C. Daniel Smith, Islesboro, ME
As the new owner of Concordia Yawl Eagle, I now own three of the prettiest wooden boats ever designed.
Eagle (previously named Savu) was an almost accidental purchase, and the end result of a road trip I took with an old friend one perfect fall afternoon in 2009. That’s not to say I was ill prepared to view such a classic, having read and reread Waldo Howland’s book and absorbed all that I could from Internet sources. Ultimately I climbed aboard at least five boats both on the hard and afloat from Padanaran to Islesboro, Maine, and I concluded Savu was amazingly well restored and drop dead gorgeous.
What surprised me most was my wife’s enthusiasm several weeks later. (I carry pretty good life insurance.) At first I think she was really just trying to amuse me. She has reluctantly climbed aboard sailboats with our two sons and me for at least the last decade, and she has endured some pretty challenging weather conditions over these years sailing the coast of Maine. While she appreciates the love for boats the boys and I have developed, the truth is she has been known to kneel down and kiss the ground upon disembarkment after some of our livelier adventures. But aboard Savu, she was immediately at home and even more excited than I. It was no surprise my two sons were enthusiastic about the purchase. To be sure they have never, ever, disagreed with anything I’ve ever bought involving horse or sail power. The deal was consummated.
We renamed her Eagle, a tribute to my boys becoming third generation Eagle Scouts. The good people of The Concordia Company in South Dartmouth had her sitting pretty on her lines when we arrived to take delivery the next summer. A glorious five day sail with the boys brought her home to Islesboro, Maine. My wife’s responsibility was to secure dinner reservations as she happily followed us up the coast by car. There are so many advantages to owning a wooden classic boat versus the more sterile perfection in fiberglass. The character is just built into this boat, through her lines and her history, and we are mere caretakers of that history. It’s embarrassing to have complete strangers clutch their chests and declare their unabashed love for your boat, but that has happened to us already on several occasions. These comments inspire me to keep her at her finest. And it is special to be a part of this fraternity.
Another advantage is to be able to participate in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. I was actually in this race years ago, but quite by mistake when we emerged from a fog bank and found ourselves crossing the paths of active racers in Jericho Bay. For that I now offer my heartfelt apologies. Yeah, that was us in the plastic Hinckley. And to think at the time I thought those were just friendly salutes! We’ve completed this race twice now, the first time just weeks after taking possession of the boat in 2010, and again this past summer.
The specifics are well established. Exclusive for wooden boats, Day One starts just outside Castine Harbor and concludes in Camden, with the bulk of the race occurring in East Penobscot Bay, offshore from Islesboro. For two years this arm of the race has vexed me. While I know this water like the back of my hand, we’ve performed our worst on this leg. Fickle winds and opposing tides have done damage to our egos. To the credit of my boys they have always refused to concede defeat, even though our first try at this race in 2010 cost us drinks, dinner, and dessert at the Camden Yacht Club. As we slinked into the harbor under the cover of darkness (and the sounds of contented post prandial murmurs), my boys covered their Eagle logos and denied any connection to me by paternity or proximity. They simply blended into the crowded streets wearing nondescript togs, their heads covered to disavow us to any stranger that might realize we shared even the same hair color. They were just as sullen the next morning until the moment the cannon fired and we were off for the Day Two races. Did we do any better on Day One this year? No, not really, but we didn’t quit and we did make it to the Camden Yacht Club for the celebration. And the boys ate two years’ worth of food. I plan to win it next year.
Day Two is from Camden to Brooklin. Nearly twice the distance as Day One, my crew has on both occasions grumbled we’d arrive at the finish line somewhere around 1:15 am, but we’ve actually done much better. Maybe we start to jell by Day Two as a crew, or maybe we know we can no longer be shamed any further. Regardless, we’ve finished in the upper third in our class each time. And what a thrill to sail through the town of Stonington under full spinnaker and mizzen staysail! It’s like having the prettiest float in a parade as the kayakers rubberneck and the townspeople gawk.
Of course the granddaddy of them all is Day Three, the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta. This race has the advantage of starting and finishing in Brooklin, thus allowing us to leave behind the dinghy and an anchor (A little tidbit that escaped me our first year. Rookie mistake). The busiest of the races, it’s hard not to get caught up in the shear excitement of an event involving over a hundred of the prettiest wooden boats ever assembled. The upwind leg of this race has been especially spectacular as the crossing tacks are at once both terrifying and exciting, with boats crossing tacks like trombonists in a halftime marching band. The tension is palpable at the marks, and conversations can be spirited among the sailors, as mere inches often separate multiple boats at these turns.
The downwind leg is also breathtaking, when the big sails emerge like so many hot air balloons, each more colorful than the next, blotting out the sun with their size. Again we’ve done well in this race but have yet to place. This year my crew of six included neighbor boys, college hockey friends and my oldest son’s new wife. They were all old salts by this time and squeezed every hundredth knot of wind possible from all four sails. As we neared the finish line, though, we were just barely able to pass a husband and wife Concordia team who were sailing with neither a spinnaker nor a mizzen staysail! They suggested alcohol was a factor, reminding me it has more use than just heating the galley stove. My crew, outfitted in their matching tee shirts, all turned to me with mutiny in their eyes. Okay, okay, next year more grog!
The dinner and dance are a time for celebration, and it’s a time that has given us the greatest chance to meet other Concordia sailors. The food has been superb, and my family and I have enjoyed the sense of satisfaction that comes from just being able to participate in such a spectacle. Will we ever win it? Well, already the boys and I are plotting how we’ll improve next summer. So far I’ve nixed their idea of ripping out the stove, water tanks and head, but I can’t believe I’m actually considering the Kevlar sails....
Finally, I mentioned I own three of the prettiest wooden boats ever designed. My boys and I built and launched a Haven 12 ½, a ten year project that was truly a labor of love, and just this past summer we completed a bateka, built from the original plans and varnished and painted to match Eagle. Drop me a line if you have any interest in my thoughts on building either of these boats.
Eagle now sits stored for the winter back in South Dartmouth, but I’m already looking forward to the sail back to Islesboro next summer. Let me know if you’re around those waters in mid-June.
John Eide, Editor
It’s a cold, rainy Maine day as I write this. Golondrina was hauled this morning and brought back to the house so summer is now officially over. August was filled with sailing, but unfortunately, none of it on Golondrina. Oh, well. Next year.
First, thanks for all the kind words and positive feedback about the last issue. I’m learning the new-to-me skills of a graphic designer, which are not that easy, but I had fun putting the spring issue together.
In my notes in the last issue that I mentioned that I would like to move toward an on-line publication. We can’t do it quite yet since 40 of you, out of a total mailing of 130, do not have email. Or at least I do not have your email addresses. I do not want to cut out that many owners and friends of the fleet which would happen if we switched to on-line. So, a plea: Please sent me your email address. Mine is: [email protected] My thinking right now that I’d like to keep creating print issues through the 75th Anniversary celebration in 2013.
You’ll notice in this issue that I actively sought out an owner to interview because I felt what he had to say might be of interest to the rest of us. I’d like to continue to do this. My chat with Jock Williams suggested to me that I’d also like to interview some of the people who keep our boats looking so beautiful and sailing so smoothly. So in the next few issues I’ll chat with a painter/varnisher, a ships carpenter, a rigger, and maybe others. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
The questionnaire I sent out when I took over as editor also gave me some ideas for content. One topic that aroused many comments and questions was about the truss rod system, so for the article in this issue I talked to a number of people who have inside information about the system. Many of you wanted information on racing your boat, so I’ll cover that in the spring issue. If you have any advice, let me know. But many of you indicated you were not interested in racing. That’s great. Send me stories of your favorite cruising areas or anchorages along with gorgeous photos.
If you did not respond to the questionnaire and would like to or are new to the fleet, contact me and I’ll email, ah... send you a copy.
