Issue #15, Spring 1993
Another Concordia celebration? Yes indeed. Of course just owning a Concordia is a constant celebration, but the 55th anniversary will have numerous gatherings and events to mark its place in yachting history. The first will be in Port Townsend, Washington with a rendezvous of the Northwest Concordia Fleet on June 4-6 during the Classic Mariners Regatta. Some will participate in the racing and others will enjoy Concordian comraderie. So all you Northwest Concordians, make your reservations now at Point Hudson. We are planning a sailing photo session after the second race on Saturday.
Next on the list is August 5-8 centering around the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta in Maine. Elizabeth Meyer writes: "Remember that we had a fleet of 65 Concordias racing in Padanaram in 1988 and how much fun it was? I say, let's do it again! I hereby propose a Concordia gathering to honor the 55th anniversary of the class. The carrot I am offering all of you is a raft-up cocktail party onboard Shamrock V and Endeavor during WoodenBoat Magazine's Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. Here's the agenda of festivities. Thursday, Auguat 5: Gather in Camden. August 6: Camden to WoodenBoat feeder race. August 7: ERR race, then from 5 to 6:30 PM raft up with Shamrock V and Endeavor for a cocktail party. 6:45 PM Dinner party and awards ceremony ashore. The cocktail raft up will take place depending upon finishing time of the race, but since the J's and the Concordias are so fast, I'm sure we'll experience no delays." Please respond to Elizabeth at 32 Church Street, Newport, RI 02840 or 401-846-2491. Until June 30, she is offering special pricing on her book Concordia: The First 50 Years at $100, the print Crossing Tacks by Don DeMers at $80 and John Mercray's print of Concordia Yawls Celebrating Their 50th Anniversary at $110.
The next day, Sunday, August 8, Alida Camp, skipper of THISTLEDOWN #62, has invited the Concordia fleet to her cove/dock/home around the corner in East Blue Hill. She is planning drinks and chowder beginning around 1700. The location is approximately N 44 25', W 68 29' (see chart 13316), Webster's Cove on Morgan Bay, which is the NE end of Blue Hill Bay. Her dock shows on the chart and there is room for 2 guests at the dock and plenty of anchorage in 8-20' depth. Please RSVP to Alida at Blueberry Hill, East Blue Hill, ME 04620. 207-374-2824.
The Padanaram Regatta is August 28 and all Concordians should be receiving a flyer from race organizers Brodie MacGregor at Concordia Company and Donald Tofias, skipper of ARAWAK #29. Donald has also proposed a "loosely organized" Concordia cruise between Padanaram and the Classic Yacht Regataa in Newport on September 4. Tentative plans are: August 30, cruise/race from Padanaram to Marion and anchor at Sippican Harbor. August 31, cruise/race to Hadley's Harbor, rounding Weepecket Island on the way. September 1, From Hadley's, out of Woods Hole into Vineyard Sound, along Naushon Island, through Quick's Hole and anchor at Cuttyhunk. September 2, to Dutch Harbor. September 3, to Wickford, RI, Fort Adams, Newport at the Musuem of Yachting in preparation for Friday night cocktail party of the Classic Yacht Regatta. Donald is hoping that Edgar Crocker's tender will be along to act as committee boat. Again, he stresses the cruise is rather informal and it seemed a natural time to enjoy fellow Concordia sailing between the two events. For details, Contact Donald Tofias at 1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA 02154. 617-890-5511.
Let's face it, our Concordias, as they were delivered, were pretty basic when it came to "systems." When JAVA, Concordia #1 was delivered in 1938, the electric starter on her gas engine and 12-volt electric system were considered modern. When IRENE #103, the last Concordia built by A & R, was delivered in 1966, her systems hadn't changed much. She still has her original Westerbeke 4-107 diesel and reliable 12-volt system, big fuses, knife switches and all. You can see in the accompaning diagrams, supplied by A & R with IRENE, the lack of complexity, both in plumbing and wiring. But what do you expect for only $32,000 new in 1966? Granted, the systems on our Concordias are considered pretty basic and many of us thumb our noses at the complexities of modern yachts. After all, we'd rather spend our time varnishing than repairing broken equipment like our modern and often aesthetically challenged sailing brethren, right? On the other hand, IRENE has seen a few modern items creeping aboard in recent years (loran, autopilot, ham radio [call AA7NN], radar, stereo) and your editor feels the need to keep fellow Concordians up to date on what others have added to make their boats more enjoyable for them. We've discussed Stuart McDougal's electric anchor windlass and various radar installations. With the compactness of water makers we might find one on a Concordia some day, although I doubt we'll ever trade in the facy chrome galley pump for hot and cold pressure water. (I've always been curious how LOON finds enough water to feed that shower in her cockpit.) An item that will affect us all in the coming years is holding tanks and we'd like to hear more about how you have solved that problem. One caution. We must beware, as Wayne Overland, ex-owner of LOON, cautioned in the 50th book, that we not make the Concordia too modern and complex and thus decrease their value.
