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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 VII, NO. 4

16 October 1997


RENDEZVOUS

Again, the annual A-37 rendezvous was a success. As the Labor Day weekend approached, we received word that several A-37's had been sighted in the Bay, heading south. Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) and John and Becky Long (SOLSKIN II) joined Tom and Kaye Assenmacher (SHEARWATER) in Kinsale on Friday. On Saturday, Mario and Jackie Brunetta (LOTUS) arrived following a quick voyage from the Cohansey River, across Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal, and down the Chesapeake/Potomac/Yeocomico to Kinsale. An uncharted "seamount" got in the way of LOTUS' keel about 200 yards from the dock, and a rescue mission was rapidly launched via Boston Whaler. Arriving by land yacht were Charlie, Amy and Katie Frasher (DOLPHIN), Mark and Prentiss Lay (ELIXIR). The entire weekend was filled with good food, good company, numerous boat visits to view member's improvements and innovations, sea stories, steamed crabs, Becky Long's crab soup, etc. etc. It was a very lonesome dock when everyone left on Tuesday morning. Mario departed at first light, singlehanding to Annapolis where he hoped to pick up crew for the trip back to the Cohansey. John and Becky left to cruise the southern Chesapeake (more about this later), and Wayne and Sherrill departed to return to Baltimore. We had expected Gerry and Lea Warwick (AVALON) to attend, however an unanticipated illness prevented their participation. We had also expected Tom and Agnes Westran (BRIGHTLINGSEA) of Ottawa to attend on their way south for the winter, but nothing was seen nor heard from them, although we kept a radio watch. (Tom - Where are you??)

We even had a member of the local press interview attendees at the rendezvous. We had a full page accounting of the Rendezvous in the weekly Westmoreland County, Virginia newspaper, complete with personal interviews, and photos.

 

NEWS FROM MEMBERS

Stuart and Helen Gillespie report that sadly, but gladly they have sold their yawl, HIGHLAND FLING. Sadly because she sat right in front of their home for 18 summers and gave them trouble free cruises every year - Gladly, because she has gone to a nice couple in nearby Camden, Maine. They plan to do a bit of small powerboat cruising. The best to the Gillespies.

Jack Lachner (CANADA GOOSE) recently wrote that after spending a bit of time in Gibralter, he and Shirley are off to Britain for a month, motoring through Spain, ferry to England and on to Edinburgh. Their current home port is Malaga, Spain.

Welcome aboard to new members Charles and Louise Murphy, of Ile Des Soeurs, Quebec. They have owned MURPHY'S LAW I. Charles has just returned from a 3 month tour as part of the Newfoundland flotilla which departed from Toronto in May. They joined the flotilla in Montreal, cruised to St. John's Newfoundland and back, for a total of 2968 nm. Charles reports that MURPHY'S LAW performance was superb throughout the voyage, with no problems encountered enroute. She has been totally refitted, repainted, new engine (Yanmar 40 HP), new sails etc.

Marcel Steinz (SOUTHERN CROSS) from Oakville, Ontario, arrived in Kinsale in mid-September on his way to points south for the winter. Accompanying him on the Atlantic City - Kinsale leg of his journey was Marcel's friend, Art Masur, of Stoney Creek, Ontario. Marcel and Art spent a week in Kinsale visiting and doing a bit of local cruising, before returning to Oakville for a week, leaving SOUTHERN CROSS lying alongside at Kinsale. Returning to Kinsale, this time Marcel was accompanied by Howard Youngs, also of Oakville. After recuperating for a few days following the drive from Oakville, they departed for the southern climes. We certainly enjoyed having Marcel and company alongside for a couple of weeks. Marcel has converted SOUTHERN CROSS to a cutter rig, having added an inner forestay and running intermediate backstays. Although Marcel has not sailed the cutter rig extensively, he says that this conversion is worthwhile. SOUTHERN CROSS also has a new Yanmar diesel. Anyone contemplating an engine replacement should contact Marcel. We hope to hear from Marcel regarding his southern adventures!

We promised a bit more information relating to John and Becky Long's cruise aboard SOLSKIN II following the rendezvous. Well, we received a phonecall late Wednesday evening (following the rendezvous) that they were anchored near the mouth of the York river, in the southern Chesapeake. Their engine (Westerbeke 4-107) had seized due to a massive oil line leak (blew a direct reading oil pressure gage). They managed to get towed the following day to a small marina on the York, where they spent the next 2 weeks getting a rebuilt Westerbeke engine installed. John related a horror story regarding the installation(s). It seems that due to some competency/incompetency problems, the engine had to be installed and removed 3 times before they got it right. John and Becky stopped off in Solomons, MD on their way back home and related this story over dinner and a couple of well deserved libations. John promises to write a full accounting some day.

