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Old 04-04-2016, 21:34   #1
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Advice on Albin Cumulus

I am looking for some advice on an Albin Cumulus that I will be taking a look at soon. First here is the owner's description of the boat:

She's a good solid boat
but has been left without any care for about 10 years. She needs a haulout
and new bottom paint for sure. There's a manual head but its not plumbed
in. The owner before me pulled the inboard engine out so it just has the
outboard and there are some topside leaks that won't take much to fix but
it still needs done. Comes with a great sail package including spinaker and pole, a 15hp Honda outboard and 2 anchors.

Here are the pictures of the boat:














If anyone can provide any helpful information regarding this boat and any specific issues I should keep an eye out for I would greatly appreciate it. I would also appreciate any answers people can provide to some questions I had about this boat.

Are there any obvious issues from the pictures not already mentioned?

Is this boat offshore capable with a good refit?

If I were to repower this boat with an electric drive how much power would it require for offshore passages? Or is it even logical to install an electric drive on this boat to make long passages?

What would be the most common places to look for topside leaks on this boat?

How comfortable in rough weather is this boat?

What would be a good price for this boat?



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Old 05-04-2016, 13:22   #2
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Since posting this last night I ran across an old post from Bob Perry on another forum that I had read when initially researching this boat. After rereading his post I no longer question whether this boat can be made offshore capable so please ignore that question since I can't edit the post.

I also realized that I should explain my planned use for an electric propulsion system. I would like to circumnavigate with this boat within the next 5 years. I don't mind waiting out lulls in the wind and since the boat has an outboard motor I can always use that if I get tired of waiting.

My main concern is that I have read outboards can have issues keeping their prop in the water in heavy seas. So the electric propulsion system would mostly be reserved for getting out of trouble or to keep the boat stable in heavy seas. I realize that I may get more information from the Yahoo electric boat group but I am interested in getting opinions from diverse unbiased sources. I have already talked with one person in the albin cumulus club who has done this conversion and it seems rather easy. So my concern is whether an electric propulsion system is a viable option for the situations in which I would use it and how large of a motor would I want. Thanks in advance for any help people can provide.



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Old 05-04-2016, 14:49   #3
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Electric propulsion systems really aren't "there" yet for most uses, other than short toodles into and out of a harbor. But, that may change rapidly, and there may be stories at this point of folks who are using them as you would like to. Just do a TON of research on the topic before proceeding.

I think without actually seeing the boat it is impossible to say whether it is appropriate for anything in particular. Without care for ten years with leaks? I very much doubt those pictures are recent if that is the case. Go take a look and you will have a much better idea where you stand.

In addition, Bob Perry has a consulting service for $500. I think it is really well spent money if you are considering long voyages.

Good luck! They are nifty boats.
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Old 05-04-2016, 15:54   #4
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

An outboard motor is an inshore motor. Forget ocean use.
And right now, electrics are still "experimental" and you'll have to do all your own learning and design, and still have no resale value to it. I expect you're getting a fire sale price because the original inboard engine was trashed, remember that will apply if you try to sell it with a homebuilt system.
Odds are ten years of sitting also means it needs new standing rigging, chainplates inspected, water damage in places you won't easily notice below. And possibly a bottom job after ten years of growth are scraped off. Or was it on the hard?
To check the deck for leaks, get a shopvac or leafblower. Block off all ports and hatches and use a big sheet of cardboard to block the companionway. Insert the blower or the shopvac exhaust through a hole in the cardboard, turn it on.
Now go fill some buckets with soapy water and starting at the bow, slosh them over everything as you make your way aft. The deck will be DEADLY SLIPPERY please do not fall off by walking on the wet soapy parts. But you will see the boat "blowing bubbles" at every leak.
Optional: If someone loves the boat, this is a good time to get a scrub brush and finish cleaning the deck.(G)


Ten years of ignoring a boat usually means lots of hidden water damage. Possibly bug infestations or wiring damage from mice and rats chewing at it. And check the rudder carefully, if you can find even the lightest hairline crack, it has been compromised and probably needs to be rebuild, to prevent water intrusion from causing a rudder failure internally.


