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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 VIII, NO. 2

12 April 1998


It with deepest sadness that we recently heard of the passing of Lea Warwick on 20 February. Lea and Gerry were avid sailors and were "regulars" at the annual Alberg 37 rendezvous in Kinsale. Lea enjoyed cruising with Gerry aboard AVALON and was a member of the Cruising Sailors of St. Michaels. She also enjoyed gardening and was a volunteer gardener at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Lea earned a degree in art education in 1959, and taught art for 29 years. She retired in 1988 when she and Gerry moved to St. Michaels, MD

Lea was a wonderful lady, a competent sailor, full of energy, and always a bright light to any group to which she was a part. She was a constant companion to Gerry throughout their nearly 51 years of marriage. Fair winds and following seas, Lea.......we'll miss you.

Kurt Hansen, builder of the Alberg 37s and 30s, as well as the Whitby 42 and Whitby 55, and a few thousand other boats in his life, passed away December 6, 1997 in Florida. He built a fine yacht and because of his skills and ingenuity and high standards of 'doing it right', many have enjoyed the spirit of yachting safely, in the knowledge that their vessel was well found and would take them when and where needed. Again, fair winds and following seas.......

Welcome to the Following New Members

Jim Larkin of Yonkers, NY, has recently purchased the yawl AERIE from Roger McKelvey. Jim had called us last year looking for A-37 information with an eye toward eventually purchasing one. We sent the usual A-37 "Care Package" which included a roster of members. Seems that Jim started calling members to determine if any were willing to part with their A-37, and eventually found a seller. We are glad to hear that A-37's still can be exchanged in this manner. Jim also remarked that all the members that he contacted were very upbeat about the boat and all loved to "talk boats".

David and Dolores Cassel of 97 Centerport Rd., Centerport, NY 11721-1705, have owned their 1971 yawl since 1985 and have made extensive upgrades in her rigging, stove, propane locker, repainted hull and replaced port lights. They have lots of upgrading information, and are willing to share their experiences with others. The Cassels sail Long Island Sound.

Ivor and Chris Corbett of Markham, Ont. sail the yawl MOON CHILD II out of Ashbridges Yacht Club (ABYC) in Toronto. They took her south in 1992-93, cruising from New York to Maine and back, down through the Chesapeake and off shore to the Virgin Islands hopping southward to Tobago Keys. They returned home via the Bahamas and the Inland Waterway. Their next major voyage, heading south once more, will hopefully be in the year 2000 or 2001.

Apart from the ABYC, they also belong to the Ocean Cruising Club, having qualified due to their off-shore work.

They report that the greatest number of Alberg 37's whey ever saw in one place was in the U.S. Virgin Islands--what a thrill.

Nick and Kathleen Blady of Metairie, LA plan to sail the yawl GOBLIN (#77) to Florida and then to the Caribbean. They heard of the association through the recent Cruising World article.

 

D. Ashley and Stephanie Walker of Kemah, TX recently purchased the yawl GOOD NEWS from David Huck (the A-37 featured in the Cruising World article) after looking specifically at Albergs for about two years. They sailed her back from Fort Myers, FL to their homeport in Kemah in mid November. Completing the first 400 miles was a joy with clear weather and stiff northeasterly breezes. However, on the fifth night out, they were hit with an unexpected low that formed right on top of them. Winds approaching 65 knots hit them like a wall in the middle of the night. Fortunately, they had shortened sail earlier in the evening and were left with trying to drop the jib which refused to come down. By the time the wind did begin to drop, they were left with only the mainsail undamaged with the jib and mizzen ripped. Expecting the rest of the trip to be against the northwesterly fronts heading their way, they decided to enter the ICW at Grand Isle, LA and motored the rest of the way home. Having finally put things back in order, they are looking forward to sailing this summer on Galveston Bay.