One really fun part of this job has been getting in contact with so many of you, learning about the fleet and fielding many questions. It seems many of you think, just because I took on this job, that I’m an expert on our boats, their history and construction. Not really. What I do know is what I’ve learned doing all the restoration work on Golondrina myself. Part of that knowledge includes a list of real experts on my speed dial who are willing to answer my questions and share their far more vast experience. I’d like to talk to them and pass on their collective wisdom.
The fleet is aging so I’d like to use the Concordian as a repository for information on how to keep the fleet healthy and on the water. What are some of the common problems, like the mast step, for example, that are plaguing the boats and how can we successfully solve these problems?
But, there are two hard and not fun parts of this job. One is trying to get and keep the contact information spreadsheet correct and up-to-date. I now have all but three owners correctly listed. Anybody know how to contact Mark Webby, hull 104, in New Zealand?
The other not fun job is begging for subscriptions. Just barely enough of you sent in your $20 to get the spring issue out. If you have not contributed for the two 2011 issues, please do it now. As a retired teacher living on Social Security who is supporting classic wooden boat addiction, I appreciate your prompt remittances.
When you submit an article for the NL, simply send me an email. Not an attached document or some fancy layout, just in the text of a simple email. I’ll make it look good. Send pics as jpeg attachments to the email, the larger the file size the better. If you don’t have email, write me a letter and that I’m willing to retype.
As I said in the last issue, this is your newsletter, not mine, so I can only make it as good as your submissions.
John Eide, Editor
In the fall Concordian you read that the insurance company covering one of our severely storm damaged sisters did not cover the repairs because it occurred after the policy’s lay-up date. It’s essential that you check your policy, note the lay-up date and get your boat out of the water by that date. However, you may be able to arrange a grace period if you haul later or launch earlier with or without an added premium. But, you must contact your insurance agent or company. Please contact them since each company’s policy may differ.
For example, this year I could not schedule hauling Golondrina until October 13, almost two weeks after my insurance mandated lay-up date. A quick call and an $11 check extended the policy. Cheap assurance.
Doug Cole, Bellingham, WA
Our 2011 boating season was much less intense than normal, due both to a very wet spring and early summer and work schedules. Margie and I did get out for ten days in August for a cruise in the Gulf Islands. With the serendipity Concordias are known for, we happened upon both Coriolis and Kodama in the same harbor at Sucia Island and thus took advantage to spend a fun-filled evening with six of us in Kodama’s cozy cabin for feasting and story telling.
I cooked salmon on a propane grill clamped on the stern rail. The McDougall’s brought along a Marion Berry pie, shrimp pasta salad and a vegi salad, all from their garden, and the Adkin’s contributed more veggies from their garden.
IRENE at anchor
Project-wise, the original canvas covering on Irene’s cabin top is in need of replacement and she’s in a shed this winter to address this. The old cabin top canvas has been removed and fairing and prep for laying the Dynel cloth is underway. I’m hoping to get cloth on soon. I found no surprises, fortunately. I did find some minor moisture intrusion along the moldings. Galvanized nails were producing rust pustules. After the old canvas was off, I exposed each trouble area, polished it with a Dremel brush, then Ospho-ed the offending nail head.
I replaced the canvas deck covering in 1985-86 with a layer of Bruynzeel plywood, covered by two layers of Dynel cloth and epoxy. It’s held up wonderfully. I redid the nonskid portion about 15 years ago with smooth margins and System 3 nonskid aggregate. I plan to use Dynel and epoxy on the cabin top project as well, though no plywood. I suspect this task may be almost as time consuming. If anyone has suggestions for the recovering projects I’d be glad to hear them.
Wish I’d taken the time to count the number of copper tacks.
I’ve been considering the addition of a turtle for the main hatch (Stewart built one for Kodama) to eliminate the inevitable leaks which show up when driving upwind.
Congratulations to Richard and Eleanor Baxendale for Vintage being awarded Best in Show - Sail at the Victoria Classic Boat Show over Labor Day. This is the second time Vintage has received this recognition! She continues to look stunning after her substantial restoration in 2008.
Richard Baxendale, Seattle, WA
Vintage won the Best Restored Sailboat at the 34th Annual Victoria Classic boat Festival on Labor Day weekend, 2011. The judging was very thorough by highly qualified and experienced people. Bent Jespersen is a sailing legend in this part of the world and his yard in Sydney is one of the finest for wooden yacht construction. Carol Hasse of Port Townsend Sails makes sails for discerning sailors the world over. The rest are also very accomplished mariners in one way or another.
In 2009 we won the Best Overall Sailboat. The awards should probably have been reversed since in 2009 we had just completed (in May 2008) her complete restoration. The schooner Alcyone – in perfect condition and beautiful – won the Best Overall Sailboat this year. We didn’t enter the competition in 2010 and won’t until 2013 just to keep our hand in. www.classicboatfestival.ca has information you might find interesting.
In terms of maintenance and preparation, our boat stays in the water all year under a complete winter cover from about late October through mid April. She also has a less elaborate summer cover for when we leave the boat for more than a couple of days. She is now back at Haven Boatworks (who did the restoration) in Port Townsend for bottom and topside paint, and two coats of varnish, so she will go to bed for the winter looking pretty spiffy.
I must emphasize that we are pleased for these awards because of the poor boat that we rescued and brought back to life and also for the Concordia nameplate. Giving visibility to the class, in this corner of the world, makes it all worthwhile. To see the face of a German tourist who took a double take when he saw our boat in 2009 and could barely get out that he worked for Abeking and Rasmussen in Lemwerder was great fun. He sent us copies of the working and marked up blueprints and working drawings of Vintage during construction. A number of people have had Concordias in their lives in one way or another and most people when asking what kind of boat it was would say either “I thought so” or “I have heard of them” and everyone said “they are the most beautiful boat ever” or variations on that theme.
Stewart McDougall and Denny Doyle, Seattle, WA
Kodama has a neat soap stone solid fuel stove where others usually have an original Concordia stove. The soapstone fireplace was manufactured by Mittewald Co., Long Island, and has been on Kodama from her early days. We’ve lived aboard for over 20 years!
Like Doug did on Irene, we reskined our decks as well about 10 years ago and have been very happy with the results. The nonskid we applied was to mask off the margins then apply clean sand to the wet paint, vacuum off the excess when dry and topcoat.
Check this out. This is the water tank wrench from Kodama. Any one else have one this elegant?
Doug and Susan Adkins, Seattle, WA
Coriolis, in a less than rigorous cruising season, saw a delivery to West Sound on Orcas Island, a short cruise of six days and, in early October, a return to Portage Bay in Seattle. Her owners cruised a bit more with a North Sea crossing and several weeks in the Baltic between Stockholm and Helsinki but the bright yawl saw too little action. The best part of the summer in the northwest was a brief Concordia Rendezvous at Sucia Island with Kodama and Irene in August. Despite the rain, it was a wonderful dinner aboard Irene with the McDougalls and the Coles, now friends of many decades, enjoyed catching up and particularly enjoyed toasting Margie Cole’s retirement. Coriolis headed off for a leisurely trip to Patos, Stewart, Victoria and home, not much travel to justify the inconvenience of two customs clearances but great fun still. Sadly, the summer held very little in the way of wind and we were all too often a motorboat.
The significant equipment addition this year was a new chartplotter with AIS. Having seen the advantages of the Automatic Identification System acrossing the Atlantic last summer, I vowed to change out the ten year old Ray- Marine plotter which had maintenance issues during the past two years and add AIS capability. We chose the Garmin 4208 which is not the newest model but which suited the installation profile we wanted. AIS lets you see big things coming even when you cannot pick them up on radar because of clutter, motion in a seaway or a blocking bit of land. You can literally see around corners as targets transmit their positions via radio. Commercial targets are identified by name and if you wish to transpond your position, that capability is available to pleasure craft. I like to see and be seen.
You can also talk with the bridges of the oncoming tankers if you wish and they are always courtous, not wanting to hit you any more than you wish to be hit. (Sort of reminds me of the great quote of Churchill who said “It is always better to bribe a man than to shoot him...and it is always better to be bribed than to be shot!”) Anyway, here is a picture of the cockpit installation which is handy to the helm, a wheel in our case, and the instruments can be hidden for a more original, non-modern look.
