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Old 07-04-2016, 10:01   #16
vjm
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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I am not a sailor, but I play one on TV.

Lol. Sorry, that was meant for the OP and his wife.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:18   #17
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Things that are easy to fix but remain unfixed usually aren't.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:44   #18
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Loss of rudder?"
Ah, well. Religion and politics.
Some folks will swear you want a skeg-hung rudder, that it is stronger and more resistant to damage from floating debris. And a full keel, not a fin. Somewhere along the line there are a lot of strong feelings about what a boat should or shouldn't have, for instance, a boat built for the North Seas might be snug and dry but terribly under-ventilated and hot in the tropics.
I think it is more likely that if you are new to this, whatever you buy as a first boat should be considered expendable. Look for a boat you can resell, and don't put in any expensive stuff that will only lose its value, so if you form some strong opinions you can sell the boat in 2-3 years and not get hurt.
If you look at it that way...the scarcity of the Cumulus is a mixed blessing. Fewer people looking for one, but fewer boats for them to fight over.(G) Clean it up and avoid major expenses and you should do all right. The experience you gain in two years of sailing will be the #1 benefit from whatever boat you buy.
I'd also suggest finding local races and trying to crew. You'll meet all sorts of folks you don't want to sail with, and some that are great. And while you are at it, you'll get a chance to see how many different boats do handle. Crew who show up reliably, especially in bad weather, are priceless. Even if they still need some experience and don't know squat about racing!
Haha I thought I might be heading into troubled waters bringing up the rudder. I should know better than to ask as I've read a few contentious threads debating rudders and keels on offshore boats.

Reselling the boat after gaining experience is an option that we would like to keep open. At the same time it would be nice to have the option to be able to circumnavigate with our first boat if we can't afford to upgrade. Speaking of politics....part of the reason for wanting a more budget friendly boat to learn with is that I believe the sailboat market will be worse off in a few years than it was circa 2010. So I don't want to invest a lot of money for something that I don't believe will hold its value.

I would love to gain experience anyway that I can. I've already posted an ad here for crew available but what other things can I do to find a spot as crew on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
If I may ask, what is your budget for

* purchasing a boat now
* yearly budget for refitting

And have you checked local marinas etc. for the costs? Make sure you have those covered as well, plus some money set aside for whatever unexpected things may happen.
My budget for a boat is 7k and my yearly refitting budget is between 2k and 5k. I have checked out local marinas online for an estimate of costs and am trying to include those in my budget.


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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Can I ask what your budget is? And it is true that the more you can spend on the boat outright, the less the boat will cost you. There is a boat for sale up your way, Sequim I think or maybe Port Angeles. It is an older boat, famous, sea worthy, long keel, well made, sails very well, very good reputation among us older folks. It's a Bounty II, I believe they were asking around 30K for it. I suspect it is out of your budget, but the older boats, well cared for and maintained, well-equipped, are your best bet I'd say. Let someone else put all the work into it because the price will rarely reflect all the time and $ put into refitting a boat. If I were in your area, with your dreams, the Bounty II, or one like it, is one I would take a good look at.
Rhodes Bounty II 41' Sloop for sale, 40'10", 1959 | Boatshed Seattle
BTW, don't write off that Cape Dory too quickly! It is not as much of a slug as you may think. There is a reason they are respected cruising designs.
That's a beautiful boat that is far out of my budget but would be a great second boat a few years from now. If I don't like the cumulus than the cape dory is probably next on my list before I start looking at coastal cruisers. There are also a few oddball types that I have some interest in and will post those in my list of candidates when I get to it.
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Hold up. Have you guys sailed at all?
I have sailed a few times as a child on my sister's boat in the San Juan islands. My "experience" consists of holding the tiller and holding a course for about 30 minutes at a time while my family went below and ate food or were otherwise occupied. She has never sailed and never been on a smaller boat than a ferry in the ocean. She does love rollercoasters and carnival rides though and is a relatively tough woman.

I will try to write a thorough introduction to this forum soon which should help you understand what our goals are and why we are chasing them.

Thanks again everyone for the insights and helpful advice! I did try to do my homework prior to posting here and while I may not agree with everyone's opinions I do listen to them and appreciate them.

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Old 07-04-2016, 10:45   #19
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
I really appreciate all the help since I'm obviously new to this. Does anyone have suggestions for how to find project boats for sale besides eBay, craig's list and sailboatlistings.com?

Also are there any specific concerns about taking an albin cumulus on a circumnavigation? Hull damage? Loss of rudder? Inability to weather a storm?