News from Members

Brian and Kathy Marsh wrote more of their adventures aboard TUNDRA:

"On January 18, our first attempt to cross the gulf stream went amuck as we broke our exhaust pipe about 10 miles out of Sombrero Key. Fortunately we had enough wind to sail back to Book Key entrance and anchor overnight. Brian installed our spare pipe and we returned to the harbour for repairs, at which time we had the alternator rebuilt much to Brian's delight.

With repairs complete and another weather window, we headed off for South Riding Rock on 23 January. Our radar was much appreciated as several fronts moved through with rain and squalls. The Coast Guard checked several vessels close by for I.D.. Cuba has been a big issue as the Pope was arriving and the U.S. instituted a very rigid security zone in this area. After a rollicking sail, we dropped anchor in Nassau Harbour just at dusk on 25 January."

(To be continued).

Malcolm and Cathy Blackburn recently wrote of their improvements to KAILA II:

"Our major advance this past season was to finally get a system of checking the oil in the gearbox of our MD-IIB Volvo diesel, without having to dismantle the whole sink and plumbing. I found several pipe fittings that together, fitted into the filler plug hole, and affixed a length of stiff hose to the fitting, long enough to reach up and forward, so that its open end is accessible by removing only the steps. For a dipstick I use a length of rigging wire, with a piece of white tape on the end (calibrated to the full mark). I remove the wire until I can read the oil level, and the hose is long enough that the oil doesn't splash out. Those lucky souls whose gearboxes don't leak and only need to be checked a couple of times a season will probably laugh, but now I can check the oil every time before we set off, if it seems likely we'll be motoring for a long time."

Chuck and Ruth Merrill (NIMBLE) would like to hear from anyone who has undertaken the conversion from sloop to yawl or double headsail yawl, or has good spar and sail plan drawings of the above. Chuck is also "rationalizing" the galley and engine room. The engine is a Perkins 4-108, bolted hard to the beds and it shakes everything from the anchor chain to the helmsman's teeth. Chuck wants to introduce something "rubbery" in the engine mountings. (Ed. note: Conversion from a sloop to yawl requires a knee to be glassed in immediately forward of the lazarette hatch, adding mizzen chainplates and main split backstay and chainplates. Whitby converted our 1975 sloop to a yawl in 1982 when we bought SHEARWATER. The boom is shorter also. There have been several "conversions" to double headsail rigs, the latest one that we saw was Marcel Steinz's SOUTHERN CROSS. Bob and Peggy Grant once wrote that they have made many changes to (WINDDANCER) including rigging her as a cutter yawl, and Bob is supposed to have a letter from Carl Alberg explaining in his own handwriting how to do the job. You might contact Bob Grant at 954.525.6545. Regarding the engine mounts - it's surprising that your installation doesn't have good flexible engine mounts. They shouldn't be too difficult to install, but may require some modification of the existing mounts or engine bed, as the mounts will add several inches to the height of the installed engine which may complicate engine alignment. The current installation surely isn't doing either the engine or boat any good. We have sail plans for both the sloop and yawl (pretty faded but may be able to copy them). Let us know if you still need information.)

Chuck is also planning some modifications to the existing fuel tank, and is considering moving the companionway to the centerline, mainly to make more room in the galley.

Michael Fish (EAGLE) is looking for a supplier of A-37 parts specifically the massive cast aluminum anchor roller fitting. As stated elsewhere in this newsletter, the Boyle Boat Works presumably purchased the A-37 residue from Whitby, however, attempts to contact them has been without success. Does anyone have information?

Mike has no great adventures or long trips to report. The area of the Central California coast is so isolated that he either just daysails or races with the Morrow Bay YC. Being just south of Big Sur, the scenery is beautiful, and he routinely sees gray whales, elephant seals, sea lions and seals while sailing. He sends best regards to all.

Bryce Inman provided the following comments re: TIDINGS - quoted from his letter:

"TIDINGS has a tiller and I use the large Autohelm tiller drive unit. The wheel drive has the same control unit. I wore out the original analog model and now have the fluxgate reference digitized unit. It works very well as long as I maintain reasonable sail balance. Best of all, Autohelm has fixed several problems well beyond the warrantee period at no cost.

