Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Is it worth it? A nearly free Albin Vega 27'
I recently discovered a very cheap late 60's Albin Vega 27'.
It has apparently been out of the water for almost 10 years and has extensive gelcoat crazing. From what I could see in the photos the crazing is from sunlight, not structural issues, and that's what I'd expect since the early Albin Vegas were built extremely tough. Mildew has grown into the crazing so it looks pretty weird but I think I could clean it up with acetone. With crazing that extensive it may not be worth it to redo the gelcoat, and instead just paint over it - I have seen some people here do that without issues.. What do you think?
The boat is covered in grime and dirt from all these years of neglect. The interior is really bad, I'd guess maybe about 30 to 60% of the wood is restorable, maybe more, but a lot of stuff will need to be redone to suit my taste. The interior paint is peeling and there's mildew everywhere inside. Clearly the interior needs work. I think it would look a lot better if it were just cleaned thoroughly with some bleach.
The cushions and etc are all toast but I know how to make cushions and it costs next to nothing to do so that's not a big deal.
The owner said the inboard engine worked the last time it was in the water, it's not much of a big deal to me, I can fix engines and I'm not even sure if I'd keep the engine if I get this boat, I might just put a 10hp outboard on.
That being said, according to the owner the hull is not rotten/crunchy and doesn't think the deck needs to be recored.
There are sails but they look to be in really bad shape. I think new sails would be a necessity. I don't know if I could make them myself or not, never tried. My machine might not be heavyweight enough to handle several layers of sail canvas.
Normally, I would not really consider a project that big. But this is an early thick hulled Albin Vega and it's up for pretty cheap. The cheapest Vegas I've seen that are still sailable are around 6-7,000$ but at that price they all have issues with mildew in the cabin and would require painting both inside and out just as much as this project boat needs it. The woodwork on those boats is usually heavily worn or damaged as well..
I figure if I do everything myself I can probably get the boat ready for sailing in 1-2 years with about $7,000 of wood/paint/wire/other materials.
About me: I have no savings and have no patience to save more than a few thousand dollars at a time, saving 20k to buy a boat ain't gonna happen. A project or cheap boat is basically my only option. I pulled the trigger on a Cal 27 about 2 years ago only to find the owner had sold it hours before to someone else. Damn.
What do you guys think? Worth it for an Albin Vega?
Last edited by paradoxbox; 08-25-2009 at 06:52 AM.