ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
C/O Tom and Kaye
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Gord and Wendy Murphy passed through the Chesapeake in October on their way south. Several sightings of INTERLUDE were reported to us as they proceeded down the Bay. Gord and Wendy spent some time in Baltimore Inner Harbor (transmission trouble) where they were 'discovered' by Jerry and Lea Warwick. Jerry and Lea hosted them in St. Michaels, MD, and we kept a look-out for them in Solomons. We had a very enjoyable visit with Gord and Wendy, exchanging dinners at our home and then aboard INTERLUDE. The following weekend, Gord and Wendy spent the weekend with us at our place in Kinsale, VA before continuing on south. We've heard from them several times in the past few months. (How about those Redskins, Wendy).
Bob and Peggy Grant write that they have made many changes to (WINDDANCER) including rigging her as a cutter yawl (Ed has a letter from Carl Alberg explaining in his own handwriting how to do the job).
Other modifications include the installation of a 20" X 20" hatch in the cockpit for access to the steering and rear of the engine; converting the starboard bunk into an entertainment center and bookcase; installation of a Bowmar hatch midships starboard side; construction and installation of an aircraft type electrical system; plus much, much more. Bob and Peggy would be glad to answer any and all letters from A-37 owners pertaining to upgrades, modifications and making an already great boat even better.
Bob and Peggy have sent several articles from their book "Tales from the Decks of Winddancer", which we hope to include (perhaps in serial format) in future issues. For A-37 HAMS, Bob can be found most nights on 20 meters around 14.213 around 1930 EST cal sign KD4HCR/C6a.
(Bob, I recall the VW garage in Hollywood - It's no longer in business).
Mike and Mary Wohlstein (RACHEL A-35) write that they are looking for a much larger and live-aboard (and work) type boat, as the Alberg 35 is becoming a little cramped. (How about a Whitby 42?). Good luck in your search.
Mike makes a few observations regarding the wheel placement forward in the cockpit near the bridge deck as in the A-37: "There are some good points to this arrangement: The primaries are within reach so I can tack the boat myself without leaving the wheel; The dodger will protect the helmsperson from all but the worst weather; With the vane engaged or the autopilot on, one can sit in the companionway and still reach the wheel or controls if necessary."
Speaking of sightings, Mike Fish (EAGLE) sighted INTERLUDE at anchor in Annapolis in October. Mike wanted to stop to chat, but was on someone else's boat. Since INTERLUDE appeared to be heading south, Mike decided that HE was probably on the "wrong boat".
Ed and Beryl Goveia write from Mississauga, ONT that they arrived back home in July after a two year cruise aboard their sloop ESTORIL. They have no "compelling" stories to tell about their cruise from Toronto to Venezuela and back except to say that ESTORIL performed beautifully in weather both good and bad, safely and with reasonable speed. Ed and Beryl invite any readers having questions regarding their southern cruise to contact them for information.
Bryan Zeeuw writes that they sail their sloop, SERENADE, out of the White Lake Y.C. in Michigan.
Wayne and Sherri Bower (TEELOK) wrote in early December from Vero Beach, FL indicating they are having a great time enjoying the weather in warm sunny Florida.
Dwight and Carol Kraai (SAUCY) have very much enjoyed their first year with SAUCY, spending a lot of time aboard on Lake Erie. Their main upgrade thus far is the installation of a Heart Freedom 20 Inverter, of which they are very pleased.
Welcome aboard to new member, Greg Schurch (DESTINY, #34) of Hatfield, MA. Greg has been searching for an association to gain additional access to A-37 owners.
Greg says that DESTINY has undergone a major refit including painting the topsides, complete rewiring, and renovating the interior to convert DESTINY into a live-aboard yacht. A new overhead has been added as well as a redesigned nav station, refrigeration, autopilot and full batten mainsail. Thanks for the photo; Destiny really looks sharp. Is the hull blue or black?
