Issue #3, Spring 1987
Days are getting longer and the urge to start varnishing - woops - sailing is again hitting. Winter in the Northwest has been mild as it has been many places this year and we have enjoyed uncovering IRENE several times for an afternoon sail. After all, skiing every weekend is a bore. IRENE'S Christmas present was a new full winter boat cover. It's a thrill each time we uncover her to find the topsides and brightwork look like they've just been done. Then there are those in the East who just keep theirs inside for the winter.
The Northwest Concordia fleet winter rendevous was held in January at the home of Philip and Beverly Brazeau, new owners of CANDIDE (#39 ex-Fledermaus), which arrived from Camden in October. Their home overlooks Seattle's Lake Union where CANDIDE is currently moored. An incredible dinner was followed by a slide show of summer sailing, re-decking projects and sound movies of SOVEREIGN'S circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. Phil then gave us a tour of his shop which was strewn about with Concordia components is various stages of disassembly and repair. I suspect there will be a whirlwind of painting and varnishing on CANDIDE when spring arrives.
Two weeks ago LOON (#45) arrived in Bellingham having been trucked north from San Diego. Owner Wayne Overland did all his spring maintenance while still in the tropics so that all that remains to be done is install his forced air heating system. Weather upon arrival was a bit cool but we had her launched and rigged in a day and soon we were headed to Victoria. The cruise started out in calm winds and somewhat sunny skies and ended with gale warnings and lumpy seas in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Fortunately the winds were aft and we made excellent progress. LOON is in excellent condition and makes a fine addition to the growing Northwest Concordia fleet which now numbers six.
Doug Adkins has the spars for CORIOLIS (#82) down this winter for refinishing having been intimidated by the mirrorlike new finish on SOVEREIGN's spars. He promises a report later on for owners contemplating this project. This season his spars will no doubt match his beautiful varnished hull.
Lorna Cook, first mate on CORIOLIS and an accomplished seamstress, has produced a Concordia burgee and is offering them to all who are interested for $15. It is a white star on a blue field over a blue crescent on a white field and measures 16 x 24 inches.
Her address is: 14410 160th Place NE, Woodinville, WA 98072. I think she might also appreciate and extra few dollars for shipping.
I spent a wonderful evening aboard KODAMA (#46) in Seattle for dinner recently with live aboards Denny and Stewart McDougall. The cozy atmosphere reminded me of my college liveaboard days and had me wondering if a house was worth all the extra bother. They are preparing KODAMA for a major offshore voyage this year to San Francisco (Master Mariner's Race maybe?) and then to San Diego where they will participate in the Ancient Mariner Sailing Society race to Hawaii. He has added satnav, loran and has rechecked all the structural members of the boat which included replacing a floor and pulling keel bolts, all of which were found to be in excellent condition. They plan to return in time for the summer rendevous in early September.
Word recently arrived that a new Concordia is being built by an individual in New Zealand from plans supplied by Bud McIntosh. Little is known at this time but I will try to track down the details.
MARAGET (#42) was reported heading south from San Diego and was recently spotted in Cabo San Lucas.
FEATHER (#29) is now owned by the Concordia Company in So. Dartmouth. She had spent 12-14 years ashore, her previous owner unable to use her. Alden Trull reports her topsides are very fair and show no signs of neglect and they are in the process of restoring her. The keel is removed and lower planking is off for new floors and frames. The rig has been under cover and in storage as well and the original cotton sail inventory is intact. Plans are to sell her when work is completed in 1988.
Several Concordia owners have inquired if there is interest in boat trading in various waters. What would interest me is to invite Concordia owners as guests in local waters in exchange for a similar experience in their cruising grounds. This would eliminate the anxiety of turning over your pride and joy while at the same time meeting a new set of cruising friends and sharing the best of what each area has to offer. Anyone interested in cruising the San Juan Islands aboard IRENE? We would love to visit Maine, especially aboard a Concordia with an experienced local crew.
Has anyone come up with a good spring line system besides chain plates or stancions? Does anyone know the theory behind the double shackled spinnaker halyard? There is interest here in a main hatch "garage." These are most desirable when beating in to a head sea to keep water from the galley area. Some Concordias have a beautiful bronze affair but several of us were looking for something a little more affordable. Concordia Co. has a mold for a fiberglass cover and if there is enough interest a batch could be ordered up.
In some respects this has turned into West Coast Concordia Headquarters as I've had calls from all over from people interested in purchasing a Concordia. There appears to be a solid market for a vessel in good condition so the Concordia appeal is still strong. There are ways to ship boats cross country at less than full cost if one has some time flexiblity so distance isn't a great problem. If there are Concordia owners contemplating the sale of their boat please contact me and I will connect you with these interested buyers. To my knowledge there are three Concordias for sale on the West coast. SOVEREIGN (#15) in Seattle, VINTAGE (#51) in San Francisco, and HORIZON (#54) in Santa Barbara. YANKEE (#37) is offered by broker Dick Sciuto in Fairhaven, MA. Steven Otton of Page Marine Services in Camden, ME is offering JAVA (#1) which I understand is in exceptional condition, TEMPO (#4), MOANA (#9) and PHALAROPE (#13). I recently heard that MOONFLEET (#47) is for sale in Maine.
