ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
C/O Tom and Kaye
Well folks, it's that time again, time get to work and get those A-37's back in the water/ready for the season. For those of us who didn't have to haul this year, I guess the process is a bit easier.
Kaye and I have spent nearly a year of weekends living on Shearwater at our place in Kinsale, VA (I think we missed 3 weekends total), so the interior of the boat is in pretty nice shape. We did take out about half of the cushions for a good cleaning and airing last weekend. We fortunately had a fairly mild winter here on the Chesapeake, but we did have some cold weather in late January and February. We kept the boat quite comfortable with a Dickinson diesel heater supplemented by a small electric heater (or was it the other way around). We kept the V-berth closed off during the really cold weather.
Just a reminder: While you have the boat out of the water, make sure you check the rudder pintles, shoe, and cutlass bearing attachment bolts for electrolysis. Also check/lube if required all those seacocks (hopefully all those gate valves have been replaced), and check the stuffing boxes (rudder and prop shaft) for integrity.
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Tom Westran (BRIGHTLINGSEA) called the other evening inquiring whether any members had installed an AUTOHELM 6000 inboard autopilot on their A-37. We've not heard of any of these being installed, but would think it would be possible and would make a nice equipment addition. If anyone has experience with this autopilot, please get in touch with Tom at (613) 237-1250.
Gord and Wendy Murphy (INTERLUDE) recently wrote from the Exumas, where they recently spent a few days with Brian and Kathy Marsh (TUNDRA). Dick Wilke (IOLANTHE) helped Gord bring INTERLUDE from Jacksonville to the Bahamas in January and then returned to Florida to spend a while with his wife Joan on Anna Maria Island. Since he left, Gord has been commuting from Nassau to the Exumas with several friends. Wendy arrived in mid February and will be going back to Sarnia the end of March, after having their daughter aboard for a week. We hope to see Gord and Wendy on their way north.
Welcome aboard to new member Fran and David Huck, of Cape Coral, FL (GOOD NEWS, #144).
Dave writes that after nine years of enjoying his A-37, and not running into another Alberg, he had begun to think that he had the only one left or that it was a class that started and ended with #144. Upon entering Marathon harbor in mid-January, he was both surprised and delighted to see Wayne and Sherri Bower (TEELOK) and John Meehan (SERENITY) anchored nearby. From them he learned that there are some 87 fellow A-37 skippers. David says it was like believing that he was an orphan and discovering that he had a family after-all.
Dave bought GOOD NEWS when he lived in New Jersey and sailed out of Barnegat Light up as far as Nantucket with a brief visit to the beach on Block Island courtesy of Hurricane Bob. He attests to the A-37's strength, because a crane picked up GOOD NEWS and dropped her about 10 feet - a big noise, big scratch, and nothing more.
Fran and Dave moved to Florida in 1990, and have adjusted to the shallow water. Their longest trip was the Quincentennial Celebration of the Discovery of America in San Salvador, Bahamas. Interestingly, there were only a dozen sailboats in the harbor on 12 October 1992, and an A-37 was one of them.
The "two retired drifters", Wayne and Sherril Bower (TEELOK) wrote in early February that they were in "beautiful downtown Marathon", actually anchored out in Boot Key Harbor and sitting out a small blow.
Wayne noted that he had found a couple of Albergs while perusing the "Waterway Radio & Cruising Club" roster. This organization can be found on 7268 Khz between 0745 and 0945 EST each morning.
Wayne and Sherril also saw Dave Huck (GOOD NEWS) and Jack and Janet Meehan (SERENITY) while in Marathon. They say Pat & Kelly's Marina is a good place for receiving mail, taking showers, etc.
Welcome also to new member Ken Kirkpatrick (GANNET II #31) from Victoria, BC.
Ken has owned GANNET II since 1976 and sails her mainly in the Gulf and San Juan Islands near Victoria, with summer vacations north to Desolation Sound and beyond. He still hasn't taken that dream voyage over the southwest horizon.