Bryce Inman (TYDINGS) writes that he has been cruising in Maine the past two years and plans to return again this year. Bryce replaced all of the standing rigging and also found problems with the aft chainplate on his yawl (yawl chainplates?), which he has now through-bolted to the hull using stainless carriage bolts. Bryce says he retired (a second time) in 1986 and since that time has cruised the Bahamas (2 years), Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay, the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain and the Coast of Maine (3 years). Bryce single-hands about 1/2 the time and the yawl rig has helped him out of many tough spots.
Dick Wilke wrote in late fall that he and Brian Marsh hauled their boats, and had a haul-out party to celebrate the end of the sailing season.
Ralph and Isabel Rose (ex BRIGHTLINGSEA) write that, not having been cured of their Alberg infatuation, have recently acquired an Alberg Typhoon, and "as a result are back in the Alberg family with a little sister who resembles her step-sister in everything beautiful". Our heartfelt sympathy is also extended to Ralph and Isabel on the recent passing of their son.
June and Dick Miller (SPIRIT) write that they have several projects underway including installing a 15 gal. holding tank (still retaining their Lectrasan), replacing all thru-hull valves with bronze ball valves, and increasing the prop shaft size from 7/8" to 1" because of installing a Perkins 4-108.
HOW TO SINK AN ALBERG (TEELOK)
On a recent trip to Newfoundland - summer of 1993, we found ourselves with a bib, big problem. We had departed Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland around three in the afternoon bound for the village of Ingonish on the northeast coast of Cape Breton Island.
We had been in Port Aux Basques for five days waiting for a window to cross the notorious Cabot Straits. To get across the straits as quickly as possible, we motor-sailed in light air. About half way, we found ourselves wit a problem - our beloved TEELOK was taking on water big time.
Prior to this, we had been passing water thru the packing gland at something more than the desired drip, but not so much that we couldn't keep up with it. When the bilge alarm first went off, I wasn't that concerned, but went below and manually activated the electric bilge pump. The bilge then pumped dry and the alarm stopped. However, in only a few minutes the alarm went off again. This time I returned to repump the bilge, but with a lot more urgency.
We carry three bulge pumps on board - a Whaler with a 1 1/2" hose, a large Rule electric with a 1 1/2" hose and a large Edson manual with a 2" hose. I had Sherri man the Edson - being the biggest pump on board, while I tore the boat apart. I first checked the thru-hulls in the head - they were dry. I then checked the depth sounder transducer - it was dry. I then pulled the sink assembly off and dove over the engine. Here I could see any water that was coming in from the two main scuppers as well as the packing gland assembly - they were all dry. Yet, Sherri was in the cockpit pumping for all she was worth and having a hard time just trying to keep even. We were some 37 miles from land, alone in the middle of the Cabot Straits, and were about to lose everything. It was not a fun time. We called in a MAYDAY and reported our position to Sidney Coast Guard. Shortly thereafter, the engine died. Could it get any worse?????
Actually, as soon as the engine died, the water stopped coming in. We canceled the MAYDAY and pumped the bilge dry. I then checked the engine. It turned freely, but it wouldn't start. My first thought was that the engine was taking water back into the exhaust and somehow was getting into the bilge. With the engine turning freely and the exhaust system intact, the engine was ruled out (as a source of water intrusion). The wind came up in about an hour and we finally made it into Ingonish. We were later to discover the problem with the engine failure was a (clogged) Racor fuel filter, unrelated to the incoming water.
The scenario was replayed one other time as we approached Bar Harbor, Maine, but we still didn't know where all the water was coming in.
With the above information and with the knowledge that the hull is intact, can you suggest a possible cause????!!!!??? (Answer on the last page, no fair looking).
Since we spend most every weekend aboard SHEARWATER, even during the winter, we hate to do a complete winterization of the head and water system each week. We've made this job just a bit easier by installing a tee with a ball valve attached and about 2 feet of 1/2" plastic tubing attached to the ball valve. This tee and ball valve assembly is placed in-line with the head water intake We can now simply close off the head intake seacock, open the new ball valve, insert the attached plastic tubing in a jug of anti-freeze solution and pump the solution through the head to winterize it. It's a lot easier than disconnecting hoses etc. Likewise, we use the same type of assembly in the water system, installing the ball valve, tee and plastic tubing in the water intake line, just before it enters the water pump. Of course you need to have the valve to the tank closed. Simply open the ball valve, insert the tubing in a jug of anti-freeze, and pump the solution through the water system. It works like a charm.
