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Old 30-12-2009, 11:20   #46
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wood or gone sailing

I LOVE wood.

I would very seriously consider a NEW wood boat, or any boat with loads of wood in/out.

My only limitation: I get the boat if the yard provides a lifetime's (boat's, not mine) worth of slaves to varnish, maintain and repair.

If such a deal cannot be had then I will stick with my plastic fantastic and just look longingly towards the real thing.

;-)
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Old 30-12-2009, 20:50   #47
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G'Day All,

Thought that I would put in my vote for strip plank/epoxy composite construction. Like cold molding, it is surely a timber hull, (in our case Westrn Red Cedar), with fairly thin glass inside and out, heavily built up in areas of potential trauma. In many spots within the hull the planking is visible, so you even get some of the beauty of a timber hull. With a dripless shaft seal, our bilges are literally dusty, but since she is completely epoxy satuarated/coated, it doesn't matter so much if a bit of fresh water should get in. The one area where FRP construction seems better is that gel coat sure is more durable than paint! Oh, and in the case of series production boats, there are obvious fiscal advantages...

Insatiable II is now 19 years old and going stromg after well over 100K cruising miles. One could argue that this is simply a timber cored fiberglass hull, I suppose, but somehow it seems different! At any rate, I reckon that this form of construction is great.

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Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly Qld Oz
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Old 31-12-2009, 11:17   #48
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G'Day All,

Thought that I would put in my vote for strip plank/epoxy composite construction. Like cold molding, it is surely a timber hull, (in our case Westrn Red Cedar), with fairly thin glass inside and out, heavily built up in areas of potential trauma.
QQ: The build up areas - how is it done - do you use more wood there (my guess) or rather more glass? Or both?

Asking because I understand the foam / balsa / glass sandwich mechanics, but never read up on strip plank or other kinds of wood glass sandwiches.

Too me, the wood / epoxy sounds and looks cool. I imagine the amazing properties of wood, when supported with adequate building techniques and the waterproofing with epoxy become a hard to beat choice for custom built hulls.

As a side-dish, note also that RM in France makes very fine plywood-epoxy production cruising boats. So, wood is back!

barnie
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Old 31-12-2009, 13:44   #49
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I'm not afraid of wood...


















This started because of a 6 inch crack at the edge of the transom on the starboard side... in the fiberglass over plywood shell on Noel, the 83 footer I'm restoring.

However... White paint covers a lot of sins. A wood boat that is still a wood boat, and not covered in glass or C-flexed can be repaired with relative ease... otherwise you are stuck replacing frames with clamp boards in the way, and fastening from the inside out.

Ease, does not mean a load of work. If the plank is bad, the frame is probably bad too. When one plank is bad, most likely the two above and below it are too.

My Triton is Plastic. Yet and still I've had to recore all the balsa wood in the decks, replace cracked mast beams and install new plywood bulkheads.

Wood rots. Fiberglass boats have a wooden rib cage... Steel rusts. Aluminum corrodes.

Pick your battle (boat) and fight the war until you get your ten years of peace and quiet before its time to refit her again! Wax poetic (it's a lot easier with wood shavings in your hair, than it is fiberglass dust in your arm pits...) about whatever you choose, and justify the frustration through the pursuit of refinement of craft, or the artistry involve. None are lesser, none are greater... boats are a means to an end, pleasure and going sailing.

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Old 31-12-2009, 15:41   #50
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Oh Joy was C-Flexed. I've taken the Sonicrafter to stripping sections off where I need to do wood repairs. I'll just C-Flex it back when I'm done.
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Old 31-12-2009, 15:52   #51
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"QQ: The build up areas - how is it done - do you use more wood there (my guess) or rather more glass? Or both?

G'Day Barnie,

In this case, the answer is indeed both. Around the bow, the actual stem is a massive chunk of some exotic Aussie hardwood, and the glass has several extra layers of buildup for about 10 feet. This extends past the two crash bulkheads built in, one between the chain locker and the sail locker, the second between the sail locker and the forecabin. The actual strip planking is not extra thick... that would be sorta hard to do. The strip planks in I-2 are 25mm square, and are slightly coved top and bottom so that they can be "tilted" to follow the vertical curves of the hull shape.

