Issue #25, Spring 1998
1908 - 1998
The Boston Globe, March 1, 1998.
Waldo Howland of South Dartmouth and Fort Myers, FL, the moving force behind the Concordia Co. in South Dartmouth, died Thursday, February 26 at Shell Point Village in Fort Myers. He was 89.
Mr. Howland was born in Boston and graduated from Milton Academy and Harvard College. He taught at Milton Academy for a short time after graduating from college. He managed the Concordia Co. which he co-founded and co-owned with his brother Llewellyn, until he retired in the 1960s. The company, which was family-run for about 35 years, was acclaimed for its Concordia yawls, ranked among the most highly respected families of racing and cruising yachts of this century. Many sailors learned their skills in the company's class of 12-foot boats known as Beetle Cats.
In recent years, Mr. Howland was active at the Mystic Seaport Museum where he was a member of the board of trustees in 1970, and remained a trustee emeritus. As chairman of the Ships Committee for many years, he was influential in overseeing the preservation of some of the nation's most important wooden vessels, from the whaleship Charles W. Morgan to numerous smaller traditional working craft. At the time of his death, he was working to promote the understanding and use of wooden rowing boats at the museum.
Mr. Howland was a member of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, which owns the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and was a former commodore of the New Bedford Yacht Club. He was also one of the most senior members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Cruising Club of America.
He was the author of two books, "A Life in Boats: The Years Before the War," and "A Life in Boats: The Concordia Years." His third book in the series is awaiting publication.
Mr. Howland leaves a daughter, Katherine Sue Means of South Dartmouth; four sons, Charles and Waldo Jr., both of South Dartmouth, Kinaird of Providence, and Thomas of Tampa, FL; a brother Llewellyn Jr. of Westport; and 13 grand children. A memorial service will be held in the Congregational Church of South Dartmouth on March 14 at 11 a.m.
- Reprinted Courtesy of the Boston Globe.
From the Mystic Seaport Staff Bulletin
by Revell Carr
Waldo Howland, with his clear thinking and practical, common sense approach, made an enormous impact on Mystic Seaport in ways we cannot begin to calculate. His particular interest was with the watercraft and he heavily influenced the creation of the shipyard, the methods of restoring our vessels, the building of the granite bulkheads and the use of small craft. Despite his watercraft focus, he had interest in all aspects of the Museum from Ship's Plans to the Stores, from the Library to the Galley. He cared intensely about Mystic Seaport.
There is much, much more to be said about this remarkable man and we will have opportunities to do that as we celebrate and remember his life. For the moment, those of us who knew him and had the great good fortune to work with him know very well what a rare gift we have been given by Waldo.
Mystic Seaport and we as individuals have lost a devoted friend and an enormous void exists where this diminutive man once stood, but his presence enriched Mystic Seaport and all of us.
His family has asked for memorial gifts to be made to Mystic Seaport. (Mystic Seaport has received a number of donations in Waldo's memory, and the priority for these gifts include the publication of the third volume of "A Life in Boats" and Waldo's long time dream to see a Small Craft Center established at the Museum.)
- Thanks to Katherine E. Cowles at Mystic Seaport for sending this information.
It must have happened about twenty years ago, very early in the morning, and during that hectic commissioning month of May. Vaguely troubled in mind, I was still in bed, drifting somewhere between wakefulness and slumber. Suddenly, quite out of the blue, a vision came to me. The picture is still very clear in my mind and even clearer as recreated for me by that fine and understanding artist Lois Darling.
The season is autumn. The time is evening. Home is on Little Green Island. Across the sound, not a half-hour's sail away, lies Friendship Village. The church spire rises above the skyline and, all around, soft lights appear in family windows. Somewhere out to the southwest, Lighthouse Point flashes to sailors coming from the open sea. Above hangs the crescent moon in company with Venus, the evening star.
Our cottage sits back on a grassy point that forms one side of Quiet Harbor. Inland and close by, a sloping patch of ground encourages a small garden in which grow vegetables for the inner man and flowers for the spirit.
