Issue #18, Fall 1994
A former Concordia owner, Dr. Raymond Curtis, now retired, recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Curtis owned VERITY #7, ex-RAYANNA from 1955 to 1982 and kept her at Gibson Island, MD. His son, Randy, who grew up sailing aboard RAYANNA on the Chesapeake and now lives in Bellingham, kindly shared with me the files his father had kept on the boat, including a fair amount of correspondence with Waldo Howland in the fifties. I believe these offer some unique insights into the early days of the Concordia class and also into that special relationship that Waldo cultivated between each new Concordia owner and himself. Here are some examples:
September 21, 1955, from Waldo to Dr. Curtis, who had made an inquiry about the purchase of a new Concordia: "I have your letter of September 12 and enclose herewith a print which will give you preliminary information about our Concordia yawls. The current price as per the brief specifications shown is $21,500, boat to be delivered here (Padanaram) and rigged and ready to sail. The next available delivery is approximately May 15th, although this date varies as other orders are received.
The first Concordia yawl was built in 1938. Three others including MALAY, winner of the 1954 Bermuda Race and 1955 Halifax Race, were built in this country prior to 1945. Since that time 31 Concordias have been built in Germany for owners in the New England, New York area. Others are now on order for next year. We chose the German yard of Abeking & Rasmussen to build for us the later boats because we believe they have the finest yard there is. We have for five years been entirely satisfied with the fine workmanship and materials that they have put into our boats. It is of interest that in sixteen years only one Concordia yawl owner as sold out of the class. The boats have worked out well as easy handling day sailers, as family cruisers, handicap racers and even ocean racers. They are exceptionally fine sea boats.
If you wish further information at this time, I will be only too pleased to send it. However, if you should become seriously interested in a Concordia, I hope you will have the time and inclination to pay us a visit and inspect several of the Concordias here in storage. No one has ever bought a Concordia or even taken a serious interest in one except those who have seen and sailed them.
There is a possibility that one of the Concordias built in 1951 could be bought as the owner is working on plans of a Concordia 41, which is a modified version of the standard Concordia yawl, which will include a separate cabin for a paid hand. The price (for the 1951 boat) would be approximately $16,000 with original sails, motor and equipment.
The enclosed pictures may be of some help to you in visualizing the interior arrangement as well as the general character of the boats. Although there are minor differences in some of the Concordias, we feel very strongly that the standard arrangement as shown, best suits the space available. However, I would be glad to discuss with you any special requirements that you might have and hope to hear from you further. Sincerely, Waldo Howland."
Then follows another letter from Waldo on October 13, 1955: "We have made some progress since your visit in that Abeking & Rasmussen have agreed to build four Concordia 41's for us this winter if they are wanted. This means that Mr. Hendrick could sell his DUSKY III. I am going to try and settle this situation with him soon. In any case, I will let you know immediately if DUSKY III or if any other Concordia is for sale. The situation on new Concordias remains unchanged. A&R are building eight, the last of which will be finished by next August. Only two of these are currently sold, the price being $21,500. Sincerely, Waldo Howland."
Dr. Curtis did purchase DUSKY III #7 in November (and took delivery the next spring) and sent the following to Waldo on February 10, 1956: "I think you should know with what high esteem you as an individual, and your boat, are held by all the sailors here on the bay. In the last two months I have attended two dinners, one by the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake, the other the Gibson Island Yacht Club, and of course at each the various people I have met asked me what kind of boat I have. As soon as I mentioned the fact that it is a Concordia they had nothing but fine praise for the boat. One of the old boat builders down in Oxford not only was complimentary of the boat but also had great praise for you, with which I certainly agree."
Waldo replied on February 15, 1956: "I am particularly pleased to learn that our yawls are well thought of in the Chesapeake. It is a fine area for cruising and racing and I am hopeful that in due course there will be a number of Concordias down there. With your boat, Mr. Herrington's and Mr. Snydor's, there will be a very fine start. Bob Forrester's LIAT is already at Annapolis, as you know, and Miss Dolan's CRISETTE is going down there in April for a spring cruise. Our Martin Jackson has been on vacation in California and made a check for me with a boatyard and broker at Newport Beach. It looks possible that they may buy a few Concordias also, but it all takes time." Regarding the preparation of Dr. Curtis' new boat, Waldo also mentioned that "The two running lights and one bow light are kerosene. I am removing them because I would like to replace them with electric lights as on the new yawls." Dr. Curtis replied: "If you don't mind, I should like to keep the old kerosene lamps for the boys to use in their room, for they would be thrilled to think they came from the boat."
After a season of sailing on the Chesapeake, Dr. Curtis sent this to Waldo in August, 1956: "RAYANNA has been doing beautifully and I could not be more thrilled with anything than I have been with her performance. I have had a number of the members of the yacht club out for a sail and all of them have been terribly impressed, not only with her beauty but with her performance as well. Several are anxious to know if you have any others for sale and I think it is only a question of time before they buy one." Waldo responded with: "TABAKEA, the 1951 sister ship of RAYANNA, is definitely for sale at $17,500. She has the same cockpit and Palmer engine that you have. However, her toerails are teak and her house sides are painted white. The boat is in first class condition with Dacron sails and lifelines. The paneling below is painted white. I enclose a picture herewith in case your doctor friend should be interested."
