Issue #16, Fall 1993
South Wharf came alive over the weekend of August 28, 1993 with the 55th Concordia Reunion hosted by Concordia Company in South Dartmouth, MA. This wasn't, of course, the 55th time Concordias have had a massive get together, but rather a celebration of the 55th year since the Concordia yawl class was founded. When JAVA was built to replace Llewellyn Howland's ESCAPE which was destroyed in the hurricane of 1938. The 1988 rendezvous to celebrate the 50th saw over 70 Concordia yawls in Padanaram and the 55th had 30 in attendance. The 55th was held in conjunction with the second annual Padanaram Regatta, a wooden boat regatta organized by Brodie MacGregor and Donald Tofias.
The Friday night social under the tent on South Wharf was an occasion to renew old and new friendships, tell stories, examine Concordias and plot strategy for the the upcoming race. Buzzards Bay had been quite foggy and choppy all day making navigation a challenge and many out of town skippers and crews were ready for some fun and libation. Race day, Saturday morning, dawned grey with a southwester kicking up to 20. Waldo Howland showed up at the skipper's meeting to check out the fleet and I asked him what sail combination he would recommend: "I've always favored mainsails more than big jibs so I would think that a full main and a small jib would be what I'd use. Of course, I've known others to use a number one and a reefed main with some success." As we headed out of Padanaram for the 1130 start (with reduced visibility due to fog and haze) we realized that even less sail area might be appropriate as winds were now up to 30 on our meter. I was sailing aboard ABACO, skippered by Jonathan Goldweitz, and we had a very good start at Gong 9 just south of Middle Ledge. The first leg was a close reach and we sailed with a number 2, reefed main and mizzen and were first around the leeward mark, Gong 10 near Weepeecket, followed closely by BANDA, SHIMAERA and WESTRAY. We doused the mizzen and put a second reef in the main as we were close hauled and now getting gusts up to 38 knots. BANDA, a sloop rigged 41 really stretched her legs in these conditions and she was first to the weather mark at Lone Rock near Quick's Hole. SHIMAERA was close on ABACO's tail the entire weather leg. The final reach back to the Padanaram breakwater saw a slight decrease in wind velocIty and we shook out both reefs and hoisted both mizzen and stays'l, ever wary of SHIMAERA right on our transom. BANDA got the gun and managed to save her time (total elapsed 3:32:56) by 58 seconds over ABACO. Then came SHIMAERA. WESTRAY,CROCODILE, WINNIE of BOURNE and DAME of SARK. Donald Tofias had chartered the J-Boat SHAMROCK V for the race, and even though they started 30 minutes after the Concordias, she passed us somewhere down the weather leg. She sailed with a stays'l and reefed main and Donald, when asked how it felt to drive a "J" in such conditions sald: "It's like riding a 747 bareback! And only $6,000 a day." OFF CALL ripped out her jib but finished in seaman like fashion under main and mizzen.
An awards dinner followed on South Wharf after the race. Lee Davidson, skipper of BANDA collected the Howland Trophy for best corrected time in the Concordia fleet. BANDA #52 was built in 1957 for Bill Stetson, a very successful sailor, who modified her slightly to improve performance. This included a lead keel and tall sloop rig which was stepped about 8 inches aft of the usual location. Unfortunately these changes invoked a rating penalty and Stetson sold her after two seasons. Lee, who grew up around Padanaram, recalls that "Concordias were the sleds of the fifties, and all the hot sailors had one at the time." Past winners of the Howland Trophy are:
- 1965: WINNIE OF BOURNE,
- 1967 and 1969: HARRIER,
- 1971: TYNAJE (now TOSCA),
- 1973 and 1975: LORNE (now PRINCIPIA),
- 1977: SONNET,
- 1978: ABACO,
- 1979 and 1980: MALAY,
- 1982 and 1985: ABSINTHE,
- 1983: MOONFLEET,
- 1992: HARBINGER.
Concordlas racing, in order of finish, were: BANDA, ABACO, SHIMAERA, WESTRAY, CROCODILE, WINNIE OF BOURNE, DAME OF SARK, SAFARI, GOLONDRINA, SONNET, ARAWAK, RAKA, MALAY, WILD SWAN, HORIZON, EDEN, BEAUTY, OFF CALL, KIVA. Others in attendance: HAVEN, HERO, RENAISSANCE, MAGIC, ABSINTHE, YANKEE, SNOWBIRD and SUMATRA. Many thanks to Donald, Brodie, Gerry Smith and the crew at Concordia Company for a great 55th reunion and Padanaram Regatta. Padanaram III will be August 27, 1994. There was a video being filmed during the Reunion and details are to be found elsewhere in this issue. By the way, mention of the official ARAWAK support vehicle cannot go unreported: a black Jeep Grand Cherokee, all factory logos removed and replaced with red cove stripes, stars forward, moons aft, name and hailing port and "battle flag" on transom. Is she documented, Donald? In the apparel department there was John Bullard in his red and white striped "where's Waldo" shirt. Hmmm. And award for best original artwork, EDEN's battle flag and custom "55th Concordia Reunion" T-shirts. Nice work Gerald. EDEN was the only Concordia sporting port and starboard stays'l sheets for quick jibing. Looks pretty high-tech. And a big "atta boy" to Hank Bornhofft who single handed MAGIC down and back from Gloucester.