Old sails, lifelines need rerigging, head needs to be installed or a bucket fitted...Take your time and add up all the prices, plus the value of your labor. Plus the margin for surprises.
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Old 05-04-2016, 16:17   #5
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
but has been left without any care for about 10 years. // so it just has the outboard // Comes with a great sail package including spinaker and pole
Why would you look for a boat that hasn't had any maintenance for 10 yrs?
What exactly is a "great sail package"?
All I see is a sad looking main ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
Are there any obvious issues from the pictures not already mentioned?
She'll probably have plenty of issues.
Boats need maintenance. She hasn't had any ...
See above comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
Or is it even logical to install an electric drive on this boat to make long passages?
Nope, see earlier comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
How comfortable in rough weather is this boat?
As uncomfortable as any boat of that length.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
What would be a good price for this boat?
Based on a few pics and a couple of lines of text? Go look at her first, then you can get some idea of what she's worth. Keep in mind that:

- she'll need an inboard engine
- she'll need new rigging
- Likely needs some or all sails replaced
- needs a refit after 10 yrs of neglect (not to mention for ocean sailing)

She'll probably end up costing you more then buying a well maintained Cumulus, but if you have the time and money, you could always go see her and check her out thoroughly. Only then can you see if she's worth it to you.

But any sort of offshore boat without a decent inboard engine isn't worth much.
A boat that hasn't been maintained for 10 yrs isn't worth much.
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Old 05-04-2016, 21:00   #6
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Quote:
Originally Posted by vjm View Post
Electric propulsion systems really aren't "there" yet for most uses, other than short toodles into and out of a harbor. But, that may change rapidly, and there may be stories at this point of folks who are using them as you would like to. Just do a TON of research on the topic before proceeding.

I think without actually seeing the boat it is impossible to say whether it is appropriate for anything in particular. Without care for ten years with leaks? I very much doubt those pictures are recent if that is the case. Go take a look and you will have a much better idea where you stand.

In addition, Bob Perry has a consulting service for $500. I think it is really well spent money if you are considering long voyages.

Good luck! They are nifty boats.
Thanks for the advice I will definitely do my research before going forward with an electric propulsion system.

I have seen the boat at my local marina but haven't been on her or even gotten a good close look. The boat seems to be in about the same condition as the pictures for what that's worth.

I will definitely consider contacting Bob Perry when I am closer to my goal as that sounds like it would be $500 very well spent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
An outboard motor is an inshore motor. Forget ocean use.
And right now, electrics are still "experimental" and you'll have to do all your own learning and design, and still have no resale value to it. I expect you're getting a fire sale price because the original inboard engine was trashed, remember that will apply if you try to sell it with a homebuilt system.
Odds are ten years of sitting also means it needs new standing rigging, chainplates inspected, water damage in places you won't easily notice below. And possibly a bottom job after ten years of growth are scraped off. Or was it on the hard?
To check the deck for leaks, get a shopvac or leafblower. Block off all ports and hatches and use a big sheet of cardboard to block the companionway. Insert the blower or the shopvac exhaust through a hole in the cardboard, turn it on.
Now go fill some buckets with soapy water and starting at the bow, slosh them over everything as you make your way aft. The deck will be DEADLY SLIPPERY please do not fall off by walking on the wet soapy parts. But you will see the boat "blowing bubbles" at every leak.
Optional: If someone loves the boat, this is a good time to get a scrub brush and finish cleaning the deck.(G)


Ten years of ignoring a boat usually means lots of hidden water damage. Possibly bug infestations or wiring damage from mice and rats chewing at it. And check the rudder carefully, if you can find even the lightest hairline crack, it has been compromised and probably needs to be rebuild, to prevent water intrusion from causing a rudder failure internally.


