Sailing a Remote Coast

What did I learn from sailing a fiberglass spin off of a Hershoff 28 down a remote coast with a psychologist?

Believe what people say; don’t read between the lines. Past behavior is an indicator of future behavior.

Always demonstrate captaincy, even when it’s not your boat.

Two weeks together on a small boat and you’re bound to have some arguments. If you’re still friends at the end of it, you’re mates for life. Sometimes things can fall apart between crew members when you need each other most. Swallow your pride when it comes to passage making and keeping the peace with crew. Tone is everything.

I don’t believe in dogs on boats from a philosophical standpoint, but pugs aren’t really dogs.

Helming; it’s all instinct.

Making decisions is easier at sea than on land. Anxiety on land is crippling, at sea it is necessary for survival.

Mosquito’s can turn ‘God’s Country,’ into “God’s Asshole.”

They don’t call it a shakedown sail for nothing.

Shit is going to break, whether it is a $3,000 boat or a $30,000 boat.

Anything that can go wrong, will.

Classic Plastics for Sale: Cape Dory 27

Hot dang, someone’s ’bout to go on an adventure.

1977 Cape Dory 27, Hull # 40 for sale! Completely outfitted for blue water cruising and capable of all your offshore dreams! Self-steering wind vane, new sails and rigging; this structurally sound pocket cruiser is in excellent condition. Best of all winter storage and spring launch is paid! It may be cold in the northeast now, but someone’s about to take this boat on a damn adventure come spring time…will it be you?

Can I be here on this vessel now, please? 

Reliable engine.Solid decks, no soft spots. No blisters. Bronze through hull fittings and seacocks in excellent condition. Solid bulkheads, no rot. Designed by prolific and proven yacht designer Carl Alberg and over built in the era of early fiberglass production by Cape Dory Yachts. This true classic plastic was constructed to withstand the test of time, and it has. With only two owners throughout its 41 years of life, the boat has been meticulously maintained and recently upgraded to meet long term, blue water cruising needs.

That cruising spinnaker though…

This boat embodies the words of world cruising legends Lin and Larry Pardey, “Go Small, Go Simple,Go now.”

Completely outfitted in 2017 for offshore cruising with the following gear:

-New 135%voyager Genoa from Hyde Sails. ( used 1 season) 
-New Alado Roller Furling. ( Bomb proof) ( used 1 season)
-New cruising spinnaker snuffer. ( used 1 season)
​-New interior V-berth cushions, and side berth cushions. Cushions were made from templates of old cushions and are made from  100% new foam and Sunbrella  ( never used) 
– Pacific light wind vane built by Wind Pilot of Germany. ( installed spring of 2018) 
-New halyards, and Sheets.
-New LED anchor light.
-New Standard Horizon GX-130000 marine VHF
-New Cockpit compass 
​-New Whale manual bilge pump

** Note The furler and Genoa were purchased in 2017 but were not installed until the spring of 2018, so there is only 1 season of use on these.The cushions were never used and only put in place for the photos taken to list the boat. 

Other gear includes:

Mainsail was built by Quantum sails in 2014 and is in excellent condition. it has only been used for 2 seasons. (fully battened with 2 reef points).

Engine-Yanmar Ysm8 single cylinder diesel. 
8 gallon fuel tank ( range 0.3 gallons per hour or aprox 100 miles). Extremely reliable. 

​Water holding tank- holds12 gallons. line from tank to sink was replaced in 2017 and a new whale sink pump was installed. 

2 burner alcohol stove- original equipment and works great

Ice box  able to hold 2 blocks of ice, and enough food for a week cruising. 

2 Danforth Anchors- 16 lb for overnight anchoring and a 8 lb “picnic” anchor). 

Double house and starting battery setup with a selector switch. 

Asking $10,000 for this spritely vessel. New England, the coast of Maine, Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Florida, the Bahamas; this boat will take you anywhere you want to go in safety and in style.

More photos here :

Located on the hard in Wakefield, RI. To inquire about this vessel:

Contact Eben Horton
call or text 401-447-0672

Will you launch my boat if the apocalypse comes?

