Issue #14, Fall 1992
Every time severe weather hits there is trepidation amongst yacht owners. The 103 vessel Concordia fleet has remained in tact despite numerous hurricanes over the years. As you recall, SUMATRA #76 was severely damaged when she parted her mooring and was driven ashore in Marion Harbor during hurricane Bob in August of 1991. She was later purchased by Concordia Company and is currently being restored. Hurricane Andrew hit the Miami area this August and few of us missed seeing pictures of the destruction. Four Concordias are based in Florida, but at press time we've only heard from FLEETWOOD #20. Ida Galliher reports: FLEETWOOD survived Hurricane Andrew, but not without damage. We evacuated from my yacht club, which is directly on Biscayne Bay, and headed for safe harbor up the Miami River. After hours of securing her I went home to begin the process of securing my home and property. In my heart I felt I would probably lose FLEETWOOD, judging from the weather reports we were receiving. We were tied up with a 50' Morgan at a friend's boatyard, and at 0300 during the height of the storm the pilings broke, my furling gear came open and the two boats were sailing up the river towards a bridge. We hit several boats before ramming into a large cement boat whose owner was able to secure FLEETWOOD and the Morgan to his boat. My furling system had wrapped around the Morgan's mast and we were "married" for several days before we were able to cut the rigging loose. When I finally found the boat the nelt morning all the lines and rigging resembled a huge mass of spaghetti. Fortunately there was only cosmetic damage to the hull, which has already been repaired, but a great deal of the rigging on the main and mizzen was destroyed. After we unstepped the main mast we found a 20' delaminated area. I'm fighting with my insurance company to replace the mast rather than repair it. I've been in touch with Concordia Company and have gotten a quote for a new mast and rigging. I believe MALAY I was away cruising at the time. The damage to the boats that stayed in marinas on the Bay is beyond belief. 80% of all boats that did not evacuate were lost. It will be a long time before we recover from this disaster. I'm proud that FLEETWOOD came through as well as she did. The Concordias sure are strong boats.
Thomas Franklin, Cambridge, MA
WESTRAY enjoyed a more modest season than we had originally planned but provided many pleasant days and nights of sailing and no "life-threatening-experiences" as my wife loves to describe some of our more adventurous outings. (Peter Matthiessen, the famous naturalist/novelist writer, once described an "adventure" as "the consequences of poor planning," and I quite agree.) We overnighted to Maine in late July for the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta and feeder race. The latter was somewhat of a drowse as two hours after the start no one was more than a quarter mile from the start. The only race became who was more patient (or foolish) in their belief that the wind would ever come up. (It didn't.) There was plenty of wind the next day for the ERR, however, at least until the end. Conditions at the start were nigh perfect. The sizeable Concordia fleet was well down the weather leg when the third class of starters, including the J-boat Shamrock, roared through. There is nothing quite like being passed by Shamrock thirty feet to leeward on a beat - it looked to me like our spreaders were at about her waterline. Just after rounding the weather mark Shamrock blew out the foot of her main but she simply headed up, reefed the main and continued racing. Pretty nice seamanship in crowded waters and a fair breeze. For most of the fleet the race ended in a doldrum just short of the finish line where we slatted about, sailed backward with the current for a ways and finally limped across in a zephyr. We enjoyed another 12 days in Maine, especially to Damariscove Island, then an easy overnight to Red Brook Harbor in Buzzards Bay where we stayed for the rest of the season. We were disqualified in the Moffett Cup race, along with most of the fleet, because we followed the lead boat around the wrong mark. Utter humiliation! And we greatly enjoyed the Padanaram Regatta in August which included the twelves Gleam and Northern Light as well as many nne Concordias, all racing on a perfect day as part of a very well organized weekend for which all credit goes to Don Tofias and Brodie MacGregor.