Old sails, lifelines need rerigging, head needs to be installed or a bucket fitted...Take your time and add up all the prices, plus the value of your labor. Plus the margin for surprises.
Thanks for the information about outboard motors I didn't know they were completely useless in the ocean. I didn't think about resale value for the motor so that is a good point that I will definitely have to consider. Though I believe the components for electric propulsion systems hold their value well so that may offset some of the resale value lost.

I will definitely take all of your advice about rigging, chainplates, etc. She is in the water in a slip. Thanks for the great advice on finding leaks I will use it if I like the boat and end up doing my own survey of it. The boat would definitely be getting a nice wash after I found the leaks

Thanks for the rest of the pointers especially about the rudder and cost management as that is a concern. Budget concerns are why I'm looking at an obvious project as that is probably the only way that I will be able to afford to cruise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Why would you look for a boat that hasn't had any maintenance for 10 yrs?
What exactly is a "great sail package"?
All I see is a sad looking main ...
I have a tight budget and am willing to put in a lot of work to be able to take my family cruising.
I only included the portion of the owner's description to provide what little information I had about the boat. I will definitely take a close look at all of the sails. Does the main look stretched and worn or simply dirty and old?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
She'll probably have plenty of issues.
Boats need maintenance. She hasn't had any ...
See above comment.
As I said I am aware that this is a project boat and am willing to deal with issues. If you noticed any that haven't been mentioned please let me know so I can take a closer look in person and look up replacement costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Nope, see earlier comments
That's not what I gathered from the earlier comments though the resale value issue is a bit of a concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
As uncomfortable as any boat of that length.
Are all boats of this length the same in heavy seas? I was under the impression that while less comfortable than larger boats there was a difference between how different designs and builds were in heavy seas. Is that not true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Based on a few pics and a couple of lines of text? Go look at her first, then you can get some idea of what she's worth. Keep in mind that:

- she'll need an inboard engine
- she'll need new rigging
- Likely needs some or all sails replaced
- needs a refit after 10 yrs of neglect (not to mention for ocean sailing)

She'll probably end up costing you more then buying a well maintained Cumulus, but if you have the time and money, you could always go see her and check her out thoroughly. Only then can you see if she's worth it to you.

But any sort of offshore boat without a decent inboard engine isn't worth much.
A boat that hasn't been maintained for 10 yrs isn't worth much.
I will definitely take some pictures and lots of notes when I take a look at her. I appreciate all of your advice. If it seems like too much of a money pit than I will probably find another boat or wait for another cumulus to hit the market.


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Old 06-04-2016, 10:35   #7
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

You're right, all boats of the same length are not at all the same in terms of their motion in a sea. Some rock, some wobble. Pick a direction, any direction, and when or how or if the boat is tossing about in that direction, is somewhat unique to the boat.


A number of the books on classic offshore design go into the different hull shapes, and whether they have static or dynamic stability, and how they react to wave motion. Some boats are very tippy and as soon as you step aboard, they start to rock. But under way at ten knots, they simply become rock solid at a 10d heel angle. Others don't move at all when you board them, but they may tend to rock more (even if slowly) when under way.


Some have very well balanced sail plans, and you can trim them (assuming the rig and sails are correct) and then walk away from the helm, they'll steer without you. Others? Are all squirrelly and require constant steering.


While there are formulas to predict these things in general, the specifics of each boat come down to reputation. Past owners, reviews, ratings, will always eventually mention boats with outstanding qualities, one way or the other. As to what suits you, and how much of whatever is good enough for you...that's harder to say.


AFAIK Albin never made any "stinkers", although I'm not familiar with that boat.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:50   #8
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
You're right, all boats of the same length are not at all the same in terms of their motion in a sea. Some rock, some wobble. Pick a direction, any direction, and when or how or if the boat is tossing about in that direction, is somewhat unique to the boat.
Very much agree. When someone asks "how comfortable", that's not an easy answer. Depends on the boat, the trim, the conditions ... and what a person feels is 'comfortable' and when it becomes 'uncomfortable'. When I go sailing with 3 people (on one boat), all 3 will have a somewhat different definition of '(un)comfortable'.

