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Old 24-09-2021, 00:45   #1
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Albin vega vs. HR monsun

First - I am not super experienced sailor. I have maxi 80 26ft. super easy handling weekender. Its great very agile, very nice to sail in fjords. But with 2 reefs main sail is as big as Albin Vega with no reefs, mast is very thin It very hard to handle bad weather in this boat. I know I could change sails with different reefs, but I don't think its best boat for rough sees. In year or two I am thinking to try to sail in open waters and maybe buying new boat.

I will not go around the world, but I want to be able to. Since I will be cruising about 2 month a year and weekends - I am thinking to buy small boat like Albin Vega or HR Monsun. Mostly coastal cruising but be able to cross some seas like North sea. 2-3 persons. I will not live there full time yet. (I know, a bummer but I have some responsibilities and cant leave 8to5 regime).

I wondering HR Monsun or Albin Vega. Albin vega is way lighter and probably better for light winds and light wallet. But HR Monsun is heavy displacement for small sail area (~40m for 4.2ton) and probably will be much more comfortable. Price difference is huge - about 15000$. That's one full year or 4 holidays.

Its hard to decide, this is why I need your help. What are your opinions? experiences? This forum is full of very bright, smart, experienced and helpful people - I have faith in you.
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Old 24-09-2021, 01:44   #2
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

Accepting that it is easy to spend someone else's money on the internet, I really would take the HR over the Vega.

The reason is its bigger and heavier so faster and more stable. It will hold more fuel, water and provisions. finally you can stand up to put your trousers on in the morning.

Yes you could sail around the world on the Vega, but even if you only end up sailing around the NW of Europe, the 31 will be much more comfortable to live on for a few months at a time. Its not just the length but width and height inside that means you don't have "cabin fever" after several days of cold rainy weather.

Having had long discussions with the wife, we intend to keep our 31ft yacht as we think its the perfect size for coastal sailing around Northern Europe. Even in the height of summer, we have never not been able to get into a harbour, marina or anchorage.

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Old 24-09-2021, 03:24   #3
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

I think if you were to go below on both boats, you'd choose the HR Monsun over the Vega 27 any time.

Plus the Monsun should give you a smoother ride when the wind and seas get up a bit
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Old 24-09-2021, 03:55   #4
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

And here - as you would expect - is the opposing opinion; I've often been aboard, though never sailed on a Monsun, but my wife & I owned a Vega for almost ten years and sailed it UK to and around the Mediterranean, living aboard for 6/7 months each year and over wintering a couple of times too.

You say the Monsun will cost you $15,000 more than a Vega? that alone sounds a lot, but when you describe it as 'more than double the price of a Vega' it sounds even worse; in the UK at least, you can buy a very good, re-engined and well maintained Vega for far less than US$15,000.

For boats of that era I doubt that you can find a boat of that size with more interior space than a Vega and with both of us being under 5'9"/1.70m tall, the headroom's 'full-height' too; the demountable interior table adding to the feeling of spaciousness. Yes, if you've been cabined-up down below for a week of cold, wet, winter weather the Vega feels clostraphobic, but I've often done the same on our 35 footer and that's not significantly better. For the most part we 'live' in our cockpits and there it makes no difference if you're aboard a 27' or 47' boat; having said that, the Vegs's got a great/big cockpit for its size too I've often slept up there, which I suspect the Monsun's seating may not allow so comfortably?

Passage times won't be much difference as the Vega - as you've already guessed - will perform better in light winds and whilst it's 5'/1.5m shorter overall than the Monsun, its waterline length is only 1'/30cm less. That 5'/1.5m length and a 1'/30cm saving on draft will also provide you with a much better choice of harbours and more especially anchorages.

The standard diesel/water tanks on the Vega are not great for extended cruises (40/70 litres) but we found ample space - huge cockpit lockers - to increase water capacity to 190 litres and fuel to 50 litres, along with a another 60 litres of fuel in cans, a holding tank and a built in fridge; the Vega has unbelievable storage space!

The one area that I'd probably choose the Monsun over the Vega would be in big and steep beam/head seas, whilst very strong, the Vega's a light boat and we found that though it would point close to the wind, in those type of seas the bow got knocked-off and we made too much leeway - often motorsailed to obviate - and I suspect the Monsun would do better. That said, we made some long passages including Biscay in our Vega and to be honest, I spent most of our passage across the Atlantic wishing that i still had the Vega (the winds were too often light).