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OK, so, as to the design, fin keel and transom hung rudder. I would not say that anyone setting out with this design is necessarily foolish. Albins have a good rep and the design will be faster than the longer keel boats certainly. I personally prefer the simplicity and strength of a molded in long keel for a cruising design without a spade rudder. For me a spade rudder represents something that can get snagged or weakened... and I crewed on a boat where the spade rudder just fell off at 3am in the South China Sea. I would tend to prefer a transom hung rudder over a spade, but it still has a similar liability. I like a molded in long keel because if I hit something I worry less, and it tracks a little better. Yes, my preference is not on the side of speed, for a cruising boat, but at the same time I am not in the camp of "very heavy displacement design is a must" for "bluewater.". Now, also, since Olin Stephens talks about this in Adlard Coles' book, "Heavy Weather Sailing," I have figured that a design with displacement to waterline length of 300 - 400 is preferable also. Not sure if that helps and it is just one opinion.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:58   #20
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
My budget for a boat is 7k and my yearly refitting budget is between 2k and 5k.
Thanks for posting, that makes it a little easier to help you

I paid a little under $7k for my boat (in the Netherlands, but you should be able to find a good deal in your area as well). For that money, I bought a 29' racer/cruiser which was meant to be sailed at sea.

Didn't come with any extra's for that money (obviously) but the only "problem" is a crappy paint job on the hull, which will only cost me elbow grease, a lot of b*tching and moaning (I *hate* sanding and living on the hard ) and a few hundred euro's to fix.

Well maintained engine, decent but basic set of sails, keel stepped mast, rudder on skeg - but I'll die anyway cos she has a bolted on fin keel, haha

The point being: for $7k you can do a whole lot better then a Cumulus that has been neglected for 10 yrs and doesn't even have an inboard engine anymore. Dare I ask how much the seller wants for that boat?

Edit:
If you add one years' worth of refit budget, you have $10k for the initial purchase.
That should buy you something that'll cost you a whole lot less then this Cumulus will before it's ready ...
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:12   #21
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

I have seen a small cat using an electric outboard and Webb Chiles is using one too. So if your boat is a sailing boat then you can use an electric outboard. I think this applies mostly to out and out offshore sailing. (However, electric outboard are pricey, so read on.)

The boat you are talking about sails very well and you can likely just push it with a small gas outboard. There are special long leg ones e.g. from Tohatsu (6 hp Sail model). Less expensive too.

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Old 07-04-2016, 11:14   #22
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
My budget for a boat is 7k and my yearly refitting budget is between 2k and 5k. I have checked out local marinas online for an estimate of costs and am trying to include those in my budget.
Ah, ok, 7k. When I went looking for my current boat, Columbia 29, I had this design and model in mind and I lucked to find it right in my neighborhood. It is a design that has sailed around the world, but I just wanted to cruise with my wife and 2 kids around the islands locally. I was trying to keep the whole thing under 7k and I did pretty well. It was in pretty good shape but I also bought a couple good used sails for it, replaced the rigging, got another anchor and 50 feet of chain, new radio... stuff like that and I think it has all come in under 7k, though my wife may disagree. It is an old boat but a tough one, not a drop of leaks and the bilge is bone dry. So, if you look to a boat like mine from the 60s, well cared for, I'd say you could be in your budget and get a great boat. Then I'd truck it down to SF and start from there!
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:23   #23
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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I have sailed a few times as a child on my sister's boat in the San Juan islands. My "experience" consists of holding the tiller and holding a course for about 30 minutes at a time while my family went below and ate food or were otherwise occupied. She has never sailed and never been on a smaller boat than a ferry in the ocean. She does love rollercoasters and carnival rides though and is a relatively tough woman.

I will try to write a thorough introduction to this forum soon which should help you understand what our goals are and why we are chasing them.

Thanks again everyone for the insights and helpful advice! I did try to do my homework prior to posting here and while I may not agree with everyone's opinions I do listen to them and appreciate them.

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In that case, stop. Stop looking at boats, stop pursuing this one, or any boat. If your goal is to hopefully buy one boat and not have to resell and buy another very quickly, what you are doing is not in service of that goal. If your goal is to pick a decent boat for offshore sailing, this is not the way to do it.

Both of you need to learn to sail and spend time on as many different boats as you can. Ask a ton of questions and really take through notice of what you do and don't like. Then you will be in a position to know three things you have to know to go further:

1) Do we both like to sail?
2) Do we both like to sail offshore?
3) What features or design aspects are "must haves" for us, what are "nice to haves", and what are " no way, no how"?

