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C/O Tom and Kaye Assenmacher
Box 32, Kinsale, VA 22488
EMAIL: a37ioa@sylvaninfo.net

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VOL V, NO. 3

26 June 1995


Welcome aboard to new member John Volc (STORNOWAY) from North Vancouver, BC. John is seeking information from yawl owners regarding the A-37 yawl, and hopes to convert his sloop to the yawl configuration.

Cathy and Malcolm Blackburn wrote in early June that they had launched KAILA II in mid-May (their new granddaughter was 'launched' the same day) and were planning on their first short cruise in early June. After having an engine fire, forgetting to install the radio antenna and losing the mizzen halyard, Cathy and Malcolm only had two short cruises last year. Malcolm plans to retire next year (Cathy has to keep working to keep Malcolm in the style to which he has become accustomed).

Brian and Kathy Marsh report that they plan on cruising TUNDRA this summer into Georgian Bay and the North Channel area. They had a great time with INTERLUDE and crew in the Bahamas during the winter. They also maintain contact via amateur radio with Ron and Eileen Holmes (TIGGER). TIGGER and crew were in New Zealand in March, and planned to depart in mid May for Fiji. After Fiji, their cruising plans are uncertain. While having TIGGER hauled in March, Eileen fell from a ladder and cracked a few ribs and was badly bruised, but recent reports indicate she was on the mend. For you ham operators, Brian and Kathy report that Ron and Eileen's ham call-sign is KP2BY, and that Brian's call-sign is VE3JEL and Kathy's is VE3ONC.

Welcome aboard to new member, Nick Roper, who recently purchased SLYBOOTS from Martin Violette. Nick has renamed her to JOYOUS, and she hails from the Annapolis, MD area. We don't know all the details of this event, but hope that Nick will fill us in regarding the adventures of his A-37 yawl. We last saw SLYBOOTS rounding the point at Kinsale as she departed from the annual rendezvous 2 years ago. She was on her way south, and we've not heard from her or Martin since.

Charlie and Amy Frasher are deep into the refurbishment of DOLPHIN. They have completely stripped the interior of anything removable, completely cleaned the interior in preparation for painting. All of the removed woodwork has been taken home for refinishing. We hope to see the results at the rendezvous.

Dwight Kraai (SAUCY) is seeking information regarding the backing characteristics of the A-37. Dwight is also interested in developing sailing contacts via the Internet (dkraai@telerama.lm.com).

Dan Daciuk (FOOTLOOSE II) is planning to sail to Florida late this summer/early fall, and are in the process of updating some of her equipment. Most of the gate valves have been converted to Buck Algonquin ball valves.

Davits from Offshore Marine Products have been mounted on the stern. They will carry a ten foot hard bottom Achilles dinghy with a 15 hp Mercury.

The original Volvo Penta was replaced several years ago with a Yanmar 3GM30F diesel. The 50 Amp alternator will be replaced with a Balmar 130 amp with a smart regulator.

A dodger with an aft awning from Island Nautical, Inc. has been added. The dodger will be blue to match the sail cover, while the awning will be white.

Dan has built a container into the forepeak to hold the 100 - 150' of 3/8" high test chain. This will accommodate the chain and line fitted to a Maxwell VWC 1200 windlass and Windline URM-1 anchor roller which will be fitted on the bow.

An Autohelm 4000ST will also become part of the navigation inventory.

Dan also hopes to attend the Rendezvous in September. We'll be expecting you.

Frank and Linda Smart write that since Frank took early retirement in June 94, they have been spending a lot of time aboard BRANDELARA preparing her for a long awaited cruise south. Frank has provided the following update:

"Inside, I have removed the aft-facing nav station and have extended the galley over there. That has worked out very well as it includes two sinks, large storage cupboards along the hull and a large dry bin below for beverages etc.

We have also installed a Freedom 10 inverter/charger and a LINK 2000-R control module which ties together the "smart" regulator, the inverter and two battery banks. Speaking of batteries, we have installed four six-volt golf cart batteries nicely in the locker at the aft end of the port settee. This leaves only the cranking battery in the old space above the bilge access. I have also installed a 600 watt microwave in the top shelf of the starboard cupboards in the galley.

