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The Concordian

Issue #20, Fall 1995


JAVA, Concordia #1, Given to IYRS

The last issue of The Concordian reported that JAVA, Concordia #1 and built in 1938, was in rather desperate shape. Owner Weld Henshaw was seeking a solution to a stalled restoration project. At the same time, the newly formed International Yacht Restoration School, headed by former Concordia owner Elizabeth Meyer, was seeking a vessel to use for teaching yacht restoration skills. A deal was struck and JAVA was given to IYRS.

"Currently she is in very poor shape," commented Elizabeth. "Surveyor Paul Coble looked at her in the shed where she's been since 1988 (near South Freeport, ME) and said she was a wreck." It was reported that her last sail had been the return from Padanaram after the 1988 50th Concordia Reunion. She will be trucked to the new IYRS facility on Thames Street in Newport next month.

"We estimate that restoration costs on JAVA will be at least $100,000. We need to raise the money before we can start the project," said Elizabeth. JAVA will sit outside, under cover, until the new facility is complete. Most Concordia owners have received a letter from Elizabeth telling about IYRS and asking for financial support for JAVA's restoration. She hopes work will begin on January 15, 1996. Concordia's founder Waldo Howland was the first to respond with a donation of $1,000.

"The objective is to restore JAVA perfectly as well as teaching the art of yacht restoration. We hope to keep as much of the original structure as possible. After the restoration she will be retained by IYRS to teach maintenance, navigation, seamanship and boat handling. We'll do it for sure, we just have to have the financial backing to begin the project. It's important to preserve the first boat in such an important class. JAVA needs a lot. She's a tough case.

We'll restore he her exactly as she should be." For further information contact Elizabeth at (401) 849-3060. She would be happy to show visitors around the site or through two other recent acquisitions, Shamrock V and Coronet.

Fleet Correspondance:


Jim Brown, Syosset, NY

Since turning her over to Brian Harris at Rummery's Boat Yard in Biddeford, ME several years ago, SONNET has had all her steel floors removed and 18 new oak ones put in. In addition, over 38 complete frames were replaced. Sixteen more were sistered aft of the prop. She has a new horn timber and the rudder was rebuilt. There are 8 new planks, new sections of deadwood and all the keelbolts were replaced. New through-hulls. Ice box was rebuilt. All new wiring, including a panel with real circuit breakers of all things. No more glass fuses and knife switches and Rube Goldberg electrical connections. This and more. One and a half years and I'm still not ready to go. We're putting on a Furlex jib doobie as old age creeps up (on me). After 27 years of hard use and much fun, the boat deserves it. I'll put together a complete list of items done and comment later. It's been a painful ordeal - pocketbook-wise.

The story in the last issue about your sail on Endeavour was great. Elizabeth is a multi-faceted jewel. I admire her greatly. We sailed on Endeavour once out of Marblehead for a day. It was awesome to see the knotmeter climb up to 12.5 and stay there for hours at a time while slicing through 5-6 foot waves.


Ted Chylack, Duxbury, MA

We have completed another season cruising on BEAUTY, our 41' yawl. This is our 6th year of enjoyment with a terrific boat. Although she was in great shape when we acquired her from Charlie Dana, we did some upgrading each year. In addition to a new Yanmar diesel, new electronics, new galley woodwork and new teak cockpit, we had the undersides replaced and new floor timbers put in. All of the old iron strapping was removed, much to our relief, and all new stem bolts were placed. The boat now is completely watertight, even in heavy weather. Next year we are contemplating redoing the teak deck. Stripping and replacing the cotton caulking and the thiokol and sanding the deck is likely to be our winter project.

Sara and I have never sailed a more sea-kindly boat than BEAUTY. She is constantly admired by serious and casual boaters and it never ceases to amaze me how interesting this boat is to the general boating public in this area. One doesn't know the true meaning of the term "pride of ownership" until they own a Concordia yawl.


Anne & Skip Bergman, Waupun, WI

Just returned from a Labor Day week cruise of perfect wind and weather and are presently enjoying ideal fall sailing weather. We sailed out of Manitowoc and north to Washington Island, Door County and Green Bay. We left late one afternoon, and other than one passing ore boat, had the lake to ourselves for an all night sail under clear, starlit skies.

