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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Appreciate the feedback. I posted the 30+ pictures at KiwiSails.shutterfly.com/pictures

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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 KiwiSails.shutterfly.com/pictures and keep me honest, and not in "Dream" mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bljones - yes be assured - that although this is number 2 - it will be the last. And of course once I get to the point of deciding that yes indeed this is a go, will let her know. Honestly I think she is probably happier as I was going to buy another Harley, so this is cheaper...and considering the drivers in Florida...safer! So no worries.
 

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looking at the pictures, there is nothing that jumps out at me and says "run!" There is, however, lots of stuff that needs addressing sooner rather than later... and lots of stuff that tells me that somebody was serious about this boat at some time in the past, ie mast steps, lazy jacks and fancywork on the tiller. the ports don't show major signs of leakage which is a plus, but vinyl covered cushions are a minus to me- nothing makes a night at anchor more miserable than feeling two layers of skin rip off your legs every time you move while playing cards. but, that is dealable.
Get familair with your local umberyard, and learn the ways of the bursh and roller, grasshopper- you got some brightwork and woodwork in your future. It's cool, though. we're here to help.
Chrisandcate did a decent jonb on the woodwork on their Alberg, if he can do it, anyone can. hopefully he will park his avalon (likely in a handicapped space) and chime in withe his experience.
 

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Chris-N-Cate (frequent posters here) spent a couple hours restoring an A30. They might be able to make some judgments from your pics.

When I started shopping for my first boat last year, I was very interested in an Alberg 30. Very, very interested. I think those are beautiful boats. Looking at your pictures, my first thought was, "Lots of minor cosmetic work to be done." My second thought was, "If the visible, decorative wood was allowed to degrade, what about the stuff I can't see?"

Keeping in mind that I don't know nuttin' about nuttin', my gut feeling is that this is a project boat that might be good for a low-ball offer...if you're interested in a project boat. Maybe show up with $4k in cash, that sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bljones - Yes lots and lots of bright work. And fortunately very familiar having worked on my fathers sailboat many years ago. Agreed the vinyl is on my list of "please god no". And yes as you point out the prior owner (not the current) did put in some good items you mentioned as well as some others I noted like the optional admiral panel, harken winches, new Bimini top, etc. Ill have to priortise the list of to dos but the brightwork will go a long way to lifting this boat out of a state of disuse.

Anyway will try get a list together prioritized into Critical prior to sailing ICW eg. battery checks, engine checks, etc, and prior to FL season items later once back home eg. Bright work, upholstery, etc, and then the last when time suits items
 

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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. .
Westerbeke simply "marinized" Mitsubishi engines. Many folks with Westerbekes buy any of the non-marinized parts they need from tractor supply houses as they then pay 1/3 the price they'd pay from Westerbeke. If you like the boat and the survey comes back ok you should consider paying a mechanic to go over then engine. The surveyor usually only gives a cursory examination of the engine...e.g., does it run, blow smoke, etc. You'll learn A LOT more from a mechanic.
 

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Are you and the boat both in Florida? Yachtworld currently has what appears to be a very nice A30 with a 6 year old diesel for $12k, in Maryland. Sorry if this is one of those irritating "helping you spend your money" posts, but if you consider the expected cost to bring her up to the condition you want her, maybe it's worth it to just pay it all up front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Scratchee - yes would really appreciate some input from the A30 Chris-N-Cate folk. Perhaps I can message them - not sure how this forum works but will check it out.

True, it normally holds that if the visible is poor then you would expect that the underlying hidden to have issues.

In this case expect assuming the survey assessment holds (from a year ago) then there are a few areas requiring review as noted from the survey....see extract for the review of the Deck...."The deck and coach roof were examined for deficiencies, as were the stanchions and lifelines. They were then percussion sounded for delamination as well as measured for excessive moisture with a Skipper TRAMEX moisture meter. Overall, the decks were sound with no signs of soft spots, major cracks, crazing or other irregularities noted, with the following exceptions; at the bow, the area adjacent to the port anchor line hawse hole measured inflated moisture values. Additional inflated moisture values were noted adjacent to the waste pump out, the port water fill, and fuel fill deck plates, and the entire aft deck. The cause of the high moisture is attributable to moisture intrusion from failed bedding. However, this phenomenon has occurred over a period of forty - eight years, with no apparent effects to the integrity of the overall structure. Accordingly, consideration should be given to re- bedding all through deck penetrations associated with these areas at a future maintenance period. Thereafter, it is suggested that deck rigidity is constantly monitored, with any indication of significant flexing within the deck, a sign of the need for repair. All stanchions and lifelines were sound."

As for the Hull the survey noted the following which did not concern me...."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."

Overall this was not bad in my view considering the boat is a few years older than me. Of course assumption here is that winter has been kind for the past 12 months while the boat has been stored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Jiminri - the surveyor went over the engine a year ago. Keep in mind its not been used at all since then and was winterized and dry stored. The surveyor said..."The engine beds were examined to insure the integrity had not been compromised. Both stringers were structurally sound. The engine was started and the head and block observed for unusual temperature variations, as measured by a hand held Ultra Violet remote pyrometer. All cylinders heated to within 5 degrees of one another. Thereafter, the vessel was propelled from the dock for a sea trial. After an adequate warming period the engine was briefly run at 3600 rpm for approximately five minute. Throughout the run, the water temperature did not exceed 175 degrees, and the oil pressure maintained 45 psi. The exhaust showed no signs of burning oil, excessive water vapor or fuel blow by. In addition, no signs of leaking oil, loose fuel fittings or worn gasketing were detected.. The engine is well mounted and no discernable vibration was detected at the various operating speeds. The reverse gear was engaged while docking the vessel with no apparent deficiencies. That said the throttle control cable was noted as mounted on the underside of control lever of the engine, thereby interfering with the shut down cable. The cable should be flipped to the top portion of the lever at the earliest convenience."

The item noted with the throttle control cable was addressed by the previous owner prior to the sale a year ago.
 

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If you can get up to $12K . . . lots and lots of boats open up including (if you hunt) some very well kept Cape Dory 27's and 28's that are Alberg designs with better finishes, newer systems and a hell of a lot less miles on them. Check the f/s section of the bulletin boards on capedory.org Many other models too. Your sweetie might really appreciate some nice finishes!

Some unexpectedly large money eaters not to be overlooked:
-roller furling
-running rigging
-dodger / bimini
-dink / motor
-self-tailing winches
-cushions
-ground tackle / windlasses
-self steering
-pumps . . . and on and on

Decent electronics are actually cheaper than ever and easier to install

Obviously the engine isn't new 145hrs ago. Ask for receipts to get a feel for the quality of the work done to it. The spray paint job looks pretty shoddy.

Just read your comments above about the deck moisture levels. That is the sort of stuff which would chase me off to a newer model for a couple grand more. I wouldn't even look back. Maybe if the readings are TOTALLY localized (so that you could remove the fittings and clear and refill the core from the penetration) but I don't know how you'd know that without further moisture readings -- and the "entire rear deck" comment seems to suggest otherwise (check the cockpit floor to -- another weak spot).
 
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