Overview

Alberg 37 Sloop Sail Plan The shapely Alberg 37, the bigger sister of the popular Alberg 30 and 35, was penned in the mid-1960s by Swedish-born Carl Alberg (1900-1986) for Kurt Hansen’s Whitby Boat Works in Canada. Originally designed as a racer cruiser, the Alberg 37 is better known today as a medium-heavy displacement bluewater capable cruiser. She’s strong, seaworthy, and best of all very affordable.

Introduced in 1967, the boat came in sloop and yawl options and was popular enough to enjoy an update to a MkII model which primarily improved the interior layout and streamlined production. A total of 248 boats were built before the recession of 1987 reduced customer demand leading to the cease of production in 1988. Today the Alberg 37 has many fans and an avid following from owner communities, a few boats have circumnavigated.

Configuration

At a glance, the Alberg 37 is unmistakably a classic yacht of the 1960s, drawing much influence from Scandinavian folkboats. There’s long overhangs, low freeboard, and soft sheerline. Below the waterline is a cutaway full keel, with a large raked rudder hung from the trailing edge of the keel. All very standard stuff for Alberg designs.

The beam is incredibly narrow beam at 10 feet 2 inches and with slack bilges the hull does not contribute much form stability. Indeed the Alberg 37 is initially quite a tender boat, this helps her extend her waterline when she heeled to windward or reaching.

Construction

Whitby Boat Works had a reputation for building strong boats and Alberg 37s have proven themselves overtime. A 1977 hull (Good News), for example, was beached in a hurricane suffering only minor scratches. Paul Howard recalls a story in Canadian Yachting Magazine of a single hander’s 37 surviving three days of pounding on a reef in the South Pacific before escaping by jettisoning his supplies. He then sailed 2,000 miles before repairs.

The hulls are of solid fiberglass up to an inch think at the bilge. Half of the boats had balsa coring amidships just up from the turn of the bilge as a measure to provide extra support when the boat rested on a cradle over the off-season (remembering the original design as a racer/cruiser). The fiberglass work was well executed and consistent, and though the fiberglass was resin rich by modern standards, Whitby Boat Works hull scantlings were among the heaviest in the industry.

The deck was balsa cored, and joined to the hull via an inward flange. The ballast is lead and is encapsulated inside the keel cavity.

MkI and MkII

Alberg 37 MkII Layout The MkII model in 1971 saw a change of construction with the introduction of a fiberglass interior pan, which streamlined production, aided hull stiffness, though sacrificing hull accessibility. The interior was improved with better use of interior space in the form of a larger head and galley, more storage and longer berths. The original teak toe rail was replaced by a fiberglass one change, a dodger splash guard was added and the cabin sported longer port lights which is the easiest way to spot a MkII model.

Interior Layout

The Alberg 37’s narrow beam results in a small interior by modern standards, but the boat is fully functional for bluewater sailing and many cruisers have lived aboard for extended time.

Alberg 37 Midships and Aft Galley Layouts The standard layout include v-berths forward, followed by opposite facing head and hanging locker. In the saloon there’s an L-shaped settee to port and a straight settee opposite. There’s plenty of storage with numerous drawers and lockers. Further aft is the galley to starboard which has a three burner stove, an oven and icebox and a quarter-berth/chart table combo to port. A few MkI boats have a midships galley which makes room for twin sea-going quarter-berths aft.

Under Sail

The Alberg 37 is best in heavy seas, but in light winds and well trimmed sails she can maintain 6 knots. The boat is well balanced, to the point where the helm can be left minutes at a time without a self steering unit. She is not very close winded and is relatively tender, though the extra heeling helps her extend her waterline length and therefore hull speed. There is also a tendency to hobby horse.

The Alberg 37 has an easy motion through the water, sea kindliness pays important dividends in offshore work where reducing fatigue is key to safe passages.

Specifications

LOA: 37′ 2″
LWL: 26′ 6″
Beam: 10′ 2″
Draft: 5′ 6″
Displacement: 16,800 lbs.
Ballast: 6,500 lbs.

Sail Area, Sloop: 646 sq.ft.
Sail Area, Yawl: 686 sq.ft.

Water: 60 US Gal.
Fuel: 35 US. Gal

Designer: Carl Alberg
Year Introduced: 1967
Year Ended: 1988

Builder: Whitby Boat Works

Buyers Notes

Most boats were delivered with either the 23­hp Volvo MD2D or the 27hp MD11C which are underpowered, a 40­hp Westerbeke 4-107 was an option, this is the one to go for (or similar power rating if it’s been repowered). As with any boat of this ages, look over the rigging, wiring and plumbing, and check for softness in deck, sure signs of water damage to the balsa coring. Owners report the original wiring was not well thought out and needs reworking or updating. Poor quality seacocks are another comment, it’s worth replacing them if bluewater work is on the agenda.

The interior of MkII models have more space and storage, a vital asset in any bluewater boat, but equally important is access to all areas of the boat for maintenance, and owners of MkI models without the interior pan love this, especially access to the deck fittings.

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Links, References and Further Reading

» Used Boat Notebook, by John Kretschmer (p176-180), an in depth look at the Alberg 37
» Alberg 37 International Owners Association, Information, photos and more
» A review of the Alberg 35 and 37 by Tom Zydler, Cruising World Magazine, July 2002

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13 thoughts on “Alberg 37”

  1. Harvey Robillard says:

    Need to replace rudder on my 1984 Alberg 37 MKII Yawl.
    Any and all help appreciated.