After a few shakedown gremlins, it seems to be sending and receiving just fine. The AIS targets can clutter the screen a bit but they can be suppressed. It makes me more comfortable dodging the 20 knot heavyweights when I am going 6 knots!
I also enclose a description of another older innovation on Coriolis which Stewart McDougall and I designed and Stew built from beautiful locust. Our saloon table is not a center-line it is too little. The addition which Stew made extends the table such that six good friends can be seated and it is perfect for four. It folds in half and we store it outboard of the starboard berth quite handily. For us it really expands the seating and the comfort and, of course, when Stew makes ‘em they are always works of art!
Well that’s it from the other coast as far as Old # 82 is concerned. We hope for more time aboard and more wind next season.
The 75th celebration will be held at the New Bedford Yacht Club, August 23, 24 and 25, 2013. Registration will be Friday evening. A race for both spinnaker and non-spinnaker classes followed by dinner under a tent at the NBYC is scheduled for Saturday. All will end with a parade on Sunday.
A number of owners from the West Coast, and other areas, usually fly in for events like this. Are any of you who plan on bringing your boats willing to offer a berth for a few nights or a spot aboard during the race and parade for those from away? I’m willing to be a “berth broker.” Let’s make this a big event. The excitement has started. See below.
Queene Hooper Foster, MISTY #66
Dear Fellow Concordians:
Drayton Cochran is one of the fathers of the Concordia class, as most Concordians know. He carried the plans of the Concordia yawl to Abeking & Rasmussen when he flew over to inspect his new yacht, named Little Vigilant. He ordered the first few Concordia yawls from Waldo on spec, and made a few suggestions on the construction detailing that we all have come to know and love. (See Concordia Yawls: The First Fifty Years for a copy of his letters to A&R.)
Well after many decades over seas, Little Vigilant is here in New England in splendid condition, and ready to amaze and delight the Concordia fan club. She is 70 feet of black steel and varnish, as magnificent a ship as can be. She has made quite a splash in Newport yachting circles. With the concordance (is that a word we can use in this venue?) of her genial owner, Little Vigilant has agreed to attend the Concordia 75th Anniversary event in 2013.
Here she is (below) posing with the Concordia Misty during the New York Yacht Club Cruise in Maine.
Be there in 2013!
Concordias were active on the New England wooden boat racing circuit this summer. Below are the results followed by tales from some of the participants.
Castine Classic Yacht Race
Three days of racing started in Castine on August 4 with seven Concordias participating in a drifting match to Camden. George Gans and his Snow Falcon took the Phalarope Trophy for the first Concordia to finish. She was followed by: Captiva, John Bullard; Mandala, Terry Fisher; Phalarope, Ann Ashton; Eagle, Dan Smith; Katrina, Joe Harris; and Sea Hawk, Rob DesMarais.
As Ann Ashton reports: “The day before the Castine to Camden race we had several Herreshoff’s at the town dock for all to admire. A symposium was held at Maine Maritime Academy at 4:00 in the afternoon at which all the Herreshoff owners gave presentations followed by questions and answers This was followed by a cocktail party at the Castine Yacht Club for all the owners, their crew, Castine Yacht Club members and any other guests. The women put out a fabulous array of appetizers enjoyed by all. We had seven Concordias in the Castine to Camden race which I think was a record number for that day. Some years we have had only one or two so we were happy to see such a good turnout but disappointed that the wind gave out so the race had to be cut short.”
Camden Wooden Yacht Regatta
The following day, August 5, the Camden Wooden Yacht Regatta, a 26 mile race that winds among the islands and thorofares of Penobscot Bay, had nine Concordias participating. Again George Gans and his Snow Falcon was the first Concordia (and was second in Classic A) followed by: Otter, Robert Kiefer; Allure, Ben Niles; Golondrina, Thatcher Lord; Captiva, John Bullard; Mandala, Terry Fisher; Eagle, Dan Smith; Phalarope, Tom Ashton; Sea Hawk, Rob DesMarais.
Eggemoggin Reach Regatta
The premier wooden boat race on the East Coast is the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, always the first Saturday in August. On August 6, 13 Concordias raced in a fleet of 103 and once again, George Gans, Snow Falcon, took the Concordia Award as well as third in the competitive Classic B class. This may be the first time that one Concordia has taken the prize three days in a row. Cheers to George and his crew. She was followed by: Otter, Robert Kiefer; Starlight, Deborah Brewster; Katrina, Katrina Parson; Golondrina, Thatcher Lord; Captiva, John Bullard; Allure, Ben Niles; Mandala, Terry Fisher; Eagle, Dan Smith; Sea Hawk, Rob DesMarais; Phalarope, Tom Ashton; Goldeneye, John Sweeney; and Irian, Darrow Lebovici.
Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta
The following weekend, August 13 and 14, The Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta held two races at Marblehead. Skye, with Wayne George at the helm, was the only Concordia.
Opera House Cup
Three Concordias participated in one race of the 39th Annual Opera House Cup on Nantucket, August 21. Wizard, Henry Dane, Chris Cooney, and William Scatchard, was followed by Harbinger, Larry Warner and Winnie of Bourne, John Klein and Cynthia Crimmins, in a fleet of 56 boats.
Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta
On Labor Day weekend, three Concordias did the two races of the 32nd Annual Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta. Winnie of Bourne, John Klein, was the first Concordia followed by Mandala, Terry Fisher and Westray, Juan Corradi and Christina Spellman in a fleet of 50.
John and Laurie Bullard, New Bedford, MA
Here is a photograph we took at the ERR of Katrina sailing through the lee of Northern Crown. Laurie and I sailed Captiva in the non-spinaker division. It was our first ERR and our necks are still sore from rubber necking at all the beautiful boats. After two years on the hard we were fortunate to spend over 45 days on Captiva this summer. Laurie and I sailed from New Bedford out to Vineyard Haven and Nantucket. Then out around the Cape to P-town. Then slowly up the coast in time for the three ERR races. Then we made our way back. Good weather for the most part. Less fog than normal. And lighter winds than normal. She rode out Irene in flat water behind the hurricane barrier in New Bedford.
J. Arvid Klein and Cynthia Crimmins, Darien, CT
We completed in four regattas this sumer for a total of ten races. It was an ambitions undertaking for Cynthia and myself, but made possible by the able and delightful assistance of Jeff Gonsalves. Jeff, a Pandanaram native, has sailed with us for the past four seasons.
The box score: Indian Harbor YC - 2nd in class, 3rd overall; New York Yacht Club Cruise - 2nd in class for five “Squadron Runs,” 5th for the Queen’s Cup; Museum of Yachting Regatta - 16th overall; Opera House Cup - 44th overall; Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Series - 11th over all.
All of the regattas were non spinnaker. At or below 15 knots apparent, Winnie’s furling No. 1 Genoa at 153% serves well to weather and poled out wing on wing with the spinnaker pole downhill. Her tall rig, however makes her particularly tender. Fifteen to 20 knots apparent necessitates a reef. Over 20 knots we must shorten sail; an additional reef does not help. Her working jib at 90% served reasonably well on the second race of the Museum of Yachting Regatta but the headsail changes have to be made bare headed under the CRF rule. We experienced 15 to 25 knots apparent in the Opera House Cup in Nantucket Sound and the two Museum of Yachting races in Narragansett Bay. It became apparent that we need a No. 2 and possibly a No 3 to be more competitive. Had we one or the other I think we would have done somewhat better as there was a lot of weather work in both regattas.
The five Squadron Runs at the NYYC cruise and Indian Harbor race were happier as the weather was more suited to Winnie’s sail plan. Brodie and Stuart MacGregor of the Concordia Co. joined us for two of the Squadron Runs, Block Island to Menemsha Bight and on to Edgartown the following morning. It was a delight to have the two MacGregors aboard; father and son worked well together and we discovered that our learning curve, contrary to what we had convinced ourselves, still had a ways to go.