Sailing in Green Bay along the western shore of Door County (the Cape Cod of the Midwest) is scenic and the bay can kick up some fine Buzzards Bay / Concordia conditions. We had one day of 30+ knot winds with 5-6 ft. seas and great sailing under small jib and mizzen. We find the boat to be in good shape and ready to take on just about any weather. Although we still miss the salt air (it just doesn't smell right), your clothes do dry, and 110 miles of Green Bay offers a lot of sailing.

No major winter projects other than paint and varnish and a few minor upgrades. In the heat of the summer I scrapped, sanded, primed and painted the overhead and underdeck white in the forward cabin from mast to stem. It looks great and I hope I won't have to be redoing that for a long time.

PARAMOUR is now in Sturgeon Bay for fall sailing, haulout and storage Nov. 1, and will stay in Sturgeon Bay for the next season. The drive is longer for weekends, but the winds are better, the shoreline more interesting, and we'll have the option of Lake Michigan or Green Bay sailing.


Tom McIntosh, Long Grove, IL

MISTY took 3rd in class in this year's Mackinac Race. That is pretty good as this year was a tough race. Approximately five hours after a gentle spinnaker start, the clouds appeared, rolled, turned green and black and the wind blew. Fifty plus knots of sustained wind for over 2 hours. Fortunately we had taken the main down and put up the number 3. This enabled us to close reach straight up the rumbline in perfect control and make a distance of a little over 12 nautical miles to the Island. What was so amazing was the number of boats going bare poled and away from the intended direction. A big fear was being hit by one of these "out of control" runaways. A locally well known one tonner was blown 15 miles in the wrong direction - back to Chicago! After that, it was a very light air beat so we had a tough slow go of things. The only damage MISTY sustained was the loss of the loran antenna from the top of the mizzen. A second storm of shorter duration and windspeed (35 knots) conveniently arrived after I had come down from securing the antenna to the port upper mizzen shroud. The connection was still there and the loran was still working. Oh, we also lost the batten in the #3.

On our cruise home, the reverse gear failed and I spent several days trying to fix the transmission with the help of Concordia magicians via phone. Since replacement parts were impossible to get and still have time to enjoy the cruise, I cannibalized one of the snatch blocks for a pin which has held the transmission together for the rest of the summer. If Michigan and Wisconsin harbors had more anchorages and less docking arrangements, the urgency to repair it would not have been so great. MISTY had a long, hot, busy and fun summer but now needs some fall and winter TLC and maintenance.


Stillman Brown, W. Hartford, CT

HORIZON has new lower frames (metal frames removed), a new and longer mast step and some more new planking. New seacocks for cockpit scuppers (these were marked "highest priority" on the survey and the boat was not insurable until they were installed!) plus lots of little etcs.


John Towle, Framingham, MA

(July) SISYPHUS is leaving mid-July for six weeks on the coast of Labrador - good chance to try the Dickinson heater. Bob Stuart (RAKA) and Jim McHutchinson (ex-WIZARD) will each be along for parts of the trip.


Morgan Steeves, Calgary, Alberta

Having just returned from CANDIDE yesterday, as her new caregiver, I've had time to peruse a few old copies of The Concordian that Phil & Bev passed on. The information is quite interesting. Growing up a "Prairie Dog" has some wondering how I got hooked on boats & boating. As a child, I enjoyed many fresh water outings, and my brother, an avid sailor, has had a large part in fostering the interest. He introduced me to Dave Hartford who took me out for a charter aboard DORADE. Dave has been very helpful in teaching me the ways of wooden boats, and the finer points of cruising seamanship over the past few years.

My immediate plans for CANDIDE are to get her back to top form before winter sets itself upon us. I have many friends, old and new, to pitch in with their skills. I look forward to news from my fellow Concordians in upcoming issues and hope to meet some of you in the 1996 cruising season. I can't guarantee cinnamon buns for the gang like Bev used to make, but I'm sure we can offer up something for all.


