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The Concordian

Issue #1, Spring 1986


Welcome aboard the premier issue of the Concordia Yawl Newsletter. For all who responded from the ad in WoodenBoat my apologies for taking so long to respond with your copy. A major deck recovering project on IRENE is in progress and high rent for covered moorage dictate the priorities.

My intent in starting the newsletter is to encourage the exchange of information between Concordia owners, especially between those whose affairs are longstanding 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 that are scattered about, we definately would like to communicate more. With 10% of the fleet on the market there exists potential for much new interest in the class. In fact, most of the interest in the newsletter was from prospective owners.

A little about myself. My wife DeMaris and I probably fit the stereotype of many Concordia owners described by Elizabeth Meyer in Nautical Quarterly 22. We both grew up in the Pacific Northwest on wood boats, my family having a CROD, Owen's Cutter and a Johan Anker designed "Q" class sloop. Concordia awareness developed about ten years ago while admiring SOVEREIGN ond IRENE from afar, both in Seattle. We recently owned a nondescript fiberglass boat, for "convenience" we rationalized. Soon convenience turned to frustration and we began looking for a wood boat. About this time the Concordia story appeared in Nautical Quarterly and we had a close look at SOVEREIGN at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. We were hooked. After checking all the listings on both coasts and contemplating shipment cross country we learned IRENE was for sale nearby in Port Madison. We purchased her last March.

IRENE was built in 1966 and is hull No. 103, the last Concordia Yawl built. She is a 39' 10" model. Structurally she was in supberb condition having never been raced or offshore and used very little. In fact below she was nearly new. Everything topsides, however, would need refinishing and we knew we'd be in for deck recovering as the canvas was split in several areas from seasonal expansion and contraction. After checking with surveyor Giffy Full and Steven White at the Brooklin Boat Yard and reading the story in WoodenBoat 66 we decided to proceed with the Dynel and epoxy method. So after a season of sailing enjoyment the masts came down and into the boathouse she went.

The boat was assembled very well, everything being bedded in white lead, but thankfully with disassembly and maintenance in mind. No problems were found and after fitting 1/4" Bruynzeel plywood over the existing deck we are ready to cover with two layers of Dynel and System 3 epoxy. We will have more to report in the future as the project continues. If there are others faced with recovering I'd be happy to share what I've learned. I would like to thank Steve Loutrel (LACERTA, #44) for advice on this. He went the same route several years ago.

There are three other Concordia Yawls on Puget Sound. KODAMA, No. 46, is owned by Stewart and Denny McDougal who live aboard at Shilshole Bay in Seattle. SOVEREIGN, No. 15, is owned by George and Lorna Cook and is also at Shilshole. They are both 39's. CORIOLIS, No. 82, is owned by Doug and Susan Atkins and is still finished bright. She is moored on Portage Bay in Seattle. Stewart, an accomplished shipright, has carved a half model of the Concordia which is used as a trophy for the annual Northwest Concordia Regatta. He won the first and so far only event. Another is scheduled this spring. SOVEREIGN and IRENE had a rendevous last year at Park's Bay in the San Juan Islands and we hope more can get together this year if schedules permit.

We grew very frustrated with the W/C Seacook alcohol stove which is a standard on the Concordia. No parts are available so we purchased some propane burners and replumbed the entire system using the old stove frame and mounting a small low profile tank in a mahogany box just aft of the mizzen. The entire conversion was about $130, the biggest expense being the electric shutoff valve. We're looking forward to much quicker meals and less tension in the galley. We plan to add a diesel heat stove later on.

Maynard Bray, technical editor of WoodenBoat, recently wrote to say that the manuscript to Waldo Howland's book "The Concordia Years" has just been submitted to the publisher and should be in print within a year. After reading "A Life in Boats" I can't wait for the sequel.

There is a lot of good information in print about the Concordias, much of it still available. Nautical Quarterly 22 has an excellent story by Elizabeth Meyer and is still available. Roger Taylor's book More Good Boats has a reprint of an article written in the April, 1976 edition of National Fisherman about the Yawls. Choice Yacht Designs by Richard Henderson also has a story.

Most recently WoodenBoat 67 and 68 had some pictures and comments about the construction details. Nautical Quarterly 25 and Yachting December, 1972 both nave stories on Ray Hunt, the designer of the Concordia Yawl. The August, 1954 edition of Yachting (p., 37) also has a story on MALAY, No.2, winning the Bermuda Race. IRENE came equipped with a copy of the 40th Anniversary edition which, according to Elizabeth Meyer, is out of print and unavailable - I had to buy the boat to get a copy. IRENE also came with a copy of the original sailplan and wiring and plumbing plan ("Bordmappe") in German from Abeking & Rasmussen. If anyone is interested I can have copies made. I am also trying to track down some detailed information on A&R from Herman Schaedla, it's president, whom I met in Lemwerder several years ago.

That's it for Issue No. 1. I am soliciting for Issue No. 2 - anything that may be of interest: maintenance, history, rendevous, boats for sale, you name it - and will be happy to pursue any direction fellow Concordians would like to see. But it will definately be contributions that keep us alive. The fleet deserves it and from reading the 40th Anniversary book there's a lot of Concordia folks out there I would like to know better. How about July for the next printing? For this edition feel free to make copies and pass them along to all who are interested. Printing is cheap but to let me know who is interested please send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Concordia Yawl Newsletter
4344 King Avenue
Bellingham, Washington 98226

Smooth Sailing,

Douglas Cole