Then you can actually shop for a boat that will meet your needs and desires. Right now, you are just guessing and fantasizing. There is nothing wrong with either, until you try and own a boat on a limited budget based purely on guessing and fantasizing.

The scenario plays out all the time. "We want to go sail around the world!" + buy project boat with no experience frequently leads to discovering one or both of you don't actually like it, or only like coastal sailing, you never get to sail the project, and you lose your entire purchase price when you try to sell an incomplete project boat.

If you really want to do this, you have to get the skills first, then you buy the boat. We live in a very consumerist world- the solution is always to buy something. It is not in this circumstance. It's to get out there and learn first.

It does not have to be an expensive or protracted affair. Take ASA 101 and 103 if you can. If not, but a dinghy on a trailer and a good beginning sailing book, go to a lake, and figure it out. You will meet lots of sailors either way. Ask to go with them anytime. Take notes. Arrange to crew offshore at least once. If you really work at it, a year or two will probably tell you what you need to know. Then you have a shot at making a good boat choice and setting off.

Do people do it the way you are planning? Yes. However, many of them succumb to the above scenario of broken dreams and frustration. Many, if not most, are no longer sailing. You are stacking the odds against you unnecessarily.

I wish you luck in however you proceed. The learning to sail part is really, really fun. And it never ends! There is always another way to do something, a new experience, a different bit of equipment. Don't rush the process, enjoy it.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:33   #24
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

I picked up my Alberg30 with yanmar diesel repower and new sails for $8k, something like that would probably suit your needs better. Forget outboards and electric. Buy something you can sail immediately with a diesel inboard.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:34   #25
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

vjm makes some very good points!
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Old 07-04-2016, 15:44   #26
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

I would not pay 7k for a boat in this condition.

Have a look at Albin Express boats. There may be some of them where you live. They are lighter, nimbler, faster and more fun to sail (and way easier to maintain and run). These actually hardly ever need an engine except if your dock has poor access. A long sculling oar is a viable alternative.

Cruising an Albin Express would be like trekking with ultralight gear. I would give it a try on a light budget.

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Old 07-04-2016, 16:32   #27
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
OK, so, as to the design, fin keel and transom hung rudder. I would not say that anyone setting out with this design is necessarily foolish. Albins have a good rep and the design will be faster than the longer keel boats certainly. I personally prefer the simplicity and strength of a molded in long keel for a cruising design without a spade rudder. For me a spade rudder represents something that can get snagged or weakened... and I crewed on a boat where the spade rudder just fell off at 3am in the South China Sea. I would tend to prefer a transom hung rudder over a spade, but it still has a similar liability. I like a molded in long keel because if I hit something I worry less, and it tracks a little better. Yes, my preference is not on the side of speed, for a cruising boat, but at the same time I am not in the camp of "very heavy displacement design is a must" for "bluewater.". Now, also, since Olin Stephens talks about this in Adlard Coles' book, "Heavy Weather Sailing," I have figured that a design with displacement to waterline length of 300 - 400 is preferable also. Not sure if that helps and it is just one opinion.
Thanks for the opinion it is helpful to hear people's opinions on what they prefer in a cruiser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Thanks for posting, that makes it a little easier to help you

I paid a little under $7k for my boat (in the Netherlands, but you should be able to find a good deal in your area as well). For that money, I bought a 29' racer/cruiser which was meant to be sailed at sea.

Didn't come with any extra's for that money (obviously) but the only "problem" is a crappy paint job on the hull, which will only cost me elbow grease, a lot of b*tching and moaning (I *hate* sanding and living on the hard ) and a few hundred euro's to fix.

Well maintained engine, decent but basic set of sails, keel stepped mast, rudder on skeg - but I'll die anyway cos she has a bolted on fin keel, haha

The point being: for $7k you can do a whole lot better then a Cumulus that has been neglected for 10 yrs and doesn't even have an inboard engine anymore. Dare I ask how much the seller wants for that boat?

Edit:
If you add one years' worth of refit budget, you have $10k for the initial purchase.
That should buy you something that'll cost you a whole lot less then this Cumulus will before it's ready ...
I am wondering if it is this specific cumulus which you feel isn't seaworthy (obviously in its current state) or just the model in general? The seller is asking $6k for her. I asked what would be a good price for this boat because I really can't find anything comparable to judge the price.

