Welcome to Twentynine!

Twentynine is a site dedicated to the Alberg 29, a sailboat designed by Carl Alberg to replace and update the popular and successful Alberg 30. After becoming discouraged by the lack of information on the Internet about these boats, I decided to put up a site featuring all the information I have, in hopes that others (and I know you’re out there) will find what they’re looking for. If you have information about Alberg 29s you’d like to share, please email me at alberg@twentynine.ca.

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The Alberg 29 Blog



Reflection · Oct 10, 2006

The last long weekend of the year, and the unofficial end of cottage season in Canada, have just passed.

It is a rare Thanksgiving weekend in Canada when one can sit outside in short sleeves and enjoy the warmth of the sun, let alone do it 5 miles off shore in Lake Ontario on a sailboat.

The lake was as smooth as glass, but the boat ghosted on at 3 knots. Times like this lead one to reflect, pay attention to what really matters.

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29 reasons to smile · May 29, 2006

This weekend was much better than last. Instead of a freshwater hurricane over the great lakes, we had a massive high bringing blisteringly hot (and lovely) temperatures, along with light and variable winds. Instead of pounding my lovely new Alberg 29 through house-sized waves over the Niagara Bar, the lake was dead smooth, requiring some motoring to get the boat back to her slip.

I had read somewhere, the Cape Dory board I think, about how badly some of Carl Alberg’s designs handled under power in reverse. Not having an Alberg-designed boat, I didn’t pay much attention. Apparently sailboats with cutaway forefoot keeps and single propellors are a bit dicey when backing up.

I didn’t really believe it in fact, instead dismissing it as perhaps operator error. Boy was I wrong. The new boat is interesting in reverse. She’ll go backward, just not the way you think. Like Kennedy’s brain, she goes back, and to the left, back and to the left. Except when she goes to the right. It’ll take some getting used to, especially after my Contessa, which tracked like a car in reverse.

Of course, the boat wasn’t bought to go backward. It sails like a dream. Critics of the design have said its a dog in slow air. I disagree. Two knots of wind, two knots of boat speed does not a dog make. she was fantastic – stiff, responsive, easily handled and graceful. Once I get the minor slippage out of the hydraulic steering system, it’s good as gold.

Anyway, the boat is home, its even more amazing that I had already believed, and I’d rather be there right now. They tell me I can get wireless at the marina. If only my employers would let me work from “home.”

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Bastard child · May 24, 2006

Having been unable to bring my new Alberg 29 home this weekend, I find myself going through withdrawals. I cannot help but look at the blue sky outside my office window, at the trees gently swaying, and think “I’d rather be sailing.”

But there won’t be any sailing for me until Saturday, at the earliest. Two more days of work. So I did what any sensible person would. I got on every search engine I know of and went to town on every variation of the search term “Alberg 29” that I could think of. The results were surprising.

Other than Doug Young, who sold his Alberg 29 a few months ago to purchase a Formosa 51, there is almost no information about these fabulous boats available on the ‘net. There are many mentions of it, but usually in passing, and often on sites dedicated to other, more prolific Alberg models. Sailquest has a page about it, but its short, mostly specifications.

There’s the Great Lakes Alberg Association, which seems very focused on the racing of Alberg 22s and 30s. They even have the Alberg 29 (and the even more rare 34!) listed as a main navigational item on the site, but alas, it doesn’t link anywhere. A check through their archives reveals a request for information about the boat, and the 34, in the back pages of a newsletter from 2002.

Then there’s the very busy and well done Alberg 30 site. This site concentrates strongly on the Alberg 30, and the cruising, racing and restoration of same. According to the archives there, an Alberg 30 (with its shorter waterline length) will “sail circles around an Alberg 29.” A couple further statements of the inferiority of the larger, roomier, stiffer, higher aspect-ration rigged Alberg 29 follow, but otherwise nothing.