David Lahmann writes that they are really having fun sailing SHE'N I. The sailing has been fantastic, and with their friends, they have learned a lot about sailing their new boat as well as learning all about docking an A-37 in a lot of current in the Menominee River. Their first attempts at docking, while not a disaster, were not all that pretty, according to David. They are most impressed with her performance in heavy conditions.

Rich Border is enjoying sailing and working on TANIA AEBI. Rich had planned to begin his projects in the yard, but at the last moment, put her in the water so he could actually go sailing. He reports that he took her out in 25-35 kts. and logged 9.5 kts downwind and 7.8 kts upwind. Needless to say, he is impressed with her performance. Rich reports that he also has set up a web page where he is documenting his work on TANIA AEBI. His URL is http://www.netlabs.net/hp/soarrich. Check it out!

Peter "Skip" Hilder, of Traverse City, MI, recently purchased DELIVERANCE, and plans to refurbish her prior to heading "South".

Turgut Karabekir of Rockville, MD writes that due to unexpected obligations, he is unable to sail KUMA as much as he would like. He keeps KUMA in Mills Creek off White Hall Bay, near Annapolis, MD.

 

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. Boat U.S. membership is no longer required to make purchases from their stores or catalog, however, membership is still required for the purchase of boaters insurance.

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

This is a very tastefully rendered and durable pennant. Currently, we are out of pennants, but if there is enough interest, we will place an order (minimum of 10) - it only takes a few weeks to receive them after we place the order - unless it's during the boat show season. Remember, the cost is $26.00 (US).

We are soliciting any members having E-mail addresses and are willing to have them published in the newsletter/roster, to please send them to us. So far, we have several addresses.

We have a couple of requests: When you write to us with a long cruising account/maintenance tips etc. (and you have a computer), could you send a diskette of the letter? That would save us a lot of re-keying. We can probably read about any word processing file (MS WORD, WordPerfect, ASCII, etc.). The second request is if you no longer own your A-37, or for some reason no longer desire to receive the newsletter, please let us know, and we will take you off the mailing list. The postage and printing is quite expensive. We also request that you take a look at the roster and help us fill in the blank spaces (several boat names, hull #s etc. are missing).

Want to know how the A-37 PHRF rating (162) compares with other boats? Check out this web page: http://www.me.mtu.edu/~bhhamlin/phrf.html By the way, the A-37 yawl rates favorably with the J-24 (168), so we have a fast boat after all.

An excellent review of the A-37 appeared in the October issue of Cruising World Magazine, which the A-37 yawl, GOOD NEWS, owned by members David and Fran Huck. This feature article can also be accessed on the web at http://www.cruisingworld.com/ssbk/albg3537.htm

 

The IOC intends to again sponsor the mid-winter rendezvous, probably in the St. Michaels, MD area on the first weekend of 7-8 March, 1998. We'll have details worked out by the time the next newsletter is published. Mark this weekend on your calendar.

Finally, to all A-37ers transiting the Chesapeake, Kaye and I extend the offer to stop by our homesite near Kinsale, VA, about 10 Nm from the mouth of the Potomac River (Point Lookout), on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River, and is an easy sail from Solomons Island, MD. We are there every weekend, and sometimes during the week. We have several slips, water and electricity, deep water, great scenery in a very rural setting, good protection, and best of all, it's free.

CARL ALBERG

The following biography of Carl Alberg was copied from the A-30 web site. We thought it may be of interest to members.

Carl Alberg
1900-1986

Carl A. Alberg was born in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1900.

"The harbor was always filled with ships and boats of all kinds and when we weren't sailing there, the family usually vacationed on an island off the coast where my father, brother and I used to race each other in small sailboats."

He took two years of sailboat design courses at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. In 1925, he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts, USA and worked as a rigger for General Dynamics in Quincy. He moved on to become a spar-maker at the Lawless boatyard in Neponsett. There, he met John Alden who hired him as a designer.

"I enjoyed working with Alden very much. He was a wonderful guy, pleasant, calm, never getting excited, and I learned quite a bit from working with him. His designs were conservative. He concentrated on seaworthiness, comfort and boats that would sail on their bottoms, and that's pretty much what I've tried to do with my boats."