I like the boat you got and would happily look at one but I haven't seen any available in my area. I will post a list of candidates by tomorrow at the latest and maybe there is one in there you would recommend for my purposes. Thanks for the advice and I will keep looking for the right boat for me after I've crossed this one of the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I have seen a small cat using an electric outboard and Webb Chiles is using one too. So if your boat is a sailing boat then you can use an electric outboard. I think this applies mostly to out and out offshore sailing. (However, electric outboard are pricey, so read on.)

The boat you are talking about sails very well and you can likely just push it with a small gas outboard. There are special long leg ones e.g. from Tohatsu (6 hp Sail model). Less expensive too.

b.
I wasn't really thinking of using an electric outboard but an inboard motor system instead. Thanks for the tip though I will consider that as an option if I end up with this boat.

I was told earlier in this thread that an outboard would be useless in the ocean so your comment led me to research a bit. Reading up about outboards I realized there is a debate on whether they can be used offshore or not. If I end up with this boat I will have to try it myself and see if an outboard can work for me. Thanks for the information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Ah, ok, 7k. When I went looking for my current boat, Columbia 29, I had this design and model in mind and I lucked to find it right in my neighborhood. It is a design that has sailed around the world, but I just wanted to cruise with my wife and 2 kids around the islands locally. I was trying to keep the whole thing under 7k and I did pretty well. It was in pretty good shape but I also bought a couple good used sails for it, replaced the rigging, got another anchor and 50 feet of chain, new radio... stuff like that and I think it has all come in under 7k, though my wife may disagree. It is an old boat but a tough one, not a drop of leaks and the bilge is bone dry. So, if you look to a boat like mine from the 60s, well cared for, I'd say you could be in your budget and get a great boat. Then I'd truck it down to SF and start from there!
I may end up with a boat very similar to yours. As I said towards the beginning of this thread, it is quite likely that I won't be able to afford a boat with all the qualities that we are looking for right now. I'm not sure I want to pay for a yard in SF even though I grew up there and love the city the rent is a little high for me

Edit: I realized I came off as though I don't like your boat but I do I would just prefer something a bit faster but then life is all about compromise!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vjm View Post
In that case, stop. Stop looking at boats, stop pursuing this one, or any boat. If your goal is to hopefully buy one boat and not have to resell and buy another very quickly, what you are doing is not in service of that goal. If your goal is to pick a decent boat for offshore sailing, this is not the way to do it.

Both of you need to learn to sail and spend time on as many different boats as you can. Ask a ton of questions and really take through notice of what you do and don't like. Then you will be in a position to know three things you have to know to go further:

1) Do we both like to sail?
2) Do we both like to sail offshore?
3) What features or design aspects are "must haves" for us, what are "nice to haves", and what are " no way, no how"?

Then you can actually shop for a boat that will meet your needs and desires. Right now, you are just guessing and fantasizing. There is nothing wrong with either, until you try and own a boat on a limited budget based purely on guessing and fantasizing.

The scenario plays out all the time. "We want to go sail around the world!" + buy project boat with no experience frequently leads to discovering one or both of you don't actually like it, or only like coastal sailing, you never get to sail the project, and you lose your entire purchase price when you try to sell an incomplete project boat.

If you really want to do this, you have to get the skills first, then you buy the boat. We live in a very consumerist world- the solution is always to buy something. It is not in this circumstance. It's to get out there and learn first.

It does not have to be an expensive or protracted affair. Take ASA 101 and 103 if you can. If not, but a dinghy on a trailer and a good beginning sailing book, go to a lake, and figure it out. You will meet lots of sailors either way. Ask to go with them anytime. Take notes. Arrange to crew offshore at least once. If you really work at it, a year or two will probably tell you what you need to know. Then you have a shot at making a good boat choice and setting off.

Do people do it the way you are planning? Yes. However, many of them succumb to the above scenario of broken dreams and frustration. Many, if not most, are no longer sailing. You are stacking the odds against you unnecessarily.

I wish you luck in however you proceed. The learning to sail part is really, really fun. And it never ends! There is always another way to do something, a new experience, a different bit of equipment. Don't rush the process, enjoy it.
I've thought of going the dinghy route but I like challenges and get bored easily when I don't have a near term goal. I should have been more specific about my goals. While I plan on spending most of my time this year cruising my local waters learning I would also like to take some trips with my family to the San Juan islands and possibly B.C.

Calling me consumerist is actually pretty funny lol since almost no one would describe me in that way. I have several reasons why I want to own a boat. One is to travel while learning to sail and learning to work on the boat. I also learn best by doing something and learning from my mistakes. If I were to spend a year or two on a dinghy my wife and daughter probably wouldn't spend much time sailing with me which would limit my sailing time. I have considered joining a local sailing club but have decided that I would prefer my own so I can travel. Since I am not looking for a boat to set off around the world in right away a project appeals to me.