I developed a head gasket leak with my Yanmar 3GM30F engine. I was told by the Yanmar distributer in Jacksonville, FL that, if you can't get the engine up to the max RPM (3600), you will eventually blow the gasket. This may also apply to other than Yanmar GM series diesel engines. I installed a new head gasket and repitched the prop and have had no more problems for 5 years. TIDINGS cruises at about 6.5 kts at 2700 RPM, which is right at the peak of the torque and specific fuel consumption curve. When I noted that a friends diesel engine seemed to get to max RPM with too much ease and that the Sabre 30 couldn't make much speed in a chop, I suggested that the prop might be of too small pitch. The Sabre people later admitted that the prop they were using had not enough pitch. Repitching a prop is not difficult if the change is not too great.

Several years ago I considered crossing Florida on Lake Okeechobee, but didn't do it because I thought I would have a bridge clearance problem. I may have been working with incorrect information and plan to check it out again next winter when I plan to be in Florida and the Bahamas.

I cruised in Maine again this summer. Single handed up and most of the way back but had crew most of the time while there. Got up to Passamaquoddy Bay, St. Andrews and Grand Manan Island, Canada. I will miss Maine as I plan to stay in the Chesapeake and head for the Bahamas next winter.

One of my projects this spring is to upgrade the icebox with more insulation and possibly mechanical refrigeration. I would be most interested to hear from anyone who has upgraded this item.

Regards,

Bryce"

David Lahmann reports that SHE 'N I has been in the shop most of the winter for recaulking of ports and chain plates. They have also had a new water tank added under the V-berth to replace the originals that have been damaged during past layups due to freezing. Another addition is an anchor roller for the bow to eliminate carrying the anchor from the lazarette. New sheaves were made for the masthead and new halyards have been installed. Some of the wiring has been modified to allow the running lights to be on without the steaming light

Next year they are hoping to have the hull painted because of severe gel coat cracking (spider lines) all over the hull. They have not decided yet if they are going to keep the blue hull, but are leaning in favor of keeping it blue. (Ed. note: Several members who changed hull color by repainting report that scratches and dings become very apparent.)

They are considering a new auxiliary, and are looking at electric propulsion. They are looking at three companies that provide such devices. (Ed. Note: BIG QUESTION - How do you provide electric power to the electric motor????, diesel generator, solar panels, wind generator???? - Keep us advised).

We recently heard from CAPT Bob Grant (ex WINDDANCER owner). They have moved up to a new boat "MARICHEL", a Swan 44. Bob included a copy of their new book "Tales From the Decks of Winddancer". Many of the stories are about their A-37. The book is a delightful series of humorous short sailing stories. The book may be ordered many different ways: Via e-mail to the publisher: KISSCOOK@aol.com; via e-mail from the store "Sailorman": Shop@Sailorman.com; via email to Bob at capnbob@sprintmail.com; or by simply calling "Sailorman" at 800.523.0772.

From Wayne Bower (TEELOK):

Wayne has opened up his water tanks, after the water began to taste a bit strange. Found some stuff growing in there that he'd never seen before. Also, several years ago Wayne painted the insides of the tanks with an (epoxy?) coating because of pitting. That coating has now blistered, so he plans to sandblast the tank interiors and recoat.

Wayne had also considered giving the hull a barrier coat. "....On the barrier coat, I decided not to do it. After the boat had been drying all winter, I had three separate moisture meters put on the hull. The first said it was all wet, the second said it was all dry and the third said the hull was wet and the rudder was wet. I then called Interlux and talked to a technician. I asked if the hull is wet and I barrier coat it, am I doing more harm than good. His answer was yes.

I figured, since it had gone twenty years and only had about a dozen small blisters, why should I take the chance."

Mike and Joan Doucette (KINDRED SPIRIT) write that they have replaced their old Volvo MD-11C with a larger Westerbeke W38B (37 HP) which required only slight modifications to the front engine beds - increasing their size since the center to center dimensions of the new mounts was less than the Volvo. On the rear of the engine they had new motor mounts fabricated which aligned with the existing rear beds so there were no modifications there.

