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Old 05-09-2005, 22:09   #1
Kai Nui
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Wood is good

Is anyone out there cruising a wooden boat? What has your experience been?
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Old 05-09-2005, 23:08   #2
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Ahh a wooden boat.Is that the kind that are made from trees? One of these days when I clean up a few projects my dream is to sail a classic wood boat.I just started seriously looking into the whole wood scene and the more you get into it you realize how fascinating it really is.Looking forward to hearing some responces here.
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Old 05-09-2005, 23:32   #3
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Trees or popsicle sticks Sailing ICONs Lin and Larry Pardey swear by wood, and for good reason. Of course, they are more hardcore than many of us. Denny Moore, author of "Gentleman Never Sail To Weather" sailed an old heavy gaff schooner. I guess for some comfort outweighs the need for speed.
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:54   #4
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Wood

It depends on who you listen to.
David Gerr " Wood is best "
Brent Swain " Rotting vegetation "
MC " Not all wood is the same, there are some good woods and some bad woods, and then there is Kauri.
There are some untreated, unfibreglassed Kauri boats in NZ that are over 100 years old. I have sailed on a 10,000 pound 40 foot boat in NZ that did not flex. It was built from Kahikatea, another nice wood in NZ.
I will be looking at wood boats in NZ the next time I am there.
Michael
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:57   #5
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Wood is...

Wood is good as long as it is on someone elses boat.

We see many new and old wood boats cruising in the Caribe. There is a few turn of the centruy gaff rigged schooners the ply the water ways to some modern fin keeled sloops.

The Caribe sun is very hard on varnish and paint. Many of the owners we know that have wood on the exterior spend a lot of time maintaining the varnish.
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:04   #6
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Halfway there

Not cruising yet, but have a 39' Rhodes I am renovating. Currently debating direction/options on caulking (a raging topic amongst woodies) for the plank on frame under waterline. Labor of love. Sometimes I just stand and stare at the thing. Haven't been affected that way with plastic boats. Probably just a sickness that will pass after a few seasons of maintenance.
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Old 06-09-2005, 06:32   #7
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I think it depends entirely on the wood its made from and how much maintenance you want to put into it. I saw a Chinese Junk around here a few years ago that was made entirely from Teak that looked really nice. Some of the new cold molded wood boats are interesting, but not the same as an old fashioned wood boat. I am not into a lot of maintenance so I will stick with plastic for now, but there is a lot of attraction to wood. If I could run my boat up on the beach and cut down a tree to repair something it would be more attractive, but I feel like someone would shoot me for cutting down their favorite tree so I would have to get all my woodwork done at the shipwrights in Port Townsend who still work in wood. My saw is rusty anyways hehe.
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Old 07-09-2005, 21:34   #8
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Yep! The wooden boat show is going to be in Port Towsend, WA next week end.

I may be there on a friends 1926 Water Taxi, which was used in the good ole days to move people around the San Juan's.



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Old 12-09-2005, 18:40   #9
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Great pics of the woody! We love that event. We had planned to be up there for the Seattle show, and the Wooden Boat Festival, but had a death in the family, soooo...
Anyone blow up on the beach this year?
We love our wooden boats. My current woody is a 1940 double ender of mahogany. Maintenance is really no worse than on my plastic fantastic Challenger, but it IS more critical.
And 7knots, it never passes. You may get tired of working on the boat, but trust me, if you give up your wood boat, in a few months you will be looking longingly at every old woody that sails by, thinking "that's what sailing is all about".
Varnish has a classic look, but it is not as important as the wood itself. A wooden boat, just feels different flowing through the water. Only the hatch on Kittiwake, my double ender, is varnished. Recently, I added jam cleats for the staysail sheets, and I varnished the teak bases, but that is about the size of a pack of smokes. She still looks all the classic with painted bulwarks, and cabin. The teak deck gets oil a couple times a year, but no shine there.
Of course, the species of wood does matter, but I tend to look towards the work boats. Fir may not last as long, but it is a heck of a lot cheaper and easier to replace when it does go rotten.
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Old 12-09-2005, 20:28   #10
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i love wooden boats. fortunately i have not owned one in almost thirty years. the maintain was insane. glad people do it, just not me. i also have never holed a glass hull but i have popped a hull plank. want to see winkies pucker - oh yeah.
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Old 13-09-2005, 04:33   #11
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I love the look of a well restored wooden boat

However, I would hate to be the owner, especially in winter. And I disliked the amount of water that used to work though the planking in an old 40ft going to windward. The boat always seemed damp.
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Old 13-09-2005, 22:08   #12
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Oddly, I feel exactly the opposite. When we moved from wood to plastic, things started to really mold, and the moisture level in the boat went way up. Of course, we do have a much larger master berth now. That could have something to do with it
So.... Who has actually done some real sea time on a wooden boat?
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Old 14-09-2005, 08:22   #13
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Leaks

I suppose I should have put this in my original post.
We need to be more specific. Plank on edge to plank on edge wooden boats with caulking in between, and a paint cover may leak and many do. Some come to grief like the Winston Churchill. I would not purchase one of these boats.
But for many years boats in NZ have been built with laminated frames and stringers, and two and three layers of outside skin and then covered with fiberglass cloth. These boats can not and do not leak. They are tough. Some of the woods are so hard the insects can not eat them. I would consider one of these boats. I believe they stay dryer below in damp conditions. Auckland is a wet place with plenty of humidity. I have been on boats 30 years old that smell fresh.
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Old 14-09-2005, 16:48   #14
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wood boats may leak. fiberglass boats sweat. i pulled out a canvas bag today that holds small stuff line and the like. solid green and smelly. live aboard sailors must have methods to keep this under control. as a weekender and short distance cruiser, i keep as little as possible on board. many of my lockers are empty - carry what you need and get rid of the rest. we are still taking crap off the boat - some goes back three owners. capt. lar
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Old 14-09-2005, 19:05   #15
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Sorry Capt Lar, we are not hiding any secrets. Mold is a fact of life for liveaboards. Just have to learn to make a pet out of it.
The idea of multi layered plank vessels goes back hundreds of years. Many of the Elizabethen ships were multi layered. The vessel Cresswell of Tristan Jones fame was of 2 or 3 layers. I have only owned Carvell planked boats, but have had no problem with leaks. A close friend lost his strip planked Choy Le off Mexico Last year for unknown reasons. I would not condemn the design as a result, but I have always had concerns about a boat that did not allow access to the fasteners. Of course, cold molded has is still considered by some to be wood.
There have to be some old salts on this forum that have sailed the old gaffers? What do you guys think?
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