Kaye and I have moved SHEARWATER from Solomons, MD to our place in Kinsale, VA, on the Yeocomico River, just off the Potomac River (10 miles from Point Lookout), and spend nearly every weekend aboard (we have yet to build a home there yet). We still live (and work) in the Solomons area. We extend to all A-37ers who might be passing through Solomons (and/or heading North or South) to please give us a call (carry the newsletter aboard). We live only a couple of minutes away from Solomons, and really enjoy visiting with fellow members. Also, we have a spare slip available in Kinsale and would love to extend the use of it to anyone transiting the Chesapeake.
Lea and Jerry Warwick (AVALON) also extend an invitation to anyone visiting the St. Michaels, MD area (Miles River) to give them a call. Kaye and I have been recipients of their gracious hospitality many times. They are a lovely couple who really enjoy the company of A-37 folks.
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 1994, we had 30 members participate.)
The past year was really enlightening and enjoyable to us as we received a lot of mail, phone calls etc. It was especially nice to know that the "network" is alive and well, as evidenced by the numerous "sightings" and interest of A-37 cruisers. It seems that A-37ers are really "special people".
Kaye and I plan to attend the "SAIL EXPO" boat show in Atlantic City, NJ on Saturday, February 11. We will be arriving there on Friday evening, staying at the Quality Inn (corner of S. Carolina and Pacific Ave.) (609) 345-7070 (if the roaches aren't too bad) and will be returning home on Sunday. If anyone plans to attend the boatshow during that weekend, and are interested in getting together with us, give us a call. We also plan to attend the Cruiser's Rendezvous to be held at the Trump Plaza on Saturday evening, February 11 at 7 PM, where we hope to represent the A-37 group (see advertisement in recent issues of SAIL and other sailing magazines). It might be fun.
Bryce Inman is considering making a half model of the A-37, and wishes to know if anyone knows of, or has the offsets for the design. Anyone having such information should contact Bryce.
After 10 seasons with INO, AL30, #561 and two years of looking for an AL37, Agnes and I finally found our boat on the Great Wicomico River in Virginia. We heard that Ralph Rose was looking for a good home for BRIGHTLINGSEA II through the AL37 Association via John Birch, made a couple of phone calls, drove 12 hours, spent a couple of hours looking over the boat, a few more hours getting to know Ralph and Isabel Rose and being assessed on our suitability as the new owners of Brightlingsea.
We wrote a deposit cheque and were on our way to becoming Alberg 37 sailors. The next steps leading to our "Maiden Voyage" did not come as quickly. The survey was duly completed by Jonathan Watson some further negotiations in price were conducted and the deal concluded.
Since Agnes was retiring in September we planned to mark the occasion with a Fall cruise on the Chesapeake. After jumping several bureaucratic hurdles we finally left Ottawa in an Audi loaded with everything required for a months cruising, and then some, September 24 and arrived at the "Otters Pool" September 26. We enjoyed the hospitality of Ralph and Isabel for the next 5 days while getting the logistics of the venture sorted out. They have to be the most gracious hosts we have ever met. What could, and probably should have been a logistical nightmare went like clockwork (almost).
In order to "de-register" BRIGHTLINGSEA from the US system we had to go to Norfolk, since the Coast Guard had closed all but the major Documentation Offices in an economy drive. This 1 1/2 hour trip (one way) turned out to be an all day adventure since every road and bridge in Virginia seemed under repair, but once there things could not have gone smoother. I will not name the very helpful and efficient US Coast Guard official that dealt with us in case one of her superiors reads this but she "let us owe her" for the $15 fee for the paper work, since we didn't bring a certified cheque or money order and she was not allowed to accept cash. We sent her a money order the next day. Our stop at the Norfolk Customs House just down the street was equally as pleasant. BRIGHTLINGSEA was entered into the US as a Canadian flagged yacht and issued her Cruising License all within five minutes at no charge.
