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Old 02-10-2020, 14:28   #1
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Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum and to sailing. After traveling the world with my wife and always dreaming of sailing away we have taken the plunge and bought a 1980 Alberg 37. The previous owner made it about 1/5th of the way thru the refit and I'll be basically putting it all back together, repainting, rewiring, rerigging, replumbing and a few other things. He included everything that is needed to completely redo the boat from rigging to tools and all parts plus spares. I've sailed once or twice in my life but other than that I have no experience. And to top it all off my wife is 9 months pregnant! I know, I know some people say a disaster waiting to happen. But we haven't spent more than an hour apart in 3 years and have lived, traveled and worked together since the 3rd day we met. But unfortunately I will be handling the refit alone except for the 10-20 hours I have budgeted for assistance from the service department at the yard I will be working in. The goal is for the boat to be able to go in the water in 1 month and ready to sail in 3. I will be working 10 hours or so a day. I know this will be very very difficult but I'm a quick study and have all the motivation in the world. We are flying into the US specifically for this and will be staying at the marina in an RV until we can get her on the water.

What I'm hoping for:
I am hoping to utilize this forums expertise and opinions to help me complete this project under budget and on time. I bought the boat for under $10,000 and it came with almost or over that in brand new parts, electronics and tools. I have another $10,000 for the electric engine (Thunderstruck 18kw $3k), solar setup 1.8k(came with controller, invertor and wind gen), yard time (30/day) and professional services. I know I will be getting a lot of people saying how it can't be done. But once this is done me and my new family can sail away and never look back (we have reisdual income similar to youtube) so I am highly motivated to leave the "real" world as I've hoped to do since I was 12 years old. I'm looking forward to hearing from those who can provide advice and I will update as often as I can. We are flying into the US tomorrow (I bought it after having 2 surveyors take a look) and I will begin working on monday.

Wish me luck!!!


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Old 02-10-2020, 15:22   #2
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Do the very basics up first. Go sailing summer 2021. Do the rest later.


This order of things will help you sift the the important things from the ornamental things.


PS If your marina access is difficult and/or the old engine is dead, start with a new engine in winter 2020. Then you can at least motor out to the near bay and spend a night there, dreaming of big escapades (and of the remaining portion of your boat project).


Welcome to the forum!


Cheers,
b.





barnakiel
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Old 02-10-2020, 15:55   #3
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Do the very basics up first. Go sailing summer 2021. Do the rest later.


This order of things will help you sift the the important things from the ornamental things.


PS If your marina access is difficult and/or the old engine is dead, start with a new engine in winter 2020. Then you can at least motor out to the near bay and spend a night there, dreaming of big escapades (and of the remaining portion of your boat project).


Welcome to the forum!


Cheers,
b.





barnakiel
Those timeframes would make it impossible. I plan to at least sail to the bahamas (closest to FL) with at least an outboard for manuvering by Jan. As my wife only gets 90 days and we wont be applying for citizenship since we have no plans to reside in the US. There aren't structural issues with the boat and it has already been recored and patched up. So the biggest and quickest thing needed is getting the thru hull work done and repainted so we can leave the boatyard.
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Old 02-10-2020, 18:18   #4
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Well, if you really feel this is doable. Do it. It would be a shame to not try.


I have some comments of various natures, pls bear with me and discard opinions that are just not fit for what you are doing.


1) The kid. January. Bahamas. Send by plane. Get one extra extremely experienced person. Buy a liferaft and EPIRB. Go.


2) Experience. New to sailing. Pass. No Bahamas.


3) Bahamas. Not the best place to do a boat project unless you are $$$.


4) Outboard. Difficult to impossible on a boat with this amt of overhang.


5) Electric motor. And where do you place the genset? And do you already have this genset? Is it big enough? (A Honda 1000i will not do ...)



It is easier to skip the genset and use a diesel inboard as a 'genset'. Fewer tubes, batteries, cables and troubles. And off course much simpler set up to propel the boat.


6) Sails? It is a sailing boat but does it have sails in good condition?



OK. So the above are tips to use ore discard as per your choice.


Otherwise I can only say this: A boat with new chainplates, new standing rigging and mast backing plates, new sails and perfectly sound keel bolts (where they exist) AND with immaculate fully re-furbished rudder mechanics may go anywhere. Tight deck, and non-leaking windows make such a boat nearly live-able in. Ah - yes - galley. Galley is important and crew without hot (and delicious food) tends to part with such a boat in a zip.



I will be extremely happy to follow your project especially so if you throw in some images now and then.


Well. January you said. I wish you plenty of luck and I am looking forward to your story.


barnakiel
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Old 02-10-2020, 18:39   #5
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

If you haven't found Sailing Project Atticus or Sailing Uma YouTube channels, you might find them inspirational. Atticus started with an older Allied Seawind of similar vintage as your Alberg but likely needed more work.

Great way to raise a kind. Best of luck to you.

Peter
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Old 02-10-2020, 18:40   #6
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Brand new sails, rigging, chainplates etc. Previous owner bought everything needed just didnt instal anything. Havent got a generator but have considered it. The original engine is available just up in NC and needs some service. Will probably get it and do electric conversion later as that may speed things up a bit. The sail to the bahamas is less than 18 hours. The baby will be fine for that short of a sail. All portholes are new as well the owner had someone fashion new ones out of found metals.
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Old 02-10-2020, 19:12   #7
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailnParadise View Post
Brand new sails, rigging, chainplates etc. Previous owner bought everything needed just didnt instal anything. Havent got a generator but have considered it. The original engine is available just up in NC and needs some service. Will probably get it and do electric conversion later as that may speed things up a bit. The sail to the bahamas is less than 18 hours. The baby will be fine for that short of a sail. All portholes are new as well the owner had someone fashion new ones out of found metals.