My rigging sounds different than usual in the gusts. I thought trying to tune the rig would help. It’s really fucking with my brain because when I’m sailing the rigging doesn’t shudder like that. Not even in gusts. That ‘fluttering’ sound is usually indicative of something being wrong. Like, when I hear that sound Vanu is saying adjust me. Trim the sails, bitch. So my mind computed this new sound in my rigging to tune the rig, bitch. So I did.

But it’s still happening.

Maybe it’s because I’m on the hard. The rig is even farther aloft, or…something. Or maybe I’m losing it, and don’t actually know anything about sailing.

I’m still in the boatyard with quite the list. But it’s different now, actually living on the boat on the hard. I’ve kept boats in boatyards before for entire winters, but this is the longest I’ve ever lived on a boat on land, and it ain’t over yet. I think I’m making progress, though. I can’t exactly measure up what I’ve done, versus what still needs to be done, versus what I’m doing. Despite my copious lists, it’s all kind of a blur. I just try to accomplish as much as I can everyday and remember that these things take time.

rebuilding pearson ariel 26

The owner of the boatyard does this thing where he goes around the yard and puts anything on the ground around people’s boats up on the deck. Sometimes he uses a forklift. I’ve somehow escape his wrath unscathed. How? I don’t know. I keep boxes of tools on the ground, but as neatly as humanly possible. Maybe he sees that I’m fucking trying to be neat and work on my boat. Or maybe he doesn’t see me at all. All I know is most of my life I’ve had a real problem with authority except when it comes to the Coast Guard, and the owner of this boatyard. I don’t even look him in the eye. I’ve never spoken to him and any time I’ve even considered addressing him it was with, “Sir.” 

Why? You might ask.

Why have I adopted this don’t speak unless spoken to attitude?

Because the dude’s cut throat. There are all sorts of embellished tales floating around the marine community about him just launching your boat and setting it adrift if you piss him off. But regardless of these tall rumors, I respect the shit out of him! Millions of dollars in perfect yacht finishes are always coming and going through his yard and I’m just here existing in constant trial and error.

Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I don’t want to get kicked out of the yard before I’m ready, so I keep my head down, do my best, and try not to break any rules. But there’s still a part of me that wants to win him over and get him to like me.

I’ve thought about ways I could find common ground between the owner and myself. Like by playing a practical joke. I’d put a bunch of those plastic pink flamingos that people put on their front lawns, on the ground in front of a bunch of people’s boats. And him and the yard workers would come back after their holiday vacation and see it. But I thought better of it. I think it might back fire when he runs over a pink flamingo with the travel lift, or sees a bunch of happy pink little birds on the ground that he is so adamant about keeping clear.

I’d like to establish a rapport sooner as opposed to later, though. Because at this point what am I supposed to say if the apocalypse comes? What am I going to say then?

“Sir, will you please launch my boat?”

Please, Sir, will you launch my boat?

I thought maybe the flamingos could bridge the gap. But it’s too dangerous. The act itself in putting them on the ground and possibly getting a negative reaction rather than a laugh, and also the symbolism.

My friend Dave and I were recently having a conversation where I asked, in earnest, “do you think I’ll ever get off the hard?”

“Not a chance,” he said sarcastically. “Might as well get some pink flamingos to put in the ground outside your boat.”

Happy Fucksgiving

Last year I made up the holiday I Don’t Give a Fucksgiving. This year I modified it to Fucksgiving. Cause I give a fuck so fucking hard. Like I’m just over here giving a fuck, working on my boat this morning with care. Solving problems. Cutting shit just right. Making juvenile jokes with Ray. Taking bomb portraits of him and Ash all cleaned up.

And the best looking couple in the boatyard goes to …

Then I went out and gave a fuck. Wore my nicest shirt. Shared a beer with Capt. Matty. Dropped a crab trap with Pete and Kourtney and rode in their time machine 1950s flat bed . Met Melanie at the sailors’ pot luck where she had a plate and fork waiting for me.

“I didn’t bring anything.” I say. “All I had was steel cut oats.”