During the first race of the Museum of Yachting Regatta, we were joined by Dieter Loibner, a writer for Soundings. He had been commissioned by Yacht, a German periodical, to do a feature article on the Concordia Yawls, The article is to appear in a new, semi-annual “coffee table magazine” dedicated to classic yachts. On the second day Dieter was joined by his photographer, Jen Edney, for pre-start sailing shots “from the cockpit” and later from one of the chase boats. We will keep you all posted.
In both the NYYC Cruise and the IHYC regatta we raced in classes and were scored accordingly, The classic yachts found this preferable as we generally competed against like boats. In the Paneri Regattas, while we raced in separate starts, we were scored overall. It’s very difficult for a Concordia to beat a 12 meter.
Next year we will return to Maine and the ERR with its feeder races. They are well organized and the ERR has a spinnaker class, which we enjoy - few if any bareheaded headsail changes! At this writing we are planning our fall journey up Long Island Sound back to Winnie’s winter home at the Concordia Boatyard in South Dartmouth. We’re looking forward to another summer of cruising, racing and stewardship aboard our beloved Winnie of Bourne!
George Gans, Louisville, KY
Through the years, I have always been an advocate of goal setting. One of my personal goals for many years was to own a Concordia yawl. My “goal card” read, “to own a Concordia yawl. Her name will be Snow Falcon. She will have white topsides, a dark blue bootstripe, bright green bottom paint, a gold leaf cove stripe and a varnished stern with her name in gold leaf. Below, she will have dark green cushions and a Paul Luke brass and soapstone fireplace to make the cabin a warm retreat when enveloped in ubiquitous fog of the Maine coast.”
In 1990 my wife and I discovered our dream on Long Island, New York. Afterglow (1961) was in sad condition. With the help of Jim Payne, our boat broker, negotiating the sale, my long-awaited dream was shipped to Rockport Marine for restoration. Under the watchful eye of Taylor Allen, his crew did a magnificent job replacing the cabin roof, hatches, deck, toe rails, cockpit combings, seats and more.
With a new set of Nathaniel Wilson sails, Snow Falcon has provided immeasurable joy as our family has cruised the rockbound, foggy coast each summer for over 20 years from Matinicus to Grand Manan. Her home port is Pumpkin Island, a tiny Island with a lighthouse marking the western entrance to Eggemoggin Reach. Speaking of Eggemoggin (pipe stem in Abenaki), the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta is great fun and a visual feast for lovers of wooden boats as mentioned in our last newsletter.
This year, with her new North Racing sails and my friend, Burt Keenan (winner of the World’s Cup) at the helm, Snow Falcon won the Phalarope Trophy in the Castine race, was first in adjusted time of the Concordia’s in the Camden to Naskeag race and won the coveted Concordia Cup in the ERR race. What an exciting 50th anniversary for the old girl, topped off with a cruise down to Cape Split afterward.
From my chair in the living room at Pumpkin Island, I never tire of admiring the graceful lines of my dream as she swings lazily on her mooring.
Tony Harwell, Palatka, FL
I’m trying to find out who has Bateka dinghies #4883 and #4892. According to the paper work housed at Mystic Seaport concerning Actaea’s (A&R #4873) construction, two were made to accompany her. One was a sailing dinghy and the other a rowing dinghy. A & R made a mistake at first and made two rowing models so they shipped one with another Concordia and made a third that was a sailing dinghy. That’s why the gap in the numbers. It was also requested from Sears/ Howland that the dinghies have less sheer than typical so they would sit lower on the cabin. Actaea’s third owner told me they gave or sold the remaining original bateka to another Concordia owner. This probably happened in the late sixties or early seventies.
I am building one at present from the typical plan but think it would be neat to see the original ones to see how exactly they were built. #4883 and #4892 were Actaea’s original dinghies. I had asked Brodie awhile back about them being numbered and he said he did not think they were. But I wonder about this since A&R seemed to number everything. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.
Thatcher Lord, Portland, ME
When John Eide called and offered me to race his beautiful Yawl Golondrina in this year’s Eggemoggin Reach regatta, I could hardly refuse. Soon after, my wife Vicki and I were flying up from the Virgin Islands and joined Golondrina in Camden on Thursday. By Friday were racing our way over to Brooklin.
Golondrina spent many years in the Virgin Islands, owned by my friend Bill Rich, before John got hold of her, so I had known her well, mostly by chasing her around the racecourse.
￼As expected, this weekend was fabulous in all ways: Great racing conditions; wonderful people. (I must mention my great crew: Rick Fastiggi, Jason Dimitrieff, Chris Riley, Julie Fortunato and Vicki Rogers). We arrived not knowing that John had saddled us with a 20 percent penalty from his successful racing in years past. Despite that we did OK for first timers in the ERR. We made a few mistakes and missed a few things where a little local knowledge might have helped us. But, most importantly, we had a wonderful time.
Following the regatta, while John was out west campaigning Cindy Lou, his A-Scow, we had the pleasure of cruising Golondrina slowly back to Portland. Having lived in Maine for 13 years it was a wonderful way to reconnect with our past on a beautiful boat where everywhere you go you are the prettiest boat in the harbor.
Thank you John!!
Thanks to Steve Loutrel, Peter Costa and Brodie MacGregor for assistance with this article.
A design flaw in our boats is the short length of the mast step. As the boats aged, the downward forces of the mast pushed the step down, opening up a gap between the ballast keel and the aft end of the gripe, or forefoot, as well as opening up gaps in the garboard. Rather than spread this downward thrust, the short step tended to concentrate it directly under the mast and step, not far from where the keel, gripe and ballast keel all meet. Compounding the problem was the fact that the floor timbers under the mast step are very shallow, some only two inches high, which is not enough to spread outward this downward thrust. A telltale sign of a problem is a wedge shaped gap appearing at the top of the head door.
One fix for this is to lengthen the mast step, running it forward over another floor and tying it in to the heavy floor timber at the aft end of the seat locker and then running it aft another three floors, under the head door, ending at the aft end of the cabin bulkhead. This fix would now spread the forces over nine, rather than five, floors as well as even out the load fore and aft. Another fix is to install a truss rod system that transfers the downward thrust of the mast upward to the chainplates.
The first truss rod was installed on Lacerta, no. 44, by Steve Loutrel in 1978 just before sailing to Newfoundland. Steve knew there were problems under the mast step and was determined to figure out a way of strengthening that area, even though he had no leaking there yet. At that time Steve was the Director of Engineering at Navtec so was able to draw from his knowledge of Naval Architecture and rig and structural engineering to design a reinforcement. The solution was to use tie rods to create a truss system to transfer the load from the mast step back up to the chain plates and therefore tie the mast compression load back to the corresponding load at the chainplates.
One problem for Steve was how to fit the truss rod components into the boat without tearing it apart or ruining the look of our classics. He solved it by creating a beam made up of four flat plates that could be slid, one at a time, through the removable cabin sole boards and under the mast step, turned upright and then bolted together to form a massively strong structure. They also had to be long enough so the rods would be placed far enough outboard so as to not interfere with passage forward.
Steve saw the truss rod as solving two problems. The first was reducing the load on the mast step and garboards, and the second was that Steve hated to see a beautiful sheer, and the Concordia’s have one of the most beautiful sheers ever drawn, begin to hog by the upward force of the stays lifting the rail. This force will flatten the curve of the hull a bit allowing the sheer to move up and also starting to collapse the deck and house sides inward. By connecting the chainplates to the mast step, you don’t allow that section of the sheer to be pulled up. However, the rail can still move inward, and thus upward as the tie rod pivots inward at its top end.
To prevent this, Steve installed a compression tube across the forward cabin at deck level, just forward of the head bulkhead. This was a simple, strong, light weight solution -- which did require you to duck under it every time you entered or left the forward cabin. In addition, a similar tube installation was built to go across the main cabin at the forward bulkhead. This tube was stored in the forepeak in case it was needed in a particularly rough passage (especially likely in voyages like Lacerta’s to Newfoundland and Labrador). It is interesting to note that the second bar has never been needed.