Except for the Washington traffic and a navigation error on my part, the Canadian half of the documentation exercise went equally as smoothly. We were in and out of the Canadian Consulate, paper work in hand in less than two minutes, everything was ready for us. It could have been much easier if yours truly had checked the location of the Embassy first, I was sure it was at the White House end of Pennsylvania Avenue when it was actually at the Capitol end. We had a good walk and some sight seeing.
The next step in the logistical exercise was to get our car to the haul-out yard, Hartge's Yacht Yard in Galesville, Maryland and our bodies back to the boat. We thought everything was set but when we arrived at Hartge's, the part time Hartge employee who was to drive us to the Amtrack had car trouble and was also depending on others for transportation. This problem was instantly solved by the Hartge receptionist, Linda Archambo who volunteered her daughter to drive us. A pleasant Amtrack ride brought us back to Fredricksburg where we were met by Ralph and Isabel and back to the Otter's Pool after a fine dinner at the Sophia Street Station.
The Second Maiden Voyage started on October 1 with a short cruise on the Wicomico with Ralph. We rather reluctantly left the Roses and their very generous hospitality just after Noon and were on our way. The first day could not have been more perfect for getting acquainted with a new boat, wind 5-10 knots aft of the beam all day. We made the first day a short one and were hooked in Pitman's Cove shortly after 3 PM. It was the first time I had anchored with a Danforth in over 10 years. It blew 20 knots that first night and nothing moved. I gained new respect for the Danforth in the Chesapeake mud and sand over the next few weeks.
The cove was just too peaceful to leave after the weekenders left Sunday morning and early afternoon so we stayed put and celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary October 2nd in Pitman's Cove. One of the first sail boats we saw on the voyage was an Alberg 30 flying a Canadian flag. NIPKIN was beating into the Great Wicomico as we were running out. NIPKIN joined us in the Pitman's Cove anchorage on the second.
After waiting out one of the three rainy days we had on the trip we left for Urbanna on the 4th. The Urbanna stop was memorable in several aspects: -it was our first docking with the 37, very slowly and carefully; -the dockmaster of the Urbanna Yachting Center, Bill Hinman offered us his car to go shopping, that has never happened to us in a Canadian marina; and,
-the crab legs at Awful Arthur's were great.
October 5 was another short day. We didn't leave Urbanna until 1130 and reached under Number 2 alone up the Corratoman River and anchored opposite Bell's Creek. The evening was spent sorting out the way points in the Loran. Ralph didn't have too much faith in the instrument but it seemed OK. A Blue Heron working the shore line near the boat was about the only activity in the area. Quiet is a bit of an understatement.
Our first long sail in BRIGHTLINGSEA came on the 6th. We crossed the Bay to Onancock. Another beautiful day, 10-15 knots across the deck of reaching winds. Nine hours later we were hooked in Onancock harbour. Ralph told us this was one of the "must visit" places on the Bay and we spent more time than intended here. It is a super little town with great people. Several time we were stopped several times on the street and asked if we needed a ride to grocery shop, do laundry, etc and one couple, ex-patriot Canadians, Tom & Maggie Holmes dingied out to the boat to ask if the could do anything for us. Tom and Maggie were ocean cruisers and live aboards until they reached Onancock. They liked what the saw and stayed.
An other notable feature of Onancock is a very interesting hardware store, The House of Deals had just about EVERYTHING, its a true General Store that would come in very handy later in our trip.
Everyone told us a visit to Onancock would not be complete without dinner at Armando's.
They were right, superb Italian food, great service and decent prices. We took advice and made a reservation, when we left the restaurant about 9PM there must have as many people waiting to be seated as there were seats.