By this point, I was feeling a bit down. Nobody else seemed to love these boats. I made a stab, a shot in the dark, and checked the Cape Dory board. Carl Alberg designed most of the Cape Dory models, and they are strong proponents of classic, seaworthy boats. I hoped that the Alberg 29 might fit in better there, as most Cape Dory’s share similar bronze hardware and acres of teak with the 29. Despite Doug Youngs early participation in the board, the Alberg 29 seems to be considered something of a peculiarity in those quarters.

So, I have a boat that is neither an Alberg 30 nor a Cape Dory. It lies somewhere in the middle The sailquest page lists the 29 as “the culmination and ultimate refinement of the Alberg 30” and of that I am positive.

It seems I am the owner of the bastard model of Carl’s drafting table. And damned proud of it.

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The Niagara Bar · May 22, 2006

This weekend, as anyone on Lake Ontario knows, was not an ideal sailing weekend. It was cold. It was windy (48 knot gusts on 35 knot steady winds) and, depending on where you were, wavey.

Winds were NW, so the North edge of the lake was spared the waves. The southern shore wasn’t quite so lucky, with 1-2 meter waves. I know these aren’t huge, but they can be unpleasant, especially when they’re sporting foamy tops like they were this weekend.

I will stop here, momentarily, to mention that I have sold my Contessa 26 to a wonderful young man from Quebec City. In its place is a larger sailboat – with more room for my family and more room for me to stand up. Its a lot more boat, on the order of double the weight. And so I digress.

My new sailboat, a rare Alberg 29, is located at the Niagara-on-the-Lake yacht club, pending a nice sail across the lake. For those who have been anywhere near Niagara-on-the-Lake or Youngstown NY, you know there’s a shoal at the mouth of the river, formed by silt being deposited as the water slows down entering the lake. It’s called the Niagara Bar. Further, there is an intereresting current in the river – more lumpy than simply moving water. None of this, of course, bothers me.

On Saturday we attempted to sail the Alberg home. I am still trying to get used to the strange, distant, hydraulic wheelsteering, which is so much less responsive than a Contessa 26 tiller. Over the bar the NW wind pushing past the opposing current raised some hellishly steep froth, and coupled with the sudden decrease in depth, resulted in water that, for the first time in my sailing life, significantly scared me. It wasn’t the height of the waves (around 3 meters) it was the steepness. They were like walls of water. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life, and would like to avoid any possible repeat.

After about 15 minutes of trying to battle through this, of burying not just the bow, but the forward part of the cabintop up to the mast, I decided I’d had enough, and turned about and took her back to the yacht club, where she still lays. Hopefully this weekend will be more favourable for the trip. At least it will be warmer. It snowed not far form here this the other day…

I would like to say that the Alberg 29 pleased me to no end in these conditions. She is, in every way, a seriously seaworthy boat. Like a giant Contessa 26, really. One you can even stand up in. I had concerns about moving away from a boat I trust so much to an unknown quantity, but this experience totally put me at ease in her seakeeping abilities.

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Newer

The Alberg 29 Gallery

View the entire gallery, or click on the thumbnails below to view larger versions. Do you own an A29 and want it featured in the gallery? Have additional information about the Alberg 29? Send me an email, I'm always looking for more information on these unique boats.

A29 Gallery A29 Gallery A29 Gallery A29 Gallery A29 Gallery A29 Gallery

Alberg 29 Specifications

Alberg 29 Line Drawing
LOA:29’3”
LWL:22’3”
Beam:9’2”
Draft:4’6”
Sail area:416 sq. ft.
Displacement:9000lbs.
Keel:4000lbs.
Motor:15 hp diesel
PHRF Rating:222
Hull Speed:6.32 knots
Builder:Nye Yachts

What is an Alberg 29?

The full keel traditional line of Carl Alberg’s designs have long commanded the respect of the yachting world. Their shorter waterline and long counter add speed in both light and heavy air. The fair hull shape and full keel (not long keel) provide a tracking ability and comfort in a seaway which few other designs can match.