“I cooked a turkey. I brought enough food for you,” she says and shoves me into the line up.

Vegetables upon salads upon wonderful food. I broke my veganism. Been doing that a lot lately. What with fresh Mahi from the boys on the dock and all…

“Just enough for a one pot meal,” I tell them. “I don’t have refrigeration.”

Thanks, bros.

Promptly got in a fight about feminism, but he conceded quickly and we passed the peace pipe, so to speak, later on. Encouraged a 13-year-old boat kid to keep playing her ukulele. Bill and Chris were there! From SV Plover and their dock on the Chesapeake where I stayed last year. It’s always great to regal stories with them and pass jokes around with the older generation. They don’t think I’m a joke, even though I have less money than they all can spend in a week. But it’s okay. Went aboard their friends 78 foot catamaran they were crewing on. One turnbuckle costs more than my boat. I wish I’d taken pictures. But even that million (plus) dollar yacht and my (should have been free) $2000 hull can do the same thing. Reach all the same corners.

“The sea is a great leveler,” Kourtney says. Between the rich and the broke, the yachters and the sailor punks, the craftsmen and the hacks . Back in the boatyard now she comes to visit after the festivities. We take a walk to the dock. It’s raining on and off. Hard for a few seconds, then light . The storm clouds forming right above us and dispersing as quickly as they came .

Sometimes on the boat at night, though, after all the friends have gone. After all the tools have been put away. After I’m done laboring . After dark. It can start to feel like the hull is closing in. Something about the narrowness of the boat, the amount of work still left to do to get her splashed, and the yet to be refinished interior — it can literally feel like the walls are closing in. (I.e., ‘the hull is closing in’).

All I want to do at that point is to take a bath and stretch out to do yoga so I can calm my fretting mind.

“The first step in boat care is self care,” I remember Ash saying. But I cannot stretch out. There is plywood and tools everywhere and it’s raining and cold to go to the dock .

I text Melanie .

“I should have just come back to the boathouse with you.” But she’s in bed.

I just want the luxury of space.

Space from the project , and physical space to move my body. I spent the last five months doing yoga everyday and riding my bike ten miles a day and cooking copious amounts of healthy food in a giant kitchen to fuel me all week as I worked on the boat and pedaled and hustled . And then suddenly I’m just crouching around in a tiny, unfinished , under construction boat again. With no cutting board.

I contemplate an Uber and then see that the son of the owner of the boatyard is at the shop still. We are friendly. Cordial buddies. His boatyard dog is the favorite boatyard dog. He brought me food, one time. But up until only recently I was self conscious and afraid the owners of the yard thought I was harbor trash . I kept my head down. Now, I ask him if he’s leaving soon, if he’d give me a ride to the south end of town. He says yes.

“It’s been so long since I’ve done anything for homegirl,” I tell him, pointing to myself. “Everything I’ve done since I’ve moved into the boat has been for her,”  I motion to the boat.

That’s 21 days. 21 days I’ve lived back on the boat now. 21 days that all I’ve done is breathe the boat , and try not to forget to eat.

Suddenly I’m back to the boathouse . And it’s just as it was when I left . With it’s dinghy garden, cats, hot bath and cold ice, and wood floors to roll out on, and Melanie of course… who is asleep. There’s even some tofu and a squash and onions here that I’ve left . It was too dark to check on the garden I planted but there might even be something to harvest.

The boathouse feels familiar and like a haven as usual, but much has changed. Melanie’s sold the boat house and it closes in another three weeks. When she’ll move onto a sailboat again. For the first time in ten years. This time with her seven-year-old daughter .

And suddenly I’m moved again by everyone and thing I have to give a fuck about.


classic plastics for sale, alberg 30, alberg 30 for sale

I had a vision of a man at the tiller, taking the Alberg home. He was bundled up, handle bar mustache, rugged looking, and certainly taking the boat on some sort of adventure that would result in further ruggedness. This ain’t a boat for the faint of heart. The right owner will see what she lacks not as a bargaining chip, but as a blank canvas. And everything she has they’ll see as the culmination of a dream…

I wrote those words in my journal and a week later, the boat I was representing sold to a man with a handle bar mustache.

