Sturdy and reliable. Classic bluewater design. Boat Name: Henry Designer: Carl Alberg Builder: Whitby Boat Works Ltd Model: Alberg 37 Mark II Sloop Year built: 1980 Hull #210 Registered: Brisbane Australia Location: La Paz, Mexico Dimensions LOA: 37 ft 1 in Beam: 10 ft 2 in Minimum Draft: 5 ft 6 in
Tanks Fresh Water Tanks: 35gal 12gal 2x 5gal portable containers Fuel Tank: 35gal Holding Tank: 15gal
Engine Engine Brand: Volvo Year Built: 1979/80 Engine Model: MD11C Engine/Fuel Type: Diesel Transmission: MSB Reverse Gear rebuilt in Sweden 2021 1 inch Stainless steel shaft and 3 blade Stainless steel LH propeller Many original spares. Ownership history: I purchased hull #210 in 2013 from Bayfield Ontario. Then the boat was named Time Passage. The boat had not left the Great Lakes, which was evident in its pristine condition. The bronze fittings had no signs of oxidisation at all. I hauled the boat to install its inaugural anodes. From 2013 to 2017 I sailed Henry single handed from Bayfield to La Paz, Mexico via the Panama Canal. Henry has been based in La Paz, Mexico since 2017. In 2019 I emptied the entire boat and stripped all hardware in preparation for interior and exterior paint works, which are now complete. All hardware and fittings have been installed and the remaining items - e.g. Monitor windvane, cushions, sails, solar panels - will stay in my apartment to avoid excessive exposure to sun and general weather conditions. The boat is hauled out of the water at Atalanta boat yard, with heavy duty sun shades for protection from the sun. A local guy washes the boat and airs it out once per month when I’m away for work. Engine is started regularly with anticorrosive coolant flushing. Includes a vw beetle in matching colors.
Equipment: General Description and Inventory Engine: Reportedly rebuilt in 2002. Kept in fresh water until June 2013. 6months in the fresh water of Rio Dulce Guatemala and again in Lake Gatun Panama. New Volvo shaft coupling 2011. The engine was removed from the boat in 2015 for overhauling. Extremely fuel efficient. Runs like a dream. No issues at all. New engine room/bilge blower 2016 and new unopened spare. New custom stainless-steel exhaust elbow 2016 Oil, fuel filters, impeller and thermostat changed April 2019 Injectors and valve clearance checked and cleaned 2019 Many original volvo spares, including spare fuel pump, spare water pump, oil fuel and air filters, gasket and seal kits, and fuse banks.
Plumbing: All through hulls and seacocks have been changed to ball valves and are of excellent condition. Jabsco diaphragm fresh water pump including unopened spare. Jabsco manual head with Y valve selector for overboard or holding tank discharge. Including spares for every part of the head.
Rigging & Sails: 1/19 stainless-steel 9/32 swaged shrouds… excellent condition. Forestay and backstay were replaced with 5/16 SS wires in May 2016, with Sta-Lok terminals. Paint on mast and boom is aged. Wire spliced main halyard plus new spare halyard ready to be used. Spare Halyard rigged with mast head cheek block. Shaefer 1100 roller furler stripped down and serviced during 2016 forestay replacement. Winches: 2x Barlow #27 two speed self-tailing, 2x Lewmar #40 two speed, 4x Lewmar #10 single speed, 2x Lewmar #8 single speed. All regreased regularly, and pawls changed. Sail inventory: North Sails 8oz Dacron fully battened main 2007(excellent cond) with 3 reefing points, North Sails 8oz Dacron 110 Genoa 2007(excellent), Hood 150 genoa(good), Hood battenless main(aged/useable spare), Fogh #L1 Genoa(good), Dual main sheet setup at mid boom to free up space in cockpit. Whisker pole. Very useful for downwind sailing. Dodger in excellent condition with Tenara stitching. Bimini replaced in 2015. Every time I leave the boat, the sails get rinsed and dried, then taken down and stored out of the elements.
Navigation: Furuno RD-30 depth, speed, and temp Triducer multisensor. Spare through hull for secondary sounder up forward. SIMRAD Cruise-9 inch chartplotter new 2021 Furuno FM-3000 VHF with remote connection at helm. No remote included. Portable Icom IC-M88 VHF 2014 with DC 12V charger. Portable or AC Tecsun SSB receiver great for offshore weather updates and cruiser nets. Whitlock wheel steering with binnacle mounted Plastimo compass and rack and pinion steering. The binnacle on this alberg37 has been shifted aft. It opens the cockpit up beautifully and frees space around the companionway for the pop-up table and operating the winches. Auto pilots: CPT Auto helm, overhauled by Californian manufacturers in 2015. Monitor windvane NEW 2013 with spare windvane and various pieces. I have single handed this boat from the Great Lakes to the Caribbean and through the most remote areas of Central America. The boat is more than ready for single handing. Barometer. New Olympus binoculars, spare handheld compass, handheld anemometer. All cruising guides and chart books from San Diego to Chicago including great circle route. Atlantic pilot and Admiralty tide tables and GMDSS manual. World atlas for inspiration. Please enquire for more info.
