May. 14th, 2011 03:34 am
i_id: (Voyager)
[personal profile] i_id
So, April 30th, I happened to be checking my bank account and browsing craigslist at the same time. "Huh," I said to myself, seeing the price of the most recent listing in one window, and my balance in the other. "These numbers just about match." And then I saw what that price was attached to.

A 1974 Albin Vega 27.

A sturdy little blue-water boat already famous for being a handy circumnavigator the perfect size for a single sailor. In sailable condition. For less than $3500. The listing was barely an hour old, and I leapt on it. Called the man and left a message. He called me back, and after some scheduling mishaps, I arranged to come out and see the boat the next day. It was in Deming, a little town some miles Northeast of Bellingham.

I may be ambitious, but I'm still pretty much a boat novice, so I took Dad up with me to see this too-good-to-be-true boat, trying to rein in my hopes. I needn't have bothered. Despite having been up on sticks for somewhere between three and seven years, and lived aboard by a nonsailing family of three before that, the boat was in better shape than I could have hoped. Save one strange through-hole on the transom, I could stick her in the water today and sail her around, if the rigging is as sound as it all appears to be. She even comes with three usable sails, and an engine that turns over, which means it's repairable. The original 1974 engine, I think. The owner, an older man with a jack-of-all-trades sort of demeanor (thoroughly supported by the massive workshop on his property, the barn, the co-op school, and the 40' wooden sloop being used as a playhouse) even had all of her original paperwork, including manuals for both ship and engine. Honestly, my biggest complaint about the Vega is that wasps have moved in and eaten a great deal of the interior woodwork, which I would have been likely to replace anyway.

So I bought the boat. Not quite on the spot; he gave me a night to think it over (a night in which he received three other offers. I'm so very glad I put down my earnest money first), and I brought him a check the next day. He's been kind enough to let me keep the boat on her sticks at his place while I track down a place to keep her while I work on her, which I hope to do in the next few days. I like him. He's a little crazy, but he loves boats and keeps goats.

Her name is Gandalf. I'm not sure I'll change it. The dinghy will probably have to be named after a hobbit.

Scruffy, but sound.

Definitely in need of new bottom paint. I'll probably be replacing that large cabin window with two smaller, sturdier ones.

This flat spot from sitting on sticks was the closest thing to hull damage I could find, and at worst, it means I need to apply a fiberglass patch on the inside of the hull. Which is about as hard as paper mache.

The cabin, taken from just inside the hatch. You can see some moisture damage on the wood, and a lot of wasp damage, but the cushions are all okay and there was no scent of mold. Those two metal poles in the foreground are for a table, but I'll have to make a new tabletop. I may scrap one of these bunks entirely and turn it into storage/big wide chart table. Since someone will ask, the bathroom is behind that varnished door up on the starboard side. I wonder if that radio works.

Date: 2011-05-14 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, that's a neat boat. Gonna do anything special with it?

Date: 2011-05-14 11:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That looks intimidating and scary and fun simultaneously.

Date: 2011-05-14 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is indeed all of the above.

Date: 2011-05-14 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You have a boat! That is awesome.

Date: 2011-05-14 11:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have my boat!

Date: 2011-05-14 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A tad cozy, but hey, if it works.

Personally, I would take out the couch on the left side and use that for storage. You talked about having to carry a second engine when you do your voyage, that has to go somewhere.

Oh, and somewhere on the hull, or inside, you need a photo of Gandalf from the movie yelling "Fly you fools!"

And for a dinghy name: Samwise. Sturdy, dependable, there when you need him.

Date: 2011-05-14 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One of them will become storage, I just need to learn how the boat moves a little better to pick my permanent bed. And there's plenty of storage already, the engine will go in a cockpit locker.

And yes. I have muralists available to me. :3

Samwise is going to be my liferaft, I believe. The dinghy, little follower that it is, shall be either Bilbo, Frodo, or Gollum.

Date: 2011-05-15 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Gollum, definitely Gollum. Or Smeagol. He's the one who's always lurking behind. |D

This is so awesome! Even without the appropriate names. Windfalls in you lap are always fantastic. <3 Hope you find a good place to which to move her soon.

Date: 2011-05-14 04:59 pm (UTC)
mephron: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mephron
Huzzah the trip!

Date: 2011-05-14 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Big step closer!

Date: 2011-05-15 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You've reminded me of something my brother said, while living aboard their boat: The cruising life, working on your boat in exotic places.

Good Onya!

Date: 2011-05-17 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Looks comfy cozy! Can't wait until you get her fixed up and we can go on Adventures!


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