SAIL-Alberg37250By Paul Howard

June 8…"A nice morning, but a brassy glare gets us worried. By 1130 we have rain and the wind picks up. With a third reef in the main and the genoa rolled back to a number three, we are making seven to eight knots. The boat is awash with breaking seas and spray keeps flying over the boat. My gourmet meal suffers as cutting and cooking have become a lethal exercise."

June 23…"The wind is still very strong and veering to the north. We are unable to maintain course and are 15 miles off the rhumb line. At 0930 the wind has picked up to more than 40 knots and the seas are 25 to 30 feet high. We decide to pack it in and take all sails down. With the wheel locked, the boat drifts at about two knots but the motion is very smooth. For the first time we have no waves breaking over our bow. We overhear two freighters on the VHF and find out that we are in the centre of a storm in [with a pressure of] 1,000 millibars. Still, after six hours of well-deserved sleep, the next morning looks better."

These are two log entries from the Alberg 37, Rabaska (an aboriginal name meaning war canoe), from Hank Borsboom's passage to Bermuda in June 1993. In his seventh season with Rabaska, Borsboom chose the Alberg for its reputation as an ocean passage-maker. "Every year I add some more equipment," said Borsboom in his thick Dutch accent. "To date I have added mast steps, furling gear, a windlass with three anchors and lots of rode, plus a new GPS, life raft and EPIRB for our Bermuda trip. Other upgrades include a high-output alternator, 500 amp hours of domestic battery capacity, improved wiring, and new panels, circuit breakers and battery-monitoring equipment. My next project is a new refrigeration unit in an upgraded icebox."

The Alberg 37 was designed by Swedish-born Carl Alberg (1900-1986) for Kurt Hansen's Whitby Boat Works. In total, 248 of these boats were built between 1967 and 1988 – the MKI model from 1967 to 1971 and the MKII until the late-'80s.

With long overhangs and a pleasing sheer, the 37 is an unmistakably classic design. Although first built as a racer/cruiser, the Alberg is now known as a traditional cruiser with medium-heavy displacement performance. During the early '70s the AL37 was actively raced in SORC and other offshore events, but today is only occasionally seen out PHRF club racing.

Below the waterline the forefoot is cut away at the forward end of a relatively short keel. The large, raked rudder is attached directly to the keel. Low topsides, a long and narrow cockpit and a well-proportioned coach-house are other distinct features of the Alberg.

I recently spoke to Doug Stephenson, a former sales agent for Whitby Boat Works from 1981 until the factory closed in 1988. Now a broker at Bay Harbour Yachts in Midland, Ontario, Stephenson described the differences between the MKI and MKII.

"On the Mark II the toe rail was changed from wood to fibreglass. Hansen also incorporated a dodger splashguard into the deck mould. The port lights were also elongated and fewer opened. But the largest change, from a construction point of view, was the addition of a moulded floor support and liner to replace the wood that was there in the MKI. This made the boat more durable and also decreased production time." Other modifications to the MKII included a more efficient use of interior space, allowing for a larger head and galley, as well as longer berths.

During the '70s the Alberg was considered a boat-show "dream-boat" by Canadian sailors in the boat market. At the time, the yawl rig (see line drawing) was especially coveted for its graceful silhouette. A good part of the 37's strong reputation comes from its strengths as an ocean-crossing vessel. I know of one circumnavigation made by Mike Phelps of Florida, but there are bound to be others who have logged the trip as well. Mike completed his seven-year global tour on hull #42, built in 1968.

A March '82 article in a U.S. sailing magazine speaks of how the Fowle family sailed their Alberg 3 7, Arion, from Massachusetts to Ireland, weathering the famed Fastnet gale. They described the usual thrills and chills of a first-time ocean crossing with mandatory descriptions of towering seas and their fright as they watched the anemometer register gusts of 76 knots.