With the engine change they had to increase the water inlet to 1", change the exhaust system to 2", add a new waterlift muffler and install a fuel return line to the tank. Since the new engine was only 1/2" longer than the Volvo, but does not have the large flywheel, they were able to locate it slightly more forward giving additional room at the stuffing box. It also meant they had to have a longer prop shaft. The overall height of the new engine is less than the old, providing better access to the engine rear.

After researching new props (since the new engine is right hand and the old left hand rotation), they decided to increase the prop to a 15" diameter X 11" pitch. The old prop was 13" diameter X 14" pitch. This meant the aperture needed to be increased to fit the larger prop. They cut 1" top and bottom of the aperture and reshaped the area and then cut a slight notch in the rudder which allows the prop to be removed without moving the shaft. The whole area was reglassed and barrier coated.

This installation was done over the 96-97 winter and the boat launched in May 1997. After a few alignment changes, the whole thing settled nicely into place and ran well all season. The performance difference is tremendous: in addition to how having hot water since the new engine is fresh water cooled, they are now able to cruise easily at 6 kts at 2500 engine rpm (red line at 3500 rpm), which leaves a lot of power reserve when needed.

If anyone is interested in an engine replacement and would like more information, they should get in touch with Mike and Joan, as they have a lot of good tips on the installation.

Other changes made were adding new teak cabinets and shelves along the starboard side for additional storage, installing a macerator pump off the holding tank and repainting of the interior.

This year's projects consist of adding a propane locker, replacing the ports, installing a cockpit shower and perhaps replacing the forward hatch with the new Bomar "Sea Breeze".

Skip Hilder is back in Michigan, after beginning work on DELIVERANCE. We hope that Skip will provide periodic updates on his progress in his major effort in refurbishing her.

We recently received belated holiday greetings from Lois Jacob/Merle Galbraith (INTERLUDE) which corrected their latest position in the world. Seems that in the last newsletter, we had them in the Pacific, where in fact, they have been cruising the coast of Venezuela. They had an "encounter" with a jet ski (the jet ski lost) and repaired the cosmetic damage in Puerto La Cruz during a 5 week haul-out, during which the hull was painted with Awlgrip. They have spent quite a bit of time in Caracas, which they have grown to know and love. At 3000' elevation in a mountain valley 45 minutes from the sea, the climate is perfect: 80's by day and 60's by night and moderate humidity.

Back in late February, we received a phone call from Wendy Murphy (INTERLUDE, yes, we have 2 INTERLUDEs). Seems that Gord while making the passage between Florida and the Berry Is. in the Bahamas, was caught in a storm, ran aground on a reef, and LOST INTERLUDE's rudder (as in GONE). Even lost the rudder shoe. Fortunately, INTERLUDE suffered no other real damage, and Gord and friends were able to make it to port (we think Great Stirrup Key). Wendy had not heard from Gord for over a week, and was afraid that he had tried to fashion some sort of a steering oar, and was attempting to sail INTERLUDE back to Florida for repairs. She called us for 2 reasons: 1), to know if we had heard from Gord, and 2), if we knew of a source of rudder fittings/rudder for the A-37. Since we had not heard from Gord, we enlisted the help of member Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) who are ham operators. Since Gord could only receive and not transmit, Wayne worked several cruising nets for 2 days until they finally contacted Gord through some cruisers in the area. Seems that Gord was sort of out of communication with the outside world, because he also lost his dingy outboard during the storm, and was about 4 miles from Great Harbour Key, and with the winds, was having trouble getting ashore. The last word that we received was that Gord was in the process of fitting a jury-rigged rudder and planning to take INTERLUDE back to Florida for repairs. Our thanks to Wayne and Sherrill for their work. By the way, does anyone know of a source of rudder fittings? We had heard years ago that the A-37 tooling was sold to the Boyle Boat Works in Columbia, South Carolina, however, when I tried to contact them concerning Gord's problems, there was no record of any business by that name. Does any member know of the whereabouts of the A-37 molds, plans, parts etc.???

