Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-02-2021, 20:33   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
Boat: No boat yet but looking for one!
Posts: 32
Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

We're a couple looking for acquiring a decent "blue water" sailboat on a budget. We currently have two opportunities:
1) A Niagara 35 (1983)
2) An Alberg 37 (1975)

Both seems to be in very good shape and the asking prices are very similar. Both are considered to have blue water capabilities according to this site: Mahina Expeditions - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising

The Niagara, although shorter, is more roomy and probably more confortable to live aboard over a long period of time. It doesn't have a full keel and has a spade rudder. The Alberg is narrower, has a full keel and is slower but has proven blue water capabilities.

Let's say you were to travel the world, cross oceans and live aboard for a few years on one of these two boats. Which one would you choose and why?

Thank you for any advice and opinions!
DNS1324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2021, 21:09   #2
Moderator
 
Adelie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 12,950
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/alberg-37
https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/alberg-37

Based on PHRF the A37 would go 165.6nm/d, N35 would make 168.4.
Based on Leonard/Starzinger formula 121.4 & 122.7.
I would guess that the spread would be closer to what PHRF indicates and the absolute value would be closer to L/S. PHRF reflects full effort by a crew for the length of a race, L/S uses the LWL & SA/D to estimate daily distances and were checked against the logs of a number of cruising boats. The above are for long term estimates of speed. Probably you would be fine estimating passage times based on L/S for provisioning purposes plus add reserves the level you are comfortable with.

The Niagra doesn't have a good double berth, unless the year is wrong or the notes on SBDB are wrong.

Alberg probably has a more comfortable motion.
__________________
Num Me Vexo?
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
Adelie is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 06:59   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto area when not travelling
Boat: Catalina 36 Mk II
Posts: 1,292
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Had a Niagara (NYC to Bermuda and back) and sailed on an Alberg. Which version of the Niagara is it? The Classic version has four good seaberths but no real double. Also the forward end was built in three ways - with sail bins and 'workshop' area, a V-berth for children or a full V-berth, in which case a bulkhead is moved aft and storage lost. The Encore version has a double pullman forward. For more serious offshore cruising the original Classic is excellent. Going to Bermuda one day when it blowing like snot we did 183 nm. My biggest problem with the Alberg is that you spend your time heeled a lot. It heels easily but then gets very steady and solid but on your ear. I think the Niagara build quality is better. Whitby Boat Works where the Alberg was made seemed to go up and down in quality.

Not sure what your budget is but have a look at the Bristol 35.5 and 38.8 and Hood 38, which is a very similar design to the 38.3 but built in France. Might also consider a Tartan 37. We did almost 40k nm with a Bristol 45.5. Very impressed with Ted Hood's designs. Very comfortable, reasonably fast, and built like a tank. The Tartan is a S&S design built well.
__________________
Back to Great Lakes sailing on our Catalina 36 MkII after many years ocean sailing on a Bristol 45.5, which was just too big for the yacht clubs on Lake Ontario.
AiniA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 07:21   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Boat: Bristol 27
Posts: 7,161
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

The Niagara 35 is a great boat but does have a cored hull which freaks some folks out a bit.
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 07:45   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
Boat: No boat yet but looking for one!
Posts: 32
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Thank you so much Adelie and AiniA for your comments.

Adelie: We didn't know about these formulas (PHRH and LZ). This is great to know. Thank you. We had only looked at hull speeds. The Alberg 37 is supposed to have a hull speed of about 6 kn (https://bluewaterboats.org/alberg-37). The Niagara 35, 6.9 kn (https://sailboat.guide/hinterhoeller/niagara-35). That gives a hull speed ratio (6.9/6) of 1.15. If we compare this to the PHRH ratio that has the larger data spread, we get 1.02 (i.e. 168.4/165.6). That's basically 1. So, if I interpret correctly these numbers, those two boats are basically equivalent in terms of speed.

