Alestra, a Wooden Alberg 30

Photo of Alestra, a wooden 30 foot sloop designed by Carl Alberg

The photo is of Alestra, nee Venture IV, an Alberg designed 30 ft sloop that was built by Graves Yacht Yard in Marblehead, MA in 1960. She had a plate identifying her as hull No 762.

At the time I had acquired her, I had, the year before, sailed a glass Alberg 30 from Bermuda to San Juan, and there was an incredible "feel" of a like boat. My cockpit was 2' longer than the glass and the stove and icebox were reversed, but to me it felt like the same boat, perhaps just a family resemblance, as I seem to remember that the A-30 was a commissioned design.

More of the story:

Offshore Sailing book cover Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr

We went to a Windjammers lecture to hear Bill Seifert and I was impressed enough to buy the book on the spot. I've heard a lot of people talk about ways to improve a boat, but I've never heard one person suggest so many good ideas that I hadn't considered. Part of the charm is the specificity of the suggestions. Everyone says you should secure your floorboards, hatchboards and batteries. Bill shows good suggestions on how to do so.

The suggestions are very practical for the do-it-yourselfer, too. Many show how to make or adapt inexpensive solutions. Tip #12 on closing the deck blower vents is one that will pay off for me without ever going offshore. I'll implement that one to stop the wintertime storms from finding their way belowdecks.

Besides modifications, the book also includes advice for operating offshore, cooking, boat selection, dealing with bureaucracy, and more.

Bill Seifert has worked at Tartan, TPI, and Alden Yachts. He's a veteran of many Marion-Bermuda races and now runs his own yacht management company. His tips are born of experience--not of book-learning--and it shows. He obviously knows his stuff.

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