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darius 03-23-2002 09:04 AM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
I am searching for my first boat. My two favorite boats are Alberg 37 and Cape Dory 36 Cutter.I am hoping to spend about 50k for a boat and another 20 k for refurbishing. I''ve got about three years to make this dream come true, to become a full time sailor. Meanwhile will be taking classes at sailing school, and would really like to crew a boat. Also how can I get to see Cape Dory 36 or A37 from inside. I would appreciate any suggestions.

KIKO 03-23-2002 05:00 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
Check, under boats for sale

Good luck!!

Jeff_H 03-23-2002 05:24 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36

With all due respect, if you are just now learning to sail, how did you happen to narrow your choices to just these two boats?

As to getting out sailing, where do you live?


thomasstone 03-23-2002 05:29 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
With all due respect Jeff, Have you not seen these boats? Both of them "beautiful"!

thomasstone 03-23-2002 05:42 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
I would take the cape dory. I like a cutter better than a yawl. Although I have seen alot of alberg 37s rigged as sloops.

darius 03-23-2002 05:44 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
As Thomas says those two are the most beautiful..
The other thing I don''t want to think about getting a better boat in a couple years after this one. They both are easy for single handling, what I think will be doing a lot and I''m changing a lifestyle not going for a vacation. I did crew a little while ago when I was living in Europe and going to Art school.

darius 03-23-2002 05:49 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
is it a big difference in the performance between yawl and sloop? I know the physical difference.

Jeff_H 03-24-2002 06:02 AM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
While I agree that both are reasonably visually attractive, (which was the answer that I expected to hear)how a boat looks is only a small component of what makes a good boat. Buying a boat because of its looks is a bit like wanting to marry a calender girl. There are other traditional and attractive designs out there in your size and price range that are better sailing boats.

Both of these boats, like most of Alberg''s designs, derive from CCA racing rule ''rule beaters''. They have extremely short waterlines, narrow beam and a rig that is heavily dependent on large genoas in moderate to light air.

Having sailed on the Ablerg 37, and observed the Cape Dory 36 underway, these are slow, wet, cramped,tender boats that are sailed at large heel angles, do not track well and that are not very good in a chop or quartering seaway.

On the positive side, both offer comparatively shallow draft which is nice and a simple, very workable interior layout. The Whitby built Alberg is nicely construted. The Alberg 37 (at least the one that I sailed on), had undersized winches for the big genoa)

In my book, neither boat make very little sense for someone who is starting out in sailing and who really wants to learn sailtrim and boat handling. That is best done on a smaller, more responsive boat.

With regard to the Cutter vs Yawl rig, Cutters generally tend to be more weatherly (point upwind better)and sail better dead down wind. Cutters tend to have sturdier staying but generally end up with running backstays in extreme weather when snugged down to staysail and heavily reefed mainsail or storm trisail. One disadvantage of a cutter rig is that it more difficult to tack the genoa through the small gap between the forestay and jibstay. My normal advise on cutter rigs is to set it up so that the jibstay can be detached and stored against the mast when in conditions that warrant using the genoa. This really shouldn''t be done on the Cape Dory because the forestay is tacked to the end of the bowsprit rather than the stem.

Yawls really came into being as race rule beaters. Under previous racing rules, the sail area of jibs and mizzens were pretty much ignored in the rating. This popularized the masthead rig and the yawl. There was a bit of a valid basis for not measuring the sail area of a yawl under these rules. On a yawl going to windward, the mizzenmast and sail actually produce more drag than they produce drive. This is because the mizzen is sailing in really turbulent air and has to be over trimmed to keep from luffing which can effectively act as an airbrake.

Downwind mizzens also are a problem. In this case they are forcing the main or foresail to operate in their bad air and so again they are not adding as much to the speed of the boat as they are taking away. BUT in the predominantly reaching races that were typical of offshore races of the era when Yawls were popular they offered a number of advantages. First of all on a reach the sails are not acting in the slipstream of each other and so each contributes a fair amount of drive for the drag produced. Also with the advent of lightweight low stretch sail cloths, mizzen staysails, which are great reaching sails but a fair amount of work to fly (You must douse and raise on each jibe), came into widespread usage in racing.

One nice advantage of a yawl is the ability to sail ''jib and jigger''in heavy air, meaning sailing with just a small jib and the mizzen. Yawls don''t do this as well as ketches because the mizzens tend to be too small and mizzens on yawls are rarely stayed as solidly as one would like.

I also do not consider these boats to be particularly good single-handers. The required use of large genoas makes these boats hard to tack shorthanded. Even with a good autopilot, large genoas are really difficult to tack with one person because you really need to overstand the tack until the genoa blows through the gap between the forestay and jib stay and past the shrouds and then harden back up to bring in the jib.

This is not meant as a put down in any sense, but I would suggest that you spend more time out on the water, and try to sail on a variety of different designs before locking in on just two models. I would also suggest that you start with a smaller lighter boat while you are learning to sail. You may not end up trading up, but even if you do, you will end up a better sailor for it.


darius 03-24-2002 04:02 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
Thank you Jeff for giving me a lot of material to think about.
The reason why I''m looking at bigger boats is that I want to live aboard once I will be done refurbishing it. Meanwhile I will be taking some classes in the school based in Jersey City and they teach on J24 sloops.
What I read about Cape Dory and Alberg so far every owner of those boats adores them..
If racing will not be my priority what other cruising yachts I should look at? I want to go to an extended trips first down Atlantic Shore later across the ocean - weather that will be in 5 or 10 years.
I was reading a bit about Allied Boat Company - they are much cheaper than Albergs boats - are they not as good?
I like traditional look and I know that I wouldn''t be happy with Hunter or Catalina..
Thanks for your time

thomasstone 03-24-2002 06:36 PM

Alberg 37 or Cape Dory 36
Hey Darius, another reason I like a cutter better is the ease for singlehandling, you can have two smaller headsails instead of one big genny. In heavy weather you can easily drop your headsail and sail with your staysail and reefed main, plus in really nasty weather a cutter is a very well balanced rig when hove to with a storm jib and trysail. I personally have sailed on a couple of different cutters and dont recall hanging the jib up on the inner forestay being a problem, besides on an offshore passage you could be on the same tack for days.The big reason for me is I am a singlehander myself and a strong proponent for self steering(wind vanes).On a yawl the boom of the mizzen mast would get in the way of your self steering gear. While thier are alot of boats that will certainly sail better ,thier is always going to be a boat that will sail better or look better on paper.I think Jeff also said these boats are slow and wet. Compared to what? Sailing offshore is always wet whether on a modern egg beater or a heavy displacement boat, again with a proper dodger and weather cloths this can be kept to a minumin.I think both of these boats are in the 16,000lb range anyways so depending on who you talk to I would consider these more of a moderate displacement. Lastly I think this gets over looked to much , but you are right on ,looks matter alot. I think I read this once her but somebody said when you tie your boat up for the day and start walking away, do you stop and take one last look?

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