The Gannet has some modifications that Ken has not personally seen on sisterships: she has 4 berths, 2 forward and one on each side of the main salon, and there are no pilot-berths, which opens up the interior space a lot. Also, there is no quarter-berth, and a nav station occupies this space.
Ken has made a number of improvements including:
- Retiring the Volvo MD2B and installing a Yanmar 3GM30, enlarged the prop aperture and changed the prop from a 14 x 14 LH to a 15 x 12 RH as the Yanmar has opposite rotation.
- Painted the hull with Awlgrip, white of course (An old salt once told Ken that 'there is only 2 colors to paint a boat, white and black, and only a damn fool would paint his boat black!'
- Rewired the entire boat.
- Shortened the boom by 10 inches, putting an end to the chinese jibes.
- Replaced the old wooden spreaders with painted aluminum.
- Replaced the forward pulpit with a newer style.
- Installed a hot water tank behind the main hanging locker.
- Installed a Dickinson bulkhead mounted diesel furnace, with heater coil to the hot water tank...hot showers!
- 12 V fridge/freezer (ice is definitely cheaper).
- Impulse 4040 Loran C/Fishfinder, so he can see the fish that got away.
- Autohelm 3000 Autopilot.
- And most important, Ken installed a one-way check valve in the electric bilge pump hose (sailing with sea water over the cabin sole makes the Alberg a little too stiff!) Ken relates to the 'How to Sink an Alberg' story!
By the way, Ken can be found on the Internet at email@example.com.
Randy and Moira Whitney, who currently own an A-30 (MOIRA III) write that they are still looking for a good A-37. Let's help them find one so we can get the * off the roster!
Ed Kunkel (RODEO) recently wrote that he is currently working as a systems engineer providing Space Shuttle support at the Kennedy Space Center. Anyone passing through this area should contact Ed at (407) 259-3957 for launch information. Ed is also interested in converting RODEO into a cutter.
Dr. Charles Bahn wrote that RAVEN was recently diagnosed by OSMOTECH with a case of blisters, and is having a 'peel job' of the gel coat and 1st layer of mat removed and replaced this winter. Let us know how it turned out.
Tip and Jean Corey (TYPHOON II) have been thinking about going to the Bahamas for a long time, and plan to make the cruise this year. After owning the boat for 19 years, they find it difficult to believe that there are still some things to do it, but are taking on the following tasks (and are willing to impart whatever information they can):
- Installing a hatch (20"x30") in the cockpit floor, which has opened up great access to drains, engine and storage.
- Installing a grounding system for Ham radio operation (while working on Ham license).
- Removed engine to fix transmission oil leaks.
- Removed all drawers and removable wood for varnishing.
- Changing refrigeration to mechanical and 110 volt.
- Replaced shaft log hose (it was cracked) shaft and bearing. (Ed. note, check the shaft log (if it is bronze) for electrolysis - ours developed a small hole near the hose and had to be replaced.) Tip and Jean hope to be able to attend the Rendezvous in Kinsale in September.
Jerry Warwick spent 2 months (or more) in the Bahamas this winter aboard a Morgan 35. He sent proof positive that an A-37 can cruise the Bahamas by sending photos of "PEACE TREATY", #158 which was lying at anchor in Hopetown, Abacos. Jerry says he never saw anyone on board, but understands the owner is Canadian with a house in Marsh Harbor, and that the boat stays in the Bahamas year round. Jerry also saw "MONDIA IV" (Lee Carey) in Hopetown and A-37 "ELIXER" in Little Harbor (6' is a little chancy in the Little Harbor channel), but never met the skippers. Thanks for sending the photos.
Mike Fish (EAGLE) writes that he has accepted new employment in San Luis Obispo, CA, and will be moving EAGLE to the west coast, where she will be berthed in Morro Bay. Mike neglected to say if he plans to sail Eagle or have her trucked across the country. We'll miss you in the Solomons area.