Senior Concordian Dan Strohmeier offers this about his beloved refrigeration system: My present MALAY #77, which you refer to as MALAY II to distinguish her from my earlier MALAY #2, has a totally superb refrigeration system made by Sea Frost in New Hampshire (800-435-6706). It is simplicity in itself, and the installation is amenable to a do-it-yourself approach. I did get some professional help to check the integrity of tubing joints. The compressor V-belts from the engine to the compressor pulley which has a magnetic clutch like stuff in an auto air conditioner. A special driving pulley has been fitted to the forward end of my Yanmar 3HM diesel. The compressor heats up the Freon, which turns to high-pressure liquid in a heat exchange unit called the condensor, mounted abaft the engine. (Environmentaly friendly R-134A is now being used. Ed.) The coolant is the salt water in the engine cooling system. (Engine is fresh water cooled via its own heat exchanger.) After passing though a small drier, the cooled liquid under pressure expands in the cold plate assembly in the ice box, causing it to drop in temperature to less than zero degrees. The high pressure Freon is pretty well pooped out by this time and returns docilely to the compresor. As you know, a Concordia ice box is pretty small. The more ice you put into it, as when going to Bermuda, the less space there is to carry what you want kept chilled. By the same token the thicker the insulation the less room there is in the box. So, tradeoffs come into play.
When I acquired my present MALAY, I removed the stainless lining and all its internal (or infernal) clutter of shelves, cutsie trays for butter, enclosure for a block of ice of the right size and shape, etc. I replace the insulation with 1" of what I was told at the time (20 years ago) was the best insulation and put the stainless lining back sans clutter. I also boxed in a slab of 1" insulation in way of the engine and attached it to the inboard side of the icebox to tend off some of the heat from the engine. Sea Frost offers a choice of a vertical holding plate attached to one wall of the box or a "block" which is the size of a rectilinear chunk of ice weighing 32#. I selected the latter, cantilivering it from the inboard wall of the box. The "block" is mounted high as possible with 2 ice trays on top. That leaves a space under it that provides a deep-freeze temperature. There is a control box mounted on the after bulkhead under the bridge deck. Nothing happens unless the engine is running and a normally-off oil presure switch arms the electrical circuit controlling the magnetic clutch on the compressor. By rotating the control knob, the circuit is closed and refrigeration starts. The control knob has a clock-work shutoff and may be setfor any time up to an hour. Since the magnetic clutch draws about 10 amps, it is good to have the oil pressure switch open the circuit when the engine is shut down. The switch is not included in the package of stuff from Sea Frost, but I would highly recommend it. I have had the installation for five seasons. Even with the compromise on insulation thickness, refrigeration needs are satisfied in about the time required to charge batteries. Ice for tinkling glasses comes quickly. If the boat is idle for a few days during a heat wave with the ambient temperature in the box up to 70, with sea water 70, ice will begin to form the first 30 minutes and with an hour's cooling, the "block" will finish the job of making two trays of ice with enough cooling capacity left over to freeze two more trays. The lower the sea water temperature, the better the performance.
Thomas McIntosh, Long Grove, IL
MISTY had a very busy season last year in spite of the bad, cold weather we had on Lake Michigan last summer. We seemed to sail quite a bit on weekdays when the weather was best. Our racing exploits included the Chicago - Mackinac Race in July where MISTY placed 7th in her class of IMS. Over Labor Day weekend we took part in the first leg of the Tri-State Regatta where MISTY took first in her PHRF class. Little did we know, but upon arriving in St. Joseph, Michigan, we rafted with the Heritage Boat Fleet who also had a regatta to St. Joe. It was comprised of wood sailing vessels and believe me, MISTY was the "Grand Dame" of the group. Lots of wooden boat enthusiasts (there are a few here in the midwest) and everyone had a look-see at her.
Improvements this year included new Autohelm instruments. Gosh, are they great! We also replaced our 1964 auto pilot, which I helped install as a kid, and found it to be a great help cruising. The instruments replaced vintage 1980 Datamarine units. The last Concordian had some discussion on holding tanks. Since Misty has spent all of her 33 yeards on the Great Lakes, we have had one for some time. Around 1970 my father installed a 20 gallon welded aluminum holding tank located on the forward port side opposite the forward starboard water tank. It is a Sealand-Mansfield vacuum system. Other than replacing some of the seals and hoses last winter, it has served us well for many years. He connected the water intake to the toilet with a water shutoff valve. The systems consts of a waste deck plate, some 1.5 inch white waste hose which connects directly to the bottom of the holding tank, and the existing bronze U pipe that connects to the seacock. A guzzler pump is used to draw a vacuum on the tank and any foul odors are drawn from the tank and discharge out the head via the through hull fitting. Once a vacuum of 5 to 10 poungs is achieved by the hand pump, all you need to do is depress the toilet foot pedal. I understand there have been some improvements but the system has basically remained the same. Since the foul air is pumped under the waterline, the head is odor free. If anyone has questions regarding the holding tank situation on teh Concordia, feel free to contact me at (708) 439-2425.