And speaking of SUMATRA. I had a good look at her in the process of being rebuilt at Concordia. You may recall from Concordian #13 that she was blown ashore in Marion harbor during Hurricane Bob in 1991, received much damage in the removal process, and was then acquired by Concordia. Currently she is in the carpenter shed (where ARAWAK ex-FEATHER was rebuilt) and finally getting on with her rebirth. Her starboard side is heavily gouged and will receive a number of new planks. The starboard cabin trunk is removed (it had been severly split) and a replacement has been made. The starboard sheer plank and covering board were removed and I watched as the double planked transom was being removed. All spars will need to be replaced. Her interior, in semi-"convertible" fashion, appears to be in excellent condition. Brodie mentioned that there may be a new owner very soon.
If one is from Padanaram or keeps their Concordia there, this whole business of "Concordia lore" is taken pretty much for granted. But as a visitor from the "other coast" where yachting traditions often do not run as deep, a visit is always special. To see in person the places described in Llewellyn and Waldo Howland's books really brings the stories alive. To run into and talk with Waldo himself, or Alden Trull (both retired) at the Concordia yard or have a leisurely chat with Dan Strohmeier aboard MALAY at South Wharf, is pretty interesting stuff for a Concordia fan. Or how about a visit to the attic at Concordia, where spare and castaway parts for the yawls are stored? Stancions, rudder post caps, mast tangs, mlscellaneous bronze hardware. etc. are loosely sorted. And, if the parts aren't made up, the molds are there. In the castaway department were stacks of old slatted engine enclosures, no doubt given up by owners who repowered with noisey diesels that needed more efficient sound control, and a complete main cabin cupboard/bookshelf installation. I was told that an inventory was in progress and a catalog will be produced listing stock items such as Concordia smoke heads, bunk hardware and many of the attic items. Unfortunately, I didn't see anything I needed, but Peter Castnet picked up a dodger frame and forward hatch canvas for OFF CALL.
It's always interesting to attend a Concordia reunion and I've given up trying to, in my own mind, decide which boat was "the best" since too many qualify, and what's the point, anyway? That each Concordia is well loved by her owner and that she receives all she requires and satisfies her owner in return is what counts, and my impression is that all is well. Nonetheless, a few comments: #67 has recently come out of a major refit by Manchester Marine and was featured at the Newport Wooden Boat Show in June. In addition to some structural repairs which include some new frames, she sports a beautiful new Dynel and epoxy deck and cabin top, new cockpit seats and coamings, new locust toe rails, and as Edgar Crocker called it, "a retirement present to the boat," a new carbon-fiber spar, which weighs 80 pounds without rigging. Hopefully there will be more reports on this proJect. CROCODILE looks very sharp. In the topsides department, it would be hard to surpass DAME OF SARK's #86 beautiful bright hull which received a new coat of varnish just prior to the reunion. Absolutely stunning. And in the "phoenix" department, Peter Gallant has really done a number on WINNIE OF BOURNE #11 which over the last several years has been completely rebuilt. The entire interior, cockpit, deck, toe rails and rig are new. Peter added a double berth to port forward, full length stainless water tanks, with 95 gallon capacity for his hot and cold pressure system with deck shower, under the main bunks and a beautiful new galley. He added 3 feet to the main mast (masthead, double spreader rig) and when rafted next to BANDA and SONNET, both 41's, has the same mast height. The cabin isn't quite complete. An interesting detail is that Peter painted the covering boards (WINNIE has the original inboard style toe rails) white to match the hull and it seems to be a nice improvement. And in the "phoenix in progress" department is GOLONDRINA #65. John Eide is starting at the top and working down in bringing her back to life (see Concordian #13). So far John has rebuilt the cabin top, hatches and skylights and they look first rate. Next winter's project are the cabin sides, bleached by years of intense sun in the Caribbean, and decks. And in the shed at Concordia was PRINCIPIA #60 who has new decks and teak toe rails and is slowly coming along with her rebuild.