    Harvey

  2. Ray says:

    Ahoy, we have an A37 Ketch. That’s right, an original special order ketch. This one was left on the hard for 20 years, and has a full restore below deck and next is the deck. Although there are no leaks there are a couple of cosmetic gashes that will need attention. Happy it’s all cosmetic. We have new sails and would love to post a photo or two. I have a question in regards what this sailboat might be worth, and if they all came with a real manhole cover. This boat has a real manhole cover (w it’s tool) in the forward cockpit. Also, she sports 140 gal water, also special order. Hull #71. Florida Sun Coast.

    1. Chris says:

      “manhole cover”? are you talking about the Charley Noble in front of the pedestal? You need this to view the fuel gage.

  3. Ashley says:

    Hello,

    We have a 95% completely refit 1975 Alberg 37 MKII for sale. All it needs is chain plates. Brand new complete MACK sails package with Mack Pack, brand new Algrip paint in 2011, interlux2000E barrier coat above and below waterline, copper coat bottom paint, all NEW bronze thru-hulls, YANMAR diesel engine 3hm35f, New found metal Bronze port lights, Complete Garmin package (mounted in navpod at helm) with radar and depth sounder, tac-tic wind instrument, new sunbrella canvas dodger and bimini top and nav pod cover, new sunbrella upholstery inside v-berth and salon, custom aft davit for solar, wind and dingy, titanium water maker, new windlasses, harken two speed winches, brand new force 10 two burner stove/over, on demand hot water, raritan head, all 3/16 stainless, marine grade wiring, COMPLETE electrical refit, LED lighting above and below deck, fresh water rinse off in cockpit, new life lines, etc, etc, etc. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in a beautiful blue water cruiser! No corrosion, we believe in TEFGEL!
    This is just a start, please contact us for complete photos of refit and complete inventory list. Vessel name is KARMA.

    Lawrence & Ashley Aubert
    231-233-5039

    1. joe says:

      I’m shopping boats , and I was wondering what You’ll take for Your 37′ , and where it is located ?
      Thanks
      joe

    2. dean says:

      Is the 1975 mk11 still available

    3. George Eisenberg says:

      Is Karma still available? Thank you

  4. michel caron says:

    i would like to get more information for the alberg 37 because i will buy one. I would like to rent the boat with capitain.

    tank for your furder collabaration

    Captain Michii

  5. Gord Martin says:

    I was a late bloomer; getting hooked on sailing only in my early forties. This just happened to coincide with my starting a small business, so I had a few years of hard work, long hours and very little money. The dream of sailing was the great motivator that kept me going through the rough times.          

    My first boat was a 24″ radio controlled model sloop. Next came a DS-16 with shoal draft fixed keel. No dinghy for me; I want to be on the water, not in it, thank you. I sailed the DS-16 a lot; loved the sun, a bit of wind, the silence; but oh that heeling! Everytime I got hit with a gust my knuckles where white and my stomach was firmly stuck in my throat.  At one point I had a wild broach, and frightened myself so much I thought maybe I would have to consider a power boat. That thought passed very quickly; I couldn’t stand the shame. The obvious answer was a larger more stable sailboat.

    Next came a Paceship 23; much more stable, but as soon as I started to go out in heavier weather, the stomach was still jumpy with gusts and heeling. Around this time I had read something about hull form stability(or lack of) versus ballast keel stability. Further study convinced me that I had a full keel type of personality. At Toronto Islands I met a couple on a gorgeous Alberg 37 and they suggested that if I was ready to move up I should look at an Alberg 30. Well, I looked, I fell in love, and soon I was the proud owner of an Alberg 30.

    After a few sails on the A30 in a variety of weather, I was thrilled to find my stomach was staying in place and I was calm and cool. That boat tracked like it was on rails, went over 10 or 15 degrees, and stayed solid as a rock. I could go out in any wind and feel comfortable. I spent 7 years restoring and modifying the Alberg 30, along with lots of great sailing. Eventually I had vague thoughts of getting a larger boat and mentioned it to someone who wouldn’t consider anything but an Alberg 30. They looked, they fell in love, made a good offer and suddenly I was boatless.

    What would I get next? Absolutely nothing but an Alberg 37!  I ended up buying the same boat originally owned by the folks who convinced me to look at the A30. Another owner in between had sadly neglected the maintenance, but I am getting her back into shape. The sailing characteristics of the Alberg 37 are identical to the A30; rock solid, with great tracking, but she is a bit smoother and faster, so I am piling on lots more miles in the same time.

    I single hand a lot, so I equipped both boats with a genoa sheet block system adjustable from the cockpit, and a new 4:1 mainsheet traveller. The sheet block system is particularly important as I use a large genoa for versatility and, if the winds are decent, I may spend a lot of time with the genoa reefed to 3/4 or 1/2 size. Moving the block forward really improves the genoa trim.

    I love the traditional look and the full keel. These boats track like they are on rails and feel solid and safe in any weather. With a big genoa and careful trimming, they are also good in light air. 

    Would I want any other boat? If a million dollars fell on my head tomorrow, I would take Maggy Fields to the experts and have her rebuilt from stem to stern; spare no expense.  

    Gord Martin 
    Maggy Fields IV 
    EYC Toronto

    1. Jhiller says:

      Draft was 5’6″ not 6’6″.  I owned one. It was a fabulous sailboat…..

    2. Will says:

      Aha, thanks for the heads up on the typo.

    3. Jeffrey says:

      Would you consider selling her?

    4. Harry Black says:

      Gord, we have talked on the phone and I met you at the Cherry Street bar a few weeks ago. I love your story about the A30 and the A37.
      I am steadily progressing with the restoration of my A30 but the bitter cold has delayed work even though the boat sits inside its own specially built wood and plastic structure. I can’t wait to get it in the water and see what it’s like. I have heard a few stories that have me a little worried, including that reversing out of slip is especially difficult. However we will see.
      Harry Black
      Hull # 63
      Paperboy
      (Formerly of a place called Myer Creek, Virginia, on the Chesapeake Bay)

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