Probably one of the neatest things we have replaced is the stove. We installed a two burner Origo with non-pressurized alchohol. It is quick, clean and required minimal changes to the location of the old stove. Actually, it gives us more storage room within the stove box location. Even Vicki will use it now!
By the way, I am curious to know what kind of bottom paint people are using these days. We have always used Copperlux but it is no longer manufactured and I'm looking for a replacement that is just as good, and preferably green. (IRENE is using Woolsey Neptune #714 - Royal Green. Ed.) The newsletter is great! We sure enjoy reading it and finding out what people are up to with their Concordias. MISTY is a real rarity on the Lakes and it is amazing how many people are fascinated with her and how she looks. We look forward to meeting or talking with any other Concordia folks.
Al Brown, Savannah, GA
(March) By now you are probably getting those "westerly" Concordias ready for spring sailing. SUNDA gets hauled out next week and will get a new coat of paint in preparation for the St. Patrick's Day Regatta. This race brings most of the boats away from the docks for the first time in months. I don't understand this because I sail SUNDA all winter and you never see anyone else on the water. I won't go into detail on repairt and projects to my beloved boat that I have cared for the last 17 years except to say that the tiller is original and I have replaced just about everything else. Once again, we ar planning to sail SUNDA up to Padanaram this summer. She may spend the winter up north and be ready for Maine in '94!
Gary & Linda Brown, Griffith, GA
(February) PARAMOUR was out of the water from September 91 to October 92. We've been trying to correct the dreaded steel floor problem of the 41's. We (mostly Ed Verge at Ship Creek Boat Works in Oriental, NC) replaced all the regular steel floors with stainless, replaced 22 planks, replaced 13 keel bolts, relaminated the frames in the main saloon area, replaced the engine beds and added a stainless floor just aft of the engine, sistered the frames beneath the engine, recaulked (the second time in two years due to bad caulking material) and refastened the decks where needed, installed a new prop shaft and cutlass bearing, and stripped the main mast and revarnished. Now we're about to make a new engine cover, attack the grungies in the interior which occurred when the decks were recaulked and wood down and revarnish the main boom. Hopefully she'll be ready to sail come mid March. We have advertised her in the March Soundings. It's getting to be a real physical strain to maintain her from 575 miles away and moving isn't an option. We continue to do it, but we get so very little sailing in. Gary and I have become convinced that to properly maintain a Concordia without suffering body collapse you need to be extremely wealthy or you need to live very close to your boat.
Armand Sutton, Alameda, CA
MAGGIE DUNN is in San Francisco now, moored at the Oakland YC in Alameda. She seems to be right at home here and at present Kerry and I don't care if she ever leaves the Bay. Everything we want for her seems to be right here. We changed the original rig to masthead and double headed. The engine has been replaced with a diesel. Her deck canvas is new and her overall condition is improving. We're very happy with her and have no intentions of ever replacing her.
David Godine, Boston, MA
I have so enjoyed reading The Concordian that I vowed when I received the last one that I would set aside some stormy winter Sunday and bring you up to date on FABRILE (ex-Ingrid) which we bought from the estate of Saul Warshaw in 1985. Ingrid had been sailed quite lightly when we bought her. She is a late model (1962) with lammated frames. I was lucty that when Giffy Full surveyed her that April it was raining like stick and he was able to determine that she really needed a new canvas deck as well as about 13 of her planks replaced. Concordia Company attended to the last priority and Bob Silva and Mid-Coast (now owned by Paul Cunningham) replaced the deck canvas, the worn toe-rails, etc. We now keep the boat at Benjamin River Marina, whose services I can recommond highly. They have at last count three other Concordias and they know the boat backwards and forwards. We have little done beyond some yearly improvements and basic maintenance: a new automatic bilge pump, repainting the main cabin, head and forepeak areas, and the usual brightwork upkeep. Doug and Jon, who own the yard, tell me she is about the most tightly used Concordia they have seen, and this I believe, for we are only her second owners. She has never been raced and we use her primarily for weekend cruising between Penobscot and Muscongus Bays. She is moored right off our dock at the southern end of Bremen Long Island and anyone passing through the strait there between Cow Island cannot miss her. We always welcome other Concordia owners to stop and jaw a little, usually have a spare bedroom if one is needed, and there is generally a good mooring or two available in the small harbor between the two points of Bremen's southern tip.
I have also the dubious distinction of probably being the only Concordian foolhardy enough to own both a "39" and a "31." The "31" goes under her original name of Kittiwake, and been stored at David Nutt's yard and was extensively rebuilt by Bruce Malone of Camden, whose service I can heartily recommend. With two very small children (one still in diapers), it is impossible to sail them both, so we tend to alternate. If anyone is looking for a fine "31" in good condition, please contact me. I may be able to keep two Concordias, but I know I can't sail them both, and the "39" is project enough. Should anyone be passing through Muscongus Bay, our call is WSM 6527 and hail FABRILE. Or just drop the hook off our dock and come in for a visit. Until the kids get a little older we will probably continue using her for weekend sailing and our annual ten day cruise. But she is a sweet boat in any kind of weather and when I see what else if out there the water, I bless the day I bought her.