What then, is the difference between the Alberg 29 and other designs by the same architect? She is a more modern hull with increased stiffness resulting from firmer bilges, increased beam and the fact that her fullness is further aft. In addition, a deeper draft and wider keel lowering the center of ballast (lead) by several inches along with a higher ballast-displacement ratio, add to her stability.

The bows are finer than other designs and the keel more cut away, reducing wetting surface.

A higher aspect mastead-rig and larger foretriangle result in better balance, less weather helm and more efficient windward performance. Her stiffness results in an ability to carry more sail.

A beamier hull provides comfort. The galley is laid out for safety in heavy seas or while racing, and the quarter berth navigation table is new to Alberg production boats. The craftmanship and attention to quality are unsurpassed.

There is a difference in “full keel” yachts and even between similar Alberg designs. For the cruising yachtsman, there is no reason to sacrifice speed, performance and club racing for the comfort and safety of a sea-going vessel.

(From the 1980 Nye Yachts Alberg 29 brochure.)

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Alberg 29 Standard Equipment

Hull and Deck

Hand-laid fiberglass mat and woven roving with laminate design in accordance with Lloyd’s Specifications. Deck, cored with balsa, is one piece with nonskid surfaces molded in. Gelcoat color of hull, boot and deck are molded to owners specifications.

Ballast

Ballast is an internally installed and glassed in lead moulding. Due to keel and ballast shapes, the center of gravity of the ballast is only 15” from the bottom of the keel.

Rudder

Rudder is of fiberglass encasing a stainless shaft and webbing and set into the hull with bronze heel and through-hull bushing.

Steering

Cable steering with pedestal and 28” destroyer wheel.

Spars and Rigging

Extruded aluminum mast and boom sections. Standing rigging is of 1×19 stainless with stainless turnbuckles. Halyards and topping lift are internal. Jiffy reefing and cunningham controls are included.

Deck Hardware

Stainless steel double rail pulpit and stern rail with stainless stanchions and double lifelines. Cast bronze bow, admidships and stern mooring cleats and chocks. Four bronze framed fixed portlights, six bronze frame opening ports and a forward coachroof plexiglass opening hatch providing ample ventilation. Two bronze two-speed genoa sheet winches, two bronze halyard winches and bronze handles. Jib/genoa track and fairleads.

Auxiliary

Two cylinder fifteen horsepower diesel engine with reduction gear, water-cooled exhaust and control panel. Located with cover providing complete and easy accessibility.

Interior

Crafted in teak and oak with a teak-and-holly cabin sole. Cabinetry and joiner work is done to the highest standards. Forward cabin includes 2 “V” berths, with shelves, drawers and storage in the forepeak area. Main cabin has a settee, double-berth, single berth galley and quarter berth, and navigation area.

Galley

Stainless sink and fresh water pump, insulated ice box, gimballed stove with oven. Drawers, dish racks and cupboards. The galley is designed and fitted to make use in heavy seas and is both safe and practical.

Main Saloon

Has settee double berth to port and a single berth to starboard. Permanently mounted table has leaves to fold up while in use or down to allow clear passage when sailing. Galley area is opposite navigation quarter berth. Cabinetry above each berth incorporates both shelves and cupboards for safe storage of small items, while ample lockers are provided under berths.

Head

Marine toilet to port and counter sink to starboard (with hanging locker) allow maximum utility in minimum space. Optional shower sump amidships allows full head room.

Cockpit

“T” cockpit allows unhampered movement forward by the helmsman for single or shorthanded sailing yet leaves him aft for racing. Larger self-bailing drains, coaming hand holes and seat locker storage add to safety and comfort.

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Links

Alberg 30 site
A great resource for Alberg 30 information. Be sure to check out the mailing list.

Diana Comes Home
An Alberg 29 comes home to Ottawa from Florida

Great Lakes Alberg Association
Primarily geared toward Alberg 22 and 30 owners, but an excellent resource for Alberg 29 owners nonetheless.