Issue #5, Spring 1988
Happy 50th fellow Concordians! It's definitely a big year for the fleet and it seems the press has responded accordingly. January saw Concordia stories in WoodenBoat by Maynard Bray and an excerpt by Waldo Howland from his upcoming book, and Yachting featured a story by Elizabeth Meyer. In April, The Yacht carried a report by Peter Gow on last year's East Coast Cruise (who was that mystery boat at Hog Island?) and the Spring Nautical Quarterly #41 highlighted the work of marine artist John Mecray and included his Concordia painting that will grace the cover of Elizabeth's 50th Anniversary book. And for international coverage, the spring publication of the Vancouver (British Columbia) Wooden Boat Society carries a story on the Concordia (and the somewhat neglected West Coast Fleet) by your editor.
And of course the Concordian continues to keep its select readership (not available on any newstand!) informed on all things Concordian. With all the glossy magazine and book competition there was no choice but to improve the format. My apologies for past typos and erratic layout. Certainly the class deserves a newsletter worthy of its stature and so with the aid of computer technology we'll be advancing toward a publication of which we can be proud. By the way, after learning computerese I can appreciate how a landlubber feels his first time sailing. So much to learn. And so humbling. Most of the content comes from our readers so keep those letters coming. With races, cruises and the Reunion coming up this season there should be plenty to write about for the Fall edition in October. We would be especially interested in hearing from those folks in somewhat "isolated" areas such as the Great Lakes, Virgin Islands, Georgia, Florida, Newfoundland and Louisiana. And many thanks for those who have sent in their voluntary $5 a year subscriptions. Naturally, if you own a Concordia you automatically get your Newsletter - it's on of the "perks" - but the donations ease the printing and postage costs. On with the news!
Elizabeth Meyer reports that typesetting for her book Concordia Yawls - The First Fifty Years, is underway and printing is scheduled for May. Orders for this 300+ page color extravaganza may be sent to: Dreadnaught Company, 32 Church Street, Newport, RI 02840. $137 will cover the 9 5/8" x 12 1/2" book and shipping, which will be in August. It is reported that a limited number of the John Mecray prints will be available.
Spring in the Pacific Northwest has been typically sunny, rainy, windy and calm and occasionally great for sailing. We hauled IRENE #103 in February - before the rush - to replace the shaft, prop, stuffing box (new PYI dripless type performs as advertised) and bottom paint. We installed a Harken roller furler and finally replaced the 22 year old original sails. The fullbatten main sets well but trimming technique still is to be mastered. Also built a solid box with sound insulation to enclose the diesel and hopefully communication between galley and bridge during those rare occasions the engine is used will be more friendly. I finally made a roller that fits on the forward face of the folding gallows and allows the hatch to slide scratchlessly when the gallows are lowered. Varnish detail will doubtless continue on a normal schedule throughout the season. After years of using Z Spar Captains varnish I tried Epifanes last season and am now a convert. Just returned from a short cruise through the San Juan Islands which culminated with a visit to the Tulip Festival in Anacortes.
As usual, a number of fortunate people found themselves as new owners of a Concordia.
Actually Armand Sutton and Terry Hargreaves have owned Maggie Dunn for a while but we were unable to track them down. Their Concordia is moored in San Diego.
Now owned by Barry Light of New York City.
Has made her way from Friday Harbor, WA back to her earlier home in Camdem, ME and her new owner is J. G. Ray.
A teak decked "41", was recently trucked from Santa Barbara, CA to the Concordia yard. New owner is Robert Gorman of New Hampshire. Perhaps the Northeast is trying to recover its crown jewels that had been claimed by the West Coast.
We are sad to report the passing of Mason Smith, JAVELIN's original owner. She is now owned by his son, W. Mason Smith III.
New owners Richard and Martha Keegan now keep SUMATRA in San Diego. More information follows in the Communications section.
Now owned by Peter and Madeline Fleishman of New York City. Peter has been a long time subscriber to the Newsletter and finally became one of the family.
This bright finished 39 is staying in Santa Barbara and she is now owned by Steven Yochm of Los Angeles. Almost sounds like enough Concordias to have a Southern California cruise.
We are also saddened to report the death of Robert Bacon, owner of PHANTOM #93.
As a service to new owners I have assembled a 50 page loose leaf booklet containing reprints of stories written about the Concordias, original sales literature and copies of all the previous Newsletters. I have only one copy and will be happy to loan this to anyone for a short duration. $5 will cover shipping. I suspect old timers will have most of this information in their libraries.
All but two Concordias have known whereabouts and owners. I'm sure these two know who and where they are but we don't and therefore cannot communicate with them. MALAY I #2 was last reported near St. Petersburg, FL and MARGARET #42 is on an extended cruise from San Francisco to points south with owner Bob Hovey. Maybe he'll show up at the Reunion! Anyone knowing about these boats please pass on the information.