Dan Beard, Kennebunkport, ME
Last spring we replaced four floor timbers in the area of the mast step as well as the mast step itself. New bronze bolts set in epoxy. The old iron bolts were very badly deteriorated. Had a wonderful time removing the bulkheads that make up the head. At the same time I replaced the two large keelbolts in that area. Had no problem getting the old ones out or the new ones in. Used 316 stainless as per suggestion of Concordia. The old bolts were not badly deteriorated, especially when you consider that they were 40 years old. Also removed and refinished the ceiling and cabinets on the starboard side in the main cabin. Will do the port side next winter, and if the energy lasts, will also attack the galley. Sarah and I managed two trips last summer, one down to the Massachusetts Bay area where we had a great time at Hank Bornhofft's (MAGIC) marina in Gloucester. Later we got up to Grand Manan / Campobello. This last parl was in late August and early September. The wind was great but we had a lot of fog along with some rough seas. All in all, very satisfying.
Warren Nichols, Green Lane, PA
The Nichols and the Grubers had an excellent 1992 salling season with LIVE YANKEE. This was highlighted by a ten day cruise to the southern Chesapeake Bay. With help of The Cnncordian we located and attempted to contact the other four Concordia owners on the Bay. We managed to reach three and were able to arrange to meet with two of these: CRESCENT owned by the Hobsons and WOODWIND owned by the Hartmans. Unfortunately, my partner in LIVE YANKEE, Charlie Gruber and his wife Dorothy were not able to gowith us due to a pressing business matter at the last minute. The sailing weather was great for the whole trip. On three days with 50 mile legs we averaged better than 6 knots. After leaving Great Neck Boatyard on the Sassafrass River in the northern Bay, we made stops at Annapolis, Soloman's Island, the Great Wicomico River and the southern most stop was the Rappahannock River. Here we met the Hobsons on their 41 CRESCENT. We admired each other's Concordia and had an enjoyable conversation over a cocktail. We had planned to sail together the next day but it didn't work out. The trip back north included stops at Indian Creek, Oxford and Tilgham on the Chesapeake where we met George Hartman on WOODWIND and enjoyed a sail together. George often singlehands WOODWIND but because of 25 knot headwinds we sent one of our crew on TDY with George. Good sail to Tolchester Marina where we compared notes and boats. The next day George headed back to Oxford and we to the Sassafrass. It was a most pleasant cruise and we decided we should try to make it an annual event.
Walter Hobson Urbanna, VA
(April) Not much news except that spring has heen very slow 10 arriving. The spars are still out and the boat is under cover in the water. CRESCENT is on the market now, asking $57,500, not listed with a broker at this time. She's in good shape and had some new sails in 1992. She has a Perkins diesel, is documented, insured and has a recent survey. I must find a smaller boat or possibly trade down. Phone is 804-759-3267.
Rich Navarro, Islamorada, FL
Patti and I haven't used MEMORY as much as we'd like to, but we spent most of last summer in the Abacos and had a great time. We raced in tile Regatta Time and took a 3rd, 4th and 5th, which considering the boats we were classed with, was exceptional. I'm also proud to say that we were the only wooden boat and the committee awarded MEMORY prettiest in the fleet. Reading The Concordian I am very interested in a few things that people have done and would like to hear more about what kind of roller furling people are using and about holding tank installations. I am also considering replacing the old Gray with a diesel and want to find out what people consider the best and most reliable replacement. Also, with regard to refrigeration: Two years ago I replaced the un-lined ice box wtth a fiberglass ice box. After removing the old box, 2 1/2" of rigid foam was placed in the icebox void and then I had a fiberglass box built to fit. All the voids were then filled with "squirt in" foam. The top edges were then covered with locust rim and varnished. The top was also removed and reinsulated. We then installed a 12-volt Adler-Barbour refer system which has worked great. I wanted to mention how MEMORY fared with the hurricane. She was in Hollywood, FL (20 miles north of Miami) at the time as we had just returned from the Bahamas. At first word of the hurricane I took the boat up a narrow and shallow canal in Hollywood. At low tide she was aground. I then set out 3 anchors and she was tied off to trees on both shores. As a result her only damage was to the varnish which took a beating from tree branches and palm trees blown around. The varnish on the mast took the worst. After the hurricane I Just untied her, brought in the anchors, and at high tide sailed her home. MEMORY made out a lot better than most and I'm thankful.
