Alberg Owners Love Their A35s, Warts and All


Nearly every owner we spoke to about their Alberg 35 had small gripes about the boats performance, cosmetic defects, and outdated equipment. Nevertheless, it was clear that each had great confidence in the hull design and construction, and took pride in the boats enduring classic aesthetics.

Deck Delamination

New, lighter hulls are clearly faster, but this is an excellent sea boat. Delamination has required considerable re-coring of deck. Gelcoat was seriously pitted when I bought her. Be prepared, until the wind gets up to 15 knots, to see all newer designs leave you far behind. – 1962 model in Maine

Spartan interior, beautiful lines

Spartan interior, inconvenient galley, cockpit too big for offshore. Berth size adequate, very plain interior, uncomfortable sitting, inconvenient table, no good navigation area. Good storage. Forefoot of keel easily damaged during dry storage. I bought this boat for beautiful lines, full keel, stability and price. – 1962 model in Connecticut

Dependable in the Atlantic

Leaks at stanchions can rot balsa core. Solid fiberglass hull looks good, cabin trunk shows small craze lines at curves. Because of the age of this boat, which Ive owned for over 20 years, Ive replaced items subject to wear or failure such as sails, halyards, sheaves, spreaders, turnbuckles, engine, lights, pumps, and electronics. The boat has performed well in the Atlantic and has been incredibly dependable. – 1962 model in Maryland

Solid sailer, manageable defects

The boat has poor initial stability due to narrow beam, good ultimate stability. Original joinery and trim are primitive, but solid. Glass work is simple, fair, solid. Forward cabin is roomier than needed. My water and fuel tanks failed, causing major surgery. Wooden rudder was rebuilt and sheathed in polypropylene. An Alberg 35 is a pretty, solid, inexpensive, able sailer. The deficiencies are manageable. – 1962 model in Massachusetts

Hawaii to Tahiti in 23 days

Did Honolulu to Tahiti nonstop in 23 days. Boat is very seakindly. I took this boat on an 8,000-mile cruise through the Pacific. It is an excellent vessel for cruising. I added a pilothouse and heavier rigging, converted to diesel, added radar, an Aires steering vane, and a galley freezer. – 1962 model in Hawaii

No reverse, highly recommended

Reverse under power is a disaster-control is always in question. The boat is 25 years old and needs a lot of cosmetic work. It is solid, a good sailer, has handled our stupidities, and in general

is a joy to own. Its not the fastest boat on the block. Its easy to sail, a little old-fashioned, but Id recommend it without qualification. – 1963 model in Massachusetts

Rig modifications

New rig with bowsprit allows me to balance helm and walk away from the wheel for 30 minutes at a time. Boat seems almost indestructible. – 1965 model in New Jersey

Excellent compromise

Interiors nowadays are better designed, but in all other respects, the Alberg 35 is an excellent compromise of essential qualities: speed, seaworthiness, looks, comfort, and cost. – 1967 model in Indiana

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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