Minnow-- Modifications and additions Part 2 (a long winded discussion)

Albin's "power cruisers"

Moderator: jcollins

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To recap..........
In a previous post that I sent out about our trip up the Inside Passage to Alaska this summer, there were several requests for more info on the details of the refit of our Albin 25 the Minnow.
I was working through the interior accomodations when I ran out of attachment file space in Part 1, hence the need for this post, Part 2 .

Going back to the aft cabin, we added USB charging stations and head-of-bed storage and illumination for each berth.
We built a new stronger and wider dutch door for the aft stateroom. We raised the level of the split so that it could accommodate a longer cabin table swinging up from the lower section of the door and securing to the overhead. This worked out very well, and it can seat four people in a pinch.
All bulkheads are in their original locations as is the hanging locker. We raised and widened the forward Vee berths added tilt out clothes bins on each side, and added a step in the Vee space. There is a dog watering and food station at the foot of the hanging locker.
In the extra space under the berths we have room for three Rubbermaid totes on each side. The head portion of each berth is split from the lower section and it can be raised and secured for access to the stores in the totes. A full athwart ship counter top can be mounted across the head of the Vee berths. The counter top stores on the outside of the head door. There is a small compressor driven refrigerator in the foot step of the Vee.

We added a stainless three burner propane stove in the galley, with a cutlery drawer under it. A two bottle aluminum propane locker is located on the port side of the cockpit. It pivots out and has a solenoid safety valve and overboard venting.
On the forward side of the helm bulkhead we added built in storage for all our “fine” melamine dining wear. There is a lockable safe and a large tilt out trash can below. All floor surfaces have snap fastened carpeting.
We installed two fire extinguishers, one CO2 at the helm station and one dry chem at the galley. CO2 and CO detectors were hard wired in the main cabin. There is a high water bilge alarm and two bilge pumps. The forward bilge pump is a rule submersible pump and the aft pump is a 2000GPH diaphragm pump they both operate with auto/manual rocker switch control at the helm.

The head is an Airhead composting toilet with a foot pumped overboard urine diverter line. We have never had a composting toilet before, but we loved this one, and found this system simple and convenient and odorless. There are three cabinets with sliding doors under the side deck.
Fresh water showers are easily rigged with the gin pole and two black 3 gallon firefighting rubber bags that store on the forward cabin top. A privacy screen can be rigged around the davits supports

There is a built in tool locker behind the forward cabin door. It was really nice to be able to get at tools quickly.

There were a few items that were unecessary and overkill (for instance the two ukulele drop down storage bins hanging from the cockpit hardtop).
Then there were some things that were nice, but used very infrequently, like our bug screens and the countertop across the Vee berths. There were also a few things that would have been really nice to have, but we’re out of the question, due to the size limitations of the boat ( 200 feet of 1/4” chain and a bow thruster would be top of that list), but for the most part I would say that we were extremely happy with most of our additions and modifications.

As you can tell in these pictures, the detail and craftsmanship is not up to the “Nordhaven” level. My woodworking skills are only passable. I spent 20 years working for the Alaska pipeline company, 10 of those years as a welder, so I am much more familiar with steel and aluminum and usually default to a metal medium when given a choice. I also have some familiarity with boatbuilding in general since I scratch built a 42 foot steel Colvin Gazelle. I lived on her in Valdez Alaska and sailed the waters of Prince William Sound and the Western waters of the gulf of Alaska for 8 years. It’s impossible to compare the two boats capability as far as seakeeping and offshore safety, but I will say that the Minnows interior accommodations and “Livability” was every bit as good as my W.H. Besse.
The Minnow took us to Alaska with very little discomfort and performed like the big little ship that she is.

We left her in Petersburg Alaska, and will be returning to bring her back down next spring.
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First Mate
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This is so great to see! Thank you for sharing the mods and the story of your expedition. The uke--while not a life or death addition--might be the salvation of you or your sailing partner on a long trip like this in any 25' boat.

Can you share a bit of the details on the mast rig? How is that attached and stayed? Did it prove useful and sturdy enough for most tasks? Did you consider a stay sail setup for stability underway or a "get-home-sail" rig in case of engine failure?

Cheers to you adventurous souls and welcome back to the lower 48 when you do make it home!
Albin 25 No. 1583
Bellingham, WA USA
Pacific Northwest
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Very simple rig. Stayed on the aft cabin top and collared against the aft of the hard top. it was stayed forward to the pilot house and to the side to the hard top. I really don’t think I would want to trust it with a working sail and really it was mainly used for hauling. Raising the davits, lifting the water bags for a shower and such. Also it’s a great place put an anchor light, and a radar reflector. I have to admit that I also just like the look of a working boat with a mast.
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What great posts, Tucker - thank you! I think you must win the prize for most innovations and modifications on any Albin no matter what model!
2005 Albin 35CB
Yanmar 6LYA-STP 370

Former boats
1995 Albin 28TE, Cummins 6BTA5.9 250, 2012-2022
1978 Trojan F32, 1998-2012
1983 Grady White 241 Weekender, 1988-1997
1980 Wellcraft 192 Classic, 1983-1987
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Wow, what a life you've led! From what you can tell from the photo W.H. Besse looks like it had an interesting sail rig. Almost like a cat/junk rig (junk as in Chinese junk sail). Like many who migrate from sail to power & are attracted to Albin 25 & 27, we are also former sail boaters. Not in Alaska though! We're thin blooded desert rats who don't do cold weather. Although AZ summers are getting tougher to handle too as we get older. I had a series of small trailerable sailboats since 1998 up until acquiring our Albin in 2014. That included solo sailing a Montgomery 15 from Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles out to Catalina Island in 2003 as well as a week on Chesapeake Bay in 2002, and some fun racing off Monterey, CA in 2002 & 2003. Later upsized to a wing keel Catalina 25 which my wife & I harbor hopped up from San Diego to San Pedro CA & out to Catalina Island & back in 2012, our last jaunt under sail.
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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
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Yup,, the Besse was a lug rigged schooner. Designed by Tom Colvin.
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We currently plan to head north from our home base in Puget Sound in Spring to go to SE Alaska in our A25 Hyacinth. Perhaps we will see you on your S-bound journey. (BTW: We did own/live on a Nordhavn and we would say the stoutness of the hull and readiness for the sea are much more important details than interior perfection (the Nordhavn pretty much had both - we miss that boat!)).
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
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Composting toilet is our next investment. I think were getting close to the point where the stuff inside is more $ than the boat..
A25 1971 #737
South Windsor, Ct
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Tucker, those are some excellent, well thought out and well executed modifications!
Carolina Wren
1979 Albin 25 Deluxe
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