I spent an unpleasant afternoon lying on the cabin floor, with my arm shoved into the little access door at the foot of the cooler cabinet, ripping out the original insulation comprised of on-inch styrofoam panels occasionally attached to the sides of the fiberglass cooler. No wonder we could never keep ice! I have since cut many 2" access holes with a hole-saw into the starboard surface of the cooler and also into the cabinet side next to the stove and plan to use two part pourable foam to completely fill the space between the hull and the cooler. I intend to reduce the internal size of the box by installing a wall between the compartments, then maybe even add more insulation to the inside of the box. Following this, we might supplement the engine driven compressor with a separate 12 v. system.

I have removed miles of rubber hoses which seemed to wander aimlessly below the cabin sole and through every locker and replaced the boat's fresh water plumbing with 1/2" CPVC (white plastic) pipe. This is very easily routed where you want it, and by use of elbows and supports can be neatly installed so that it frees lots of space.

We will be installing a YANMAR 3GM30 in place of the oil-thirsty VOLVO MD11B in a few weeks, so that will be the last of the major renovations (we hope). As you can imagine, there have been hundreds of other, smaller projects completed which include wiring, lighting, replacing pilot berth with cupboards, rigging and sail overhaul, new and larger stern rail, conversion of stove from CNG to propane, wind generator plus tower, plus dinghy motor crane etc. etc......

Our intention is to leave Toronto in late July or as soon as possible thereafter, and have a leisurely cruise to New York, maybe Long Island Sound, Chesapeake in September in time for the rendezvous, then on to Florida, Bahamas and points south. As we will have no home to return to, we plan to be away for several years."

We'll expect to see the Smarts at the Labor Day Rendezvous.

David Huck (GOOD NEWS) reports that he recently got back from "an odyssey" to Havana, Cuba. David says it's actually an easy sail from either the Dry Tortugas or Key West, but the gulf stream adds about four hours to the trip over and then gives those hours back on the return trip.

Dave suffered having his right lung collapse shortly after arriving in Havana, and was admitted to a local hospital for treatment. We are glad to hear that Dave is on the mend. Dave has offered to recount his trip to Cuba to any member who is interested in making the trip. (Editor's note: Travel restrictions to Cuba still apply to U.S. citizens.)

Bob and Peggy Grant (WINDDANCER) recently wrote saying they had just returned from a 1 year cruise that included the Bahamas, and are now making their home in Ft. Lauderdale. Bob says "You know you have been in the Bahamas too long when......

1. You wake up in the morning wanting conch salad for breakfast.

2. You look forward to going to the straw market to get your hair braided.

3. The street vendors know your first name.

4. You start giving tourist directions.

5. You have an open account at the casinos.

6. The best pair of pants you own stop above your knee.

7. You stop counting your change.

8. You prefer chicken souse to KFC.

9. You end all of your sentences with "mon".

10 You ask for a Kalik instead of a Bud.

11. You are convinced there are more t-shirt shops in Nassau than at Disneyland.

12. You can't remember why O.J. was arrested.

Also, you know you're an over-the-edge boater when.....

1. You wear your boat shoes to the office and you're in a 3-piece suit.

2. You add a float to your eye glasses and you work on the 14th floor.

3. Your wife and children are no longer family, but are looked upon as crew.

5. You remove the linoleum in the kitchen and replace it with non-skid.

6. You cancel your subscription to Playboy and order GAMM.

7. You trade the family's only car in for a 16' Boston Whaler.

8. The only cookies you'll eat are "Chips Ahoy".

9. The last movie you saw was Captain Ron.

10. You petition the city counsel to remove all the traffic lights and replace them with red and green buoys.

11. You attend the PTA meeting to suggest the school board drop Shakespeare and teach celestial navigation instead.

But you are really in trouble when your--

12. Wife hears you talking in your sleep about how beautiful she is and she know you're talking about your boat!!

Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) stopped by Solomons on 19 April for several days on their way back from the Keys. Although they had previously chartered 'down south' several times, this was their first trip down the ICW, and from all accounts they really enjoyed it. They encountered not too many difficulties since leaving the Baltimore area last fall, but plan to give TEELOK some 'tender loving care' before the next trip. Planned upgrades include the installation of a wind generator.

