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Old 15-02-2014, 08:00   #1
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Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

What advice do you have about the Alberg 35? In particular, a 1963, w/ a wooden boom, & an atomic 4 gasoline early model engine that was recently rebuilt?

How do you heave to with this model?
How does she perform under bare poles in severe weather?
How is she at running aground?
Any other heavy weather advice?
The reefing system on the boom has a jam cleat & pulleys. How is this normally setup? Pics?
Can you let the tide run out and lean her over to clean the bottom?
Any anchoring advice? She sails alot at anchor? Got a fortress & a 35# CQR, all chain.
What do you do about weather-helm? Install a bowsprit? Anyone tried that?
Any way to keep the sheets from banging against the mast?
What size gasket-rope does the stuffing box need?
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Old 15-02-2014, 08:30   #2
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

I delivered one...Not the best downwind. In big weather, she would probably hobby-horse with her long over-hangs. Regarding running aground...It's a little silly buying a boat based on running aground.
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Old 15-02-2014, 08:47   #3
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

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I delivered one...Not the best downwind. In big weather, she would probably hobby-horse with her long over-hangs. Regarding running aground...It's a little silly buying a boat based on running aground.
I was thinking the same thing...
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Old 15-02-2014, 08:55   #4
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

Considering a boat's ability to handle a grounding before buying is reasonable IMHO.
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Old 15-02-2014, 09:14   #5
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

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Originally Posted by virginia boy View Post
Considering a boat's ability to handle a grounding before buying is reasonable IMHO.
VB... Agreed!

However the OP's combination of extreme weather capabilities/properties combined with some absolutely silly newb questions made the 2 references of putting the hull on hard stuff amusing....
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Old 15-02-2014, 09:37   #6
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

LiveaboardL: You've asked some reasonable questions. Your enthusiasm and quest for knowledge is wonderful.
It seems pretty clear that you don't have significant experience with typical old school sailboats and I suggest you take it slow. Most of your questions don't have firm answers and everything you "depends" it seems. There are some great books on setting up boats, but take a look at writings by the Pardees, Nigel Calder, the Dashiews, and Beth Leonard for a sampling.
A few specifics: many boats skate at anchor. Look into a "riding sail." Works wonders. I don't understand your reefing system description, but there are several concepts that work; study up. You are worried about the halyards slapping against the mast; typically you need to find a way to tie them away from it. Either pull a loop around the spreaders or use a line/bungee to a shroud. I was developing a smartass answer to say that most boats are very good at running aground (it's easy to do) but in the interest of brevity, decided not to. ;>) You need to learn why you have weather helm and see if you can correct it before you modify your boat. Have you found an owners' group? They will have a better body of specific knowledge on your boat. For instance, stuffing box packing dimension.
Good luck.
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Old 15-02-2014, 09:59   #7
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

There is an old book called AFTER 50 THOUSAND MILES, By Hal Roth, that in a very detailed, and conservative manner describes how he set up a Spencer 35 for long distance cruising. The Spencer is very similar to the Alberg, so most things would relate. I set up my first cruising boat using a lot of his advice, and it worked out well. There are many books out there, that are full of hype, or sometimes just BS, but Roths book will teach you a lot, and not get you into trouble. Best of Luck, ______Grant.
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Old 15-02-2014, 10:07   #8
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

Another great book is: Singlehanded Sailing by Richard Henderson.

Roth's book is very good. Get these two for starters and you won't go wrong.
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Old 15-02-2014, 10:20   #9
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

On the weather helm. It is bad. A new, flatter main will help. But basically you reef the main early as compared to your neighbors.
The boat hobby horses a fair amount with those long overhangs. They are wet in heavy weather. Get used to a rail in the water when going to weather.
Ignore the sailing anchor. Everybody thinks their boat sails more at anchor than the other guys.
Running aground is about what you'd expect on a boat with a cut away full keel. Make sure you don't drag it off backward, as you might take the barn door rudder off with it. We always dragged the bow back around and came off that way. I would not intentionally ground the boat to clean, etc. The narrow beam means she lays way over when the tide goes out.
I believe the Alberg 35 of your era came with a roller boom for reefing. Most tied it off and put in standard slab reefing.
Anchoring: ditch the CQR and get a modern design anchor. Much more better.
The boat is old, so watch all the bronze fittings carefully. I found many a crack in items like the gooseneck and all the attachment bolts.
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Old 15-02-2014, 14:14   #10
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