Alberg 30, Alberg 30 for sale
Al as the owner of his Alberg for the last time. Coast guard documentation in hand ready to sign it over to the new owner.

Pickle is a 1977 Whitby Boatworks Alberg 30 and was located for sale on the Long Island Sound in New York. The Alberg 30 has a reputation as a stoutly built and sea kindly vessel, and was made famous by Qubecoise circumnavigator (and my personal hero) Yves Gillenas. These boats have a cult following, and Pickle was basically the best Alberg 30 on the market. New rigging, new chainplates, new sails, new through hull fittings, new engine. She wasn’t outfitted with the latest and greatest electronics, her interior needed some sprucing up, and she had some delamination on deck around the hand rails on the cabin top.

Bow chika wow wowwwwwww. Repowered with a 2005 Beta Marine Diesel Engine is rare in good old boats!

From the time she was listed to the time she sold, I must have interacted with fifty potential buyers between email and phone calls. As soon as most of them heard the word “delamination,” they were running scared. I tried to explain to people that delamination doesn’t spell doom and with a grinder, some cloth, some wood, and a gallon of epoxy they could fix this issue. Plus, it didn’t stop them from sailing the boat as is, right now. Yes, it needs to be fixed before a major voyage or before several more seasons of freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw made it worse—but it did not compromise the integrity of the vessel.

We listed the boat slightly higher than she was likely to sell for, but it was not much of a stretch considering what she was worth. But people didn’t see that. In the world of modern boats designed for comfortable interiors rather than seaworthiness, we were looking at a niche group of people who would be interested in this boat. I had interest from several people who I could discern by the end of the conversation were interested in a clorox bottle, not a classic plastic.

Towards the end of my first adventure into brokering, we were closing in on a deal and I could easily decipher between serious buyers and the Looky Lous. Sometimes it sounded like I was convincing certain people not to look at the boat. Like the guy convinced he was going to sleep on the boat, in the cockpit, at anchor, through a northeast winter. Or the several hipsters from Brooklyn who were tired of paying high rent, wanted to live on a boat but weren’t sailors.  It may sound crazy but I knew this boat would only sell to a certain type of person, and they certainly were not it.

We eventually listed the boat at the owner’s bottom line and informed people it was not negotiable. We just couldn’t, in good faith, sell the boat for any less. When an offer came in for $1000 under that price we held fast, but with another season of yard fee’s looming the owner gave me the go ahead!

Alberg 30 for sale
The Good Ship Pickle

The buyer was somewhat elusive. We only corresponded by email, much to my chagrin. It would have been so much easier to explain everything to him over the phone. The day before he was set to meet the owner and finalize the deal he sent me this in an email:

In 1978, I restored a sad Herreshoff 12 ½ that I found and bought out of a guy’s backyard in Bristol. I almost flunked out of school because of the time I put into it and only had one summer to play with it. I had to sell it when I moved away. This is my first boat since that one. I am really scared.

I thought he was going to back out, so I told him what I tell everyone in a position to buy and sail an old classic boat for the first time, or the first time in a while.

Good. Stay scared. Fear will keep you alive on a boat. When I bought my boat, started my first refit, set off on my first trip by myself I was in way over my head. I still am. But if I can do it, anyone can.

He bought the Pickle the very next day.

Congrats to Mike on the ownership of his new vessel!
If you’d like to list your classic plastic sailboat with me contact me at

“It’s All Rotted” : A Boatyard Vlog

Interested in what a day on the hard looks like? Watch my first ever boatyard Vlog! Complete with self deprecating humor, a field trip to the boatyard of broken dreams, a typo, and a joy ride in my neighbor’s jalopy!

Like what you see?
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Sailing With My Big Sister

I first met the crew of SV Belis, a Pearson Triton 28 completely outfitted for long distance voyaging, briefly at a marine consignment shop. Our immediate connection was our boats which are nearly identical, save for two feet. My boat, a Pearson Ariel, was designed in the spirit of the Pearson Triton.

