ALBERG 37 INTERNATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION
C/O Tom and Kaye
Capt. Bob and Peggy Grant have recently sold WINDDANCER, which gave them many years of happy sailing and living aboard, and have moved up to a larger boat. Bob and Peggy generously offered their vast A-37 experience and knowledge to all A-37 owners. Good luck, fair winds and following seas.
Joyce and Nick Roper (JOYOUS - ex SLYBOOTS) write that they have recently completed extensive cosmetic work on the hull. Prior to their purchasing SLYBOOTS from Martin Violette, she had suffered some damage while at a dock in Florida. Joyce and Nick sanded off the existing Algrip and repainted the hull with Bright Side paint in Sea Green color. After doing this exercise twice, the results of their own painting were still unacceptable, so they finally had the job done professionally. They note that Bright Sides paint is really hard to work with, and, although following the directions closely, every brush and roller line was visible. The are happy with the sprayed paint job.
JOYOUS is fitted out with a fully battened main, two Barlow 32 ST winches, plus a small Barlow ST for the main halyard (led aft to cockpit) and a Dutchman system. They also have hot and cold pressure water, a Single Side Band, GPS integrated with Autohelm 6000, refrigeration, a Puffin 9' dinghy, an electric windless and a watermaker.
Nick and Joyce both still have to work for a living, so their immediate cruising plans are limited to the Chesapeake.
John Birch and June Hodgins (SUNSTONE, #65) send the following report:
"SUNSTONE is the second to last MKI built incorporating several MKII features like L-settee without a port side pilot berth. The pilot berth remains on the starboard side and in all other respects she's a MKI, 10 opening ports, etc., and powered by a 4-107 which is developing an oil leak".
"We are in the midst of a refit to prepare for offshore cruising to the Pacific via Panama and then continuing West (hopefully).
A friend of ours circumnavigated an Alberg-30 via the Great Capes almost non-stop and made a wonderful video which is still available. We'll do the milkrun, than you! Our date of departure is not set and like many things depends on fiscal realities, but we hope in a couple of years".
"SUNSTONE now has new airfoil spreaders in aluminum, 6 new self-tailing winches (we can't decide whether to lead the halyards aft or not. She also has new sails by the original sailmaker for Whitby Boatworks, Joe Fernandez who was the chief sailmaker at Taylor Sails, and for several years has operated under his won loft, Triton Sails in Mississauga, Ontario. Joe previously owned PENINA #12, and has supplied us with a double leach cross-cut main (two ply leach for the last 3-4 feet) in 7.3 oz. dacron with batt slides, full battens and radial patches in all the corners, triple stitched. We also added a new Tri-radial dacron #1 (160%), a new 105% #3 cross-cut full hoist (highly recommended sail as it balances well and can keep the boat moving well in the 30+ kt. range). We like to race as well as cruise, but we've stuck with dacron - our old main (original) blew out in our club open last year and the head sails were definitely tired after 24 years. I asked Joe whether the warranty was still valid - I mean, 24 years really - you'd think he'd build them to last."
"Other improvements aboard SUNSTONE include Schaeffer 2000 roller furler of which they are very pleased. We have re-rigged her with Dyform 1X19 with Norseman fittings, and have installed a Harken B-500 backstay adjuster. We also plan to install an inner forestay with Norselever (removable) to use the old hanked on #3 (low aspect) and our storm jib with running backstays to the genoa track. The job will be a big one and seems unnecessary for Lake Ontario sailing. Joe has shown me where to put the attachment points - 9'-3" down from the masthead and 2'-9" back from the forestay if we plan to use the old #3 (37' luff). Obviously we will tie it down with a glassed-in knee to the stem and a 1/2" rod and turnbuckle assembly below deck to keep the on-deck attachment point from stressing the deck when the liver is put on and the inner forestay is in use. Getting the angles correct will be tricky - any suggestions??."
Dick and Dianne Munt (D2) have recently returned from a windjammer cruise out of Rockland, ME - a real working boat with no engine! They have had D2 out of the water this summer getting prepared for ocean cruising.
Mike Fish (EAGLE) is finally settled in his new job at Cal Poly and a new house. His move in March from DC to California was unspeakable, partly because of the usual mishaps involved in any move, partly due to the bad weather (arriving during the "flood of the millennium". EAGLE is moored in Morro Bay, and Mike has enjoyed many daytrips exploring the Central California coast, and is planning a fall trip to the Channel Islands off Point Conception. Mike sends his regards to all, and expresses his missing the Labor Day Rendezvous.