Recently heard from Roly Pootmans (LANIKAI). Roly has been in contact with the following A-37s: ALICIA III, ROBIN HOOD, TRUANT, PICA, and several other 37s. Since their trip south, they are limited to short weekend cruises due to work constraints. They are looking forward toward retirement and more sailing time (aren't we all). They would like to take the trip to the Bahamas again. Roly has replaced their 13 year old AUTOHELM 3000 autopilot with a new AUTOHELM 4000, which he says is a big improvement. Roly also sent his email address: pootmansr@fsi022.flightsafety.com for those that wish to contact him.

FOR SALE

Lynne Purvis (TRONDELAG) has recently returned to Vancouver for a two year break from cruising and have listed their boat for sale with the thought of buying a larger vessel and starting all over again from Vancouver, since they had so much fun the last time.

TRONDELAG has been an excellent boat and they miss her and the cruising life already. She is presently on the hard in Auckland, New Zealand, and is equipped with the following: Radar, GPS, RFD 6 person liferaft, 406 EPIRB, Zodiak inflatable, All-Band receiver, 2 VHFs, 3 anchors and chain, full sail inventory with cruising spinnaker, Harken furling, Harken Batt-Car System on the mainsail, Monitor wind vane, Maxwell electric windlass and many extras. A major refit in 1992 for the 1976 A-37 included a new engine and conversion from yawl to sloop rig. New standing rigging was added in 1996. The price is $70,000 Canadian. If anyone knows of someone who is looking for a ready to go cruising machine (already pre-positioned in the Pacific) they should contact Lynne or Gerry Purvis in Vancouver, BC at 604.536.2100 or FAX 604.536.4431

Ron and Cindy Strahm write that ENVY (green hull) is for sale. They have assumed increased business responsibilities in the Kansas City, Missouri area, and have not been able to schedule more enjoyment aboard her.

They purchased ENVY in Charleston, SC about 3 years ago and have done the ICW North and around the Chesapeake, then outside to Florida, around the Bahamas over Christmas '96 with their 5 college kids (a bit crowded but fun). The boat is now on the hard in Indiantown, FL.

This 1970 yawl (hull number 64) is being offered to caring owners for $45,000 US. Inventory includes a new $5K headsail, Autohelm autopilot, inflatable dinghy, 5 hp motor, cabin A/C, CD sound system, Harken Roller Furler, a new 4-person liferaft, etc. etc.

Interested parties should contact Ron and Cindy Strahm, 20909 E. RD Mize Rd., Independence, MO 64057. Phone is 816.228.6325, and their email address is: RStrahm228@aol.com.

John Bax is also offering his yawl, IMMUNITY, to a caring buyer. John has been forced due to medical reasons to part with her. She is lying at the Lakeside Promenade Marina, Mississauga, Ontario (where it never freezes due to the outflow of water from a nearby power plant), and is being offered for $62,000 CANADIAN. John has placed several notices on the Internet and has had quite a few inquiries. John can be reached at 150 Paisley Blvd. West, Apartment 1608, Mississauga, Ontario L5B 1E8. John's email address is Baxking@echo-on.net, and phone number is 905.270.7037.

Joseph Gennitti of Fort Lauderdale, FL, who recently purchased Bob Grant's WINDDANCER is now offering her for sale for $59,500 U.S. Joseph has done considerable upgrading including Awl Grip of the hull, new through hulls, etc. Joe can be contacted at 954.255.7347, or his FAX is 954.255.7348. Also, Bob Grant can be contacted at 954.525.6545 for information on the boat.

Winter Rendezvous

The Second Annual Winter Rendezvous was held on March 7 at the HarbourTowne Resort in St. Michaels, MD. The following members attended: Bryce Inman (TIDINGS); John and Becky Long (SOLSKIN II); Tom and Kaye Assenmacher (SHEARWATER); Mario and Jackie Brunetta (LOTUS); Charles and Jane Deakyne (SCRIMSHAW); and Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK). What happened to all the other mid-Chesapeake members??????