The Pearson Triton was made famous by circumnavigator and writer James Baldwin. He sailed his Pearson Triton, Atom, around the world. Baldwin is basically a legend in the sailing world and has inspired many a long journeys on simple production boats. I suppose some of those journeys are the reason I still kinda, sorta, believe in my boat’s ability to go beyond. I had written to James Baldwin while in Georgia where he lives and works restoring classic plastics. A meeting never materialized, but he had told his friends on a Pearson Triton to keep an eye out for me.

SV Belis, a Pearson Triton 28, ready to set off and sail the world in the spirit of Atom, James Baldwin’s famous Pearson Triton that went around the world.

The main differences between my boat and her sister ship were in the boat’s condition, and the boat’s crews. Belis had brand new rigging, chainplates, the right sail combinations, water catchment system, solar oven, composting head, a wind vane, lazy jacks, etc. My boat had a malfunctioning auto pilot, bulkheads that weren’t rotten everywhere  (just in some places), a fully functioning VHF, a good sail combo, engine, anchor, and not much else. The Triton was ready to leave land forever. I had to stick close to shore.

Representing the Triton class, and it looks like I need to tune my rig…

I had gleaned some of this information from my brief meeting with Chris at the chandlery but got to know him, his family, and their boat much better when I ran into them again in the keys! The Triton was a crew of four: Capt. Chris, Mama Annie, and their literally free range children Bella and Ishi. There’s nothing quite like meeting friends along the way and traveling together by sailboat. What’s even better is when they’re close to your age. The absolute best is when they basically have the same boat as you but it’s fitted out way better, and they give you sweet gear like a bow roller and oil lamp for when you start your own refit.

We cruised in tandem, dinghied in tandem, tied to a mangrove in tandem. I spent hours on their boat hove to one day just for fun. During the height of the winter there were northerly gales weekly. The keys offer little protection and terrible holding ground. The first layer of ground is just airy mud, then there’s coral. I dragged there and I never drag because a., I always put out adequate scope and b., I have a Rocna anchor. But the keys, Islamorada especially, was drag city. So we took to sailing up the bay daily so that during the day we could access the amenities on shore, but by the time the northerlies came back through we’d be protected by another key a few miles away.

I bonded with the Belis crew fast and was sad to see them go but knew they were on to bluer waters. I was proud of them, and so was James Baldwin. One night while sitting in the cockpit I heard Chris talking to James about the daily happenings. “Oh yeah,” he said. “We met up with Emily.”

Mystery for Sale

Finding the right cruising boat can be a bit of a mystery. Do you spend more money upfront for a boat that has been outfitted by a previous owner, or do you buy a complete fixer upper and start from scratch? How about design, interior accommodations, and how this will relate to the boat’s sailing characteristics? What about the keel? Fin keel, full keel, bolt on, or encapsulated? Well, it all depends on your intended purpose for your boat. A wise sailor once said it’s about the captain, not the boat. People have gone to sea in 12-foot bathtubs. I’ve heard several tales of notoriously non-bluewater boats sailing across oceans. Like the Ericson 27 modified to have an inner forestay, or the Cal 20 that competed in the TransPac.

Irwin 34 for sale, irwin 34 citation, irwin 34 for sale

Mystery is a 1984 Irwin 34 Citation. Currently located in Mexico this boat just got a fresh new paint job! But that’s not all that’s new and upgraded. While not exactly what I would deem a “classic plastic,” she’s been smartly outfitted and has proven her salt offshore by her owner, a personal friend of mine.

mystery iriwn 34 citation for sale
Mystery: An Irwin 34 Citation for sale. Smartly outfitted for living aboard and cruising the East Coast.