Next comes a letter dated June 19, 1957 to Dr. Curtis from Alexander Bright, skipper of SAFARI: "Returning by train from a late May sailing meander in Long Island Sound airs, I ran into Ray Hunt of HARRIER, who told of just seeing nine Concordias in an Oyster Bay Race - perhaps some of the ten new ones Waldo Howland has incubated this year.
This morning came a pleasant note from Jack Ryan of the hard-to-beat Concordia NIAM wondering hopefully if there might be a repeat of last year's gathering of Concordias at the Beverly Yacht Club Regatta at Marion - fifteen were on hand.
Nudged by his warm letter, I am again writing the Concordia fleet - all that I can locate, please pass the word along - suggesting that we rendezvous in Marion for the BYC Regatta July 12-14. I hereby happily extend the invitation of a generous Concordia owner to all Concordia crews for a get-together "for little necks and drinks and a little jubilation" under the Concordia banner on the Club lawn at 1815 Saturday, at which gathering a special trophy for the Concordia winner of the Saturday race will be awarded. I heartily hope you will join in with us for part or all of the occasion whether you race or not. Cordially, Alexander H. Bright."
Dr. Curtis was not able to attend the BYC event, but Waldo did send out the race results to all Concordia owners, dated July 20, 1957: "Once again, thanks to Alex Bright and the Beverly Yacht Club, the "Concordias" had a most pleasant and interesting regatta and get together in Marion. Present and racing were: GAMECOCK, SAFARI, WINNIE OF BOURNE, PARTHENIA, CRISETTE, NIAM, WINDSONG, SKYE, and SCONE. The boats finished Saturday in about the order listed, but corrected times were slightly different. Others on hand but not racing were: SCOTCH MIST, BANDA, ELECTA, SLY MONGOOSE (under charter).
Jack Ryan very kindly and very quietly arranged to be the host for the get together Saturday afternoon, which was held after the races and before the BYC dinner. The Little Necks and the drinks and all were certainly perfect. Sailing clothes were the costume for the occasion and sailing talk was the main topic of conversation. Some of the answers to what makes them go faster or slower were figured out, others are still open for another year.
Although ten to fifteen boats in one class make for plenty of fun it is hoped that some of the Concordias who could not make the get together this year will be able to do so another year. Waldo Howland."
The following August (1957) Dr. Curtis wrote to Waldo: "We have had a wonderful time with RAYANA this summer. Ann and I were off with the Gibson Island fleet for their cruise week for nine days, and of course among the fleet were the usual number of Owens Cutters as well as a Loki Yawl and several other boats. We really made their eyes open wide when the two of us with working sails finished third in the fleet on the second day when we had plenty of wind. The other two days were light breeze days and we did not do as well since nearly all the others were sailing with either big genoas or spinnakers. By the way, I know it would mean simply extra work, although sometime I would love to see you issue an annual or semiannual letter to the owners with reference to how the Concordias have done for the year in the various races as well as the new owners and so forth. As you know, you cannot help when you are with a group of sailors to want to talk about your own class, both as to how and what they are doing." Waldo replied: "With all hands using working sails only, there are very few 40' boats that will keep up with a Concordia. We feel that this makes them good cruising boats as it is not always handy to set light sails."
In response to a letter from Dr. Curtis about sail trim, on December 30, 1960, Waldo wrote: "I have been wondering if a masthead rig would be of any help to you, but rather expect that for your general use the change would not be worth it. For racing, a masthead rig has definite advantages in efficiency with genoas and spinnakers and for rating. Also with a higher jib and smaller mainsail the centers of the sail areas move forward. This tends to give the boat less windward helm. In other words it makes it easier to balance, and in that respect, easier and more fun to sail. With the right shape to the sail, the right rake of the mast, and the right trimming of the sheets, a very perfect balance can be achieved with the rig that you have, but without some care it is not uncommon to find a weather helm. To correct a weather helm, if any, the mast should be relatively straight. A rake of 6" would be about right. The main and mizzen should be fairly flat. A baggy sail with a tight leach is the worst source of possible trouble. In a fresh breeze the mizzen should not be too strapped in. Actually it may be best to lower it altogether at times. The jib should be sheeted in well. I'm sure you know all these things, but continuous experimenting and practicing certainly will improve handling and performance. Sincerely, Waldo Howland."
Skip & Anne Bergmann, Waupun, WI
(The Bergmanns purchased #72 this spring in North Carolina. Ed.) PARAMOUR arrived in Wisconsin late the night of May 11 and was unloaded at the Palmer Johnson yard in Sturgeon Bay the next morning. She survived the trucking pretty well, but a month out of the water in North Carolina, the long ride in the warm air at 55 mph, and not being relaunched until the first week of June, resulted in considerable drying out. As the summer progressed, she became tight again with the exception of some minor caulking to be done forward on some of the six new bottom planks. We moved her 50 miles south from Sturgeon Bay to Manitowoc at the end of June and have had great daysailing out of the marina there. Having grown up at Quissett harbor and believing that all real boats live on moorings, the prospect of a marina was something new for Anne and me. Much to our surprise, we have found marina life to be terrific. We are fortunate to be at a small, quiet facility with friendly management and neighbors and the ready accessibility of water, electricity, a ship's store but a short walk away, and the convenience of not dinghying our gear and the dog out to the boat have made things most enjoyable.