Thee is a similarly massive timber "H-beam", again wrapped in epoxy and glass, that extends from forward of the mast step to aft of the (midship) engine, and through which the keel bolts extend. All in all, this hull is structurally stiffer than any of the glass boats that I have owned or sailed extensively in.

I must admit that Ann and I were a bit skeptical when we were first considering buying her... "it's a bloody tinber boat, and everyone knows what a PITA they are"... but after 7 years of continuous cruising in her, we are converts! The one drawback we've encountered is (as mentioned above) that even good 2-pot PU paint is nowhere near as durable as gel goat, and we're facing an expensive paint job.

Another factor: this sort of construction's success depends a great deal upon the skill of the builder, I think way more so than in a glass production boat where clever engineering can compensate for indifferent workmanship on the factory floor.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly Qld Oz
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Old 31-12-2009, 16:05   #52
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Wood boats scare the bejesus out of me.

Wood work requires percision. You don't get hardly any play room at the end of a plank. Eighter it matchs, or it doesn't. And you generaly don't get a second change. Wood also requires proper construction. It can't catch water where it's not suppost to catch water. Things are suppost to stay wet must stay wet. And everything you do requires skilled, quality labor and loughts of it. Each joint is an opertunity for a leak. And each leak is an opertunity for rot. And once the rot starts, it's hard to stop.

Fiberglass on the other hand, there is a mold. The peices are cut pretty close to correct, and put on the mold. It's covered in the proper resins, and away you go. The mold generaly forces everything to be the proper shape, and the proper size. The fact that it's molded also tends to make it properly water proof. There are few joints, few opertunities to leak, and reletivly less dependence on skilled labor to "do it right". Plastic seems to be reliable, but steril.

Steel doesn't seem to scare me like wood. You don't have to be as precise as with wood. Get steel close, and then hammer it up nicly, and start welding. You can fill in horrible gaps with peices of scrap steel and welding. Steel, again there are fewer joints, and when you weld two peices of steel together, the weld is almost as strong as the steel itself. It's also fairly easy to tell if the welder is "good" at his trade, or just acting like it. If it gets wet and it's not suppost to, steel lets you know in a hurry with it's nice redish mess, and big peices of paint falling off. Alought of rust is only a little bit of metal going away. And then you can take proper corrective actions, generaly LONG before it's a problem. Something about steel seems honest to me. Then again, I grew up around steel, welding, and such. It seems to be a freindly, honest medium to build a boat. Loughts of skilled labor though.
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Old 31-12-2009, 20:48   #53
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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post

Wood work requires percision.

Fiberglass on the other hand, there is a mold.

Steel doesn't seem to scare me like wood. You don't have to be as precise as with wood.
All other things equal, each material requires top notch skills if we want to build a top quality boat.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:32   #54
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Im not afraid of monogamy.
Its all a question of finding the right kind of wood.
Assuming there are no mispellings, that is excellent prose.

But back to wood versus FRG, the diffences if - as mentioned - worms. I friend brought his 35 ft absolutely beautiful mahogany sailboat into the boatyard to repair a leaking plank amidships. Cutting out the plank he discovered severe infestation with worms. Sampling elsewhere along the hull showed the same situation. He cried for days as they chainsawed his boat into pieces big enough for the dempsy dumpster.
- - Even fiber-glassed over wood will get infested after a hull strike with a object that breaks through the fiberglass skin. As an object of art and being given the subsequently required attention, wood is "wow." But as a practical cruising vessel, FRG is the way to go if you cannot afford new steel or aluminum.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:59   #55
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Frankly I've owned (and built) both fibreglas and wooden boats, and I've not seen a massive difference in maint. With both you have to pull em and paint the hulls. They both need topside and rigging maintenance and both their topsides will deteriorate if not tended to. Wooden boats are a different kind of maint. than glass ones, though. Wood boats don't really like to be out of the water for very long, and keeping up on paint and oil is more crucial.....on the other hand, when a glass boat is gone, its GONE. Theres no recovering the structural integrity of fibreglass that's been flexed one too many times. Wood, you just replace the part and keep sailing.