Agreed on electric conversion LATER. A healthy diesel inboard is a huge YES.



Disagreed loudly on the kid. Ask a doctor, just in case only one of us is right. US Bahamas is a short sail but can get very rough. And few people rate it as a daysail.



It is +++ super sails are new, chainplates and rigging new. Give the rudder a very very good look. It will nearly sure be pristine on an Alberg - but we all know what happens if there is any major rudder challenge underway.


Because haulouts and boatyard time are $$ do the underbody very very well and do it now. Next haul-out in 3 years, if you do things well now.



b.
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Old 02-10-2020, 19:48   #8
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Agreed on electric conversion LATER. A healthy diesel inboard is a huge YES.



Disagreed loudly on the kid. Ask a doctor, just in case only one of us is right. US Bahamas is a short sail but can get very rough. And few people rate it as a daysail.



It is +++ super sails are new, chainplates and rigging new. Give the rudder a very very good look. It will nearly sure be pristine on an Alberg - but we all know what happens if there is any major rudder challenge underway.


Because haulouts and boatyard time are $$ do the underbody very very well and do it now. Next haul-out in 3 years, if you do things well now.



b.


Thatís for the advice. I have spoken with a doctor already and we will be setting out around 3-4 months old. Already will have vaccines and other stuff so will be good until 6 months old. Not like she will mind the rocking of the boat anyway. The rudder has some spots that Iíll need to repair but nothing major. Just sat for 10 years. Flying now so will upload a few photos this weekend once I see it. Have a ton from the Survey but rather have my own.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a live aboard yard within 100 miles of West Palm? Paying a ton for transport due to it needing a hydraulic trailer. Originally planned on Indiantown but with the yard fee, no liveaboards and having to rent a car and living trailer until I can fix things it seems a better option is a liveaboard yard like cracker boy or another I found in Ft Pierce
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:16   #9
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Well someone else said fly the wife and baby over to Bahamas. I agree. Electric engine I disagree. I considered it. Running a cruising speed you will probably drain batteries quickly so in an emergency you might not be able to get back to shore. Diesel is the solution I am afraid. As someone else said, the diesel engine can serve as generator as well.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:47   #10
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Get the original engine serviced and working. I agree with what everyone else has said about an electric one as you need electricity for more than just propulsion.
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:55   #11
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Lake Worth is a great place to anchor once you have finished the bottom work and are in the water.


The yards and supply houses for misc overlooked necessities are a short dinghy ride away.



The anchorage/mooring field is quite protected by the Palm Beach barrier island.


Food, and other essentials are close by, and there are no yard fees. There are also restaurants ! if need be.


I have spent a month anchored there making misc repairs. And then, you are further south from Ft Pierce and can make the Bahamas a little easier considering the north flowing Gulf Stream (also did ....)


Good luck.









Quote:
Originally Posted by SailnParadise View Post
Thatís for the advice. I have spoken with a doctor already and we will be setting out around 3-4 months old. Already will have vaccines and other stuff so will be good until 6 months old. Not like she will mind the rocking of the boat anyway. The rudder has some spots that Iíll need to repair but nothing major. Just sat for 10 years. Flying now so will upload a few photos this weekend once I see it. Have a ton from the Survey but rather have my own.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a live aboard yard within 100 miles of West Palm? Paying a ton for transport due to it needing a hydraulic trailer. Originally planned on Indiantown but with the yard fee, no liveaboards and having to rent a car and living trailer until I can fix things it seems a better option is a liveaboard yard like cracker boy or another I found in Ft Pierce
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:16   #12
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

....structurally sound, diesel, and much as above.

I would add....

Take sailing lessons in a dingy/small keelboat during this period, a couple of hours a week could be the best time you spend in preparation. Sailing is safe and simple, but things go horribly wrong if matters are compounded by an initial poor decision....experience is critical to "feel" the situation, (you are not sailing solo captain), and an early decision well taken can lead to a magically safe passage, but even a trivial early error can suddenly be compounded by another perhaps unrelated issue, and result in the roller coaster from hell...

The baby will be fine. I sailed happily with a pregnant woman, a mother and newborn, a pregnant woman with 2 yr old, went ashore, and lived aboard again with 3.

It is not the baby you need to be concerned with....it is the parents who have to make the adjustment. The first 12 months are really easy, and they just love the motion of the ocean...when they get mobile, then it becomes a more active game :-) Cruising boats produce nice children.
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Old 03-10-2020, 09:51   #13
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Electric motor is a no go for distance cruising. Won't get you off a sandbar. Good for 3 hours of mororing at 3kts.
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Old 03-10-2020, 10:19   #14
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Do the very basics up first. Go sailing summer 2021. Do the rest later.


This order of things will help you sift the the important things from the ornamental things.

PS If your marina access is difficult and/or the old engine is dead, start with a new engine in winter 2020. Then you can at least motor out to the near bay and spend a night there, dreaming of big escapades (and of the remaining portion of your boat project).

Welcome to the forum!
Cheers,
b.
barnakiel
THIS ^ is your best advice. Do the basics ...get it going, then consider other stuff. You are likely in for a long refit it sounds like. Are you sure you want electric propulsion?
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Old 03-10-2020, 11:24   #15
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Re: Refitting an Alberg 37 Complete Newbie

electric motor for this size boat is not feasible, and the batteries for same will cost more than double what you have paid for the boat. You should also review your time table. I've built or rebuilt 5 boats , have a lot of experience, and don't think your timetable is do-able
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