Benjamin Mendlowitz, Brooklin, ME
(Dec.) My wife, Deborah Brewster and I own STARLIGHT in partnershtp with Deborah's brother Alden Brewster. She is being cared for by Doug Hylan and John Dunbar at Benjamin River Marine in Brooklin alongside FABRILE, KATRINA and BELLES. Last winter she received a new Dynel deck and locust toerails along with lots of related work. We are still in the process of planning out a modest chunk of work for this winter from a long list of needed repairs and upgrades. STARLIGHT is being sailed conservatively here in Maine while we gain experience with her and she becomes stronger under her repair program. We eventually plan to cruise further afield but for now are quite content exploring the bays and islands at either end of Eggemoggin Reach. She makes a great weekend home for 2 year old Hannah, 4 year old Sam, Deborah and me. Our only complaint is that committments ashore don't allow for more time aboard. We have returned STARLIGHT to tiller steering and therefore moved the compass from its binnacle mount back to the shelf in the bridge deck. We are having trouble with compensating the compass for both sail and power operation since the alternater seems to intent on generating a magnetic field we would rather not have, along with its much appreciated electricity. The solutions we have heard to date are either moving the compass, having two deviation cards, or having a switch kill the alternator during critical compass runs under power. I'm wondering if thre are any other ideas out there on how to deal with this problem. I would be interested in seeing an addition to The Concordian of an equipment swap section. However, from the looks of most Concordia owner's lockers one might guess that nothing is ever traded or thrown away. As you predicted, the 1994 Calendar of Wooden Boats will finally feature a Concordia yawl. I tried to convince my colleagues to have an all Concordia year with 12 different shots of STARLIGHT, but I had to settle for a cover shot of STARLIGHT along with a cameo appearance by HARBINGER and the bow of a yawl in the snow. The introduction for 1994 was written by Waldo Howland and Maynard Bray continues to write the captions. Anyone interested in ordering the calendar in quantity and at special discounts can call NOAH publications at 207-354-2131.
Doug & DeMaris Cole, Bellingham, WA
This was one of the first winters where IRENE survived without a scratch or a ding. It seems that something usually comes along, either by air or by sea, to cause some cosmetic aggravation. She is afloat year around so spring commissioning is a matter of folding the winter covers and cleaning up. Since we did the tri-annual topside painting last year and brightwork is done in stages throughout the season, the spring haulout and bottom painting will take place in an evening next week. Our annual spring cruise took us to the nearby San Juan Islands and the diesel cabin heater got a real workout. This is a delightful time to cruise the San Juans as the winds are robust, although often cool and wet, and the crowds are still away enjoying their skiing.
One of the things we enjoy most about the Concordia is that it is fun to just go out for an afternoon sail. We can be away from the dock with sails up in 20 minutes. She is such a joy to sail that no destination is needed. Singlehanding isn't a problem when the urge hits for a spur of the moment outing. We had a great sail several weeks ago on Bellingham Bay in a 25-30 knot southeaster, and under storm jib and jigger had an invigorating time. IRENE still shows her youth and always has a dusty dry bilge after a day of thrashing about. We have no major cruises planned for 1993 but we'll sail in the Heritage Cup Race and attend the Northwest Concordia Fleet rendezvous and Classic Mariners Regatta at Port Townsend in June. We'd like to attend both East Coast 55th gatherings in August, and we might just pull it off. Anybody need crew for Eggemoggin? We'll make one at least, so we look forward to seeing our East Coast brethern and sistern.
Bob Stuart, Hingham, MA
The highlight of last year's season had to include the many days at Sail Boston 1992, the assembly of about 125 tall ships in Boston Harbor. We were out among them on six occasions: the arrival, the incoming and outgomg parades, and sailing through the harbor while they were in. Our greatest thrill came when we met the Rose, a 179' full-rigged ship coming into the harbor. We turned and joined her, but it became obvious that she would need to tact or jibe soon. We were blown away when she performed the "box haul maneuver" right in front of us. That involved heading up into the wind until she stalled, backing down onto the new tack and then resetting her square sails to take off on her tack. It was beautifully executed with about as little fuss as coming about with out selt-tending jib. Although we weren't in parades, RAKA got her full share of compliments. We started our annual trek to Maine with the tall ships headed for England, but there wasn't much breeze, so after a few hours we took off on our own. We sailed to the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta in company with our new friends, Peter and Margaret Kieley, new owners of NJORD #50. The first evening we rafted together at Allen's Island at the entrance to Penobscot Bay. We greatly enjoyed their company, and finally figured our what the special attraction was. RAKA is the South Sea goddess of the winds and NJORD is the Norse wind god. We rolled asbore to explore - and left the royal couple alone to get better acquainted. At the regatta we had the privilege of mooring between Pride of Baltimore and Shamrock, not too shabby of company. Our new Raytheon RX10 radar got good use last season in Maine. What a gem! This year I've ordered some new sails from Manchester. Gary tells me that Elizabeth has sold MATINICUS, which I was sorry to hear. She has certainly contributed greatly to us all with her various organizational writing and publishing activities.