There is little doubt that Dan Strohmeier's MALAY #77 is the most personalized Concordia of the fleet. Besides the trademark blue sheer paint, Dan has spent years tweaking MALAY to suit his desires. I was given the grand tour and share with fellow Concordians some of the features. First, one should know that Dan started sailing his fint Concordia MALAY #2 in 1951 and kept her until 1972 when he purchased the current MALAY #77. The two MALAYS have sailed in 15 Bermuda and 16 Halifax races, with a first and second overall in both events. As an engineer and highly experienced offshore sailor, he's modified MALAY into a vessel that fits his ideals. Having sailed a Concordia for 21 years prior to purchasing #77. Dan had some definite ideas on a few changes he would make the second time around and started off by modifiying the cockpit: the sole is raised approximately 4", the seats are at deck level and the under seat areas have been enclosed. The result is that the volume has been cut down by a third, thus reducing the effect of being pooped. The under seat lockers go through to the hull and new stainless fuel tanks are now outboard under the deck. "We've had the cockpit full, but the large drains make short work of it," said Dan. The floor of the cockpit hinges open for access to the stuffing box, which is modified with large "ears" to facilitate adjustment, and a stowage area which includes a 300' reel of line, collapsible jugs and Sea Frost refrigeration components. A wheel was added, as Dan said, "I think one can steer better for a longer time with a wheel than a tiller." There is an Autohelm auto pilot attached to the wheel which Dan did not have kind words for. The companionway has been narrowed by 6" a side with inserts, which house instrument readouts. There are spray curtains attached to the life lines near the cockpit area. Forward on the cabin top, either side of the skylight are large storage bins and an inflatable is stowed on top. The forward hatch, with hinges forward, has been modified with wedges and canvas dodger to remain open at sea for fresh air. "This one is drier open than the old one was closed, and it will support a man's weight while open." Dan commented, he has switched to a large but light Fortress anchor which is stored upright againt the port shrouds and has a small windlass on the foredeck. The main mast is aluminum. "There were quite a few sitting around the yard without boats so I weighed them all and installed the one that was lightest but had the thickest walls." Below looks quite smaller than the usual Concordia 39, but that's because there's so much additional gear. Dan admits she a little low in the water, "but after all, we've just returned from a six week cruise to Bras d'Or Lake in Nova Scotia." On top of the engine cover is a complete tool box, bolted down in case of a roll over. The companionway ladder hinges up so "nobody kills themself when the engine cover is removed." There are numerous electrical charging and switching controls, one that prevents a loran crash when the engine is started or battery is switched. I was curious about a length of black hose with a small spigot hanging near the sink. "That's fuel for the (hand machined) alcohol stove. Ever try using a gallon jug and a funnel at sea?" It comes from a larger tank aft of the engine. There's a Sea Frost refer system "and we were never without ice cubes the whole six weeks. Great system." The main table is quite unique. First off, it's designed to support the weight of a crew member crashing into it at sea. It's fixed in place and instead of gimbles, which require weights, "which someone is always kicking," the starboard leaf has multiple adjustment levels above and below level to accommodate heel. Since this is built right into the port bulkhead, there is no stove, but an Espar forced air unit is installed aft of the Yanmar engine. On the aft face and also to starboard on the forward end are numerous drawers to house navigation and sundry gear and in the middle section is a cupboard for cassette tapes. Overhead is a fold down chart table and bright lights for reading. In addition to loran are radar. GPS and various communication radios, including an electronic fog horn "which got a lot of use this trip." In the head is a storage locker for code flags along with an Electro-San treatment system. At one point Dan pulled out a cross cut hand saw, stowed on top of the forward water tank. "This was required equipment on one race. I can't ever remember needing it, but obviously someone did once." While the purist might cringe at the way MALAY is fitted out. Dan has certainly done about everything possible to ingeniously cram 50 feet of boat into 39 feet. And I suspect that I missed seeing most of the details. A discussion of many of the modifications to MALAY, EDEN and BANDA are given in Waldo Howland's wonderful 1988 book A Life in Boats - The Concordia Years, Appendix II. Dan has also written "A Tale of Two Bermuda Races" in Concordia Yawls,the First 50 Years, describing the race from on board MALAY.
David Catlett, Wickford. RI
(August) Hull #7 has adopted me as her caretaker. I have managed to outline the many tasks ahead for the winter... A yearhas passed, I now realize how sketchy the outline for tasks can be. As another winter approaches I hope this year's outline is a reflection of some greater wisdom. Originally I had intended to take care of the "bottom" the first year, "interior," followed by "decks" to complete a three year restoration. However, the interior had to come out to address the bottom properly. Framing is a current topic with six pairs of frames being replaced, steam bent, with all new epoxy lammate sisters in between. One frame pair between the chainplates at the mast step will be of the epoxy laminate method for strength against mast compression. I am anxious to see the keel in and ballast on before winter so that I can get on with the restoration at my chosen pace for winter projects. I appreciated the support from the collective of Concordia lovers and welcome any interested contributions from those who have been there. Finally, if anyone needs crew, call me! 401 295-0737.