While in New Zealand aboard Lorcha during a circumnavigation with my wife and two children, we met a Vancouver sailor single-handing his Alberg on a proposed circumnavigation. He told us of how he became stranded on the coral near the entrance of Palmyra Atoll in the North Pacific for several days. A poor spell of navigation meant he entered when the angle of the sun made it hard to read the coral reefs surrounding this uninhabited atoll. As the boat settled on her bilge, this hard-luck sailor was forced to throw away thousands of dollars worth of charts, books and spare parts to lighten the hull. His Alberg 37 pounded for three days before the tide rose high enough to float her off. He then sailed to Tahiti, several thousand miles away, before he made repairs to the portside bilge! But as a testament to the structural integrity of the Alberg, his boat never leaked. When we saw her after her repairs a few months earlier, she appeared not to have had suffered any serious damage.

James Hiller of Southfield, Michigan, had a new Alberg 37 built for him in 1982, one of only 42 built in the '80s. During a visit to the factory, Hiller surreptitiously pinched two core samples left over after the shop had cut the through-hull fittings in his new boat. He sent these cutouts to a testing laboratory, presumably to check up on the quality of his nearly completed hull. When the report came back it read in part, "both specimens are excellent and represent state-of-the-art glasswork."

Although strong and solid, the Alberg 37 was not intended as a luxurious racer/cruiser. Indeed, her interior is relatively modest, almost Spartan, in fact, with square corners and no fancy woodwork. The boats were built for a reasonable base price, but individual owners could add options if they wished.

The Alberg is narrow and small by today's standards, with a beam of only 10 ft. 2 in. and a waterline of 26 ft. 6 in. Whitby Boat Works offered the boat with a number of different engines but the 23-hp Volvo MD2D and the 27-hp MD11C were the standard for most years. A 40-hp Westerbeke 4-107 was also a heavy-duty option.

With some of these boats nearing their 30th birthday, most need some work. Anyone considering purchasing a 37 should budget for anywhere between $10,000 and $25,000 for the refit. There are, however, many well-loved boats on the market that have had their sails and equipment upgraded over the years. Others are structurally sound but are rough cosmetically. These sell for under $40,000, while well-cared-for examples are often listed at upwards of $65,000. I have been aboard several boats where some of the bulkhead and floor tabbing (the fibreglass tape that attaches a wood bulkhead or stringer to the fiberglass hull) has lost its adhesion. As well, I have noticed that the decks sometimes need repair around the stanchion bases. On older models the hardware, hatches and port lights may need to be removed and re-bedded to stop drips and leaks. Rabaska is the first boat people see when they motor through the gap at Bluffers Park Yacht Club at the base of Scarborough Bluffs. "She is on the end of the first dock at the club," says Borsboom. "I love having her dark blue hull out there. Nearly every visitor that comes through the gap comments on 'that beautiful traditional boat.'"

Originally Published in Canadian Yachting's Sailpast 1995.

Specifications

LOA 37'2" ft.

LWL 26'6"

Beam 10'2"ft.

Draft 5'6" ft.

Displacement 16,800 lbs.

Ballast 6,500 lbs.

Sail Area 646 sq. ft.

 

Related Articles

CY Virtual Video Boat Tours

Virtual Boat ToursWe all love boats and nothing can break us up! So, what better way to spend our time than looking at interesting boats and going aboard in a virtual ride or tour. We have asked our friends at various dealers and manufacturers to help us assemble a one-stop online resource to experience some of the most interesting boats on the market today. Where the CY Team has done a review, we connect you to that expert viewpoint. If you can’t go boating, you can almost experience the thrill via your screen. Not quite the same, but we hope you enjoy our fine tour collection.

 

Read more about the CY Virtual Boat Tours....................

 

 

 

Neptunus 750 Enclosed FlybridgeBy Andy Adams

In the February 2020 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, we featured our review of the Neptunus 750 Flybridge, the company’s flagship yacht. The boat had been bought by a gentleman from Newfoundland and we reviewed it just before it was to be delivered.

