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Discussion Starter #1
I want to take a trip in a couple years down the ICW and the Caribbean to Trinidad and Tobago. I will have two sailors accompany me on this journey. I know a lot about the Albin Vega, but have heard many people sing the praises of Pearson Triton 28. I can obtain both for about the same $$ so value isn't of concern.
Does anyone have experience with both boats? Or insight on the pros and cons of either?
I am also open to suggestions for other boats. Nothing over 32' Thanks!
 

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Three on a boat that size and that far is not for me. That said, I would add the Alberg 30 to your list. Similar to the Triton and bit bigger. The Alberg 35 would be a better choice, but you said not over 32 feet. These are all old boats so a careful survey is essential to be sure they are up to the trip.
 

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I second an alberg 35. There available for around 15,000 not much more than an alberg 30. If you were doing serious blue water I would suggest an allied seawind but for Caribbean, it would just be a super slow difficult to maneuver boat. I would personally prefer a vega, i like the hull shape more than i like the triton, An alberg 30 would be a great choice too or any of the cape dory's a bristol 29.9, 30,32 or 27. A cal 30 would be nice too. And my own boat a contest 30 might make a good Caribbean cruiser too or a hughes 31. There are a lot of boats that you can cruise the Caribbean in. I had a dock mate who cruised the Caribbean with 4 people in a grampian 26.
 

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Once you're in the Eastern Caribbean just about any well found boat will do... easy daysails between islands, mostly reaching.

Getting there from Florida is the kicker.. pretty much 1000 nm to weather can be quite the bash. That's where you need a boat with toughness, for the so-called 'thorny path'. But certainly there are plenty of 'tough old boats' to choose from. Whichever, it's going to be about survey, upgrades/refits, and tough enough (compatible) crew as well...
 

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BOTH ARE EXCELLENT! get the best deal you can find...

the albin vegas sell for about 50% more than what a decent triton goes for at least when I was looking.

My dream boat when I was younger was always the pearson triton...west coast as it was a bit stouter, "full keel" and all, this even after having one of the best small wooden boats ever a herreshoff h28 and after that a marieholm folkboat...

the folkboat was perfect for a singlehander or a young couple...the triton is a beast both in size and interrior space compared to the folkboat

shy away from bigger is always better mentality and more towards money in your pocket for cruising and your family ideals instead.

Id rather have a completely outfitted and rebuilt 26 foot boat versus a big 35 footer that I cant afford to replace parts on...like winches and or rigging...even anchors get ridiculous after a certain size.

the albin vega is a wonderful boat too...I was on one in costa rica where I anchored my h28 right next to it in 2001 or so... a couple of surfing guys where cruising here big time! very bare bones style but it felt like it had more space than my h28 obviouly it had better headroom...and it was glass! no leaks! jajaja

they are also nicely built and strong...they do well in heavy weather as does the triton...

if you do decide to buy another boat because you are indeed too cramped after looking at some and maybe test sailing... then the alberg 30 is a might fine choice with a PEDIGREE...

cheers

ps. if you want sweet lines and want to stay with the same "class" of boat and under 32 the pearson vanguard although slow and doesnt do that well to weather is a beatiful boat for a cruising couple...its also well built just needs some attention in some areas but all boats do.
 

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Tritons have crossed oceans. Vegas have rounded continents and I think the world?

I'd think the Triton, with a little more heft and room, may be the more comfortable boat for coastal sailing, and Vega for the way offshore stuff?

On either one, they'll have some age. Count on replacing the standing rigging, it corrodes inside the turnbucle fittings where you can't see.
 

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tritons have done extensive circumnavgiations...james baldwins site is a must for anyone interested in a triton...his mods are some of the best ever for a small cruising boat

the vegas have done so too...both are safe offshore boats when modded appropriately...no doubts about that...
 

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Both good choices. As others have said, the condition of old boats is the first thing to consider. You can spend a whole lot of money getting one ready to go offshore. Check #1: Condition of the deck core. If it's rotten (as many are) go no farther. #2: Condition of engine. It should have a replacement diesel. #3: Condition of the rigging and sails. Fixing just those three items could cost you 20-30 grand. There are lots of project boats out there which can be good deals IF you're into projects.

3 people and offshore supplies on a 30' boat is an iffy situation.
 

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All the chatter about 30 feet not being enough room for three people makes me laugh.

You guys all need a Sequitor to cruise on?

3 young bucks who aren't married to a ridiculous amount of material possessions would get along just fine, on a Triton. The OP is motoring down the ICW and bouncing around the Carribean, for cryin' out loud.

They can stop daily to stretch their legs on the ICW, and all I ever hear about the Carribean is how you can hop from island to island in a day. They're not doing a circumnavigation.