Mark Webby, Onerahi Whagarei, New Zealand
28 Cockburn St., Onerahi Whangarei. New Zealand: (May) Please forgive me for not writing for a while. I'm not too great at letter writing, plus I just don't have the time to spare. Due to an accident yesterday where I broke my ankle, I'm now grounded with a little more time to catch up. Concordia #104 is progressing very slowly: the cabin sides are on, varnished inside and out, the house corners are dovetailed and pinned. The portholes are bolted in. These I made earlier because they are not available. The cabin top is all framed with beams, partners, !odgmg knees, hanging knees and also a finger grab rail around on the cabin to cover up the cabin side joint. I've also faired the hull up properly, red leaded and undercoated the topsides. I know progress looks slow but I've had to work on a job during the week to pay for the many items which is on a 55' carvel planked yawl, built to the highest standards I've seen. It is about 6-8 months away from launching, so after that project I will have a little more time for #104. This is very frustrating but I've had no alternative. Here is a small list of gear that I've picked up: cockpit winches, two MW 8 Murray bottom action winches, two MW 4 Murray bottom action winches. For the mast I have a MW 4 and a Lewmar wire winch and on the boom for reefing I have a Murray minor (bottom action). The rudder stock is of 1 1/2" bronze which cost a frightening $600! Seacocks for cockpit drains, toilet discharge and saltwater inlet, $160 each. Chain, anchors, fastenings, rod for bolts, spar timber and many other small items. There is still a lot to do and a lot to get. I don't know how much longer I'll be. I'll just have to keep going on bit by bit. Happy sailing to you all.
George Hartman, Bethesda, MD
Renovation/Restoration notes: Power: Replaced Westerbeke 4-107 with Yanmar 3GM30F with Morse single lever control in original location below seat. Balmar alternator and regulator. Engine start battery plus two house batteries (gelcells). Aside from reworking the engine bed this is an ideal swap. All filters etc. are now readily accessible. Installation is quieter, cooler, lighter, and more effecient (fuel economy and cruising range increased) 6 112 knots @ cruise with fixed two bladed prop. No changes to interior cabinet work required. New instrument panel goes in original location. This is the repowering now recommended by Concordia and is hard to beat.
Decks: Replaced original canvas with Dynel & epoxy finished with Awlgrip. Looks much the same but is much more durable and watertight, especially at joint with coach roof and at chain plates and penetrations. This is the deck system recommended by Giffy Full. Neither of these renovations are original with me but both are so satisfactory that they are worth serious consideration by others requiring these renewals.
Barry Light, New York, NY
(May) For the record, the major work on STREAMER this season was to wood the mast and revarnish. I will be painting the interior as well as regular hull painting. I use Interlux # 1 white for the hull and cabin top and Fiberglass Bottomkote green for the bottom and Interlux alkyd blue for the boot stripe. I am also having some success with Z-Spar Flagship varnish. I have a Mansfield type 1 MSD installed. Because of my non-traditional interior, I am able to put the holding tank under the pilot berth. I would like to know if other people are having mildew trouble. This spring I spent a lot of time killing it off (with bleach). It appeared all over the interior. Ah well, the joy of spring fitting out.
Graham Pope, Wiscasset, ME
(May) SAXON is having a face lift: new canvas on deck, a couple of new planks and general finishing up. Nothing major, and she seems in excellent condition for her 40 years, built in 1953. I plan to go to the Eggemoggm Reach Regatta with two octogenarians and a dog for crew, but we'll be there. I think Alida Camp and I are the only origianl owners left. She tells me she had to have a couple of planks renewed this year on THISTLEDOWN. I am sad to report that I lost my 1st mate Alice almost two years ago.
Kim Gallant, Portsmouth, NH
(May) Thought I should send in my $5.00 before risking the termination of The Concordian. I always enjoy reading other people's exploits and enjoyments. When I bought this old bird I never suspected I was joining a club of such wonderful people. Last year we entered "WINNIE" in 3 races. At Eggemoggin the fog was too thick in the morning to race, and I took it on the most authoritative advice that the race would be postponed until Sunday. The crew and I went over to a friend's house on Deer Island and raced 7' dinghys and drank beer all afternoon. Upon our return we discovered the race had been run after all. The crew was so disappointed they drove home. At the Padanaram Regatta we were 2nd right behind HARBINGER at the first mark. Upon rounding we snapped the jib halyard and a lifeline eye and retired from the race. By the next week we were really ready for the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport. Frank misread the watch so we blew the start. It took an hour to make it up, but in the light, shifty winds we were first to the weather mark! We drifted downhill and the entire fleet fell into a big hole, all piling up together. I was accused of running my engine, I suppose because WINNIE drifts so well. The wind switched and we beat back to an exciting finish. We hadn't seen another Concordia in hours when we crossed the line and when we checked out the results, we had won! A fine finish to the season.