Once back in the Baltimore area, they plan to outfit their van for an extensive tour by land of the Canadian Maritime Provinces, perhaps revisiting some of the ports which they visited 2 years ago on their cruise to the south coast of Newfoundland. It must be nice to be able to spend so much time at something that they enjoy.

Wayne and Sherrill both promised some articles about their recent cruise: we'll be looking forward to hearing from them.

Jerry and Lea Warwick (AVALON) stopped through Solomons in mid-May, during an early spring cruise of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River.


John Volc (STORNOWAY) reports that he has made a change in the main sheeting arrangement. He shortened the boom and shifted the sheeting point to just forward of the "breakwater" on the cabin top. The structural member is a 3/8" aluminum plate that lives behind the wooden trim covering the aft side of the "breakwater". John says it's a real treat being able to gybe without getting tangled up in the main sheet. John says if anyone is interested, there is a sketch of the arrangement in the SAILING forum in COMPUSERVE or he would mail them a copy.

I think that all of us have a problem in backing the A-37: that once in reverse, she develops a mind of her own. A couple of items to consider: with a left handed prop, the boat will move to starboard in reverse (sometimes) and vice-versa with a right handed prop (I think I got that right, if not, check Chapman's); a lot is determined by wind direction and strength, as any crosswind causes the bow to drop off rapidly; increased boat speed in reverse is effective (if you have room to build up speed) since the rudder needs to have water flowing across it before becoming effective. Suggestions: practice on a calm day (and also under varying wind conditions) with no other boat traffic (and preferably when no one can see you); read the section in Chapman's on backing; use spring lines to help you to maneuver in close quarters (also see Chapman's). Good luck!!

Bob Grant (WINDDANCER) recently wrote the following "MAINTENANCE ALERT".

"In my last letter, I wrote about a possible steering problem. Since then I have had to remove my hot water heater which was installed behind the engine. I had the choice of removing the engine or dissembling the steering and take the heater out through the hatch which I had installed in the cockpit. Disassembling the steering seems a much easier job and would also give me a chance to service the system. It was definitely the best decision I had made in the past two years. Upon inspection I found three of the four pins in steering sheaves worn to the size of a toothpick. These pins are normally 1-1/2" x 3/8", and since in most Alberg 37s the steering system is for the most part unaccessible, these pins would go unchecked. Just one more reason to install the hatch in the cockpit. The pins were originally brass, but when I checked with Edson, I was advised to replace them with stainless steel. An off-the-shelf 1-1/2" x 3/8" clevis pin is .005" smaller in diameter, a fact I found allowed for extra lubricant.

Another discovery I made was I can no longer get my entire body into the area under the cockpit deck. Although Edson could not explain this, Peggy seems to think it had something to do with my draft and beam and suggested I refer to International Navigation Rule #18 -- para. D, Section II. I can see right now I am going to have to hide my "REEDS" from now on.

As part of our spring outfitting of SHEARWATER, Kaye and I recently replaced the galley/nav windows (the oblong ones) because of crazing and cloudiness and a leak in one window. The plexiglas thickness of these windows is 3/8", and a 4' X 18" piece of 3/8" plexiglas is more than sufficient to do the job. We removed all the screws, carefully saving all of the acorn nuts and washers, removed the aluminum frames and popped out the old panes. We used a putty knife to remove the old bedding from the frames, and cleaned them with acetone. We also thoroughly cleaned the window openings with acetone.

We then took the old panes, and individually scribed their outlines with a sharp pencil on the paper-backed plexiglas, and cut them out using a course blade in the saber saw. The 4 panes were approximately the same size, but we cut each one individually, just to ensure they would fit. We also aligned each pane on a straight edge of the plexiglas sheet, so that we would have at least one side straight, and also to keep down the amount of sawing required. The panes could, of course be cut using a band saw, or a table saw, rounding the corners on a disc sander if available.