Several oaks and an old cedar grow high above the water, suggesting good wood for the building of boats, fuel for the open fire on the family hearth, and a center for the evening song of birds.
A few yards up from the water's edge stands a boathouse filled with all the gear the collects during a sailor's life. A few yards off the dock nearby floats a Beetle Cat boat.
In deeper water a Concordia yawl swings at her mooring, a reminder of boating days gone by and a promise of more to come.
- Taken from "A Life in Boats: The Concordia Years" by Waldo Howland. Published by Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic, CT (1988). Reprinted by permission.
"Quiet Harbor." Pen-and-ink sketch by Lois M. Darling
Here's a brief synopsis: A woman (Robin Wright) is walking along the seashore and happens upon a bottle with a note in it. The note is a long ago written love letter from a sailor at sea to his beloved. It turns out the original writer of the note (Paul Newman) has a son (Kevin Costner) who is an avid boatbuilder. The dream boat he is building is a bright-hulled 41-foot yawl. Boy meets girl, etcetera, etcetera.
Several months ago I received a call from a gentleman at Warner Brothers inquiring about where he might find two identical Concordia yawls, preferably finished bright. Several months later I found that Irian and Arapaho had been leased for two months of filming this May and June. Originally, filming was to be done in the Chesapeake but now has been moved due to environmental considerations. Perhaps Martha's Vineyard or Maine.
According to Brodie MacGregor at Concordia Company, Arapaho, which was recently purchased by William Lynch, has just gone through a major cosmetic upgrade to "showroom condition," including complete stripping of brightwork and deck refastening, and thinks she'll be a knockout in the movie. "For some reason they want to paint the cabin top black, which I think is a mistake, but the contract includes returning everything back to original, plus damage repair," said Brodie. He feels the charter price will go a long way to covering the upgrades. Taylor Allen at Rockport Marine is doing the prep work on Irian. Two vessels were needed in case a backup or stand in was required.
The title of the movie is "Message in a Bottle" and is scheduled for release next Christmas. I noticed in the New York Times book review on April 5 that a book of the same title by Nicholas Sparks ("Let the author of The Notebook steal your heart again...") is due out on April 7. Makes you wonder which came first, the movie or the book.
Jessie Bontecou, Clinton Corners, NY
This June Harrier is going to celebrate her 43rd birthday and I though it might be worthwhile to report on her life to date.
I was most fortunate when Ray Hunt asked me to race in England in 1955 on Harrier for Cowes Week and Fastnet. The Hunt family had Cowes all sewn up by the time I arrived except for a race or two. Then, on the Fastnet we lost a turnbuckle and had to drop out.
I raced with Ray in '56 and bought the boat that fall. Since then we have fifteen round trips to Bermuda and five or six Annapolis-Newport races under our belt. In addition, many day races, Block Island races and one Halifax race are in her log. We have cruised from the Chesapeake to the St. Johns River in New Brunswick and many points in between.
Harrier now boasts all the comforts of home. Hot and cold running water, Seafrost refrigeration, a huge double bunk replacing the pipe berths, holding tanks, GPS, Auto Helm and radar. We only put the radar antenna up when we need it, and then it goes on the spinnaker pole track.
We wore the original teak deck down so thin the deck bungs kept popping out, so we removed the deck, put down marine plywood and covered that with a 1/2" premolded teak deck that came in two halves, which was vacuum glued down. It looks great, and so far, no leaks.
We have sistered 12 ribs, replaced a few planks, refastened the stem and replaced the deadwood, and last year replaced the keel bolts. We lost her mast in '58, replaced it with tin and replaced that four years ago with wood. Concordias really should have a wood stick.
So that, in a nutshell, sums up 43 years of Harrier, and one very happy owner of 42 years.
