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Hello Sailnet folks,

My husband and I are first time boat buyers and have been seduced by Albergs, in particular the 37. We are currently looking at two boats, one the Alberg 37 (1979) Yawl and the other a Pearson 365 (1977) Sloop. They are similarly priced and both close to our home. The added bonuses ie electronics etc are similar and the engines in both are comparable. We are hoping to do some sailing on the BC and Alaska Coasts in the immediate future and then work our way up to a big offshore journey. Can any one offer advice on the advantages of one over the other? Thanks so much.
 

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The Pearson is going to have a bit more room and be a bit faster, as well as have a bit more load-carrying capacity. The Alberg will be a bit more seakindly, and may be easier to sail in heavy weather, given the split sail plan. IMHO, both are fairly well suited to doing what you're planning., and given your plans, what is the tankage and stowage like on both boats—that may be a bigger deal than the differences in their performance and interior space. :)
 

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Tankage in Pearson 365 Versus Alberg 37

Thanks so much for your opinion. We really appreciate any advice you are able to give. The Pearson has big tanks 120 gallons water, 50 gallons fuel and 10 gallon holding tank. The Alberg has a holding tank which has been converted to also be able to hold fuel while offshore- a valve and alot of cleaning I am assuming. The tanks on the Alberg are 60 gallons water and 35 fuel. I have am under the impression that the sailing on the Alberg may be a little better, but the Pearson will have more space for living... The Alberg has been epoxy coated and repainted on the hull and new zincs this spring and the Pearson was repainted last year. Are you aware of any reoccuring problems ie. blisters or weak deck to hull joints etc with either? Thanks again
 

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I don't know much about the Alberg, but I sailed thousands, of sea miles aboard my best friend's Pearson 365, s/v Skimmer. Over 25+ years we sailed either Skimmer or Paloma (they are both '79's) all over the Gulf, down to Isla Mujeres, Vera Cruz and more and in several unfortunate voyages - some really harsh weather. I really like the 365, it's a good boat in a seaway, big and roomy with a great galley, a chart table that while working at you can converse with the helmsman, a decent shower and a great seaberth to starboard. It's easy to work on the engine by going down into the starboard cockpit locker and sit beside the engine while you work on it and while sitting there, you've got easy access to the fuel tank, steering quadrant and the stuffing box. I also like the underbody, which is the same as my Bristol - cutaway forefoot keel and well-protected, skeg-hung rudder.
If I was looking for a bigger boat than Paloma, I would serious consider a Pearson 365.
 

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Given the disparity in tankage, the Pearson is going to be more capable and comfortable for longer passages.
 

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Alberg 37 by a long shot. The Pearson will have more room but for a crusing couple the '37 is great. Thankage ~39 gallons of fuel then a 15 gallon tank a 35 gallon tank and another 35 gallon tank. One of these should be the holding tank. ...recommend the 15 gallon tank.

I'm not sure why someone posted the 365 would be faster. I'd bet on almost all points of sail the '37 is a faster boat and looks much sexier while doing it.

I owned one for about ten years and only recently sold it.

They are well built, well thought out, easy to work on and maintain. The fit and finish is not on par with some of the high end boats or even the Taiwanese boats (they have nice joiner work) but they are strong and very sea kindly.
 

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Alberg 37

Hi.I would also say Alberg 37.I have one.Well equiped and in good shape for sale for $60,000
canadian.It is listed on boatdealers.ca.Check it out.It is on lake Huron in Byfield,ON.Good luck.
 

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A convertible holding tank/fuel tank? That's a new one on me. While they are both good boats the Alberg will be more comfortable at sea.
 

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I'd lean toward the Alberg but then I had a A30 which didn't have enough interior room for me so maybe the Pearson......uhhhh just get the one you like the most, both are great boats.
 

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I owned a 365 for ten years and loved it! Just a few "must do's" for the Pearson (if chosen): 1) re-enforce the deep bilge with concrete or other solid substance! 2) hull insulation, 3) A large dodger.

I'm don't know the Alberg much but the Pearson should be a great cruising companion. They aren't really blue water rated boats but that doesn't mean they haven't and can't make the trips.
 

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I don't think I'd suggest reinforcing a fibreglass boat with concrete as it won't add much if any strength. The proper way would be epoxy and biaxial or roving as a second choice. If it needs reinforcing maybe it's not as suitable as the Alberg, many of which have crossed oceans and circumnavigated. Hull insulation and dodgers are not boat specific and would be a good addition to any boat.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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First of all, neither are good first boats. Unless you are both very experienced boat owners and sailors and this just happens to be your first boat, these older boats typically are pretty tired and will need a lot of skill to keep up and running. But also, the sailing characteristics of boat boats is not especially suitable to learning to sail well.