 

What You Can't See Can Hurt You

by Gene Farrell

"I have a story that may interest the readers because it reveals a flaw in a new, highly touted boat gadget and describes what can go wrong when little, seemingly insignificant failures turn into big problems!

The mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems of a boat are so interlinked that a failure of some component of one can often imperil the others, occasionally with grave consequences, as happened to the SALLY ANNE during an autumn 1997 cruise through Baja California waters. My shipmates and I were heading north to San Diego's Mission Bay, following a delightful sojourn in "Margarita Land" when the first hurricane in two decades struck Mexico's Pacific coast. We evaded Pauline's brunt, but not her fringes. Beating north past Todos Santos Bay on 7 October, we passed to leeward of the Islas Todos Santos on the port tack in moderate seas with our destination Coronado del Sur, ETA 1700 when we anticipated anchoring for the night.

Incredibly, once clear of the lee of the Santos, we encountered enormous seas and winds 25-35 kts from the northwest, right where we want to go. No sweat. Reefed main and half furled the genny. (The spare foresail halyard shackle somehow got jammed in the masthead sheave so tightly that the messenger couldn't yank it free...hence forget the clubfoot jib, our most reliable heavy weather foresail). The half furled genoa worked fine, once we got the sheet fairlead properly positioned. Logged 7-8 kts on both tacks. Revised the ETA to 2100 due to additional distance to be sailed and tacking. Crewmembers were seasick, necessitating the skipper's takeover of helm duties.

At 1300, wind and seas abate; light off the iron genny, then at 1330, the engine overheats and we shut it down, relying on sail power, making 3-4 kts. We searched for the cause of overheating which was very elusive (fill it, start engine and point for the islands - ten minutes later engine overheats again and is shut down). Winds continue to drop until we are making less than 2 kts. Night falls, Coronados still 10 miles away, directly upwind. We resort to desperate measures, starting the engine every thirty minutes and making for our destination until it again overheats.

Finally, at 0130, we drop the hook, down hot soup and take to the bunks. But just as we were about to hit the sack, Steve (crewmember) notes water trickling out from the main cabin sole boards. I lift the one over the engine battery box to find the water about 2 inches above the battery tops. A quick check of the automatic bilge pump reveals a blown fuse. Replaced the fuse, pump lights off, but the welcome song of its familiar hum is deharmonized by a swishing, gurgling sound I had never heard before. The water level stays the same. Steve mans the cockpit hand bilge pump, but cant get suction, which dismayed me because two months earlier I had completely overhauled it with new diaphragm and flapper valves. (At one time, the SALLY ANNE enjoyed the luxury of two hand bilge pumps, bit I had to sacrifice one inn order to install a Power Survivor 35 watermaker. Progress????).

Next resort is to close the raw water cooling sea cock, strip off the intake hose, start the engine and let its raw water pump suck up water as far down as the hose can reach, which is considerable. The raw water pump takes suction, but the water level stays the same until the engine, once more overheats and is shut down. We are baffled why the engine overheats when its heat exchanger is getting plenty of raw water and the lube oil system is working flawlessly.

Steve mans a bucket and I a galley pot to dip with. We unload about 20 bucketfuls until the level is down to the top of the batteries, stable and further dipping is impracticable. It is now 0330 and I say to hell with it. The damn boat isn't going to sink and were hitting the sack, exhausted.

After a fitful three hours I wake up, determined to find out what is wrong with the cockpit bilge pump. While the crew sleep, I crawl into the port sail locker and, with considerable difficulty and a few cuss words, dismantle the diaphragm, discovering a flake of plywood about the size of a soda cracker stuck under the suction flapper valve. (Lesson #1:Keep a strainer on the suction end of all hand bilge pumps). My commotion wakes Steve who joins me, a big help to hand me the right tools, nuts and washers. Now the pump works like it is supposed to do, and we dewater the bilges, while I resolve to find out later why the hose screen allowed something that size to be sucked up. (Answer: It had slipped off; rusty, broken hose clamp).