These compression tubes have been called all sorts of names, including “Steve’s chin-up bars,” “Lacerta’s Limbo bars,” and probably other names, not fit to print. One fellow saw the installation and told Steve he would never install anything that ugly in his boat. A few months later, this same fellow crewed on a Concordia doing the Bermuda Race. During the race, while getting beat up crossing the Gulf Stream, he noticed the sides of the cabin trunk working inward and outward along with general working of the deck and hull, which caused significant leaking, and he became convinced that the compression tubes were not such a bad idea, after all.
An alternate to the compression tubes is to strengthen the cabin trunk to cabin top joint to better carry the compression load. One option is a deeper, wider cabin top deck beam and a heavy knee at the cabin top to cabin trunk joint. Another is to laminate another cross layer on the deck to increase the structure’s ability to resist the inward load at the chainplates. A third is to use a structural ring bulkhead in the plane of the mast and chainplates. While this is a good solution, it would significantly change the authenticity of the classic cabin and would require major structural changes.
Steve also chose to add a 3/8" layer of cedar laid directly athwartships over the original mahogany deck, epoxy glued and bronze ring nailed down, covered in Dynel cloth and epoxy and painted. This deck fix, in addition to the compression tubes, served Lacerta well during many trips north to Labrador.
Oak knee installed in GOLONDRINA forward of the head bulkhead. Another knee is on the opposite side above the hanging locker. A bronze or aluminum knee would also work.
Most of us will not be taking our boats to Labrador so two pair of bronze, aluminum, or oak knees stiffening the cabin side/house top joint will suffice and be less obtrusive.
In 1980, two years after installing the truss rod system, Steve and his crew were making a passage to Newfoundland and encountered 55 knot winds off Cape Sable. They went through the Bras d’Or Lake and then across the Gulf of St. Lawrence close hauled under storm jib and mizzen against 45 knot winds and 14 foot seas. Everyone was seasick. When they arrived in Newfoundland, Steve realized that the bilge water alarm had never sounded and they had never had to pump the bilge. He found that the bilge was dry.
The initial installation was made up of cold rolled steel beams under the mast step, which, when he sold the Lacerta a few years ago, were still strong, in spite of a heavy coating of rust. Today, making them up from stainless would not cost that much more and eliminate the rust. Steve used stock Navtec parts and was able to machine the beam and clamp hook using the Navtec machine shop.
Above is the beam, made up of four layers of 1/2" stainless steel, installed on GOLONDRINA. The 1/2" rod, on the right, ends in a Navtec eye pinned between the ss plates. All the parts you see were installed through that opening in the floorboards. There is no rust even after 15 years and two trips to the Caribbean.
Over the winter of 1979/80, Steve moved Lacerta to the Concordia Yard where Bill Pinney allowed him to work on redoing the decks in one of the sheds. While surveying another Concordia, also in the same shed, Giffy Full inspected the truss rod installation and announced “That’s exactly the right thing to do to these boats.” Pinney and the Concordia crew asked Steve if they could take measurements from his installation and use the system in other boats, which was fine with him so he passed on his drawings for the beam and hook pieces. (See Steve’s drawing, below.)
Many Concordias at that time, the mid 1970s, came in with serious leaking in the bilge, especially under the mast step, so Bill Pinney, then the yard owner, Arthur Correa, lead carpenter and others were trying to determine why it was happening and how to fix it. An early attempt at a fix was to add a 1/2" bronze tie rod connecting the mast step to the cabin house top.
In the 1980s, Greg Tuxworth joined Concordia as Yard Foreman and made refinements as he supervised installations on additional Concordias. He had Arthur and Peter Costa, who started as a carpenter at Concordia in 1978, create mock-up of the parts to see how everything fit in the boats, how well they could hide the rods and where the rods entered the sheer clamp. Over the years Peter installed six or more systems while he was at Concordia and another three at his Triad Boat Yard in Mattapoisett. Concordia has recently installed the truss rods in at least two boats and Peter will be installing the truss rods in one boat this winter.
Peter’s assessment is that the truss rod system has saved the boats. What it does is transfers the compression load on the mast step back up to the chain plates and sheer clamp, rather than down to the keel. The forces on the rig are now an enclosed diamond shape so the entire rig become a self supporting system that won’t try to force the mast down through the bottom.
In addition to the truss rods, Peter recommends also lengthening the mast step as well as installing two pair of bronze knees on the cabin sides, one pair near the forward chain plate, the other near the aft chain plate, that work to prevent the boat from squeezing together. These knees are mounted flush to the head bulkheads so they are unobtrusive. If all this has been done, along with the vertical tie rod, there should be no problems.
The only problem Peter has seen is the small, six inch visible section of the rod that is visible under the hanging locker. He said that some owners don’t like to see that piece of SS. Other than that, he has not noticed any other problems over the years with the installations.
Once the truss rod system has been installed, the boat launched, taken up and the mast stepped, you then tighten the turnbuckle to finger/screwdriver tight so that when tapping the rod, you can hear a tone. You do not what to over tighten the turnbuckles. Then you never have to adjust them again.
Below are two photos of the Truss Rod System as I installed it on GOLONDRINA in the mid ‘90s. On the left is the only visible sign of the system, a few inches of the 1/2" ss rod below the hanging locker. On the right, you can see the rod and Navtec turnbuckle, inside of the hanging locker and flush with the bulkhead. At the same time, I replaced the floors and added laminated “ears” that run continuously from under one bilge stringer to under the other. I have had dry bilges ever since I installed the truss rods.
Jock Williams, Mount Desert Island, ME
When I first started racing in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, in the late 1980’s, prior to getting Golondrina, I remember a beautiful black hulled Concordia, Nefertiti, that was always near the front of the finishers. Then she disappeared. No one seemed to have any information about her. About ten years later, when sailing down from Somes Harbor, I stopped at the John Williams Boat Company for water and discovered her languishing in a back shed. Asking, I was introduced to her owner, John Williams, who told me he was starting a thorough restoration of her and he planned on using some unique methods. Then, I heard nothing more of the progress. Finally, this spring, while Golondrina was swelling after her launch, I sought out Jock, as he’s called, and invited myself up to look at the progress. Here’s the story.
Sailing and sail boat racing was in my blood from birth. I grew up summers on Martha’s Vineyard. I had a Vineyard Haven 15 that we raced out of Vineyard Haven Harbor. I started working summers at the Vineyard Haven Shipyard when I was fourteen. I was also did ocean racing during those years in the cruising classes while participating in New York Yacht Club cruises, the Bermuda races, the Transatlantic and Trans Pac races and pretty much every major ocean race along the Northeastern Coast. This period was the basis for my initial boating experience.
After graduating from Colby College in 1962 I joined the Navy and attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. My first tour of duty took me to the South China Sea in a Coast and Geodetic Survey ship that was making charts in the waters along the Vietnamese coast. Following this Far Eastern deployment I was assigned the Sailing Office and varsity sailing team job at the US Naval Academy. During this period I spent most every day on the water from mid-March until late October and this experience and the relationships I established laid the basic foundation for my future in boating.
In 1966, as Sailing Officer for the Academy, I skipper the US Naval entry in the Bermuda and Transatlantic races. During this period I met and befriended Poul Molich who owned and operated a prestigious boat building business in Hundested, Denmark. The Transatlantic race that year went from Bermuda to Copenhagen. While I was in Denmark I visited Poul at his yard and asked if I could apprentice with him after I finished my naval duty. The answer was affirmative so my wife and our two daughters headed off to Denmark just after Christmas of that year.
Jock and I grabbed sandwiches and sat overlooking Southwest Harbor while he told me about his apprenticeship in Denmark.
When I first got there, all Poul wanted me to do was to look around and see how things were done. I did that for nearly three weeks and I spent a lot of time sweeping up. I was going nuts but I was getting acclimated. Eventually one of the senior boat builders took me aside and showed me how to properly sharpen a chisel. At first it was just a few chisels but soon enough I was sharpening everyone’s chisels and there were seventy some odd workers at the yard. Needless to say I really got good at it. In time, I moved on to plane irons.
