Boat Maintenance, for the Alberg 30 and other boats

One of the finer pleasures of owning a boat is that of maintaining, repairing and upgrading it. That's something that you don't get by chartering. Sailors who only charter may think they're taking the easy route, and they are, but they don't know what they're missing.

Oh, I've cursed at many inanimate objects that have stubbornly defied me. I've lamented having to work on the boat when there was a good sailing breeze. I've scraped knuckles on raw fiberglass, gotten stuck in inaccessible places and gotten stuck trying to solve difficult problems. I know the down sides of boat maintenance, too.

Still, I think the balance tips toward pleasure. There's the sense of accomplishment when you finish a job. There's the sense of independence at knowing you can do it. There's the sense of confidence in knowing that if you break down out on the water, there's options other than calling the towboat. It's boat maintenance that makes boating more than a pastime — it's a way of life.

It's also a bond of brotherhood. The sailors that I've known have been more than willing to share advice and the benefit of their experiences. Many have also been willing to jump in and help with the job. In turn, this web site is my way of sharing back — of doing my small part in making the world of boat ownership more enjoyable and less worrisome.

But you must remember, you are still the master of your own boat. Advice is often worth what you pay for it, sometimes less. Situations may be different and the advice may not be applicable. Or the advice may be one way of approaching a problem, but others may be better. It may even be bad advice. Just as the prudent mariner does not rely on a single aid to navigation, the prudent boat maintainer does not blindly follow the advice of others. You must question the advice, convince yourself of its worth, and proceed with your eyes open to possible problems or complications. Ultimately, you are responsible for your vessel, whether on the sea or in the boatyard.

On a number of occasions, prospective owners have asked me what is the weakness of an Alberg 30. Well, there are some minor things that should be fixed (and probably already have been, on most boat). The two that come to mind are the home-made 3/4" through-hulls that Whitby made, and the fact that the chainplate bolts are not as strong as the rigging. These are easily remedied.

Other than that, it's a good, sturdy boat. As with any boat, it's a compromise, of course, so some people will be dissatisfied with some aspect or other. And, as with any boat, things wear out. One of those things that wears out on the older boats is the laminated wood beam that supports the mast step. This often scares new owners, but it shouldn't. It's not that hard to fix.

Boatowners Mechanical And Electrical Manual book cover Boatowners Mechanical And Electrical Manual by Nigel Calder

An in-depth reference to almost every essential system found on a sailboat. Calder has well-considered strategies for everything. Granted, there are good alternatives to some of his approaches, but he won't lead you astray. This is a book you can trust. Now expanded in its second edition.

Other books by Nigel Calder

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