The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.
Classic hull speed formula:
Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWLA more accurate formula devised by Dave Gerr in The Propeller Handbook replaces the Speed/Length ratio constant of 1.34 with a calculation based on the Displacement/Length ratio.
Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio.311
Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL
A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.
SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64)2/3
A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.
Ballast / Displacement * 100
A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.
D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³
This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.
Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam1.33)
This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.
CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)
The shapely Alberg 37, the bigger sister of the popular Alberg 30 and 35, was penned in the mid-1960s by Swedish-born Carl Alberg (1900-1986) for Kurt Hansen’s Whitby Boat Works in Canada. Originally designed as a racer cruiser, the Alberg 37 is better known today as a medium-heavy displacement bluewater capable cruiser. She’s strong, seaworthy, and best of all very affordable.
Introduced in 1967, the boat came in sloop and yawl options and was popular enough to enjoy an update to a MkII model which primarily improved the interior layout and streamlined production. A total of 248 boats were built before the recession of 1987 reduced customer demand leading to the cease of production in 1988. Today the Alberg 37 has many fans and an avid following from owner communities, a few boats have circumnavigated.
At a glance, the Alberg 37 is unmistakably a classic yacht of the 1960s, drawing much influence from Scandinavian folkboats. There’s long overhangs, low freeboard, and soft sheerline. Below the waterline is a cutaway full keel, with a large raked rudder hung from the trailing edge of the keel. All very standard stuff for Alberg designs.
The beam is incredibly narrow beam at 10 feet 2 inches and with slack bilges the hull does not contribute much form stability. Indeed the Alberg 37 is initially quite a tender boat, this helps her extend her waterline when she heeled to windward or reaching.
Whitby Boat Works had a reputation for building strong boats and Alberg 37s have proven themselves overtime. A 1977 hull (Good News), for example, was beached in a hurricane suffering only minor scratches. Paul Howard recalls a story in Canadian Yachting Magazine of a single hander’s 37 surviving three days of pounding on a reef in the South Pacific before escaping by jettisoning his supplies. He then sailed 2,000 miles before repairs.
The hulls are of solid fiberglass up to an inch think at the bilge. Half of the boats had balsa coring amidships just up from the turn of the bilge as a measure to provide extra support when the boat rested on a cradle over the off-season (remembering the original design as a racer/cruiser). The fiberglass work was well executed and consistent, and though the fiberglass was resin rich by modern standards, Whitby Boat Works hull scantlings were among the heaviest in the industry.
The deck was balsa cored, and joined to the hull via an inward flange. The ballast is lead and is encapsulated inside the keel cavity.
The MkII model in 1971 saw a change of construction with the introduction of a fiberglass interior pan, which streamlined production, aided hull stiffness, though sacrificing hull accessibility. The interior was improved with better use of interior space in the form of a larger head and galley, more storage and longer berths. The original teak toe rail was replaced by a fiberglass one change, a dodger splash guard was added and the cabin sported longer port lights which is the easiest way to spot a MkII model.
The Alberg 37’s narrow beam results in a small interior by modern standards, but the boat is fully functional for bluewater sailing and many cruisers have lived aboard for extended time.
The standard layout include v-berths forward, followed by opposite facing head and hanging locker. In the saloon there’s an L-shaped settee to port and a straight settee opposite. There’s plenty of storage with numerous drawers and lockers. Further aft is the galley to starboard which has a three burner stove, an oven and icebox and a quarter-berth/chart table combo to port. A few MkI boats have a midships galley which makes room for twin sea-going quarter-berths aft.
The Alberg 37 is best in heavy seas, but in light winds and well trimmed sails she can maintain 6 knots. The boat is well balanced, to the point where the helm can be left minutes at a time without a self steering unit. She is not very close winded and is relatively tender, though the extra heeling helps her extend her waterline length and therefore hull speed. There is also a tendency to hobby horse.
The Alberg 37 has an easy motion through the water, sea kindliness pays important dividends in offshore work where reducing fatigue is key to safe passages.
Most boats were delivered with either the 23hp Volvo MD2D or the 27hp MD11C which are underpowered, a 40hp Westerbeke 4-107 was an option, this is the one to go for (or similar power rating if it’s been repowered). As with any boat of this ages, look over the rigging, wiring and plumbing, and check for softness in deck, sure signs of water damage to the balsa coring. Owners report the original wiring was not well thought out and needs reworking or updating. Poor quality seacocks are another comment, it’s worth replacing them if bluewater work is on the agenda.
The interior of MkII models have more space and storage, a vital asset in any bluewater boat, but equally important is access to all areas of the boat for maintenance, and owners of MkI models without the interior pan love this, especially access to the deck fittings.
» Used Boat Notebook, by John Kretschmer (p176-180), an in depth look at the Alberg 37
» Alberg 37 International Owners Association, Information, photos and more
» A review of the Alberg 35 and 37 by Tom Zydler, Cruising World Magazine, July 2002
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