Blog

2013 Blog

Another Alberg 30 Project

Last year after completing a refit of the Pearson Triton Catalyst and delivering her by trailer to her new owner in California, on the way back to Brunswick I detoured to Florida and loaded another customer's boat on the now empty trailer. The owner had just purchased this 1972 Alberg 30 and contacted us to refurbish and prepare the boat for liveaboard use in New England and future offshore voyaging.

We also had just finished our work on the 1968 Alberg 30 mentioned in the 2012 blog and delivered the boat by trailer 60 miles south of here to Jacksonville, FL where the owner plans to keep the boat in his backyard while he repaints its interior and then reassembles some removable cabinetry and trim we had built.

The owner of the new A30 visited us earlier and saw our work on the 1968 A30. He then decided to have us do some of the same upgrades and modifications and even more to his boat. This A30 is a late model version with full fiberglass interior and hull liner as opposed to the pre-1970 boats that had no interior pan or liner. The molded fiberglass pan forms the cabin sole, bunks and cabinetry support. The plywood bulkheads are bolted to the fiberglass tabbing on the hull and by aluminum rivets to the liner.

The older A30's had all the bulkheads and cabinetry fiberglassed directly to the hull and built piece by piece. This was a slow and costly way to build boats, but the advantage of this for us was that all areas of the hull were easily accessible and modifications were relatively easy.

Our refit progress has been slow but steady as we work on her a week or two each month according to the owner's budget. The boat will soon be ready for painting inside and out and final reassembly. Launching is scheduled for next spring and then we plan to sail the boat up to her new home port in Boston.

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Alberg 30 hull #499 in our boatshed for
refurbishing
 TimA30Engine01kb124
One of the first things to go was this tired
old Atomic 4 gas inboard.
 TimA30Well25kb112
In place of the inboard engine we installed
in the lazarette locker.
 TimA30Well26kb104
The outboard motor tilts up for storage or
for drag-free sailing.
 TimA30Well17kb86
The lazarette locker is perfectly sized for
this 6hp Tohatsu SailPro.
 TimA30Well18kb79
With motor in tilt-up position and cover
boards closed for sailing.

 

Update on Atom's Refit

This year we made considerable progress on upgrading Atom. The last serious upgrades and maintenance I had done on her was way back in 1995 in South Africa. With a boat you either do continuous light maintenance or you eventually reach a state where the boat needs a seemingly overwhelming amount of work. I had put this off for years as we sailed her back to the US in 2002 and then put it off again as we started a business and moved ashore.

Atom had waited patiently for my return for a couple years at her mooring on a nearby river and she waited again on her trailer in my backyard boatshed as I had my flings with other boats. Meanwhile, I kept a growing list of changes I wanted to make to the boat's layout and equipment.

"No, ol' girl, I'm not through with you yet," I thought to myself as I got back to work on Atom in earnest last year. Since then we've done a number of major projects, including adding an enclosed tilt-up outboard motor well, new hatch, another integral watertank in the aft bilge and many other projects. At this point we are applying new paint inside and out before reassembling all the pieces of hardware and trim.

 AtomDeckPaint03kb107
Atom sits in our second open-sided boatshed
as we work on repainting the entire boat.
 AtomDeckPaint02kb69
Epoxy primer goes on before we apply the
Perfection two-part polyurethane coats.
 AtomWell08kb94
I decided to extend the small lazarette locker
forward to enclose an outboard motor well.
 AtomWell09kb76
The motor well box is somewhat large and
ungainly but that's the trade-off for having
the well enclosed.
 AtomWell11kb76
A 6hp Tohatsu SailPro with 25" shaft just
fits within the new locker.
 AtomAftTank06kb90
I also recently added this integral
watertank in the aft section of
Atom's keel.

 

F-24 MKI Corsair Trimaran

 F24Ext03kb94
1993 F-24 MKI moored near St. Simons Is, Ga.

A few days before the New Year of 2013 I drove my truck up to Canada and purchased a 1993 F-24 folding trimaran for Mei and I to sail locally while work continues on Atom's refit. I had sold my F-27 trimaran a few years before and wanted to experiment with a smaller version of this similar trailerable trimaran design. The F-27 was a bigger boat than we needed and had the issues that bigger boats have such as being less easy to trailer and rig. It also had a companionay pop-top instead of a sliding hatch that I found awkward and I wasn't fond of the center cockpit design with tiny aft-cabin.