Once we had the materials ready, we trial fitted everything, including installing the frames with several screws, and, using a utility knife, scribed the outline (inside and outside) of the opening onto the paper backed plexiglas, remove the windows again, and remove the thin strips of paper from the plexiglas. What you have done is removed the masking from the plexiglas that is covered by the window frames, leaving the paper on the windows proper, which will save you a lot of cleanup later. We then applied silicone caulk to the opening, inserted the panes, and liberally applied caulk to the unmasked portion of the panes, and the cabin sides covered by the aluminum frames. We then reinstalled the screws, washers and acorn nuts, waited till the caulk set up a bit, and then removed the paper from the windows. We had very little cleanup to do, with only a bit of caulk on the frames and the cabin sides. Several hints along the way. Before attempting this repair, buy at least 2 tubes of caulk, and at least 10 extra #10 X 1" machine screws and nuts. I guarantee that several screws will strip or break before you are finished. Fortunately, we had just enough extras to complete the job. We used a cordless drill with a screwdriver bit to run the screws. Make sure you use some drop cloths inside the boat because you WILL have caulk in undesirable places if you don't. The total cost of the job was about $70 including the cost of the caulk. The replacement of these cabin windows has really brightened the interior of SHEARWATER.

by the Editor

The purpose of the newsletter is to provide a vehicle for the exchange of ideas relating to our Alberg 37 experiences (good and bad), maintenance tips, cruising information and to maintain a roster of Alberg 37 owners.

We suggest $10.00 a year to cover costs of publishing the quarterly newsletter. We also might suggest to our Canadian members that they send either U.S. currency or a Canadian Postal Money Order payable in U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, in order to cash a check drawn on a Canadian bank (even if in U.S. funds), a $5.00 fee is charged.

Also, you should be aware of our group's agreement with BOAT U.S. whereby we get membership for half price ($8.50 vice $17.00) as members of a cooperating group. Please mention that you are a member of the Alberg 37 Owners Group and include the Cooperating Group number GA 83253 S when you join Boat U.S. or send in your annual renewal of membership dues. If anyone wants some Boat U.S. literature, I can send you some. (In 1994, we had 30 members participate.)

Several members have expressed an interest in developing contacts via the Internet, and we've received several inquiries about the A-37 and the Owners Group which originated over the net. Also, several members have sent their E-mail addresses. If anyone having an E-mail address wishes to have it published in the quarterly newsletter, let us know. Those who use the net, keep spreading the A-37 word.


We would like to include in a future newsletter an article concerning cruising with pets, especially cruising with a cat. Any help out there???




John Volc reports that there are 2 Alberg 37s for sale in the Vancouver area: "SLOW LANE", Hull #232 - sporting lots of goodies; and "WILLIAM LUCAS", Hull #80. I suppose anyone interested could contact John.

Neil Baylie stopped by a few weeks ago and advised us that RAPCU, Hull #125 is for sale. Anyone interested should give Neil a call at (412) 372-6303. Let's help Neil find RAPCU a good home.


Try using some of the Lipton Noodles & Sauce mixes. They come in a foil lined pouch, take up little space, are easily prepared, are not too bad fat or calory wise, and come in a variety of styles and flavors.

Kaye says "buy a barbecue" (we don't have one).





Hampton Hall Branch, Yeocomico River, Kinsale, Va.

It's ALBERG-37 RENDEZVOUS time again! Kaye and I plan to again host the annual event at our property in Kinsale. No, we still do not have a house built, but we do have a new "barn", a floating dock in addition to the regular dock, and we now have a Laser to 'putz' about in. Hope that you have included this event in your late summer cruise plans. This is a "come as you are" event, no planned activities except relaxing and visiting with other A-37 folks. Plan on pot luck get-togethers as this is a most INFORMAL rendezvous. Last year, we had 5 A-37's participate along with several owners who arrived by car. We expect to have a few more folks participate this year. We have slips for 3 A-37s, with room for more rafted alongside. The creek also is quite protected and has plenty of room for anchoring if desired. We have water at the dock, as well as (limited) electricity. Attached are directions both by water or by land. Kinsale is about 35 nm from Solomons, Maryland.

