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Old 31-08-2013, 21:41   #1
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Some Advice Pre Purchase

Hi all I am seeking some advice about the following .
I am contemplating purchasing a 1995 48ft Custom Made Cruising Yacht with the following build - Laminated Timber WEST epoxy and glass. Hull: 3/4 cedar 5/16 diagonal cedar 12 oz. unidirectional glass diagonal over frames and ribs. Deck: 13ml Duracore 10 oz. glass over frames and stringers

Is this likely to delaminate being that age ? Pre purchase where and what should I be looking for/at ?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Perry.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:26   #2
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

I think delamination is less the function of time, more a result of impact/ingress/poor build/etc.

I would keep sharp eye on those duracore elements and also try to access all internal areas to have a good look at the wood.

You want the wood to look like wood (no stains, no painted over areas) and the duracore areas should not flex nor crack. (leave one person inside then have the other walking the deck - and often you get an acoustic indication of what condition the deck is in.

b.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:43   #3
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

G'Day Perry,

Is this hull glassed inside and our? Couldn't quite tell from your description...

FWIW, our boat is strip planked WRC, 25 mm thick, glassed inside and out. Launched in 1990, she has done well over 100 K sea miles, Arctic ocean to Southwest Cape in Tassie. There are no signs of any delamination or other structural problems... a wonderfully stiff and light hull construction.

It sounds like your prospect is strip plank covered by what us Yanks call cold-molded construction. Not sure of the advantage of that, but if skillfully done should be quite satisfactory. If not glassed on the inside, then worries about timber damage from rot emerge, and suitable inspection of any areas where water could pond should be carried out as well as the usual checks mentioned in above posts.

I have no experience with Duracore and will not offer advice there. Our decks and house are laminated ply with glass over and have been trouble free.

So, what design is she, and who built her?

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:44   #4
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

I've just spent a month personally refurbishing/refinishing my teak deck and have at least another month to go before finished; it will total over 300 hours of hard, difficult work out in the sun before it's over... caulking, chemicals, toxic teak dust, dangerous power tools, etc. That's the only exterior teak besides the toe rail on my boat. My only other choice was to spend over $60,000 to hire someone else to do the work.

And you are considering the purchase of a boat made 100% out of wood?? Do you want to sail, or just work on a boat?
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:50   #5
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Sounds quite strong. You need a surveyor experienced with cold molded construction.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:54   #6
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I've just spent a month personally refurbishing/refinishing my teak deck and have at least another month to go before finished; it will total over 300 hours of hard, difficult work out in the sun before it's over... caulking, chemicals, toxic teak dust, dangerous power tools, etc. That's the only exterior teak besides the toe rail on my boat. My only other choice was to spend over $60,000 to hire someone else to do the work.

And you are considering the purchase of a boat made 100% out of wood?? Do you want to sail, or just work on a boat?
If Perry was considering buying a vessel made of thin strips of unfinished teak, like your decks, then your comment might make sense.

As it is, your lack of knowledge about modern timber construction is showing.

Jim
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:49   #7
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Wood has many qualities which make it a superior material for modern boat construction when used appropriately. High strength-to-weight, excellent cyclic fatigue resistance, and if harvested sustainably, it is a renewable resource that literally grows on trees.

If you are seriously considering this purchase I would recommend you pick up a copy of "The Gougeon Brothers On Boatbuilding" which would likely have been the handbook used for the construction of this boat.

Reading it will help you understand the construction method as well as help you identify the places to look for problems. Without seeing or know more, I can say that any wood epoxy composite boat has the potential to be an excellent quality boat.

Jan and Meode Gougeon literally wrote the book on building high performance sailboats using the wood epoxy saturation technique from which WEST system products derive their name.

When you consider that the strength you want in a boat is actually stiffness, the relatively low density of wood compisite construction has much to favor it when compared to fiberglass or carbon fiber composites or especially materials like steel or aluminum.

