I guess, the post from the super moderator from http://www.sailnet.com
is the last drop which makes my bucket flow over (is what we say in Dutch)
Very well written, therefore, I think, it might be nice for people on other forums
(like this one) to read this very well written post.
Here it is:
I would say, RUN, don't walk the other way from this boat. Having owned and restored a number of wooden boats, this sounds like the perfect formula for disaster. To understand this you need to understand how wooden boats work.
Wooden boat construction varies very widely, but when you talk about a small, carvel planked yacht, they were designed to work in specific ways and have a specific lifespan and maintenance
cycle. When wooden boats were common, pretty extensive long term maintenance
was anticipated. This typically included recaulking, and refastening. On a small yacht, you could only do so many recaulks and refastenings before the boat needed to be replanked and perhaps reframed. That was the norm and not the exception.
You need to understand that caulking does a lot more than just keep the water
out. It creates a longitundinal sheer connection between the planking that serves to help the boat act as a whole rather than as separate planks and frames. Without tight caulking the boat works (parts moving independently) more than the construction was designed to absorb and so eventually the fastenings work loose as well. At that point the structural integrity of the boat is pretty well shot.
When a boat gets bad enough to be glassed over, typically it is delaying action rather than a permanent fix. While strip-planking, cold-molded, ashcroft and double-planking will accept a glass skin reasonably well, usually carvel does not do well over time. There are very few proper ways to glass a carvel hull
and even these will result in a limited lifespan.
Generally, if glassing a boat is going to succeed over the long period of time, the boat needs to be very dry when the work is done. Planks need to be properly fastened and stripped of all paints
and sealers inside and out. Keel bolts
should be replaced and all rot
removed from the boat. The seams need to be raked clean. The planking is then saturated with epoxy
inside and out. This is intended to seal and stabilize the wood to prevent swelling and shrinking. (more on that later)
There are several theories on how to close the seams. Some recommend softwood wedges while other recommend a soft adhesive sealant
. Once the seams are sealed then the outside of the hull
is glassed with epoxy
and minimally several laminations of glass. This membrane needs to be continuous from the rail around the keel
When the membrane is discontinuous and the interior
of the planking is not sealed the planking will swell and shrink depending on its moisture content. As it does water
and air can get into crevices and cause rot
. This rot occurs in the portions of the framing that is not exposed to drying which means that the face of the planking seen from the interior
can look and feel perfectly sound while the face of the planking in the seams and against the glass can break down. Additionally swelling and skrinking can exert heavy forces on the connection between the glass and the wood and deteriorate the bond reducing the strength of the system further. Lastly, if the planking is allowed to swell and shrink, while being restrained by the glass skin, the fastenings will be stressed reducing the strength of the connections between the planking and frames.
One piece of the puzzle is that this boat looks pretty heavily constructed so there is a chance that there is adequate frames that you might excape refaming.
Over the years I have watched a number of boats chainsawed due to these kinds of issues and to a great extent, this could easily be a zombie boat, its dead but it just does not know it. That said, if you were willing and able to properly restore it (replank, reframe, refasten and recaulk) this would be an interesting piece of history