Ive never had much of a problem with ships worms, but I've always been pretty circumspect about anti fouling paint on both varieties of vessel.
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:55   #56
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You can ge a boat builder or a sailor, sailors choose plastic.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:15   #57
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Im not afraid of monogamy.
Its all a question of finding the right kind of wood.
I'm not afraid of mahogany either
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:44   #58
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I absolutely loved this boat and it showed. I would estimate that I spent a good 40-50 hours a month working on her compared to the 10-20 hours a month sailing her.

Am I afraid of wood? Most definately! I am afraid that it would cost me precious sailing time!
What could you do that could possibly take 40- 50 hours a MONTH? I keep ours pretty pristine myself and I couldn't think up enough things to do maintenance-wise to use up that much time.
Now if that's what I tell the wife while I'm knocking back a few at the YC, that's a different story.

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I am still trying to get my mind around what it is that requires the increased maintenance. I understand the problem finding one without rot, etc. But if you had a good wood sailboat that had no rot and did all the usual things (paint, varnish) that you might have to do in an older boat of any construction, what is it that requires more maintenance then a fiberglass hull? Why would you not want to leave a wood boat for 3-4 months and would feel fine leaving an older fiberglass boat in the same situation?

Thanks,

Jim
Correct, it doesn't. It's just that you can't let things slide. If she needs paint, she gets paint- no delays. Then things are pretty easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Advances in composites will make that build material choice obsolete. (Except for the pure traditionalist)
Hey! That's Unidirectionally Reinforced Cellular Composite buddy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I LOVE wood.

I would very seriously consider a NEW wood boat, or any boat with loads of wood in/out.

My only limitation: I get the boat if the yard provides a lifetime's (boat's, not mine) worth of slaves to varnish, maintain and repair.

If such a deal cannot be had then I will stick with my plastic fantastic and just look longingly towards the real thing.

;-)
b.
not nearly as bad as you think- come over to the dark side.

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You can ge a boat builder or a sailor, sailors choose plastic.
Can't think of a comment sarcastic enough to adequately reply to this, so:

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Old 09-01-2010, 08:47   #59
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own one and find out

Originally Posted by jkleins
I am still trying to get my mind around what it is that requires the increased maintenance. I understand the problem finding one without rot, etc. But if you had a good wood sailboat that had no rot and did all the usual things (paint, varnish) that you might have to do in an older boat of any construction, what is it that requires more maintenance then a fiberglass hull? Why would you not want to leave a wood boat for 3-4 months and would feel fine leaving an older fiberglass boat in the same situation?

Thanks,
Jim


You will never know until you own a wooden boat. It is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, finish at one end and start back up on the other end!

Now I will admit that I may be more obsessive than most and find great pride in a bristol yacht. In fact I spend a good 20 hours a month working on my 2003 Beneteau (which, at seven years old with 15,000 miles under the keel, is often mistaken for a new boat).

When I sold the Mason (40-50 hours a month of maintinence) it sold in two days for top dollar. The guy that I sold it to pretty much ignored the boat after a month or two. He sold it a year later for about 1/4 of what he paid me.
Don't get me wrong, all the hours that I spent working on her were great fun for me and I learned plenty about boats. I am just saying that if you are not willing to make the committment to the work, owning a wooden boat might not be the right choice for you.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:00   #60
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When I sold the Mason (40-50 hours a month of maintinence) it sold in two days for top dollar. The guy that I sold it to pretty much ignored the boat after a month or two. He sold it a year later for about 1/4 of what he paid me.
Don't get me wrong, all the hours that I spent working on her were great fun for me and I learned plenty about boats. I am just saying that if you are not willing to make the committment to the work, owning a wooden boat might not be the right choice for you.
What did you do for 40-50 hours a month? Varnish? Paint? It seems like just about any moderate sized boat could be re-painted and re-varnished in 40-50 hours. Did you do it every month? What could go bad enough in a years time to drop a boat to 25% of it's former value?

Jim
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