Hank Bornhofft, Glouchester, MA

There has been no buyer for MAGIC so we continue to enjoy her. Got back into 'round the buoy racing again. Won seven of seven. The most fun was the Gloucester Schooner Festival Classic race. Having not read the spring issue, I was unaware of the challenge from SAFARI, who we saw on the starting line, looking to whip MAGIC. The rest of the fleet, frustrated by 6 consecutive Schooner Race wins by MAGIC conspired to convince Sturg Crocker to enter Five Ply and beat MAGIC once and for all. Under Dr. George Nichols' ownership MAGIC and Five Ply had been regular dueling mates in Manchester, head to head under CCA. Under the local rule, however, we owed Sturg time! I had vowed to leave the spinnakers in the attic while Toby was "away" but this challenge meant full racing canvas and full crew. The trophy is still gathering dust on my book case. Next year it would be great to see CROCODILE and other local Concordias following Magic around the course.

I was sorry to hear of Dr. Curtis' passing. As you know, I bought RAYANNA #7 from him in 1982, sailed her to Gloucester and did a 50% restoration, eventually finished by Andy Anderson as VERITY. The pre- 1954 fractional rigged yawls had taller main masts than the later "standard" rig. The extra two feet was supported by diamond shrouds in addition to the jumpers. With a modern mainsail, this rig never needs a genoa. Nursing tired old RAYANA home from Gibson Island, we made the passage from Cape May, NJ to Newport in 46 hours, two hours less than Arnie Gay's best time in BABE. With a deteriorated hull and deteriorating weather we were on the only safe point of sail which fortunately coincided with our intended course.

Regarding a book to celebrate the Concordia 60th, I think that is a great idea. Since so much is already in print, perhaps the book could pick up from 1988, updating owners, restorations, etc. to keep the historic continuity. There must be someone in the fleet with access to desk top publishing who could put together a soft cover book similar to Elizabeth Meyer's 40th.

TINA - Concordia 31

Ruth Ann Goetz, Westlake, OH

With last year's even-temperatured winter (no 20 degrees below zero or 90 degrees above) TINA scarcely made a bilge full of water after launching. January, 1996 will be 30 years owned by myself. She was built in 1960. (Ruthie is the secretary of the Great Lakes Wooden Sailboat Society.)


Tom & Terri Laird, Beverly, MA

(June) We are not Concordia owners yet, but when Tom returns from sea in early August we will be closing on CRESCENT which is currently owned by Walter Hobson. Although we are very excited at the prospect of owning a Concordia, Tom is most enthusiastic. He has spent many hours pouring over Elizabeth Meyer's Concordia Yawls - The First Fifty Years and has been generally obsessed since learning of CRESCENT's availability. We are planning a gunkholing trip up the coast of Maine for our first adventure. Perhaps we will return with a few interesting pictures and a good tale or two. (We have learned that Tom and Terri are now the official owners of #18. They chose her former name of SPICE.)

ABACO #102

Jonathan Goldweitz, Stamford, CT

ABACO is looking and doing well. This is the second season of our brightwork. We installed a new electrical system. The enclosed photos show the Energy Monitor II control box mounted adjacent to the new electrical panel. The bank of house batteries (gel cell) is 270 amp-hours and the engine starting battery is 90. We can now run the radar, auto-pilot and stereo all day without running the batteries down much at all. The system gives an instant readout of amps, volts and amp-hours consumed and remaining, percent of charge etc. There are also programmable alarms to warn of 80% and 50% charge levels. The system has a high output (125 amp) alternator that fits in the same bracket as the old one, with the same size bolt, but smaller pulley because our Graymarine only turns 1200 rpm max. A Smart Regulator is mounted in a locker outboard of the battery switch (which no longer needs changing when starting or stopping the engine). Of the three gel cell batteries, the larger mounts in place of the old battery box (used the cover of the old box to make a panel to hide it) and the two smaller ones lie on their side on a shelf built by Dutch Harbor Boat Yard and bolted to the floor timber under the cockpit and supported by a strap to the cockpit floor. It works very well - there's no movement of the batteries even in pounding seas. Lest I take flak for "lack of authenticity" from Concordia purists, I must say that having an ample and bullet-proof electrical system - to power the modern cruising equipment that improves safety - is a must. The monitor system gives the skipper immediate feedback on all electrical matters on board. We never once had to run the engine "just to charge up."

I've enclosed a photo of an "unknown" (to me) covered Concordia seen May 14 at Seawanaka Yacht Club boat yard in Oyster Bay. Any ideas who she is?