Alida Camp, East Blue Hill, ME
THISTLEDOWN and I are still getting along happily together and I have kept my promise never to race, so although I have been at most of the Eggemoggin ReaCh Regattas we have not made the news accounts. She is in wonderful condition and unchanged, except for the roller jib and the self-tailing winches I gave myself for my 80th birthday present.
Stewart McDougall & Denny Doyle, Seattle, WA
We closed up shop again this summer in order to go sailing. We left Seattle on June 29th and returned 54 days later on August 31st. We weren't aiming for distance, for even though we had time to sail to San Francisco or Alaska and back our desire was to enjoy pure, unadulterated cruising, which we certainly did. For two months we had no time schedules, deadlines or commitments. In our busy world, a true anomoly, and a true blessing. Last year when we sailed around Vancouver Island we were on a strict time schedule, and as a result we had to pass by many beautiful anchorages and scenic wonders that we wanted to see. So this year we took our time and saw everything we missed. If there was wind we'd sail. If not we'd stay put. A highlight was Malcom Island, site of several ancient native villages. One had middens (beaches of discarded clam shells) 27 feet deep. Archaeoligists estimate that one foot of shell build-up represents 100 years of village occupation. When you visit these sites you are indeed experiencing a very ancient culture who's Spirit is still very much in tact, even though in most cases, the villages are in ruins. It is still possible, however, to beachcomb these areas and find trading beads that the Europeans used as barter for sea otter pelts or to row around a burial island and see cedar burial boxes suspended in the tree limbs. Our best sail was a beat up Knight Inlet with 120% jib, reefed main and full mizzen, blazing sunlight and averaging 6.5 knots, with just a touch of 7.0 for added enjoyment. Knight Inlet is so deep near shore that you can literally tack when the bow pulpit is just about to touch the overhanging fir trees on shore. Sailing past a pod of Orca whales, we could see to the east the snow-capped Canadian Coastal mountains, and to the west a chain of islands floating in glacial green water, the purple mountains of Vancouver Island as their backdrop. We added a roller furling system this year and it is wonderful. It paid for itself the first time we rolled up the jib downwind in a 30 knot blow without having to go forward. It's also nice not to have the sail in the way of the anchor drill. (Editor's note: Stewart has devised an electric windlass (Simpson Lawrence model 1200) and anchor system (300' of chain and 35 lb. CQR) for KODAMA and recently installed on CORIOLIS and soon to be installed on VINTAGE. I was aboard KODAMA last week, and after a full day of racing (with guests), she looked like she was ready for a "Concourse D'elegance Boat Show." Stewart and Denny have lived aboard for more than 10 years.)
Donald Tofias, Waltham, MA
ARAWAK sustained serious damage in Nantucket Harbor the day after the 1991 Opera House Cup. A week later I was able to limp back into Padanaram Harbor, and the boat had been in repair most of the fall, winter and spring. Rather than replace the damaged wooden decks with an inferior cotton product or even Dynel, we decided to install teak decks, which make the boat look brand new. Concordia did a fabulous job using the vacuum bag technique; therefore there are no through-holes or bungs on the deck, and it should provide a water-tight surface for years to come. In the process of installing the new decks, we also installed new teak rails, and I decided, as long as all the hardware was removed from the deck. not to replace the locust bow and stern cleats but to go with pairs of bronze cleats parallel to the rails fore and aft. I am saving the cleats because perhaps the next owner would want to return to the traditional look, but I think a boat should have double cleats fore and aft. Other work last winter included a very neat installation of a holding tank for the head. As you know, many of the harbors on the East Coast now require holding tanks, and at some point in the future, it could become law in all harbors. I therefore decided, as long as so much work was being done on the boat, that this was a good winter to do it. The arrangement that we set up allows me to dump from the head to the tank, from the head directly overboard, and also pump out the tank separately while at sea. I think this will leave us maximum flexibility and also allow us to meet statutory requirements for years to come.
