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Old 14-11-2008, 19:15   #16
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As a previous owner of a planked boat (28') and now 31' ply boat, I am not sure I would endorse sck5's advice but I would concur that owning a wood hull is not for those who aren't interested in understanding the medium
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Old 14-11-2008, 20:59   #17
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There is no right answer. If the boat checks out, the maintenance is not as bad as is rumored. However, if there are problems in the hull now, there will be bigger ones later. The fact that it is glassed over would completely discount it for me IF it is planked. If it is ply, it will be a simple boat to maintain, and even more simple to fix, but check very carefully for problems, as these boats can hide rot.
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Old 14-11-2008, 22:30   #18
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Make sure that the fiberglass has plywood under it, if the hull was glassed years after it was built.

Fiberglass will not stick to the old painted, oily hull... That is why glassed over wood boats get a bad rap. DON'T even think about it... One day she'll be ought sailing, and the glass will pop loose, and all those planks that haven't seen a drop of water in years will leak in a boat load, on the way to the bottom.

If a million screws, fastening diagonally planked plywood over the existing hull... and then you fiberglass the new plywood, you've built something pretty darn strong. Polyester resin doe not really stick to plywood worth a darn, unless you build it up think enough to take a beating. To thin, and any little nick or star crack starts letting in water and it delaminates. Decks get squishy, fiberglass sloths off the cabin sides...

A fiberglassed over wood hull acts so strong, that even if every frame in her is shot... she'll still feel stiff. Be aware of this... and inspect every single inch of frame, knee, floor, and stem you can reach... because you can't fasten a new one of any of those in without breaking the fiberglass bubble around her, or nailing them in from the inside. While nailing from the inside isn't the first choice... its about the only choice you've got, unless you want to strip the glass back off and make her a real wood boat.

Personally... I don't think I'll ever get sucked into another wood boat project. They have soul, and character... and even the perfect ones have some rot, somewhere.

