I have used the nicopress method for about 10,000 odd miles from Europe
. I rerigged her in Greece
where my original intention was to splice the terminations as descibed by Brian Toss. However time and seasonal changes meant I had to find a faster method. My yacht is about a tonne heavier than your albin vega
(great boat by the way, almost bought one myself) and I rerigged using 6mm, 1/4" 1 x 19 stainless wire. I bought a 100metre roll and made everything up myself except the swage which I fitted around the thimble using a self made riggers vice. This was then taken to a riggers to be hydraulically pressed which took about half an hour and cost about $40 for 22 terminations. Having researched this well before doing the work I followed the following basic theory/rules/guidelines:
1. Bending 1x19 stainless wire rope around a thimble is not recommended for greater than 6mm wire. This is why 7x7 construction is more common with thimbles (and larger vessels) as it is much more flexible however there is a strength and/or weight trade
off using 7x7. This is why very few large yachts sailors (and I class anything over 4-5 tonne displacement
as large) will know of this method of rigging termination.*
The problem is getting the tension (when the rig is tuned and then used) to be evenly distributed across all of the strands of wire as they pass around the thimble radius. As the 1x19 rope is bent around the thimble it naturally wants to unlay a bit and if left like this a few strands will be taking the load intended for 19. As the OP said in his post "it goes against the design principle" of the wire. This is why:
2. You should use an oversize thimble to make the bending radius larger to lessen the unlaying effect. How large you may ask? At least one size bigger, ideally as large as possible but aesthetics come into play here. Also use thimbles that are not split, if I had the funds I would have bought solid thimbles for greater security
however there is no reason why a welded thimble will not provide ample strength.
3. The only termination that has no load concentration at any point is the wire rope splice.
4. Having your own swage tool would make the job completely self sufficient and mean that you could make repairs
enroute. I have too many tools onboard (as I use them to make a living as I travel) so I packed enough u bolt/bulldog grips (ala Moitessier) and spare wire rope to make up the longest rigging length should any failure occur enroute.
I suggest you take the money
for one or two sta-locks and get a good riggers book as well as speaking to the most knowledgable riggers in your area. I did this before committing to this method and from the most experienced rigger in my state I remember the following statement: "The rigging termination method (splicing, nicopress, Sta-lock or the modern roll swage) makes only a small difference to breaking strain of the standing rigging" given each are done correctly.
Some methods are much faster and far less labour intensive like the roll swage. My personal opinion stems from the type of cruising I do which is far away from any yacht service
support industry. So I need to be able to inspect and repair all voyage critical stuff myself. As such only the splice and to a lesser extent the nicopress fitting allows the user to see the terminations point of failure and make repairs
BEFORE they fail. A Sta-lock may fail internally without warning (usually due to improper fitting which cannot be checked once it is done) and the roll swage usually always fails at the wires exit point where work hardening over time and/or crevice corrosion
weaken the wire. Neither of these terminations can be inspected in the field and the roll swage cant be inspected at all without specialist equipment
The only other "affordable" termination method I would choose would be splicing which in my opinion is the best for self sufficient cruising. Just out of interest the riggers who taught me wire rope splicing do a lot of splicing for the UK's hot air ballooning industry where the ONLY acceptable wire rope termination conforming to British Standards is.. the wire splice!
A long reply I know but I'm just detailing my humble experience which has lasted through some fairly strong storms and seas.
Good luck and fair winds.