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I cannot get into chewing on any of the technical bones that several of you seem confident of. I am neither a marine engineer nor naval architect or even a lifetime world cruiser. I've read the entire thread, which is full of food for thought. But I do have a comment: If there's a boat you like and you can find owners who actively cruise and enjoy theirs and who prosper by their ownership, you can have reasonable hopes of doing the same.
For example, I have immersed myself in the internet obsessively for the last ten days or so due to my interest in an Alberg 35 that I am considering. A poster above stated that "when someone tells you an Alberg 35 is a miserable boat in heavy going, perhaps beyond boarderline dangerous, especially when loaded to go cruising based on slugging it out in conditions that would not even be all that bad in a better design, you might want to pay attention whether it sounds merely academic or not".
This opinion sounds perfectly authoritative, almost intimidatingly so, but I intend to take it with a grain of salt. Maybe two of them.
Earlier today, yes, this very day, and I am not making this up, I spoke with a sailor who has spent 15 years on his 1961 A35 single handing in and out of the SF Bay, cruising the boat from SF to Florida and back again with his wife, sailing home from Mexico trapped for several days in heavy weather with nowhere to put in. Sick and eager to be somewhere else, yes, but not fearful nor in any perceived peril at any time. His report, undramatic though it was, never mentioned their feeling unsafe or wishing he'd been in a Swan 43 or similar.
Earlier in the week I traded emails with husband/wife cruisers about their experience sailing their A35 to/in the S. Pacific, who stated they are happy with their A35 sloop and felt confident and safe in all the weather they've encountered. Friends, I am not speaking of master mariners or retired shipwrights but middle aged men and woman who've bought the best boat they could afford and then pushed off. Perhaps the reports are out there but I didn't come across any that mentioned lost or capsized A35's. Again, they may exist but I have not seen them.
Last is this online review authored by a sailor known as PortMaine, which I culled from the internet yesterday saying:
"This is a great cruising boat. Fast and sea kind. Sailed from New England to Australia via Panama. The boat performs very well in heavy weather and handled 50 knot winds and 10 foot seas crossing to Gulf Stream to Bermuda and 35 knot winds and 12 foot following seas leaving Easter Island in the Pacific. Needs a large headsail to perform well in light winds, but her narrow beam lets her slice through the water. We beat many 50 - 60 foot vessels across long passages. You can't beat this boat for a combination of off-shore speed and comfort at all points of sail. The raised transom makes cruising the trade winds and following seas very comfortable....."
and "The hull is as solid as steel and over 1" thick below the waterline. We bounced off several rocks and reefs and never had any damage (even one grounding at 5+ knots ~ I won't bother to explain...). This is a vessel that you can feel safe and secure in...."
and "Best performance with a large head sail push out on the spinnaker pole. We rattled off several 160 - 180 NM noon runs...."
and he or she ends the review of their boat by saying "I would take another Alberg to sea in a heartbeat. The 35' was a good size for our 3 adult crew. Beautiful lines and even better performance"
This is not the first glowing report on the A35 I've read. Call me crazy, but cruising a boat that is repeatedly honored as a sound voyager seems like a very good bet. I have yet to see this boat trashed, maligned or dismissed anywhere on the internet except in this thread. And so, very respectfully, I ask: WHAT THE EFF!