Frank and Gail Lavalley write that MAROONED is at home in the Whitby Marina, and they can walk to the place of birth of all Albergs in less than a minute. Interestingly, some of the old hands who worked for Kurt Hansen are still in the building and now work for Alex (Whitby Boat Works) and he still has a good deal of patterns, jigs and knowledge of how the boat was built.
Originally, MAROONED had a pilot berth in the upper starboard location, but in '94, they had an entertainment center put in by a friend who was a cabinet maker (no boat experience). "The best move I could have made since he had no preconceived notions.
The end product is the best I have seen on any Alberg (confirmed by other owners) and made the most use of available space. Anyone interested in a description and/or photos can drop me a note".
Bob Adams recently wrote of his experiences aboard PENINA, which he has graciously agreed to share with us:
"I have been promising for some time to provide members with a resume' of my travels and a description of the various projects that have been completed on "PENINA". I'll provide you with a brief outline for now with details to follow at intervals.
I purchased Penina in 1989. She was in reasonable shape overall and had a good inventory for cruising. However most of the gear was very old (22 years) and much of it was in need of replacement. Remarkably, there were 17 sails available, including 4 spinnakers and a blooper. (One of her previous owners had been a sailmaker who had raced her) Needless to say, when all the sails were aboard, there was little room left for cruising gear (or crew!!) I bought only seven: 2-mains, 2-genoas (110 & 160), flat cut spinnaker, drifter and storm (jib?). Both fore and main are mounted on Hyde Streamstay l furling gear. The mains are cut with hollow leeches and no battens for furling. The outhaul on the loose-footed main is led to a small winch. The sail is trimmed by balancing the interaction between outhaul, sheet and traveller-a fascinating process! Both sails can be furled in most conditions, by one person in less than a minute without leaving the cockpit. The Jury is still out on the merits of reefing via rollers. Just when you want flat sails, you get baggy ones. I am exploring putting padding along the luffs to counteract this bagging in the center of the sails when reefed. These systems have served me well over the last five years and 7000 miles, except on one occasion. This was, of course on a dark and stormy night, when a riding turn developed on the foresail furling drum. I didn't know this at the time, and thought the bearings had jammed. I eventually limped into Nassau harbour with a torn and flogging foresail and a furling winch which I had torn out of the deck in my efforts to wind in the sail.
During this period we travelled from Kingston ONT via the Erie Canal, Hudson R, Chesapeake, Intracoastal and offshore to Florida and the Bahamas. We cruised the Bahamas from the Abacos in the north to the Turks and Caicos in the south over the course of four years and then returned to Kingston. We would be happy to assist anyone planning the same journey with detailed knowledge of our favorite ports and anchorages along the route. Unfortunately, we didn't have the opportunity to visit with you (the Assenmacher's) enroute!
During the course of the last five years I have completed the following projects, which I will describe in more detail in later installments:
1. An arrangement of tables,pedestals and sockets all home manufactured,such that it provides for interchangeable cockpit,dinette tables and helmsman's seat.
2. Folding chart table (for MK-1 version)
3. Double anchor rollers, hawse pipe and anchor locker arrangements to accommodate two anchors and three anchor rodes.
4. Home made seventy-five lb storm anchor which dismantles into three parts an stores in the bilge. Also muscle-easing method for deploying and retrieving it. Fortunately I only had to deploy this in earnest once, in Beaufort, NC in preparation for a hurricane.
5. Permanent masthead mount for radar reflector.
6. Complete upgrade of the electrical system. Will supply schematic diagram and complete description later. It includes: two interchangeable battery banks plus additional separate dedicated starting battery with own circuit; heavy duty alternator with auto voltage regulator and battery level sensing; circuit breakers and instrumentation; heavy duty bus to forward circuits; upper and lower nav lights, engine warning lights and buzzer; dual electric bilge pumps with manual backup; auxiliary generator, refrigerator etc etc.