Prior to launching the yard did topsides and bottom work, some varnishing and installed a holding tank system. The enclosed photos show how we solved the problem for a no-discharge zone. Basically, we sacrificed the forward, center tool locker for a custom-fabricated 30 gallon aluminum tank. We retained the old manual head and plumbed it for a holding tank, direct overboard discharge, holding tank overboard discharge (with Whale pump mounted in port locker), and the ability to cap off seacock and tank lines with plugs. This arrangement makes us legal for the Great Lakes (and particularly the stringent Canadian rules) and gives us offshore direct discharge capability if we get the boat back East someday. The hoses and pump in the port locker still allow for storage of a number of items, but I did have to remove the shelf in the lower locker directly in back of the head. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of space there to store odds and ends and we have a forward starboard locker since the 41 has no water tank there. I opted not to drill the newly caulked and refastened teak deck for a discharge plate fitting, but rather had a bracket welded up to mount it just forward of the port bulkhead by the port forward locker. If one is careful with the dock hose and keeps it wrapped, we think we can live with this setup, although it would be easy enough to put a regular deckplate on. However, this would involve drilling the deck, loops of hose that might not be that easy or self-draining, etc. Although we didn't like the thought of installing a tank vent anywhere on the boat, we resigned ourselves to mounting it on the topsides rather than the cabin trunk in order to further minimize the chance of odors aft. Once painted, the small fitting is barely visible and the line is fitted with a Sealand odor filter. The yard did all the work with the exception of taking the lockers apart and reassembly. Cost was approximately $2,800 including labor, plumbing, custom tank and pump. Rather than a bladder system, we hope this will provide a permanent, long-term solution to the requirements.
No major problems, although I would like to hear from someone with a single spreader, masthead rig 41. We have tuned the main a number of times and followed the advice of former owner Garry Brown in setting up tensions. However, we've been in some pretty stiff winds, and although the mast remains in column quite well up to the intermediate shrouds, I can't seem to eliminate more leeward bend than I like from there to the top of the mast. Perhaps I am being too conservative in setting up the uppers, but I hate to push on the standard mast step too hard. Anyone with ideas?
Routine varnish updates and odds and ends keep us busy like everyone else and the boat is a real magnet for attracting admirers. Numerous people know it is a Concordia and we had a man stop by who used to sail on a 39 in Buzzards Bay and another who grew up on Smith Neck Road right down from the Concordia yard. The boating world is truly a small one. Our seasons are short here and we'll head back to Sturgeon Bay the end of September for winter storage. October 15 will probably be our last sailing weekend (we've had snow on October 10) and we'll haul as late as possible, probably around November 1. In our area the choices for storage indoors and unheated are limited and there are few yards left with wooden boat experience. Fortunately, we have established a relationship with a good surveyor who knows the boats (he helped with rebuild projects on MISTY #66) and he should keep us in good shape and guide us to those who can do required upgrading. We're looking forward to sailing next May!
Ben Niles, So. Freeport, ME
I think ALLURE will spend the winter at Rockport Marine getting a few stem/forefoot and keelbolts and a lengthened mast step. Since the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta we've just had a few day sails and evening races. It's great being on a mooring again. We almost never need to turn on the engine. (Ben, Ann & family & ALLURE moved from Seattle this June. Ben reports the boat transit went smoothly. No doubt he misses being able to walk off his Lake Union houseboat right onto the boat, but Maine sailing will no doubt make up for the minor inconvenience. Their new place in So. Freeport came with a barn which, after minor modifications, should accommodate ALLURE in coming winters. Crew members Halsey and Nat were joined on August 30 by Hilary, six pounds thirteen. Should be cozy cruising. Ed.)
William Hutchison, New Canaan, CT
(June 15) As the not-so-new owners of OTTER, we have again enjoyed the latest issue of The Concordian. In the three years we have owned OTTER, we have cruised in Maine and are now in Jamestown, RI for the summer. The boat was in a fine state of repair when we got her, and we have been working to keep that going. Major effort has gone into a new transmission, replacing excellent but worn out electronics and plumbing work - the dreaded holding tank. I will try to give a better summary later.
