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  #1  
Old 06-18-2014
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Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

I am trying to help a friend with his new Old Boat. We had been corresponding and I was trying to help him find a boat. Every time he found one, it seemed, it would be sold before he could make an offer. I told him not to get discouraged and told him that there are boats out there for sale and he should just keep looking - one is bound to tun up. "Why" I said, "There is one right here in P-Burg for only $3500".

The boat is an early Vega, Series 1. She is well equipped, with auto pilot, radar, GPS, VHF, fish finder, propane cooker and Force 10 heater, all in good working order. She has all the original fittings, except for standing rigging which has been replaced; Matching gold anodized mast, roller furling boom and spinnaker pole by Proctor, bronze sheet and halyard winches. The original interior is in great shape. The boat also sports what looks like a brand new marine head and holding tank. This boat has been neglected, but not abused. In fact, she looks like she has not been sailed much at all. There is no mast step deflection, no rust or discoloration on any of the original SS fittings, no bent stanchions or worn through spots in the gelcoat and she has the original tufnol blocks for main and headsail sheets and cunningham, all in good condition. She comes with two sets of ground tackle, one Bruce type and one Danforth anchor, each with heavy rope/chain rodes in excellent condition. As an added bonus, she has an Achilles hard deck and transom inflatable dinghy in good condition with oars and its own anchor.

On the downside, she has been exposed to Alaskan weather for many years and has a lot of gelcoat crazing on the top mold - coaming, deck etc. Not structural, just ugly; and the old Albin O21 gas engine which, while still resident, does not run. The sails are in fair condition except the Genoa, which might make a good tent, and the dodger lacks canvas (Recycle the Genoa?). And, of course, she is in Petersburg, Alaska.

After I had a diver clean and inspect the bottom I sent him photos and video of the boat and video the diver had shot of the bottom he decided to come up and take a look.

The plan all along was to take two or three weeks cruising down the inside passage with myself, the new owner (Who flew up from CA) and a friend who is a delivery skipper with dozens of trips on the planned route who is coming along for a lark. I need to go to Seattle anyway while Laura and Lealea stay here.

Because the inboard engine no stay running, the PO installed a Yamaha 15hp four stroke OB motor offset to port on the transom. Test drive revealed that the transom is just not strong enough for an OB motor so we are looking for ways to beef up the transom to accept the OB so the boat can be taken down the inside passage to Port Townsend, WA where it is more practical to undertake a major project.

The local metal fabrication man came by today and is making up aluminum plates that will be through-bolted to the inner backing plate to spread the load across a wider area.

It is great to be in a port where quick and dirty boat repairs of the - get it out now - so I can go fishing- or - get to a decent shipyard a thousand miles away - are a daily event; Where craftsmen know what is at stake and expect no more than an honest day's pay for an honest days work. Our friend the New Owner, from SoCal, sometimes seems stunned by the way folks up here pitch in to help a fellow seafarer and do not try to rip you off.

She will make a fine little yacht with a little sanding, filling, paint and varnish and some new canvas.



$3500 Vega -SOLD
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  #2  
Old 06-18-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

Still the best value on the street. Albin Vegas have possibly more ocean miles logged per dollar spent than any other sailboat. Amazing where those things have got to. Takes a certain type of person to sail 'em that hard, mind you. Kinda nice to remember that $5k can buy a boat that will take you anyplace you are willing to aim for.
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

I love the idea of flying to Alaska to buy a $3500 boat!
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

Never give up on the good Albin 021, a quality engine. Easy to repair. Probably the the magnetic spark thing, known to create some issues.
Last for ever. Best thing on that boat.

/J
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

arhhgggg!!!~ Boaters wanting to fly to Alaska...(South East) Take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system!!!!!!! Beautiful trip!!!
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

Love this, another good old boat saved. Hopefully you will be making a video series of your travel adventures. Look forward to it!
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

Joseph, the metal man, dropped off two pieces of aluminum stock, one inch thick by 17 inches long and three inches wide, drilled and beveled with neoprene gaskets and matching aluminum backing plates. The harbormaster gave us some plywood and helped us cut it to shape and size for the inside of the transom. With the thick outer pieces on the outside and the plywood and aluminum backing plates held with six 5/16" SS bolts through bolting engine mount, aluminum plates, transom and plywood it looks plenty strong.

Tomorrow we will double check everything and take her out on Frederick Sound for a test drive. If all goes well we hope to depart on Saturday.

The current in Wrangell Narrows , sometimes runs more than six knots so we must time our departure for an hour and a half before high slack water. That way we get favorable current on the rising tide all the way to the summit, which we plan to reach at high slack water. Then when the tide ebbs, we get favorable current down the Southern half of the narrows. With luck, we will be able to get across Sumner Strait and into St. Johns Harbor at Zarembo Island before dark. We have 18 hours of daylight so we may even be able to make it as far as Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales

Laura will not be with us and she usually handles the photography but I am going to try to shoot enough video to make something worth watching.
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Old 06-20-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

Any updates pics?
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Old 06-20-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

good luck!

great boats...
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Old 06-20-2014
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Re: Getting into a Good , Cheap, Old Boat

I doubt it qualifies as a BFS.. but I like the sound of this adventure! keep us informed
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