This past summer has been one of our best for cruising on ABACO. The weather was superb (not for our lawn or flowers) and although we didn't travel as far as last season, we had a great combination of exciting passages under sail, nail-biting fog navigation, quiet evenings by ourselves, and lively raft-ups with old friends and new acquaintances. We raced only once, in the SYC Port Jefferson weekend regatta. Took a respectable 6th place (out of 15). We bumped into Joe and Sue Callahan on DAME OF SARK and got to exchange Concordia upgrade stories. DAME sports new Dynel decks, done expertly at Dodson Boat Yard. Her bright hull looks as pretty as ever.

My experience with Differential GPS was not so good. I finally received the Raytheon DGPS unit (backordered since 5/94) in August and installed it on the mizzen spreader opposite the GPS sensor. Lat./long accuracy was terrific, but speed over ground and COG functions behaved very erratically. Our experience with radar over two seasons has confirmed the importance of mounting the display so it is visible in the cockpit. A shorthanded crew cannot afford to send someone below to view the screen. Our autopilot (below deck installation for wheel steering) has become our third crewmember who can steer during jib changes, mainsail reefing, sail dousing, lunch and even periods of boredom at the helm. Hard to imagine all those years without it.

Our final voyage of the year was on October 13th, a 120 NM delivery from Stamford back to the yard at Jamestown. It was a beautiful overnight sail, warm and with stars and a 3/4 moon. We unloaded and decommissoned ABACO in 17 hours, far off our record of 6 hours.

IRENE #103

Doug Cole, Bellingham, WA

IRENE enjoyed another season in the Pacific Northwest. Due to other commitments we raced in only two wooden boat events. No other Concordias raced here this season and we missed the intense competition. Fortune smiled and we were able to sneak away for a month long cruise in Canadian waters this summer. Even after years of cruising in this area we were still able to find new anchorages, several of which we had to ourselves. We missed CORIOLIS by several days and ENDEAVOUR by a week (although we anchored alongside her earlier in the season in Chuckanut Bay).

IRENE usually remains afloat throughout the winter, protected by a full cover. This year will be different. Last week the spars were removed and refinished, then covered and hoisted into a loft for storage. IRENE is afloat in a boathouse where her brightwork will be wooded and brought back to the perfection of which she is accustomed. I am also removing the deck non-skid and will replace it with something sticky, yet friendly to the skin. (I must remind our East Coast friends that facilities for inside yacht and spar storage are nearly non-existent in the Northwest. I cannot think of a single location here where one can duplicate the services of a Concordia Company-type of operation. One must plead and bribe to obtain inside storage. For the non-do-it-yourselfer, one must engage a myriad of individuals for mechanical, shipwright, painting and varnishing skills.)

As mentioned in the last newsletter, I replaced the original 1" insulation in the icebox with 2" of rigid foam. Although no scientific data was obtained during our cruise, the improvements noticeably increased ice retention by at least 40%.


Benjamin Niles, South Freeport, ME

We did some Wednesday night racing and finished the season about a point out of first, behind our new nemesis, a souped up Hinkley Pilot. The family cruise consisted of two weekends with the kids here in Casco Bay. The boys and I spent a few other nights on the boat, which with the longer daylight of summer can be done on weeknights if the tide's right for going to and from our dock. Next summer when they're 4 and 6, I think we'll do a lot more sailing together, although 2 year old Hilary will probably be hell on wheels afloat. Last weekend I did the trip to Rockport in a single day, to get in ahead of a gale forecast for that night... it really blew. Another gale is forecast for tomorrow night and Sunday, so I'm running out of opportunities for a last sail this fall. I'm happy to hear about JAVA's new adventure. I'm sure it was very hard for Weld to let go of the boat, but I think it's a wonderful move. ALLURE misses her buddy IRENE! (See Ben's report on the ERR.)

Lake Michigan Rendezvous First Ever

Manitowoc, WI 7/27/95

On a foggy, drizzly, Thursday afternoon, MISTY #66 and PARAMOUR #72 had their first reaquaintance since leaving the yard of Abeking & Rasmussen. After her US arrival in the spring of 1959, MISTY moved to the Great Lakes in June while PARAMOUR became an East Coast boat from March 1960 until moving to Lake Michigan just a year ago last May. With only two Midwest Concordia yawls, rendezvous attendance was 100%! (Word has it there may be another Concordia coming to Lake Michigan next summer, so next year's reunion might have 33% greater attendance.)