Frank and Linda Smart recently sent a change of address (see the roster), and announced that they are cruising this fall. We hope to hear from them as their cruise progresses.
Ken Wood and Murielle Rousseau recently wrote that they have sold SLOW LANE to Bob and Hedey Dunsmuir of Coquitlam, BC. They write:
"After 32,000 miles and five and a half years of living aboard, it was time for another adventure, this time seeing what it was like to live what is generally considered to be a 'normal' life---job in the city, mortgage etc. SLOW LANE was too well equipped and much too under-utilized in such a situation to justify not letting someone else have the pleasure.
Basic conclusion from our years of travel and 'test-driving' retirement is that it is definitely an objective worth working towards, which we are now doing, again. The hardest part of taking off on a sailing adventure is just deciding to do it (not that it would be nice to do, or that one wants to do it, but that one is actually going to do it). All the other decisions follow on from that one and are relatively easy. Even the doing is easy, once under way.
To all the A-37 owners out there who are dreaming about taking off for an extended cruise, you have a good boat for it. Seaworthy and reasonably comfortable for a couple, it will sail with bigger boats quite happily and tends to be with the smaller boats in terms of operating costs. Rules of thumb: a) Stuff expands to fill the space available, so the greater the space the greater the cost; b) The bigger the boat, the bigger the equipment, the bigger the equipment, the bigger the cost; c) Paint the bootstripe at least 6" higher than you think it could possible need to be, load up your stuff and go sailing.
I only noticed after unloading a huge amount of stuff in the process of moving ashore, that the boat's handling in reverse was much more predictable when close draft rather than in normal loaded cruising mode.
Best bet seems to be to make good use of spring lines for maneuvering away from docks and other solid objects. Besides being easy and very effective, it makes it look like you really know what you are doing.
Happy sailing to all.
Ken Wood and Murielle Rousseau"
Welcome aboard to the following new members:
Brice Wightman (PEREGRINA), a 1986 yawl, recently lying in Melbourne, FL.
Ronald Strahm, of Independence, MO, inquiring about the A-37 Int. Owners Assoc. Ron has recently purchased a 1970 Yawl (unknown name). We are really interested where you keep your A-37 in Missouri. May be a "first" (the Editor is originally from Southwest MO, and they really don't "understand" sailboats there). Hope to hear from you Ron, so we can complete your listing in the roster.
John L. Giulietti of Vernon, Conn. who recently sold his 1976 sloop, #91.
Melvin "Sonny" Power (KANDACE). Sonny was referred to us by Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) who, during their 'land yacht cruise' (camper) of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, spotted her in the Canso Straits. KANDACE, we learned, has been configured as a cutter with a self tending staysail. KANDACE has had all of her aluminum tankage replaced with stainless.
Bill and Pat Shrader (PAT-SEA), of Orchard Park, NY. PAT-SEA is a 1979 Yawl, #201, currently lying in Buffalo, NY. Bill and Pat have been Alberg owners for 16 years, and while on a short cruise to Port Colborne, ONT, they met Dan and Donna Daciuk, with whom they had a very interesting and friendly discussion about their boats.
Richard Hughes (WATOOKA), of Weston, ONT. WATOOKA is a 1973 Yawl, #108, currently lying at the Lakefront Promenade Marina.
Bob and Hedey Dunsmuir (SLOW LANE), of Coquitlam, BC. SLOW LANE was recently purchased by Bob and Hedey from Ken Wood and Murielle Rousseau.
Stuart and Helen Gillespie (HIGHLAND FLING), of Pemaquid, ME. HIGHLAND FLING is a Yawl, #112, currently lying in Gentle Cove on the Johns River.
Roger and Linda Gilmore (TALISMAN), of Belchertown, MA. TALISMAN is a white yawl which they had built, as one of the last group of 3 A-37s, for delivery in May 1987. They sailed her back from Whitby to New London, CT, via the NY canal system and are currently enjoying their 9th season. Roger and Linda planned a 3 week trip to Maine starting in mid August.
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.)
For those not familiar with Boat U.S., it is an organization devoted to promoting boating interests in the United States. It also is a major discount retail outlet for boating equipment and supplies, having both retail outlet stores and mail order service. It is cost competitive with the other major discount outlets such as West Marine and Defenders.
