Thursday, February 26, 2015

Repowering our Old Alberg 30?

During our refit I have given some thought to perhaps repowering our Alberg 30 with a new propulsion system. It's not that the one we have is not adequate, it is just old. Why not replace Sal's Atomic 4 while she's here at the house?

Here is a picture of the Atomic 4 that we have now. She is still a very good engine, but it's old technology and uses quite a bit of fuel, not a good option for cruising beyond America. She was rebuilt back in 2008 by A4 gurus at Moyer Marine, and hasn't really been any trouble for us. 

(picture from
Here is what I would like to put into our Alberg 30, a Beta 14 Diesel. This engine uses probably 1/3 the fuel of the Atomic 4, and diesel on a sailboat is safer than gasoline. So why not? Well, the $8,000 price tag. That's about 5000 extra reasons why this will not be at the top of the list.

(picture from
Next consideration is the outboard. While not exactly designed to push a boat of Sal's size, in calm water it does just fine. I have seen several cost-conscious cruisers with boats similar to ours using this option. It frees up space on the inside of the boat and uses about 2/3 the fuel of our current system.
(picture from
Next there is electric power. I really like this option for some reason. No more fuel costs other than batteries (every 5-6 yrs). This system's only draw back is range. The large battery bank needed to supply a decent range is just not practical on a boat of our size. But let's face it, our Alberg is a much should we be motoring anyway?

These are our choices and I am still doing the research on each. Each option has its pros and cons and I will be weighing them out here on the blog during the coming months.
What are your thoughts on powering a sailboat?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

No Snow on Sal!

So far the shelter has been doing its job! Our Alberg 30 is staying dry. A bit of drifting snow is finding its way onto her decks but for the most part, nice and dry.
I've also added a bit of light for when the weather warms up. I will be able to work into the evening and night time hours, this will really help with refit progress.
Until next time, stay warm! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Fog!

Not sure if you have ever experienced being on a boat in the fog, but if you haven't let me tell you- consider yourself lucky. I have been underway in the fog on many occasions and it has never been fun. I was reminded of that today as we got underway on the ferry. It was eerily quiet, and there was not a breath of wind. I listened closely, and had my deckhand helping as a lookout. Today I had to depend on technology more than I'd like to, using the radar and AIS to ensure the channel was clear. It worked, but there is nothing more accurate than my eyes except, perhaps, the radar in the dense fog. Today's fog only lasted for about an hour before clearing out, but that hour felt like three. Below are a few pics from the wheel house.

Looking north on the Elizabeth River, you can see the fog was really low....only about 30-50 ft off the water.

Looking south on the Elizabeth River, one can barely make out the tops of shipyard boats rising out of the ghostly fog.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

James Baldwin of has been a great help and a very good resource for plastic classic boats and, more specifically, Carl Alberg-designed boats. James has circumnavigated in his own Pearson Triton twice. I came across a video he posted just a few days ago of his refinished interior. It is beautiful, simple and functional. I can only hope my refit comes out half as nice.

Thank you James for sharing. Lots of great ideas!