Alden Trull at the Concordia Company reports there are 24 Conrordias in the yard this winter for storage and maintenance. Some of the rovers are off the boats but outside work hasn't really started yet. Work on the rebuilding of FEATHER #29 has temporarily stopped due to the high demands of projects on customer's boats. He is hopeful she will be completed for the Reunion in September. Peter and his crew have got the new keel in and also a new stern post and deadwood. The ballast keel was recently bolted in place. FEATHER had not been used for a number of years and was acquired by Concordia several years ago. She will be for sale after the rebuild. YANKEE #37 is alongside in the planer shed. Her horn timber. stern post and some planking are out to be replaced. Elizabeth has been spotted in and about the yard gathering material for her Concordia 50th book.
Linford Stiles, So. Norwalk, CT
YANKEE, a 41', has been in our family since 1984. We have four children and they and assorted chums have all had summer liveaboard experience on her. We sail out of Padanaram and consequently YANKEE often spends a part of the summer in Nantucket as the mother ship to windsurfers, whalers and on occasion a local lobster boat. The Concordia is infinitely expandable. We enjoy her in so many ways. She is a formidable competitor (we are "casual racers"). A magnet in any harbor (my sons consider her their secret weapon). She is foremost, however, a haven. Our interior is relatively unadorned. We have locust paneling, corduroy rovers (green) and pretty much everything she came with. We have added a Taylor heater (over the small bureau amidships) and she has 1983 Hood sails, roller furling and a new Westerbeke 40. Dr. Gerry Smith and his team of surgeons at the Concordia Company have her in their care thie year. She is undergoing, to paraphrase Hank Bornhofft, a "lower GI series" this winter in order to be hale and hearty for next summer's festivities. We have extended our cruising area to include Long Island Sound. We will be keeping YANKEE in Connecticut for part of next summer about 15 miles from our home in Rowayton. There are several Concordias on the Sound but no effort has been made to rendezvous. Perhaps your readers on Long Island Sound might like to organize one or maybe a feeder cruise to Padanaram. I'd be happy to act as a communications center.
Lloyd Moulton, Marblehead, MA
WHITEWAVE missed the big Maine cruise. Too bad some of her crew still have to work. Perhaps as compensation, Maine gave her two absolutely perfect weeks later in the season. Sunshine, no fog and favorable winds each day. Have never had sum favorable conditions after many happy Maine cruises. We are in the shed and working on winter tasks.
Ed Hobson, Urbanna, VA
CRESCENT is resting for the winter on Urbanna Creek, off the Rappohannock River in a covered slip at Urbanna Marina. Spars are out and under cover too. Winter projects include refinishing of overhead down below and installation of a new CNG Shipmate stove much to Mate's delight. She has now agreed to the trip north this summer for the Reunion and other cruising. We have also added a new 100% loose footed working jib. The club really is in the way sometime.
Robert Cross, Rockport, MA
I have moved up to Cape Ann where SARAH, MAGIC #36, SAFARI #28 and #50 NJORD are spending the winter in Gloucester. I'm getting SARAH ready for the 50th Anniversary Reunion this summer and plan to replace the canvas cabin top, along with all the brightwork and refastening this project entails. I'm interested in alternate methods of rigging the mizzen sheet. I understand NJORD has come up with a nifty idea although I haven't seen it. The January, 1988 WoodenBoat shows the sheet leading back to the cockpit. Maybe some ideas will surface from the Concordia clan.
Mark Webby, New Zealand
(Mark is building his own Concordia.) Things here are going very slowly with the planking. I'm now on the topsides working down towards the planking below. I'll send you a photo when I reach the shutter.
Hank Bornhofft, Gloucester, MA
(I asked Hank to tell us a little about his Concordia 41 which has a very unique layout.) As you know, MAGIC is not the standard. George Nichols, the original owner, had Sparkman & Stephens design an interior for him for offshore racing, similar to a New York 32 that his father owned. The companion way is offset on the starboard side so as you go down the ladder you land about six feet ahead of the engine. From there the head is to port and there is a wet locker and rope locker to starboard. Further forward there are pull-out settee berths and pilot berths port and starboard that go forward to the mast. On either side of the mast there is a half bulkhead with chest of drawers and a passageway to starboard of the mast where you enter the forward galley area. The forepeak is open for sail storage and etc. If you were to face aft from the companionway ladder there is a door entering the aft cabin. Berths are to port and starboard extending under the cockpit seats which end at the bulkhead forward of the cockpit lockers. There is standing headroom in the aft cabin and the nav station is over the engine box facing aft. The layout provides for a great offshore setup - Magic sleeps six comfortably and the galley is ahead out of the way of thru traffic and sail handling. She was built in 1956, the year after HARRIER #30 and her rig was a tall 7/8 rig with a bowsprit and long boom. She was cut down to a masthead rig using the original spar but retaining the bowsprit in the late 50's. Then in the mid 60's a taller high aspect Hood aluminum spar was installed and the bowsprit was eliminated.