At the time I started we were building two Sparkman and Stevens 38 foot one ton boats for US customers. The planking was about two-thirds complete and I was assigned the task of making the bungs for the two boats and putting them in. Behind each hull there was a pile of plank ends and I was told to match the plank end to the planking on the hulls and make bung – many bungs! Both of these hulls were bright so we really needed to be careful with the bungs.
I finished up most of the construction period on these two S&S 38s making, sanding, varnishing and installing all the ceiling stock in both boats. They were launched in early spring 1966. We were joined by both owners and Rod Stevens for a festive christening party.
At about this same time Molich contracted to build a new design of his own creation, the Molich 38 ocean racing sloop. We had orders for two of these boats and this provided a wonderful opportunity for me to get in on the ground floor for the entire project. Our initial task was to lay down a full scale lofting of this boat. From the lofting we picked off the stem and deadwood and set up steel frames to laminate this section. We lofted all the stations and made patterns to laminate all the frames. We picked up the waterlines for the pattern for the keel and eventually we sand casted the lead keel. The initial back bone, the stem, fore foot, deadwood, sternpost, horn timber and transom frame were put together and setup as the backbone of the vessel. Then we installed the frames and the rib bands and we were ready to start planking.
The planking method used at Molich was identical, with two very minor differences, to the way A&R planked the Concordias. So that led to another discussion on planking. I thought relaying Jock’s experience would be informative because here is someone who actually planked up a boat the way our boats were planked in the same era.
African mahogany was selected for the planking. Molich went to a log auction in Bremerhaven, Germany, and bought a huge log that was sawn into various thicknesses for the appropriate areas of construction. The log was stacked in its original shape with each full length plank separated by one inch spacers. It came to the yard by rail and it was a very impressive sight. The five-quarter rough sawn planks were off loaded and put into the boat yard kiln to dry. The construction plan called for edge glued planking so the mahogany had to have a moisture content of approximately ten percent. This took about three weeks after which the planking process started.
A spiling pattern was made to lay out the sheer stake and a door skin pattern was made to produce the garboard plank. The planking would proceed from top down and from bottom up with a shutter plank in the middle finishing the job. The spiling pattern was taken off the hull and laid out on the full length rough sawn mahogany board and then we marked out the actual plank. The boats were 38 feet LOA and the boards were forty five to fifty feet long. We made every plank for both Molich 38s out this one log without splicing one plank! The spiling pattern provided the shape of the plank we were working on and we sawed the plank out of the rough mahogany with a skill saw. For the longer planks we were able to get two or possibly three planks from one spiling pattern. After the plank was sawn out it was planed to a generous one inch thick. It was then moved from the planing area to the long bench beside the boats and clamped into place while it was long planed square and fair on both top and bottom and edges.
The plank was now ready to be fitted on the hull. The sheer strake and the garboard were installed with the bottom and top edges square (respectively) and for the complimenting edge on each successive plank the bevel between the installed plank and adjacent frame had to be picked off and transferred to the ongoing plank. This process had to be done carefully because we were edge gluing the planking and it was very important to insure these joints were as perfect as possible. The ongoing planks were first clamped into place and then driven together with wedges until the adjoining seam were tightly pressed together. A light was passed inside the boat to see if there were any open spaces. These spaces were identified by marking the plank. The plank was then removed, secured to the long bench and the hard places were planed off with a finishing plane. The plank was reinstalled and inspected again. This process was repeated until the seams were entirely fused together. Finally we glued and screwed the plank into its final resting place. The good boat builders would complete this sequence in three steps: initial fit; remove, fair and refit; remove, apply glue, reinstall and fasten. It usually took me five tries.
A&R had a slightly different planking system they used on our boats. Instead of edge gluing the planks together they rolled a slight groove into the center of the top edge of the installed plank and then laid in a piece of string caulking cotton. Then they put a bedding compound consisting of white lead and varnish on the joining edge of the plank as they were installing and then drove the two planks together and fasten the upper plank in place. Each plank was carefully fitted in the same way they were at Molich’s but A&R did not use epoxy glue. Also, I believe A&R may have on some occasions taken thicker (nine-quarter) mahogany boards, sawn out the plank and then resawed it into two halves making book matched planking. This was usually done for bright finished hulls.
Nefertiti is a 41 yawl, built in 1956 and delivered from A&R with black topsides. I purchased her in 1978 as her fourth owner. When she started showing her age, in the early ‘90s, I hauled her with the intention of working on her in my spare time and as a project for the yard crew during down times. Unfortunately for Nefertiti, marriage, kids in college then grandkids and a thriving boat yard prevented me from devoting as much time on the project as I wanted.
Nefertiti had all the problem that accompany older Concordias. She was built with a cast iron keel, steel keel bolts and composite metal frames instead of the usual oak floor timbers. This was done because the owner wanted additional water tanks (she has three tanks under the main salon floor boards). The keel bolts were questionable and the metal frames were almost completely rusted away. The bolts that go through the metal frames and the accompanying oak frames and the wood in the oak frames all were severely compromised. We decided to replace the lower portions of oak frame ends and the metal composite frames. We considered using bronze for the composite frames but then decided to laminate fiberglass floor frames. This worked very well for us. We build all our Stanley power boat hulls with fiberglass and we felt very comfortable with this material for the replacements. We laid up these fiberglass frames right into the existing hull so they fit perfectly. They consist of sixteen layers of glass in each frame and they are over one half inch thick – extremely strong. They extend forty to forty eight inches up the hull along each oak frame in the midship area. This is a divergence from standard Concordia construction but I was very pleased with the results of our efforts.
Originally we had planned to stop at this point but as we looked more deeply into the other structural areas we found that the forefoot, deadwood, sternpost and horn timber were in pretty weak condition. In that we had her opened up we decided to push on. When we inspected the turn of the bilge we discovered that most of the frames were broken in this area throughout the entire hull. Needless to say we were quite discouraged but we pushed on. We decided to laminate new oak frames to replace or sister all the frames as necessary throughout the hull. We removed the sheer strake, the toe rail and the outer most plank of the deck to expose the tops of the frames. We replaced quite a few entire frames and sistered others with new laminated oak replacements.
By the time we had opened her up to get at the frames we had a lot of the planking off the hull, about every other plank. At this juncture we chose another line of attack. We decide to replank the hull. Here again we diverged from standard Concordia construction and decide to double plank the entire hull with one under course of three eights Virginia Cedar fastened with #12 x 3/4" bronze ring nails and an outer course of three quarter inch Sipo fasten into the frames with #14 x 2 1/4" Everdur bronze flat head wood screws. The Virginia Cedar was installed dry and the Sipo was epoxy glued to the cedar. All the butts were staggered and all the seams between the cedar and the Sipo were also staggered. All the planking was coated with several coats of epoxy inside and out. I think this will make a pretty strong hull and it should be lighter the original construction.
Steve Spurling is the epitome of the real Downeast Maine culture. He and I have been working together on various boat yard projects for the last thirty three years. We built two new boats, rebuilt six or seven older boat and completed many repairs at my yard. Steve grew up on Great Cranberry Island. He started work at an early age working at Southwest Boat Company. I am not sure how old he was when he started but he told me about the first boat he ever worked on, a ninety foot wooden dragger. It was being built on the railways at Southwest Boat in the middle of winter and they worked outside in all kinds of weather. He had to take the ferry boat every morning from Great Cranberry to Southwest Harbor and back in the late afternoon. It is unimaginable how hard that life must have been.
Steve has worked with almost all the builders in this area at one time or another. For many years he captained Gambol, a 36 foot picnic yacht owned by the Milliken family in Northeast Harbor. I mention all this because Steve has been working with me on Nefertiti during the entire repair project. He is ninety years old this year and he still out works me every day. His wife, Arlene, says he wouldn’t survive a week if he did not have a boat to work on.
Steve’s idea about the condition of Nefertiti is clearly stated: “She weren’t very good when we started. She’s better now but we got a long way to go. Below the waterline she was done with. Over half her timbers broke right off. All the way off! Never can tell with old boats. Could be bad or worse once you start gettin’ into it.”