On the 9th of October we started on a half days sail to Crisfield Maryland at 0800. At 1730 we were hooked back in Onancock after being aground more in less than 10 hours than we had been in the past ten years and with a somewhat disabled vessel. The first grounding was a minor one in the Onancock Creek when I cut a corner a bit too close and the second came under sail at about 7 knots when I was eyeball navigating in a place where my eyeballs didn't know what to look for. We ended up HARD aground south of Tangier Island. Despite the Alberg 37 data showing a 5 1/2 foot draft we were not moving under sail and power when the lead line had the one fathom mark under water. During the attempt to free ourselves the engine note changed and when I checked there was water, steam and exhaust fumes filling the engine room. After being helped off the sand bar by TOPI, I think she was a Bristol 30 sailed by a couple we had talked in Onancock we anchored to assess the damage. The exhaust elbow had corroded and chose that moment to fail. We sailed back up Onancock Creek as far as we could and powered back to the anchorage with cooling water filling the bilge and exhaust fumes filling everything else. The next two days were spent making what would turn out to be temporary repairs. The Eastern shore of the Chesapeake is very beautiful and the people friendly and most hospitable but there is little in the way of sail boat stuff available. I lashed up a new exhaust fitting from hardware purchased from the House of Deals with the help of a good young mechanic, Angelo DiMartino of S&W Automotive. There was no small (under 4 inch) exhaust hose within 2 days of Onancock so I dug out the remains of the old exhaust elbow and salvaged the hose. On the 12th we started for Crisfield AGAIN.
This trip was much more successful and pleasant, a close reach/beat with a reefed main and about 3/4 of the Number 2. She could have handled more sail, but why. We were making between 6 and 8 knots through the water with 15-20 knots of wind across the deck with he rail well up and everything very comfortable. The 37 is certainly much stiffer than the 30.
We docked at our first "piling slip" in Crisfield. We picked a really good time for it as well. There was 10+ knots blowing into the slip we were directed to and it was low tide so the reach to the pilings was at the max. With the help of the Dockmaster at Sommers Cove Marina we didn't make too big a cock-up of things.
A Shannon 38 that came in a couple of hours later put on a better show. As a result of this experience the installation of a rub rail climbed up the priority list.
Crisfield advertises itself as the "Crab Capital of World" if the Crab a la Waterman served at the Waterman Restaurant is any indication it is not a hollow boast.
While in Crisfield we were on the phone to shippers and finally got some tentative dates from CAN-AM for the trip home so had to start heading for the haul-out yard on the Western Shore.
We had our most exciting sail October 14 heading from Crisfield toward Solomon's Island. The weather forecast was for 10-15 Knots from the East/ North East with periods of light rain. Since we were heading West it sounded not too bad. The forecast was nearly right, the winds were from the predicted direction, the wind speed prediction was a bit off, with some 15 knot wind but more at 20+ and there were periods of light rain interrupting heavy down pours. We gave BRIGHTLINGSEA a really good work out, very rarely under 6 knots through the water with just the Number 2 up. About mid-Bay a large white object came up astern. A short while later we were passed by a US Navy Hospital Ship, very impressive! It's too bad we were so busy sailing and didn't get a photo.
As we were entering Solomons a familiar smell reached us, the exhaust system had gone again. The old hose gave up. The next couple of days were spent at Zahniser's Marina doing repairs. This time I was able to get new hose but there wasn't an exhaust gasket to be found. High temperature RTV and some automotive radiator Stop-Leak solved that problem.
One of the treats we gave ourselves in the midst of the repairs was a supper at the restaurant at Zahniser's. The Dry Dock is excellent.
After the repairs we gave ourselves a day of rest that included Sunday Breakfast at the Captain's Table, the restaurant at Shepherd's Yacht Yard. Following a very pleasant two hours of sailing and motoring we were hooked in Mill Creek on the South side of the Patuxent River. This spot came with a well deserved recommendation. It would likely be crowded during the height of the season but in mid October we only had to share the bay with the swans.
Our last day under sail was the 18th and it was just great. We left Mill Creek with an escort of four swans. The off-shore "night winds" at 8-10 knots gave us super reaching conditions for the first couple of hours in the morning and the predicted 10-15 knots from the South/South East filled in early in the afternoon to give us a good broad reach to Galesville. This time we docked in a piling slip at Hartge's Yacht Yard with no help, or audience and hit it perfectly. Why is there no one watching when you do it right?