I had a thought -- how about West Coast and East Coast owners swapping boats for a couple of weeks some season so that you could have a chance to cruise the Maine Coast and we could sail in the Pacific Northwest? This year I hope to cruise Maine again with the fleet, go to Mystic and then to the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport prior to the Reunion. We are always looking for crew, so if any of you get out here ahead of the Reunion we would be happy to have you join us.
Richard Keegan, San Diego, CA
My wife and I purchased SUMATRA on 12 November, 1987. We are recently escaped (too much snow and cold) Massachusetts natives, who have done most all of our sailing out of Marion, MA covering the Buzzards Bay area. This included many trips to So. Dartmouth to dream over the Concordia yawls there. It's rather ironic that moving to Southern California also brought with it the purchasing of SUMATRA. Right now she is a bit rough around the edges (gross understatement!!) having been neglected for over two years. Her hull (bright) was Awlgripped in 1981 and needs a complete refinishing. The condition of her brightwork, last varniehed two years ago can only be described as terrifying. But she surveyed excellently and there was nothing wrong with her that sweat and sandpaper won't cure. So far we have wooded the hull from the toerail down and stripped both masts. We are painting her white instead of refinishing her bright. White seems to show her lines better although we did feel guilty about covering that beautiful mahogany with paint. We found white paint in the grain of the wood so she must have been painted sometime in her past. The deck work will be next. They are in good shape except for who knows how many mats of paint and about a million holes from "toe-stubbers" to "line-grabbers" installed by previous owners. It's tough to find a flat space to step on! But everything in good time.
Later: It's nice to be back n the water after eight really busy weeks of work. But it certainly was worth it as SUMATRA now looks much more presentable (not done, but better). Martha and I are making slow progress but only have the hatches and cabin sides left to do and the exterior will be complete. Almost anyhow, as we still have to face redoing the decks. While stripping the toerail with a heat gun I found that very judicious application of heat to the deck will lift the uncountable layers of paint with no apparent effects on the canvas. But, being cowards, we are saving (leaving?) the deck and cabin top until last. As fate would have it, we ended up in the same marina on Shelter Island as MAGGIE DUNN #16. So now Sun Harbor Marina has two "claims to fame!" We'll have to see about organizing a Southern Cal Concordia cruise.
I have two blueprints of "Design No. 14, Concordia Yawl" drawn by F.C. Williams. One, the "Sail Plan" has a revision date of 3 December, 1957, the other "Standard Arrangement" is dated October, 1954. If you know anyone else who has other blueprints, drawings or whatever, I would be most interested in arranging to obtain copies. If anyone needs copies of what I have, I will be glad to provide them. Perhaps a note on the Newsletter could procure a complete set which Concordia Co. say they don't have. We are planning to head East for the Reunion. As we are from the Boston area we would be glad to help anyone get around. Any Concordians who are going to be in the San Diego area please let us know as we would be most delighted to meet them. Richard & Martha Keegan, 3828-200 Caminito Litoral, San Diego, CA 92107. Home: (619) 224-1423, Work: (619) 691-6062.
Kim Gallant, Stratham, NH
My wife Kimberly and I have owned WINNIE for a few years now. We took her to the Caribbean winter of '84-'85. She's been sitting in a shed in my shop ever since awaiting the day when work slowed down so I could turn my attention to her. Presently work is progressing, though slowly, and I'm hoping to put her over some time this summer. The work required is overwhelming, she was in pretty rough shape. Following is a list of work for this season:
- 25 new floor timbers;
- frame work on entire boat;
- numerous new planks;
- strip and refinish entire interior, with all joinerwork removed;
- rebuild rudder;
- new motor and gear;
- replace all metal below the waterline (floor bolts, keel bolts, etc.);
- new coamings;
- new toerails; new cockpit well sides and seats;
- recover deck (I strongly recommend against plywood overlay - the inevitable voids and the nature of plywood will, in about 15 years, become a pile of rot);
- strip and refinish all exterior surfaces.
Next year I'm hoping to "finish" the restoration with:
- A 100% new interior, including bulkheads;
- new sliding hatch and main hatch and general coach roof work;
- new mast, oval section, about 4' longer for the light air we have here and in Maine;
- new sails.
Concordias have a history of problems on the mast step area. I'm installing 3 large ring frames and replacing the mast step with a curved piece of locust 10 1/2' long. That should stop the leaks! I'll keep you updated.