AiniA: Thank you for sharing your experience with both boats. The Niagara we have in mind is the classic version (not The Encore). Those are the two boats we're considering:
https://lesannoncesnautiques.ca/list...lberg-37-1975/
https://lesannoncesnautiques.ca/list...1983-a-vendre/

Our budget is max 100,000$ Canadian dollars, including eventual refits if needed and extra gear (e.g. life raft, instrumentation, dinghy, etc.). That is about 80,000$ US. Those two boats are asking within 50,000 $- 60,000$ CAD range.

Thanks for your recommendations to also look for Bristol, Hood and Tartan. With the covid, it's complicated to look for the market in the US, so we're limited to the Eastern Canadian market (Quebec, New Brunswsick, Nova Scotia).

Thank you both!
DNS1324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 08:25   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto area when not travelling
Boat: Catalina 36 Mk II
Posts: 1,292
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
The Niagara 35 is a great boat but does have a cored hull which freaks some folks out a bit.
That is why they have surveys. Assuming nothing has been installed through the core it should not be a problem. Cored deck is more of an issue and there may be some places that need repair unless previous owners have kept up with proper maintenance.
__________________
Back to Great Lakes sailing on our Catalina 36 MkII after many years ocean sailing on a Bristol 45.5, which was just too big for the yacht clubs on Lake Ontario.
AiniA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 08:48   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Boat: Bristol 27
Posts: 7,161
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
That is why they have surveys. Assuming nothing has been installed through the core it should not be a problem. Cored deck is more of an issue and there may be some places that need repair unless previous owners have kept up with proper maintenance.
Yeah that's true but there have been extensive threads on here about moisture meters and their readings.

At one point, it was even mentioned to see if a cored hull has had water intrusion you have to drill out samples of the hull!

I have always wanted a Tartan 33 but do worry about the cored hull even though on the Tartan 33 the coring is not in the bow area. That's solid fiberglass.
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 09:22   #8
Registered User
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 23,448
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Niagara : cored hull, spade rudder
Alberg: Traditional solid hull and protected rudder.

The Niagara is a very strange interior layout. Or some are anyway. Claustrophobic. You come down the companionway and run right into a bulkhead! It's a real cluster with two people trying to move around in the boat or out the companionway.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 10:46   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 23
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Some Niagaras had Volvo diesels with saildrives. Lots of required maintenance and expensive parts. Try and find one with a Westerbeke and traditional shaft drive.
rphdiego is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 10:51   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Chemainus BC
Boat: Pedrick Cheoy Lee 41 offshore, Carver 37 Explorer
Posts: 255
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Have you been aboard both options? Depending on your size and height, you may find one suits you better than another. As suggested in another post, you may be limiting yourself unnecessarily. Albergs area a classic design with overhangs at the stern, and are less beamy than the Niagara. Part of my search was not about if they are capable of going anywhere, but are you happy going anywhere in one.
Greg Mason is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 11:17   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Newfoundland
Boat: Beneteau
Posts: 442
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

My money would be the Niagara. Having sailed on and cared for a friends for a decade I can say it is a very nice combination of comfort and speed. The more claustrophobic of the two would the Alberg. Had another friend that had worked with the company finishing interiors and while nice boats I would not want to live on one.

As for the very dated arguments over full keel and spade rudders I can only say that some folks require more falsel security than others. I don't hear enough stories about the supposed sinkings given the numbers of each to convince me of any real concern.

I will once more go back to a good friends advice when I was buying my first boat. He basically said given the amount of time he had spent living on his boat, and his final most recent trip was 14 years in the making, pick the boat offering the best living quarters and not the one that will survive storms you will never see.
nortonscove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 11:22   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto area when not travelling
Boat: Catalina 36 Mk II
Posts: 1,292
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Niagara : cored hull, spade rudder
Alberg: Traditional solid hull and protected rudder.

