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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 1971 Albin Vega. The price was amazing - so I expect to do quite a bit of work.

I'm seeking someone with experience in replacing/re-sealing the gasket between the deck and hull. Can bolts be removed, deck lifted and full gasket replaced - OR - is there a much easier option of caulk/epoxy etc?

I'd also like to know if anyone has experience in re-inforcing the bulkhead below the mast mount. Visually, there's no evidence of compression, but I'd like to perform this reinforcement when I have all the cabin removed.

Thanks - Dustin
 

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I was hoping to hear of a better solution, but the only ones I have heard of are either to do a short section of the hull deck joint at a time or to glass over the joint inside and/or out.
 

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Living the dream
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I'd say not a chance of separating the hull and deck. Glass over the joint on the inside. Tbh, I'd be surprised the hull to deck joint could be so bad on a Vega, as it is not a problem they are known for. From memory it is bolted. Perhaps you could replace the bolts in sequence and recaulk?

As for reinforcorcing the mast support beam, which is a very well known issue with the Vega, my solution was to attach an angle iron reinforcement beam I fabricated to the bulkhead that distributed the load to the doorway frames, which I also beefed up. Seemed to work, but I don't own the boat anymore so don't know how it held up in the long term although the problem was the main beam warping so I cant see why this wouldn't have fixed it long term.

 

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baDumbumbum
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Yep, compression arch is a known issue with the Vega, with many documented repairs out there. I'd recommend spending some time cruising various blogs until you see a solution that works for you. Agree now is the time to address the issue, if a PO has not already.

Not sure how the Vega's hull-to-deck was engineered; a photo would be helpful. We own an Albin Ballad from 1972, which employs a solid bulwark w/ inward turned flange, mated to an inward flange on the hull, the entirety thru-bolted every 4" around the full perimeter of the boat w/ 5/16" diameter SS carriage bolts. The sealant was/is a butyl mastic, which is not structural (but does not need to be) but which also does not harden, embrittle, or fall out. Squeezeout remains soft and very sticky, even 42 years later.

Upshot is most 'hull-to-deck' leaks on the Ballad (and possibly the Vega) are not actually at that seam; they come from around the bolt heads themselves -- or are condensation drips caused by cold bolts in a warm interior. Sorta like the sweating closet bolts on your toilet tank. ;)

That said, the easiest (not to say easy) way to seal that joint in perpertuity (if your Vega is built & sealed thus) is:

1. Rebed (?) and snug down carriage bolts. Maybe do this job in 10' sections. Clean off any butyl squeezeout (a putty knife followed by mineral spirits or xylene does very well).

2. Scuff sand surrounding area with coarse sanding sponge.

3. Lay a fillet of thickened epoxy down the joint & fair. I cannot speak highly enuf of WEST Six10 epoxy-inna-tube for this job. Expensive, but so worth it.

4. When epoxy firms up & is just tacky, lay 2-3" wide, 10oz FG tape over the joint and wet out with a chip brush. Repeat with a second layer.

5. If doing major outside work as well, like fairing & painting, that's a good time to grind out the hull/deck seam and fillet with Six10 or similar.

The result is a stiff joint that will never leak, tho your best course is to first make sure it is really the joint that is leaking. If all the water stains coincide with thru bolts, the joint itself is probably fine.
 
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