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KiwiSails 03-22-2013 04:34 PM

Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
I was looking to buy a boat around July-August but typically when you start looking you find your dream boat (well with some TLC). :)

I am looking for a boat that will handle both the day or weekend out for the family around the Florida coast and Keys, can cross to the Bahamas, and then with some experience cruise the Carribbean for one or two onboard.

The boat is a 1965 Alberg 30 in the $7-$8k range

The current owner has had for about a year but is selling as a grad student it's a costly hobby, requiring considerable time as he is a non-sailor (ex wife was the sailor). So the sale reason does not point to a "dump and run".

The boat was surveyed a year ago when current owner purchased. And after survey was dry docked where it has sat since (Before you say it yes of course still has wear and tear out of water).

There was no significant issues on the survey, and anything minor noted was all repaired. I read the Survey and all the sections engine, rigging, steering, deck, accommodations, cockpit were all good. And sails (2) were in above average condition. Anything noted which was minor in my view eg. Navigation lights not functioning, etc have been fixed.

The engine was replaced with a Westerbeke 28HP Diesel with 145 hrs on counter. and it was winterized prior to storage and has a new battery. So I am hopeful of a not to problematic engine start on my inspection.

I am going up to inspect and if matches the description and survey then I will be needing to move down to Miami, Florida, post Hurricane Season, as its in an inexpensive marina right now $100/m, and of course insurance etc. Ill most likely do this using the ICW, although if I get a level of comfort on the rigging, mast, sails, equipment, etc I would be tempted to take the coastal route. However this may be exceed my getting back on the bike comfort zone.

Ill go and inspect the boat and I am aware of some of the weak points of the Alberg 30 from various internet sources such as:
a) Check the support under the deck-stepped mast for signs of delamination. Pre-1970 models were of laminated wood, check for signs of cracking.
b) Check forward lower shroud chainplates are not well supported and should be inspected closely for signs of movement or stress.
c) Check the deck for delamination as well as signs of rot in the coring (creaking sounds).
d) On older boats such as this one, the heel fitting on the rudder may be worn.
e) The rudders on these early boats were reported not to be strong enough with the internal reinforcing parting from the fiberglass. This Alberg has a Wooden & Fiberglass reinforced plastic according to survey.

The survey already covered the above areas and found no issues. The only piece that was inconclusive is the inspection of chainplates with the survey stating "No indication was made as to whether the chain plates have been examined. Given the age of the vessel, and the possibility of crevice corrosion in those areas not visible, (particularly in the area of the deck), serious consideration should be given to removing and examining the chain plates for any signs of crevice corrosion at a future maintenance period."

The areas that do require some effort but are not immediate are:

1. Hull Painting - The survey noted "The bottom was closely examined for any deficiencies that might affect the seaworthiness of the vessel. It .was then percussion sounded for delamination, observed for blistering. Neither blistering nor delamination was observed. However, several areas were noted in which the undercoat of bottom paint was sloughing off. This typically an indication of a failure in the adhesion of paint layers, usually a result of too many layers. Ultimately, all layers will have to be removed to the barrier coat, and a fresh coat of bottom paint applied. The interior of the hull was then observed, where accessible, for structural deficiencies. Bulkheads and frames were examined for delamination and inspected for decay or detached bonding. All were found in good order."

I should state that the current paint job (at least in photos) looks decent, so I don't think this is an immediate need.

2. Teak Restoration - the boat has some nice Teak in and out but it requires some restoration. I have done this work before and would handle this myself.

3. General Clean and Polish inside and out.

4. Rigging was in survey listed as "However, it was not determined when the standing rigging was last replaced. Normally ten to fifteen years is considered as an adequate lifespan. But that is merely a rule of thumb, and, under prudent circumstances, the rigging could extend beyond fifteen years. That however, requires careful vigilance on the part of the owner. If the vessel is to be taken to open waters, very careful consideration should be given to the replacement of all standing rigging as a matter of course"

So questions:

1. Price seems good in comparison to many Alberg 30's as most I have seen are in the $15k-$25k range.

2. Chugging down the ICW for 20+ days seems a little long. But I think any other options would be expensive and after all a boat is meant to be sailed (or chugged) in this case. I don't think a draft of 4'3" ft will be too much of any issue from what I have seen online, however having never done the trip does anyone see any issues. Other than of course the pre-launch checks for a boat sitting for a year.

3. Any other issues with early Alberg 30's I need to be aware of before I inspect.

krisscross 03-22-2013 07:23 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
On paper, based on what you wrote, it looks like a good boat - in itself, and for what you intend to use it. And the price is very reasonable. I have been researching a very similar market. If you are worried about untested standing rigging - reef early and take it easy. Easy does it is a general rule when dealing with unknown quantity. Best of luck to you, my friend...

Faster 03-22-2013 08:08 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
New(ish) engine a plus, A30s are on the small side for cruising comfort, but a good one would certainly be up to the use you've laid out. Seems like you may have found a decent deal if you can maintain your objectivity during the inspection.