David Palmer, Newport, RI
In the winter of 1992 I replaced my current fixed blade prop with a 15" diameter variable pitched 3-blade feathering prop manufactured by Paul Luke of Maine. The new 3-blade prop pitch is factory adjusted and is changeable by returning the prop to the factory. The feathering feature aligns the blades for less resistance in the water. There were no changes required to the aperture or rudder. I selected a 15" diameter in lieu of the 16" for the reason that the clearance for the 15" was greater than the 16". The 16" left a clearance of 5/8" at the aperture opening in the rudder. A new tapered shaft was required to adapt to the Luke prop. I am happy with the results. I repowered to a Yanmar 27HP engine and was having trouble powering in head winds over 20 knots with the fixed blade. Now it's not a problem and of course, backing in reverse is considerably better. I would assume that each Concordia may have different aperture sizes through the years with modifications and rebuilds. I would not consider this expense with the gasoline powered Concordias. The new diesel replacements with their marginal HP ratings and high RPMs require a 3 blade prop to drive the boat. Does the expense of the Luke prop make sense? I guess it is a moot point for a Concordia owner. Should a 15" be too big, a 14" with different pitch might do the job. Check with Paul Luke in Maine. The hub of the prop is large but it aligns nicely with the dead wood at the stern tube thus decreasing resistance in water. I do not remember the cost of the prop, but I believe it was around $2,800.
Donald Tofias, Wellesley Hills, MA
(April 27) ARAWAK has been in the water since the first week of April at Rockport Marine. It was a "LIFO" problem: last in, first out. I have not sailed yet but am taking a load of stuff - dinghy, sails, books, etc. - up tonight. I will be cruising in Maine through early August including the Wooden Boat show, Camden feeder race and ERR, then south to Nantucket, Padanaram and Newport. See you on the water. (Donald recently sold ARAWAK and purchased the 44' Starling Burgess cutter Christmas, which will now be named Arawak. He plans a new carbon spar and winged keel for her. Ed.)
Peter Gallant, Portsmouth, NH
(June 21) The first 3 weeks of June have been fabulous here in NH and almost makes me forget the long cold winter. By the time anyone reads this, Winnie will have shown herself at Eggemoggin and possibly the Opera House Cup. In the previous issue, SOVEREIGN's owner asked about keel bolts. This is how I dealt with it. The later boats had one more bolt forward than WINNIE, so I drilled through the cast iron for an additional 1/2" bolt. I used a carbide bit and wore out a grinding wheel sharpening it. No fun, but my shoulders are now bigger. I dropped the ballast off the boat and sand blasted, epoxied and faired. I purchased, at Concordia's suggestion, 316 grade stainless steel headed bolts from Navtec. I also sent them some old 1 1/4" Aquamet 22 shafting which they headed and threaded. That saved a little money. The workmanship on the bolts was beautiful, and included nuts. Fine threads were used. The original bolts were in 3 sizes, slightly larger than their inch "equivalents," ie. 1 mm less in 3/4" size. This I saw as an opportunity to electrically isolate the ballast from the hull structure. I coated the bolts (minus threads) with a light coating of epoxy, wrapped cotton around the head and drove them up, through the ballast and keel. The wood around the bolts was somewhat deteriorated, so I drilled out a larger hole. Once the bolts were in place I placed a short length of 3" PVC pipe, bedded in gray strip caulk, over the bolt and poured slow epoxy, thinned slightly with xylol, down the holes. Shortly before the epoxy set up, I removed the pipes, placed a 3/8" fiberglass and epoxy "washer" over the bolt, followed by a 3/8" stainless "washer." I cleaned off the threads, oiled them, then bolted everything down tight. The ballast is bedded in asphalt roofing cement and the underside of the keel is painted in red lead. The bolt holes on the underside of the ballast were filled with epoxy, microballons and silica. After 5 years there is no sign of rusting from the ballast. Better still, there are no signs of galvanic action. Naturally, no zincs are used, as the ballast is considered isolated. I use a dynaplate for loran and lightning ground. I would encourage anyone to try this on his own. It may sound like a big project, but actually it goes quite easily. Hire someone else for the sandblasting, though. That's an awful job.
I'm still looking for a wood stove for Winnie. If anyone wants to sell/give/lend me one, please call. I must be fast or cheap. The estimates for Concordia maintenance that were published in the last issue would crush me. I hope you're all doing it yourself or have found a more efficient yard. Yikes! Besides putting in a stellar performance racing on ABACO last summer, you must also realize that The Concordian is the best bargain in publishing. Thanks! Keep the varnish flowing...
Dick & Lisa Zimmermann, Magnolia, MA
SAFARI got through the commissioning rush and we managed a late June launch. We stepped the mast and rigged just in time for a long 4th of July weekend in the Isle of Shoals. We've done a lot of evening sails out of Manchester harbor and have been able to go overnight most weekends. Sometimes there is no destination. Just a weekend relaxing on board at the mooring. We spent the first two weeks of August in Maine. Clear, cool weather and no fog. Unbelievable. We hope to participate in the Gloucester Schooner Festival over Labor Day and give MAGIC a little competition in the wooden boat race. After Labor Day fall season starts - shorter and cooler days but plenty of good sailing to be had. A good time to start thinking about winter projects. Next year is our 10th anniversary with SAFARI and we're planning a long summer trip to Nova Scotia. So we'll be doing a lot of detail work getting her ready for the cruise. We're planning on late July to early September, 4-6 weeks total. We would love to have company, especially other Concordias. Give us a call for information at 508 525-2215.