7. Complete upgrade of plumbing. Will supply diagram and description later. It includes two separate tanks; holding tank; manual and pressure fresh water plus salt water; three way waste disposal.
8. Bilge stowage system based on plastic slide in baskets (again for MK-1 version) which about doubled available stowage; Stowage diagram.
9. Recovered counter tops, refinished cabin sole, repainted bilges and overhead.
10. Installed new fuel tank, new silencer and new sound deadening in engine compartment.
11. Bimini top and dodger with zip-on side and back curtains to completely enclose cockpit. Mosquito net to cover whole cockpit; hatch screens, foredeck sun awning/water catcher; large sun awning mast to transom.
12. Dinghy lift. Fitted bridle to my 120 lb rigid dinghy.
Use reaching strut, spinnaker lift, boom vang in combination to enable easy lift from water to upside down on foredeck. This system also provides for a stand-off to tether dinghy and prevent dinghy banging hull.
If anyone would like information on any travels or projects they can contact me by fax at (613) 564-4783 or by Internet at "firstname.lastname@example.org". Speaking of which, I wonder how many others are on the net? I monitor "rec.boats" but haven't spotted any names so far. Perhaps we should explore setting up a "Home Page" on the World Wide Web?? or at least let the usenet know that we exist. Any thoughts from members?"
Bob and Peggy Grant (WINDDANCER) took a break in sunbathing to write that they may be in the market for a larger boat. Looks like they are going to continue cruising for a while (must be tough). Bob is working on a book which he hopes to publish in the fall (let us know the title so Kaye can keep an eye out for it since she works at a local bookstore). They have received numerous letters from other members and hope they've answered them all. If not, write again.
Bob Grant noted in his letter of a potential safety problem in the A-37 steering quadrant. The ends of the quadrant seem to have the potential of striking the hull when reaching the extremes of its travel. Although the hull could more than likely withstand this punishment forever, Bob elected to install two small rubber blocks (1/4" x 3" x 3") to the hull, held in place with 3M 5200.
Recently, our original JABSCO diaphragm fresh water pump became a little cantankerous when we switched to another tank. True, it still runs good, and we'll probably order a new kit for it, but for the price of a kit, we installed one of the new SHURFLO pumps, which really is a nice product. The one we installed is actually the SHURFLO Blaster Washdown pump which we got on sale from West Marine for about $60.00. It's quieter than the JABSCO and doesn't have the pulsating water flow.
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.)
Well, folks, it seems like our group has hit the big time. We've has several recent inquiries about the Association in which the correspondent stated that they had heard of our group over the INTERNET!!!!
Speaking of the Internet, although we are not connected to the Web here at home, I do have some limited capability at work. Recently, I was 'surfing the net' (that's net talk) and I found Yachtnet (http://www.yachtnet.com) which has a lot of sailing information embedded within it, especially YACHT L.
We've had several requests for back copies of the newsletter. I normally have about 20 extras of each newsletter printed for such a purpose. However, it's easier and less expensive if we could send a diskette instead.
My 'real' job took me to San Diego last week. Oh, it was rough, but someone had to do it! What a delightful place to look at boats, but one becomes saturated after several days of marina hopping. I did get around to most of the America's Cup encampments, took pictures (couldn't see any of the boats, except for the masts) and saw several of the boats returning from the afternoon races. Saw a few cruisers, but it looks like there are extremely limited anchorage areas in San Diego Bay.
Back in February, we attended the SAIL EXPO in Atlantic City, NJ. and it was a good break for us during the winter. There were lots of equipment vendors there, and we made several good deals on some small items, including a hand held VHF and inflatable life preservers w/harness (SOSPENDERS). Nothing exciting in the boat lines, but after owning an A-37, what could we expect. We did manage to drop $10.00 in the quarter slot machines in about 8 minutes.
One good deal was the $4.95 brunch at the TRUMP TOWER.