Close quarters maneuvering will be a challenge, but that's a characteristic of the type, rather than the specific boat.. Best of luck.

bljones 03-22-2013 08:18 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
For semi-short money (under $10K. If you can negotiate down to $5k or less, that's short money) an alberg is really hard to beat. An alberg with a damn near new diesel, recent survey showing no big deficiencies and usable sails under $10K is a winner. Under $8k, you should be wearing a mask and holding a gun, cuz it's a steal. yeah, there are roomier boatsm, newer boats, better equipped boats, higher pointing boats, but fewer better "all-round" boats...especially at this price point.

sailordave 03-22-2013 08:25 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
Nice looking.... but slowwwww. PHRF 225.
BUT, I say go for it; sounds like a good deal!

blowinstink 03-22-2013 08:49 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
I agree with the comments above. A-30 is a sold old boat. And, I agree with your approach to assessing the boat. I wouldn't put much if any stake in the last guy's survey.

If you can find a surveyor for a couple hundred bucks, I'd jump at it. They will teach you a ton in 4-6 hours on the boat and possibly save you from ruin (if they find something wrong that you'd miss). Otherwise, read read read (there are a handful of "assessing the aging fiberglass sailboat books). After you get done reading make a checklist -- don't just copy it make one yourself so that you stop and think about each item. Make sure you have all the tools you need (borrow a decent moisture meter).

Questions: who put the engine in? That thing oughta look good with those sort of hours. Otherwise a deisel doesn't usually show up in a cheap A-30. Did the non sailor install it? If so, it could be totally screwed up. What is the "teak restoration" just finish or is veneer peeling off? The first is nothing -- the second might suggest more serious issues. Don't let the "dirty" conceal real problems -- clean while you survey if need be. It is easy for anyone to look into an unfamiliar bilge and miss stuff - way way easier for you and worse if it is dirty.

Most important. All of the above are exercises in determining what you are buying and that it is not screwed up worse that you think you know. But you are going to spend a boatload of money on stuff that the boat doesn't have. You need to compare this boat to one that is better equipped. That is especially true in this market. $5K in boat crap is NOTHING so if this boat goes for $8K and another listed for $15-18 (and might go for $12) is loaded that could be a better deal. So do all you boat dreaming -- and break out that Book of Sin (the West Marine catalog) and then add up the cost off all the crap you see yourself dragging down the ditch and off to the Bahamas. Then compare. There are very few bargain boats at the low end of the market. Watch out for false economies.

Have fun! Make sure you buy your sweetie dinner when you drag her to go look at the boat!:)

KiwiSails 03-22-2013 10:12 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
Appreciate the feedback. I posted the 30+ pictures at

Just responding to the comments:

1. Krisskross - yep good idea ill keep that in mind, and easy does it is the motto.

2. Faster - they are not large but I have this feeling my (lovely but land loving) wife will not be sailing that much, so space for one is fine, and two for short periods. I doubt this is a comfortable live aboard for extended durations, although yes I am a bit soft. Yes need to keep objective...hence getting some input from you good people. I have not heard any close quarters issues however I would not expect this boat to be fast and nimble. It's slow and sturdy for me.

3. SailorDave - was not planning on competition its a thought though to consider for fun. I know there is a fairy active Chesapeake A30 association that has races as well. I know its a well handicapped boat, its really my motorcycle choices - I am on the Harley Road King feet up and smiling vs say, my son, who laps me 4 times on his R6 rocket with bugs on his teeth.
4. Blowinstink - awesome response, Thanks. I contacted a few surveyors they want $19/ft so ~$600 plus tax. I agree it may be worth it, I'll keep looking for someone cheaper. I am reading Don Casey's books again, that should help on inspecting the aging boat, and this old boat. On moisture meters I hear that they are unreliable, the last survey came back with good results, but I was unsure how much stock I should put in the results.

On your questions. The owner before the non-sailor had the engine put in. The non-sailor owner has done only very minor work to date. I posted some pics, I am familiar with auto engines, not marine. The engine (I posted some photos) is a little odd, I would have expected more of a new look. Plus it clearly looks like its been painted westerbeke red. The engine plate is visible and its a Mitsi block, but I believe that's just the partner with westerbeke....however marine engines I have zeo experience. ANY THOUGHTS ON THE PICS?

The veneer is a mixed bag, a few areas as you can see will require easier effort, although laborious, like the cockpit coamings...however there are a few pieces like the hatch that will require some real attention. The photos make it clearer.

Ill follow your advice on the Book of Sin, I have considered the same thought of pay more-buy done vs buy cheap-DIY+. Ill go through and add it up, and check its still sane.

Anyway appreciate the input...and NO have not told the wife yet I am in deal stage, she knows I am looking of course, but like me she was thinking 4-6 months, so I don't think buying her dinner will cut it but cheers.

bljones 03-22-2013 10:18 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!

Originally Posted by KiwiSails (Post 1006479)
NO have not told the wife yet I am in deal stage, she knows I am looking of course, but like me she was thinking 4-6 months...

There is a reason why some of us are on our second (hopefully, last) wives. You might want to inform her before she informs you.

Cruiser2B 03-22-2013 10:19 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
Great Boat! Small-ish yes but comfy and cozy for 2. Albergs are simple and forgiving. A Classic worth time and effort to maintain

KiwiSails 03-22-2013 10:20 PM

Re: Alberg 30 - Yah or Nay!
Bljones - for the $7k we are at yes looks like a good deal, and yes I am wearing a mask (and women's underwear....oops forget that). Anyway I still have some "that's odd" feelings on the engine. But as I said I am not a marine engine guy, so I could be looking at a tractor engine for all I know. But it was validated in the prior survey, so maybe its just me. Anyway posted the pictures...please feel free to look at and keep me honest, and not in "Dream" mode.

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