WINNIE is looking better every year. I've installed 3 new stainless tanks for a total of 95 gallons of water. This gives us enough to screw a hose to the galley tap and have a cockpit shower! Hot and cold running water is great. The head was finally closed in and nearly finished this year. I'm still looking for a sink. I've installed a holding tank behind (outboard) the toilet, with the controis above and behind. There are two "Y" valves and a diaphram pump, a deck pumpout plate and a vent piercing the deck. The system allows direct overboard discharge, or into the holding tank, and from the tank either overboard or to be sucked out through the deck. I used a custom built stainless tank. The system was made easier because the entire interior of the boat is being built new. Bottom paint is KL 900 Komposition. It doesn't work that great at preventing growth, and has to be scrubbed at least once a season, but when I haul her out I scrub the bottom with a 3M Scotch Brite pad on a broom handle and hose it off. (The environmental runouff will probably be illegal next year.) The paint is so soft that I never have to sand or scrape. Just wipe off the bottom in the spring and paint! I've had bad luck with Epifanes varnish. It's too soft, crazes horribly and is difficult to apply. I've been using Plus 5, which handles much better, is harder and lasts longer. I'm curious what folks use for topside paint. I used Petit enamel which didn't make it through two seasons. This year I'll try either Petit or lnterlux urethane, hoping for longer life. I'm still looking for a Concordia woodstove.
Ben Niles, Seattle, WA
First, the maintenance (it sometimes seems like the main event): ALLURE had a spring haulout for numbers 1 and 2 keelbolt replacement by Stewart McDougall (of KODAMA #46) and painting. Seemed like it rained every day for three weeks. Also pulled the sticks to get them to a conyenient working height after 5 years of varnishing from a bosun's chair. On the whole, maintenance is minimized by ALLURE's present Seattle homeport location, where she spends the summer in salt water with a light sun cover and winters alongside our houseboat in Lake Union's fresh water with a full winter cover. Then, the sailing: I suppose most of us end the summer wishing we'd spent more time on our boats. This is particularly the case for us, having traded an active sailing schedule for active 1 and 3 year old boys. ALLURE spent the summer without leaving Puget Sound, although we did have some great weekend "cruises" with the boys. One of the things that has helped in this adjustment has been our participation in the Northwest's wooden boat racing circuit, known as WYRA - Wooden Yacht Racing Association. The races provide impetus to get on the water and a fun day-sailing format. WYRA's goals include bringing some standardization and more participants to a number of independently run wooden boat races around the Northwest, by organizing them into a series, much as has been done in other areas of the country with the assistance of WoodenBoat magazine. The local organization is responsible for organizing the event, providing the committee boat, and establishing the course and start time. WYRA provides standardized sailing instructions for other aspects of the race, handicaps, committee equipment and someone to officiate the start, take times and calculate results. The series consists of eight races total at six events. Scoring is low-point, to encourage more participation at the less well attended events. Boats must attend at feast three events to be elgible for series scoring, which is based on each boat's four best results. To keep things on the informal side and encourage defensive sailing, no protests are heard but the race committee will disquahfy all boats involved in a collision serious enough to cause damage, regardless of fault. Handicapping is "performance based" and is the most unusual part of the format. Established and widely used in New Zealand, this system uses each boat's actual results to adjust handicaps, as is done in golf handicapping. Psychologically, this takes some getting used to, as it measures both actual boat and crew (rather than estimating potential) performance. The handicaps are recalculated after each race. If you've just done well, you must remind yourself that making your handicap tougher should be taken as a compliment. Those whose handicaps decline are, of course, getting the opposite message. This makes each participant race as much against their prior relative performance level as against the rest of the fleet. Some boats race with spinnakers, although most do not. This year participation averaged better that 30 boats per race, although only a dozen attended enough races to qualify for series scoring. The boats that came out on top are those that have raced the series relatively better than they have in the past. This creates a tendency to recognize a wide variety of boat types and, if everything is working right, is similar to "most improved" awards. While some complain that the system fails to reward superior performance, general acceptance among the participants has been good. Representing the Concordias, in the 1991 series ALLURE edged out IRENE #103 for top spot by a half point. The following year IRENE took third in the series, a quarter point ahead of ALLURE. This year ALLURE fell to fifth, two places ahead of IRENE as the handicaps program makes it harder and harder for former top finishers. The two boats are very well matched. Often the lead will be exchanged several times between the two yawls, making for the added excitement of a one design match race within the larger race. KODAMA, CANDIDE #39, and VINTAGE #51 have also participated. The real pleasure, however, is seeing the variety of other beautiful boats on the water. The racing is just the catalyst that gets us all sailing together.