Kersten Prophet, Fiefbergen, Germany
Our first trip last season took us from Kiel to the Flensburg Fjord. We had a great first day while we sailed with an average speed of more than 7 knots in a fresh 20 knot breeze. We took Fleetwood to the Classic boat festival in Flensburg. Unfortunately we were not very successful in the race as we were still learning how to sail the boat. After this trip we enjoyed many fine day and weekend sails in Kiel bay and nearby Danish islands followed by a summer trip in the Kattegat in August. Weather was fine every day and we got a big "thank you" from Fleetwood for the restoration and the hard winter of work.
Finally, we participated in the large International Classic Boat Race in Laboe. This yearly event is the largest in the Baltic area. There were 245 yachts participating. We did better in the race this time, placing fifth out of seventeen. My plan this year is to develop a good crew of five or six friends.
Fleetwood was the subject of a feature article in the August 1997 issue of Segeln, our major sailing publication. The story told of how we located her from a small magazine advertisement, purchased her in Massachusetts and then proceeded on part of her restoration before shipping her home to Kiel.
Gary Custard, Naples, FL
In October Malay returned from a four month Yucatan - Belize - Guatemala trip, minus her mizzen and head sails, which were new just prior to the trip. I left Malay unattended for a few days in an anchorage off Isla Mujeres and returned to find the sails and an inflatable with motor had been stolen. Also, the helm wheel was removed and swinging from a halyard aloft - very strange. All this at the end of the trip, fortunately.
A worthwhile stop for this cruising area is Banko Chinchorro, 100 miles south of Cozumel in the Yucatan current. Desolate, a true atoll, 30 miles long north to south. One may spend days or weeks exploring and diving. A Cuban dive boat visits occasionally, with a cheerful crew usually willing to offload some ice. Great night diving on the west central side with a sheer rock wall. I sailed home alone from Isla Mujeres to Key West, about 70 hours.
I need a mizzen sail, good, or a junky one I can use as a pattern. Also, Malay needs a new or newer main. Please contact me at (941) 403-0047, slip #50, Naples City Dock, or Box 12022, Naples, FL 34101.
Philip Snyder, Southport, CT
Due to some medical complications I find that I must stay ashore these days. Thus Feather is for sale at a new price of $95,000. Presently she is located under cover at the Concordia yard in the same place I purchased my first 39' from Waldo 30 years ago.
Our plans to race last season fell through. Feather has been modified with a roll up genoa, forepeak weight reduction, and new propane stove. She is in fine shape.
Jan Rozendaal, South Burlington, VT
Katrina continues to be wonderfully maintained by Benjamin River Marine and to ply the waters of Penobscot Bay and to the East. Last year we cruised to Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia, but our enjoyment was tempered by heavy rains and thick fog. The newly installed Raytheon radar proved to be invaluable. We have a screen that swings out into the cockpit so the helmsman can view it as he sails. This is an excellent arrangement. A recent survey of the boat has revealed that we face the dreaded "centerline rebuild" which will probably be done next winter.
Jonathan & Dorothy Goldweitz, Stamford, CT
As we prepare to launch Abaco for her 30th season of sailing we again reflect on the wonderful memories she as given us all these years. After taking over Abaco's custody from my brother after the 50th Reunion in 1988, and inspired by Giffy Full's survey, we embarked on a five-year plan of gradual restoration. Now, ten years later, we are almost finished!
Major projects over the past decade include rebuilt rudder, stripping and repainting of canvas deck, replacement of a few planks, wooding of cabin sides and cockpit coamings, and the entire hull. Also refairing of the keel, replacing keel bolts, much wiring and plumbing, new electrical panel, battery monitor system, electronics, radar, autopilot and sails.
This past winter we finally dealt with a gradually worsening water situation under the forward part of the coamings, bridgedeck and forward cockpit bulkhead. After much handwringing about how little or how much to do, we finally decided to "go for broke" and replaced all the forward cockpit bulkhead, teak seat covers, locker doorframes and installed a teak overlay on the bridgedeck. To complete our entire "five-year" plan, we also had the masts stripped and revarnished and all the mast hardware "blasted" clean. Once we launch in mid-April we'll be ready for the next round of restoration.