Tom and Vicki McIntosh were cruising back to the Chicago area on MISTY after Tom's completion of the Mac Race (3rd in class, 34th overall) and put into Manitowoc in thick fog after a long day's crossing from Michigan. Skip Bergman just happened to be at the marina on PARAMOUR for the afternoon and was surprised to see familiar varnished masts appear out of the fog above the breakwater. The dockhands were even more surprised to see a second Concordia, a virtual twin in a sea of marina fiberglass. It was a fun evening and morning of comparing notes, looking for new ideas, and talking about actually scheduling more than just an accidental, impromptu rendezvous for next year!

Nine Concordia Yawls Participate in Eggemoggin Reach Regatta

By Ben Niles

The 1995 ERR was held on August 5 near WoodenBoat Headquarters in Brooklin, Maine. This is the largest race for wooden boats in North America and one of the largest in the world.

This year's course was up the reach to Penobscot Bay and back, 12.65 nautical miles. (The previous day's feeder race, by the way, was cancelled due to fog.) It was a reaching start. We thought we had a good one. HARBINGER and WINNIE at the pin end and STARLIGHT to leward, were not far behind. STARLIGHT had better boatspeed on the initial close reach. (More sail area with the fractional rig?)

Approaching the bridge WINNIE and HARBINGER got some better breeze closer to shore and worked out ahead of the boats on the rumb line. Under the bridge, everything went dead, and although it kept looking like it would fill in along the shore, the boats that stayed in the middle had just enough breeze to keep ghosting along. WINNIE got her big jump on the fleet by coming in high and then after the bridge, sticking to the middle. What heros! The balance of the race was a mass of frustration. First one bunch of boats would get a little better breeze, then they'd stall and another bunch would move out.

We got stuck under the bridge for what seemed like forever. By the time we got moving, we could hardly see WINNIE. HARBINGER, MIRAGE and KATRINA seemed long gone. From there to the finish we probably did 5 spinnaker sets and a whole lot of gybes, chasing zephyrs to keep going. By the end, WINNIE was at least back in sight, over 20 minutes ahead of ALLURE and HARBINGER. Peter Gallant and crew really had a terrific race and it's great they won our class and finished 4th overall.

Results (supplied by WoodenBoat): 99 boats entered, 54 finished. Concordias in order of finish were: WINNIE OF BOURNE (4th over all and also first yawl/ketch to finish), HARBINGER, ALLURE, KATRINA, MIRAGE, BELLES, SNOW FALCON, STARLIGHT, MALAY.

News From Brodie MacGregor at Concordia Company

PRINCIPIA #60 has been undergoing an exterior refit at the hands of owner Bruce Flenniken and Concordia. Although not finished down below, PRINCIPIA is structurally and cosmetically complete and has been in the water looking great for a couple of months. The interior will be completed this coming winter. ARIADNE #47 is back this year and we'll be doing a number of structural upgrades resulting from a recent survey. LIVE YANKEE #64 was recently involved in an unusual accident involving an opening bridge which was lowered as she was passing through, shattering the main mast. Fortunately the damage was confined to the rig. Another newcomer to Concordia is Kestrel, a 21'6" waterline Concordia designed (Bud McIntosh built) sloop. She is owned by Rusty Aertsen who also owns SNOWBIRD #59. Jerry Smith left Concordia as of mid-September. Jerry served the company and its customers loyally for many years and we wish him all the very best for the future. Yawl related inquiries are welcome and should be directed to Brodie MacGregor.

New Concordia Owners - Welcome Aboard

SPICE #18 (ex-CRESCENT) - Tom & Tony Laird, Beverly, MA
CANDIDE #39 - Morgan Steeves, Calgary, Alberta. (Boat is in Anacortes, WA)
SNOW BIRD #59 - Guilliaem Aertsen IV, Boston, MA

Concordias for Sale

ABSINTHE #12 - 1952. Much recent work. 1988 Yanmar diesel. Dynel decks. Wheel steering. Lead keel. $54,900.

FLEETWOOD #20 - 1954. New 1993 Perkins diesel. Spars refinished 1993. Harken roller furling. New standing and running rigging. $49,900.