Michael purchased Mystery a few years back and began outfitting the boat for sailing away from home. He cast off the lines and in several passages well out of sight of land for days at a time, as well as some time spent intracoastal, sailed to Cuba and eventually Mexico single handed. He currently spends his days dockside in lovely Isla Mujeres while hurricane season carries on with itself, and plans to sail the boat back home to start a business and start the search for the next boat and adventure. However, if Mystery can be sold in Mexico the asking price of $22,000 will be significantly lowered. So, make an offer. She’s got basically everything but a wind vane, and This boat is, literally, ready to go.

sailing irwin offshore, irwin 34 for sale, irwin citation offshore
Mystery, an Irwin 34 Citation for sale, checking into Cuba.

A little about the Mystery:

“Even though she is for sale I have continued the tradition of putting the best of everything into her.”
 – Michael Allby, S/V Mystery

*Brand new 2018 Custom Sobstad 135 Jib sail, with battens, luff tape, radial clew. $2,000+. Roller Furling Furlex 200s.

*Main Sail, excellent condition, 3 reef points installed by sailmaker in 2017 for quick and easy Single Line reefing, for single handing. He also beefed up and redid the stitching throughout. Lazy Jack’s.

*Brand New 2017 Gale Sail storm sail $1,000

*Anchors– New 35lb Mantus anchor, oversized, technically a storm anchor. 30′ 3/8 Chain and 250′ newer 3/4 rode 2017.
New Fortress 37- the real storm anchor. 20′ 3/8 chain, 200′ brand new 3/4 rode 2018.
Fortress 17 stern Anchor, chain and 200′ 5/8 New England rode. -10Lb Mushroom and 5lb Grapple for Dinghy/Tender.

*2017 Fresh Water tanks refinished, 80 Gallons drinking water, new tops and epoxied the interiors with water potable epoxy. Entirely new water lines, hot and cold, run throughout. 2017 $600

*At the Helm: Radar, AIS, autopilot, chart plotters, VHF with external hand mic at wheel, wind speed/ direction with display, speed, tach and fuel gauges, new depth transducer and display, push button electric horn for signaling, push button spot-light installed on bow, large binnacle compass. Clean and simple installation.

irwin 34 citation for sale,

The list goes on! A totally comfortable live aboard, east coast cruising sailboat. Full listing here. If you’re interested in Mystery email and I’ll connect you with her owner!

irwin 34 for sale, irwin citation for sale
Capt. Michael at the helm of his Irwin 34, offshore & single handed.

If you’d like to list your classic plastic email me at Listing is free, a donation is welcome if sold through the site! 

Where’s Tony?

I wake up in the morning determined to get a hold of my friend Tony. Last night I got a text from him saying he’s spent the last few weeks in Puerto Rico in the jungle, living off the land. “I wiped my ass with banana leaves, I brushed my teeth with a mango stick. I’m only back in Florida to sell these boats and then go build my jungle house. Peace.” I am hoping to catch him before he goes off grid completely. Last we talked he was going to try and come up here to help me a bit in the yard, and I was supposed to help consult him on the purchase of his next boat which he planned to sail to the Caribbean after hurricane season. We hadn’t talked that often as of recent and the last time he called me I didn’t answer. By the time I called him back he was gone. He had mentioned once that he stopped carrying his phone when he was working on his boats; a Seasprite 23 I helped acquire and sell to him and an Ericson 27, which were soon to be on the market and put towards the bigger boat.

I’m talking to my friend Ray in the boatyard about Tony. I’m telling him the story and basically calling out Tony’s name like Tom Hanks calls for Wilson in Castaway when he stops me.

“So what’s your end goal here, you want to go and live in the jungle so you can wipe your ass together with banana leaves?”

“No,” I say. “I’m not saying I’m in love with him, but I do love him. And I’m trying to sail to Puerto Rico, so I’d at least like to kick it with him in the jungle and for him to leave a way to get in touch. Plus, there are some things left unsaid.”

I still haven’t heard from Tony.

Dinghies for sale

I’m sad that I hadn’t been more present in our friendship lately, or ever really. I was in a state of romantic entanglement when we met and was always experiencing some drama every time we’d hang out. Tony was my crew when I finally left Palm Beach, on the blue road again but in dire straits this time. I had no confidence in myself, or my boat. I was leaving the city that had broken my spirit, and my heart. We had left the downtown anchorage and I just planned on dropping the hook further up the waterway—still in the city limits where Tony would hop off, but the tide was favorable so we kept going. He stayed on the boat with me for two more days, having brought nothing except the clothes he was wearing that day.