Robert Bass, Concord, NH
You mentioned in the last newsletter that you are willing to link up potential Concordia sellers and buyers. My situation is a little unusual in that I am currently looking for someone to buy half share in my Concordia 41, presently located in Rockport, Penobscott Bay, Maine. I have owned MADRIGAL since she was built and have kept her in very good condition. My personal circumstances are such that I am just not able to use her as much as I would like, and am looking tor a congenial co-owner who would use her on the New England coast.
Jonathan Goldweitz, Stamford, CT
We launched ABACO at Dutch Harbor Boat Yard on April 24th. Their railway is unique 10 that it allows the masts to be stepped on dry land, something that was very handy in the windy spring weather. As it turned out, we completely commissioned and loaded all sails and gear without being on a dock even once. Our shakedown sail in Narragansett Bay was in a 20-25 knot SSW wind and we tried out our new club jib. Everything worked fine and I'm looking forward to our passage to Stamford, and my 25th season sailing ABACO.
A few comments after one full year with our replacement engine. As you remember, after researching and pricing several different diesel engines to replace the 24 year old Gray, we spoke to David Van Ness, owner of PRAXILLA # 10, and decided to go with a replacement Graymarine 4-112 that he builds. The only real change from the original was to use a larger alternator, a 63 amp Delco. The old engine was removed by Dodson Boatyard and used by David for any salvageable parts, which were few. The engine needed no modification, only cleaning, bilge painting and frame repairs that I described last year. A new ignition wiring harness and new oil pressure line was installed, but no other equipment or modification was necessary. We actually used the original motor mounts after reconditioning and painting them. And in all, I am quite pleased. The engine was used quite frequently and ran well all season. It did get wet beating to weather in the Padanaram Regatta last August, and died after initially starting the next day. After an evening of dryer NW winds, it started the following day and has been fine ever since. That was the only time I wish I had gone with a diesel. The total price, engine plus boatyard installation, was less than half the quotes we got for the diesel conversion, mostly because of engine price and the need for a new fuel tank, lines and carpentry modification to the engine box and control panel. After using the Gray for the past 24 years, I am comfortable with the safety of a gas engine, used prudently. It's also a alot quiter! (He must he recalling the "purr" of IRENE's diesel from last year's cruise, Ed) Speaking of David Van Ness, we stopped off at Pilot's Point Marina In Westbrook, CT on the return from ABACO's commissioning. PRAXILLA was in a shed with a beautiful coat of varnish on her brightwork and awaiting topside and bottom painting. He hopes to join the August-September cruise.
Jim Sibley, Haddam, CT
HERO has been out of commission for the last two seasons. She has been under cover in a custom fabricated hoop-house, the kind nurseries use. Changes were made to give the hoops longer legs to provide enough height for comfortable deck access and width to allow a hydraulic trailer to get in and pick her up. The poly cover supplied with the kit, easily assembled, has UV protection and is advertised to last 4-5 years. We will be launching this year and the pace of "need-to-do" projects has picked up considerably. An area of concern and needing attention is the junction of the cockpit coaming to the cabin. The last season HERO was overboard, water leaked in a both aft corners of the cabin. Our proposed solution to the problem is to remove all fastenings in and around the area in question and "ease off" the coaming from the cabin, re-bed and refasten. I suspect this is not a unique problem to HERO as I have noted water stained areas on the forward end of coamings on other Concordias. The problem is no doubt the result of age and slight racking of the cabin. One question for Concordian readers: How can I duplicate the original satin varnish finish A&R achieved in the cabin? HERO's has never been touched and is in need of some refurbishing. This year is HERO's 35th with us. Our enjoyment of those years is due to Waldo Howland's concept of what a boat should be. (From the 40th Anniversary book written by Jim's mother: "HERO made it to Norway in 1960 cradled on the deck of a freighter and came back home the same way six years later. We spent the summer months cruising the Baltic with our family of five. [Jim says there are two bunks on the port side in the main cabin. Ed.] HERO was certainly the right kind of boat for this kind of life. We never slept ashore and seldom ate ashore. Mostly we kept to tiny fishing harbors and island coves and on many occasions HERO was the first American yacht to visit there. Everywhere we went our pretty little yawl was admired. In Norway a sailor we met borrowed some Concordia ideas for a new boat he was building and the followmg year he even had a Concordla stove shipped over.") (Editor's note: I have done some refinishing on IRENE's interior and came very close to the original finish by using two coats of gloss Epitanes over the original finish. I wet sanded with 320 on a sanding block after the first coat and followed the second by hand rubbing with linseed oil and fine pumice. It took a little practice to find the fight combination of oil, pumice and rubbing out, but I was quite pleased with the result. It also gives you a chance to clean up any dust intrusions. If there are bare spots, these of course will require some extra attention. I've found oxytie acid works well for removing black water marks on locust,)
Jon Wilson, Brooklin, ME
I decided to go with a full batten main this year and ordered the new sail to be equipped with Battslides, and I'm hoping the sail will be well-behaved with them. Everyone who is involved in the business seems to feel that this kind of batten compression fitting is all that's required (for ease of hosting and lowering). I'm looking forward to this improvement (and hoping in fact that it will be an improvement) and anticipate being able to let you know it works just fine. I'm envious of your cruising in early April because as I look out the window today, April 28th, it's hard to believe that it is snowing. FREE SPIRIT is a month away from being launched because we're doing such a major rebuild on her this year, but she'll be much improved this season and I'm looking forward to sailing her.