Thomas Franklin, Cambridge, MA
I hope for at least one more trip to Nantucket before we haul WESTRAY in mid October, but she has already covered more miles than any other season since I have owned her. At the end of June we sailed to Bermuda with the Marion to Bermuda racers (but not ourselves racing). The entire route was a tight reach in 15 to 20 knots and seas averaging four to seven feet: WESTRAY consistantly made a very comfortable 6 to 7 knots although the ride was a, little wet owing to the good air and moderate seas. We never lowered the #3 headsail or mizzen but did all our trimming with the main, often sailing with just the headsail and mizzen. A newly installed Navico Tillerpilot performed flawlessly and provided the crew plenty of time 'to relax in the cockpit and enJoy the ride, which we certainly did. We also greatly appreciated being able to cake the berths to compensate for heel. In fact, I can't imagine how one sleeps under such conditions on more "modern" cruisers with fixed berths.
In Bermuda we were most generously and comfortably hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club which I highly recommend. The return tnp was more varied, a few days of little or no air followed by nearly too much from the middle of the Gulf Stream to 100 miles off the Rhode Island coast, perhaps 12 foot seas woth 25 knots of air counter to the stream and therefore a little choppy. I timed our cresting a wave every 3 1/2 seconds for eight hours. After weekend cruises around Buzzards Bay we overnighted to Maine for the Eggomoggin Reach Regatta at the end of July, arriving in Penobscot Bay in pea soup fog which lasted a couple of days. (Early in August is not the best time to cruise to Maine.) The feeder race from Camden began in light air which improved throughout the day culminating in a wild and crowded rounding of Mark Island at the entrance to the Deer Island Thoroughfare. I'm sorry to say I don't know the results but it was a very exciting face offering a variety of light and heavy air challenges and the beauty of some of the best wooden boats on the East coast sailing rail under in the most scenic cruising waters of Maine. The next day's race was anti-climactic to say the least; faint air at the start declined all day so that only a handful of 123 starters had finished by 7 p.m. Everyone was terribly frustrated fighting an often losing battle against the tide, watching zaphyrs move boats only twenty yards away, changing sails and strategies every thirty minutes. HARBINGER performed her usual magic finding wind and winning the Concordia trophy and WINNIE of BOURNE fought a tenacious and hours long battle against the tide to cover the last hundred yards of the course and became the only other Concordia to finish. Fortunately for all the frustrated racers Elizabeth Meyer provided an extremely generous and gourmet champagne buffet aboard Sumurun (Endeavour was delayed in shipyard maintenance), a spectacular 95' Fife ketch, welcoming aboard approximately thirty Concordians for the evening and sent them home feeling much better than when they arrived.
Dennis Gross, Olympia, WA
SOVEREIGN is slowly making a re-birth and I am pleased with how she is turning out. I am slow, but will only settle for perfection. I replaced all the cockpit wood and even did new coamings. What a job. I built a gigantic jig to bend and shape these boards, and in fact, I ruined one trying to figure out how they originally bent and attached them to the cabin side. $100 a board! The original stock wood was dry so it did not bend very well. I ended up using a car jack to force the last few inches of coaming against the after section of the cabin side. It worked. I also updated the wiring and put a new 15 breaker electric panel in, took out all through hull fittings and cockpit drains, shined them up, lubricated and replaced them. Also replaced all the copper tubing for venting and diesel fuel. I've taken out 5 keel bolts so far and intend on replacing all of them. I used a cold chisel to break the nuts loose. What a job, although now I know how to do it. I believe the keel bolts were original and they were in good shape except for just below the nut where they were pitted and rusted. Winter is a tough time for me. You know, it's cold in the boat shed and hard to work under those conditions, but we are pushing this year because we think we can see a small light at the end of the tunnel. Our hope is to get SOVEREIGN wet by mid summer. I think it's been 4 years now and she needs to feel salt water sliding under her hull again. We still have a ton of stuff to do but we keep at it. Any of you out there that need some support or information, please contact me as I have a wealth of information. 206-866-7991. These Concordias deserve to live forever and we our doing our part on SOVEREIGN.
Edgar Crocker, Manchester, MA
(While we hope to share further information on how the new carbon fiber spar is working out. John Winder of Manchester Marine, the yard entrusted with CROCODILE, has sent an overview of the recent work performed.)
Winter 91-92: Surveyed by Capt. G.W. Full, replacement of sheer plank, 8 frames aft under cockpit, covering board, canvas decks replaced with Dynel and WEST epoxy (one layer of Dynel over one layer of fiberglass cloth), replacement of locust toerails and cockpit coamings. Housesides and topsides stripped. Repairs to topside butts.
Winter 92-93: Additional inspection by Capt. G.W. Full & Co. Replacement of cabintop canvas with Dynel and WEST System (one layer of Dynel over one layer of fiberglass triaxial fabric). All housetop furniture and cockpit well furniture stripped.
August 1993: Replacement of mainmast with carbon fiber mast. Refinished all other spars with Awlgrip. Replaced sails with Spectra.
Winter 93-94: Replacement of maststep, floors under maststep, installation of chain plate tierods, replace keel bolts, strip bottom, refastening.