Bob Fritz of Milwaukee, WI recently wrote stating that he is interested in purchasing a good, preferably freshwater, Alberg 37. If anyone has any leads, please contact Bob. His address is:
Roly Pootmans in interested in information concerning the chainplate fix that Bryce Inman performed by bolting the chainplate tangs to the hull. Perhaps Bryce can get in contact with Roly and pass the information along. An article for the newsletter would be useful too.
WANTED!!!! SEND YOUR FAVORITE CRUISING FOOD RECIPES/PROVISIONING/GALLEY TIPS TO SHARE WITH OTHER MEMBERS.
We are planning to have the '95 Alberg 37 Rendezvous over the Labor Day weekend, 2,3,4 September 1995 at our place in Kinsale, VA. We have an additional slip this year, also hope to have a floating dock in place, and have a Laser for those who may want to go sailing while the rest of us sit around and discuss the finer points of the A-37. We'll publish directions in the next newsletter. Hope you can attend. Also, our dock is always available to anyone transiting the area, just give us a call.
We recently received an update from Mike Hughes (MARYNYA): "I spent about a year in Jacksonville, FL, working on MARYNYA and then sailed around to St. Petersburg via the Florida Keys to look for work. I singlehanded down the coast to Melbourne where I met a friend who crewed the rest of the trip. We came on down the Intracoastal to Ft. Pierce, and then skipped down the coast to Ft. Lauderdale and then Key Largo. We then cruised the Keys with stops at Marathon and Key West. We then went directly up the coast to Tampa Bay. I'm now working to finish the refit and build the cruising kitty for a return to the Caribbean."
Roly Pootmans (LANIKAI) sends the following account of their 10 month cruise beginning in the fall of '93:
'There's an old saying I'm told regarding the ICW---It's not where you will go aground, but WHEN....! The first days we had it confirmed - the A-37 draws a lot of water. We did bump a few times in the first few days.
The wind blew away 2' of water in the Pongo Alligator canal leaving only a little more than 6', which is what we draw.
The remainder of the trip was uneventful and finally warmed up in Vero Beach where we stayed for a week. We left LANIKAI in Pompano and flew home for the holidays. Upon our return in January, we had to wait 2 weeks for a window across the Gulf Stream. Winds were forecast to be SE 10, but one hour out it was backing NNE up to 30 kts at which time the genoa halyard parted with a shuddering bang and we headed back to Miami for repairs. Another 12 days saw us again crossing on a perfect day to Cat Cay.
The Bahamas were fantastic, especially the Exumas and south. Loaded up the way we were we increased our draft to 6'- 3", although not a problem in the Bahamas.
We returned stateside on April 1st after a 23:30 trip from Chub Cay. We put LANIKAI at a dock, got her ready for hurricane season, and headed home by car, but it was not to be. On arrival, I was offered some part time employment and decided that we would sail much more with LANIKAI at home so we flew down and departed Pompano on May 9. We lost 4 days in Beaufort, SC, due to a broken bridge and terrible conditions on the outside, but we made it home so I could start work on June 12. A very fast trip with mostly dawn to dusk running. We missed having the time to visit on the way home and have only just realized how very close we were to the Assenmacher's when we stopped at Solomons, MD.
All went well. However, to keep the freezer very cold we had to run the engine 2 hrs per day and that even with a Siemans solar panel. The box is too large and I will increase the insulation on the inside as well as adding insulation between the freezer and the Fridge. I have also found that my backstay chain plates had started to pull out and upon investigation found that the glass embedded wood was soft. I would suggest to all to verify the condition of all chainplates as the factory does not seem to have sealed the upper portion of the wood which is susceptible to water damage if the chainplates leak, especially the mizzen and mainmast backstays where the leakage is not always evident.
We did just short of 5000 NM on our trip and almost 900 hrs of engine running! No use asking why it is so important to have an engine in good working order. I must say I am very satisfied with the performance and reliability of the Volvo 2003.'
Roly says he has some original data from Whitby Boat Works. We have some on file from both early production and and early 80's production. We will take any that you can spare.