BANDA #52 - 1957. 41' masthead sloop. Excellent condition. 1989 Yanmar diesel. Lead keel. Large sail inventory. Very clean. $98,000.

ARAPAHO #85 - 1961. 41' bright finished yawl. $99,900.

RENAISSANCE #88 - 1962. 41' bright finished converted ketch.

(The above are offered by Concordia Co. and are in Padanaram.)

PAPAJECCO #8 - 1951. CT.

MAGIC #36 - 1956. 41' sloop with aluminum mast. $69,000. MA.

BELLES #68 - 1959. Yawl rig, extensive refit. ME.

Nancy Engels

former owner of NJORD #50

While visiting friends near Olympia, WA this summer we discovered Dennis Gross living practically next door. We had a fine few hours exchanging rebuild stories and checking out the magnificent job he is doing on SOVEREIGN #15 (5 years, so far). We just finished a week of sailing on our old NJORD - now JAKARTA - thanks to the generosity of her new owners Peter & Margaret Kieley. They keep her ship shape and have re-installed the club-footed jib which proved a boon when we had to do a close-hauled day at the tail end of Felix.

Donald Tofias

former owner of ARAWAK #29 (now FEATHER)

I feel a little like the family that left the old neighborhood and moved up to the new neighborhood and still wants to be back with all the old neighbors on the old street. Reading about all the great boats and how they are being maintained and restored is really very exciting. As you well know, I am now deeply involved in another project. The current ARAWAK (ex-Christmas), designed by Starling Burgess in 1930, has been thoroughly rebuilt and modernized, including a carbon fiber spar. All the best to my old Concordia friends. I'm sure we will see you somewhere on the high seas!

It's been several years since we've had a progress report from Mark Webby who is building Concordia #104 in New Zealand. We hope to hear from him soon. We would also like to hear if Dennis Gross will be planning to launch SOVEREIGN in 1996... There are still many Concordians who have not surfaced or communicated with The Concordian. It would be nice to hear from you! As owners change and move it sometimes takes a while to track folks down. I am currently not able to locate owners or addresses for #16 MAGGIE DUNN, last known to be in Alameda, CA, #16 ACTEA, last reported in Fort Lauderdale or #2 MALAY I since he sent a post card from Mexico several years ago... Concordia burgees are available from your editor for $35... Thistlebrook (167 High Street, Warren, ME 04864) is again offering Concordia note cards and post cards featuring the artwork of Kathy Bray.

Many thanks to those who sent in their annual subscriptions. Your volunteer $5 a year covers printing and postage. Again, only about half the fleet supports The Concordian. Thanks to the other half, every Concordian receives the fleet newsletter. And thanks for all of your correspondence. Keep the letters, stories and photos coming. Deadline for the spring 1996 issue will be around May 1st.

Eleven years have past since I typed out the first issue of The Concordian, originally the Concordia Yawl Newsletter. It was about this time of year. IRENE was in a boathouse getting new Dynel decks and a complete refinishing. I came home each night either covered in dust or with stained hands. (We're back in the boathouse, and tonight it's dust!) I often wondered about other Concordias and their owners. I originally wrote: "My intent in starting the newsletter is to encourage the exchange of information between Concordia owners, especially between those whose affairs are long-standing and those whose may just be starting. I suspect much of this already transpires amongst those living in the Northeast, but for those of us scattered about, we definitely would like to communicate more." I later found out that there was very little communication between the fleet. (Boy, typing that on an old manual was a lot of work. Then again, it was only 3 pages long.)

It seems The Concordian has been mildly successful. There is communication between the fleet. (I'd like to think it was the exchange between Concordia folk that found JAVA a new home.) The 50th and 55th Rendezvous and cruises were a success. And most of all, there is a wonderful camaraderie amongst Concordians across the country.

The boat that inspires us all continues to be a success as well. After 57 years, all 103 are still with us. Some are being restored, but most are sailing and cherished by owners and admirers alike. It will be interesting to read how Concordia's founder, Waldo Howland, addresses this phenomena in his third book, soon to be completed.

So here's to you, Concordians, for being good people. For choosing such a fine vessel. For taking excellent care in her feeding and well-being, especially given her need for such proper and exacting attention. And most of all, for keeping her alive and healthy. A big thank you to all!

Doug Cole

4344 King Avenue - Bellingham, WA