Jonathan Goldweitz, Stamford, CT
After leaving the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport we had a perfect 54 mile close reach to Shelter Island, one of our favorite cruising stops, especially off season. Our last race of the season was the SYC sponsored Stamford-Denmark Friendship Race which had 220 participants. We won our class of 22 boats by 1.5 minutes on corrected. 4th over the line on elapsed time. We had 20-25 knots of shifty NW winds, set the chute and and jibed it perfectly, but almost lost it as the wind shifted putting chute and main boom in the water and couldn't steer off the wind. As we started to douse the chute the halyard shackle popped open, so we had a real quick takedown! The pin on the bronze Merriman shackle had bent @45 degrees. Maybe we had a little too much sail up. While cleaning out the ABACO section of our attic yesterday (to make room for gear soon to be stowed for the winter) we found an old log my brother Mark had aboard from 1971. It listed all our trips, weather, sail combos, crew, radio calls (pre-cellular), even expenses. I had bought a chart for $1.58!
Benjamin Mendlowitz, Brooklin, ME
STARLIGHT continues to be beautifully cared for by Benjamin River Marine in Brooklin, ME. At the same yard. BELLES #68 (now owned by Benjamin River Marine) is undergoing a major refit includmg a new keel. Her keel bolts showed a lot of deterioration, putting the fear of dropping a ballast keel in my daydreams. So this winter's work will include replacement of at least easy-to-get-to keel bolts on STARLIGHT. If that goes well we'll probably do a few sister frames that were missed during earlier repairs and also arrived at Benjamin River Marine, challenging KATRINA #94 and FABRILE #90 for the best maintained Concordia on the river. I had a chance to see lots of other Concordias at the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta this year and the overall condition of the boats is superb. MIRAGE #32 and WINNIE OF BOURNE # 11 were both looking like new and I hope the enthusiasm for the class stays at this high level for years to come. Now, a little pitch for the 1994 Calendar of Wooden Boats. I've taken a fair amount of flak for STARLIGHT being the cover girl this year but hope fellow Concordia owners will understand the appeal of that shot. The order form for the Calendar includes a discount for all quantities and you will notice, the more copies you request, the more you save per copy.
(From a press release: For those who appreciate gorgeous photography and fine boats, a new Calendar of Wooden Boats is cause for celebration, and this year's edition is no exception. The 1994 Calendar offers a new magical collection of exquisite wooden boats, as seen through the lens of marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz. This award-winning calendar, now in its twelfth year of publication, features breath-taking photographs of classic sailboats, powerboats and historic boats. All are captured in full color and are suitable for framing once the year is past. Meticulously printed on high-quality paper using 12 custom mixed colors, the Calendar features an outstanding wooden boat every month. Entertaining and insightful captions from maritime historian Maynard Bray accompany every photograph.)
Seth Kohn, Mattapoisett, MA
(Announcement of new yard called Triad Boatworks) When CHOSEN had new decks and other work done at Concordia, the reconstruction project was headed by Greg Tuxworth, then the General Yard Manager. We came to have a close working relationship and his practical and technical knowledge of boats and sailing was overwhelming, especially when it came to the Concordia yawls. This summer the time seemed right for starting up a new boatyard and Peter Costa, then Master Carpenter at Concordia, inquired about joining us in our venture. He truly has a gift in understanding and making come to reality the special needs of a wooden boat. Naturally we were delighted as Peter made our effort a true triad. Greg brings to the endeavor his practical knowledge as well as his Naval Architectural background, Peter's contribution is his almost legendary skill as a Master Shipwright. And lastly, I bring to the effort my business and engineering acumen. Physically, Triad Boatworks is in Mattapoisett, MA. Although the yard does not reside on the waterfront, we have made special arrangements to service boats from Cape Cod to Newport and beyond without a hassle for the Owner. Our prime focus will be in maintaining each vessel for trouble free operation, safety and enjoyment at an extremely competitive cost. Presently in the planning stage are some projects on three Concordia yawls and a S&S designed ketch. 508 758-4224.
Jim Shaw of Shaw Productions writes: A new video about Concordia yawls will be released in time for Christmas. The hour-long production features beautiful footage of Concordias under sail, dockside, above deck and below deck and during all hours of the day. Most intriguing to readers of this newsletter will be the interviews with Concordia owners and the in-depth conversations with Waldo Howland at his home in Padanaram. The show is being edited from over 25 hours of footage and is sure to contain a surprise or two for even the most knowledgable of Concordia owners. The video takes a look at the Concordia design inside and out as well as looking forward to some of the new technology being tried on the beloved Concordias such as carbon fiber masts. The video takes you through a visit to the factory which built the mast, to the yard which stepped it as well as sharing with you Waldo Howland's reaction to it. This professionally priced video is priced at $29.95 plus $3.50 shipping and handling and is available from Shaw Productions, (producer of "A Passion For Their Craft - The Builders, Owners and Designers of Wooden Boats") Box 444, McFarland, WI 53588. 608 838-6221. It has been suggested by several Concordia owners familiar with the footage and interviews that there might be sufficient interest from Concordia owners to justify the production of a much longer version. The interviews with Waldo Howland alone would probably rivet the attention of Concordia owners for at least an hour. Add to that interesting profiles of many of the owners and you've got a pretty long video. Let us know what you think.