Ruth Ann Goetz, Westlake, OH
TINA is a Concordia 31 and was built by William MacKenzie, of the Concordia yard, 1960-61. She has been in my family since 1966 and is original except for the addition of sheet winches and two garboard planks. I do all the maintenance work myself, and enjoy it. Waldo thought she would not survive in fresh water, especially with some old single woman taking care of her. I organize the "Great Lakes Wooden Sailboat Society" and this year we had our 12th annual rendezvous and regatta at Battery Park Marina in Sandusky, Ohio.
Rich Navarro, Islamorada, FL
MEMORY has had some cosmetic work done over the past year. We wooded the cabin house and mainmast last winter in order to keep her looking good in the tropical sun. We love living where we can use her all year round, but the climate takes a toll and it can be a little tough staying ahead of things. The biggest change has been the removal of the old Graymarine and the installation of a new Yanmar diesel. This has proven to be the best thing I have done for MEMORY. The installation was pretty straight forward, and thanks to some advice from Jerry Smith at Concordia, everything went smoothly. We have sailed her in the Florida Keys a lot. This summer we cruised the Bahamas and thoroughly enjoyed it. During our three week cruise we raced in the Regatta Time in the Abacos. This is a five race series over 12 days that helps celebrate Bahamian Independence. We enjoyed the racing and were successful enough to win three first place trophies in the cruising class. MEMORY was left in the Bahamas to have topsides painted and we will return in August to continue a little cruising and then bring her back to the States.
Ted Danforth, New York, NY
(Sept. 15, On board ORIANE, Edgartown harbor) After an early launch in mid-April, thanks to the good work of Dodson's in Stonington, CT, we brought ORIANE down to Seawanhaka in Oyster Bay and explored the western Sound at a season when one can count on a little wind, and got as far west as Execution Rocks. Living in New York, I found it wonderful to have the boat so handy to the city, and Bill Glenn who at one time owned WINNIE OF BOURNE, was very welcoming at Seawanhaka. At the beginning of July we began our really serious sailing. Heading eastward, ORIANE has touched practically every fair harbor from Oyster Bay to Manchester, MA, and covered as of this writing over 700 nautical miles. And we have not yet finished by any means. September and October provide, in my view, the best sailing of the year in these parts, and an even 1000 miles is in sight. We had planned to do some of the wooden boat races, but somehow they never put them on when ORIANE was near at hand. We are planning, however, to do the Race Rock Regatta at the beginning of October in Stonington.
Practically living on board since July, except for time to take care of business in New York, has given us time to get ORIANE in real yacht shape, though there's still plenty to do. We are going to have to address the problem of the mast step - and "working" in this area - so that next season we can do a bit of offshore work: a circumnavigation of Long Island, and then the Great South Channel around the Cape and islands, and off to Maine. "Spoke" (I think that's the proper word) many yawls, but nowhere so many as at Manchester, where the natives are particularly friendly to wooden boats. OFF CALL, SAFARI and CROCODILE all live there, and one day on a glorious sail in a beautiful northwester up to Cape Ann and back, we "spoke" three more. ORIANE (ex-PELLETREAU) is only lacking - to make life perfectly complete - a dodger, so if anybody has ideas... I must run as it's 0800, they just fired the gun at the yacht club, and I gotta put out all the flags!
Douglas Cole, Bellingham, WA
IRENE has never looked better nor been in better shape. Perhaps this was due to more "polishing" this year than sailing. She participated in the usual local wooden boat racing and after a three year streak, finally brought back the Northwest Concordia Trophy for the three race series sailed at Port Townsend in June. I was afraid that ALLURE was going to sail back to Maine with it! It was close racing as usual, but this year IRENE won 2-1. There is talk of several new Concordias in the Puget Sound fleet for next season, all potentially competitive, so we'll have to stay sharp. Local cruising was limited to 5 and 7 days trips in the San Juan Islands as the skipper took up an offer of sailing on the Baltic in Germany and Denmark during the normal local cruising season. He also enjoyed sailing in Maine aboard ABACO for the ERR and feeder race and a relaxing sail back to Camden aboard ALLURE, so no real complaints. IRENE and CORIOLIS participated in an informal wooden boat gathering on Orcas Island in early September along with Dorade and other woodies. CORIOLIS, with her beautiful bright topsides, is looking near perfect these days, both above and below decks. IRENE and occasional crew have enjoyed some fall cruising, the latest with East coast guests. They felt quite at home as we navigated Skagit Bay and the narrow Swinomish Channel in 1/4 mile fog. Transiting Deception Pass with a 6 knot push (the loran was reading a steady 14.5 knots) was a blast. Fortunately no fog that day. Much sea life, starry nights, and light winds, but we did spot three submarines, which was quite unusual. The fall colors are out and I hope for another week on the water before the winter covers go on in early November.