Summer plans include our usual Long Island Sound cruising and racing, and an August Maine cruise with return to Buzzards Bay for the 60th Concordia Reunion.
Jay Panetta, Wellesley, MA
Summer 1997 was a very active one for Owl and her owners. We departed June 20th out of our home base in Manchester, MA for an overnight sail to Penobscot Bay. We (my wife and I) arrived in North Haven after a beautiful 26-hour sail. We ranged as far as Roque Island and explored many other places in between. Along the coast we encountered Magic, Off Call, Irian and Whimbrel.
The previous winter we installed a CNG stove, converting over from kerosene. We do a good deal of real cooking and were weary of priming, pumping and the other drills so familiar to many of you. We found a beautifully made Australian "Broadwater" stove, and the two-burner model (with oven and broiler) fits perfectly into the available space and gimbals nicely. This unit has electronic igniters (goodbye to the spark lighters!) and has worked out extremely well. Manchester Marine handled to installation with their usual skill, locating the cylinder to port, outboard of the fuel tank, in that little area accessible through the small hatch in the cockpit and the slatted door below. We carried one extra cylinder up forward. In Maine, we were able to purchase gas in Camden (Willey's Wharf) and in Southwest Harbor (Hinckley), and that got us through. It's probably available in Portland as well. If you're considering a new stove, we can highly recommend this brand, which is distributed in the US by Wayfarer Marine in Camden.
On the local front, both Spice and Goldeneye have been undergoing extensive restoration and refitting at Manchester Marine. Their respective owners (the Lairds and Nulks) promise to report soon on their work. There are five Concordias at Manchester, though I'm told Goldeneye may be for sale. As I write this in November, I am at this moment headed down to the shop to begin the long winter's labors of varnishing. Tonight: mizzen spreaders, blocks, boat hooks, and so forth. A big project, as you all well know.
Stewart McDougall, Seattle, WA
After 17 years of living aboard I would like to report on several changes which have made that a success. We removed the pipe berths and installed a double berth forward. We built a grating to cover the well forward of the lower lockers. Over this we fit a 4" foam mattress which is split fore and aft to facilitate handling. Over this goes a single piece of 2" eggshell foam. Add flannel sheets and a comforter and the results are celestial. To starboard we built a locker in the Concordia style with locust slatted doors on a pine face frame complete down to the beveled door latch stop.
Another item that might be of interest to Concordia owners is the installation of a holding tank for head storage. Everything is pretty straight forward except the construction of the tank itself. I built a tank that fits under the head sink. It mimics the shape of the sink in that the two aft corners are the same radius as those on the sink. The top of the tank creates a space under the sink to store a box of tissue and such. The tank is of cold molded plywood sheathed inside and out with glass cloth set in epoxy resins. The plumbing diagram shows the option of emptying the tank by a deck plate of by pumping overboard, whichever is appropriate. The diaphragm pump to direct the effluent overboard is located within a new locker aft of the hamper next to the head. Also located here is a gauge indicating how full the tank is. This has worked well, although the tank volume is not very large, approximately 12 gallons.
Skip & Anne Bergmann, Waupun, WI
The Lake Michigan boats did not have a hoped for reunion this summer, but the crews did get together at the end of January. I met Tom McIntosh (Misty) and Bob Grindrod (Horizon) on Saturday morning north of Chicago at Larsen Marine in Waukegan. I've had a few projects to work on this winter and welcomed the chance to look at a couple of Concordias for ideas. Misty looks like new, as she always does, and I was jealous of Horizon's beautifully fair bottom planking, which was just stripped and refastened last fall. Following the yard visit we went to the Strictly Sail show at Navy Pier to make out lists of all those things we need and later met our wives for dinner. A fun day to swap Concordia stories.