We learned later that the boat did not leave immediately after delivery. The story is that the new owner reconsidered the beautiful big open flying bridge layout. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...
Ontario’s best-kept secret, the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic site holds the key to ...
Located on the sunny south shore of the harbour, the Marina is on pilings over the water, offering ...
The approach to the Chemainus Municipal Dock from Stuart Channel is straightforward and is ...
I leaned my head back into the water and floated easily. Having spent my childhood playing in ...
History: right after gym and just before chemistry class. Fifty minutes of naming the prime ...

View of Ganges HarbourText and Photos by Marianne Scott

Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to do with locally produced food. It started thousands of years ago when the Coast Salish First Nations used the Island as a summer camp, collecting wild foods while also processing the abundant sea food for winter sustenance.

In the 19th century, five main groups settled here and began farming: Northern Europeans—some of whom had abandoned gold rush dreams; Hawaiians brought here by Vancouver Island’s second governor, James Douglas...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
As a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big ...
Here’s a dramatic photo of the Week from Jansin Ozkur. “Walking along the lake Ontario, noticed the ...
At the end of summer 2020, amid all the restrictions, we were able to shoot our film, Generations ...
Last issue, Mike Wheatstone, our Boat Nerd started a conversation about solar power. While many of ...
Oak Bay Marina achieves eco-certification in Clean Marine BC, which helps boating facilities to ...
OK, stop the presses. This photo just came in from Beacon Bay. Clearly those folks know how to get ...
Back in the day, the publisher of a magazine would receive a bound copy of the year’s monthly ...
Boaters on BC’s West Coast have heard the story of the garbage pickers of the Marine debris removal ...
Skipper John “Drew” Plominski is hoping that lightning doesn’t strike twice. Plominski, whose boat ...
The Association provides a forum for exchanging information, tips and access an advocate on behalf ...

A Freedom Boat Club StafferAs a life-long marine journalist, it has often occurred to me, that it’s a big leap to lay out the cash, (especially for those with no previous boating experience), to try it out. How does someone even know that they will like boating it if they haven’t tried it? 

Well, joining a boat club, or a yacht club that has boats available for members to use, can get you started without the big financial commitment and with the support of the club’s education and resources. Try before you buy.


Read More

National Invasive Species Awareness WeekThis week, Feb. 22-26, is National Invasive Species Awareness Week and the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) released an animated video to raise awareness about the threat Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) pose to the boating industry and what manufacturers can do to limit the spread.

AIS can damage ecosystems and negatively impact fishing and the future of the boating lifestyle. Boat access to many aquatic resources has been limited due to AIS concerns and AIS infestation can result in serious damage to boats and their components. Invasive plant life can foul propellers,

Read More

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Insurance may not be exciting but it is important. Check at launch. We all know we need to spend ...
Before you launch: Inspect all around the hose clamps for rust and replace as necessary. Double ...
Slovenian manufacturer, Elan, has introduced the concept of regenerative electrical auxiliary power ...
There is nothing worse than your boat trailer breaking down while on the way to a great weekend. ...
When the boat is in the water, It’s easy to take for granted the parts of the boat that are under ...
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected changes in our lives, impacting everything from ...
Boating boomed in 2020, with scads of first-time boat buyers chasing respite from the pandemic. Now ...
For anyone cruising on a boat that will be away from the dock for any appreciable time keeping the ...
Styles, shapes, pitch and diameter of props are widely discussed on online boating forums, YouTube ...
There’s nothing worse than wondering how much fuel you have on board. You’re left wondering how ...

So You Want to be a Better BoaterBy Amy Hogue

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected changes in our lives, impacting everything from boating to vacations and these trends look to continue into the future.

In summer 2020, those trends were seen in the unprecedented numbers of boaters flocking to marinas and boat launches seeking a COVID-friendly vacation on the water. While the waterways were more crowded than ever before, the boaters you were likely to encounter weren’t necessarily in the know for boating etiquette, or marine know-how.

