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Old 14-02-2020, 07:00   #1
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Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Hello all,


I've been researching for over a while now (maybe 18months) and I'm looking for my first project boat. I'm hoping some of you might be able to offer insight.



I'm looking at a used 1975 Alberg 30 for my first sailboat. Overall, I think the boat is in good structural condition and was well cared for. It needs work, but that's not a deal breaker for me. The skinny:

  • Freshwater boat. Hull # 580
  • On the hard ~12 years. The owner is 96yo and bought it when he retired from engineering around 27 years ago. Second owner.
  • Exterior of hull appears surprisingly good, no damage, no cracks at keel-hull connection. Keel is encapsulated, of course.
  • Rudder: fiberglass. No hollow spots. Bearing/gudgeons have no play
  • Mast and mast step appear in good condition. Spreaders have been upgraded to aluminum. Bonus.
  • 4 sails in good condition. New roller furling included, but not installed, and the sails have not been modified for it yet.
  • Atomic 4 engine. Turns turns freely and seems to have properly been stored for longterm.
    • If it runs, great. If not, I'd remove it and close off the space for storage. I'd use a 9.9HP or 15HP on a lifting transom bracket.
    • I would close off all the air intakes, exhausts, and required through-hulls.
  • Hull to deck joint has been through-bolted along the entire perimeter, at approximately 3" centers. Is this factory?
  • The deck is leaking into the hull somewhere. Could be a window, chainplate, or (more likely) one of the 200+ bolts used to secure the deck to the hull. I'd like to isolate this before the purchase.
  • Water tank is serviceable. An inspection/filling port installed. Bonus. I would eventually sand and apply two layers of glass and epoxy for good measure.
  • Holding tank was leaking and was repaired, but not reinstalled. I would relocate the holding tank to under the v-berth, where the drawer normally is.
  • Water got into the keel. Either from the deck leak (rainwater) or the holding tank leak (gross), down through the bilge. My plan: drill, drain, dry, re-seal.
  • Salon windows are original, non opening, and appear in good condition. Would upgrade at some point down the road.
  • V-berth portholes are opening type and appear aftermarket. Plastic hinge on one is broken. Would likely have to replace these before immediately.
  • Prop is good. Turns freely, but shaft, seals, bearings will need servicing.
  • All through-hulls & seacocks are original. Need replacing. Would like to minimize # in conjunction with previously stated changes.
  • It has both tiller and wheel steering. Owner's son believes it was a factory option. Either way, I'd likely remove the wheel and open up the cockpit.
  • Electronics: Knot meter, VHF, depth sounder, autohelm. Each in dubious condition. I'd remove the knot meter and depth sounder, and instead install a modern GPS with depth sounder. I'll keep the VHF. If I can get the autohelm to work with the tiller, I'll keep it. If not, windvane down the road.
  • Exterior cosmetics/bright work need love. Wood itself is sound. No splits/breaks/rot. Coamings are totally intact.
  • Chainplates are original. Will replace with size larger and better through-bolts.
  • Rigging needs replaced. Probably go a size up, as with the chain plates.
  • Mooring lights need replacing. VHF antenna needs replaced.
  • A few softspots on the deck, one is under a stanchion. Also a possible source of water entering the cabin.
  • Comes with folding cradle
The price is good. Under $2000.
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Old 14-02-2020, 07:03   #2
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Welcome to CF!

Got any pics?
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Old 14-02-2020, 07:38   #3
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Quote:
Originally Posted by stimpsonjcat View Post
Welcome to CF!

Got any pics?

I am awaiting pictures from the seller's son. I viewed it and neglected to take any photos.
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Old 14-02-2020, 08:49   #4
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Xxxxx,
Welcome to the forum.

Some insight...from an experienced sailor.

The Alberg 30 is a classic. These boats make good cruisers, and these boats have served as "first" cruiser for many a sailor. The boat likes to sail well healed over, but is very stable. A properly fitted Alberg 30 can cross oceans. I can hear the Bahamas calling from the helm.

Your list of conditions is not out of line for a boat of this age. The years of non use will mean there are many issues to be discovered. If it was me I would plan spending at least USD $50k bringing this boat up to cruise ready. You will be starting with a hull and mast, everything else will need replacing.

