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Old 27-06-2016, 16:50   #31
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

My brother still owns a Herreschoff H-23 that was built in the fifties. Mahogany on oak. A former owner pulled out the auxiliary for storage space and transom mounted a British seagull outboard. Then proceeded to take it across "The Pond" to Europe. I'm not that brave but it is done. There's nothing like the slow heavy comfort of a wood boat under sail and I've delivered a few. I'll stand with others here and say the maintenance is exponentially more than a plastic boat, and you need a sacrificial board on the keel for worms in warm waters.

I have to admit I now sail a Ted Brewer designed "plastic boat" got tired of paint the top sides every year.
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Old 27-06-2016, 16:56   #32
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

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Originally Posted by seasick View Post
I was in the center of the Port Townsend wooden boat mob for decades. We have built several wood cruising boats and my wife's family has built hundreds. We owned a 42' wooden ketch for 23-years and sailed her through the Pacific twice and around the world once.

Wooden vessels are not a great deal more maintenance intensive than other construction types. It is the myriad of things common to all boats that require the most maintenance. If you tend to run aground a lot then a metal boat might be a better option. I prefer wood over all other materials but many wood boats were never meant to last as long as they have. If you find one that isn't iron fastened, and was built with good, old growth timber, you can expect many years of enjoyment. There were many yatchs built with light scantlings i.e. light duty frames, planking etc generally to be competitive racers. I would stay away from these and look for a heavily built timber boat. Oak doesn't like the tropics, mahogany is good if pre WWII from the Philippines vs Hondurus which doesn't fare as well. Hard to beat a teak boat. There is much to learn about these boats but they can be very homey and strong.
There are still some Cheoy Lees around that are all teak, planks, frames, decks, etc. Will last forever if cared for. They used lead for ballast and many were fastened with bronze. Many of the frames were keyed. While the knees were sawn, they are beefy. Look for 1950-1964. Most used Luder's scantlings.
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Old 27-06-2016, 17:04   #33
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

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Originally Posted by PappysSailing View Post
Not to throw a wet rag over your enthusiasm, but before you buy, you should check insurance rates (high) and that only after you find a marina that allows wooden boats. Many, to my great surprise, do not. Those two factors caused me to very reluctantly cancel purchase plans for a 44ft wooden schooner a few years ago. Good luck in any case. Cheers, Pappy.
Insurance? The odds of getting insurance on an old wooden boat is zero. Same with financing. Some marinas will not allow wooden boats due to their reputation as becoming derelicts owned by unemployed sailors. Up here, wooden boats are mostly the toys of the uber rich with wooden row boats, 12', going for around 10k. Once you get beyond 12' prices can go astronomical. But again, if you got the millions, servants, and boatyards to do the work, its a nice way to go.
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Old 27-06-2016, 17:50   #34
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

More than enough excellent information offered so I hesitate to add to it but will, to offer my view of the maintenance aspect so highly emphasized in most of the posts.

The 'work' involved is considerable, Yes, but as with everything about our lives and the choices we make, ATTITUDE makes the difference. Take an introspective look at how you relate to aspects of your own life that require attention. To what levels do you do them for any other reason than the sense of of fulfillment you receive? Even the nasty ones, do they give you any sense of validation for the kind of person you strive to be? What values you hold about your life?

Boats, particularly wooden ones, give as much satisfaction as they receive. Looking at one as purely an adornment, or a tool to use just to take you places on your 'bucket list', then the care and nurturing needed for maintenance will ultimately be resented as an intrusion. So then the boat will fail you, as you have, her.

My boat has a fiberglass hull but all else is wood. For several years while I/we were careless with maintenance while side-tracked with a local project. It has been almost seven years since I realized how badly PILAR was neglected, how total the focus is needed to restore her to proper condition. I am glad she doesn't have a wooden hull but would love her not love her any less if so...and possibly more!

The 'work' is not work but Projects. Hard, frustrating, huge time & money consuming, as well as limiting to other projects I love equally, but as I write this my heart is singing thinking of the progress that is being made, how good it feels. The 'work' itself is reward enough. It is honest and good for the values I chart my life by.

I sincerely hope you find the same in your choice of a boat.
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Old 27-06-2016, 18:05   #35
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

GafferMate has it correct. If you really love your boat, then working on her will be a pleasure, albeit a rough one sometimes.
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Old 27-06-2016, 20:33   #36
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

I am currently in the midst of a complete reconstruction of a 70 y/o John Alden designed auxiliary ketch based on his Malabar Xll. The original hull (built in Valparaiso, Chile - 1946) was a traditional carvel planked (with nails!) mahogany on steam bent white oak frames. The frames/structure has been completely reworked or replaced. All new sapele planking was glue scarf joined to eliminate the butt blocks. All seams were glued with local cedar (actually, arbor vitae) splines. Bronze fastened. Inside all planks were sealed with clear penetrating epoxy sealer (CPES). The exterior of all planks will be sealed with Interlux 2000e (6 coats). All new decks and house sides are 1" and 1.5" thick plywood respectively. House tops will be 3/4" plywood. All sealed with CPES. All decking will be cork. Bulwarks to be lag bolted sapele. Due to our plans to sail the tropics - all exposed exterior wood to be painted (varnish at the equator - uh, no).