But, generally speaking, boats this size (mine is 29') are not all that comfortable when compared to the more common 40' and over boats. Best to prepare for a somewhat bumpy or rolly ride

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Finster View Post
Budget concerns are why I'm looking at an obvious project as that is probably the only way that I will be able to afford to cruise. //
I have a tight budget and am willing to put in a lot of work to be able to take my family cruising.
I definitely understand dealing with a small budget

The reason I asked: let's say you have a budget of 6k. You can either spent that on a boat that needs another 10k before you can take her cruising, or you wait a while, save more money, and buy one that needs much less work for 10k.

Numbers are obviously just an example, the point being that if you don't have money to buy a boat, you probably won't have it to refit either. So you would need to save & refit as you go to be able to afford it, in which case saving and looking for a 'better' boat would, in the end, save you a lot of work and very likely money too.

A project boat doesn't just take time, it takes money too. Especially when you need to find the bare basics such as an engine. It's probably cheaper to buy a boat that already has a well maintained engine ...
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Old 06-04-2016, 13:31   #9
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

I may have missed it, but why the Albin Cumulus? Its design leans more to the weekend racer/cruiser side. It is a little light in displacement at that length to offer much comfort, but properly equipped and refitted, it probably could go many thousands of miles. Personally I would not recommend this design though for what you are talking about, Bob Perry's opinions notwithstanding. If it is a budget issue to choose this boat, and you don't mind a project, I bet we could come up with some better options for you here. I have a boat with an outboard on the transom, but my transom is lower, my hoist is better but even still, if I were planning to go farther, I'd probably just leave the outboard at home. My boat was not built for an inboard. If the Albin is, I agree with Lizzy, get an inboard. If you want to stick with a boat with an outboard, go with a design like the Triton with the outboard in a well (See: atomvoyages.com) Have you browsed through bluewaterboats.org site? It is not the last word in potential boats, but it does have some good ones. If you tell us what other boats are available near you and their condition, we might be able to help steer you to some other good choices to suit your dream...
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Old 06-04-2016, 19:51   #10
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
You're right, all boats of the same length are not at all the same in terms of their motion in a sea. Some rock, some wobble. Pick a direction, any direction, and when or how or if the boat is tossing about in that direction, is somewhat unique to the boat.


A number of the books on classic offshore design go into the different hull shapes, and whether they have static or dynamic stability, and how they react to wave motion. Some boats are very tippy and as soon as you step aboard, they start to rock. But under way at ten knots, they simply become rock solid at a 10d heel angle. Others don't move at all when you board them, but they may tend to rock more (even if slowly) when under way.


Some have very well balanced sail plans, and you can trim them (assuming the rig and sails are correct) and then walk away from the helm, they'll steer without you. Others? Are all squirrelly and require constant steering.


While there are formulas to predict these things in general, the specifics of each boat come down to reputation. Past owners, reviews, ratings, will always eventually mention boats with outstanding qualities, one way or the other. As to what suits you, and how much of whatever is good enough for you...that's harder to say.


AFAIK Albin never made any "stinkers", although I'm not familiar with that boat.
Thanks for the information and your explanation of the variables involved in the motion of sailboats. I asked because I was only able to find a few remarks by people on how they handled heavy seas. I respect opinions much more than equations but I have looked up the cumulus' predicted motion and it was pretty good in comparison to boats the same size.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
Very much agree. When someone asks "how comfortable", that's not an easy answer. Depends on the boat, the trim, the conditions ... and what a person feels is 'comfortable' and when it becomes 'uncomfortable'. When I go sailing with 3 people (on one boat), all 3 will have a somewhat different definition of '(un)comfortable'.