Go in with eyes open about the soft spots. Repairing soft spots is very labor intensive work and can quickly mushroom in scope. You will need the ability to precisely control power tools and good epoxy skills to do this work.

A refurb like this can be very rewarding work. I would plan on two years minimum.

Cost is a down side. Cost and time. The time and money put into the boat will be sunk costs you will never get back. Check out the price of recently cruised Alberg 30s. You could buy an already reconditioned and currently cruising one for much less than you are looking at with this boat. Even a already refurbished Boatvof this age will continually need loving care, so there is never a shortage of projects.

I am not saying don't go for it. If you are someone that loves a project this refit can be very satisfying. If you just want to get sailing there are faster and cheaper pathways.

Enjoy the journey!
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Old 14-02-2020, 08:53   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparx View Post
Xxxxx,
Welcome to the forum.

Some insight...from an experienced sailor.

The Alberg 30 is a classic. These boats make good cruisers, and these boats have served as "first" cruiser for many a sailor. The boat likes to sail well healed over, but is very stable. A properly fitted Alberg 30 can cross oceans. I can hear the Bahamas calling from the helm.

Your list of conditions is not out of line for a boat of this age. The years of non use will mean there are many issues to be discovered. If it was me I would plan spending at least USD $50k bringing this boat up to cruise ready. You will be starting with a hull and mast, everything else will need replacing.

Go in with eyes open about the soft spots. Repairing soft spots is very labor intensive work and can quickly mushroom in scope. You will need the ability to precisely control power tools and good epoxy skills to do this work.

A refurb like this can be very rewarding work. I would plan on two years minimum.

Cost is a down side. Cost and time. The time and money put into the boat will be sunk costs you will never get back. Check out the price of recently cruised Alberg 30s. You could buy an already reconditioned and currently cruising one for much less than you are looking at with this boat. Even a already refurbished Boatvof this age will continually need loving care, so there is never a shortage of projects.

I am not saying don't go for it. If you are someone that loves a project this refit can be very satisfying. If you just want to get sailing there are faster and cheaper pathways.

Enjoy the journey!
A sober assessment but informed and accurate.
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Old 14-02-2020, 08:54   #6
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

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Old 14-02-2020, 09:09   #7
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Nothing really wrong with an Atomic 4. Smooth running and lots of cheap parts available.
However should you go outboard install it in the lazaret as others have done.
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Old 14-02-2020, 09:38   #8
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

The builder probably used silicone to seal the bolts along the hull deck joint. Silicone fails after a decade or two. My 1973 Pearson had silicone failure everywhere and the leaks caused the inner hull liner to delaminate and warp. That combined with all the inoperable and severely out-dated electronics caused the surveyor to tell me not to buy the boat.

I knew that all the problems were within my capability to repair and I wanted the latest generation of electronics, so I bought the boat.

After 10 years of renovations, she is better than new.
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Old 14-02-2020, 09:42   #9
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

I know a guy who had a similar boat and also opted for an outboard rather than replace the atomic four with a diesel or similar. Bad result. In moderate following seas, the prop rose out of the water, racing. Ugly sound and result. And then the care and feeding, and occasional lifting. AND you're carrying gasoline!
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Old 14-02-2020, 09:52   #10
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

I've owned several boats. One had an atomic 4 which was a great engine, it has a carburator which may need cleaning after being stored all those years, but who knows. You can pay for a survey and sea trial to see if there are any unknown issues. Outside of that, the boat sounds like it's ready to go sailing. Most boats have some leakage somewhere. It's a matter of tracking them down and fixing them or just putting in crack sealant as a band-aid. Small delamination area and soft spots are not much of a problem as long as you can stop further water intrusion. Repairing a delaminated deck is a big project. Been there done that, don't want to do it again. Otherwise just go sailing, pick the project you want to tackle next and have fun. They are well built, comfortable , sailing boats and are very pretty at anchor.
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Old 14-02-2020, 11:02   #11
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Very sturdy, seaworthy, and pretty boats. There is a book titled something like "20 Boats That Can Take You Anyhere", which covers this boat in some detail. I think the author is John Vigor. I have it someplace, sorry about not being 100% accurate. But a very good guide for someone looking at one of the 20 boats covered by this book. I will try to find it and verify the info.
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Old 14-02-2020, 11:19   #12
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxxx View Post
I've been researching for over a while now (maybe 18months) and I'm looking for my first project boat. I'm hoping some of you might be able to offer insight.