That said, I would further strongly recommend against the Alberg 37 on all counts. I know that there are a bunch of folks out there who love these antiquated clunkers but my experience with these boats is that they are tender and wet, and tend to roll and pitch miserably and as they came from the factory had an engine that was underpowered for the weight and high level of drag of these boats, which all combined makes the Alberg less than ideal for the short, steep chop that I understand is a frequent condition in the inside passages where you will be sailing.

Frankly, you want a boat that is robust, stable, dry,self-reliant, and reliable in these waters, and neither boat inherently fits that description. If you and your husband were more experienced you would know that. I don't mean this as a put down in any manner. We all had to start somewhere, but with all due respect, I suggest that you start smaller and simpler, develop your sailing and boat ownership skills and then you will know what to look for to use for the kind of sailing you seem to have in mind.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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First of all, neither are good first boats. Unless you are both very experienced boat owners and sailors and this just happens to be your first boat, these older boats typically are pretty tired and will need a lot of skill to keep up and running. But also, the sailing characteristics of boat boats is not especially suitable to learning to sail well.

That said, I would further strongly recommend against the Alberg 37 on all counts. I know that there are a bunch of folks out there who love these antiquated clunkers but my experience with these boats is that they are tender and wet, and tend to roll and pitch miserably and as they came from the factory had an engine that was underpowered for the weight and high level of drag of these boats, which all combined makes the Alberg less than ideal for the short, steep chop that I understand is a frequent condition in the inside passages where you will be sailing.

Frankly, you want a boat that is robust, stable, dry,self-reliant, and reliable in these waters, and neither boat inherently fits that description. If you and your husband were more experienced you would know that. I don't mean this as a put down in any manner. We all had to start somewhere, but with all due respect, I suggest that you start smaller and simpler, develop your sailing and boat ownership skills and then you will know what to look for to use for the kind of sailing you seem to have in mind.

Respectfully,
Jeff

-----Uggghh!

Jeff I know that you are a wealth of knowledge and seem to know about a whole lot of boats down to some pretty minute details. I suspect you are a voracious reader and also have a good bit of first hand knowledge.

I have read your opinions on the Alberg 37 for many years (and other similar boats). I tend to disagree with you on much of what you say about these boats (not all)

I can tell you from first hand knowledge and past ownership of almost ten years that you are only marginally right when it comes to the '37. I suspect that if I took your for a sail on my previous boat that you would "get it" when it comes to the Alberg 37. (no offense intended) -again they are not perfect in all conditions but what boat is? Furthermore they excel at so many things that they overcome the few shortcomings.

Personally, I think that they offer a nice, secure and with the right dodger a very dry cockpit. This is particularly true with the forward helm station that these boats have. Having owned one and sailed it for almost ten years I can attest to this. You will take a wave over the bow it will roll down the side deck and exit well behind you. The long stern counter offers a lot of reserve buoyancy and the stern tends to ride up with a following sea. -that said they can be a handful downwind in a blow if you don't have the right sails up and trimmed properly. -

For what they are they have a remarkable windward ability. -new sails and proper sail trim matter. Most of these boats will need some updating on the running rigging to enable one to trim them properly.

You are right about them having troubles in steep chop particularly if you have a short wave-length. Beyond that they are remarkable sea boats and a hoot to sail in a big swell. Get them in flat water and look out! They will surprise many more modern designs.

I found the construction to be more than adequate and very well thought out. In fact I would go as far to say that they have robust construction. Mine in particular was one of the last ones built and I can't speak to the entire production run but I suspect that for the most parts they are solidly built boats. -not without their weaknesses. In particular the joiner work is workman like and doesn't have the fit and finish of the high end yachts. However they are well constructed, well thought out with good access to anything you might need to work on. In comparison to the Pearson 365-s that I have been on the joiner work is way more than adequate however.

Personally, I think they can make a fine first boat if you have at least some experience and appreciate the '37 for what it is. If someone is really new to the sport/hobby/past-time or whatever you want to call it then look elsewhere. Furthemore, take a real good look at any boat you buy that is getting on in years. They can all eat you up in time and money and the '37 is no exception. That said, I found mine extremely easy to work on and as I said well thought out.