 

Read More

 

  

ask andrew bilge pumps 1 400By Andrew McDonald

One of the items that gets taken for granted during the spring prep work is the bilge pumping system; it’s one of those on-board features that many of us assume is in working order….until something goes wrong.

Water can get into your boat in a variety of ways: a leaking shaft-seal (stuffing box), ripped or torn bellows, a leaking through-hull, a leaking tank aboard, windows, hatches and deck fittings that aren’t sealed - the list goes on. The catch-22 when considering maintenance in the pre-season, is that you may not know where a leak may start or develop until the boat is in the water and only then do you find that water is getting inside.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
The YETI Tundra 65 is their most versatile cooler, just as adept at keeping your catch cold as it ...
A good night’s sleep on the boat is a great pleasure indeed and custom bedding from SeaSwag ...
When bright white light is needed on board, a compact Sea Hawk-350 LED Light Bar from Hella marine ...
First time in many years I was lucky enough to test both the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado ...
Unlike cars and homes, boats can be difficult spaces in which to create a quality listening ...
Yamaha Motor Canada has launched an upgraded 4.2-litre V MAX SHO® outboard, offering a full 40 ...
Holidays are perfect times for daydreaming and anyone who loves boating, will love ...
Bringing back a boat's showroom shine is fast and easy with the award-winning World's Best Dual ...
The JBL Click Bluetooth® wireless controller from Prospec Electronics adds fingertip control of ...

News

  • Prev
According to the Nova Scotia Tourism website, Theodore Tugboat began his travels in 1989, created ...
On Monday, March 29th, fire broke out in a group of power boats stored on the hard and still under ...
On April 1st, 2021, Wright’s Marina joined two other small, independent facilities: Hindson Marina ...
Our new feature is CYOB’s look at boats and food – two words that are almost synonyms! That’s a lot ...
This Maritime Radio ONLINE SELF-STUDY program is a completely integrated version of Canadian Power ...
Finding the right PFD can seem like a daunting task and extends beyond finding one that fits and ...
I start off my column by saying Wow!!  What a market! I have never seen such panic buying in ...
Yanmar Holdings has entered into a collaboration with design house “fragment design”, headed by ...
From January 25 - March 31, Parks Canada is asking the public to read its Draft Management ...
As the most innovative family-run boatyard in Europe, time and again Frauscher's premium ...

invasive species video 400AIS can damage ecosystems and negatively impact fishing and the future of the boating lifestyle. Boat access to many aquatic resources has been limited due to AIS concerns and AIS infestation can result in serious damage to boats and their components. Invasive plant life can foul propellers, jam impellors and cause bilge pump failure. Mussels can attach to boats and negatively affect performance, attach to engines causing component failure, and obstruct water lines causing system failure.

Read more....

 

 

fibreglass recycling part2 400 By Jay Weaver

Interest in finding alternative uses for used fiberglass can spark creativity and innovation. For example, a partnership involving the US, Ireland, and Northern Ireland Universities called Re-wind developed some interesting civil engineering project ideas for reusing and repurposing fiberglass blades. These include using decommissioned blades in civil engineering projects as part of powerline structures or towers, or roofs for emergency or affordable housing. In Northern Ireland, Re-wind is also considering piloting them for use in pedestrian bridges along greenways.

Read More about Fiberglass recycling....

 

 

Theodore TugboatAccording to the Nova Scotia Tourism website, Theodore Tugboat began his travels in 1989, created by Cochran Entertainment, with master model maker Fred Allen, as a children's television series inspired by the Halifax Waterfront and the stories Andrew Cochran would tell his son at bedtime. The CBC television program Theodore Tugboat ran from 1993 to 2001.

A working replica of Theodore, named "Theodore Too" was built in Dayspring, Nova Scotia. Designed by Fred Allen and Marius Lengkeek, the tug was launched on April 19, 2000 at the Snyder Shipyard. After a successful tour of several North America ports, it made its home in Halifax. 

Read More