I'm looking at a used 1975 Alberg 30 for my first sailboat. Overall, I think the boat is in good structural condition and was well cared for. It needs work, but that's not a deal breaker for me.

Is the hull blue? What's her name? There was a really sweet one we looked at several years ago, also owned by an old engineer and it was set up well and in great shape.


Also around Hamilton is this one:
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-sailboat/oak...oat/1486789816
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Old 14-02-2020, 11:46   #13
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

Yves Gelines of Cape Horn self steering sailed an Alberg 30 around the world. He made a film of the voyage that he sells on the website that is well worth viewing. http://capehorn.com/sections/Pages/superlatives.htm

He made the voyage sans engine but added an outboard on a rather intricate mount for local cruising.

A4's have a problem with the valves sticking if not preserved properly when laid up. Cure may be as easy as pulling the head and tapping on the valve to free them up.
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Old 14-02-2020, 12:07   #14
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

That boat appears to have lots of problems mainly due to the water intrusion. It's going to take quite a bit to get it right.

I paid $2,000 for my boat (a 1974 Bristol 27) and was sailing it within a month. It had sat on the hard for 5 years.

I have put maybe $10- $12,000 more into it over the last 8 years. (depending if you count bottom jobs which I have done 3X) I've been sailing it the entire time though

The hull was good with no soft spots and no water in the keel. Hull to deck joint leaks a little but it goes into the bilge and doesn't get anything important wet.

I replaced the diesel with a new 5 hp 4 stroke outboard. No alternator.

All power comes from solar.

Replaced the bilge pump after it failed.

Thruhull seacocks appear to be original.

Jib was the PO's. I replaced the main with a new one.

Replaced the dodger.(after 7 years)

Replaced the mainsail cover.

Bought inverters.

Replaced the VHF in 2019 with one that has GPS and AIS. Now have a Raspberry Pi 4 hooked up to the SH GX2200 VHF to display AIS/GPS on a monitor.

Replaced main settee sleeping cushion with 6" thick custom made one.

Chain plates are original as is the rigging.

Dock lines are the orginal.

Anchors and rode....original.

Replaced autopilot and have a spare.

Replaced tiller after the original broke in half.

Replaced outboard bracket one time.

Roller furling ... original.

Painted most of the boat inside and out

I plan to replace the rigging in 4 years and closely examine the thruhull seacocks again. All mine are closed.

Side note. There is a 1985 Cape Dory 270 at my marina for sale. Asking price is $10K but i'm thinking you could get it for $6,500 to $7,000. It has a centerboard and wheel steering.

Dodger, Bimini, roller furling jib, hot water, shower, westerbeke diesel. The inside looks new new. When I boared the boat and went below it hadn't been opened in months. There was no smell of dampness at all down there. The battery was dead so they didn't start the diesel
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Old 14-02-2020, 12:09   #15
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Re: Another first boat thread. Alberg 30, 1975

I bought an Albert 30 a year ago and I’m finishing up a complete refit. It was in worse shape than this one by the sound of it; I had to replace some bulkheads and re-seal the bilge. The surveyor missed the rot in the bulkheads. In any case, I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly spend US$50,000 to get it seaworthy; perhaps you could take it to a very expensive boatyard and tell them money’s no object. I’ll have spent about Can$4,000 when finished, not including new electronics, which I may or may not need. Apart from the bulkheads and re-sealing the bilge, my refit included replacing toe rails and re-sealing the deck to hull, replacing some thru-hulls, backing deck fittings with stainless plate, paint inside and out, mostly new plumbing and bilge pump, and a bit of engine work. I did all the work myself.
The A-30 that you describe sounds like the bargain of the century to me. If you decide you don’t want her let me know.
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