What does that make my boat? It is not truly traditional and it is not truly a composite. All modesty aside, I liken her to sculpture - a single piece of wood, edge glued like a table top but shapely, like Venus de Milo. More rigid like a GRP hull but beautiful like fine furniture.

Maintenance schedule not yet known. I hope to minimize the workload with these modifications - I won't know until we expose her to the elements.

I have worked with glass/epoxy. I have welded 1000' Great Lakes freighters. I have shaped aluminum. But I simply love to work with wood - I have come to grips with that, despite what I know of some of the limitations. As has been said earlier - all materials have strengths and weaknesses. Construction is costing an arm and a leg! But I can't take any of that with me. Properly cared for, however, I can leave a beautiful legacy.
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Old 27-06-2016, 20:41   #37
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

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I have not owned a wood boat larger than 17 foot, so my opinions are not based on ownership, but years of being around boats and cruising/delivering plastic boats and my own steel boat. I think there is a huge difference between a traditional plank on frame boat and a modern cold molded boat. I tend to think of a modern cold molded boat as a fiberglass boat with a really strong core. Many are beautiful both inside and out. The one thing I dont care for in modern cold molded boats (I hold the same opinion of many fiberglass boats) is many are built with a basically round bottom and almost no bilge sump, where most plank on frame wood boats have a more wineglass shape, and a nice deep bilge. This may seem like a small point, but a few gallons of water in the bilge of a round bottom boat can get up into lockers when the boat heels or rolls and ruin everything in those lockers. That becomes a huge issue if you are part way into a passage and much of your supplies are ruined. The basic question of this thread is about passage making in an older wooden boat. Would I do it? Probably yes if I trusted the boat (and a recent survey) but after cruising in the South Pacific in a fiberglass boat, I bought a steel boat for my next cruise. That was a bit irrational, but made me FEEL SAFER, when reality is that most sinkings of any type of boat are not hull failures, but thru-hulls or keel bolts or internal plumbing that would be the same on any boat. I did get to meet a number of traditional wood boat owners in the South Pacific, and several talked about how often they had to pump bilges. I had 2 friends that said they basically pumped their way across the Pacific. One pumped about 15 minutes every hour (old poorly maintained boat) and the other was so broke that he delivered a boat (again, old and poorly maintained) from Tahiti to San Diego and pumped most of the trip. Some other wood boats were no more trouble than glass boats, so as has been stated before, it is condition, condition, condition. I have had a life long love affair with Cheoy Lee Lions. I think they are one of the most beautiful boats ever made, but I would hesitate to do a long passage in one. Not because of the hull being wood, but the deck and cabin construction didnt look strong to me. Of course that is just my personal opinion. I am not sure I have answered anything, but maybe just given some things to think about. _____Grant.
Like you I like boats with a real bilge but cold molded boats aside, what modern high production plastic boat has a deep bilge??
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:19   #38
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one /yes
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Old 27-06-2016, 22:54   #39
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

I have not made up my mind yet, owner says I have the first shot at this, we have time, but something tells me, my gut, that it would be a mistake not to buy this boat, not going to go with my gut on this, but my gut is rarely wrong, I appreciate all the comments, opinions, advise, I've never seen one like this, as I said before, she is exactly what I've been looking for, except she's wood, going to continue to do my research and have someone with extensive knowledge about wood, heavy, long distance, cruising sailboats, check this one out, I could just pass on this and go with a FG boat that's real close to ready, looking at several, but I can't seem to get this one out of my mind, it's perfect for me, but I'm going to reign in my emotions and base my decision strictly on the determinations made by experts, hopefully experts, in this area, my knowledge is deep in a lot of areas, this is not one of them, so I believe more than the usual caution must be deployed, if I do buy it, I'll come back with photos, history and a full description, as can be determined by extremely close inspection. Thanks everybody
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Old 28-06-2016, 00:36   #40
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

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I have not made up my mind yet, owner says I have the first shot at this, we have time, but something tells me, my gut, that it would be a mistake not to buy this boat, not going to go with my gut on this, but my gut is rarely wrong, I appreciate all the comments, opinions, advise, I've never seen one like this, as I said before, she is exactly what I've been looking for, except she's wood, going to continue to do my research and have someone with extensive knowledge about wood, heavy, long distance, cruising sailboats, check this one out, I could just pass on this and go with a FG boat that's real close to ready, looking at several, but I can't seem to get this one out of my mind, it's perfect for me, but I'm going to reign in my emotions and base my decision strictly on the determinations made by experts, hopefully experts, in this area, my knowledge is deep in a lot of areas, this is not one of them, so I believe more than the usual caution must be deployed, if I do buy it, I'll come back with photos, history and a full description, as can be determined by extremely close inspection. Thanks everybody
I just want to add a bit here.

