COPPERHEAD
FEATURED ALBERG 37

COPPERHEAD
1967 MK-I Alberg 37 sloop,
Hull # 17
Owned by Todd and Natalie Stebleton of
Ormond Beach, FL.

Copperhead is a Mark I sloop built as hull seventeen in 1967. My wife, Natalie, and I bought the boat in 1998 as a complete restoration neared completion. We were fortunate enough to benefit from countless hours spent on a project that could only be called a labor of love by the previous owners. I am sure they understood as they built their "boat of a lifetime" that they would never recover the dollars spent. An urgent business deal forced the boat to be listed for sale. A very speedy transaction made Copperhead ours in four days.

The interior restoration was nearly completed before we bought the boat. I believe the basic configuration of the interior is unchanged from when the boat was new. Materials and some surface changes are evident in the pictures. The counter top surfaces in the galley are now stainless steel; surfaces around the portlights are now teak and mahogany; and the cushions have been recovered. The most notable change from original is the quality of the finish. All interior surfaces are seven coats of hand rubbed varnish. The deep semi-gloss effect is not achievable without spending hundreds of hours. I have duplicated the results on trim pieces I have replaced and it requires enormous effort. As you review the interior pictures, you will no doubt recognize other small changes, but, for the most part the boat is unmolested inside and out.

Mechanical upgrades include a new Universal M-50 diesel ( less than 100 hours when we bought the boat), complete rewire, new plumbing, and new mast and rigging.

When we bought Copperhead, the biggest project that remained was a repaint of the hull and deck. This was completed in July 06. Natalie and I worked from January until June to prep the boat for paint. A friend (professional painter) sprayed the Awlgrip to a mirror finish. After the repaint it took us another month to put everything back where it came from. If you attempt a project like this the best advice I can give is to mark every single piece of hardware as to location and orientation when it is removed. My small mind could not possibly recall how each piece came off the boat after that much time had passed. Digital photos are also helpful.

The last project on our list (before we start all over again) is to replace the sails. Except for our smallest jib, all our sails are original and in the original bags which are dated early 1968. They are somewhat tired but we still manage to win a race every now and then.

I could write much more about the virtues of the design and the execution of the restoration. Those of you who sail A-37's already are familiar with the design. The pictures complete my thoughts of the restoration.

Please contact me if you are near Daytona Beach and wish to see our boat. It is very near what Alberg 37's were when new.   Todd...

(Editor's Note: We visited with Todd and Natalie as we were passing through Daytona Beach, FL on April 19, 2007 aboard our 1975 MK-II Yawl SHEARWATER on our way home from spending the winter in the Abacos.  They brought their boat to where we were anchored in Daytona and we had a most enjoyable "raft-up".  COPPERHEAD is an exceptional example of an early (1967 - the first year of production) Alberg 37.)

Additional Photos

Number of Visits Since 7/23/07 Hit Counter