sailing alma – the “challengers” cruising family

In 2015, Angela and Yulian followed their dream to become full-time cruisers and sail the world.

The "Sailing Alma" crew has been cruising since

If you have been following my blog you know that I have started a series of short profiles about some of the most interesting and inspiring cruising families. People I have come across via social media or in person. 

Sailing Alma is the second family that was so kind to answer my questions and provide some background information on their sailing life. You can find a full list of families and reasons why I am doing this here. Check last week’s post about the “Feel the Breeze” family here.

Sailing Alma, that’s Angela and Yulian with their baby girl Aria and Chihuahua Sofia. 

In 2015 they bought a rather dated Ericson 41.  Built in 1969 she was more of a “rotten piece of fibreglass with absolutely no glamour or glory” as the guys describe it. 

Over a period of 4 years, Yulian and Angela transformed their “Alma” into a functional, seaworthy and extremely beautiful looking sailing boat. 

With little to no budget, they did most of the refit work themselves. Which in itself is an amazing achievement. As usual, I include all relevant links below and if you check out their YouTube account you will see what I am talking about.

In 2018, not shy of any challenges and just about to finish up the restoration of Alma, Angela and Yulian stepped right into the next phase of their life. Baby Aria was born and the three of them are now cruising along the US coast.

Yulian, Angela and Aria thank you so much for your input and I wish you that all your dreams come true. 

You have achieved so much and that is a huge inspiration! 


For me, it is hugely inspiring when someone sets out to achieve something even though they might not have the experience or knowledge in the first place. 

Yulian and Angela had a dream and just started. From what I can tell they had never rebuild a sailing boat nor did they have years and years of sailing experience. They just started and even if it took them longer than they expected they achieved the first step and are now cruising! Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Being a father of 2 boys I can also admit that I find it very courageous to raise a baby on a sailing boat. I personally believe that – specifically in today’s world-  this is an amazing experience for both Aria and her parents. However, I also remember when our boys were little and of course it is much easier now that they are a bit older. 

Alma is an Ericson 41 built in 1969. A popular Bruce King design that features long ends, low wetted surface, a short waterline and impressive stability for bluewater sailing. 

Length overall is 41’4″ (12.6 m) with 10’8″ (3.3 m) beam and roughly 8tons displacement. You can find more information on Ericson Yachts in this forum that has a community of more than 5,000 Ericson owners.

You can find Sailing Alma on Instagram and on Youtube.

 Best way to contact Angela, Yulian, Aria and Sofia is via IG messenger.


Tell me more...

As with all these blog posts I have reached out to Angela and Yulian and sent them a number of questions. I call them “tell me more” questions because I hope they provide more personal insights.

Thanks again guys for your open and honest answers!

Well in our case every experience has come with a story so here’s ours.

On our first month cruising Moving up on the east coast of the US we had our first terrifying moment. It was a very beautiful sunny day the wind was about 15 to 18 knots We’re cruising about 6 1/2 Around 10 to 15 miles away from the coast autopilot was on and life was beautiful.

Angela was inside with the baby playing and I was just enjoying how lucky we are to be able to have this lifestyle when all of a sudden “boom” we hit bottom!

We felt like the boat just screeched to a stop.

“How could this have happened so far away from land?” I thought to myself.

Right away a million thoughts come to my head thinking “this is it the boat is going down right away! Plan to keep my family safe!”
I heard my wife Angela yelling from inside the cabin “what was that??? Did we hit something? “

Then the next wave came and we were off to hit again in a couple of seconds I yelled we hit the ground she yelled back “go offshore!!! “I responded “we are offshore” so as soon as the next wave came we turned east as far away from shore possible. We hit about 10 times in total, the rigging was Shaking but we didn’t hear any cracking sound.

The boat was still handling like usual and we were moving fast away from what was supposed to be 24 ft of water.
A couple of seconds after the scary part was almost over, we started to check for any signs of water coming in every through-hull below, and every compartment.

Thankfully there was no water or no seen damage to Alma. We continued offshore until we were able to reach a well-marked inlet. To this day, we are still amazed at how this happened. The lesson we learned is to be prepared for any situation at any time!

Being able to live this lifestyle gives you the opportunity to live many beautiful experiences. But the best of all is to live them with your family.

It doesn’t matter where we are, we always have a great time because we have each other by our side. Seeing our baby girl grow in her first year of life has been the overall best experience.

We both have been able to see her discover new things, reach milestones, and develop her personality. This on its own is priceless.

There is no such thing as personal space on a boat. You are forced to face your conflict sooner than you are on land life because you can not walk away from it.

Space, washer and dryer, A.C.

All of these things can be solved by getting a bigger boat.

Appreciate what you have and the simplicity of it every day of your life.

Besides our family,
Angela- our tiny stove to make food
Yulian- our solar array which allows us to have an unlimited amount of power.

Do not rush your adventure, it will happen the way it’s supposed to not the way that you plan it.

1. Don’t rush- we learned this the hard way.
Our plan was to go from Florida to Maine, so we spent the first month in a rush, which caused for careless mistakes and running many agrounds . As soon as we slowed down the pace, everything went more smoothly.

2. Don’t make plans- most of the time they change.
Whenever we made a plan, 95% of the time we had to adjust and change it.

3. Be positive
A positive attitude can go a long way, remember why you chose this lifestyle and be grateful for what you have.

Some snapshots

All images are property of Angela and Yulian and used here with permission.

Click for lightbox view.

3 thoughts on “sailing alma – the “challengers” cruising family”

  1. Hi, lovely boat and very enjoyable videos. I like the hard top Bimini you guys made. Would it be possible to send me your plans of how you did it and the size of the stainless steel tubing you used. Also what is your solar setup. Thanks so much and fair winds

    1. Hi Rob, thanks for your comment. This is an interview with Sailing Alma please reach out to the guys directly. You can find their social media contacts in the story above. All the best Lars

  2. Just saw Alma story. Dreamed of sailing adventures after seeing a Peterson 41 in Newport Beach, CA about 1986. Love your boat, so much hard work to get her going story, I’m pleasantly jealous. How can I help u continue?

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