Thomas Franklin, Watertown, MA
We began the season with a June cruise to Bermuda with Joe Callahan (DAME OF SARK) and a couple of other crew. Almost unbelievably the air was either light, absent or on our nose nearly the entire way, so we took a little over seven days for what is normally a five or six day passage, but light seas went with the light air so it was a pleasant trip, enlivened by sighting sperm whales midway on both the trip down and back. The return was a little faster including a 10 knot romp through the Gulf Stream in pretty large swells. Joe, of course, proved to be the best helmsman aboard and WESTRAY performed flawlessly. I am always impressed how those overhangs smooth out ocean swells and Gulf Stream chop, particularly after making the Bermuda passage a few weeks ago on a 35' sloop not built by Concordia. In late August Leonie and I cruised to Maine, as far East as Roque. As we had hoped, we found late August a little less foggy than early August and I believe will forgo the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta in the future in order to gain better sailing conditions. We made our first exploration of Narraguagus and Pleasant Bays which we highly recommend. They can be quickly passed en route from Northeast to Eastport but offer beautiful empty anchorages for those with the time to meander off the direct route.
I plan to inspect keel bolts this winter but have no other projects scheduled. WESTRAY seems to be in excellent condition. I would like to propose for the reaction of other readers an information resource I have though about a little. Might it not be mutually useful to establish a data base of the fleet containing information on equipment installed or used so that we could share our experience? For example, I have had good experience with a Navico 5500 Tillerpilot and have a pretty neat installation detail, which I would be glad to provide to anyone considering an autopilot. If I ever install radar I'm sure I could benefit from the experience and ideas of others. If we were each to complete a simple questionnaire and someone were to input the data on a PC, and if we kept the data current, I think we would have a pretty valuable means of accessing our collective experience. We also could include other fields, e.g., paint and varnish, keel bolt materials, redecking materials and techniques, and we could include equipment for sale or trade. I would like to hear from others on this subject, particularly anyone who might wish to devote the time required to administer the program. (74 Pearl St., Watertown, MA 02172)
Douglas Adkins, Seattle, WA
We have considered radar for CORIOLIS for the last few years as we have heard of its usefulness on KODAMA and ALLURE. Our plans for this summer included a two week cruise to Barkley Sound on Vancouver Island's notoriously foggy west coast. Over the past winter both Raytheon and Furuno introduced small radars with 16"-17" radomes and liquid crystal display monitors. The LCD monitor is advertised as waterproof or at least splash resistant and we chose the Raytheon RL9 unit because we felt it was slightly easier to read. I am certain that the LCD monitors are not as detailed or clear as the current generation of CRT monitors, but we were attracted to their compact size. Installation on the mizzen was accomplished by means of a conventional bracket mounted beneath the jumper strut (which was lengthened several inches). Stewart McDougall (KODAMA) carefully fabricated the bracket and positioned the radome. We had hoped to run the cable inside the mizzen, but could not fish it through so it is now led down the port upper shroud from the spreader and passes through the coveringboard. The monitor is positioned on a sliding tray mounted beneath the port cockpit locker. (CORIOLIS has an enclosed cockpit locker which leads to the inner hull.) It can slide out for viewing, resting just aft of the wheel or it can be viewed by simply lifting the seat over the locker. The installation leaves room to stand at the wheel and is adjustable. The sliding mechanism is being refined by Stewart. The monitor's small size and waterproof case have allowed us to place the monitor in the cockpit, but still out of sight if we wish. (I notice a flush mounted installation of this unit in pictures of Hinckley's new 36' Picnic powerboat.) The unit has been very useful already, both off of Vancouver Island and in Puget Sound.
Barkley Sound was a wonderful adventure. We cruised part of the time with a Little Harbor 53 previously owned by Dodge Morgan. A very fancy modern boat and a substantial contrast to our Concordia. And in all, I think the Concordia more than held its own. We visited the traditional gunkholes at Barkley in the Broken Group and on the Vancouver Island coast. We saw black bears, Orcas, puffins, sea lions and so many eagles it became commonplace. We even encountered HRH Prince Edward fishing from a Canadian naval cruiser in Barkley Sound one afternoon before leaving to Victoria for the Commonwealth Games. It was a great trip albeit without enough wind, even in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
South Dartmouth, MA
(July 12) Here in Padanaram for the summer, I'm still alive and enjoying my family and my work on Volume III of A Life in Boats. This Volume III is divided into three parts. The first goes back to my early life, family connections with New Bedford whaling days, and specifically with the boyhood days with the Charles W. Morgan. The second part is about our schooner Integrity, the building of her, and the eight years of chartering her. I cannot think of another boat of this size that the Waldo Howland family could have built so successfully and sailed for eight years so satisfactorily and to so many far away places and with so many fine charterers. The third part is about Mystic Seaport Museum for which parts one and two led me so easily. Here I stick pretty closely to the museum's ships and small craft and shipyard with which I have been so happily involved. My nephew Llewellyn Howland III is, as before, my editor and he thinks that I have jotted down all the information needed to complete a book whether I last long enough to complete it or not, and of this I am very happy. Optimistically, I hope it may be published within a couple of years. Perhaps a philosophy running through the book is that one really should look back to see where he comes from to learn where he is now and wants to go to in the future. I thought the last Concordian (all of them, actually) was really great and must be so to all Concordia owners and other wooden boat owners. (To any late-comers, Waldo Howland, along with his father Llewellyn and C. Raymond Hunt, were responsible for the design of the Concordia yawl. Frank Mulville's 1979 book Schooner Integrity tells the sad but interesting story of what became of Waldo's beloved schooner, and is available from Armchair Sailor. Ed.)