-my thoughts on the subject for what it is worth.

Cheers,
 

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I have to agree with Jeff on this.
While both boats have a 'salty' appearance,
neither would be ideal for a first time boat
owner.
Both designs will be ponderous under sail,
and very difficult to handle in close quarters
maneuvering. I agree it would be sensible to
start out with a smaller, more responsive, boat
that has much simpler systems and less demanding
maintenance requirements.
 

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My husband and I are first time boat buyers and . . . .
We are hoping to do some sailing on the BC and Alaska Coasts in the immediate future and then work our way up to a big offshore journey.
I think some of the conflicting advice you are getting is because you're indicating that you're a first time boat buyer (implying not too much sailing experience?), yet you're sailing in a challenging area weather-wise, and you have a goal to go on a big offshore journey.

The ideal boat for a big offshore journey might be a handful to learn on, so if that's your situation, whichever boat you go with, you'd want to at least take it easy at first and build some experience.
 

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I disagree with the "challenging area weather-wise" part of MC1's post I think. The majority of the B.C. coast is a reasonably protected area. By contrast if you leave Long Beach or many other harbors to actually go anywhere rather than daysail you're offshore immediately. Yes it can be challenging but it can also be like a millpond at many times. I don't think that a larger boat can be a handful to learn on - a number of sailing courses locally are on larger C&Cs and a larger boat is a more stable platform than a smaller boat. Bigger boat = larger winches and larger sails to furl and reef and a bit more thought when docking but that's not insurmountable I don't think. I don't think a smaller boat is a prerequisite and many find moving to a larger boat easier.
As far as the boats I would take either offshore if properly prepared but the Alberg will be more comfortable offshore and is I think less affected by loading that will be inevitable if going afar.
 

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How about the Alaskan coast weather wise? . . . Have I been watching too much "Deadliest Catch"? :) I haven't sailed there myself, but there sure are lots of board postings and books describing some of the challenges when the weather picks up. I'll defer to the local knowlege, but if the OP is new to sailing, sounds like staying in the protected areas within BC is the way to go at first.

Also agreed that boat size in the mid 30's range is not in and of itself a problem. I frequently sail my PSC '34 single handed, and it is easier to manage than the Kirby 25 I sailed on for many years. Regardless, if the OP is new to sailing, I feel some caution is in order. I don't think anyone will argue with the advisability of building experience a step at a time, regardless of what boat is selected.
 

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Agreed that experience is best built a step at a time. But I see no problem with getting it on a larger boat. We're not talking about a Sante Cruz 40 - both the Pearson and the Alberg are predictable boats that are easy to sail. The Alberg as a yawl a bit more complicated but it's basically a sloop most of the time with the added flexibility of mizzen and jib sailing - at least while learning the ropes. Mizzen staysails come later.
As far as "Deadliest Catch" which I have watched as well, takes place in the October and January crab openings off Dutch Harbor in the Bering Sea. It's good tv but hardly indicative of summer sailing. The map below shows the coast from Haida Gwai (BCs Queen Charlotte Islands) in the lower right to Dutch Harbor on the lower left almost at the end of that string of islands. Notice the islands offering protection along the Alaska panhandle on the right side. There are a few open passages but they are short runs with plenty of places to duck into if the weather changes.
 

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RickandBre - I hope your boat search is going well, and that you're finding out more about the pros/cons of going with a more modern approach such as the Pearson or a more classic approach such as the Alberg. Please keep us posted.

Mitiempo - Here's a recent thread from the Cruisers Forum web site as a "for instance" of the kind of information I've read about sailing the west coast of the US in less than idea conditions. Perhaps the key is avoiding winter sailing in open waters, as elsewhere, and staying within protected areas as you've suggested. I'd be interested in your take also. Up the West Coast in Winter - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Happy holidays all.
 

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MC1
I agree with the poster who says "are you crazy or do you have a death wish?"
Once past Flattery there is protection to the top of Vancouver Island and it's mostly protected from there to Alaska. But from California to Flattery it's wide open with few accessible harbors. Many of those harbors are closed when you need them the most, or think you do. The US Coast Guard trains on the Oregon coast on their self righting vessels. It's probably on the nose all or most of the way as well so even for the experienced it's a rough uncomfortable trip.
From the original post I understood RickandBre were in B.C. or the Seattle area. From there north is a lot different from the California and Oregon coasts. The safest way to go north from California is about 100 miles offshore for safety and not dependent on safe harbors. But I wouldn't do it in the winter.
 
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