The Saga of LOTUS
Mario and Jackie Brunetta recently sent an account of their adventures with their newly acquired LOTUS (#16, sloop):
"As previously reported, I bought LOTUS in Worton Creek in March 1994. Before putting her in the water, I took the bottom down to gel coat. I found many pinhead blisters and gel coat crazing. All this seemed near the surface and involved the gel coat. I was told by a surveyor that the crazing or stress cracks were common ad had to do mostly with the thickness of the gel coat. I do not know if this was accurate but did fill the the blisters and prepared the bottom and epoxied it with 4 coats of Interlux 2000.
The thru hulls add had gate valves. The gate valves were replaced as they were frozen. It was a job to take them off the molded in thru hulls, especially in the cabinet in the head as room was tight. All were replaced with ball valves. The molded in thru hulls were apparently a selling point as it is mentioned in a Whitby brochure, the problem however is that a wooden platform had to be fashioned for the sea cock to tighten down against, as the thru hulls have glass laid upon them tapering up against the protruding threading, and there was not an initial flat surface to work with. In the future I am contemplating removing all these molded in thru hulls and replacing them. It is my understanding that Alberg 30's have this same type and the 1/2 inch size has presented problems in some cases with electrolysis. If anyone has any particular information on this, I would appreciate knowing about it. I did drill out one 1/2 inch thru hull and found it to be clear with no deterioration. It appeared to be made in house at the factory consisting of a bronze nipple with a tight fitting bronze washer placed close to one end fastened by flanging the end against the washer. LOTUS had been kept for her 27 years on a mooring away from docks and power connections in what is considered somewhat fresh water, which may have prevented any electrolysis.
After completing the bottom and some plumbing and electrical repairs, and tuning the Atomic 4, LOTUS was brought back to her home port which is on the Cohansey River on the Delaware Bay in NJ. I sailed her for two months in order to make intelligent decisions on upgrades. An interesting side note is that I got involved in the 1995 Delaware Bay Cup Regatta. Remembering that the boat had 27 year old equipment and no instruments save a flasher depthsounder, original sails and yarn on the shrouds for a wind indicator, I did not have much hope, although the boat appeared to sail well on all points of sail. I am proud to say against a small fleet of 20 boats, I took first place physically and on corrected PHRF time. Everyone was surprised as the competition was stiff. Wind was in the 12 to 15 Knot range.
LOTUS was hauled in September. In the area there are two very good local tradesmen who are very skilled boat workers and knowledgeable in the work I wanted done. One sails an Alberg 35 and the other a Cape Dory 25D. They are, needless to say, Alberg fans and have guided me in the following work which I have completed to date:
The Atomic 4 was replaced with a Yanmar 3GM30FV. All the peripherals such as exhaust system, engine controls, intake strainers, fuel tank and filters were replaced, as of course were the engine beds. Also replaced were the shaft log, shaft etc. New hails have been ordered which is a full batten main and a 150% jib on a Harken roller furling gear. The topsides have been painted with Awlgrip, and a depth sounder and knot meter have been added. On LOTUS, the companionway is offset to the starboard side of the cockpit. The sliding hatch and drop boards were replaced as was the forward and lazarette hatch. The replacements were made to the original design. The exterior teak will be finished by using Marine Cetol. This caused a great cry from the purists in the area but doesn't look at all bad. If it holds up as well as it is touted, I will be happy.
In closing, I would like to add that if anyone needs any information on anything I have done, I would be glad to share it. Also, if there are any suggestions that I could have or should have followed, please relay them to me. I have more to do but at present, have spent over my limit".
Mario and Jackie hope to be able to attend the 95 Rendezvous unless the Delaware Bay Cup Regatta interferes. (As defending champ, Mario supposes that he would be obliged to participate). Hope to see you this fall, but good luck anyway.
Have to get this in the mail and get to work on the boat! We hope that everyone has an enjoyable, safe and fun sailing season. Until the next issue in the summer, keep a bit of water under your keel.