Fun fact: carbon fiber is produced through the control combustion of rayon fibers. Rayon is produced from cellulose. Cellulose from wood. Carbon Fiber = Burnt Wood
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:11   #8
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Cedar is great material. If that boat is 3/4 cedar and then diagonal stipped cedar over that ... way cool! As mentioned, cedar is light, rot resistant and strong like a cored hull. I'm amazed it hasnt been utilized mor in the production boat market. It is a composite build really, the problem is the word "wood". Is it glassed over on the inside too? That would be a little wierd.

and ditto about a Surveyor with COld Molded knowledge....
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:28   #9
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Cedar is great material. If that boat is 3/4 cedar and then diagonal stipped cedar over that ... way cool! As mentioned, cedar is light, rot resistant and strong like a cored hull. I'm amazed it hasnt been utilized mor in the production boat market. It is a composite build really, the problem is the word "wood". Is it glassed over on the inside too? That would be a little wierd.

and ditto about a Surveyor with COld Molded knowledge....
Out of curiosity, why do you say that being glassed inside would be "weird"? This is a common but not universal feature of strip planked construction. In my experience it means no worries about rot or insect damage starting from the inside of the hull as well as adding stiffness at very little additional weight.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:23   #10
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

The construction seems to be traditional wooden boat construction, planks over ribs/frames, with a thin plywood veneer epoxied to it and then glassed over. Solves the problem of delamination from the normal working of a planked hull. It does not take care of the issue of encapsulated water in the wooden structure from inevitable leaks causing the wood to rot. That's been the bane of fiberglassing traditional wooden boats. I'd want to talk with the designer and a number of wooden boat experts about this type of construction. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but I could be wrong.

Modern wood boat construction is strip planking or cold molded. The boat may have glassed in stringers as reinforcing but the primary strength of the boat is in the wood skin, not in the ribs/frames as it is in conventional plank construction. Both cold molded and strip plank, the wood is saturated with epoxy during construction which largely makes rot an impossibility. Cold molded is an especially good method of construction for lightweight boats as it is very strong and light. Lighter than cored conventional FRP construction and rivaling carbon fiber and other exotics for strength. Unfortunately, it's labor intensive so has lost favor to the exotics for light weight construction. Makes for a beautiful boat when finished bright like Sweet Okole that has been winning races on SF Bay for decades.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:59   #11
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
The construction seems to be traditional wooden boat construction, planks over ribs/frames, with a thin plywood veneer epoxied to it and then glassed over.

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G'Day Peter,

I'm not so sure about your statement above. The OP stated:

" Laminated Timber WEST epoxy and glass. Hull: 3/4 cedar 5/16 diagonal cedar 12 oz. unidirectional glass diagonal over frames and ribs. Deck: 13ml Duracore 10 oz. glass over frames and stringers ".

I'll admit that this description is a bit vague, but it sounds like strip planking in epoxy followed by cold-molded cedar over that... no ply anywhere involved.

IF my interpretation is correct, then this construction should be free of the traditional worries that you mention, and be strong as hell to boot.

Be interesting to see some photos of how it was constructed, or at least some better detail verbally. In the long run, the essential factor is the quality of workmanship and then maintenance.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 01-09-2013, 15:42   #12
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Hi All,
I would like to answer each post individually, but for now I will say this thanks to everyone who posted a reply, what I am trying to do is - I am trying to contact the owner to email me some more information on who designed the yacht and who built it and to send me some more pictures as the ones on the website where it it has been posted don't give much information.

I can see that it has definitely not been glassed over on the inside as the interior finish looks like cedar. As soon as I get more info I will post the information for more advice. Once again thanks to all for your prompt replies.

Pessa
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Old 01-09-2013, 16:30   #13
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Pessa - fiberglass is key to the durability of the encapsulating epoxy coating. However, to enjoy this benefit the glass cloth does not have to be very heavy in weight. If expertly wet-out 3/4 ounce becomes practically invisible, so you depending on how the boat was put together you may have to look very close to tell if it has or has not been glassed on the inside. Given the light weight of the cloth there is usually little reason not to include it if you are going to the trouble and expense of building a boat in the first place.
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Old 01-09-2013, 19:52   #14
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

Delancy,
Thanks You might be correct in what you say as the photos I have seen of the interior have been taken from a distance so as you state there might be glass on the inside maybe finished with a gloss coat similar to surfboard.
Pessa
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Old 01-09-2013, 20:46   #15
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Re: Some Advice Pre Purchase

pessa-
Bottom line is that only one thing matters. You need a skilled surveyor who is intimately familiar with wood and epoxy boats, and that's not going to be easy to find. You are dealing with a one-off custom boat built by persons unknown, and the whole question is whether it was well designed and well executed. Without being intimate on the materials and means of construction, there's just no way to tell that.

If it sails well and handles well and has no obvious issues, time to fly in an expert.
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