Wnile on a sailing vacation in Puerto Vallarta this March, I had an opportunity to see one of of the latest Concordias. HEART OF GOLD, a very modern sloop designed by Carl Schumacher, was built in 1990 for Jim and Sue Corenman of the San Franclsco Bay area. She is 50' OA, 43' WL, 13.5' beam and 8.5' draft and weighs 22,000 pounds. The hull is Divinycell foam core with kevlar, fiberglass and epoxy and the deck is kevlar, carbon, fiberglass and epoxy. Jim calls her a racer/cruiser and in 2 1/2 years they have already put over 22,000 miles on her, including three races to Hawaii with returns via Alaska and the Queen Charlottes and two to Mexico. "We're just your average homeless boat people," said Jim. They were in PV provisioning for the first leg of a 2-3 year Pacific cruise. She looked pretty "racey" to me, even with the telltail moon and star logos. There was even a little brightwork: splash guards and grab rails. They are very comfortable sailing her as a couple. I spoke with Jim several times via ham radio during their crossing and on March 21 they were at 11N, 119W with the chute up and were 985 NM east of the Marquesa Islands. So far their average daily run had been 150 NM and best had been 190 NM, all in rather light winds and the complete crossing ended up at 18 days. A picture of HEART OF GOLD was featured in the April edition of SAIL...
In the January Issue, SAIL Magazine featured the 100 greatest sailing yachts in North America and listed Steve Loutrel's LACERTA #44 under the classlc racer/cruiser category. "Steve and Lizzie have completed numerous cruises to Labrador and Newfoundland, often under demanding conditions." Congratulations ...
It would be hard to miss the cover of Roger Taylor's latest book Thirty Classic Boat Designs: The Best of the Good Boats, a beautiful color shot of Doug Adkin's CORIOLIS #82 ...
There's always an exchange of fleet "trophies" at the Northwest Concordia Fleet's winter gathering, and this year the "Pride of Fleet" award, presented by the last recipient Ben Niles, went to CORIOLIS "for her continued upgrades and improvements." Now we just have to get Captain Adkins to attend a fleet function to retrieve his award...
And in the May issue of Yachting, in a story about varnishing techniques, is a picture of KODAMA #46 and IRENE. "Finally," said Stewart McDougall jokingly, "a Concordia picture without CORIOLIS in it..."
Ben Niles recently unstepped ALLURE's masts for maintenance. He had both main and mizzen lashed on deck after returning from the crane, and while heading back to the dock for Oil loading, a passing observer shouted, "Looks like a clean break. What happened?"...
Alida Camp, owner of THISTLEDOWN, mentioned that many years after the fact, she discovered that she and Waido Howland were classmates at Milton Academy...
Gerry Smith at Concordia Company reports that JAVELIN #57 is getting a new cockpit and a paint and varnish face lift below. RENAISSANCE #88 got new cockpit seat tops and fronts. NIAM #24 has new deadwood, and PRINCIPIA #60 is also getting a new cockpit. There has been no progress on SUMATRA as the carpenters have been fully occupied on customer's boats ...
We've not heard from Mark Webby in several years. He is building Concordia #104 in New Zealand and the last pictures he sent showed a fully planked hull. We hope to have an update in the next issue ...
I have just placed and order for additional Concordia burgees and I believe they will be $30. Let me know if you need a new one.
There are several Concordias and owners that we have lost contact with. Please let us know if you see: ACTEA #15, last known to be in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We also need an address for SEA HAWK #101, last seen in Marblehead, MA.
YANKEE# 37, new owner is Peter Rackliffe of Searsport, ME. LOON #45, new owner is Jerome Sullivan of Waukesha, WI. LOON will be kept in Oxford, MD. MATINICUS #78, new owner is Alan Shapiro of Marblehead, MA. Welcome aboard!