Included in the files Dr. Curtis kept on RAYANNA was the following, which I believe was written by Waldo Howland: On this anchor business, this is the way the Howland tribe feel. We prefer to use a 35 lb. Yachtsman type anchor (50 lbs. for storm conditions) rather than the Danforths. The Yachtsman type requires no chain and hence is just as light as a 28 lb. Danforth. Also it has holding advantages under changing conditions. A section of chain is such a nuisance on deck: it collects mud, will not render through a sheave etc. When using a Danforth, AUDA's Captain Hardy has weighted the shank with a wrapping of sheet lead rather than using chain.
With Dacron or manila, the anchor warp will render through your snatch block hung on the pulpit. Captain Hardy has made a special fitting which appears to be an improvement on this. It consists of a wide sheave or roller suspended from the pulpit on a stiff piece of brass. This keeps the sheave up higher and in a more fixed position than can be the case with the snatch block hung from a shackle. Also, the fitting being open at the top, will permit the warp to lift right off the sheave without undoing the snap device with the snatch block. In short, I recommend a Yachtsman type anchor, nylon warp and Hardy sheave fitting. The anchor will come all the way to the top of the pulpit without hitting the topsides and it is easy to clean in this position. Once up this high, it is not too heavy to swing over the pulpit, fluke end first, and finally carried to its stowage position.
The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, IL featured a story in its September 12 issue about Tom McIntosh and MISTY #66. The story relates how Tom and his sister came up with the name MISTY for their father's new sailboat. "My father always had boats that started with M," Tom said, "but my sister and I always loved the story of Misty, the colt from Chincoteague." Everyone agreed it was an appropriate name for their new Concordia yawl, which was delivered in 1959. The new ship was as spirited as its namesake. His father, Les McIntosh, had found the boat design in a sailing magazine and it had just won the famed Newport to Bermuda race in 1954. "My father wanted a boat that was easy to sail, and this one looked fairly fast for its design," Tom said. He inherited the boat when his father passed away in 1978 and this year skippered it to first in class in the Chicago to Mackinac Island race. In doing so, MISTY defied the odds. "We do the race just to beat those plastic boats," said a crewmember. Still, the Mackinac race committee was impressed. "They're just not as fast as the state-of-the-art yachts," said one. "But under certain conditions, under long periods of reaching, they can do very well. But they have to be sailed very well." MISTY was one of only two wooden boats in the race this year. The other was the 64 foot 75-square meter sloop Bachant skippered by Jerry Sullivan of Milwaukee, which also won its class. Jerry, by the way, also owns LOON, a Concordia yawl just like MISTY. Since Tom started sailing the Mac in 1980, MISTY has placed in the top three of its class five times, including first in class in 1989. With his latest title he not only adds another plaque to the wall of his family room, he adds another page to the scrapbook he's keeping. The book ranges from correspondence his father kept from A & R, all the way through to its latest victory. The scrapbook on MISTY may not equal the classic story of Misty by Marguerite Henry, for which it was named. But it's proving to be just as timeless.
The Pacific Northwest Concordia fleet lost one of its numbers this year with ALLURE heading back to Maine, but they also gained a new one. Bob Hovey recently single-handed MARGARET #42 up to the Bellingham area from Morro Bay, CA. Bob has owned MARGARET for nearly 20 years and cruised extensively in California and Mexico. She is currently sloop rigged and Bob says her former mizzen mast is doing service as a flag pole somewhere in Marin County. Bob overlaid his decks in teak several years ago.
While in Camden this summer I stopped by Robert H. Eddy's new Northern Lights Gallery at 24 Bay View Street. You may recall reading about Robert Eddy in WoodenBoat several years ago telling about his beautiful custom models. On display was the 3/4" = 1' model of WHITELIGHT, which was constructed in 1990. It looked flawless, even at close range. A photo cell is installed so that as dusk approaches the cabin displays very soft illumination. I understand that this model sold for very close to what the full-size boat goes for. This might be one way of enjoying yacht ownership with none of the maintenance problems.
Jim McGuire, owner of WILD SWAN #25, has drawn up plans for Concordia back rests, based on measurements taken from DAME OF SARK. I believe he also has plans for the canvas inserts for Root berths in the Concordia forward cabin. He can be contacted at 60 Williams St, Noank, CT 06340.
I recently received a flyer from fellow woodenboat person and graphic designer Bob Allen. Bob built a Seabird yawl and later wrote and illustrated a beautiful story of that project which appeared in Classic Yacht. His latest idea is to produce custom technical drawings for boats using acetate overlays for various systems in a spiral bound book. Each overlay might include electrical, structural or rigging components. Bob writes, "When I was a kid, one of my favorite reads was the anatomy section of the encyclopedia that showed all the systems of the human body on overlapping transparencies. Each system was on a separate sheet and each system could be seen apart from the complexity of the whole." Bob Allen may be reached at 4512 38th Ave. So., Seattle, WA 98118.
