Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the modest Alberg inventory.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Time presents opportunities!

Once in a while, life may hand you a "better offer" than you already have and you may find yourself between two terribly good options of which you may only pick one!  

Such a happy choice has come to the First Mate and me, as we have chosen to follow her job and live near Venice for a number of years, returning to the Adriatic where we've sailed before, and discover the Italian way of life, in a place we've never lived. 

And this comes with an awful choice that we knew would be tough, the Alberg 30 must remain behind on this adventure.  So with that good news, we were able to find a couple of willing sailors in our club who volunteered to manage her as their own, sailing her as often as possible and doing all those little things a boat owner must do.  She is the only Alberg 30 at our little club although we do have a number of other Alberg designs, the Ensigns, and Cape Dory Typhoons.  They are lovers of the Alberg designs and will help us feel good about leaving her behind or a while.

So during the last couple of months we've gone sailing together so that they would have an idea of her rigging setup and some idea of her performance.  We've gone over her systems and fixes, and provided them my famous "spreadsheet" of some 70 items performed over the past 2 years of ownership.  Kind of like a sales meeting, but nothing is for sale.  Yet.



We may put our vessel on the market during this time but we're not completely decided and not in a hurry.   It is possible that our situation might work well and we may be very happy that our kind friends will do due diligence on s/v Nautica.  But life has many twists and turns and we cannot be assured that even our friends may not yet have a turn ahead of which we cannot yet know.  Then we'd both be in jeopardy!  In western parlance, "we're going to ride loose in the saddle on this idea," having no rash decision-making guiding us.  If we feel we must do so, we have decided we will, but only if it is a must-do situation.  Keeping her is our desire because of all the fixes and our intimate knowledge of her.  That is hard to convey to a buyer.

We had this heartfelt conversation about selling Nautica the other day, and it was not an easy thing.  It is sort of like getting rid of the family dog.  Who wants to do that?  Several weeks ago, I could not get to the slip where she lays, happily tied-to, yet when I finally arrived it was way too long to have been away even so.  She was fine for the most part but I took her out under her strong little Yanmar and we spent the best part of an hour or so, me scrubbing and washing her, and she shedding the water and safe suds, and looking fresh and happy.  The diesel purred the entire time with his powerful pistons pumping and pumping.  I felt like when you have to get rid of the family pet, and you spend that last time with them all the while thinking to yourself how much you will miss them after these moments fade away.  She was so beautiful and at home in the lake.  It was bittersweet.
Friends captured us on a reach ahead of them

But it's for the best.  Three to five years away will be a very long time to have such a long distance relationship!  But perhaps someone is looking for an Alberg and, like us, loves the design.  So we hesitated a bit and decided it best to let her passively enter the market for someone who understands her like we do and who will sustain her and improve on the many alterations and improvements we've made.  But having said that, they'd have to convince me they are more interested in her than we are!

This blog has chronicled most all of the improvements on her rigging, her deck, and down below.  And, she has her own spreadsheet and timeline for them all.  I will let that speak for itself.  It is better than a ship's log.  Any prospective buyer will see the progress of this Alberg since 2016 when we brought her down from Nova Scotia and introduced her to fresh water.  We spared nothing to make her seaworthy and shipshape.  We didn't however sand her down and repaint her.  We did the structural changes as the hull was good enough for now.  Cosmetics can follow when needed and the hull is in good shape as you can see in the photos.


This is beginning to read like a sales brochure but honestly, we are very proud of her functional fixes, as they have been to help her be the best Alberg 30 she can be by improving her basic capabilities.  Shiny paint does not equal seaworthiness, lol.
The addition of a new Harken traveler system to enable her windward reach capabilities, and the new headsail to aid in that pursuit, plus bringing the lines to the cockpit where they meet the skipper--these are a few of the recent adds which make her a delight to sail.  We did not take the approach of attempting to make her sail like a J boat or to mimic another class.  She's in a class of her own!  


Addition of the Harken traveler system has done wonders for pointing.  In this light but sometimes brisk bursts of pressure, the main is centered over the keel foiling just right on this reach. Friends took this photo.

Running the lines to the cockpit has made single-handing a breeze  


We love her classic lines and her austere interior which are "sailing oriented" as opposed to other boats her size which are lavishly appointed with amenities like televisions, doilies, carpets, curtains and AC!  We wish!   Our Nautica remains a sailing vessel throughout.  Comfortable to sleep aboard, fit enough to anchor and swim with the grandchildren and well rigged and sturdy enough to handle that 25kt wind you may occasionally see.

We did consider shipping her overseas but the costs began to grow quickly from 13k and more as there are so many additional costs in just getting her from port, through customs, overland and back into a slip at about 3k Euros per year!  And it just began to be too costly to consider.  We'd rather put some of that money into her well being right where she is!


The very first on-the-water snapshot of Nautica, taken by fellow sailor Jim Griffith as we passed a beam each other.  This is before new rigging, new traveler system, and new headsail, but it didn't much matter at the moment, it was a great day!


Owing to the many who read this blog we figured you should be the first to know of our plans for her during this time and the possibility of her availability.  Our experience with this blog has revealed a very interested readership which sometimes also includes folks who are looking for vessels which are authentically well-cared for rather than those whose photos are from years ago while owners have carelessly let their prize deteriorate.  Nautica will continue to thrive under her sailor's care and be seen striking an elegant reach while others her size languish from lack of supervision and care.  We are looking forward to some creative photography by our Volunteer Skipper who will be furnishing this blog with visual material while we're away.


This is the photograph of the above map of the Canale de la Giudeca in Venice

Back to departure. Our travel is imminent and we're ready to get back to Europe and the Adriatic which has many sailing venues of its own. We have fond memories of sailing the Adriatic, the region where Marco Polo is said to have been from, Korcula in specific.  So, it will be an adventure in itself.  And to take up residence in Italy will be a first for both of us, as traveling in a country is nothing like living there.  Bellissimo!

In our rendition of the Titanic pose, we sailed to Korcula on this Adriatic cruise 
and fell fast in love with the region and the people.