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Old 04-03-2014, 05:42 PM   #1
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Altering a Vega

Messing with a classic design is fraught with potholes. The Vega is a classic and deserves considerable respect, but it has a shortcoming. Bill Garden wrote that, "Every boat can be improved with hindsight."

While her low profile looks great and is undoubtedly salty, visibility forward is somewhat restricted. I had an inquiry as to what to do? My suggestion is to raise the windshield, helm, and helm seat about 18", shortening the flying bridge but leaving it at the same height. There could now be a pilot house door on the port side, otherwise the saloon area remains as built. I'm working with the original arrangement drawing.

Any alteration has to be approached with sympathy for the original intent. The "A" revised profile uses a windshield taken straight from Garden designs of the 1960's, a smaller version of Nisku, Sonia, and Tiger Bay. The second "B" version is of a more current style, and will be roomier and brighter with larger windows.

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Old 04-03-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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I agree TAD.

I would probably have one if it weren't for the poor visibility from the helm fwd.

Your center drawing is by far more to my liking. And w a new boat it would be a great time to get rid of that round port. Looks rather out of place and has no similar lines near to support it.

It's sort of a fat beefy boat and I generally prefer narrower and lighter boats like your Yellow Cedar but other than the visibility problem it's such a perfect boat. I think it should live on in some way. Would be pleased to see an add for a new boat based on the W36 hull.

Is your client looking for a one-off new build?
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post

Is your client looking for a one-off new build?
No, we're exploring ideas for "fixing" an existing (well used) boat.

Oh and I think the variety of window shapes is a Garden "trademark" and to be respected. The original design included a "day head" in the aft corner of the deckhouse. That port was probably the only ventilation for that space.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #4
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Nicely updated Tad! I could go with either windshield treatment though- sorry Eric. The one thing that jumped out at me though is that there seems to be a lot of cockpit space at the expense of saloon space. Is there latitude for that or does the hull narrow too quickly? And I would extend the hardtop to cover the cockpit completely unless fishing from the vessel is part of the plan. I guess that's two things.
Nicely done Tad.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:31 PM   #5
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The third drawing increases the volume of the pilothouse: a good thing. See the additional space provided by forward-sloping windows (besides providing more shade):



There's got to be practical/functional reasons for forward-leaning windows. It's not for aesthetics.



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Old 04-03-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
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Conrad,

Now, now....don't get greedy. I agree the cockpit is huge compared to what many modern boats offer. But that big space (the sole is over 7' long and full width) is also a key to her versitility. There is plenty of space out there for a decent table and four chairs, all under cover. And almost all Vega's now have full side curtains so the cockpit is an extension of the saloon.

Again I think the arrangement reflects the designer's experience and is a result of the times. Today we're told that interior space is king, but how much do you really need?
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:19 PM   #7
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Hey Tad....I sent my note before seeing your comment that someone was looking to update on an existing hull. But I am gratified to see you call it a saloon vs salon. I like to drink in that space, not get my hair done. So I guess the only reason for expanding the saloon is to ensure that you have enough room to pass out...
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:20 PM   #8
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Conrad I agree w you completely about the salon space.

As to the window slant it's not a big deal for me. Look what Willard did. They had a slant back design w the last W30 (the pilothouse) built and basically the same thing on the W40 Pilothouse. My W30 Nomad is vertical and may look best of all ??? Not much so but the fwd slant windows look a little stupid like ther'e trying to make a pleasure boat look like a commercial boat. Kinda like dressing up a Dingo to look like a Poodle. Willard never made a fwd slant pilothouse window so I think TAD should show respect for Willard. The W36 is first a Willard.

As for the round port I had one on my aft salon door and took it out. The rectangular window in it's place looks much better .... And I can see lots more through it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:49 PM   #9
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I love the look and practicality of both. I'd also have to give the edge to the third sketch but more for practical reasons than pure appearance. More roof line for solar and other stuff, greater feeling of interior space at the helm, shade over the helm area and instruments. Respecting Willard with an upright windscreen but not with the original style port.....six of one, half dozen of the other. They both still look like Willards. Wish I would have thought of it and Photoshopped such a re-style. Thanks for posting your insightful ideas, Tad.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:21 PM   #10
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A. Although I would be intrigued to see what it would look like with a vertical wind screen.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:11 AM   #11
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I believe the windows that slant forward at the top are to help cut down on glare from the sun. But I wonder if there are other practical reasons.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
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The window slant isn't the main thing I don't like about the 3rd option. It's mostly the up-sloped roof line. Makes it look like a tug boat in a child's book called "Little Toot". The tug in the book is a child that is a tug and he wears a baseball cap w the bill turned up. Looks cute but really stupid. The Victory Tug is extreme in this regard. I assume that the floor is ramped up like the roof and wouldn't like that either. I like nearly flat floors and roofs. Multiple floor and roof heights is the answer.

The slant fwd windows don't cut down glare. It's the extended roof that does that. See my boat in the avatar. Slanted windows add weight and aren't as strong but it's fly stuff. It's just a style thing.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:01 PM   #13
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Good discussion, thanks to all

Here are the thoughts for today. Per Many's concern the B roofline is flatter and as suggested by NS, C is an old-time tug style with vertical windows and visor. The door has disappeared from the starboard side.

I don't think C fits at all. I really like the exterior look of A but fear the top of the windows will be right on your nose, feeling claustrophobic. I grew up in pilothouses with windows raked forward and I really like the practical aspects of the B version. Besides reducing glare, the forward rake is much better at night, and it provides lots of room above the windows for radios, etc.

For some reason the sketches are very faint at the small size, click on them to see it properly.

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Old 04-04-2014, 03:11 PM   #14
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Aesthetically I just can't get my head around forward sloping windows regardless of functionality. I prefer both your B drawings with a slight preference to the last B. Very nice improvements Tad.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:58 PM   #15
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Tad, what are the thoughts of the original inquirer?
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:04 PM   #16
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Not a vega but one of my favorite Garden designs .
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:05 PM   #17
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I really really like C except for the undercut below the windows.

Here's a fishing boat in Alaska w a hull very much like the Garden design PM posted. The garden design is a bit shallow by comparison.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pack Mule View Post
Not a vega but one of my favorite Garden designs .
Although it shares a lot of design cues a la Garden, this is actually a Kokanee 43 design by Sam Devlin. I agree though that it is a beautiful design!
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:33 PM   #19
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Although it shares a lot of design cues a la Garden, this is actually a Kokanee 43 design by Sam Devlin. I agree though that it is a beautiful design!
My bad , I really thought it was a Garden .I like the c version .
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:30 PM   #20
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Aesthetically I just can't get my head around forward sloping windows regardless of functionality.
Yep! We are all victims of our experience and prejudice. But that's a good thing because it would be a boring old world if everybody drove the same boat....not to mention putting me out of business.....

The prospective purchaser has not yet expressed an opinion, other than some enthusiasm for the concept in general. Another issue is how any of these work in 3D. It's one thing to look at profiles, but when I model this in three dimensions it may not work. We used to have to guess at proportions, and there were occasional horrible surprises. If this goes forward the modeling will be interesting.
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