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Review of Alpha 29


Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Alpha 29 is a sailboat designed by the Swedish maritime architect Peter Norlin in the mid eighties. A few hundred boats have been produced. The Alpha 29 is built by the Swedish yard Albin Marine.

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Hull

The hull is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season. And outside the sailing season, just bottom cleaning and perhaps anti-fouling painting once a year - a few hours of work, that's all.


Interior

The boat is equipped with 110.0 liter fresh water capacity.


Rig

The boat equipped with a fractional rig. A fractional rig has smaller headsails which make tacking easier, which is an advantage for cruisers and racers, of course. The downside is that having the wind from behind often requires a genaker or a spinnaker for optimal speed.


Keel

The Alpha 29 is equipped with a fin keel. The fin keel is the most common keel and provides splendid manoeuvrability. The downside is that it has less directional stability than a long keel.

The keel is made of iron. Many people prefer lead keel in favour of iron. The main argument is that lead is much heavier than iron and a lead keel can therefore be made smaller which again result in less wet surface, i.e. less drag. In fact iron is quite heavy, just 30% less heavy than lead, so the advantage of a lead keel is often overstated. As the surface of a fin type keel is just a fraction of the total wet surface, the difference between an iron keel and a lead keel can in reality be ignored for cruising yachts.

The boat can enter most marinas as the draft is just about 1.65 - 1.75 meter (5.41 - 5.71 ft) dependent on the load. See immersion rate below.


Engine

Alpha 29 is typically equipped with an inboard Yanmar diesel engine at 9.0 hp (6 kW), which gives a max speed about 4.0 knots.

The fuel tank has a capacity of 45.0 liters (11 US gallons, 9 imperial gallons).


Sailing characteristics

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

Stability and Safety

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for Alpha 29 is 1.92, indicating that this boat could - if evaluated by this formula alone - be accepted to participate in ocean races.


Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 6.5 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.


Immersion rate

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for Alpha 29 is about 137 kg/cm, alternatively 767 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 137 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 767 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.


Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

Motion Comfort Ratio

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

The Motion Comfort Ratio for Alpha 29 is 22.5.

Low High 46% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 46% of all similar sailboat designs. This comfort value is just below average.


L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for Alpha 29 is 3.15.

Wide Slim 58% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 58% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a slightly more speedy hull design.


Ballast Ratio

What is a Ballast Ratio?

The ballast ratio for Alpha 29 is 41%.

Low High 54% 0 50 100
This ballast ratio shows a righting moment that is higher than 54% of all similar sailboat designs. A righting moment (ability to resist heeling) just above average.


D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Alpha 29 is 246 which categorizes this boat among 'light crusers & offshore racers'.

Heavy Light 54% 0 50 100
54% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A light displacement requires less sailarea and has higher accellerations.


SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)

What is SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)?

The SA/D for Alpha 29 with ISO 8666 reference sail is 17.4, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 20.2.

Low High 66% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 66% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.


Over- / underrigged

Low High 66% 0 50 100
The Alpha 29 has more rig than 66% of all similar sailboats, which indicates that the boat is slightly overrigged.


Maintenance

Bottom Paint

When buying anti-fouling bottom paint, it's nice to know how much to buy. The surface of the wet bottom is about 24m2 (258 ft2).
Based on this, your favourite maritime shop can tell you the quantity you need.

Note: If you use a paint roller you will need more paint than if you use a paintbrush.


Rig

Dimensions of sail for fractional rig.

mainsail specifications headsail specifications

Are your sails worn out? You might find your next sail here: Sails for Sale



If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.



Guiding dimensions of running rig
UsageLengthDiameter
Mainsail halyard 29.6 m(96.9 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard29.6 m(96.9 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Spinnaker halyard29.6 m(96.9 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Jib sheet 8.9 m(29.4 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Genoa sheet8.9 m(29.4 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Mainsheet 22.4 m(73.4 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Spinnaker sheet19.7 m(64.6 feet)10 mm(3/8 inch)
Cunningham3.6 m(11.8 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Kickingstrap7.2 m(23.6 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)
Clew-outhaul7.2 m(23.6 feet)8 mm(5/16 inch)

Boat owner's ideas

This section is reserved boat owner's modifications, improvements, etc. Here you might find (or contribute with) inspiration for your boat.

Do you have changes/improvements you would like to share? Upload a photo and describe what you have done.



Finally

We are always looking for new photos. If you can contribute with photos for Alpha 29 it would be a great help.

If you have any comments to the review, improvement suggestions, or the like, feel free to contact us. Criticism helps us to improve.



References