The modest-appearing Bluewater Sailboat Albin Vega 27 is more complex than it first appears. This diminutive 27-foot fiberglass cruiser from Scandinavia has earned a devoted following across several continents and can flaunt her skills as a serious offshore cruiser.
Per Brohall, a Swedish designer developed the Viggen 23 in 1964 in response to a request from builders Larsson Marine for a larger variation. The Albin Vega’s popularity is a result of Brohall’s accomplishment in fulfilling his mandate to create a boat that was not only affordable but also lightweight, capacious, quick, and seaworthy.
The Vega’s design, like many Bluewater sailboats of the era, pays homage to the long keel and slender lines of the Scandinavian Folkboat. In comparison to contemporary designs, the epithet “spacious” may be misleading, but unlike contemporary boats, there was no compromise made in the internal room for seaworthiness. Over 3000 boats were created during Albin Vega’s ten-year production cycle, even though she is no longer being produced. She has established a solid reputation as a budget-friendly all-weather cruiser and a great first boat.
In order to boost sales of their Albin engines, Lars Larsson of Larsson Trade AB (later to become Albin Marin AB) commissioned Swedish designer Per Brohall to create a 27-foot version of his previous successful design, the Viggen 23. Brohall wrote several books on making tiny wooden boats and was one of the forerunners of early fibreglass shipbuilding in Sweden. Albin 25, 21, and 30 were among the boats he co-designed with Larsson, but the Albin Vega is likely to have garnered the most attention. Before production halted in 1979 and the shipyard was shut down, Larsson Trade AB was able to construct 3450 Vegas at their spectacular shipyard in Kristinehamn, Sweden. Unsurprisingly, a large number of the Vegas were sold in Scandinavia, but a sizable portion were also exported to other countries in Europe and as far away as the USA, Greenland, and Hawaii.
The Vega has completed a number of offshore journeys and circumnavigations, earning her reputation as an offshore cruiser. The most well-known of these was John Neal’s expedition, which was documented in the book Log of Mahina. He traveled from Seattle to the South Pacific.
More recently, the controversial Norwegian explorer Jarle Andhoy and his crew on the ship Berserk made trips to the Arctic and Antarctic (and later Berserk II). These journeys were documented for Norwegian TV. No other sailing boat had ever been thus far north on the open sea, according to their narrative of their Arctic expedition.
By way of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic and Cape Horn in South America, Matt Rutherford finished his solo, uninterrupted round of the Americas in 2012. Matt set two Guinness World Records during his 309-day journey, which was documented in the video Red Dot on the Ocean.
The Bluewater Sailboat Vega is a cutaway stern, inboard rudder, and moderate displacement masthead sloop. She lacks some of the traditional cruiser curves and has a nearly straight sheerline from bow to stern, which from some perspectives gives the impression that she has a slight hunchback. Her keel is not the usual complete keel of an offshore cruiser, but it has been shortened to half the length of her waterline, which is sufficient to maintain good tracking while reducing friction and enhancing performance in light winds. Her propeller exits under the counter stern above the rudder, which is unusual and is firmly connected to the back of the keel. She has a distinctive bow pulpit design that enables step-through embarkation and is typical of Swedish boats, which frequently have to be tied bow forward off rocky shores.
The hull of the Vega, which was built in the early days of fiberglass construction, is solidly built with layers of fiberglass up to an inch thick. However, the cabin top and deck are cored fiberglass, which, while not necessarily weak, is prone to flexing and could use reinforcement to withstand protracted offshore work. Strong and watertight bolts that are placed five inches apart hold the hull and deck together at the joints.
She has a fairly typical internal design for a Bluewater sailboat of her size, with a chain locker, v-berth, head, single cabins on either side of the saloon, and a galley divided into two areas on either side of the companionway staircase. Despite the limited space below due to her 8-foot beam, she can transport two adults comfortably on longer excursions, and possibly two children on shorter cruises. The four cabins (6′ and 6′ 6″) are a good size “) and a table in the saloon that screws into place and can be moved to the cockpit by unscrewing it. Improvisation is needed in this situation because there is no designated chart table. With 5′ 10,” headroom is not especially generous “in the center cabin. The cockpit is said to be the ideal size for offshore work, and it features towering coamings for protection, good drainage, and. One owner mentions using it as a relaxing cockpit spa by plugging the drains.
According to all reports, the Vega under sail is a well-balanced beast without a weather helm. Despite having a little draught, she is said to point well to windward and, despite being a little tender at first, carrying full sail up to 20 knots with ease. Although she is a quick boat downwind, offshore cruising would be wise to have a sizable spinnaker or drifter on board for weak winds.
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