We recently received a letter from Victor Mallia, who was referred to us by Capt. Bob Grant (ex WINDANCER). Victor owns an Alberg 35, in excellent condition, which he is offering for sale.
If anyone knows someone who might be interested, they should contact:
Ed Goveia (ESTORIL) recently wrote that he has the following articles for sale:
Steel folding Cradle w/7 pads. $550 Canadian (New $850 C).
750 Watt GENERAC Generator. $450 Canadian (New $750 C).
Macerator Pump (new), $100 Canadian (New $225 C).
Contact Ed Goveia, 1244 Queen Victoria Ave., Mississauga, ONT L5H 3HE, (905) 271-2684.
Kaye and I recently completed our annual 2 week Chesapeake Bay cruise aboard SHEARWATER (in fact, most of this edition of the newsletter has been written, swinging on the hook in some secluded cove). We took the first 2 weeks in October this year, due to job requirements, and expected that the weather would be more fall-like than when we normally cruise in the fall, a week earlier. However, this year the weather turned warm, windless, and even a bit of rain associated with a tropical disturbance which worked it's way north. The diesel got a good workout, and we've only sailed an hour or two. Places visited included Solomons, MD; the Wye and Miles Rivers; St. Michaels, MD; Choptank River; LaTrappe Creek; Patuxent River; Rollins Cove. For part of our cruise, we had the enjoyable company of Wayne and Sherril Bower (TEELOK). We recently purchased and installed a new bow roller (URM-1) and a Simpson Lawrence Hi-Speed windlass, which has turned out to be one of the more worth-while additions to SHEARWATER, and allows either of us to easily raise the anchor (normally a 35# CQR). We still need to add a saltwater washdown pump to clean the mud from the chain.
For our northern members contemplating a trip south in the fall, it is well worth devoting a month to the Bay, especially if you can devote mid to late September and most of October, as the weather usually remains very nice here through the end of October.
Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK) recently completed a "land yacht" cruise to the Canadian Maritimes, revisiting some of the areas that they missed on their 1993 Maritime cruise in TEELOK.
They managed to see a good part of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and even a small piece of Labrador. During their land trip, they encountered A-37s SUNNY, KANDACE and LESCOUSSE.
Bill and Norma Marchant (SUNNY) write the following account of their trip from Elizabeth City, NC to Baddeck on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia:
"SUNNY had been in Elizabeth City since May 1990, so in the spring of '94 we decided to move her to Baddeck where we live. We (Norma, Bill, Marion 12, David 10, and Boots the cat) left EC on 21 April 1994 (Ed. note: they stopped and visited with us in Solomons, MD on their way north). They left SUNNY in New London and went back to Cape Breton to wait for summer.
I returned to New London on 27 June with two friends and we got underway the next day. Had a rollicking good sail to Cuttyhunk Island and spent the night on a mooring listening to the surf crash on the beach. We left Cuttyhunk at first light, cleared the Cape Cod Canal just before noon and set sail for Cape Breton.
The trip across the Gulf of Maine and along Nova Scotia coast was the one we all dream about: fair winds and no problems. Sunny moved comfortably, steered perfectly by a Monitor self steering unit. The first 48 hours was spent charging along with 15 to 25 knots of wind just aft of the starboard beam. We used various combinations of double reefed main, mizzen, staysail and roller reefed genoa. We then spent 48 hours in fog and light southerly winds sailing and motor-sailing along the Nova Scotia coast 15 to 20 NM offshore. We had an interesting encounter with a ship, the John Cabot, laying cable off Halifax. They saw us coming on their radar and sent a tug to intercept us. The tug appeared suddenly on the starboard quarter and attracted our attention with a loud hail that got our attention quite effectively. They escorted us around the cable ship and put us back on our course on the other side. They were a very friendly bunch. We were navigating with a Magellan Meridian, a hand held GPS unit and it worked perfectly. We also had Loran C and an RDF which we didn't use. SUNNY was visited by several pods of dolphins during the trip and we were constantly entertained by the antics of various seabirds but most particularly shearwaters. It was a very pleasant, stress free trip. We found our target buoy off Canso in the fog (the GPS worked perfectly) and as we approached St. Peters and the entrance to the Bras d'Or Lakes, the fog lifted. We passed through the canal at 3:30 PM on Sunday 3 July and tied to the wharf in Baddeck (about 100 yards from my front door) at 9:30 that evening five days and fifteen hours after leaving New London.
