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  #11  
Old 08-25-2009
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1. You've been giving sound advice on the state of the hull - TOAST!
2. You cannot "re-gelcoat", you need to paint. But that won't add anything structural. This makes it hard to believe that You've refurbished another hull successfully (sorry for being direct)
3. I cannot imagine what happened to that Vega. Have seen an example that has been abandoned for 7-8 years that looked fine on the outside after some heavy cleaning and polishing.
4. You can find better hulls for free or only a few $, so keep looking
5. A Vega is a great boat - find another or something like it.

Contrary to popular belief, I know from experience that it is possible to refurbish an old boat, and get a fine and cheap boat for a small amount - However it requires a lot of hard work and stamina, as well as looking around for the right deals - this is not the hull to start with, though.
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Old 08-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxbox View Post
As to why everyone keeps saying run away from this boat: Are there any specific reasons why?
What's so bad about this boat that I'm missing and everyone else is seeing? Dirt and bad paint make a boat look a lot worse than it is, I'm not seeing what everyone else is.
Main reason is that most people see a boat as an investment. As such, requiring a lot of work really ruins the investment value by reducing the profit margin.
Gell coat is used by manufacturers mostly for appearance and ease of building, many boats are sailing with the gell coat removed that have barrier coat and bottom paint as the only covering. Any of the quality paints will work above waterline. So don't let the crazed gell coat scare you.

Another issue is how much of the work you will do yourself. If you are paying to have the work done, it cn easily be four times more than the cost of materials. (which will also be substantially mrked up)

If you are willing to put the work into it, and willing to wait to sail it next year, it's a good project. If you want to sail NOW look elsewhere.

Best move in my opinion would be to get the exterior in overall seaworthy shape and ready to sail condition, then move on to the interior while it's in the water where it can be done at a more relaxed pace.

I'm one who works on boats (cars,bikes,trucks too) simply because I enjoy it, so I don't look at them as investments. That boat, would be sitting in my yard right now if I could get it at a low cost.

Ken.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2009
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How are you guys able to identify that the crazing depth is so significant that it is affecting the structural integrity of the hull?

Is it not just possible to sand down until the crazing is gone? You could then spray on a new coat of gelcoat, sand it smooth then paint.

I'd like to THINK that better hulls could be found for free or cheap, but in the case of Albin Vega's I have never seen one and I have been watching for the last 4 years. The next cheapest Vega I have seen was over 5,000$, located in Sweden, and it still was not in good condition (Though it was better than this one, it was going to need a restoration too)

P.S. I don't count my own labor as costing money. I'm not planning on paying anyone to do any work on it, it defeats the purpose. And I definitely don't think of a sailboat as an investment. Vehicles of any kind almost never appreciate in value. I consider it something to throw money at in exchange for a higher quality/enjoyment of life.

Last edited by paradoxbox; 08-25-2009 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 08-25-2009
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While I tend to look at it and think 'run away', that is just my initial reaction. I have a question for those who are concerned about the hull. Is it really a concern that there are structural cracks in the fiberglass? That there may be cracks in the fiberglass where there is a balsa core and that has rotted out. If the fiberglass is not cracked, is it possible for the hull to be compromised? I was always under the impression that Gelcoat was really cosmetic ... that a fiberglass hull would be fine without it but it would be a bit disconcerting from the inside as light would penetrate it and it would be unattractive from the outside.

Now, regarding taking this boat across the Pacific on sails that I sewed ... yikes!
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Paradox,

You're right, we cannot be sure that it is structural. BUT I will tell you this: It seems rather extreme, as I've seen a large number of Vega's that has lived a tough life and still have the original gelcoat - And I've never seen anything like that. The deck and superstructure on the Vega is sandwiched, but the hull is not IIRC, so you may be able to do as you propose, but it is close to impossible to add gelcoat and get a nice finish - You will have to paint! The hull is well laid-up, so mażbe - just maybe - you can get away with grinding and fairing (times 100). How's the rigging on the boat, if that is in a similar condition, you're facing even more work and expense.
For the record I've done this on two of my own boats, and helped several others!
If you're looking you can find better hulls for free or less - also in Sweden, but they're typically not advertised.
BTW I know where you can get a fully functional, in sailaway condition, International Folkboat for less than 6k if you care to buy it in DK: Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub

Keep looking AND don't give up - You are on the right track here!
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Old 08-25-2009
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Cardiacpaul is a marine surveyor. I would listen to his advice.

I am more of the opinion that you are better off spending more money up front and getting a good, well cared for boat, then the latter. However, I am not qualified to help you on whether the hull is in good shape or not. I would listen to CP who just said no-thanks.

But hey - if you have lots of time and want to play around on this boat, it is your life. Who knows, maybe she will clean up better than it appears she would. I just wouldn't sail it from the dock further than I could swim back.

- CD
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2009
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1975 Albin Vega in Norfolk, VA for $6,000

1975 Albin Vega Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2009
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Thanks for keeping this thread interesting guys.

Yeah, I did notice cardiacpaul is a surveyor so I took his words into consideration. But I do have to wonder if his advice was meant more for a casual shopper than someone who's willing to take on a big project? I mean it's not every day that you see a boat in this roughed up shape so maybe his words were more of a reflex?