Tony was a great friend to me when I had none left in that town and no energy to make any new ones. We met almost everyday for lunch at Publix and would ride around on the free trolley. One time he actually wound up nearly driving the trolley when one of the drivers needed help. He would hang at the free city dock and wait to make sure that I made it back to my boat, no matter how long it took. Sometimes my dinghy would be pinned against the dock with the swift current and wind that I’d have to claw my way off it one stroke at a time.

He was my crew when I had no other choice but to head north on my broken boat, with my broken budget (and let’s not forget my broken heart). Still banished to the ICW and in need of a place to land for a while I was anxious, jaded, and feeling oppressed by the hot Florida sun. I didn’t have any sun awning at the time but the sails offered me shade, and his company helped ease my pain and bring back the old me. The real me! I was even starting to talk to fellow sailors again when we reached Vero Beach where Tony had to get off the boat.

I had to continue on. Not long after he left and I was alone on my boat again I got super depressed. The rest of that trip basically consisted of tweaking my sails and constantly pulling them up and down, running my engine at too high a throttle just to get there (wherever it was I was going because I didn’t actually know), and crying in between mile markers. Tony would text me everyday.

“Where are you today, Captain?” Or some other musing.

I’d tell him where and how I was fantasizing about just abandoning my boat and some how or another I’d be pulled back into reality that things can get better on my boat, or on another boat, and I’d sail on.

I eventually landed in the best place I could for what I was seeking to do and I started to gain back my confidences and happiness. I wound up in Palm Beach again as crew on a sailboat delivery, but time and weather didn’t allow me to see Tony. We kept in touch often but in the last month I grew busy, and neglectful of our friendship. Now, in light of this news, I miss my friend.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Glassing in your Through Hulls

glassing in your through hulls

DO realize it’s all in the prep. You’ll be grinding through the ‘ole anti fouling, gelcoat, and fiberglass to create a bevel 8 x 12 times the thickness of your hull.

DO pre cut fiberglass cloth and pre measure epoxy resin before beginning.

glassing in your through hulls
Mixin’ up the medicine

DO text your boat neighbor every time you mix and lay up a new batch of resin and fiberglass, especially when things have gone horribly wrong.

DO point to your freshly laid and perfectly placed fiberglass patch and say “No, I don’t think so,” when someone comes over unsolicited and says “I saw your repair on the other side and thought you could use some advice.”

Steep learning curve, aye?

DO ask anyone and everyone in the boatyard to touch your fully cured resin just to “make sure it’s actually hard.”

DO cover up any poor craftsmanship until you can sand. You don’t want anyone to see your quality of work unless you’ve invited them to.

Nothing to see here…

DON’T mess up your resin to hardener ratios or you’ll have to sand off all of the thickened epoxy you mixed to a perfect consistency and laid on as filler for the holes.

DON’T lay on your patches big to small after someone in the boatyard tells you to do so. Even though some of the books says big to small is structurally more sound, small to big is equally as solid and is much easier to work with. Trust me, I’m a proffesional.

DON’T over saturate your fiberglass cloth. Make sure you squeegee excess resin out before you lay a piece onto the hull. If you don’t you will have a huge mess that is very hard to clean up, especially after it’s cured. I spent two hours sanding and grinding off excess epoxy resin in a full body suit, in 90 plus degree heat.

The epoxyclypse

DON’T forget to put a finishing cloth on top. If working with bi axel fiberglass cloth, which is the recommended kind to use, you will want to put a layer of thin woven roving on top for a perfect finish!

DON’T get discouraged. That item on the to-do-list that reads “Glass in Through Hulls” actually has about 1,000 bullet points within it, so…

DON’T fart in your Tyvek suit when comes time to sand. Just don’t.

Want more info on how exactly I glassed in my through hulls fittings? Stay tuned for “How Not to Glass in your Through Hulls.” A step by step guide on what I did, so you can avoid it. 