Directions by water: If you have chart #12233, proceed west from Point Lookout (Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay) about 10 miles to the Yeocomico River Light. It's on a concrete base sometimes referred as the 'birthday cake', sort of tilted, and somewhat hard to discern from the shoreline background, however,you will see it in plenty of time. From the Yeocomico light proceed westward to Fl G 6sec "3", then to "2". Note the shoal area to the Southeast of "2". Give "2" a wide berth to the Southeast, and you will have no problem (we've never run aground, but the depthsounder shows a pronounced shoal there. Continue in the West Yeocomico where there is plenty of water 12' or more. Continue to where the West Yeocomico stops (at Kinsale) and you must either turn left or right. Turn left (right takes you to the grain elevator and marina) and follow the channel into the Hampton Hall Branch. You will see it open up into a small bay, just continue around the bay until you see a point on the right. Give the point on the right somewhat of a wide berth, and continue to the second boat dock after passing the point. Hopefully you will see SHEARWATER tied up there anxiously awaiting all her sisters!

Directions if you come by road: Assuming that you can find the state of Virginia in a Road Atlas, and assuming you are driving in from the north (if coming up from the south (i.e Norfolk area, you have to figure it out yourself to get to the 203 turnoff) proceed south on Rt. 3 out of Montross, Va. About 2 miles south of Montross, you will see Rt. 202 (Ford Dealer), make a left on Rt. 202 and proceed on Rt. 202 through Hague, Va. (about 12 miles, don't blink your eyes, you might miss it). About 4 miles from Hague, you will see Rt 203 (at BP gas station and a sign to Kinsale), make a left on 203 for about 1.2 miles and you will be coming into Kinsale. As you approach Kinsale, (again, don't blink) you will be coming down a hill, just at the bottom of the hill you will see a sign saying 'Hampton Hall Estates'. Make a right turn on the gravel road at the 'Hampton Hall Estates' sign and continue for 1 mile. We'll have some sort of a sign, balloons, etc at the driveway. Just drive on in and come on down to the water. That's where we will be. Let's face it folks, you have now arrived in the boonies, (that's why we bought the place). To our knowledge, there is not one stoplight in Westmoreland County! Please be advised, that we do not have a home there yet, but do have electricity and water. If anyone wishes to stay overnight (those who come by boat, we assume they will anchor out overnight), there is a motel in Montross, and several Bed and Breakfast's in the area.

There is a small marina in Kinsale (about a mile by water) which has diesel fuel, water, gasoline etc. It also has plenty of water depth for A-37's.


Kaye and I took a long 4-day Memorial Day Weekend aboard SHEARWATER. We had a very nice sail from Kinsale, VA down the Potomac past Smith Point and on down to the Great Wicomico River. We spent the first evening in Mill Creek, just south of the entrance of the river near Reedville, VA. What a nice creek, with well protected anchorages, but with enough open areas to catch a breeze. We would recommend it as a "must stop" for anyone transiting the Bay, as it is not far from the bay, is easily accessible, well marked and an enjoyable place to visit. The next day we sailed up the Great Wicomico to Barrett Creek, where Ralph and Isabel Rose have a lovely home. If you remember, Ralph and Isabel recently sold BRIGHTLINGSEA to Tom and Agnes Westrand of Ottawa. Ralph and Isabel have not, however, given up sailing, as they now have a pristine Alberg Typhoon. We spent an enjoyable evening with Ralph and Isabel talking boats, sailing and perhaps telling a tall story or two. Barrett Creek is a small, thoroughly protected creek, which carries 9' to 10' of water through the entrance and well into a small protected bay. A really nice place to drop the hook.

On Sunday, we had a lumpy exit out of the Great Wicomico, but once we were able to turn down to go to Smith Point, we enjoyed a very nice beat/reach back home to Kinsale.

The following article was sent to us by Brian Marsh, who regularly keeps in touch with Ron and Eileen Holmes who are enjoying extended cruising aboard the A-37 sloop TIGGER.

The Voyage of TIGGER

The South Pacific

Members Ron and Eileen Holmes departed Sarnia, Ont in 1986, and since that time they have travelled almost 40,000 nm. They first sailed to the Caribbean and the coast of South America, then via the Panama Canal to the South Pacific. TIGGER is now in New Zealand.

TIGGER, built in 1969, has undergone some changes during the last nine years. TIGGER now has a fiberglass dodger that Ron and Eileen constructed themselves. Roller reefing (Profurl) came aboard in 1990. They have a 12-volt refrigeration unit energized with the help of solar panels, and have installed an 800-watt invertor that feeds 110-volt equipment such as a sewing machine, a blender and yes, even a television.