I cant tell from your post if you already own an Alberg, or you are considering one, or are looking at a spec sheet with an eye towards one. I have looked at 2 Alberg 35s in the last year (yes I really like them). One was almost wreckage with a frozen diesel and parts and gear had been stolen. Lady wanted $3K and it was not a bargain, even at that. The second was much nicer, but it also needed an engine and the interior had been modified so that there wasnt a good sea berth in it. Neither of these boats had a quarter berth. I know some 35s came with quarter berths and some didnt, but I consider one to be important. The one thing both boats had in common was really bad gelcoat on the decks and cabin. That might not be a deal killer, but it sure adds to the work load (time) of a refit/restoration. The seacocks looked so bad that I would have been afraid to try to turn them while the boat was still in the water. I think they are a great boat, but half century old boats need a very good surveyor to go over them. Good Luck , _____Grant.
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Old 15-02-2014, 14:45   #11
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

if you're buying one of these because it's an almost give-away and you are primarily living aboard...fine. But as stated, they are old and always in need of long term and expensive repairs. I would encourage the OP to look at other designs that have beter sailing characteristics. Start with a longer waterline and a bit more beam.
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Old 16-02-2014, 07:22   #12
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

I own an Alberg 35. If anyone has already hove to or taken down the sails during a gale on an Alberg 35, let me know how it went & what you did when you read this. This is the main thing I'd like to know. The hull is overbuilt & very thick, so, even if there is some delamination, I doubt it would be a problem. This boat is strong. I'll carefully recheck all the fittings.
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Old 16-02-2014, 12:46   #13
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

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Originally Posted by liveaboardL View Post
I own an Alberg 35. If anyone has already hove to or taken down the sails during a gale on an Alberg 35, let me know how it went & what you did when you read this. This is the main thing I'd like to know. The hull is overbuilt & very thick, so, even if there is some delamination, I doubt it would be a problem. This boat is strong. I'll carefully recheck all the fittings.
Dude, ANY delamination is a bad thing. As far as putting her aground to clean the bottom, keep in mind, Charleston harbor is all pluff mud. That means if you lay her over in the mud, odds are she's going to stick in the mud when the tide rises and it'll flood her. Look around at all the wrecks across from City Marina. They're all boats that got stuck in the mud and the suction kept them from refloating at high tide.

To answer some other posters questions, the OP owns my old boat. Her gel coat is in extremely poor condition and needs to be redone. There are numerous leaks from the deck fittings and areas of core rot. The roller reefing has been converted to slab reefing. The boat is due for a complete top to bottom refit including the electrical, which still uses the original fuse panel instead of circuit breakers.

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Old 18-01-2017, 08:01   #14
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

I own an Alberg 35, also. Welcome to the club: where are you located? Ours is in Baltimore, MD, Anchorage Marina; there's at least one other one there.

As to running bare poles, I can't say, I've never done that. She will definitely heave to, you just have to fuss with the setting a bit. The previous post that talked about the big mainsail is certainly right; we reef often and early, in fact I often tie the first reef in when going out. I sail single handed quite a bit and she just handles better that way in anything over 10 knots of wind.

Upwind, they heel to 25-30 deg and stick. To someone not used to this, it can be disconcerting but once mine finds her track, she doesn't seem to go any farther.

As to grounding; I haven't done that yet. I've seen her on a travel lift and I definitely would NOT dry out; the keel is narrow, I'm sure the boat would tip and it would end up too far over to safely recover.

A big thing to check your rudder. Mine still has the original mahogany one and it's obvious it's going to need replacement soon. Not bad considering the boat was built in 1965!

All that said, I love sailing this boat! I hope you love yours as well.
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Old 18-01-2017, 12:22   #15
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Re: Alberg 35: heave to, drying out, reefing...

Pendragon35
That's a pretty old post you are replying to, 2014.

I ended up with bronze straps on my old Alberg',S mahagony rudder.
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