Dennis Gross, Olympia, WA
This November will mark three years that SOVEREIGN has been in my shed undergoing restoration. However, I've not lost my enthusiasm! She is beautiful and progress is being made, though slow. New covering boards are made and installed. Sheer plank, stern and bow are refastened. New plywood deck with Dynel surface is complete. Cabin top is re-canvassed. Forward hatch and skylight are completely rebuilt. If any of you have tried to cut perfect 1 1/2" dovetail joints on curved surfaces such as those on the skylight, you know the difficulty. Having never done these before, and striving for perfection, many hours were logged in their construction. They turned out great. I also took the interior cabin overhead down to bare wood and repainted. I'm now working on the toe rails and trying to decide if I should use the old or make new ones. Kathy and I visited Concordia Company last October and while there examined every Concordia we could. I believe it was CHOSEN #31 that had a metal brace under the mast step with tie rods going up on each side connecting to a small plate on the sheer clamps. We duplicated them on SOVEREIGN to make her stronger. Once the toe rails are down and completed we will re-wire and begin on the cockpit which is gutted at this time. Don't give up on us. A Concordia deserves only the best. Shoddy workmanship or cheap materials are not acceptable. SOVEREIGN is being re-built so she will be good for another 30 years or better. By the way, we vacationed in New Zealand this spring by bicycle. I was very interested in seeing Mark Webby's #104 being built in Whangarei but was unable to contact him.
Jonathan Goldweitz, Stamford, CT
We cruised on ABACO from August 19 to September 7. This included a stop in Padanaram for the 1st Annual Padanaram Regatta - ABACO placed 2nd in the Concordia division - which was sailed in 25-28 kt (true) winds with hig Buzzards Bay seas. We also enjoyed a beat back west to Narragansett Bay in 25-35 kt winds. Stopped at Block Island, Connecticut River and several Long Island harbors before returning to SYC. A varied and relaxing cruise, and only had to power two days. We have enjoyed immensely listening to the book-on-tape of Llewellyn Howland's Sou'west & By West of Cape Cod. It was especially nostalgic after just returning from the cruising ground he describes. We plan to attend the Concordia Reunion in 1993 along with the Padanaram and Classic Yacht Regatta. Certainly enjoyed the British Columbia cruise on IRENE this June and look forward to more bi-coastal cruising.
Douglas Cole, Bellingham, WA
We had a busy season as usual with cruising, racing, boatshows and maintenance. We sailed in the Second Wood Yacht Racing Association Series, participating in five of eight races and enjoyed the usual neck and neck competition with Ben Niles on ALLURE #82. Jon and Dorothy Goldweitz (ABACO) cruised with us for two weeks, thus completing the first round of our bi-coastal Concordia exchange. We had an absolutely perfect trip up to Princess Louisa Inlet in B.C. While DeMaris was crewing on a J-44 sailing back from Maui I got the brightwork in order and the brass polished before heading over to Victoria for the Classic Boat Festival. IRENE dazzled the judges again and came away with "Best Sailboat in Show." While single-handing enroute to Victoria I had occasion to put all IRENE's modern electronic equipment and my naviguessing skills to use entering Mackaye Harbor late at night and in fog. I hadn't planned it that way of course, but it was interesting to sit at the nav station monitoring loran and radar and steering by auto pilot (and wishing I had a bow watch), vaguely similar to how we do it on the jets, except for the speed and lack of sophistication. We have several fall sails left before the winter covers go on.
Warren Nichols, Green Lane, PA
(July) "We are enjoying the summer on Chesapeake Bay. While we have no extended cruising planned we're having wonderful sailing weekends and one short cruise planned for early fall. We were hoping to make the Padanaram Regatta but unfortunately that didn't work out. We hope arrange a rendezvous with other Concordias while we're here. We did have the pleasure this winter of meeting Bob and Gratia Gillespie who owned LIVE YANKEE for her first 32 years. We had spoken several times by phone but never met until a chance meeting on Maui this March. They're a lovely couple as I'm sure many of you know and of course still enthusiastic about Concordias in general and LIVE YANKEE in particular. We hope to have a sail together in the near future.