The next week was spent at Hartge's preparing BRIGHTLINGSEA for shipping and exploring the area by car. Trips included a couple into Annapolis with lunch at Chick & Ruth's, an experience not to be missed.
Our visit to Bacon & Associates was very disappointing, anything we may have wanted was new stock only.
One of the stops Ralph Rose recommended we make under sail was made by car. We took a day and drove to St. Michaels. The Chesapeake Maritime Museum is definitely worth a visit and another excellent dining establishment was sampled. Morsels is worth a visit. The brief time we spent exploring the Northern part of the Eastern Shore by car only whetted our appetites for more. More time will have to be spent here when we return with BRIGHTLINGSEA.
There was one Canadian flag flying in the Museum anchorage, INTERLUDE, an A-37 Mk II sloop from Sarnia, Ontario with Gord and Wendy Murphy aboard are on their way South. We didn't spend too much time talking with them but it sounds like they also had their share of engine problems.
By 1630 on the 25th BRIGHTLINGSEA had been careful loaded by the folks at Hartge's and Bob of CAN-AM and we were on our way home. She arrived at the 27th at her new home in Ivy Lea, Ontario unscathed by the trip or her inspection by Canada Customs.
Despite the problems it was a great month. The treatment we received, especially from Ralph and Isabel Rose makes us true believers in Southern hospitality and I hope we can return some of it to visitors to Canada. We learned a lot about the boat and about what we want to do to her on the refit that is just getting started. We also learned that we CAN live together quite comfortably on the AL37 for an extended period of time, that we WANT to spend an extended period cruising and that we WILL be on our way as soon as possible!
We will keep you informed on the progress of BRIGHTLINGSEA II's refit and hope to meet some of you on her next voyage.
We recently heard from Gene Farrell (SALLY ANNE). Gene says he received several calls regarding his upgrading project which was published in the last newsletter. Gene states that during a voyage from California to Hawaii last year, SALLY ANNE encountered the meanest weather he had seen in many years - 55 kts of gusty wind and enormous (for a sailboat) breaking waves 20 feet high and 100 feet from crest to crest. With only a storm jib flying, the lee rail was under most of the time One huge wave caught the boat "out of step" and broke just as it struck, driving SALLY ANNE 30 feet to leeward and rolling her eighty degrees onto her beam ends. She righted herself at once, proof of the dynamic stability of her design. Although the cockpit had shipped a ton of sea water, the big 2" drains promptly disposed of the unwanted ballast.
"The sound of the wave striking was the loudest noise I have heard since the report of a WWII anti-aircraft gun".
The boat suffered no structural or rigging damage.
Below decks there was a curious mixture of displaced sole boards and bruised people, catapulted out of their bunks. No one was seriously hurt, and a careful inspection of every space near the hull-deck joint revealed no sign of leaks or moisture of any kind. "It was a great feeling of comfort and security, when the mid-watch relieved me, to retire below to a warm, dry bunk."
ANSWER TO 'HOW TO SINK AN ALBERG
Since this could happen to just about any Alberg owner, I wrote this article. When the Alberg is under way with a full head of steam, her bow wave comes up under her transom and covers the thru hull for the bilge pump. When you use an electric pump to empty the bilge you create a column of water to that thruhull. Since the thru hull is covered by the bow wave, it will back siphon to the bilge as soon as the pump is shut off. That small amount of water that you had in the bilge is now replaced with an endless supply of water and you have a boat on the way down. When you have all tankage and batteries in the bilge, as is the case with TEELOK, you don't have a clear view of the bilge.
The solution to this problem is of course an anti-siphon device in the hose, or to just know the problem can exist when emptying the bilge underway.
It took a while, but the mystery has been solved. Thinking back, it was just dumb luck that we didn't lose the boat that dark August night.
(ED. Note: We installed an in-line check valve just above the bilge pump in SHEARWATER which helps with this problem. We had found that this column of water, when returned to the bilge, was enough to raise the water level in the bilge and cause endless cycling of the bilge pump.)
THE DAYS ARE BECOMING LONGER!! SPRING WILL BE UPON US SOON. GET THOSE WINTER PROJECTS COMPLETED NOW!!!
Take care - Til Spring