If you open up the can of worms, you'll chase rot from one end to the other... and by the time you get to the back, the stuff up front will need looking at again.
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Old 15-11-2008, 11:49   #19
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Also think about re-sale. Wood boats can be hard to sell. Is sounds like you could easily get upside down.
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Old 15-11-2008, 13:55   #20
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a poorly kept fiberglass hull will out last a poorly kept wood hull
but a well kept wood hull will outlast a wll kept fiberglass hull
I live in a well built, well kept wood hull.
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Old 15-11-2008, 20:26   #21
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Wood hulls are more work and expense. Period. This does not mean you should not buy a wood hull. You just need to accept that either you or someone else you have to pay, is going to be spending more time doing maintenance and repairs. You then have to ask yourself if this is time that you would rather be out sailing?
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:26   #22
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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Wood hulls are more work and expense. Period. This does not mean you should not buy a wood hull. You just need to accept that either you or someone else you have to pay, is going to be spending more time doing maintenance and repairs. You then have to ask yourself if this is time that you would rather be out sailing?
I sort of cheated there (actually the builder did). My boat is strip plank, glued and top nailed finished off with a couple of layers of glass as part of the building process, (put on after the fact on a carvel construction it would be a disaster). I have the advantages of a fiberglass boat and wooden boat without the disadvantages of either. Alot more comfortable, in the harbor on a cold winter day or in heavy seas, no condensation due to 7/8" mahogany planking on 2x3" frames with 1/4 ceiling on the inside to allow air circulation. Granted it is not as "maintenance free" as a plastic boat with all gel coated surfaces, when I got my boat ever surface was painted with a nasty grey flat house paint, I am rebuilding all the hatches all of which will be varnished (even fiberglass boats can have varnished surfaces) along with some of the trim...though I will use oil for rub rails and bulwarks. One thing I was looking for in a boat was not having to do work to get it to the point where I could do the work I wanted.
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:39   #23
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so actually it is sort of a cored construction - but with mahogany coring instead of balsa or airex or whatever. That actually sounds pretty good.
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Old 18-11-2008, 13:52   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
so actually it is sort of a cored construction - but with mahogany coring instead of balsa or airex or whatever. That actually sounds pretty good.
Cored would be sanwiched between two layers of glass. The 1/4 ply on the inside of the frames (called a "ceiling") is open at top and bottom, this allows air to flow around the frames and hull, eliminating condensation problem (what little there is makes it's way into the bildge) and adds to the insulation qualities (a 2" airspace). As strip planking is glued, fiberglass was often used to finish off the building process.
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Old 18-11-2008, 16:43   #25
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My boat was built as a "stitch and glue" boat: marine grade plywood covered with multiple layers of epoxy. I researched the wood vs fiberglass issue and believe that a wood/epoxy hull is lighter, stronger and just as easy to maintain as fiberglass.
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Old 18-11-2008, 17:13   #26
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
My boat was built as a "stitch and glue" boat: marine grade plywood covered with multiple layers of epoxy. I researched the wood vs fiberglass issue and believe that a wood/epoxy hull is lighter, stronger and just as easy to maintain as fiberglass.
I agree the wood/epoxy makes for a much stronger, lighter and in many ways superior boat. Mine was originally designed for carvel white cedar plank, but built as strip (which requires much lighter frames) and finished with glass, which would require even less wood. The builder just chose to dramatically over build my boat. Mahogany strip plank glued, top nailed using 3" nails then screwed to 2"x3" sawn fir frames and finally finished with glass. The original fiberglass put on was polyester resin, but was replaced from garboard down with fiberglass and epoxy.
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Old 29-11-2008, 10:24   #27
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IMHO If the original poster is asking the question "Should I buy a wooden boat?" then one must assume that he may well not know much about wooden boats. In that case the advice to him has to be NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Care and maintenance of a wooden boat is a skilled job and expensive if contracted out.
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:01   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
As a previous owner of a planked boat (28') and now 31' ply boat, I am not sure I would endorse sck5's advice but I would concur that owning a wood hull is not for those who aren't interested in understanding the medium
I think wotname sums it up. I knew nothing about wood, and bought a wooden boat. I am learning by fixing. I discovered there was some drainage problems which lead to soft wood problems. I am beginning to understand the medium, and have given thought to building my perfect boat out of wood. I kind of like saying.....SHE'S ALL WOOD!
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Old 30-11-2008, 13:24   #29
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If as you say you have little in the way of knowledge, and that this boat would take all of your available money to buy, and that the vendor admits that the engine is shot, then there is no need to hire a surveyor: you should not buy her!
Remember that experience is something that you get... just after you REALLY need it.
There are lots of boats for sale,many of them in good, operable condition, so keep looking, and good luck
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Old 30-11-2008, 20:11   #30
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Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment.

I have posted this in here at least once before.

I bought a 36' wood 1966 Pacemaker Flybridge Sedan. The frames have a habit of cracking right at the chine on those boats. The proper way to fix that is to install sister ribs. About $1000 a pair. If they all needed it, it'd be about $15,000. (If these figures sound familiar, they do. An earlier boat I looked at needed 15 keel boats at $1000 each. I passed on that one.) The surveyor said that's the first thing he'd look at in case we needed to call the survey off.

There were NO cracks, but an entire set of sister ribs! Either the original owner had the factory put them in, or someone paid a tremendous amount of money to have them preventatively installed. The surveyor said it was in the best shape he had ever seen for a non-restored boat.

So, having said all that, why am I posting this?

I had the boat 3 years. In that time I averaged about $10,000/year on wood repairs alone and was loosing ground. I sold it for $1.

This my experience only, and was on a 30+ year old boat that was owner maintained, so I'm sure there are cheaper ways to have a wood boat.

Conclusions? If I lived on the water, was retired and had my own haulout facilities, I'd love to have it back. There is nothing like the feel and ride of a wood boat. But the amount of work can be prohibitive.

I would have to agree that if someone is questioning whether to buy a wood hull, they shouldn't. The only people that should have wood boats are those that really know them, or people with really deep pockets.

-dan
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