He’s a great old guy and fun to talk to so if you come to Southwest you will have to look us up, see old Nefer and talk to Steve and me.
Bruce Flenniken, Newton, MA
Principia has been outside on the hard and unprotected for several seasons. She suffered significant deterioration over this time. She is now in a shed at Triad Boatworks, Mattapoisset, MA under Peter Costa’s supervision, for a complete overhaul.
Her topsides and bottom were stripped and hard sanded for a better review of needed repairs. A sealer was applied to avoid her drying out more than she has already. Paul Haley, of Capt. G.W. Full & Assoc., did a follow up survey. The exterior condition is not as bad as was first expected. As some planks are replaced, new butts will be relocated to give her more strength. It is interesting to see repairs of some earlier, unknown damage exposed.
After stripping the old mizzen, checking separated joints and bad wood, building a new mast is a more affordable alternative to making repairs. Mast hardware has been removed and treated with a galvanized coating which can be touched up as necessary, rather than a total re-galvanizing which could be scratched and allow corrosion of the metal.
The engine has been removed to facilitate replacement of the horn timber. When I bought Principia more than 25 years ago, Giffy Full told me that the horn timber and transom needed to be replaced, which I didn’t do. It’s time to relieve some of the patchwork plank fastenings and transom epoxy repairs that have occurred over that time. Both are scheduled to be removed and replaced. Iron keel, deadwood, horn timber and transom should take care of the center line. At least the stem and wood keel can remain!
The keel bolts have been driven out. They are approximately 15 year old stainless rods, coated with epoxy. It was an attempt to apply U.S. diameters to metric holes. All will need to be replaced. They did not hold up as expected, as can be seen in the photos. The new bolts will be fabricated from Aquamet, a high alloy, austenitic (T304) stainless steel with high corrosion resistance. We’ll see how much better they hold up… if I live that long. Meanwhile, new bronze floor timber bolts are also ready.
Her iron ballast keel has been dropped and will be sandblasted, then covered with CeRam-Kote, an industrial/marine coating which should delay corrosion for many years. The rudder has been removed, along with the deadwood. The deadwood has been salvaged and rotted/damaged areas have been patched, glued back together and it is now being sanded and prepped.
The infamous iron floors have deteriorated to a surprising and alarming degree and are being replaced. Every other floor is being removed, then replaced with an epoxy-coated wood floor. Then the remaining floors will be replaced in order to maintain the hull form.
The house sides have been stripped and the main hatch and other furniture has been removed and all are being refurbished. The exterior areas around the windows and portholes have significant water damage. It was decided to apply a 1/4" mahogany veneer to the house sides, as a more efficient and attractive solution than patching. Forward corners will be shaped from solid blocks.
The previous fiberglass canvas replacement has been removed from the house top in order to correct problems which have been causing leaks. Plywood and VEC-EBX 1700 17 oz bi-axial fiberglass with epoxy will be applied as the new cover. Half rounds at the house top have been salvaged, but quarter rounds at the deck will need to be replaced in order to help eliminate water penetration which has added to interior moisture damage.
I anticipate an upgraded Principia will be re-launched in the spring of 2012. She should be one happy and healthy beauty!
James Cosgrove, Liverpool, NY
It seems like summers aboard Yankee grow more fleeting as time flies. Yankee logged her 12th season plying Lake Ontario before haulout in late September.
While we were unable to sail on our customary cruises to favorite haunts, or explore new U.S. and Canadian portsof-call, the past summer was filled with day sailing in the Lake’s eastern waters. The boat looks and sails better than ever, prompting the usual compliments and praise wherever we anchor or tie up. A dedicated schedule for refinishing and lots of varnishing over the past off-season brought out the yawl’s spectacular looks. A repeat of this work will come soon enough.
The aftermath of Hurricane Irene caused us some nail biting in late summer, but we took precautions (thanks to Dopplar radar!) well before the high winds struck. The day prior to the storm’s attack, we shifted from our home mooring to secure the boat nearby on the inside corner of a well-protected pier at the Henderson Harbor YC. Springs and other lines were all doubled while we waited. When Irene did roar into the harbor around midnight, Yankee’s anemometer registered gusts up to 40 knots over several hours. The sound of the wind in her rigging is something we’ll never forget! When things finally quieted down the next day, much to our relief, Yankee survived Irene’s bluster without a scratch. Several other boats were blown from their moorings but, fortunately, suffered ony minor damage.
Looking back now, we regret that family commitments took priority over cruising plans in 2011, Focusing on 2012, however, we’re already unrolling Yankee’s charts and setting exciting future courses!
Concordia Yacht Sales and Concordia Boatyard
Stuart MacGregor, South Dartmouth, MA
Concordia Company is starting to get into the work of decommissioning and winterization. For the yawls (and all the boats we maintain) we perform free structural inspections (mechanics, rigging, carpentry & paint). As always, we’re very happy to have back many Yawl owners.
One note of caution – we continue to find many yards struggle to tune the yawls correctly. Sailing for a season with the rig too loose or too tight can lead to many problems (in addition to poor performance).
The project on Javelin, no. 57, ended up being bigger than we had anticipated. Can anyone relate? We moved off the job in the spring out of necessity. We got back on the project in the summer, have installed many new floors and frames, built the transom, and started re-planking. We will have her on the market in 2012. If she doesn’t sell before summer, we’ll have her out at some boat shows and also doing some racing. We’d like to have her available to charter as well.
Let us know if you are interested in a Bateka!
Please remember on our website www.concordiaboats.com there is a separate section for YAWLS. In that section, you can upload images, update any owner information, add an external link, and send suggestions. Google Analytics statistics report (for the first week of October 2011) about 90 independent site visits per day to our website including an average of 60 visits to the Yawls section every day.
Please remember for the holidays – licensed Concordia gear is available via Team One Newport. You can order your gear with your boat name on it.
Mark your calendars
In 2012, we are going to put together a sailing opportunity for Concordias sailing in strong breeze in Buzzards Bay. We’ll set aside a week, pick a day based on forecast, and hire Onne van der Wal to take stills and video. Please be in touch if you want to be in that loop. [email protected]
In 2013, we will be hosting the 75 Anniversary of the Concordia Yawl. Mark your calendars for August 23 – 25, 2013.
Claudia Turnbull, Amagansett, NY
Goldeneye’s extensive winter work set us up for enjoying a very solid boat that enhanced the experience of sailing our Concordia. Our only grievance was the lingering paranoia of possible mooring failure which remains to this day. We replaced our old mooring ball with a top ball mounted pennant line with a couple of floats and still found the line wrapped under the ball and rubbing on the chain.
This summer was the second time we entered Goldeneye in the ERR. We love cruising and are quite green to racing (this was our third regatta) so we asked our friend John Sweeny if he’d like to captain for us for the day. John has quite a bit of racing experience and knows the rules cold. Our lack of a spinnaker was more of a handicap than we had expected so next year we won’t make that mistake again!
Editor, South Portland, ME
At press time, Abaco was undergoing repairs at the Great Island Boat Yard in Harpswell, Maine, where she will have new sections of her clamp and shelf scarfed in, the bridge deck rebuilt and all damaged planking replaced. She should be back in her South Portland shed by late November so Don can then install a new toe rail section, recover the deck and cabin top with a ply and Dynel overlay, make new hatches and then reinstall the newly cleaned bronze hardware.
The interior has been removed and transported to his father’s shop where Don Senior will clean, sand and revarnish it all this winter. While taking the boat apart, Don discovered that the Gray Marine engine was not damaged, started easily and runs like a top, so it has been pulled and is also being cleaned an repainted by his father. One winter challenge will be to replace all the burned and pealed off locus veneer in the galley. The spars have been sent out for either repair or replacement. So Abaco seems to be making a strong recovery.
Editor, Milton, MA
Fabrile is at Paul Rollins’ shop in York, Maine, had been stabilized, most of the damaged wood has been removed, new backbone parts cut and is awaiting Paul’s full attention when his other projects come to an end.