For what it's worth this boat has never filled with water. And I really do think that most if not all of that crazing is from after it was put up into storage. I don't think that it was like that the last time it was in the water.

I am waiting on some more detailed photos of the crazing, but I bet that it is mostly only on the side that has not been shaded by trees, which are probably also the cause of all that dirt and grime. I had a car that looked almost that dirty from less than a month sitting in a driveway underneath a tree that spewed pollen and other crud over everything below it. Had to start parking on the street to keep it clean.

The thing with the $6-10,000 Vega boats is, they almost all have something wrong enough with them that's going to require haul out and restoration costing at least what I figure this project boat would cost me to get into sailable condition. Plus in the above case it's got wheel steering and it's a 1975 version which has a weaker hull than the older Vega's.

Anyway, according to the guy the rigging and mast are all OK. The sails exist but are covered in mold or mildew or something. Usable in a pinch but new sails are going to be needed. Most of the other hardware is apparently OK but if it turns out to be shot I will have to scrounge up some old used stuff. No big deal.

Last edited by paradoxbox; 08-25-2009 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 08-25-2009
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Paradox

I think the "Something you are missing" is simply experience that you will eventually get.

There are A LOT of used boats in that size range dotting the coast and many in decent shape being given away at very low prices. The Exoperience is that you are looking on a major project with many chances iof not succeeding in place of purchasing another boat for less overall cost and a much higher chance of sucecss.

The hull? Well if the gelcoat is cracked I wonder if it was actually paint and not gelcoat? If gelcoat then has water penetrated thru the gelcoat into the underlying hull and if so has it frozen and caused further damage? Osmosis is a problem where water penetrates the fibreglass hulls and it is serious - this hull looks like it could be a lot worse than that. You need to have a very knowledgable surveyor look at this to know for sure.

The outboard bracket on the back may be another warning sign. To me it says that 10 years ago the engine was not reliable. less chance now.

I have bought a boat sight unseen but well described and with many issues. It was dirty from sitting one off season and the deck was wet and needed repair in a number of places. The sails were old and there were a few more things. The broker actually told me to sail it for two years and then cut it up with a chainsaw if anything else broke. However I did know most of the issues and it was easily fixed over two seasons. None of it was the hull though - just the deck.

The expensive parts on a boat are the mast and rigging. If that is shot it will cost more than the boat to replace it.

This boat has been sitting 10 years. The hull itself will take a LONG time to repair and you have stated you don't really have any place to do the work?

I don't know. The boat is restorable in my opinion but will take a LOT of time and a lot of money. I think your material estimates are low. MArine paint can be expensive - especially for barrier coats and other things you need to seal the hull below the waterline. If you did this job and took the proper time the boat could look quite nice. I would not make your own sails because they may look lnice and sail horribly - but you can easily find used sails at any one of a number of used sail shops that can be acecssed on line for as little as 200 each. (expect to pay more).

North Sea boats are reputed to be very sturdy. However I don't believe the Vega 27 is designed for open water sailing that you have expressed an interest in. You should be looking at something like a Contessa 26 which is also a North Sea boat and have had many single handed ocean crossings.

Other things to think about are where you will store this boat on land and moor it in the water. I would think having any access to a boat on the water in Japan could be very expensive - probably as much as the boat is worth annually.

There is a lot of sound advice on this board. The boat may be restorable but the sound advice is find another one in better condition cheaper. A lot of people donate boats to charities and simply get tired of paying for storage on boats of such low value. Why pay $2000 + per year for storage on a $7000 boat sort of thing - so they basically give them away.

Best advice you have had is KEEP LOOKING. Also don't get stuck on the Vega.

Mike
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Old 08-25-2009
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WHile I applaud your can-do, diy attitude the thing that gives me pause is your description of yourself. You said you were not patient. Even with the funds to not worry about the cost of materials, restoring a boat in this condition takes an enormous amount of patience.

What you think will be a simple, 3 hour job often turns into a 2 day job and oh while you are there, you will notice something else that you previously missed that needs attention. This is inevitable.

Then there is the cost. You should add at least 25% to any of your cost estimates for supplies, though 50% will be more like it. I don't know why this happens, but it does. It happened on every item we've done so far and bargain shopping is my superhero power and my husband has access to just about any machined item you could want at wholesale. Still, every job thus far as exceeded our researched budget by at least 25%.

The final issue for me is time. You've said that you want to hurry up and go sailing. Restoration that you think will take 2 years will quickly morph into 3 or 4 years. As I stated earlier, every job you think will take longer than you think. The added expense of parts and supplies will force you to work in order to purcahse them which will cut down on the amount of time spent restoring this boat.

Yes, a $6,000 boat in better condition will still need work and money but at the end of it, you will have a vessel that is NOT an investment ( I don't think any boat is an investment) but a sea worthy vessel that can take you where you want to go SAFELY.

If you really want to find a project, you can find one in better shape for not much money which will put you ahead of the game. I'm not saying you shouldn't pursuit your goal, just that there are better vessels out there to help you accomplish your goals. Good luck.
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