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post #3 of Old 10-25-2004
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albin vega for cruising?


John''s referral to Log of the Mahina by John Neal is an excellent suggestion. First, it is a captivating story: a young going-nowhere college dropout 20-yr old sails from the Pacific NW to the deep South Pacific, most of it singlehanded, and returns with the skills and appreciation for a part of the globe that leads to him eventually becoming widely recognized & respected. Second, the book''s Appendix does a thorough if basic job of describing just how to set up the Vega - or any small sailboat - for offshore sailing across lots of water.

A Vega was our first boat but we sailed it out of Santa Barbara, CA and so each sail was off soundings and adjacent to unimproved islands, heavy afternoon winds being blown down the Channel, and far more meterology than you see further South. We cruised our boat to the islands and as far South as San Diego as a young family of three, and we found the boat an absolute joy as a sailing boat, and very functional - tho'' yes, also small and basic.

At the time we bought ours (1976), these boats were being sailed to the Caribbean by multiple young N European crews for a winter''s frolic and then a return back across the Atlantic. The only design or structural weakness I know of, setting aside the consequences of aging, is the mast support bulkhead. John Neal talks about this in depth after working the boat thousands of miles into Pacific head seas, but he''s the only one whom I''ve heard describe this problem.

Log of the Mahina is about $5-6 on Dig into it and enjoy the read!

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