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Old 17-03-2013, 09:41   #16
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

One of the ways we admire wood boats is a respect for all the work it takes to keep them looking nice.

I think the answer is pretty obvious that over a given period of time a fiberglass boat is going to require less time and money to maintain the hull itself. It might be possible to hand pick a few exceptions but on average this is true.
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Old 17-03-2013, 09:45   #17
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pirate Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

Pitch Pine on Oak frames is a pretty good combo as well if you keep the bilge's salted..
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:03   #18
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

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Just for fun ....which boat plastic/wood will still be here in, like 200-500 years?
Answer - don't care. I can look upon and admire a great old woody (or even a newly made woody), but in this age when craft, classic beauty, and quality are not widely-valued traits, a wood boat takes more money and time than most sailors can devote.

Considering how long a fiberglass boat can last given modest maintenance, I'd argue that fiberglass boats are one of the better uses of petrochemicals. The majority of us would not be sailing if it wasn't for fiberglass.
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:35   #19
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

I had one of those 50' motor launches that was converted into a salmon charter boat years ago. It was a good hull, lightly built,- planked in cypress. It also was tormented by teredos.
I dont know whats worse - polyestermites, gribbles or teredos!
Always something!
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:50   #20
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

Coat a solid good wood hull using a liquid rubber like sanitred permaflex and nothing can eat it. And salt water wont corrode the fasteners. The coating will move with the wood and not crack.
Fresh water = wood fungus, so use treated wood and or coat the wood with paints and liquid rubber.
Salt water= screw corrosion, gribbles, wood worms. Fix with liquid rubber.

Solve those issues and your solving most of the problems. I have done some major hull repair on my boat using lots of PL Poly Const Adhesive and Permaflex liquid rubber. Underwater hull is coated inside and outside.
All my planks and underwater woods were reusable. The inner framing had issues with rot and cracked frames. Much of the replacement wood I used was treated pine!

If wood is kept from life eating it, then it will last forever.



I think polyester boats the polyester is slowly dissolving with water exposure. I think hull destruction will take a few hundred years. If the dissolving causes a separation of layers and cracking and works between woven roving layers, the integrity is gone and the hull strength gone.


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MOBILE, Ala. — An ancient forest found 60 feet underwater about 10 miles offshore of Alabama is much older than originally thought.

Al.com collected samples of the trees during a scuba diving expedition to the forest. Those samples were sent to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for radiocarbon dating and found to be more than 50,000 years old.

Scientists who examined the trees remarked on how well preserved the wood was. Cut into a piece and the unmistakable aroma of newly sawn cypress blooms up, despite millennia spent at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Some of the pieces still had bark on them. The forest was apparently buried under a thick layer of sand for eons until it was uncovered by giant waves during Hurricane Katrina.

"It is a little darker in color than a piece of modern cypress, but if I didn't tell you that it was over 50,000 years old, you wouldn't know it," said Kristine DeLong, the Louisiana State University researcher who prepared and sent the AL.com samples for analysis. "I showed it to some of the other professors and they couldn't believe the wood was that well preserved. It's amazing it has held up. When I cut into them, they smelled just like you were cutting into a cypress tree."
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:56   #21
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

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Originally Posted by Geoduck View Post
I dont know whats worse - polyestermites, gribbles or teredos!
Always something!
I think "always something" is actually the reason why neither 99.99% of wood and 100% of plastic boats will last 200 let alone 500 years......and in practice the greatest danger to the longevity of a boat will be the Owners (and not material choice)......how many numpty / broke owners can a boat (of any material) really survive?
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Old 17-03-2013, 11:29   #22
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

Material fatigue plays a role as well.A boat that never leaves the dock will last longer than one that does multiple circumnavs.Wood is a great material but breaks down in UV's as does fiberglass.Metal is in a class of it's own,but motion fatigue is still present.Bernard Moitessier summed it up well"Take a tin cup,and a plastic cup,kick them down the road a few miles,you have your answer"
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Old 17-03-2013, 11:36   #23
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I don't know anyone with a 100yr old plastic boat... but I do know folk who live aboard and actively sail a wooden one thats over that age.. the pic is in the Azores as they were heading back to the UK from the Caribbean to complete the circle... wish I could handle a boat like this young man..
Saw one like this doing the circle when we were in the North Channel. Double-ender and all teak. They left the mast behind for the entire trip.

