The Albin Ballad 30 Sailboat

The Albin Ballad 30, a moderate-to-heavy displacement masthead sloop, was designed by Rolf Magnusson and built in Sweden by Albin Marine.

Albin Ballad 30: A Classic Cruiser-RacerThe Albin Ballad 30

The Ballad 30 was designed as an International Offshore Rule (IOR) Half Ton class cruiser-racer, which means it was optimized for racing under a handicap system that measured various aspects of the boat's speed potential.

The design is an evolution of the Joker S30 IOR racer. The Ballad 30 was very successful in racing, winning several national and international championships in the 1970s.

Published Specification for the Albin Ballad 30

Underwater Configuration:  Fin with skeg-hung rudder

Hull Material:  GRP (fibreglass)

Length Overall: 29' 11" / 9.12m

Waterline Length: 22' 7" / 6.88m

Beam: 9' 8" / 2.95m

Draft: 5' 1" / 1.55m

Rig Type: Masthead Sloop

Displacement: 7,276lb / 3,300kg

Designer: Rolf Magnusson

Builder: Albin Marine (Sweden)

Year First Built: 1971

Year Last Built: 1982

Number Built: 1500

Owners Association: UK Ballad Association

Published Design Ratios for the Albin Ballad 30

Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 16.1

Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 47.0

Displacement/Length Ratio: 282

Comfort Ratio: 22.1

Capsize Screening Formula: 2.0

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Albin Ballad 30

The Albin Ballad 30 sailboat, based on the published design ratios, would theoretically have the following sailing characteristics:

  • Sail Area/Displacement Ratio (16.1): This ratio falls within the range of 16 to 20, indicating that the Albin Ballad 30 would have reasonably good performance. It should be able to move well in most conditions, but it might not be as high-performing as boats with a ratio above 20.
  • Ballast/Displacement Ratio (47.0): This high ratio suggests that the Albin Ballad 30 is a stiffer, more powerful boat that can stand up well to the wind. However this ratio doesn't account for the location of the ballast. If the ballast is located in a shallow draft keel, the boat will be less stiff than if the ballast were in a bulb at the foot of its keel.
  • Displacement/Length Ratio (282): This ratio falls within the range of 275-350, indicating that the Albin Ballad 30 is a heavy displacement boat. It would require more power to drive the boat to its design hull speed compared to boats with a lower ratio.
  • Comfort Ratio (22.1): This ratio falls within the range of 20 to 30, suggesting that the Albin Ballad 30 would have a motion normally associated with a coastal cruiser. It should provide a reasonable level of comfort for the crew in most conditions, but it might not be as comfortable as boats with a higher ratio in rough seas.
  • Capsize Screening Formula (2.0): This value indicates that the Albin Ballad 30 has blue water capability and if properly equipped is suitable for ocean passages. The lower the value, the better the boat's stability and resistance to capsize.

As for the theoretical nature of these ratios, it's important to remember that they are simplifications and don't capture all aspects of a boat's performance or comfort.

For example, the Ballast/Displacement Ratio doesn't account for the location of the ballast, which can significantly affect a boat's stiffness.

Similarly, Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio favors heavy displacement, narrow-beamed vessels with long overhangs. As a result, today's lighter-displacement, beamy cruisers with plumb bows won't score well for crew comfort according to this ratio, even though they may have bluewater capability.

These ratios should therefore be used as guides rather than definitive measures of a boat's characteristics.

Albin Ballad 30 accommodation plan

Other sailboats in the Albin range include:

Dick McClary wrote this article, and used GPT-4, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, as a research assistant to develop source material. The author wrote the final draft in its entirety and believes it to be accurate to the best of his knowledge.

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