First, whichever way you decide You're embarking on a lovely journey. If you go for the apparently perfect timber boat, you're going to be making many "good value," like minded friends. The world of timber boat owners is a wonderful one, and I personally feel really great about meeting all the afficionados who have shared stories with us, even if my boat is "covered in snot." Golly, Trente Pieds!

Ann
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Old 28-06-2016, 00:54   #41
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

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Note Ann's comments - the Cate boat is STRIP PLANK, not carvel plank, thus the Cate boat is essentially a wood reinforced "frozen snot" boat. Forgive me Ann and Jim - I know I'm exaggerating, but I think this point needs to be made forcefully :-)
Yep, exaggerating! The truth is that the strip planked, edge nailed and epoxy soaked hull by itself is quite strong. When she was rolled over after planking, no structural bulkheads in place, transom open, she was stiff enough to not distort, groan or do other unladylike things. FRP hulls in this state are pretty damn flexible, and require careful handling. By the time you add laminated ring frames and bulkheads tht are glassed in 360 degrees, it is pretty damn strong... far stiffer than any of the glass boats that I have owned.

The glass is pretty thin, except in high risk areas like the stem and keelson where it is bulked up a bit. On the outside, its main purpose is worm exclusion. On the inside, it is fresh water exclusion and rot prevention. Over most of the area it is but a single layer of glass biax. So, a frozen snot boat?? I don't think so!

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Old 28-06-2016, 05:04   #42
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

purists pee in their pants over this one, but it works. Fiberglassing over wood will give a longer life to an older wooden boat. We watched while an owner of a lightning that had been glassed over forty or more years ago ripped it all off. Wood(plywood) was like brand new. Also had a 60' schooner in the yard down the street have its hull repaired after being t-boned by a lobster boat. Was also sheathed in glass. Wood was perfectly fine, except for where it was staved in.

Wooden boat mag had an article long time ago about someone putting Kevlar on their wooden Hinckley. And there is the epoxy approach. Lots of ways to make old wood keep going. However, does not negate the need to refasten an old hull. Its the fasteners coming loose that will cause planks to spring.
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Old 28-06-2016, 08:36   #43
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

Quote: "However, does not negate the need to refasten an old hull. Its the fasteners coming loose that will cause planks to spring."

Exactly! The beauty of a strip-planker is that she's NOT mechanically fastened - she's GLUED together. Generally with epoxy. That's what makes 'er so strong. It's all in the frozen snot ;-)

In a strip-planker the fastenings, such as they are, are only there to keep the flimsy little bits together till the goop sets and thereby creates a tremendously strong monocoque structure.

The skins, inside and out are there to keep the water outta the wood, and as Jim sez, the nasty little chewing creatures that love feasting on wood. Most of those come from the outside, though not all of them!

So - Ann and Jim - ceteris paribus I wouldn't hesitate to buy a strip-planker. Ceteris paribus, I wouldn't dream of sinking hard-earned money into a carvel-planker :-)

BTW a coupla weeks ago we were in TrentePied's van, tootling along towards a nearby resort. I was at the wheel and focused on the road. "The van" (that's her name) spluttered and stopped inexplicably. And there, at a tatty little cottage, The Van had spotted a Choi Lee "Lion". All pie-bald like. Someone had begun to strip the paint. The planing was teak. The genuwine article. Tectona grandis. The bungs were good. I began to drool.

Owner came along and we drooled together. He had found her, on the hard, on one of the islands near Vancouver. PO had needed to get her off the property. My new friend had offered to “take her off your hands”, and the PO had been so keen to place her in hands that would caress 'er, that he paid for half the trucking cost!


But to be realistic: The present owner and restorer in is for at least five years of “full time spare time” work. Work the numbers: Working 3 hours a night, after supper, on every week-day, and 8 hours on every Saturday, how many man-hours is that in a year? Off the top o me head: About 1,200. How far will that take you?


Even if I were still in my prime, I wouldn't get sucked into something like that. I wanna go sailing! You can't do that while you are restoring!


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Old 28-06-2016, 09:08   #44
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

thanks for the Latin! All things being equal and Teak. Hmm - learned two things today!
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Old 28-06-2016, 09:35   #45
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Re: Wood blue water boat opinions, would you buy one

Quote: " Hmm - learned two things today"

Excellent - you've only got one more to go then ;-0)!

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