BTW - why do you care if the boat lasts 200 - 500? You'll be pretty creaky by then.
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Old 17-03-2013, 12:40   #24
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

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Originally Posted by shipwright mike View Post
wooden boats i believe will outlast polyester as the polyester molecule is constantly shrinking upon itself therefore becoming more brittle over time.
I was wondering where this information comes from. I'm not trying to start an argument but would like to know a reference so I can become smarter.
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Old 17-03-2013, 12:44   #25
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

[QUOTE=Stumble;1186602]There is no question that a properly maintained wooden boat will last longer than a fiberglass one. Fiberglass has what's called a fatigue limit and eventually will become cycle limited. One a hull reaches this point normal maintenance will not suffice to return the hull's strength."

I was also wondering about the reference for this post. Especially when some old fiberglass hulls approach an inch thick and don't seem to be fatigued at all. I'm just saying I'd like to get smarter about this even though I'm not going to outlive my fiberglass hull.

kind regards,
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Old 17-03-2013, 12:57   #26
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pirate Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Saw one like this doing the circle when we were in the North Channel. Double-ender and all teak. They left the mast behind for the entire trip.

BTW - why do you care if the boat lasts 200 - 500? You'll be pretty creaky by then.
I don't.... but it seems some do...
Must be young folk..
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:03   #27
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

[QUOTE=SkiprJohn;1187373]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
There is no question that a properly maintained wooden boat will last longer than a fiberglass one. Fiberglass has what's called a fatigue limit and eventually will become cycle limited. One a hull reaches this point normal maintenance will not suffice to return the hull's strength."

I was also wondering about the reference for this post. Especially when some old fiberglass hulls approach an inch thick and don't seem to be fatigued at all. I'm just saying I'd like to get smarter about this even though I'm not going to outlive my fiberglass hull.

kind regards,
THe early, first generation hulls were solid glass everywhere and thick. Nobode knew what they could get away with. Builders have been pushing the limits ever since. The old solid glass boats, well maintained will last a very long time. There followed a time then of balsa core hulls and thin, sometimes pertially dry glass layups. Blistering and delaminatioin happened. After that, Polyvinyl resin replaced polyester and blistering was reduced. Balsa and semi-permiable urethane foam core is still a problem and I would not consider any boat with these cores below the water. Personally, I feel that core should be resin and microballoons with no material vulnerable to water ingress. Core deterioration is the achilles heal of all modern boats.
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:06   #28
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

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Originally Posted by Geoduck View Post
Wood is my choice - it's more alive and has a mind of it's own - it lets you know it needs tender loving care - like a woman - wood has heart and soul - you can also love it and hate it.
I've never felt that way about glass or metal - they feel artificial, cold, dead, numb.
Wood is alive!
How's that for a rant?

Sounds very similar to the speech in Gone In 60 Seconds.

Wood does have a character of it's own. So nice to look at.
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:15   #29
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

[QUOTE=Nicholson58;1187395]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post

THe early, first generation hulls were solid glass everywhere and thick. Nobode knew what they could get away with. Builders have been pushing the limits ever since. The old solid glass boats, well maintained will last a very long time. There followed a time then of balsa core hulls and thin, sometimes pertially dry glass layups. Blistering and delaminatioin happened. After that, Polyvinyl resin replaced polyester and blistering was reduced. Balsa and semi-permiable urethane foam core is still a problem and I would not consider any boat with these cores below the water. Personally, I feel that core should be resin and microballoons with no material vulnerable to water ingress. Core deterioration is the achilles heal of all modern boats.
Yes, the above are things I know. My hull is late 60s, solid glass, hand laid up. I think it will last much longer than many wood hulls.

My woody was mahogany planked on oak frames and would have outlived all of us if the next owners had cared for it as much as I and previous owners did. It went up on the hard collected rainwater and now is in terrible shape. There were also quite a few wood hull boats which are no longer on the water because of their shody construction or poor wood choice.

I think the answer to the original question is that "it depends." Not all wooden boats were made with equal quality and not all fiberglass boats were made of equal quality.
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Old 17-03-2013, 13:34   #30
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Re: Will a wooden or plastic boat last longest, if maintained?

So if your wood boat sits at the bottom of the ocean it will last forever.I see dried out and cracked wood on old wood boats that I look at,above the waterline. If it sits on the hard very long,below as well.Fibreglass,not so much.
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