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every owner we spoke to about their Alberg 35 had small gripes about the boats performance, cosmetic defects, and outdated equipment.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
Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on sailboats and sailing gear for more than 50 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising. Its independent tests are carried out by experienced sailors and marine industry professionals dedicated to providing objective evaluation and reporting about boats, gear, and the skills required to cross oceans. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser who has been director of Belvoir Media Group's marine division since 2005. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, has logged tens of thousands of miles in three oceans, and has skippered everything from pilot boats to day charter cats. His weekly blog Inside Practical Sailor offers an inside look at current research and gear tests at Practical Sailor, while his award-winning column,"Rhumb Lines," tracks boating trends and reflects upon the sailing life. He sails a Sparkman & Stephens-designed Yankee 30 out of St. Petersburg, Florida. You can reach him at