Dr. Graham Pope of SAXON mentioned that he thought he and Alida Camp of THISTLEDOWN were the only original Concordia yawl owners left. Actually John Ryan of NIAM #24 and Dr. John Bullard of HAVEN OF PADANARAM #1OO are also in that select group. Four other Concordia yawls are still with their original families: JAVELIN #57 with the Smiths, MISTY #66 with Tom McIntosh, CROCODILE #67 with the Crockers and ABACO #102 with John Goldweitz...
Concordia fleet (Class C) race results from the 1993 Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport:
- 5 - BANDA
- 6 - SHIMAERA
- 8 - SONNET
- 9 - WINNIE OF BOURNEI
- 10 - ABACO
Donald Tofias reports that ARAWAK #29 is wintering in Maine at Rockport Marine and will spend most of next season in Maine waters. "I believe that presently there are more Concordias in Maine than Massachusetts," said Donald...
David Palmer reports that he has changed the name of #99 from TIDA back to the original PORPOISE. "This year PORPOISE had a Luke 3 blade prop installed. What a difference..."
John Dunbar of Benjamin River Marine is the new owner of BELLES #68. As noted earlier, she is undergoing extensive keel and other repairs after suffering several years of neglect ..
The previous edition reported on the South Pacific cruise of HEART OF GOLD, a 50' 1990 custom Concordia from Oakland, CA. When I last talked with Jim Corenman on the ham radio they had departed Bora Bora and were havmg a great time. I suspect not many moon and star logos have been seen in these waters...
Sad to report that Dr. Clarke Staples, original owner of OFF CALL #58, passed away earlier this year. He had sold the boat several years ago...
I believe everyone is interested to hear about how different paints and varnishes have been working on the Concordia fleet. For the first time we had a disappointment with Z Spar gloss 100 white topside enamel, a product we've used successfully for years on IRENE and other boats. It started to craze and peel at the end of the first season. Before we've been able to make it last three seasons. Z Spar has been slow in commenting on the problem. I would still agree that Epifanes varnish looks great and lasts quite well but for the most part is a pain to apply. I'm curious if anyone has repowered with an engine beside the Yanmar 3GM30F, and if so, what their experience has been...
Need a gift for that special mate? How about a set of matching moon and star earrings, 14 karat gold with diamond? Only $570. Or an 18 karat "Concordia Covestripe With Diamonds Brooch" for $1480? Contact AGA Correa, 800 341-0788. And for the guys, just what every really macho skipper needs, an authentic reproduction of the L. Francis Herreshoff Cannon. It's 16" long, made of polished bronze, rides on a sold teak carriage and fires 10 guage blanks (or whatever). Someone trying to port tack you, barge at the start, or anchor in your favorite spot? No reason to yell and scream, just show them you've got "protection" (keep it polished, of course) and I'm certain they'll see it your way. Maybe Los Angeles driving habits can be adapted to yachting. Only $1,095 and available from Sportsline, 203 488-2558...
We seem to have lost tract of ACTEA #17, last known to be in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Please report any known sightings...
Phil Brazeau, skipper of CANDIDE #39, reported that the coupling on his galley sink drain had detertorated and began to leak. This didn't seem too serious until he realized that this was right at the waterline and could create a sinking! Phil recommends that you check the condition of this coupling and replace it if necessary. Phil, by the way, is into varnishing and polishing. Each winter he takes home as much as he can to his shop for projects. At our spring rendezvous at Port Townsend, Phil proudly showed off, among the usual items, his completely revarnished battery box - inside and out - and highly polished Concordia berth aluminum brackets!...
I still have some Concordia fleet 16x24" burgees in stock and can have more made when the supply runs out. $30 each.
I enjoyed a two week East Coast Concordia cruise as guest, tactician and occasional dishwasher aboard ABACO this season, but as much fun as that was, you really can't expect your editor to sniff out all the news in the fleet from a West coast vantage point. The Concordian relys on teh stories you submit, so you are encouraged to drop us a line and share with your fellow Concordians. If we've not heard from you so far why not surprise us for the Spring edition? And fo you new and old subscribers, remember $5.00 a year just about covers printing and postage costs. No invoices will be sent.
This brings us to the close of another season, the fleet's 55th. Even though some of the Concordias are not currently in commission while undergoing major repair or rebuilding, they are all still extant, which is quite remarkable considering the use they get. And as they are lovingly rebuilt, cherished and cared for, the fleet renews and sustains itself. Keep up the good work.