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Great Lakes Alberg Association

Monthly Newsletter – July 2010


Commodore Cathie’s Corner:
Lots of planning takes place to ensure GLAA members and their guests have a great time at events throughout the year.  Not only members of the Executive Team are involved in the planning, but very often their families, friends, and GLAA members lend a helping hand.  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has 'a hand' in planning, organizing and running events for the Great Lakes Alberg Association. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and are very much appreciated by the Executive and all who attend the events supporting the GLAA. Thank You.

We have a fantastic GLAA season still ahead with 2 Summer Rendezvous events planned this year.  The first one in Toronto at Queen City Yacht Club on the Toronto Islands, and another in Picton at the Prince Edward Yacht Club on the waters of the Bay of Quinte.

Bill Newman has organized a special weekend at QCYC for the GLAA's first Rendezvous of the Summer which takes place on the July 1st weekend.  It is certainly an added attraction for this event to have the Tall Ships visiting Toronto at the same time.  (Just in case this Newsletter doesn't go out before this event.....I hope everyone had a great time!!).  Unfortunately, John and I are getting ready to move to our new home and will have to miss out on joining in the fun.
For the August long weekend, yours truly has put together a few activities, including a fun Race for our second Summer Rendezvous in Picton at the east end of Lake Ontario.  You can rest easy knowing water levels in the area have risen so no worries if you are heading to Picton taking the inland route through Presquile, the Murray Canal and Bay of Quinte.  Come on out and support these great Summer GLAA events.  Guaranteed you will have a good time!!
Our first big 'on the water' event of 2010 was the annual Syronelle Race Weekend.  Phil Birkenheier, the GLAA's Director of Racing put together a fantastic event and has provided a report which is included in this edition of the Newsletter.  On behalf of the Executive, I would like to congratulate Phil and the winning efforts of our Canadian Sailing Teams who all helped to keep the Syronelle Trophy on Canadian shores.  Well done!!
The GLAA's website is currently going through some changes.  Please welcome Dennis Litchfield to the Association as our new Webmaster.  Dennis is currently learning the ropes from his brother Randy.  Randy's company Inbox Marketer has grown and gotten very busy but unfortunately for the GLAA, this means that Randy does not have the extra time to spend managing the GLAA website.   Please be assured that the website will be back up to speed very shortly.  For the time being, any 'news 'n views' you would like to share with the rest of the membership can for forwarded through the 'Contact Us' link on the website or sent to me for distribution as an e-blast.
Lastly, but certainly not the least....Clare Matthews, our very hard working Director of Membership, has a report in this edition of the Newsletter and suffice it to say, 2010 is turning into a banner year for increased numbers of new members joining the Great Lakes Alberg Association.  Please keep spreading the word.  Thank you again.

Fair Winds …. Cathie

2010 Syronelle Race Update
The 2010 Syronelle Cup race weekend was held on June 11/12/13, 2010. Eleven people came up from the Chesapeake, and with two loner boats, plus 5 GLAA boats and some really variable weather conditions, it turned out to be a great sailing weekend.
Just to recap the events – Our thanks again to Rick and Celina Kent for hosting the Friday night pot luck which was as usual, a fantastic do. There were lots of great food and some really rich tasting deserts. Thanks also to Bev Dales who arranged accommodation for most of the visiting folks from the Chesapeake.
On Saturday (am), the skippers’ meeting went off well, and the boats all left for the first race. The conditions in the sheltered harbour gave very little indication of what was to be expected on the lake. The waves were high and the wind even higher. It promised to be a very interesting day of Alberg racing.
The first hint of problems developed early when the windlass motor on the committee boat burned out while they were trying to set the anchor. There was a race delay ‘till that got that problem fixed. In the meantime, all the boats were circling in the high winds with very rough waters, so much so that Lindisfarne, followed by Gemini, had to leave the race to get crew members onto the hard because of seasickness. Lindisfarne had to remain in harbour because they had not enough crew for the conditions. Gemini went back out to watch the first race. At the end of the first race, Candy Cane pulled out because of a sick crew member, and White Opal asked for a delay because of a sick crew member. At that point, the committee boat suggested one race Saturday and two on Sunday when conditions might be better. It could be that the committee boat was experiencing some problems as well because they must have been really bouncing around.
The Chesapeake boats had a 1st and 4rth = 5 points, White Opal/Gemini a 2nd and DNS =10 points, Lindisfarne/Candy Cane a DNS and 5th = 13 points and Summer Salt a 3rd but he was a wild card and his result would not have been know till after the races and he picked a partner. We GLAA folks all figured that the trophy was going to go south this year.

The Saturday night dinner was held at the Keating Channel Pub. About 40 or so people showed up and a great time was had by all.

