Alberg 30: the Boat

The first Alberg 30 was launched in the summer of 1962. The design had been commissioned by Kurt Hansen of Whitby Boat Works, Ltd. He'd looked at the 28-foot Pearson Triton and felt he could build a similar boat in Canada for much less than the price of importing the US-built Triton. So Carl A. Alberg [1901-1986] designed a slightly larger cousin. It's been said that he based the design on the "Odyssey", designed by Carl for San Francisco Bay and the Pacific, but the build dates make that unlikely. Intended for the heavy weather of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the Odyssey had a heavy displacement and a 7/8ths rig. The original Alberg 30 drawings followed this design with 2000 pounds less displacement and 3 inches less draft.

Kurt Hansen changed the ballast from the designed lead to cast iron to hold down the production costs. In some of the early boats, the weight was insufficient and internal ballast had to be fixed in the bilge. Then, after the molds had been made, the syndicate of sailors who had ordered the boats decided they wanted a masthead rig. It was too late to move the mast step aft the 24 inches that was required, so, instead, the mast was shortened and the jib stay was raised. Carl Alberg wasn't pleased with the decision, but later admitted, "It seems to have worked out ok."

The end result was still a sturdy, sweet-sailing boat.

A Testimonial

Sturdy? Witness this letter received by Whitby Boat Works in 1971:

Whitby Boat Company
Ajax, Ontario, Canada


This letter is both a 1) testimonial and 2) request for advice.

1) We bought our Alberg 30 in 1966. We went aground under full sail on rocks with kelp to a depth of less than one foot. We were dragged off by a power boat. Damage -- a few scratches on the keel.

Many minor groundings on gravel and rocks over the years with not even scratches resulting.

This year we went aground at five knots (power) on a rocky reef (no kelp) and pounded hard many times. Damage -- a few deep scratches on keel and bottom of rudder chipped.

Also this year went aground under full sail on rocks, but got off with the motor. Result -- no damage.

2) Would you please advise me as to the best method to duplicate your strong construction when I repair these deep scratches and the rudder where it is gouged? I want a perfectly smooth hull (keel and rudder especially) and want it strong.

Sincerely yours,
(name withheld)

Carl Alberg advised the writer to move to the Chesapeake Bay where the bottom is mud.

Glenn Brooks, owner of Dolce #318, has compiled a list of Alberg30 Circumnavigations (PDF).

Questions? You might find the answers in the

Or, maybe you want to look at the pictures.
Offshore Sailing book cover Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr

We went to a Windjammers lecture to hear Bill Seifert and I was impressed enough to buy the book on the spot. I've heard a lot of people talk about ways to improve a boat, but I've never heard one person suggest so many good ideas that I hadn't considered. Part of the charm is the specificity of the suggestions. Everyone says you should secure your floorboards, hatchboards and batteries. Bill shows good suggestions on how to do so.

The suggestions are very practical for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Many show how to make or adapt inexpensive solutions. Tip #12 on closing the deck blower vents is one that will pay off for me without ever going offshore. I'll implement that one to stop the wintertime storms from finding their way belowdecks.

Besides modifications, the book also includes advice for operating offshore, cooking, boat selection, dealing with bureaucracy, and more.

Bill Seifert has worked at Tartan, TPI, and Alden Yachts. He's a veteran of many Marion-Bermuda races and now runs his own yacht management company. His tips are born of experience--not of book-learning--and it shows. He obviously knows his stuff.

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