To be honest my wife has some interest in sailing but mostly it would be a means to an end. She is interested in enjoying the outdoors and traveling with our baby girl. When we had our baby we both thought all our travel goals would be put aside forever. Then after researching a bit we decided that sailing might be a way that we could still achieve those goals.

I appreciate your advice and would ask you the same question I asked Lizzybelle:

I am wondering if it is this specific cumulus which you feel isn't seaworthy (obviously in its current state) or just the model in general?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickpaul View Post
I picked up my Alberg30 with yanmar diesel repower and new sails for $8k, something like that would probably suit your needs better. Forget outboards and electric. Buy something you can sail immediately with a diesel inboard.
Thanks that does sound like something that would suit my needs but the closest alberg 30 is a bit farther south than I would like and they are asking $12.5k.

What is it about this boat that makes people believe I won't be able to sail the puget sound? Is it the outboard? I understand that it needs a good refit before doing any offshore work but it seems as though people feel it would need to be hauled immediately.


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Old 07-04-2016, 16:37   #28
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would not pay 7k for a boat in this condition.

Have a look at Albin Express boats. There may be some of them where you live. They are lighter, nimbler, faster and more fun to sail (and way easier to maintain and run). These actually hardly ever need an engine except if your dock has poor access. A long sculling oar is a viable alternative.

Cruising an Albin Express would be like trekking with ultralight gear. I would give it a try on a light budget.

b.
I haven't seen any albin express in my area and my wife would really prefer an enclosed head so it would take some convincing to get her to take a long trip without one. I appreciate the advice though and am definitely open to boat suggestions

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Old 07-04-2016, 16:42   #29
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
What is it about this boat that makes people believe I won't be able to sail the puget sound? Is it the outboard? I understand that it needs a good refit before doing any offshore work but it seems as though people feel it would need to be hauled immediately.
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I think its fine for Puget Sound! But I think of Puget Sound as requiring a good bit of motoring fairly often. How much gas can you store for that outboard? BTW I think 6k may be a tad high for that. That Alberg 30 is a great design, if it is in good shape and a good diesel... you can always make an offer...
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Old 07-04-2016, 17:08   #30
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

It's not the boat. It's the sailor. If you have the skills, you can get around the world in some extremely "not fit for bluewater" designs. If you don't, the boat is not going to take care of you.

I actually think a Cumulus is an ok choice. Wouldn't be mine for a variety of reasons
(the draft is a touch too deep for me, the beam is too wide for me, the low SA/D ratio is not exciting, I am not a fan of skinny fin keel for around the world type stuff, especially when the rudder hangs lower than the keel, it's more racer than cruiser so I don't know if tankage is adequate, etc) but frankly that doesn't matter. They sail well supposedly, Norlin is a good designer, and Albin had decent construction.

Any boat of any kind that has sat unused outside for years should be approached with extreme caution. Unless you see it in the flesh (or preferably your surveyor) there is no way to offer any meaningful opinion on it. This boat seems to need some big ticket and/or labor intensive items. An outboard on a transom for a boat designed for an inboard, especially a nimble boat, is just totally silly to me. It will be a rotten experience and negatively impact performance. So that means a new engine. That's 8k on the absolute lowest and much more likely 10-12k. So now you can't sell it for what you have in it, not even close. Sails? Let's be cheap and say 3k. Rigging? If you do it? 1500 and a lot of time.

The lack of an inboard and regular maintenece make this a very undesirable boat for most people. So resale is probably not happening, or its at an extremely low give away price. Once you buy it, you are stuck with it. I think that's a poor choice for people who don't know if they like sailing, if they like racing or crusing, if they like fin keels, if they do a lot of engineless sailing, etc.

My comment about consumerism is not calling you a consumerist. It's a comment on our culture that repeatedly says the first thing you do in any situation is buy something. Not learn, not ask questions, not grow naturally into the sport, just acquire. I think that's the wrong way to go. Glad to hear you do too.

There are so many good boats out there extremely cheap that I think you can do a lot better than one that has been neglected and has major, expensive components missing.

Think about the next five years. What do you absolutely know you will do with a boat in that time period? Buy a boat to do that. It sounds like learn to sail and do some light cruising. Great. Buy that boat, in decent condition. When and if your plans change then evaluate again. Way too many people buy a boat to fulfill a "someday" plan, when it is inappropriate for the now. A Cumulus sounds fine for your near term goals (although 28' is a big learner boat), but this one probably isn't it.
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