Dr. Clarke Staples, Boothbay, ME
This newsletter is long overdue. I've had my boat for 30 years and I welcome the chance to contribute a bit and learn about other Concordias and their owners. I am the original owner and took delivery on May 1 at my home in Marblehead in 1958. It was constructed during the winter of 1957-58. It was named OFF CALL against my wishes and as much as I've had several smaller boats it seemed appropriate because during the time I was an intern at Mass General in Boston and a night or afternoon off call was something to be desired. All my friends and family insisted that when the Concordia arrived this should be the name. It has become a part of our life over these many years and we have cruised extensively and raced on quite a few occasions including the Marblehead - Halifax race in which we were lucky enough to come in second having been beaten by another Concordia, John Robinson's DIABLO. Every year for thirty years we have raced in the Eastern Yacht Club cruise and have done remarkably well and seem to do better each year. We sometimes beat even the million dollar glass boats. We have moved from Marblehead where we lived for forty years to Boothbay, Maine where we have a secluded cove and float directly in front of my house where OFF CALL rests most of the time. We can reach the boat with no effort and in looking back it has been a most satisfactory boat. We have kept it up in good condition but in even better condition since Bob Silvia, who used to be the foreman at the Concordia yard is now in our neighborhood. He has been taking care of it for the last 3 years and will continue to as long as I have the boat. He has done a magnificent job in constructing a new deck, new shear strakes, completely wooded the spars, boom and boat itself and has refinished it with the usual 8 coats of varnish and done a beautiful job. I have also rewired her and have all kinds of electronics and have even - I'm sure Waldo Howland will be be disturbed - a Raytheon Radar. This is a real relief cruising on the coast of Maine.
I've also put a new Graymarine motor this year and also new sails. So we're in good shape at the present time. We have a small nest of Concordias here. I talked my next door neighbor into buying BABE (#26) now named MARY ANN so these are right next to one another and she is being completey rennovated as was mine by Bob Silvia. Also RAKA (#43) is around the corner belonging to Robert Stuart. SAXON which belongs to my classmate at Harvard Medical School, Grahan Pope, is nearby and is also an orignal owner. He and his wife take care of that boat completeLy themselves, which is amazing. I feel somewhat responsible for Richard Robe buying CHRISTIE (#83) as he was with me one time while delivering OFF CALL from Padanaram some years ago and ran into a northeast gale during which time the boat behaved herself beautifully, so much so that the next week he sold his boat and bought a Concordia. All these boats are frequent visitors on our two guest moorings, including LIVE YANKEE (#64) from CT owned by Bob Gillespie. I understand there will be several new purchases in the spring. I hope you will see fit to bring your "new" Concordia East and see some "real" cruising which we freely admit is the only place in the world to cruise. I noted in the last newsletter Elizabeth Meyer's invitation to their family's Hog Island. She invited us there many years ago and the caretaker has always welcomed us with open arms and vegetables and flowers for my wife. It is one of the choice spots on the coast of Maine to us and we make a purpose of being there several times a year.
Jack Lund, Worcester, MA
I own RENAISSANCE, one of the remarkable bright hulled 41's which the Concordia yard has varnished and polished over the years until it just about stops traffic. Last fall, during hurricane Gloria, a series of disasters led to extensive damage to the hull, including broken ribs and four holes punched right through the planking. The common reaction was that the flawless mahogany would never be matched and the hull would be repaired but would have to be painted. To make a long, laborious, and at times discouraging story short, the Concordia yard replaced 12 planks and, with some magic alchemy of stains, finished the repairs so beautifully that the hull gleams as if it had never been touched. The artisan's skills can still be found in the Concordia boat yard - very encouraging for those of us entrusted with these classic, irreplacable cruising boats.
James Brown, Syosset, NY
SONNET has been in my possession (or vice versa) since 1967. A 41' sloop rigged Concordia, she has been cruised and raced extensively. Having four sons aged 34-20 helps. First overall in the 1979 Marblehead - Halifax race in MRS and a 2nd in class in the 1984 Bermuda Race keeps us thinking there's more to these vessels than the world's best cruising apparatus. I ran into Bob Scott in Oxford, MD in December helping his brother prepare JAVA to get down to Florida. Bob invited me to sail on FLEETWOOD (#20) in the Ft. Lauderdale - Key West race mid January, an offer I couldn't refuse. These guys keep their Concordias in sheds down there to preserve the brightwork.
W. Mason Smith, New York, NY
Owning a Concordia resembles a perfect marriage to most of us. In our case we no longer take adventurous cruises, but our son and his family use it with zest and even plan to circumnavigate Newfoundland in the near future. We have raced to Halifax and many times around Block Island. If my wife were writing this letter she would spend several paragraphs praising our Maxim stove, which obeys her every command to perfection. She is reluctant about racing when men become very imperious and impatient. We have taken many family cruises down East. JAVELIN spends its winter at the Concordia yard in Padanaram.