Sunday had completely opposite conditions - moderate winds, small seas and the first race got underway. All the boats, with one or two exceptions, had a good start and most boats continued on a starboard tack. Gemini and Lindisfarne tacked over and fortunately found more wind. At the first mark Gemini rounded first with White Opal second. The downwind run started under fairly light wind, like the boat speed went to 1 or 2 knots, and there was little change in positions after that. So Gemini finished first, White Opal second = 3 points, total 13 for the two races. And very fortunately for the GLAA teams, Candy Cane managed to just come in third over The Answer, a Chesapeake loaner boat, who came in forth. The other Chesapeake boat, Viva II came in 5th so the Chesapeake team had 9 points for a two race total of 14 points. Candy Cane plus Lindisfarne, who narrowly missed 5th place to come in 6th, had a two race total of 22 points and Summer Salt a two race total of 10 since they finished 7th. At this point the wind went to less than one knot and the race was delayed for about 2 hours in hopes that the wind would fill in and allow a third race. However, at the end of the two hours, the wind had dropped even more so the race was called off.

The final standing was thus – White Opal/Candy Cane first with 13 points. The Chesapeake crews, with 14 points, came in second tied with Summer Salt/White Opal (The skipper of Summer Salt picked White Opal’s name out of a hat to be his team mate), Candy Cane/Lindisfarne came in third.
A special thanks to Toronto Hydroplane and Sailing Club for hosting the event and supplying the race committee. They also had a surprise for the whole fleet after the race on Sunday. The good folks at THSC arranged for a great BBQ for everyone. They invited us back again next year and if the stars are aligned, we will take them up on that offer.

Phil Birkenheier (Racing Director)

Just Ask Don
Bruno and Elyse have sent the following question about leaky hatches that may apply to some of your boats and that may have been exacerbated by poor DIY efforts of the past.

Their issue … we have to re-do the two hatches that have been leaking. The way they were made (about 3 years ago by the previous owner) - the woods of 3 - 4" x 18" have been glued onto the base with no distance between them. The hatches were then lacquered several times and did really look good in the first season. Unfortunately the wood seemed to dry-out a bit more (I guess from 12 to 8% as required) and the woods started to create spaces between themselves. This created the leaks and now our work. Also, the lacquer fell off already after the first season.”

What they want to do:
1.) Remove all the woods from the base (some have already fallen off - I do not know what glue has been used but it seems a rigid one that 
cracks if the wood moves).
2.) Remove all the lacquer/paint on all the wood.
3.) Cut down the woods by about 1/8".
4.) Re-glue them (with the space between the woods) onto the base, which is also out of wood.
5.) Use a tar (like on real yachts that have wooden decks) to seal between the woods.
6.) Use a natural oil once or twice a year to treat wood (no lacquer).
Here are their questions:
1.) What is the proper glue to glue the wood on the wooden base?
2.) What is the proper tar to push between the woods for sealing?
3.) Anybody knows a supplier in Montreal???
For your info - I visited the local large fine carpenter store and they were not able to supply me with anything I would require.”
From Mike Lehman:
I do not know if I can help with your questions, but I may be able to help explain what is going on with the wood. Any piece of lumber 
has 3 planes (longitudinal plane; radial plane; tangential plane). Each plane has a different coefficient of expansion.  
The longitudinal plane is .05%, the radial plane is 10% and the tangential plane is 5%.  If the wood is not air dried properly 
(3 years per 1 inch) then  the expansion is greatest. After 3 years of air-drying the cells in the wood lose their elasticity, very 
similar to a rubber band that has been worked back and forth a number of times and it becomes much more stable. This is
 very important when making furniture (or seat hatches). The layout and construction becomes very important too to minimize 
the changes in dimensions of the wood after the piece is built. Wood ALWAYS moves, gluing (something we must do on boat parts)
 restricts that movement and can cause the wood to crack.
My reply:
It sounds as if you have old hatches redone and that need re-doing again. Lacquer is a very definite material and not particularly 
good in wet situations so I doubt you have lacquer on the covers- probably varnish, and perhaps even polyurethane varnish, with
 poor preparation so nothing has adhered. Any varnish  needs to be thinned for the first couple of coats to penetrate the wood and
 bond well, and then the layers are one full strength and one thinned, - 2 or three  more times so 6-8 coats, for a good smooth 
finish. This is usually every 3 or 4 years too! Any polyurethane varnish (a plastic material) needs to be on 6 sides  to prevent 
any change in moisture levels, otherwise the moisture migrates to the underside of the top varnish and lifts the plastic off the wood. 
It sounds as if you will have only minor problems getting things apart. You can then get all the glue and finish off one way or another. 
The type of wood  matters for the material you will use for glue. You cannot stop wood from changing dimensions, so 3-4" widths is
 probably about twice or three times the  width you should use. Narrower pieces move less per joint so less trouble with glue fatigues. 
Quarter cut pieces are better than radial pieces. If you cut the  pieces you have in half or thirds, then the joints should be close to
 correct for looks. 
If the wood is oily, like teak or mahogany, then I would use G-flex epoxy from West or gorilla glue with very wet surfaces and not 
any extra glue because it  will foam. (You can do what you like with the spaces and spacing.) Epoxy glue will give you a waterproof 
surface, gorilla glue can stay porous. Therefore you need to get a complete layer of epoxy on the base cover  to get things
waterproof. Adding a of glass matting would not hurt to increase bonding top and not UV stable so you will need to varnish the top, 
including the epoxy joints to get UV stability. Cetol does not give UV stability to epoxy either. The other solution  is to use Sikaflex
 292 black caulking which is specifically UV stable. (Regular Sikaflex caulking are not UV stable). Obviously the cracks will all have 
to be taped before filling and that is a careful tedious job too. 
As for finishes, any oil added to a surface becomes a substrate (carbon or energy source) for mildews and moulds, so you might
 want to reconsider that since any extra, unwanted biological growth will darken the wood and may spread to the interior. Oils 
have 2.5 times the carbohydrates for biological energy than straight carbs have, so you are about to feed them a bit of rocket 
fuel! Any oil will change the size of the wood as it will expand with more oil in it.
Boats are still a huge engineered compromise!
I am not sure where you find West products in Montreal. And G-flex is relatively new. It is priced at about $20 for 8 oz. but 
there is a bigger size available. It is the strongest epoxy so far at a modulus of elasticity of 120,000 psi! The Sikaflex is 
available from Noah's in Toronto at about $30 a tube. They will ship it to you (and they will have the G-flex too.) Any West
 dealer should have g-flex though. Noah's is the Canadian distributor for Sikaflex.