Last fall, Paramour's Westerbeke diesel came out so the fuel tank could be removed from under the cockpit. For the last few years I have had problems with fuel contamination, which I believe was aggravated by the addition of Biobor, Jr. fuel additive a few years ago. It killed bacteria that was in the tank, but the resulting black sludge and slime periodically clogged filters and stopped the engine. Despite recirculating and filtering the fuel, there was still debris even after the sludge problem was cleared up, so the tank had to come out.
A hole cut in top of the tank revealed a solidified black coating which took lacquer thinner and the efforts of the local radiator shop to clean out. The tank is now spotless and I have welded on a machined ring and removable cover, accessible through a 7" bronze deckplate in the cockpit sole. A sending unit will be mounted in the cover for a remote readout gauge, then it's paint and reinstallation. I have plumbed a small Algae-X magnetic fuel conditioner in the line before the Racor filter and wonder if it will really do anything. The theory sounds like smoke and mirrors to me, but at $100 I figure it is worth a try.
Normal spring varnish projects, winch overhaul and the like are underway and I'm thinking about having Doyle make up a new mizzen stays'l and club jib.
Terri Laird, Beverly, MA
It's March 31st and 85 degrees in the Boston area. Sure would be nice to have the boat in the water. Summer is not far off and I would like to replace the powder blue cushion covers with something more authentic. I believe I read somewhere that the cushions were originally in a green wide wale corduroy. Do you have any details on fabrics?
Reply: In The Concordian #13, Spring 1992, Elizabeth Meyer wrote: I have found an excellent replacement corduroy for the Concordias. It is so close to the original A&R fabric as to be truly acceptable! It is made by the Duralee Company and is Pattern B10386. Color: Mist. 100% cotton. Most fabric outlets can obtain this material.
Your editor received a very detailed letter highlighting the restoration of Absinthe by owner Walt Schulz. It appears that Walt did a very thorough and proper job of cold-molding a new outer sheathing along with a myriad of other structural upgrades and improvements. Not wanting to start a controversy about cold molding issues, he requested that I not print his letter. Walt is an experienced boat builder and restorer and the points he makes for proper methodology are well taken. Given the condition Absinthe was in at the start of the project, this may have been the only practical solution. I am hoping we can print Walt's letter in the future because it does raise some important and well thought out conclusions.
Lisa Hunt from Concordia
Plans are well under way for the 60th Anniversary Concordia Yawls Regatta, to be held the weekend of August 28-30, 1998. Keep an eye out at the end of April for your invitation. If you are planning to bring your Concordia to this event, please respond early. Dockside space will be limited and will be reserved on a first come first served basis. There will, however, be plenty of room on nearby moorings. We are hoping to attract more than 60 Concordia this year, making August 28030 a truly memorable weekend.
Festivities will include Friday and Saturday night cocktail parties, races and sailing in company on Saturday and a dinner party with awards ceremony. We'll top off the weekend with a Concordia yawl parade on Sunday afternoon. All functions will be held under the waterfront tent at the New Bedford Yacht Club next door to Concordia's boatyard facility. NBYC is also making their showers, launches and other services available to event participants.
Those who will be attending the Regatta will soon receive order forms for clothing and specialty items with the special Concordia Yawls 60th logo imprinted. There will also be collection of photos and anecdotes on display about the yawls. Please start assembling your favorite photos and thoughts to add to the display!
WoodenBoat Magazine is in the process of gathering data for the third issue of The Register of Wooden Yachts. This is a wonderful volume and it would be even better if all the Concordias were included. There is no cost for listing and owners need not include their address if so desired. WoodenBoat, Box 78, Brooklin, ME 04616-0078.
Two very nice computer "screen savers" have recently come to my attention. The first is by noted wooden boat photographer and fellow Concordian Ben Mendlowitz, titled Wooden Boats. "This features 22 spectacular full-color images, many which have appeared in the award-winning Calendar of Wooden Boats. It is compatible with both Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 or Macintosh 7.1 or later." There is even one shot of a Concordia yawl! $17.95 plus $3 shipping/handling to: Noah Publication, Box 14, Reach Road, Brooklin, ME 04616.