Alice Pope, Wiscasset, ME
We are the original owners of SAXON. As original owners have become older, boats have changed hands though for many years one rarely heard of a Concordia for sale. We haul SAXON on our own slipway and take great pride in doing practically all the maintenance work ourselves. A couple of years ago when we were cruising, someone asked whether SAXON was a new boat. Wasn't that flattering?
former owner of MARIN (#47), Fairhaven, MA
In reference to the Concordia race, when I was working for Bill Pinney, the former owner of the Concordia Yard I thought it would be great to revamp the old Concordia Race so we decided to call the Howland Trophy Race. The first year I will never forget. I think we had 25 boats at the starting line. You should have seen that with a 25 knot Sou'wester and the usual Buzzard's Bay chop. I raced on FREEWIND and we took a 2nd to ABSENTEE. We had just nipped Fran Loutrel at the finish line by 2 feet. One boat barely made it back to the Concordia docks so she could have some pumps put on her. This race was run during the Annual Buzzard's Bay Regatta. The class that started before us were the full race zoom zoom boats with 10 people on the rail trying to stand up to the breeze. By the time we got to the first weather mark we had sailed through that entire fleet and were having a lovely cruise while they were on a survival mission. Some Concordias did carry reefs and smaller headsails, but we went with a full main and a 150% genoa. The rail was hardly touching. It was just grand.
Brooklin Boat Yard, Brooklin, ME
Sounds like your deck job turned out very well. I'm sure you will be pleased with not only the water tightness, but also the strength that the plywood adds to the deck and hull structure as a whole. I'm convinced that this process greatly adds to the long life that the Concordias have already shown. This winter we are going to remove the interior on SISYPHUS (#41) and replace the bent frames with new laminated oak ones. I'll let you know how this project works out. We sponsored a wooden boat race this summer and had 42 entries with 31 that started on a miserable rainy, foggy day. SISYPHUS was the only Concordia that raced, but several others entered. We are going to do it again this summer, the first weekend in August.
This race is called the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta and is open to all wooden boats 25' on deck and longer. Everyone had a terrific time, despite the weather. Next year sunny skies.
"You have done well to dig up so many Concordia Yawl owners and I'm interested to see how many of the single owner boats you have listed in your October newsletter. My wife made a visit to New Zealand last summer and did see Concordia Yawl #104 being built there. I am glad to report that my Concordia story has got as far asbeing now in the proofreading stages, but sorry to say it may be another year before it will be available in book form."
As most of you are aware, 1988 is the Fifthieth Anniversary of the Concordia Yawls and plans are underway for a three day reunion, regatta and party in Padanaram in early September. Many of you received letters from Brodie MacGregor at Concordia but the mailing list is far from complete as boats have changed hands and owners moved. In conjunction with the celebration, Elizabeth Meyer is at work on producing a sequel to the 40th Anniversary book. Initial response is favoring a large, hardbound edition with color photos. For this to be a success everyone should participate and most of all, be certain all Concordia owners are contacted. Material should be sent to Elizabeth by September 1987 at 32 Church St., Newport, RI 02840. (401) 846-2491.
Many out of towners are planning to visit sans boat and will be accomodated ashore and afloat by local owners, according to Brodie.
There are a number of owners whose current address is not confirmed or not known. Any assistance in locating these folks would ensure they will be on the Newsletter mailing list and included in the 50th anniversary book: Malay, Duende, Sheila, Rayanna, Windhover, Quiet Thunder, Absinthe, Phalarope, Maelstrom, Oz, Edelweiss, Amanda III, Hero, Niam, Wild Swan, Penarrow, Safari, Harrier, Griffon, Sunda, Sazerac, Magic, Yankee, Hefertiti, Margaret, Maran, Harbinger, Njord, Vintage, Lupine, Horizon, Kiva, Tern II, Snowbird, Lorne, Tam O'Shanter, Misty, Crocodile, Belles, Houri, Kristal, Polaris, Paramour, Tasca, Wizard, Portunus, Sumatra, Goldeneye, Papillon, Afterglow, Allure, Arapaho, Dame of Sark, Bahari, Woodwind, Ingrid, Shimera, Firefall, Phantom, Katrina, Sea Hawk.
I have enjoyed corresponding with so many Concordia owners and interested people. The main content of the Newsletter is made up of items sent in so keep the news coming. Last time I made a plea for contributions and had in mind the literary type but many thanks for those that sent the financial type. It has been suggested that the fleet deserves a slightly more upscale newsletter, possibly including photos and better type. This would of course require dues or a subscription of some kind. Currently all I request is a self addressed stamped envelope for those wishing to stay on the list but if there is enough interest let me know in time for the next edition in October.
Doug ColeBellingham, Washington