 Don Campbell

For more repair tips--as well as project ideas and sailing skills advice--check out the Maintenance section of our website.

Remembering Two Great Alberg Sailors ...


Len Irvine, 1922 - 2010

Alberg 30 "Woodwind"

Len Irvine enjoyed many years of sailing with his wife Kaethe aboard their Alberg 30, Woodwind. Sailing out of Oakville, their adventures included the Chesapeake and various locales in the Bahamas.

Len served with the RCAF overseas during the WWII. Later, he worked with the Canadian Research Council; became vice-president of Canadian Admiral; managed a company in Ireland; and worked for Atom Energy of Canada.

Sailing and walking his lab “Tina” by the lake went along well with his caring nature and good humour.

Was a beloved husband of Kaethe Looman-Irvine; father of Maureen & Paul, Rosie & Dan, Karin & Roger & Henny, along with being a devoted “grandpa dad” to 8 grandchildren & 5 great grandchildren.


Jon Sorensen , 1928 - 2010

Alberg 22 "Little Mermaid"

Jon Sorensen was born in Aalborg, Denmark. As a teenager, Jon was a Sea Scout and later served two years in the Danish Navy.

An owner of (2) Alberg 22’s (the first one he wore out), Jon was a true sailor. In fact, last year he with a local sailing buddy (Monty), competed in the 45th Niddle in Clayton, New York. An annual event he has done many times before.

Sailing out of the Picton Harbour since arriving here from Denmark in 1958, Jon was hired as one of the first employees of the local cement plant that is visible when entering Picton Bay by boat.

Loving all things “boating”, when not sailing or helping out as a member of the Auxiliary Coast Guard, Jon would carve his time away making assorted ship models. Twenty five ship models in all.

Survived by his daughters Elisabeth, Jessie, Ejna, son Johnny and the late Hanna. Also as step-father to Jackie, Sam, Angela and the late Reg. 



Tech Talk with Don Campbell
This past spring has been cold and wet on weekends so far and so perhaps you have not had an opportunity to check the rigging set up on your boat. If you have ever gone out to the shake down cruise and found the speed on the port tack quite different from the speed on starboard tack; or if the boat points better on one than the other tack, rigging set up is usually one cause for such differences. While many of us in Canada unstep the mast for the winter, some do not, and so the winter winds have had an opportunity to flex the system and more from the prevailing wind direction. Thus, the wire stretch can be uneven from this too.