Perhaps some of you recall the 58' "stretched Concordia" that appeared in the June, 1985 issue of Yachting. CAROLER was designed by Willam E. Cook, 71 Lewis St., Greenwich, CT 06830, who sent the following information: The owner and builder of CAROLER is Chris Page, of Hyannisport, MA; he owned a 41' Concordia, and came to me for the design of a larger boat that would have some of the same appearance (you can see where we made some significant changes, such as the keel/centerboard, narrower forward sections and a higher aspect ratio rig.) Chris built the boat at his house, which is a remarkable story, since the workmanship is equal to that of the best builders in the world. CAROLER has a number of construction elements that are highly unusual in a contemporary boat, including spruce spars and raised mahogany panelling in the interior. [The hull is cold-molded with an inside layer of 5/8" cedar planking running fore-and-aft and four outer layers of 1/4" meranti - a denser wood to absorb the occasional bumps and scrapes - running in opposite diagonal directions. The stem and keelson are mahogany and other longitudinals are spruce.] Equipment is quite up to date, however, and includes air conditioning, clothes dryer, watermaker and bow thruster.
Last summer was CAROLER's first season and she distinguished herself in the IMS racing by winning the Astor Cup on the NYYC cruise, giving one hope that IMS will prove to be a rule that is not unfair to wholesome cruising boats of moderate to substantial displacement. Aside from cruising with his family, Chris plans to race to Bermuda this year, and, I understand, has been invited to join the Concordia 5Oth Reunion activities.
The Northwest Fleet held its second Midwinter "Social" at Phil and Beverly Brazeau's (#39 CANDIDE) home in Seattle where a festive "50th" motif prevailed. As usual the food was superb, and DeMaris did dessert. The Summer Rendezvous is tentatively planned for early June to accommodate those retired types who will be cruising all summer and those heading East later on for the Reunion. Just so there are no doubts, the Northwest Fleet Summer Rendezvous in June will not be accepted as a substitute (by East Coast authorities) for the 50th Reunion in Padanaram, although we would love to see all six Concordias. And remember to have your trophies properly dedicated for the awards ceremony.
The big three day event is scheduled for September 9-11 at the Concordia Company facilities in Padanaram. 50 to 60 Concordias are expected to attend. You should be receiving information from Concordia on final details and arrangements. A number of owners from out of the area - myself included - will be attending but due to severe and uttrair hand-carry restrictions by some airlines will be without their beloved Concordlas and thus seeking refuge and accommoda tion during this great event. Those offering or needing are urged to contact Elizabeth Meyer at 32 Church Street, Newport, RI 02840. The rendezvous at Mystic Seaport begins the prior week on August 31 and a behind the scenes tour of the Seaport and Rosenfeld collection as well as a party for Waldo Howland under the big waterfront tent will be on September 1. There will be a Concordia race from Mystic to Newport on the 2nd and the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport on the 3rd. (How am I ever going to explain my time off requirements? I expect to be there. somehow!)
Is anyone capable and interested in producing a commemorative T-shirt to sell at the Reunion? Contact Elizabeth Meyer. And speaking of a commemorative, most of you recently received information from Elizabeth about a film proposal by Schmid Productions in partnership with WGBH Boston about the Concordias, their designer, their history and the Reunion. To quote producer Lisa Schmid; "The Concordia is a 40 foot wooden boat and she is to sailboats as Casablanca is to films: a classic. With the resurgence of interest in wooden boats, Concordia: The First Fifty Years is to focus on this brilliant example of ingenuity in classic design, the family who built the boats and the current boat owners. Through their stories we shall bring to an audience of one million of PBS a jewel of a film, a visually rich tapestry weaving the boat's history with the present story of Concordia, a boat whose graceful lines still turns heads wherever she sails." There is a need to raise $100,000 to finance the project either through a sole corporate sponsor or as many as three non-competing sponsors putting up a third of the cost. Distribution is planned via PBS on prime time in early 1989 and later in the home video market.
That wraps up the spring edition. I look forward to seeing and meeting you all and seeing your Conoordias! - during the events later this year, and perhaps arrange for guest privileges aboard a Concordia in Maine sometime. Our welcome mat is always out for Concordians and we'd love to take some guests for a sail through the local waters.
When you're doing all that sanding, painting and varnishing this year, be not discouraged. She deserves it, and a great sailing season is just around the corner. When you are rafted up with 60 or so of the finest yachts in the world and crawling about hither and yon over life lines and beautiful decks, the late afternoon sun magically transforming acres of varnish to pure gold, satisfaction will overcome and there will be little remembrance of your earlier drudgery. I assure you, it will have been worth every second and dollar spent!
Doug ColeBellingham, WA