A sailing friend just sent me a copy of the February 1975 Sailing Magazine, which he paid $1 for in a used book store. Featured in it is a 6-page story on the Concordia yawl and photos taken of the 1974 Padanaram Regatta: "On a gray day the first Concordia rendezvous off New Bedford on Buzzards Bay was bumpy, the wind was up, and some 30 Concordias of various rigs blithely took to the course. The revival could not have been better planned, and it was just to the Concordia's liking. Waldo Howland, skipper aboard Fred Brooks' ABSINTHE proudly proclaimed it 'Concordia weather,' which it certainly was. Of 104 (sic) Concordias built, all are still sailed -- a tribute to the enduring excellence of the design produced 30 years ago." Concordias featured in the photos were (with their current names): CRESCENT #18, BANDA #52, PELLETREAU #34, LOON #45, ABSINTHE #12, STARLIGHT #23, MALAY #77, RENAISSANCE #88, and HARBINGER #48.
The 1994 video The Concordias of Waldo Howland, which, I might add, is very well done, is still available from Shaw Productions, Box 444, McFarland, WI 53558. Phone 800 874-7671. Cost is $29.95 plus $3.50 shipping... If you haven't yet registered your Concordia in the Register of Wooden Yachts, you may do so for no charge by contacting WoodenBoat, Box 78, Brooklin, ME 04616.
Jerry Smith at Concordia Company reports that SUMATRA #76 turned out "smooth as glass" after several years of rebuilding (after suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Bob in 1991). "She swelled up a little after several years of drying out, and the planking has just about found its niche." She's currently in Padanaram for the winter, after a season in Maine, and next year will proceed to her new homeport at Gibson Island, ME. (I happen to run into one of her previous owners, Dr. Norton Humphries, in Port Townsend, and he was very interested to hear about the damage and restoration.)
WoodenBoat #121 has several items of interest for Concordians. Under the awards for the 1994 WoodenBoat Show Concourse of Classic Yachts, CROCODILE #67 was given the prize for "Deepest Commitment to Ease of Maintenance and Preservation of Beauty." Manchester Marine was given credit for this project. In the WB Catalog (page 7) are new note cards with photos by Benjamin Mendlowitz. The 20 card set includes shots of 4 different boats, one of which is the one of STARLIGHT which appeared on this past August on the Calendar of Wooden Boats. You get five cards of each boat. (Donald Tofias should be most pleased, as one of the other boats is Christmas, now Arawak.) Benjamin says that if there are enough requests, it might be possible to produce the STARLIGHT photo as a Christmas card or exclusively as a note card. Contact Noah Publications at 800-848-9663. There are also some great Neil Rabinowitz action shots of Concordias in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. If you look closely in the ads for boatbuilders, an in-progress picture is shown of SONNNET #63 getting her iron floors replaced at Rumery's Boat Yard. And in Woodenboat #120 is a "relaunching" notice of YANKEE #37, telling how owner Peter Rackliffe "hung many new planks, sistered 28 frames, refastened the bottom and reinforced the iron floors."
1994 Chicago-Mackinac, 1st in class: MISTY #66
1994 ERR Feeder Race - Camden to Brooklin - Concordia Division
- WINNIE OF BOURNE
1994 Eggemoggin Reach Regatta (Includes All Concordias)
- FREE SPIRIT
- WINNIE OF BOURNE
- NOW FALCON
1994 Padanaram Regatta - Concordia Division
- HARBINGER (winner of the Howland Trophy)
1994 Heritage Cup Race - Concordia Division
1994 Classic Mariners Regatta - Port Townsend - Concordia Division
FEATHER #29 (ex ARAWAK)
New owner is E. Philip Snyder, Jr. of Southport, CT. This is the second Concordia Mr. Snyder has owned. He previously owned #70. FEATHER will be based in Rockport, ME.
JILL #27 (ex-SARAH)
New owner is John F. Warren of St. Augustine, FL.
I was fortunate to be able to sail aboard ABACO in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta this year. The weather was perfect and I suspect most participants had a wonderful time. For me, one of the highlights was rowing around the harbor before and after the race and meeting new and old acquaintances. I was quite impressed observing Alida Camp, who celebrated her 80th birthday several years ago, sail through the very crowded harbor and pick up a mooring. THISTLEDOWN looked perfect as usual, and I commented on this to Alida when I rowed over for a chat. She replied, "Well, why shouldn't it?" That's my kind of lady!
Concordia burgees are still available for $35, which includes shipping.
As you know, subscription fees are pretty casual for The Concordian and I don't waste time sending invoices. However, for the first time in years the printing and postage costs will exceed what we have in the kitty. So if you haven't sent in your annual $5.00, now would be a good time. Thank you! And of equal importance, as usual, your literary contributions are needed to keep your fellow readers up to date on all things Concordian. Many thanks to all who have sent in stories, especially to our regular correspondents. Also, if you participate in racing, please share with us the results. The spring 1995 issue will come out sometime in May.
That brings us to the end of the 1994 season. Although it seems like we are always celebrating some sort of Concordia anniversary, the 60th is only a few years away. I would like to hear what kind of interest there is for a publication to mark this event and also what type of cruise or gathering Concordians might be interested in. Please send in your ideas so we can present them in the next issue.