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Albin Ballad, anyone have one?

11213 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  bobperry
I found an excellent deal on an Albin Ballad 1972 and i wanted to get some opinions on the boat. I searched the forums and found some older posts that said its a great strongly built boat. I wasn't planning on getting a boat until next spring but this guy is just trying to get rid of her and offered me an almost to good to be true deal. (and yes i know most too good to be true deals usually are) I have read the what to look for when looking at boats thread and will go through and write it all down when i go look at her. The owner says that she has no blisters or soft spots and the paint is in good condition but hasnt been scraped this winter because he was in the dominican republic.

What i really want to know is there anything specific for these boats that i need to watch out for? do they have a certain flaw that i need to check?

when i was planning on getting a more expensive boat i was going to have a survey done and do everything correctly, but this one is so cheap i am probably just going to look her over the best i can. because even if she does turn out to have a fatal unseen flaw i can strip her down and probably make my money back.

one thing i would like to get an estimate for is he said he just put a working older engine in the boat. he said it works and is in the boat and that it only needs to be hooked up to the batteries ,water and exhaust lines and bolted down. he had the coupler made for it to connect it to the prop. he believes its made by Buda. How much left am i looking at to get those things connected? $1000?

by the way I'm going to be using this boat for day-sailing mainly with a few jaunts to the Bahamas and maybe further Caribbean eventually.

thanks ahead of time for all the advice and comments on this boat! i couldnt find an owners group so i thought maybe someone here may have one. I'm sure ill think of more questions in a little while...
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I found an excellent deal on an Albin Ballad 1972 and i wanted to get some opinions on the boat.
The Ballad has been very popular with the Swedes. Yeah well, they built it, but it does have a good reputation.

Here is a fairly good presentation from the Ballad Club, in English:

Also, at the Swedish Ballad Club site
click on the link on the left the says "Ballad International Exchange" for more information.
when i was planning on getting a more expensive boat i was going to have a survey done and do everything correctly, but this one is so cheap i am probably just going to look her over the best i can. because even if she does turn out to have a fatal unseen flaw i can strip her down and probably make my money back.
A survey on this boat is an absolute necessity. It's is a bad idea to assume responsibility for the boat without knowing what you are taking on.

Good Luck ! :)
I am currently delivering a Ballad from the Okeechobee Waterway to Charleston. We will be sailing the Gulfstream from Stuart up. The Ballad is a solid boat and this is the second one I have sailed on delivery. I will post a little of our trip upon arrival. We will set out on the next leg the first week of June. Good luck with your boat, I'm sure you will be happy with her.Where do you keep your boat?
I am madly, head-over-heels in love with the Albin Ballad. I bet I know which one you are looking at -- there aren't all that many in the US (where I'm assuming you are), and Ike took out another. I haven't owned one, nor even sailed on one, but here's some things picked up along the way....

Boat has a solid hull and foam-core decks. Water intrusion isn't generally an issue. Overall build quality is very solid and slightly conservative -- skeg-hung rudder; integral keel (no bolts); medium beam, draft, sail area. Fairly light for a 30 footer at 7500 lbs, but with a normal racer/cruiser ballast ratio.

The chainplates bolt thru the side decks to a horizontal stringer built into the coach -- not to a bulkhead as such. This might set off alarm bells re: seaworthiness, but I've never heard of any problems with strength and many many Ballads have crossed oceans. It does make for obstructed side decks, however. Capsize ratio is right at 2.0, which is higher than ideal; motion comfort numbers indicate a somewhat bumpy ride. Like the Contessa 32, a boat very similar to the Ballad (both grew out of the Norwegian Folkboat), the Albin is slinky rather than powerful, and the low freeboard can make for a wet ride. Most Ballads sport oversized dodgers, and many carry spray skirts on the lifelines.

The Ballad is a masthead rig with the huge headsails and small, high-aspect main typical of late CCA/early IOR designs. This means you can wait a long time to reef the main, but wrestling down the genoa in bad conditions might be unpleasant short- or single-handed. Some people add roller furling, but for some reason that seems to really hurt the boat's (very, very good) pointing ability. I've never seen a Ballad with a Solent stay, but it seems like a useful addition. Downwind, you really depend on the headsail or spinnaker to drive the boat, since the main is so small. The Ballad is said to be better-mannered when running than some boats of that era, less prone to broaching than more extreme IOR designs.

Belowdecks, it's strictly old school. These boats are pokey and cramped, with little light or ventilation compared to modern cruisers. A modern 25 footer will have more interior volume than the Ballad. I think it's 5'9" headroom. There are two settees, each with a pilot berth above it -- though these latter have often been converted to storage. A sort of a double berth is stashed behind the nav table to port, though again this is often converted to a sail locker. Normal V-berth up front. So theoretically you could sleep eight on a Ballad, but a crowded four is more realistic. Galley is nothing special. Clever little stowage everywhere, and (common to northern European boats) the cabinetry is modular rather than a molded hull liner. You can remove it for refinishing, alterations, or to get at the hull.

The original engines were 'meh', Volvo Penta IIRC; a nice Yanmar repower ups the value of the boat. Not much tankage for ocean crossing. If you are really serious, really ready to pull the trigger on a boat of this quality and age, I really do advise spending a little money on a survey, esp. of the engine if it's an older one. Typical price for these boats is about half a Contessa 32 -- $25k, tho I've seen them go for $8k at auction. I will give you all the links I've collected on the Ballad, in hopes everything works out, you buy it, and you let me come sailing with you.:D

Ballad in the round (NFS)

Not-very-active Ballad blog; lots of links, tho

S/V Love, a transatlantic trip with lots of photos

S/V Joy, another

Norwegian Ballad porn

"The Journey in a Cocktail Shaker", a German series of YouTube videos about another Atlantic circle, with guitar. The one will lead you to the others.

Denmark Ballads

A new website with forums and an active group, mostly in English.

More porn (Norwegian?)

OMG ... I'm sorta embarrassed.:eek: It's like stalking Ingrid Bergman.
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wow Bob! Thanks much for all the info and links! im slowly making my way through them all!

Please check your PM's as ive sent you a message for a couple related questions!
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I am currently buying an A30 and this is a Fantastic read! Well researched! I've sailed everything from lasers to schooners and I'm very excited to add the Albin to my list.

Thank You!

I owned an Albin Cirrus 7.8 for 15 years. It was a very strong and well built boat. I really enjoyed that boat. People would ask me "How can you own a boat that some one else designed?" I'd would tell them, "Because it's a really good boat."
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