I understand that a Triton or a Vega is sub-optimal for a liveaboard, retired couple in their 50's or 60's, but I don't get that vibe from the OP.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Based on the replies so far, I gather that I'm not "insane" for attempting this in a Vega. I really want to go with the smallest boat I can be comfortable in. Thank you for the input, I will check out some of the other boats mentioned as well.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I think you need to decide what your ultimate goal is. If it is only to go as far as Trinidad and back I would go for a somewhat larger, more comfortable boat, there are lots of possibilities. If you think you might want to turn right and go through the canal you might want to stick with something more rugged. Quite like Vegas and we have seen three doing circumnavigations, but with one or two aboard. Would be tight with three. They seem to be becoming cult boats and prices are higher. Might also look at some of the older Bristols in your price range.
 

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Aaron, check out Chuck and Laura Rose's video blogs on youtube,
cruising lealea - YouTube
They have crossed from Hawaii to Puget Sound, down to SF Bay, back to Hawaii, and then to Alaska, where they are now. They stay and cruise in their destination area for a season, a year, whatever they feel like. All in A Vega 27. They've been live aboard cruisers for quite some time - hell, they had the same cat, Boatswain Bree, onboard for 16 years!
 

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Both boats are good choices for a tough classic affordable cruiser. Both are on the small side for interior space but offer simple systems, which I see as simple to repair and relatively cheap to repair.

Other boats you may consider if you like the lines of a Triton and idea of full keel boats:

Alberg 30
Pearson Vangaurd
Bristol 27

Check out Sailfar.net as a source for small cruising source

Also as others have mention
Atomvoyager.com
cruisinglealea.com
bristol27.com

Good luck in your search and decision. Just FYI I saw a Vega for sale on Norfol, VA craiglist a few weeks ago for $2k obo and a Triton for $1500. The vega looked to be in decent shape from the dock
 

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Aaron,

I have also considered the Albin Vega as well for a cruising boat. I was able to get a few minutes of Matt Rutherford's (Solo Around the America's Under Sail | An audacious attempt at sailing the Northwest Passage and circumnavigating entirety of both continents, to benefit Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating) time at the 2012 Annapolis Show to talk about the boat's capabilities. The one thing he said that really stuck with me was that it would not heave-to very well since it has a fin-keel. The ability to heave-to is something I consider paramount in a cruising boat. Which is why I sadly crossed the Vega off my list of potential boats. That may not be as important in the Carib though. Happy hunting!
 

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I know you asked about the vega vs the triton, but consider this from Ted Brewer in "Good Old Boat" January/February 2008:
"Designer Ted Brewer has noted that given the choice between going to sea in a Triton or a P28-1 (which replaced the Triton in the Pearson line in 1975) , he'd choose the latter. Not that this denigrates the Triton - a proven circumnavigator many times over - in anyway; just that it places the P28-1 in the same class..."
My reason for using this quote, is to say that there are many more modern designs that will serve your needs better, may not be so tired (40+ years is a lot of wear and tear) and can provide you better sailing characteristics. Open your search a little, and don't worry so much about size. There is not much difference between 27 and 30 feet as far as sailing complexity, but a huge difference in creature comfort.
John
 

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i would suggest if you want to do more blue water, an allied seawind is most likely your best bet, an albin vega is a better choice than a triton and is faster, easier to maneuver though. the sea wind would be heavy and slow, but would be the sturdiest if you decided to do say a circumnavigation after your Caribbean travels. You could heave to in a vega with a sea anchor like the pardey's use most likely.
 

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The problem I have with the Vega is the same problem I have with our 27' boat and a lot of early <=30ft sailboats: The interior is dysfunctional. It's not that it's small, it's just poorly laid out.

I don't think this is an issue of size as much as it is the designer/builder choosing to make the boat more accommodating for more people. I've been aboard 20ft boats that had more functional and useful interiors than ours, and 35ft boats with less functional and useful interiors. The design decisions are a compromise, they probably work ok for some people, but not for others. I never intend on overnights with 4 people on our boat, I'd rather that extra space be used and laid out better. I would rather the space be used for a nav table, easily accessible galley, storage, etc, than uncomfortable berths people won't use.

I've seen 27' boats with really functional interiors and those without. I don't really find size to be the issue unless you need more sleeping space and those features. With 2 people, 27' should be large enough, but it needs to be laid out functionality, which many boats that size are not.

You could probably rip out most of the non-structural pieces and build it to your liking inside, I've nearly done it a few times. The only thing holding me back is the same reason the builder likely didn't do it from the start, it would narrow the market for the boat when we decide to sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What are some boats with good interiors, Shinook? I am a simple is better kind of guy, and I like the narrow beam on some of the older boats. I have limited experience with different sailboat interiors under sail, and I don't like the fact that the vega doesn't have a designated nav table. My understanding is newer boats have more room, but a wider beam. I could definitely redo the vega interior, but I'd like to be heading out to sea in less than two years, not four or five.
 
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