Donald Tonas co-organizer (along with Brodie MacGregor) of the First Annual Padanaram Regatta reports that the race was sailed in bright sunny skies and southwest winds of 30 knots. Eight Concordias raced (along with 12 other yachts, including two twelves) and HARBINGER won with the help of the "factory team" (Tux). Best finish was Dan Strohmeier and Fred Brooke, both in their eighties, both Nonquitt residents and racing against one another for the past 20 years. Dan won on elapsed, Fred won on corrected. And, they were ready to go out again. MALAY and ABSINTHE were a pretty sight neck and neck. Waldo came to the awards ceremony and made a speech and presented the Howland Trophy to Larry Warner of HARBINGER under the tent at NBYC - South Wharf, Padanaram. Next year's regatta will be on August 28, 1993, which is between the Opera House Cup in Nantucket (15 August) and the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport (3-5 September). We expect a larger turnout next year now that the race has been established. We hope to have Shamrock V, Endeavour, and five or six of the classic twelves. The 12's have not raced as a class on Buzzards Bay for over 20 years - lets make it a tradition! 1993 also marks the 55th anniversary of the first Concordia yawl JAVA. Since all 103 Concordias are still in existence, it is our hope to have a Regatta (perhaps as large as the 1988 Regatta) and attract at least 50 Concordias to this Padanaram Regatta. Again, the Concordias would be racing for the Howland Trophy. We are considering having the World Championship Beetlecat Regatta at the same time.
1992 Concordia results:
Steven White of Brooklin Boat Yard and organizer of the Eggomoggin Reach Regatta reports that they had 120 yachts sailing in this year's race, including the following Concordias in order of finish: MOONFLEET, BANDA, NEFERTITTI, SNOW FALCON, WINNIE of BOURNE, KATRINA, NJORD, RAKA, ARAWAK, STARLIGHT, HARBINGER, GOLONDRINA and WESTRAY.
Concordias faired well as usual in the Classic Yacht Regatta at Newport. WINNIE of BOURNE was first in Class C and as the first Concordia, won the "C. Raymond Hunt Award." 2. SHIMAERA, 4. SONNET. 5. BANDA, 7. ARAWAK. It is reported that MATINICUS was given the "Superb Ongoing Maintenance Award."
In the Northwest WYRA, the Wooden Yacht Racing Association, held its second annual series of seven events and eight races. Concordia racing was close as usual with ALLURE, VINTAGE, KODAMA and IRENE competing. ALLURE attended all but one of the events. The Heritage Cup Race was sailed in Bellingham in mid-May under sunny skies and moderate wind. IRENE was 3rd overall and ALLURE 7th. Three races are usually held at the Classic Mariners Regatta in Port Townsend but due to lack of wind only two were sailed. In the Concordia division, ALLURE won race one and IRENE won race two. The highly prized half-model Concordia Trophy was awarded to ALLURE - for the third year in a row - due to a few seconds of elapsed time difference for the two races. Congratulations to Ben and Ann Niles and crew! The race in Victoria was held in perfect 10-15 knot NW winds and saw IRENE and ALLURE only a few boatlengths apart on the final weather leg. ALLURE was first over but IRENEled on corrected. The final race in Seattle in mid-October began with IRENE and ALLURE tied for third in the series. However, neither finished due to dying winds. First for the series was the 30 square meter Bijou II, second, the 50' S&S sloop Courageous, and tied for third ALLURE and IRENE.
TEMPO #4 - Moved up from Miami to East Islip, NY. New owner is Jim Beggins who is planning much reconstruction work.
ORIANE #34 - Ex Pelletreau, new owner is Ted Danforth of New York City. She will be based in Stongton, CT. Ted writes: ORIANE is not my first wooden boat. A number of years ago I had a six-meter, built in Bremen (!) in 1932, which I kept in Scotland and Ireland.
