Allmand 31 By Capt. Jay Grey
Looking forward in the Allmand 31, with dinette on the left and galley to starboard.
Looking aft. You can see through the closeable opening into the port side aft cabin with berth, used for storage in this photo.
LOA: LWL: Beam: Draft: Berths: 38
30’ 9” 27’ 11” 11’ 4” 4’ 7
Displacement: 12,850 pounds Ballast: 4,300 Water capacity: 50 gallons Fuel: 40 gallons Mast Height Above water line: 44’ 6”
e are on a beam reach, and our handheld GPS has us doing 6.5 knots. That’s fast for our 28-plus-yearold Allmand sailboat, Charisma—our baby. We are cruising from our home port of Fort Myers Beach to an anchorage inside of Naples where we will spend the night and prepare our dinner on the boat’s original alcohol stove and, yes, the food prepared was kept cold in the 28-year-old icebox, using frozen jugs for refrigeration. Later after dinner, we will light our kerosene lamps and do some reading before we conk out for the night. This has been our basic way of cruising over the past 28 years. Cruising from the Cape Cod Canal to Key West, it has been a classic and traditional sailing life. After 28 years, Charisma has seen face-lifts, plumbing improvements, sail upgrades, re-powering and mechanical, strut, shaft and prop changes and a lifetime of sailing and cruising experiences. Charisma was the product of the 1980s when there were many small boat manufacturers. The Allmand was built by Allmand Boats of Hialeah, FL. The company also sold a 23and 35-foot sailboat along with a mix of powerboats. She carries a wide beam and a long waterline for her size, which results in generous room below and features a mail cabin, full galley and great headroom. Underwater she has a long shoal cruising keel, which draws under four feet, which makes the boat well-suited for cruising southwest Florida and the Keys. She carries 40 gallons of fuel along with 50 gallons of water. She handles our cruising needs well, as we anchor out often. Charisma has a straight vertical transom and a large cockpit with a fixed table located in front of the steering wheel. This, along with the folding Bimini top, allows us to have most meals outside. The combination of three hatches and opening ports gives her good ventilation and light below deck. She is cruiserfriendly, and we have met many Allmand cruisers who are “liveaboards” and others who cruise the keys or the islands. The mast height and draft have allowed us to navigate the Okeechobee waterway. Performance is slow, but max speed is not what the boat is about. She is a cruiser’s sailboat with good below-deck room, four-foot draft, good fuel and water capacity and a large icebox. The original 17-hp Universal diesel engine was replaced after 14 years of service with a 27-hp Yanmar diesel that carried the same footprint. The added horsepower and prop change bumped the cruising speed up to six knots. After 20 years of service— long with a notice of diesel odor—a new fuel tank was installed, and in the same year, the hot water heater was www.southwindsmagazine.com