Still we hear the sound of running water. Every thru-hull is dry...they are the first to suspect. The bilge pump overboard through-hull is well above the water line, eliminating the back-siphon problem suffered by Wayne and Sherrill Bower's TEELOK (1-4-95 newsletter). So I dive into the engine compartment and discover the dripless shaft seal, a new high-tech designed gadget to lubricate the shaft bearing with engine cooling water (raw) has seized onto the shaft and has been turning with it. In the process, it naturally broke the 3/8" hose from a tee connection in the exhaust stack cooling hose, allowing the raw water discharged from the engine to flow into the bilges, rather than be pumped overboard through the engine manifold exhaust hose. The seal is like a small drum surrounding the propeller shaft, and is normally clamped to a hose connecting it to the stern tube (shaft log). But when it seized, the hose clamps were insufficient to prevent its turning. On its periphery is a 3/8" stainless steel nipple to accommodate the 3/8" hose mentioned above. The nipple is about 1/2" long, enough to strike and shred the automatic bilge pump discharge hose routed nearby. Now we know why the pump didn't get rid of the water, and why those gurgling and swishing sounds were heard the night before, as bilge water got recycled to bilge water.

To conclude the litany of woes, I'll just say that we plugged the tee, got rid of the leaks and got underway, engine operative, but not needed. Nice Southwest winds for the reach to San Diego Bay and customs clearance.

The reason I had the old tried and true gland nut/stuffing box shaft seal replaced three years ago was that when the packing wore and the desirable drip-drip leak became a tiny stream, it was necessary to set up a quarter turn or so on the gland nut, an annoying process in a tight spot where humans don't handily fit. The new "high tech" dripless shaft seal promised a happy alternative. Now, because I had to go to the expense of hauling the boat for no other reason than replacing the seal, I have gone back to the system that, despite its critics, has served boatmen faithfully for a hundred or more years. Lesson #2, BEWARE OF THOSE HIGHLY TOUTED DRIPLESS SEALS. What you can't see CAN hurt you!!

BRIGHTLINGSEA II'S Trip South

(continued)

by Tom Westran

Since I last wrote, BRIGHTLINGSEA II has been slowly working her way south. We spent a very pleasant Christmas and New Years in Savannah, at the Palmer Johnson marina. Don't let their regular customers put you off. We were treated like we had one of their 150 footers. The newspaper and 1/2 dozen donuts each morning made it very hard to leave.

A very valuable lesson was learned our first day out of Savannah. You don't try to cross a doubtful bar, even with good advice on a falling tide. BRIGHTLINGSEA II spent about 5 hours HARD aground in Walburg Creek. Despite what Skipper Bob says in his "Anchorages Along the Intra-Coastal Waterway", there is NOT 9' at 1/2 tide at the south entrance to the creek - it's more like 5 1/2 '! Lesson learned.

We had our first sail since the Neuse River across the St. Andrew Sound and down the Cumbolland? River to Fernandina Beach, five continuous hours of deep water and fair winds. It was very good to see 7 knots on the knot meter and up to 9 knots over the ground.

Since arriving in Florida, the pattern has been long days on the water and long lay overs in anchorages/marinas: five days at Fernandina Beach,7 days anchored at St. Augustine, 9 days in Halifax Harbour, Daytona Beach and we have been in the City Marina, Fort Pierce for the past month. It was time to take a break to get some work done on the boat.

We have been very lucky since arriving in Fort Pierce. The weather has been less than ideal, but "The Storm of '98" at the first of February just gave us heavy rain and winds up to about 45 knots, while south of us they really got hammered. Last week we listened to tornado watches and warnings all night and didn't get winds over 30 knots only to wake up to the news that the storm had passed north of us leaving 38 people dead.