The second is titled Classic Wooden Boats for Windows and requires a 386 or better PC, and is compatible with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. This features 25 shots by a variety of noted marine photographers and "over 20 mesmerizing display effects and complete wallpaper management." There are four Concordias included: Arawak, Harbinger, Winnie and Dame of Sark. Somehow Endeavour snuck into the line up. She's steel, but I'm not complaining since she certainly ads some beauty to the display. Available at West Marine for $19.95 or directly from Tide Lines, Box 23041, Encinitas, CA 92023-0431.
The 16th annual version will be held on July 11-12 at Marina Bay, Victory Road, Quincy, MA on Boston Harbor and is sponsored by Lowell's Boat Shop. Boats don't need to be in "show" condition. The spirit of the Festival is to "gather the grand old craft and those who love them. For information contact 617 666-8530 or 617 489-1137.
Over the years I've received requests for back issues of The Concordian. I do have some copies of the later issues but most of the early ones are gone. It has been suggested that there might be some interest in a reproduced bound copy of the first 25 issues. It would be possible to scan the copies and have good quality reproductions of the photographic material. However, due to the labor and cost involved, I would proceed with this project only if there were suitable interest, and then, on a subscription basis. I would estimate the cost to be in the $50 range and I would need at least 50 subscribers. I am picturing a format similar to the 40th Anniversary Book. I believe permission could be obtained as well to include a copy of the 20th Anniversary publication done by Waldo Howland in 1958. Perhaps an update and photos could be included for both the 50th and 60th Reunions. Please let me know if you are interested.
Your editor still has some available. $35 includes shipping and handling. If you're going to fly it, be sure it's right side up!
After 13 years and 25 editions of The Concordian, I have decided it is time to pass the helm. Though it has been an enjoyable pursuit, other items are competing for my time and energy. Bob Grindrod of Horizon and Skip Bergman of Paramour have offered to share the duties. I am most appreciative. I plan to help during the transition with the Fall 1998 edition and will be happy to help out as needed with your questions or inquiries. Future correspondence should be addressed to: Bob Grindrod, 28884 West Main Street, Barrington, IL 60010. E-mail: email@example.com.
I would like to thank my fellow Concordians who have contributed to making the newsletter what it is. Your enthusiasm has been most helpful. Bob and Skip might have some new ideas on how to improve The Concordian, but I hope they are not taken back by the amount of work involved. You can help by keeping them informed of all things Concordian and at minimum, keep your $5.00 yearly subscription up to date.
Now, I'm heading down to the harbor to take the winter covers off Irene. Then we plan to head out for a week of fine spring cruising in the San Juans. We'll be aboard Abaco with Jon & Dorothy Goldweitz at the 60th and we look forward to meeting many old friends and greeting new ones.
Seamen's Version of The 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my Pilot; I shall not drift
He lighteth me across dark waters,
He steereth me in deep channels.
He keepeth my Log,
He guideth me by the Star of Holiness, For His Name's sake.
Yea, tho' I sail 'mid the thunders and tempests of life,
I shall dread no danger for thou art with me,
Thy love and Thy care, they shelter me.
Thou preparest a harbor before me in the homeland of eternity;
Thou annointest the waves with oil;
My ship rideth calmly.
Surely sunlight and starlight shall favor me
All the day of my voyaging, and I will rest in the Port of the Lord,
my God, forever.
Crossing the Bar
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For, though from out our bourne of time and place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
Farewell friend Waldo! Whether we are at sea or anchored in a peaceful harbor on our Concordia, this season at the first crescent "Concordia moon" let us spend a few quiet moments in remembrance of this unique individual. Then let us toast and celebrate him in a gesture appropriate to the moment. Fair winds!
Doug Cole4344 King Avenue Bellingham, WA 98226-8727 FAX: 360 647-7747 E-mail: Douglas Cole@compuserve.com