The Ultimate Ballad

This is work in progress so I’ll add more things and tidy it up as and when, I just wanted to get some stuff down in writing.

I’ve been thinking about what would be my ultimate boat and we’re already established I’m a massive fan of the Albin Ballad but it’s not perfect in my eyes. One thing I’ve debated with myself is should it be bigger? Scaled up to be a 3/4 tonner (circa 35 ft) or kept as a 1/2 tonner (30ft)? I’ve decided although the extra room would be nice it’s not essential. It would be nice to have a bigger head with a shower, possibly some quarter berths the extra size of the boat would possibly make it a bit of a handful to sail solo or shorthanded.

Hull and Deck

So, I would keep the hull as it is, 30ft, encapsulated keel, skeg hung rudder and keel stepped mast. I would also keep the hull/deck joint as is, bolted every 110mm but I would have a larger overlap and glass the joint (not that the standard setup is weak, just for belt and braces). I would change the deck moulding though, I would shorted the cockpit to make it more of a “centered” cockpit. I would bring the aft part forward to the front of the lazarette and have a bit of a deck area behind with a waterproof hatch. This would make the cockpit smaller and further forward to stop it flooding the high coaming would allow most of the water to run off without entering the cockpit in a pooping situation. I would also bring back the step entering the companionway rearward to roughly the front of the cockpit lockers. The cabin moulding would be extended slightly aft as well so there’s a but of a “tunnel” into the companionway. The mainsheet traveller would be moved an inch or two back on this larger step and reinforced. This would create a bigger storage area inside and a smaller cockpit, I would like to try and keep the lines as close to standard as this is a very attractive part of the Ballad.

Those are the biggest changes to the deck but there are a few smaller subtle changes I would like to have. Firstly the top of the toe rail I would mould slightly wider to be able to run an aluminium toerail I would also like be able to run larger fairleads and have a midships for a cleat for easier mooring. The only other changes would be a different design locker lid, something that’ll be a bit more waterproof (more of an overlap) to keep out a wave dumping a large amount of water in the cockpit. The toe rail isn’t an important feature but more of a desire, what I really want is bigger fairleads and a midships cleat.

Rig & Sails

The rig I would keep the same, I like that the boom doesn’t come further back then the spray hood, I would however fit a removable solent stay for hank on sails and a storm jib. I would beef up the bow to take the solent stay (on a different mount to the forestay (for a backup) and the area of the main cleat. The Ballad is an IOR design so has quite a small main and a big genoa however I wouldn’t mind sacrificing some speed and have a 110% genoa on roller furler with something like a Code Zero rigged off a tubular bowsprit/anchor platform/step for light wind reaching and a symetrical spinnaker for down wind sailing. I think the standing rigging is pretty well up to spec as standard. A fully batterned mainĀ  on sliders with lazy jacks and a stack pack to catch it all. It would have slab reefing, I think it would have to be twin line as the boom is quite short for single line. I would go for three reef points but all slightly higher then normal, possibly four but that might be quite a lot of rope. I would lead the main and reef points aft, also the halyard for the solent stay and spinnaker.

Specs Obviously I would have to speak to a rigger and check requirements.

  • Sparcraft S330 section double skinned above the lower shrouds,keel stepped 12.65m (base to head)
  • Bolt through U mast step
  • Standard masthead (No3) rather than tapered with double reinforced spi attachment (extended past furler)
  • Inner forestay (Solent Stay) tang near masthead so not to need runners
  • External tangs for shrouds, single masthead, double lowers, preferably double bolted. 6mm wire swage eye
  • BF3 straight spreaders Tips for continuous rigging and through bar
  • F125 boom, 4 sheaves
  • OC15 gooseneck reinforced
  • Pneumatic/sprung vang.
  • Twin spinnaker poles poles plus whisker pole


  • All winches to be self tailing
  • Windpilot Pacific Windvane. (there’s so many about for spares)
  • 15kg Rocna, 50m of 8mm Chain and 100m of 16mm Octoplait
  • Vertical Windlass (possibly)
  • Extended pushpit to rear stanchion, fit a gate just forward for ease of boarding by sprayhood
  • Double anchor roller/platform
  • Jordan Series Drogue chainplates
  • Fortress stern anchor on pushpit mount. 20m of 6mm and 30m of 14mm octoplait.
  • Towed Generator
  • 50w solar panel on cabin roof (Engine Battery)
  • 100w or 2x50w solar on pushpit (House Batteries)
  • 4 Man Liferaft
  • Foldable cockpit tent, double up as bimini that can be used whilst sailing
  • Batteries under cockpit floor
  • 3700 gph bilge pump
  • Manual bilge pump in lazarette
  • Inboard jackstays
  • Aquasignal LED nav lights


  • V-berth shelf lockers
  • V-berth water tanks port and starboard, sail storage where original tank is.
  • Pilot berths converted into storage lockers, drawers nearest galley
  • Storage above head
  • Small holding tank


  • AIS transponder/reciever
  • DSC Standard Horizon VHF
  • Raymarine EV-100 tiller pilot
  • Airmar DST800 transducer (Depth, Speed, Temperature)
  • NMEA 2K backbone
  • MFD depth/speed (above companionway)
  • MFD wind (above companionway)
  • 5″ chartplotter/MFD (above companionway)
  • Large chartplotter at chart table
  • Echomax RTE
  • Metz VHF antenna (one mast head, one pushpit)
  • LED interior lights
  • Navtex
  • SSB reciever