So far we do not have any substantial work to do on Concordias but we are very busy once again at RM.
I have also made a safe way to protect sails and skin from cotter pins. The prototype is made of Delrin but it could be made from bronze or injection molded plastic.
Editor, Mattapoisett, MA
Peter Costa and his crew at Triad is looking forward to a fairly normal winter with the usual winter maintenance of Loon, Envolie and Captiva along with the extensive restoration of Principia that you’ve read about above. They have also been building and restoring many masts.
One interesting woodworking, but not marine related, project in the shop is restoring the wooden trim on a late 1940’s Chrysler convertible. “It’s been a challenge” was Peter’s only comment.
May 15, 1952 - May 2, 2011
The family and friends of Ronald Perry regretfully announce that he passed away while pursing his lifelong dream. He was sailing his 1946 Concordia yawl, named Halcyon, single-handed on an extended ocean voyage. He and Halcyon, no. 3, were lost at sea, four days into their voyage, when they encountered bad weather sailing from Jamaica to Great Inagua, Bahamas. Halcyon was last seen 10 nautical miles off the southern coast of Cuba without Ron onboard. Halcyon was not found after an extensive search of the Cuban shoreline where she should have drifted ashore.
Ron leaves behind many friends and family including daughters Elizabeth Byrd, Anne and Margaret, son Samuel and his brothers Andrew and Conrad. He taught his family by example how to enjoy life, imparting to them the importance of being kind and caring people.
Ron was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He moved to Fairlee, VT in 1983. After arriving in the Upper Valley he introduced himself as an accomplished executive chef. Though he worked various positions throughout the area he greatly enjoyed his last three summers working at the Loch Lyme Lodge. In addition to his extensive career as a chef he was active in the community, volunteering at his children’s sporting, scouting and acting events.
During his 28 years in the Upper Valley he was continually in awe of his beautiful surroundings and spent lots of time biking and hiking the local trails. His favorite hike was Mt. Cube, where he found calmness and serenity. If you would like to help commemorate Ron’s life, the family asks that you send donations to Upper Valley Trails Alliance by visiting uvtrails.org, by mailing a check made out to UVTA, check memo “Ron Perry”, to P.O. Box 1215, Norwich, Vt. 05055, or by calling (802) 649-9075. This will ensure that everyone in the community and our many visitors can continue to enjoy the trails Ron loved, for many years to come. The family asks that you visit 1000memories.com to share stories, memories and photos of Ron.
Margo Taussig Pinkerton, Pandanaram, MA
The following story was forwarded to me recently and I felt it was worth passing on to all of you. -Editor
I was looking at the Concordia Boat web site, as my dad, Bill Taussig, owned Tabakea (ex Sheila, now Rowdy) back when Waldo was running the boatyard in Padanaram.
On her transom, her home port was always listed as either Padanaram or South Dartmouth, not Dedham. While we lived in Dedham, there were and are no ports in Dedham. I thought you would like to have the correct information on your page about Tabakea.
Further, I doubt that anyone knows the origin of her name. Tabakea is the mythical Oceanic/Polynesian turtle god, Father of All Things, that holds up the ocean. The following story comes from A Pattern of Islands by Arthur Grimble:
The shudder of Ocean Island’s narrow reef to the shock of the surf is familiar to people who live there. The old fishermen who used to dwell in the water-side villages would whisper to each other, when they felt it, ‘Behold, Tabakea moves a little!’ Tabakea was the great turtle at the bottom of the sea, who balanced on his back the thin column of rock that carried their home like a coral mushroom-head on its top. One day, they believed, Tabakea would move too much, and Baanaba (The Rock-Land — that was their name for it) would topple over and be engulfed in the roaring waters. But the thought did not trouble them mightily, for they knew that their hero ancestor, the far-voyager, the all-conquering warrior and lover, Au-of-the-Rising-Sun, who had pinned Tabakea down when his people had made the place their home, would see them safely through the end. Every new dawn was his repeated guarantee of that. So, when someone whispered, ‘Tabakea moves a little,’ it was enough to answer, ‘The Sun rises!’ for everyone to be comforted again. And, awaiting the end, they treated the imprisoned giant as a friend and helper, as was only proper, because he too was an ancestor; the Turtle had been the god of the men whom the People of Au had overwhelmed, and so also the god of their widows and daughters. These had been taken to wife by the womanless invading horde for the raising of a new stock of Baanaba. But their subjection had not made them false to the faith of their fathers; their constancy saw to it that the children they bore to the invaders should inherit the cult of the Turtle not less than the cult of the conquering Sun-hero. Though Au remained the triumphant Lord of Heaven (Taumarawa, the Holder-of-the-Skies), Tabakea sidled his way through the nurseries at sea-level, so to speak, into the daily life of the people. He became Taumarawa, the Holder-of-the-Ocean. It was to him that the new generation turned to pray for good fishing, and, above all, for safe goings and comings through the dangers of Baanaba’s terrible reef.
My mother designed a burgee that was very simple; dark green on white, a two-inch-wide border, and turtle with an oval octagonal body, pentagonal (I think) head and legs, and a simple tail, very visible from afar and unmistakable in Lloyds that we used back in those days when we sailed her from 1954 to 1962.
When dad sold Tabakea, he specifically said the name did not go with her, so she reverted to her original name of Sheila. I noticed that the ”new” owners have used the name which is fine with us. I always thought Tabakea was a much more elegant name than Sheila for a boat of this class.
So, if nothing else, please change her port under dad’s ownership to Padanaram or South Dartmouth, whichever was the standard listing at that time (I think we had Padanaram listed, but I cannot be sure.)
Margo Taussig Pinkerton (Bill & Peg Taussig’s daughter)
Juan Corradi and Christina Spellman, Newport, RI
We acquired Westray in the spring of 2011 and scheduled a change of engine during the early part of the summer, as we had other sailing commitments in Finland on another boat. The old Gray Marine gasoline engine was on the verge of giving up the ghost, a fact confirmed by the extreme rust we noticed when she was pulled out of the boat, and a new Betamarine 38HP diesel went in.
We tried to fit in different models of a 4-blade feathering prop (Variprop and a new model from Max Prop) but they would not fit the aperture without modifying it, which would have required some surgery on the rudder. In the end we placed a 2-blade fixed propeller (do not recall the model here and now) with large blades, 14" from tip to tip and a significant pitch (16"). It works very well, and is smooth.
The modifications to the engine box, the proper pairing of shaft and propeller, and the new instrument panel and shifter were executed perfectly, and the boat underwent other, mostly cosmetic, work at the Ballentine Boatshop in Cataumet, Mass.
There is now plenty of room around the engine and easy access to the stuffing box, as well as the batteries. The batteries (one large 12 volt, and two 6 volt in series) are now placed under the cockpit sole, and are accessed through the manhole which appears in the picture. We have not sound-proofed the engine box, and we will do it this winter, perhaps experimenting with a new type of paint that transforms sound waves into low-grade heat, or we may go for the more traditional type of sound insulation, which is heavier.
She splashed in the middle of August, and we have been getting acquainted with her ever since. She is a delight to sail, and a well-mannered vessel in and out of her mooring in Newport and in her various incursions across Buzzards Bay. We had a brush with tropical storm Irene, which we safely rode out inside the sea wall in Fairhaven. Next year we plan to splash early in the season and sail her in New England, with perhaps a classic racing campaign and cruising in Maine.
If you haven’t seen Tom Borges scale model of a 39 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, do so. It’s an incredible example of the modeler’s craft. A good substitute is Brad Bellows collection of photographs at: me.com
The Concordian is compiled by and printed for the benefit of the owners and friends of the Concordia Yachts. It comes out in May and November each year at a cost of $20 per year, due with the May issue. All are welcome to submit articles and images. Send your text in the body of an email with attached photos of the largest file size possible, at least 200ppi. Text and images may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the author and editor. Each issue will be archived on the Concordia site. You may contact the editor at [email protected] or 207-883-0973.
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