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.