Today, SUNNY is swinging on her mooring in plain view from the house. It's great to have her nearby and now be able to explore the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes."
Jack Meehan and Janet Finley (SERENITY) write the following account of their cruising adventures:
"Serenity is currently in its 35th consecutive month of cruising, having left our home port of Boston, on 15 Oct. 1992. We cruised down the U.S. coast, both offshore and down the ICW as far as Miami, crossed over to Bimini, and then down the Exuma chain for several months, back to New England, back down the coast to the Bahamas again, over to Boot Key Harbor in the Florida Keys, then up the West Coast to Tarpon Springs and then over to the Pensacola-Mobile area where we are presently licking our wounds.
Our entire life, recently, it seems has been driven if not dominated by a most extraordinary weather pattern.. We fought it out with Gorden, sparred with Allison and were K.O.'d in the main event in a losing battle with Erin, who put our spreaders right down on the dock when the eye passed directly over us at 110 mph in Pitt Slip Marina, Pensacola!
We were damaged significantly by Erin - stanchions twisted and bent, lifelines ruined, electronics smashed, hull damaged, rigging bent, inflatable squashed, interior tossed about--but are now almost completely recovered (thanks to Carl Alberg's design skills) and are beginning to make preparations for getting underway again in a few weeks -- with a wary eye on the tropical depressions, etc., of course.
A highlight of our three-year voyage to date has been meeting other members of the Alberg 37 Association and we think it's just great to pull up alongside and shout "Ahoy there, hello on the Alberg 37," and see a friendly face or two pop up!
In Boot Key Harbor, it was Wayne and Sherry Bower on Teelok, who made the first on-air Ham radio contacts with us of our new ham radio careers; in Vero Beach, it was Jack Lachner on Canada Goose, preparing for his Atlantic crossing; in Charleston, it was Roly and Danielle Pottmans on Lanikai, installing their new refrig system; and in Highbourne Cay, Bahamas, it was Bob Adams aboard Penina in the middle of a serious squall.
For those fellow members wondering about the Florida Panhandle for cruising, Janet and I both recommend the area very highly. The snow white, sandy beaches are fantastic, the people are very friendly, there are virtually no security problems, and prices are far more reasonable than anywhere else we know of in Florida.
We only ran into one problem and it should be mentioned as a warning to our members. We took our liferaft in to Mobile Ship Chandlery for inspection and re-pack, were quoted a maximum of $500 and when we went to pick it up we were charged $815! We were furious but had to pay, so be cautious, get a written estimate at all times! We are fighting the issue but are not very optimistic.
Serenity is making ready for departure to Central America, via stops in Clearwater and Tarpon Springs by which time hurricane season should be ending.
We would like to hear from any members we know and those whom we have not yet met and encourage you to drop us a note at our mailing address: 40 E. Manning Street, Providence, RI 02906. My son forwards our mail regularly and I guarantee a rapid answer."
New member Stuart Gillespie recently wrote that they have been members of the Seven Seas Cruising Association for many years, and although they are not 'live aboards' they have bare boat chartered in the Bay of Islands, NZ, Tonga, as well as the Caribbean. Their cruising on their Alberg 37 is now limited to the coast of Maine and the St. John's River in New Brunswick, Canada
Stuart also is currently in the process of building a half model of an Alberg 37. He obtained a copy of Carl Alberg's 3/4" scale drawings, which is a print from his original drawing which he kindly sent to Stuart before his death. Stuart has redrawn to 5/8" scale to accommodate the piece of 70 year old piece of mahogany that he has been saving for just such a project. The half model is about 90% finished. Stuart is willing to share the section molds and deck and sheer plans with anyone who might be interested in building one.
Having trouble backing out of your slip with a beam crosswind, or a foul current? We've added a 1/2" nylon line about 4' above the water, stretched between the farthest forward and aft pilings on both sides of the slip. The bow person (and also the person at the wheel) simply uses a boat hook (hooked over the windward parallel line) and follows the boat out of the slip. This idea goes along with Ken Wood and Murielle Rousseau's advocating the use of spring lines when maneuvering around docks. Try it, it works!
Eric Dullerud (LA JOLLA) wrote of the numerous projects which he has undertaken over the last three years and has provided a few lessons learned on some of his completed projects which may be of help to others:
- The plywood in the locker covers can be removed fairly easily in one piece using a large wood chisel and a steel wedge (e.g., an axe). This is much simpler and less time consuming than using a router.