Chase Boat

sailing the ICWMany people say you can’t sail the ICW. “It’s all motoring. It’s all motor sailing. It’s not really sailing. It’s motoring.”  

It’s true that some of the time you will not be able to sail or you will have to use the motor to get to an anchorage before dark, but there is still some incredible sailing on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway! Its tight quarters, heavy traffic, and fast currents make for challenging but fun conditions. The ditch stretches from Norfolk, VA to Key West, FL, but it doesn’t always resemble its earned nickname. There’s plenty of long stretches where several points of sail are possible. You can still have a great sailing adventure on a modest boat and budget by sailing the ICW!

I picked up crew in West Palm Beach who hated using the engine as much as I did. We left early one morning with 30 knots out of the east but it didn’t matter, we were on the inside! We went screaming past Peanut Island and when we reached the first of what would be many bridges we saw some sailors I had met further north. We did a drive by under sail and traded them some coconuts for some beers. On the second day our good fortune continued. We met Captain Mike who was driving a Sea Tow boat. He knew the Alberg designs and came by to chat. He used to own a Seasprite 23 and we were immediately connected by the threads of our classic plastics.

The Seasprite, it turned out, was in need of a home. It was later gifted to my crew member and I upon our return to Palm Beach, and we sold it for $1000 which we split 50/50. The day we met Captain Mike he had his professional telephoto zoom lens camera onboard and he tailed us for miles snapping photos and radioing to power boats to get out of our way and watch their wakes because we were under sail and didn’t they know the rules, damn it!

We had our very own chase boat until we neared the border of Mikes towing jurisdiction. We said goodbye and handed him a coconut. “See you out there!” I called as we tightened the sheets to make the the next bridge opening.

Alberg 30 for sale

alberg 30 for sale, classic plastic for sale
He’s not really my uncle, but that could really be your ship

Classic plastic alert! Uncle Al’s Alberg 30, the good ship Pickle, is for sale! Currently located on the hard on Shelter Island, NY and just a splash away from some of the best cruising grounds in the Northeast! Whether you are new to sailing or an old salt this proven design will take you where you want to go safely and in style. Sail her locally on the Great Peconic Bay and Long Island Sound or take her on the adventure of a lifetime.

North towards Nova Scotia? South to the Caribbean? East to Europe? Carl Alberg’s venerable 30 foot sloop can handle life on any sea as seen by famous Quebecoise circumnavigator Yves Gelinas who sailed solo around the world on his Alberg 30 Jean du Sud.

alberg 30 for sale, classic plastic for sale

Pickle is hull number 619, built in 1977 by Whitby Boatworks in Ontario, Canada. She spent her first ten years in fresh water. Since then she has spent most of her life in New York waters. She has been hauled each year and well cared for by her loving owners. No blisters on this hull!

Alberg 30 for sale, classic plastic for sale

Some upgrades include:

-New sails 2009
– Roller Furler 2008
– Complete rewire and electronic overhaul 2016
– Repowered with a 2005 Beta 10, 2 cylinder diesel in 2016 ONLY SIX HOURS ON ENGINE!
– New bronze prop
-Spreaders and shrouds replaced in 2013
-Chain plates replaces in 2015
-Lazy jacks
-Self tailing winches
-8 foot Walker Bay tender

Alberg 30 for sale, classic plastic for sale
Only six hours on this 2005 Beta Marina 10 horse power 2 cylinder diesel engine installed in 2015 !!!

The boat does have some deck delamination but I don’t know a good old boat that doesn’t! Nothing some epoxy and a grinder can’t fix! With only six hours on the engine, new sails, solid rigging and chainplates this is a go anywhere boat. Just slap a wind vane on her. There is still plenty of time left to enjoy the Northeast sailing season aboard her, or wait for hurricane season to pass before heading south. Whether she will be your full-time live aboard escape pod or your weekend getaway don’t let this classic plastic slip through your hands.

If you’re interested in the good ship Pickle please email your phone number and any questions to and I will connect you with the owner!