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post #17 of Old 11-30-2012
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Re: Looking at a Alberg 35

Originally Posted by L124C View Post
It's my understanding that the "beautiful overhangs" combined with a narrow beam also improve sea kindliness (read a review by an owner who says sometimes he goes into a wave and and is convinced they will get hammered, and the A35 simply floats over the it, though, "hobby horsing" can be an issue), and light air performance (LOA is short until she heels and it extends). However, this requires that she be rather tender, and sacrifices living space, both not popular by modern standards.
I haven't sailed much or recently on an Alberg 35, but I do recall that the boat behaved in a similar manner to other Alberg designs I am more familiar with: the boat was tender. In any kind of real breeze she would heel 15 degrees or so. This is of course necessary to take advantage of those beautiful overhangs and lengthen the LWL, increasing the hull speed significantly. Its hard to remember now, but the original purpose of those overhangs was to "beat" a racing rule (the CCA rule) that assigned a handicap based partially on waterline length. With a very short measured waterline, boats with overhangs actually beat the rule by having their practical waterlines (the boat length once heeled over) outperfom their predicted rule-bestowed handicap. The A35 wasn't designed as a racing boat, but the CCA rule influenced just about every sailboat built back then.

Once over on her ear, the A35 would stiffen up nicely and go no further, but it was easy to put her in that state in the first place. And she would track like she was on rails. And that weather helm! Holy mother of god that boat would pull to weather something fierce. It took some fancy sail adjustments to make it so the wheel was comfortable to handle. Not a particularly weatherly boat either, and whoever said they don't perform well in light air also hit the nail on the head. I don't mean to say the boat sails like a dog; she doesn't. The A35 was an able performer for her day, and can still give you great pleasure. I just don't think its a good choice for someone who sails regularly in light airs, or who wants to race. Its a fairly wet boat that requires some physical stamina to sail (you try heeling at 20 degrees for several hours at a time in a boat with strong weather helm). That's perfect for some people and not so much for others.

And do not try to back that thing up under power for the first time in a crowded marina. My friend with the A35 said it required a great deal of practice before he could control the boat in reverse well enough to feel semi-comfortable backing out of his slip.

That all being said, the A35 is just a gorgeous boat. A well-maintained Alberg boat is going to draw looks of admiration and envy wherever you go.
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