NJORD #50 - New owner is Peter Kieley from South Hampton, NH. Peter used to own Fledermaus which is now CANDIDE.
HORIZON #54 - Ex Bali, now owned by Stillman Brown of Nantucket, MA.
Your editor receives several calls a month from people wishing to purchase a Concordia. While I am not in the brokerage business, I am willing to put buyer in contact with seller.
As ever, I am delighted to find the The Concordian in my mailbox, and rush inside to pour over good wooden gossip and news. A sense of well-being and warmest memories puts a starry-eyed smile on my face as I read the tidbits. Thank you. The horrifying shots of SUMATRA after hurricane Bob are only made better by knowing she's in the best of hands. The time I spent working for Elizabeth on the 50th Book, the Reunion, and cruising and racing on MATINICUS remains the best time ever had. Those boats, those people, that feeling ... Wonderful stuff! I miss it. Is it that good people own Concordias or that Concordias make people good? Insert "nice" too.
(May) God that was a great issue #13 of The Concordian. It is amazing to read yet more paeans by owners to their boats. It brings tears to my eyes - no kidding. I'm about to go and get old Mattie out of the mothballs at Concordia. I have a heavy season planned for her, but it doesn't start until late July with a trip to Maine for the ERR and the New York Yacht Club cruise. Before that, Mike and I are going to Italy, Greece and Turkey on the "Big Blue Bus." We are so excited and feel so lucky to go. I am thinking a lot about next year's 55th Concordia Reunion. The lastest Concordian made me all the more eager to get together with my fellow moonstruck and starstruck Concordians. It's going to be great. We'll be sending out information as the time approaches.
The July issue of Sail Magazine featured a story about MOONFLEET's cruise from Bermuda to the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon in Newfoundland ... The current issue of Maine Boats & Harbors features a cover shot of STARLIGHT on the ways... CORIOLIS challenged IRENE to an informal race on Westsound in Orcas Island in August to test her new taller rig and new sails. Doug Adkins had so many young cheerleaders on his foredeck shouting epithets that the IRENE crew lost concentration and CORIOLIS just slipped away into the heavy mist. The previous evening saw IRENE and CANDIDE rafted up in Reid Harbor for an unplanned but most pleasant observance of the sunset... Ben Niles had a crew member on ALLURE this year who had sailed a trans-Atlantic on WESTRAY in the 70's and had some very interesting stories to tell.
Enclosed in this issue is sales information from Seacraft Classics, who is now producing a model of the Concordia yawl. Howard Learned, Seacraft's owner writes: "Concordia fans are acquiring our model and love it. I know your readers will be happy to learn it is available."
There have been several inquiries about holding tank installations. As Donald Tofias wrote, we can expect the requirements to be more and more stringent. While I've heard that several Concordias have had holding tanks installed, I believe many would like to hear the details about the location of the actual tank, what it's size is, what it's made of and how it was installed and plumbed. Another controversial issue is refrigeration. Both MALAY II (engine compressor) and CORIOLIS (12 volt) have units and I'm curious how these work and how and where they were installed. Has anyone been successful in adding additional insulation? Does anyone have a favorite Concordia gadget or do-hickie that has made cruising more enjoyable? Please share your ideas or observations with your fellow Concordians.
"I forget when I sent you my last annual $5 for The Concordian, but as far as I'm concerned the publication would be a bargain at four times the price. So here's five bucks. Don't spend it all on a new self-tailing winch."
As always, many thanks for your contributions to keep The Concordian afloat. But I need to stress that more important than your five dollars a year are your letters filled with cruising stories, reminiscences, maintenance reports and racing results. It doesn't need to be earth shattecing oc profound. A paragraph or two is more than adequate. The Spring edition of The Concordian will be published in early May. We hope to hear from you.