To set up the rigging is a very easy procedure but with an orderly sequence. First, make sure the mast foot is in the center of the boat by measuring from the center of the mast base to each gunwales. If this is not the case, then that is a difficult one to fix but you should try to get the mast straight over the mast base. Your tacks will be different if this is the case, but you will at least know the preferred tack. Then center the top of the mast over the mast base by adjusting the two upper shrouds. The easiest way to do the measuring without stretch is to use a steel tape measure run up to the top of the mast on the main halyard and then measure to the pin on the lower end of each upper wire. It helps if there is not much wind and use the same tension on the tape for both sides. The measurement needs to be the same for port and starboard and adjust the turnbuckles until you achieve this result. Tighten the forestay/backstay combination until you have the tension in the forestay that you feel will not give too much forestay sag when you sail. This is usually done with just backstay adjustment because with furling units, it is often not easy to adjust the forestay length and in all situations, the wire length of the forestay sets the rake. At this point, I look up the sail track to see if there is a bend in the mast and if so, shorten the lowers on the concave side until the bend is removed. Adjust the other lowers until their tension is about equal with the tightened ones. The forward lower should have noticeably more tension than the rear lower but the rear should not be floppy.

Once at this stage, the overall tension becomes the factor and this often is where skippers differ. I can see no reason to drive a mast through the deck and so my objective is to have the rigging on the boat so that it holds the mast when under sail. For me if I can move the wire on the uppers about ¼” at elbow level under static load, then that is tight enough. The same tension in the forward lowers is adequate for me and if the rear lower moves slightly more, say 3/8”, or more easily by feel, that is good enough to start with.  Some use a Loos ® Gauge and that is fine, but if you do, be extremely careful to place the gauge on the port side at a measured distance equal to the starboard side placement on the wire. If the placement differs, the leverage on the wire differs because of differing lengths on the triangle sides that you will make when you flex the gauge, so you will not be measuring the same thing, side to side.

Now go sailing and put the rig under tension with sails. Note how close you point on starboard tack when close hauled and test the looseness of the leeward stays. If they are very loose, tighten them until they are about twice the play you think they should have. (You need to tighten the windward wires the same to keep the rig centered.) Tack and tighten the new lee wards the amount you just did for the other side. Now start again and note the pointing angle on port tack. Check the leeward wire tension, and they all should be loose but not swinging. Now look up the mast sail track again to check for straightness. Adjust for any bend if necessary. It is normal in bendy masts to want the mast at the partners a bit forward of the step and tip.  Alberg masts are very stiff and so this is not easy to achieve, What you may find is that you cannot get enough lower forward stay tension to bend the mast and so the top of the mast may be forward when the sails are driving you over 6 knots. This is something that happens under loads of that pressure and cannot be helped, because any more tension will damage the mast step or loads the chainplates unnecessarily. If it is the same for both tacks, then you can cope with sail trim equally on both tacks. If the change in rig under sail pressure is such that it changes sail shape so you cannot trim your sails to get the ticklers flying, then you need to readjust the rig. Just be certain that the chainplates and knees will take the extra load.

Once you are not sailing, it is then a good idea to let the backstay off so that the rig tension is relieved, and the boat is not under high tension under static situations and this will ease all wire loads but least on the uppers. 

We often forget that the loading of the backstay/forestay combination puts huge strain on the hull because of the leverage effect. Since the mast is 10.5 feet from the bow, if the tension in the forestay is 1000 pounds, then the pull up on the hull at the mast from the forestay is 10.5 x 1000. Since the tension in the backstay will be the same as the forestay, assuming the backstay is 1 foot from the stern, the pull up on the back end will be (29.3 -10.5) x 1000 pounds. This is a considerable load to leave on the boat at all times, so relieving the tension will make your boat and mast beam much happier in the long life of Albergs.

Don C.

GLAA Sails & Maintenance Seminar

Last Saturday March 27th the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club hosted our first GLAA Sails & Maintenance Seminar with the coordinating skills of Cathie Coultis.

There were 13 participants; 2 speakers and loads of coffee, sandwiches and treats galore. The agenda read like this;

1100 hrs - Don Campbell discussing “Sails”
1230 hrs - lunch & mingle
1315 hrs - Nye Boat Works talking “Boat Maintenance”
1430 hrs - Gord Martin discussing “De-Zincification”
1500 hrs - Open forum.

Don opened the training with a quick orientation on basic math (levers & movements/triangles/circles & spheres w./vectors) and physics (Newton’s laws of motion & laws of energy conservation), to help ease us into “How to make sails work on a boat”.

Nathan Bresett of Nye BoatWorks talked about fiberglass matting applications; sealant experiences; the Sika flex-deck product and things like … “how to deal with Spider cracks”. Along with using visuals, Nathan also brought shop samples to demonstrate his point.

Gord Martin wrapped up the workshop with a brief talk on corrosion of a alloy containing zinc and the associated side affects.

Wish there was a GLAA sponsored training session relating to a specific topic or field ? Well, now is the time to speak up and let us know what it is. If there is a common need, we may be able to set something up that mate up with that task, like … “haul-out”.
Tell one of your GLAA directors listed in your 2010 roster book.