During World War Two, he interrupted his tenure at Alden to work for the Navy at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. After his return, he designed the U.S. One-Design. In 1946, he left Alden for good, starting his own firm. Another short period at the Charleston Shipyard during the Korean War led to a 10-year position with the Coast Guard as chief marine engineer/architect.

Toward the end of that period he met the Pearson cousins, Clint and Everett, who were kids just hanging around the boats. He asked them about building one of his designs in fiberglass, and, in 1959, both the Triton (28 feet, 675 built) and Pearson Yachts were born.

In 1961, a small group of Toronto sailors approached Kurt Hansen, then of Continental Yacht Sales, with an idea of a 30-foot fiberglass boat for class racing. Mr. Hansen contacted Carl Alberg late in that year.

The design was based on Carl's design, the "Odyssey," of which fifteen had been built in San Francisco in 1959. Intended for the heavy weather of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the Odyssey had a heavy displacement and a 7/8ths rig. The original Alberg-30 drawings followed this design with 2000 pounds less displacement and 3 inches less draft. By mid-1962, the plans were complete and construction commenced.

Whitby Boat Works came into being. Kurt Hansen changed the ballast from the designed lead to cast iron to hold down the production costs. In some of the early boats, the weight was insufficient and internal ballast had to be fixed in the bilge. Then, after the molds had been made, the syndicate of sailors who had ordered the boats decided they wanted a masthead rig. It was too late to move the mast step aft the 24 inches that was required, so, instead, the mast was shortened and the jib stay was raised. Carl Alberg wasn't pleased with the decision, but later admitted, "It seems to have worked out ok."

After several other designs, including the Ensign (22 feet, 1600 built) were launched, he retired from the Coast Guard in 1963. About this time, Andrew Vavolotis asked him to design a 28-footer for Cape Dory. He'd already picked up the mold for the Typhoon from a bankrupt boatbuilder. This began a long association and a period when Carl Alberg designed at least one boat a year. In all, Carl designed 10 boats for Cape Dory, ranging from 19 to 45 feet. Vavolitis says, "I always asked Carl to design me the beamiest and shallowest boat possible. Then he'd go away and what he came back with was what we used. Of course, it was never as beamy or as shallow as we liked. He never compromised his design principles."

Carl's own assessment agrees:

"Contrasted to the modern IOR boats where you have six gorillas sitting on the weather rail with their feet hanging outside trying to keep the boat upright, my boats are strictly family-cruising boats. In all my designs I go for comfortable accommodations and a boat you can sail upright without scaring the life out of your family or friends. I gave them a good long keel, plenty of displacement and beam, and a fair amount of sail area so they can move."

In 1979, while those modern boats were capsizing and sinking, an Alberg 25 on it's way to England comfortably lay a-hull.

"It was really blowing and though they shortened sails and did everything else they could in order to keep going, they eventually took everything off, went below, battened down the hatches and just ate, drank and played cards. When it had blown over they hoisted sail and continued to England, where they were told they had just sailed through the same gale that had taken 16 lives in the Fastnet race. They had ridden out the storm by just sitting in the cabin while everyone else was capsizing."

"There are still some designers around who share my ideas about glass boat design. Everyone else is trying to conform to the new rules. My boats are more designed to follow the waves and stay relatively dry and stable."

Carl passed away on August 31, 1986 at his home in Marblehead Massachusetts. His 56 designs resulted in over 10,000 boats.

FOR SALE

David Lahmann wishes to sell a set of dinghy davits, a spinnaker and spinnaker pole. David can be reached at P.O Box 637, Tripoli, IA 50676 (319 882-3023.

Lois Jacobs (INTERLUDE) has a 3 piece cockpit cushion set for sale. The cushions are closed cell foam, covered with blue Sunbrella with piping, and are nearly new. The cushions are in Chicago, with Lois' mother (Merle and Lois are cruising the Caribbean). If anyone is interested, they can either write to Merle Galbraith, P.O. Box 2096, Chicago, IL 60690, or call (773) 779-3885. They are asking $400.00 US UPS Collect.

We have had several requests from prospective buyers wanting to know if any of our members are interested in selling their A-37's, or if we know of any A-37's on the market. Some of this interest has probably been the result of the Cruising World feature on the A-37. If you know of any A-37 that may be on the market, please let us know, as we may be able to assist in finding a buyer.

We look forward to getting those cruising stories, maintenance and re-rigging tips, For Sale items etc. We didn't have quite as much mail the past quarter as we normally receive. We need to hear from you. Also, SEND MONEY!

Till next time, best regards to all.

 

Tom and Kaye Assenmacher