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Old 14-11-2008, 08:50   #1
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Should i buy a wood hull

Hi Guys

I am looking at buying a boat to live on and some small sailing trips around the North East coast, I have been looking at some different types of boats and have fallen in love with a wood hull boat, If i give you the information would you be able to tell me anything i should be looking for with this boat before i buy it

its a 37 Motor Sailer - Ketch Rig its hull is Wood, Double mahogany marine ply with glass reinforced polymer skin. Its in a really good condition but i don't know enough about wood hulls to really make an assessment.

Could you help me with anything i need to be wary off as this is going to take ll my savings so is important that it is not going to need any major structural work.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:11   #2
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Are you sure the hull is double marine ply and not double marine plank? Huge difference.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:15   #3
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I never thought of it like that . What i wrote there was the description the agent gave me for the yacht so i could look into it. If it has been glassed over would that make it more unstable,

Should i be worried about it ?
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:17   #4
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The hull description is what the agent gave me so i am hoping he knows it is correct.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:19   #5
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If she is traditional double mahogony marine planked then she should never ever be "glassed over". Glassing a traditional marine hull is a last resort before the last of her sailing days.

If she is indeed marine ply and glassed I would strongly recommend a marine surveyor who is familiar with this construction technique really check her out for you.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:24   #6
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So getting a a surveyor who knows about this is a must. How much is an survey these days. My last boat was a speed boat and have never had one before.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:33   #7
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It is always a good idea to have a boat surveyed, particularly one such as this and if you intend to insure it, a pre-purchase survey is a prerequisite. Depending on your location, it should run around $15/foot or a little more depending on who you hire. This last point is critical - make absolutely sure your surveyor has the necessary knowledge and past experience surveying this type hull as many so-called certified surveyors are useless to put it bluntly.
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Old 14-11-2008, 10:11   #8
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Thanks for your advise i am going to go and ask around for some surveyors that might have some experience with this type of hull . The only other thing i need to look at is the engine. The agent told me there is no compression and would need new piston rings ? I am really in over my head with all this so i am learning the hard way lol
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Old 14-11-2008, 11:31   #9
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If you feel like you are in over your head. Then why are you looking at this boat?...PRICE? If the motor needs to be gone through, and you can't do any of the work. It might be best to look at other options while you research this boat. So far it doesn't sound like a fit for you if you already feel like you are in over your head at this point.......BEST WISHES in figuring out which way to go with your decision.......i2f
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Old 14-11-2008, 11:40   #10
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Aloha Steve,
Welcome aboard the forum of many opinions and experiences. Imagine has a good point and those who mentioned marine surveyors are giving you great advice. I've fallen in love with lots of boats (including wood) and just gone ahead and bought them or adopted them. Big mistake but educational. Take another look and then hire a marine surveyor. Have your surveyor give you a true market value in today's economy. His advice will be priceless and very educational for you.
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Old 14-11-2008, 12:39   #11
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Risk analysis...

There is an element of risk in buying any boat. The less you know the less you are able to assess the risk.
It sounds like you like the boat but are uncomfortable with the risk.
An engine in poor condition suggests that other parts of the boat are also going to be in poor condition.
My bitter experience has taught me that a boat in really good condition requiring no repairs, updating or modification is the preferred method.
Unless this boat is the bargain of the century it might be better to give it a miss.
Save your money, save some more and get something smaller and in cream puff condition.
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Old 14-11-2008, 15:44   #12
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For some excellent information on wooden hulls, see the 54 page PDF,
USCG NVIC 7-95
“Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls”
at:
http://uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1995/n7-95.pdf
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Old 14-11-2008, 16:43   #13
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I have a wood boat with a C-Flexed hull. It's held up well but repairing it can be problematic. The issue is with fresh water intrusion and the resulting rot.
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Old 14-11-2008, 17:18   #14
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If it is marine ply, find out if the resin is epoxy or something else. If it is NOT epoxy, stay away from it. Epoxy is the ONLY resin to use if glassing over ply (IMO).

It is double planked and glassed over (with any resin) a;so stay away.

Good luck
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Old 14-11-2008, 17:22   #15
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"Should i buy a wood hull"

No.
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