The Reconstruction Process

(Year Two, summer)

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

Bulkheads removed, ready to be cleaned for painting.  Notice the orange-brown stuff on the sides.  That's the adhesive used for the original foam-backed vinyl liner that hat rotted long ago and came off easily.  That is, the liner and dusty foam came off easily - the adhesive did not.

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

This is the forepeak, before cleaning. The adhesive, applied 35 years ago in the boat’s Swedish factory, was still gummy and holding tightly to the fiberglass. I tried several adhesive removers before I found one that worked at all (and wouldn’t harm the underlying fiberglass.) I think this particular adhesive is what they use to mold those “black boxes” for airplanes.

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

The forepeak, after cleaning. Removing the *^(%$ Swedish adhesive took FIVE FULL DAYS of wearing a respirator and scrubbing solvent into the gum until my arms and shoulders vibrated in exhaustion. Also, even with a small fan blowing through the confined space of the cabin, working hard in the humid heat of a Maryland summer, I experienced the phenomenon of projectile perspiration.

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

The forepeak, used for chain, anchor, and line stowage, coated in bilge paint. While this was drying I took a quick trip to Sweden, found the person responsible for using that particular adhesive, burned his head, found his children and grandchildren and their puppy dog, and kicked the dog in the neck. I felt better. I came home and got back to work.

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

Starboard side, after (*&^%$#@ Swedish adhesive removal.

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

Primer applied. The two athwartship stiffeners were tabbed in with fiberglass and still in pretty good shape, so I chose not to grind them out a la "if it ain't broke don't fix it." Just to make sure, though, I cut some similar shapes from marine plywood and will glue and fasten them to the installed pieces.

Albin Vega interior reconstruction

The entire interior painted an off-white enamel, with the main salon’s ceiling a regular glossy white.

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