A final consideration, particularly as you say you're 'no super-experienced' in favour of the Vega is the Owners club/group/family, with more than 3500 Vegas built the club is huge and very supportive; there's not a problem you can have on a Vega that someone's not had before you and won't be happy to tell you how to overcome, similarly there is always someone who knows where to get whatever part you need.

I wouldn't advise against the Monsun, it's a fantastic boat and I'd choose it over the Vega if I was going to go through Panama and across the Pacific - though the Vega would still suffice - but otherwise, I'd save that $15,000 and maybe that will allow you to go full time a year earlier?
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Old 24-09-2021, 08:50   #5
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

Hope you are not tall if you get a Vega.
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Old 24-09-2021, 10:54   #6
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

You people are amazing, very good and practical information! I am 172cm, but when I streach my back its 175 In Norway there are quite a few vegas price 3000- 5000$ HR starts from 20000$. Price of refit (New standing and running rigging, engine etc) is not that much different (less than 100%) difference. I want to sell boat better than I bought (I believe in reuse). It is popular lately to fit both jib and genoa in soylent rig, maybe it would help HR low wind performace?
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Old 24-09-2021, 10:55   #7
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

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Hope you are not tall if you get a Vega.
They're the optimum height for someone who's 5'9" tall - by lifting yourself fractionally on the balls of your feet, you can wedge your head tight against the deck head at the galley and so use both hands to cook or brew-up, only needing to hold on to something in the very roughest of weather.
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Old 24-09-2021, 14:15   #8
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

Monsun for sure
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Old 25-09-2021, 06:05   #9
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

Monsun hands down, if you can afford it. Or a Great Dane 28, if you can't.
https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/great-dane-28
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Old 26-09-2021, 13:16   #10
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

I'll pass along my experience with a Vega. I owned a Nor'sea 27, several years back, and a friend had a Vega. One day we had a short challenge race for several beers. He had all sails raised and my Nor'sea 27 only had the 110 roller jib open. I pulled away from him at about 1.2 knots....not much of a race!
I think the Vegas are solid boats but rather slow with a low sail to displacement ratio. However, with that ratio, they may be good ocean boats, if the other characteristics like, disp/length ratio, capsize ratio are acceptable, plus have positive comfort motion. I don't know anything about the Monsun.

Hope this helps....
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Old 26-09-2021, 20:42   #11
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

I'd suggest expanding your horizons. Are these the only two boats available where you are?
Given those two, the Monsun looks better to me in specs. but I confess as to sailing neither one.
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Old 26-09-2021, 20:52   #12
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

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Originally Posted by Vaidotas View Post
and probably will be much more comfortable. Price difference is huge - about 15000$..

Trust me...Just own a sailboat for 5 years and the $15,000 will seem like nothing.
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Old 26-09-2021, 23:42   #13
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

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Trust me...Just own a sailboat for 5 years and the $15,000 will seem like nothing.
Yes, but maintenance price for HR and Vega is not that different.
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Old 27-09-2021, 00:10   #14
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I'd suggest expanding your horizons. Are these the only two boats available where you are?
Given those two, the Monsun looks better to me in specs. but I confess as to sailing neither one.
I live in Norway and those are popular boats. I see a westerly once a year, Alegro sometimes. But there is almost always Vega and HR on the market. Norway is long, so If there is one in the North it could be 1000NM trip to home
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Old 27-09-2021, 00:18   #15
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Re: Albin vega vs. HR monsun

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Originally Posted by iota27 View Post
I'll pass along my experience with a Vega. I owned a Nor'sea 27, several years back, and a friend had a Vega. One day we had a short challenge race for several beers. He had all sails raised and my Nor'sea 27 only had the 110 roller jib open. I pulled away from him at about 1.2 knots....not much of a race!
I think the Vegas are solid boats but rather slow with a low sail to displacement ratio. However, with that ratio, they may be good ocean boats, if the other characteristics like, disp/length ratio, capsize ratio are acceptable, plus have positive comfort motion. I don't know anything about the Monsun.

Hope this helps....
NOR'SEA 27 is amazing boat, it has a bit more sail than Vega but a lot more balast. It has same LWL, it is strange that speed difference was 1.2 knots (maybe Vega needs a belly rub?). NOR'SEA 27 is hard to find in place where I live. I am choosing between those two because of practical reasons. I don't want to buy boat from EU because of problems with customs and that I need to sail long time to arrive home. And here Vegas and HR are very popular.
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