As you have read above, Elizabeth Meyer has sold MATINICUS, the Concordia she had owned since 1975. The Concordia fleet owes Elizabeth a giant thank you for all the work she has done to publicize and watch over the fleet. She produced the 40th Anniversary yearbook in 1978 and that led to the beautiful story in Nautical Quarterly #22 (Summer 1983). That was about the time I was looking for a boat, although I wasn't certain what kind, and that story full of Concordia lore and beautiful pictures soon had me hooked. I had seen the 40th book and called Elizabeth to inquire if she might have one for sale since I thought this might help in my research. "They're all gone and out of print. What would you like to know?" I asked numerous questions about different Concordias that were on the market and it wasn't long before I detected that this was in fact an interview, to see if I might be worthy. I was told later that Waldo Howland, in his own way, did the same thing to prospective buyers. The "interview" concluded - I guess I passed - Elizabeth said "I'm off to England tomorrow. I just bought that old J boat Endeavour. Wish me luck." I still wanted a "40th" book. A year or so later. I wrote to her saying that I now owned a copy, but that I had to buy a Concordia to get one (from the ownerJ). Still seems like a good deal. We can also thank Elizabeth for organizing the Concordia 50th Reunion in 1988, and for all that participated, I think we can agree it was a great success. Then, of course, there is her book Concordia Yawls: The First Fifty Years the crowning tribute to the class. Elizabeth commented how pleased she was to see greasy copies laying around boat shops being used as a reference manual. It's a beautiful book for whatever purpose.
Besides her well publicized restoration and sailing of Endeavour, Elizabeth, along with a group of yacht preservationists, historians and enthusiasts, is working on the formation of the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, RI. She writes: "The purpose of the school would be to teach a diverse group of students the skills, integrity and respect for history and hard work that are essential to the restoration and maintenance of classic yachts. The subject yachts would be drawn from many different eras, yards and designers and would include yachts of all sorts - paddling, rowing. sailing, steam diesel and gasoline. The restoration of smaller yachts, 40 feet and less, offers a good opportunity to grasp the whole restoration picture. We would have one or more restorations under way at all times. Students would be drawn from local and international schools which could participate with IYRS to allow students to receive official credit for their course work. Ultimately our goal is to have a residential program for students enrolled in a 3-4 year apprentice program. A very important aspect and long term focus of IYRS wlll be the restoration of Coronet, an 1885, 175 foot schooner and the only extant great American yacht (see WoodenBoat #32). Under a succession of owners she has sailed around the world many times and won a 19th century trans-Atlantic race. She is aesthetically fabulous and is already listed in the American National Historic Register. Personally, I feel certain that Coronet could be the equal of any classic yacht now salling."
In closing, I would like to include some excerpts from a story Elizabeth wrote for the Fall 1987 issue of The Concodian: "MATINICUS is the apple of my eye and has been since I bought her in 1975. I am the second owner, the first was Willis Shackelford who kept her in the Chesapeake Bay and sailed her very gently. I have been a little rougher on the boat, racing her steadily since 1982, mostly with an all woman crew. She is more my home than anywhere on earth. Oh God, the way she smells, the gleam of her paneling, the feel of that bleached teak sole under bare feet, the way the engine cover creaks as I descend the companionway, the way it feels to lean back in the cockpit, gaze up at the sails and steer with bare toes, the sound of the water close over my shoulder as she heels and gets down to business, the way her gorgeous little tail kicks up over each wave, the sunsets and sunrises and afternoons and rain on the water offshore and oh I don't know. See, I don't only go racing with a band of hooligans, although that is more fun than should be legal. I also cruise melodically in the best cruising grounds in the world - Maine. As we go down east past the fog factory at Monhegan, I always think, hello fog, goodbye jerks. Loran and radar notwithstanding, Maine is nasty enough at its nastiest to remain free of the crowds and amazmg feats of lubberliness one sees in more temperate climes. Way down east to the Bay of Fundy and out to Newfoundland are amazing sights and wild tides, but I always re-enter Penobscot Bay feeling like I am returning to the basis of all comparison. The fact is, a Concordia yawl can provide a tremendously wide variety of the ultimate in sailing experiences. We all continue to marvel at their ability to bring home the silver through a myriad of ratings. And as for cruising, well we've all done it a lot and I ask you, which 40 footer or for that matter anything-footer would you prefer for a rough passage? It's wierd. Concordias must be the only boats in the world that seem to grow higger not smaller as the wind increases. And as for beauty, we I am reminded of the time, way off the Cow Yard I sailed past an early morning lobster fisherman. The old Downeaster upped his hat and said, "Now ain't that a pretty boat!" And so they are, none prettier. We should, no must realize what we have - what Ray Hunt and Waldo Howland created - and what we owe to the world to preserve. Wholesome, thoroughly good things are not common. I wish our country and the world could still produce such pure magnificence."
Thank you, Elizabeth. And remember, never let a season pass without sailing on a Concordia.
This issue of The Concordian has been a pleasure to edit because of the wealth of contributions from our readers. It's the letters that you send in that make our newsletter interesting, so keep up the good work and keep those letters coming. I can't make all the cruises, races and events so please share news of all things Concordian wtth our readers. And for you new and old subscnbers, $5 a year will help with postage and printing expenses. The Fall edition will be out early October.
The 55th season of Concordia sailing is upon us. All 103 are still with us, and most will be supplying their lucky owners and crew with hours of enjoyment on the water. Keep your topsides fair and your brightwork glistening. Fair winds and smooth sailing.