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Swab
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825 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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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baDumbumbum
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1,142 Posts
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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337 Posts
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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161 Posts
arhhgggg!!!~ Boaters wanting to fly to Alaska...(South East) Take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system!!!!!!! Beautiful trip!!!
 

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Swab
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825 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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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Corsair 24
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4,594 Posts
good luck!

great boats...
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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3,217 Posts
I doubt it qualifies as a BFS.. but I like the sound of this adventure! keep us informed
 

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Swab
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825 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Good one Bubblehead!

Well, Wiliwa, Vega 385, also a series one like the boat in the video, is ready to go. Repairs and modification, complete, groceries stowed and crew anxious to depart.

We had planned to leave on the rising tide this morning. Mother Nature, however, has other ideas. With small craft advisories all around us and worse conditions in Clarence Strait (Which is a well known blow hole and is always sketchy), we decided, like many of the local fishing boats, to remain in port and have another round at Kito's Kave.

:cool:
 

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Swab
Joined
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825 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Stalled in Prince Rupert.

We made it this far OK but the weather has been horrible, keeping us cowering in port for a week now. With the other weather delays at Coffman Cove and Ketchikan, we are at least two weeks behind schedule. The weather appears to be moderating now, but there have been storm conditions in Queen Charlotte Sound to the South and gales all around us with winds gusting to 40 kts here in the harbor yesterday.

The delays are putting a strain on the crew so we will probably take a couple of weeks - leave the boat to go home and take care of business, then regroup, return to Prince Rupert, and continue.

The boat it self is doing just fine though, after some minor repairs to the motor mounts and depth sounder. The crew is in good spirits but we know better than to challenge Mother Nature.

Discretion being the better part of valor, we intend to make the trip as comfortable and safe as possible and we know that schedules and deadlines make for dangerous choices.
 

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Swab
Joined
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825 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Bella Bella (Shearwater Resort)

Captain Gary left the boat in Prince Rupert. Tom and I continued after the weather broke. Glorious weather for the past few days. Stops at Klewnuggit, Gitga'at and Klemtu (Cloths Bay). Now in Bella Bella, BC having a burger and beer at Shearwater Resort. Boat and crew doing fine.:)
 
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