We should be on the move again early in March. We are still waiting for some parts. You would think a starter switch for a Westerbeke would be easy to find, but you would be wrong!

Till the next update-Good luck and fair winds.

Tom Westran

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. We are also looking into an easy way to gently remind members of their financial obligations (perhaps a due date on the label).

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.

We still have a few A-37 IOC pennants for $26.00 U.S. (cost plus postage). This is a very tastefully rendered and durable pennant. The next order that we place may cost a bit more, so let us know if you want one of the pennants we now have on hand. 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.

We have received many phonecalls, letters, and other communications as a result of the recent Cruising World articles pertaining to the A-37. We even received a letter from the person who recently purchased the featured boat, GOOD NEWS.

Please note our new Kinsale VA phone number - it has changed - It is now 804.472.3853 (primarily weekends). Our Maryland number (during the week) remains as before.

Those so inclined to surf the net may be interested in the following Whitbread Race world wide web sites:

Wild Goose Whitbread Web Site

http://www.spinsheet.com/whitbread

Wild Goose Brewery

http://www.wildgoosebeer.com

SpinSheet Magazine

http://www.spinsheet.com

Alden Bugly Productions

http://www.clark.net/pub/foo/productions.htm

Chessie team photog Kurt Lowman

http://www.charm.net/~madisonw/

Official Whitbread Site

http://www.whitbread.org

Living Classrooms Foundation (Chessie Racing's Sponsor)

http://www.livingclassrooms.org

Whitbread Chesapeake Official Web Site

http://www.whitbreadchesapeake.org/whitbread

Other useful URLs

Marine Diesel Information

http://www.boatdiesel.com/HOME.htm

Cruisers Connection Waypoint Database

http://www.geocities/TheTropics/3519/wayplist.html

Sailing the Dream

http://www.coconutinfo.com/sailingthedream/cover.html

Nautical Software

http://sd.znet.com/~sailsd/soft.html

VHF Marine Radio Channels & Frequencies

http://www.navcen.uscg.mil/marcomms/vhf/vhf.htm

Kraft Interactive Kitchen

http://www.kraftfoods.com

If we owe anyone a response to a letter, inquiry, etc., please let us know. We've been a bit busy moving into our new home, getting SHEARWATER hauled (and hopefully back in the water before too long), setting up the winter rendezvous, etc. etc. We also received a lot of mail this quarter both from members and prospective members resulting from the A-37 publicity in Cruising World.

HELP !!

We have 2 A-37's listed on the roster as having hull # 244 (Deirdre & Peter Ireland, and Brice Wightman) - so who is correct??? Could you help clear this up by sending your correct hull number and year built - Thanks.

Looking for original A-37 literature? Thanks to Douglas Stephenson of "Yachts with Experience", P. O. Box 333, Midland, Ontario L4R 4L1, you can now view and download this material via the Internet (http://www.yachtsls.com/al37). Visit this website - it has a lot of interesting information regarding Albergs, Whitby Boat Works etc.

A project that we may begin work on this summer, which was suggested by Guy Leroux (RED FOX) is to develop a database of technical information relating to extant A-37s. We thought information such as engine type, size, model etc.; prop size; shaft size; galley fuel type; tankage sizes; etc. etc. might be of use and interesting to members. We will be developing a questionnaire to mail to all members which we hope to send out in the fall. We welcome any inputs to the questionnaire that members may have as to what should be listed. Think about it and let us know your thoughts. Also, several years ago, I tossed out the idea of developing an A-37 Maintenance Manual, but had no takers. The A-30 Association has a 98 page manual that they have recently assembled (they have a lot more members than we do) that covers the mast and standing rigging; rudders and tillers (wheels in most of our cases); deck and hull; cabin; head; stowage; galley; ice box/refrig; water; and prop, shaft and stuffing boxes. We all know there is a lot of maintenance information out there - it just needs to be collected, collated, refined and published. Is there any interest in such an undertaking???!!!

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.

Till Summer....

TJ and Kaye