter!!

Tom and Kaye Assenmacher