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Old 07-11-2018, 18:55   #1
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Looking for advice.

I am new to sailing, but I have had my eye on an Albin Vega 27. They are tough to find state side, and I don't know how to get one here from Europe. With that being said...

I have found a 1974 Sabre 28, and I am wondering how it would compare. I chose the Albin, because I would like to be able to go from Florida around the caribbean. So I guess itt needs to be a blue water boat, right? If so, I know that the Albin is, but what about the Sabre? I have noticed that the keel on the Albin is about twice as big as the Sabre, and I wonder about sea safety. Again, I am new, and do not expect to set sail until I have been through training, and gotten some experience along the coastlines.

Thanks for any help I can get, as this Sabre "looks" like it will fit the bill, but for me, it is safety first, and tried and true counts big with me...


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Old 07-11-2018, 19:02   #2
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Re: Looking for advice.

My limited knowledge I think the Sabre is a good boat but I know the Vega is.

Looked at and found five or six Vegas in the US for sale.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:35   #3

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Re: Looking for advice.

Trying to define "bluewater boats" here triggers an endlessly repetitive debate, many believe no such thing.

Certainly the captain's level of experience and skills are at least as critical in any case.

Most sailing Florida around the Bahamas and Caribbean is considered more coastal cruising than offshore passage making.

Taking advantage of modern weather forecasting makes it even more so.

Staying out of the zone in storm season is critical no matter how robust & seaworthy the boat.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:06   #4
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Re: Looking for advice.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Cob.

Albin Vega vs Sabre 28 ➥ Sail Calculator Pro v3.54 - 3200+ boats
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:38   #5
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Re: Looking for advice.

I think the Sabre would be fine for what you want to do.
Back to Great Lakes sailing on our Catalina 36 MkII after many years ocean sailing on a Bristol 45.5, which was just too big for the yacht clubs on Lake Ontario.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:44   #6
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Re: Looking for advice.

I think I'd pick the Sabre over the Vega, all else being equal. It'll be a better sailing boat and more comfortable on the hook. Both of these boats were built in relatively high latitudes and have fixed ports. You'll want a wind scoop for the forward hatch to help ventilate.
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Old 08-11-2018, 14:22   #7
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Re: Looking for advice.

The Albin is a well built little torpedo of a boat. My neighbor has one, he loves it. The Sabre has a good rep for build quality, I looked at one to buy once. The Vega’s keel is molded in, the Sabre’s is bolted on (no judgement either way intended there.) the Sabre is considerably roomier and I think would be the more enjoyable to sail and cruise on. Check chainplates and keel bolts, but that’s true for most boats anyway.
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Old 08-11-2018, 16:21   #8
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Re: Looking for advice.

We own a Vega, so I am obviously biased even though I have never sailed her yet. We have big plans for her though. I've been slowly refitting her for two years, and have another year to go. Lord willing, she will be essentially brand new when I'm done.

Good Vegas are indeed hard to find in the US. Only one of the Vegas I'm seeing at is was actually posted this year in the continental US. I subscribe to Craigslist ads for every coastal city from Maine to Seattle (plus the Great Lakes), and right now there are none for sale. And none on eBay.
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Old 08-11-2018, 17:12   #9
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Re: Looking for advice.

Bought a Mark I Sabre 28 last year. Am really happy with the boat. She sails well in all the conditions that I've encountered. Tracks well and is easily controlled with the WindPilot Pacific Light self steering vane. The forces on the rudder are light through all speed ranges sailing. Under power, the offset engine position keeps you from having to fight prop torque when powering forward and easily controlled with the tiller pilot. It does tend to pull the stern to port in reverse with our Yanmar but the boat responds to rdder quit well maneuvering in our narrow channel with slips on both sides. Water tankage is adequate for short cruises. 20 gallon fuel tank gives plenty of range with a diesel. Like the stowage under the berths and in the galley.

The PO added a holding tank and wiped out the hanging locker in the head which I'm not happy with. Will probably put in a C head and tear out the holding tank so I have a place to hang weather gear">foul weather gear. If the boat has been repowered be sure the engine rotation is correct for whatever engine it replaced. Yanmars work great for an A4 but believe you need the opposite rotation if original engine was a diesel.

Delivered the boat from SF to SD. Had strong wind and waves the first day. It was a great wind out of the NE and was averaging over 7 knots over the bottom. Had some scary breaking waves after turning south out of the Golden Gate. Boat handled them without issue as long as I headed up into them. Didn't react quickly enough on one and it pooped the boat which caused problems as the washboards weren't in the companionway. Unfortunately, the fun was cut short when the elderly main shredded and had a rigging issue. Pulled into Monterey and fixed the rigging issue with some wire and fitted the spare main. Wind died by the time I left for the rest of the trip so powered nearly 300 miles to Ocenside.

Would think the Sabre will be a better sailing boat than the Albin because of the Fin Keel. Way less wetted surface so better in light air. Originally wanted a Vega but the only one I found needed too much work and didn't like the cockpit layout.
Peter O.
'Ae'a, Pearson 35
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:36   #10
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Re: Looking for advice.

OlCob, I didn't catch where you were located. But this Vega popped up last night in Mission Bay, CA:
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:55   #11
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Re: Looking for advice.

If you are new to sailing, you may want a boat that can better deal with possible mistakes that you could make like running aground

Boats like the Sabre and it's bolt on keel probably don't handle groundings as well as boats with encapsulated keels like the Vega 27 and others with encapsulated full keels

See link below of more strong offshore boats that might fit your needs.

I own a Bristol 27 which is on the list and it has an encapsulated full keel that is quite beefy and can take a grounding at speed. I'm repainting parts of it this Winter and it's in the yard. See pictures attached.

Atom Voyages - Good Old Boats List
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