The Niagara is a very strange interior layout. Or some are anyway. Claustrophobic. You come down the companionway and run right into a bulkhead! It's a real cluster with two people trying to move around in the boat or out the companionway.
The ones with the 'strange' interior are the better ones for blue water cruising. You come down the stairs and you have direct access to the galley (port) and head (starboard) with good sea berths on either side of the steps. One of the neat things about Mark Ellis, the designer, is that he was prepared to go beyond the conventional in his designs.
__________________
Back to Great Lakes sailing on our Catalina 36 MkII after many years ocean sailing on a Bristol 45.5, which was just too big for the yacht clubs on Lake Ontario.
AiniA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 11:26   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
Boat: No boat yet but looking for one!
Posts: 32
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Mason View Post
... As suggested in another post, you may be limiting yourself unnecessarily.
Thanks for your comments!

We're new to this forum and we replied earlier and thanked people who had already responded but it seems to take quite some time for our reply to be approved for publication. Still waiting ...

Anyway, we're not limiting ourselves to these two boats. In that reply (not yet published), we were saying that we are somewhat limited to the market in Eastern Canada and, for now, those two boats are the one that are available not too far. If we could really choose any boats we would also consider other options. But we're at the point of making a decision pretty soon and these two boats are the one currently available that meets many of our criteria. And a choice will need to be made, unless other similar boats appear on the market around!

Thanks to all for your comments! This is really appreciated.
DNS1324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 11:36   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
Boat: No boat yet but looking for one!
Posts: 32
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

Oh well, that last comment we wrote got published right away. So I guess our earlier reply got lost somewhere or maybe was banned, perhaps because we had included the links for the two boats that are for sale and that we are looking for.

In that first reply not published, we were thanking Adelie for the informations about the PHRF and L/S calculations that we were not aware of. We had only looked at hull speeds. Alberg 37: 6 kn; Niagara 35: 6.9 kn. Thanks a lot.

We also thanked AiniA for his/her comments and for sharing their experience with both boats. Our budget is 100,000$ Canadian max. That is about 80,000$ USD. This budget includes repairs, refittings if needed, purchases of life raft, dinghy, etc... We are open to consider other boats if some arise on the market. For now, those two are what's available. Thanks for the recommendations for the Bristol, Hood, Tartan. We'll also keep on eye on those.
DNS1324 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-02-2021, 11:40   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,951
Re: Niagara 35 or Alberg 37?

The Niagara 35 is an excellent boat built by a great builder. The layout works fine for offshore and in that regard it's very practical. It sails nicely and is quite reasonable to the eye. They put in good runs offshore. The Encore layout is nicer for coastal cruising but I'd take the standard model for offshore work. You get a nice area forward for a small working bench and that's very practical. The sea berths are ideally located and you can use the aft bunks for storage while passage making. They boat came with shaft drive and sail drive with the shaft drive is usually premiumed priced everything else being equal. Yes it does have a cored hull but the builder was very experienced building these and while most are still in fine shape always get them properly surveyed by an experienced surveyor. Nothing to worry about with the spade rudder, they are well engineered and properly built plus the boat handles very well because of the excellent steering.
I've sailed on both and much prefer the Niagara 35 but if your into narrow boats with long overhangs and full keels with less than great maneuverability and prefer the look the Alberg 37 is a good enough boat. The Niagara will sail circles around it, especially in light air which is very common offshore.
Either way you choose both boats will cross oceans all day long if they are properly set up and maintained...good luck and good sailing.
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alberg

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
We did it.. New owners Niagara 35 riversandbar Monohull Sailboats 4 20-12-2011 15:19
Greetings from Niagara Area ! Bolitho Meets & Greets 4 22-09-2011 12:46
Niagara 35 Questions spinwing Monohull Sailboats 1 23-12-2009 08:05
1982 Niagara for sail atlantic high Classifieds Archive 3 28-12-2008 07:21
Dinghy for Niagara 35 mgg Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 5 03-07-2007 06:49

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:25.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.