- When changing the galley sink drain from the port sea cock (in the engine compartment) to the starboard sea cock, I discovered a potentially hazardous condition. The sink drain tee-off from the 2" main branch copper fitting leading to the port cockpit drain had not been soldered at all. The short piece of pipe that the sink drain hose was clamped to had simply been slipped over a 3" long brass pipe which in turn was slipped into the tee. No solder! The fitting was easily pulled out with a slight twist using my bare hands. I am not sure whether or not this was only a mistake which occurred in the assembly of my boat, or it is more widespread. In any case, I believe it would be worth checking by owners whose boats have the sink mounted above the engine and connected to the port sea cock.
- When installing the newly serviced hot water tank, I tried to fit it in the starboard locker against the ice-box bulkhead (the purpose of the move was to create more room in the engine compartment and also to get most of the hoses out of the way). If there is a way to accomplish this (even with the engine removed and working from within the engine compartment), I have still to find it! Eventually, I gave it up as a bad job and the water heater is now back on the old shelf above the drive shaft.
- Manufacturers of teak varnishes make all kinds of promises of how wonderful their products are; usually the more expensive, the greater the promises. I have tried several of the most expensive ones and found that they will not stand up, to Canadian climatic conditions at least, for more than one year. Not until I found Cetol Marine; and it is not even very expensive! I have found this to be an excellent product which only requires a touch-up coat every spring. No scraping and sanding for hours on end before reapplying is required.
Eric is interested in contacting owners who have carried out one or more of the following projects on their boats:
- Converted to cutter rig.
- Installed a windlass and through deck fittings for rode/chain (i.e. type, brand etc.).
- Windvane, make and type well suited for the A-37.
Lea and Jerry Warwick (AVALON) report that they have recently removed the bi-fold Vee-berth doors allowing much more accessibility to that area.
(Ed. Note: we removed our doors about 10 years ago, and have never regretted the change; we do, however, have a heavy curtain which we use when needed.) Lea also reports that they had been having a problem with water gaining access to the lower starboard side vee-berth locker, and found the problem to be a plugged limber hole from the chain locker, which was allowing water to enter the starboard locker. They cleaned the limber hole with a piece of wire.
The response to the A-37 Pennant call for orders has been quite good. An initial order of 22 pennants has been received and we will be sending them out to those who have indicated that they want one (and have paid). As soon as we receive enough requests for 12 or more pennants (the minimum order for the $26.00 cost), we will order again. The only change we have made to the pennant design has been to include a blue border, which was suggested by several members. The pennant was well received at the rendezvous and is quite attractive, especially with the blue border. For those who may not have received the pennant flyer that was mailed this summer, the pennant features the stylized Alberg "A" (Royal Blue) superimposed over a white field with a Red Canadian maple leaf placed on the long leg of the Alberg "A". A blue border surrounds the pennant. The pennant is very well made of Dacron sailcloth and is much more sturdy than the normal nylon. Order yours now and be ready to display your pennant in the spring!
The Third Annual A-37 Rendezvous was held on the Hampton Hall Branch of the Yeocomico River, near Kinsale, VA over the Labor Day Weekend. After having a thunderstorm on Friday evening, the weekend weather itself couldn't have been better.
We had 5 A-37s participate: SAUCY (Dwight and Carol KRAII); AVALON (Jerry and Lea Warwick); SOLSKIN II (John and Becky Long); SHEARWATER (Tom and Kaye Assenmacher); and DOLPHIN (Charlie and Amy Frasher). Attending by land yacht (auto) were Wayne and Sherrill Bower (TEELOK), Bryce Inman (TYDINGS). Dwight and Carol were on their way south. We had hoped that several other "snow birds" would make it to the rendezvous -- perhaps next year--.
Anyway, a great time was had by all, a bushel of crabs was devoured, a lot of good food was in abundance, and a lot of Alberg 37 story swapping occurred.
Again, Kaye and I wish to thank all of you for making the publishing of the newsletter so much fun. Hardly a week goes by that we do not hear from at least several of you. The adventures that you relate to us have made us realize that A-37 owners are special people. Thanks to those who have taken the time to send photos and accounts of cruises, maintenance problems encountered and solved and information of a general nature. Have an enjoyable late fall and a great holiday season. Till the next edition, keep the letters coming.. See you in January '96.