Carl Alberg (1900 – 31 August 1986) was a Swedish born yacht designer best known for his influence in early fiberglass boats.
His formal training came from two years of sailboat design courses at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. In 1925 he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts in the United States where he began working as a rigger then later as a spar maker. It was there that he met John Alden who hired him as a designer.
“I enjoyed working with Alden very much. He was a wonderful guy, pleasant, calm, never getting excited, and I learned quite a bit from working with him. His designs were conservative. He concentrated on seaworthiness, comfort and boats that would sail on their bottoms, and that’s pretty much what I’ve tried to do with my boats.” – Carl Alberg
During World War Two, his tenure at Alden was interrupted to work for the Navy at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. Upon his return, he designed the U.S. One-Design and by 1946, he left Alden to start his own design firm.
His fame as a designer however can be attributed to his work with two Pearson cousins, Clint and Everett. Alberg asked about building one of his designs in fiberglass, which resulted in the 28 foot Pearson Triton 28 and the birth of Pearson Yachts. Alberg went on to design many models for the Pearson cousins, including the Bristol 28 which was the first model for Bristol Yachts (also started by the Pearson duo).
Perhaps his most famous design, and also one of his earliest, is the Alberg 30 which was built by Whitby Boatworks in Canada as a one design club racer. This boat went on to make a record breaking production run of over 750 boats spanning 22 years and is now known as a popular bluewater capable cruiser.
Alberg also had a fruitful partnership was with Cape Dory Yachts who produced 10 different models of his design.
Carl Alberg’s plans are now owned by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA USA.
» Carl Alberg biography at Alberg30.org » Carl Alberg’s Wikipedia entry » Carl Alberg – His wholesome designs sailed us into the age of fiberglass by Brian Hill, Sailing : The beauty of sail (magazine), Feb 1984.
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