But, generally speaking, boats this size (mine is 29') are not all that comfortable when compared to the more common 40' and over boats. Best to prepare for a somewhat bumpy or rolly ride
I'm prepared for a bumpy ride I just want to make sure my better half will be comfortable enough to go around the world She's pretty tough though so I'm not too worried lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
I definitely understand dealing with a small budget

The reason I asked: let's say you have a budget of 6k. You can either spent that on a boat that needs another 10k before you can take her cruising, or you wait a while, save more money, and buy one that needs much less work for 10k.

Numbers are obviously just an example, the point being that if you don't have money to buy a boat, you probably won't have it to refit either. So you would need to save & refit as you go to be able to afford it, in which case saving and looking for a 'better' boat would, in the end, save you a lot of work and very likely money too.

A project boat doesn't just take time, it takes money too. Especially when you need to find the bare basics such as an engine. It's probably cheaper to buy a boat that already has a well maintained engine ...
The reason that I'm looking at project boats is that I would like something that I could learn to sail with while I work on it. In about 5 years I would like to start a circumnavigation but I want years of sailing experience before that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I may have missed it, but why the Albin Cumulus? Its design leans more to the weekend racer/cruiser side. It is a little light in displacement at that length to offer much comfort, but properly equipped and refitted, it probably could go many thousands of miles. Personally I would not recommend this design though for what you are talking about, Bob Perry's opinions notwithstanding. If it is a budget issue to choose this boat, and you don't mind a project, I bet we could come up with some better options for you here. I have a boat with an outboard on the transom, but my transom is lower, my hoist is better but even still, if I were planning to go farther, I'd probably just leave the outboard at home. My boat was not built for an inboard. If the Albin is, I agree with Lizzy, get an inboard. If you want to stick with a boat with an outboard, go with a design like the Triton with the outboard in a well (See: atomvoyages.com) Have you browsed through bluewaterboats.org site? It is not the last word in potential boats, but it does have some good ones. If you tell us what other boats are available near you and their condition, we might be able to help steer you to some other good choices to suit your dream...
What attracted me to this boat besides the positive reviews of the boat online is that it seems to have a lot of the qualities that I am looking for in a boat. It is quite possible that I won't be able to afford a boat with the qualities that I want right now for a circumnavigation. In that case I will probably go for a good coastal cruiser to learn to sail on before buying a world cruiser.

My wife and I have already discussed what our criteria are for a boat in which to circumnavigate. Some creature comforts are needed such as a galley with room for a full stove along with a separate head. A spartan interior like the cumulus' is fine. We are interested in motoring as little as possible to keep costs down so a boat being able to sail in light winds and have good pointing ability are both important. We would also like to make passages as short as possible so speed is a concern. Comfort in heavy seas is less of a concern than other criteria but still somewhat important.

I will probably take your advice and leave the outboard at home if this boat ends up taking us around the world. I would definitely have an inboard installed before attempting any long passages. I have checked out both sites in the past and unfortunately only two of the boats on that list are available in my area in my budget. One boat is a cape dory 28 that was a donation to a charity. It's a bit slower and a longer trip home than I would prefer. The other is a pacific seacraft 25 which doesn't have a separate head and is slower than I prefer.

I am in Olympia on the south end of the puget sound but am willing to look as far north as B.C. and as far south as Oregon. I will try to put a list together of other potential candidates locally and post it in the next day or so.

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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Old 06-04-2016, 21:04   #11
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

"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!
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Old 06-04-2016, 21:12   #12
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Some creature comforts are needed such as a galley with room for a full stove along with a separate head. A spartan interior like the cumulus' is fine. // a boat being able to sail in light winds and have good pointing ability are both important. We would also like to make passages as short as possible so speed is a concern.
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.
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Old 06-04-2016, 21:22   #13
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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.
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Old 07-04-2016, 03:36   #14
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

Hold up. Have you guys sailed at all?
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:37   #15
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Re: Advice on Albin Cumulus

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Hold up. Have you guys sailed at all?
I am not a sailor, but I play one on TV.
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