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Old 07-18-2013
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Re: Just Bought a 1967 35 Alberg Ericson Sloop

A common problem with the mast step area on all the Albergs is collapsing of the balsa core underneath the aluminum base. I removed the balsa after noticing a deflection and replaced it with solid layers of roving and mat. The header below that actually carries the load needs to be inspected for rot. The wiring arrangement with that aluminum standpipe and plug is terrible engineering. Not only does it allow for water to eventually get into the header and create a rot condition, it also makes it impossible to get to the plug when it fails to make contact unless you unstep the mast. The wiring below is also completely buried and inaccessible. I re-routed all the mast wiring: VHF, spreader lights, masthead and anchor lights out the base of the mast and across the deck to a 90 degree LB on the dorade box in a piece of flexible conduit. Now all the wiring is accessible and connected to a surface mounted strip on the head bulkhead where it can be easily disconnected and pulled out when the mast needs to be lowered.

If you are seriously considering offshore trips, having long distance engine capability is not a convenience, it's a safety issue. You'll need to be able to get out of the way of storms, take advantage of weather windows and make hull speed regardless of wind. These A35s are seaworthy but no 35' boat is seaworthy if caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Safe decisions about when to set sail and when to stay put is what it's all about.
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