Eileen became a ham operator in 1991, and this amateur radio capability has led to a greater sense of security and ability to keep in touch with family and friends around the world. They depend on GPS and a sextant and have remained on course relatively well so far.

Ron and Eileen's adventures include diving for lobster, fish, conch and crab in the Bahamas, scuba diving among the reefs off Bonaire and drift diving through passes in Pacific atolls. For these two adventurers, cruising has been a life of excitement, wonder and joy.

Eileen and Ron transited the Panama Canal in January 1993, and after provisioning at Golfito, Costa Rica, they sailed on March 2, 1993 to Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas, which was their longest voyage yet, 38 days at sea. With little wind, they averaged 100 nm a day, with some days only a favorable current would push them in the right direction.

They found the Marquesas to be gorgeous, the people generous and the anchorages a bit "rolly" but beautiful. From the Marquesas, TIGGER sailed to the Tuamotu Archipelago and then to the Society Islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea and Bora. Eileen describes this part of the South Pacific as "exotic". They then travelled to Suwarron in the Cooks Islands where they ate shark and traded rum for pearls (or was it the other way around?). Onward they sailed, through a 60-kt gale, to Tonga and then covered 400 nm to the incredible Minerva Reef. This reef has one entrance, at high tide. Once inside the reef, you appear to be anchored in the middle of the ocean. From Minerva, they ran south (1920T) to Opua at the northern tip of New Zealand, arriving there at the end of 1993. This was also the first time in many years that they were cold.

New Zealand is a unique, isolated but marvelous country that Ron and Eileen fully explored. In May 1994, they set out to head north,back to the Minerva Reef, however, during this period, the South Pacific was hit by a nasty storm. The 800 nm passage caught TIGGER in 40 kt winds that in turn produced 18 ft. seas. Although they did not experience any gear failure, they had a few electrical problems after TIGGER's cockpit filled several times. Their 1994 cruised included stopovers at Northern Tonga and American Samoa. Pago Pago is described as an island of incredible beauty, with groves of teak trees and countless churches. At the French island of Wallis, they loaded up on wine, baguettes and Brie and Camembert cheeses. TIGGER then journeyed to Fiji where Ron and Eileen found a mixture of cultures; among the Fijians, were many Indians and Chinese and various expatriates from all parts of the world. The city of Suva represented a fascinating blend of humanity.

At this time Eileen and Ron Holmes should again be back in New Zealand waiting for the hurricane season to end. TIGGER will have been treated to a haul-out at Whangarei before she points her bow north again. Their next destination is not yet known, but there is no reason to assume that they will be heading home soon.

Eileen does have one message for anyone who contemplates going cruising......"DO-IT-NOW!!!". The world is getting smaller and the conditions that allow yachties to sail the world are changing all the time.



We hope to start a new section of the quarterly newsletter in which we will attempt to review a recent book dealing with the sailing life, maintenance, cruising etc. Since Kaye works at BAY BOOKS, in the WILDWOOD CENTER, in California (the best bookstore in Maryland), she has promised to provide a book review for each newsletter. We also solicit reviews from any members who would wish to contribute a review.

One of the better maintenance books which I have read and also keep as a ready reference, is This Old Boat, by Don Casey, Published by International Marine Publishing, Camden, Maine.

This Old Boat is an easily read, well illustrated resource for nearly all aspects of sailboat maintenance ranging from fiberglas repairs, woodworking, rigging, to electrical and engine repairs. Especially noteworthy is Don's ability to combine text and illustrations to make those tricky aspects of sailboat maintenance clear to the reader. Also, he encourages the reader to believe that most repairs are well within one's own skills (most A-37 sailors are resourceful anyway). Many of the maintenance and repair projects covered are applicable to the older sailboat, and let's admit it, our A-37s are becoming old.

This Old Boat should be aboard as a knowledge resource and is well worth the purchase price.


It's time to get this printed and in the mail. Have a great sailing season, come to the Rendezvous over Labor Day weekend if you can, and keep the letters coming.