This F-24 has the sliding companionway hatch and aft cockpit that I wanted. Another thing that I don't like about the Corsair trimarans is the fabric liner glued inside the hull and under the deck. It was a fast and lightweight construction technique but in these southern climes the fabric trapped dirt and mold and was difficult to keep clean and free of stains. Thankfully, this particular boat had most of the fabric liner removed and the interior painted. The previous owner had also done some cruising modifications to this racing boat that I appreciated such as the folding dodger, extra opening portlights, and reconfiguring the bulkhead and toilet area for better privacy and ease of access.

The first job we did once I had the boat in our backyard was to rip out the remaining liner fabric on the overhead and painted the raw fiberglass. I then added two AGM 12v batteries with a 50-watt solar panel on a solar-tracker and a few other electrical upgrades. The boat has been great for fast local sails and getting into shallow waters with her 13" draft with centerboard up. Obviously she is not a comfortable liveaboard boat or as seaworthy offshore as Atom. Though she has shown remarkable stability sailing at 12-14 knots in moderate winds, on a small racing trimaran you must always be ready to reef sails in strong winds to ensure you don't end up permanently inverted. Atom is infinitely more forgiving in this regard.

Video - Sailing an F-24 MKI Trimaran - Part 1

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The F-24 on her trailer just before launch.
Mast is raised with gin pole and trailer winch.
 F24Ext04kb97
F-24 at her slip. You can see the narrow hull
is designed for going fast and not partucularly
comfortable accomodations.
 F24Sailing01kb224
Sailing at 10-12 knots in calm waters.
 F24Sailing02kb270

Update on the Triton Allura

Last year I was given the 1965 Pearson Triton Allura by an acquaintance who had moored her next to Atom on Georgia's Ogeechee River. He had intended to refurbish the boat and go cruising but failing health and his financial situation had forced him to part with her. Allura had been neglected for many years. I went aboard to assess the inventory and condition of the boat and found that although it wouldn't take much to get her sailing again, she was definitely what you'd call a fixer-upper. The registration was expired so I registered the boat in my name to ensure I had a clear title to pass on to her next owner.

I knew that boats of this age and condition were hard to sell at any price so instead of trying to sell her, I posted the boat's listing details on my website and put a note on the Triton forum that she was available free to a good home. I received several replies the first day, the first of which is below:

"Hey James, My name is Rebecca. I'm 27 years old and the single mother to 2 year old, Lucy. I spent the first 9 years of my life aboard a 28' Pearson Triton with my mother, father and younger brother. It has always been my dream to live aboard again. I want my child to have similar experiences to those that I had growing up. I can fondly remember swimming behind my parents dinghy to the shore and back. Oh, Man! What a life!

"I recently decided to devote my every waking moment to sailing so that my dream may become my reality. My mother (the true Pearson enthusiast) follows your site and contacted me this evening with news of this 'free' vessel. I am overwhelmed at the thought that this boat could be my wings. I am seeking a fixer upper so that I may learn my way around her thoroughly. I feel that with my mother by my side we can bring this beauty to dignity and she may once again sail the open seas. More than anything your post for a free boat has given me such hope that my dream is not so far out of reach. And for that alone I thank you so very much. The thought that my vessel is out there for me whether I'm a princess or a pauper is worth more than gold to me right now. Thank you also for considering me in the restoration of Allura. -Rebecca Street"

Within a few weeks, Rebecca, an under-employed artist, arrived from east central Florida with baby Lucy on one hip and her brother Tom by their side. We all went aboard Allura where I showed them what needed fixing. We careened the boat on a nearby sandbar at high tide and they scraped the years of barnacles and weed off the bottom. Luckily, we found the rudder and its fittings still solid. I helped them install one of my spare outboard brackets, found an old dinghy they could have and loaned them Atom's 6hp outboard motor for their journey of a few hundred miles back to Florida.

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The Pearson Triton Allura awaits new owners.
 TritonAlluraCrew01kb107
Rebecca, Lucy and Tom get underway to
Allura's new home port in Florida.

Rebecca and Lucy lived aboard Allura until recently when I heard from the family that she had given the boat to her brother Tom. Rebecca and her new boyfriend are now looking for a slightly bigger boat for the growing family. Tom has been busy sailing while painting and refitting the boat and I hope to see him and Allura out on the water one day. And so, another deserving Triton avoids the scrap yard.