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Old 07-08-2009, 12:59   #61
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S&S not so much the maintenance issue with a wood hull as it is my fear of springing a plank at night and going deep six, (Just a personal thing).
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Old 07-08-2009, 14:05   #62
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cburger- I had similar thoughts and I passed on a number of boats bacause they were single planked, so I'm with you there. I'm not a big fan of caulking as a structural component.
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Old 07-08-2009, 14:08   #63
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But what was his meaning?
A thing's form is dependent on (arises from) its function- or so it should be.
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Old 07-08-2009, 14:49   #64
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form follows function

It is true that form almost invariably follows functiom, but as I think I've said before her, there's no reason why it can't look good while it's doing it.

Click image for larger version

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In this case all those teak ledger boards holding up the aft cabin overhead could have been square cornered and functioned just as well, but I don't believe they'd look quite as nice. For that matter the overhead panels themselves could have just been 1/4" luaun painted white, with no teak ledger boards, but for me that wouldn't have done it either.

Click image for larger version

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Likewise, this piece would have funtioned nearly as well with square corners and no radius, but where's the fun in that?

At her best, a sail boat is an inanimate being who comes alive with wind and water, and what better place to appeal to the romantic and the sensual in all of us than in her interior?

If you want to live in what looks to me a lot like a hospital corridor, as evidenced in the first picture in post #20 above, I guess maybe the thing to do is become a doctor or nurse. Maybe it's just me, but if ever there were a place to give an object some soul, it's the interior of a boat. As long as it's not too dark, and there are plenty of white accents around, wood does that.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 07-08-2009, 14:53   #65
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Well Bob,
Restless is a complete feast for the eyes......i2f
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Old 07-08-2009, 16:34   #66
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4) Weight -- I stand corrected on strength/weight -- although I think it's a bit beside the point.
Yes, but it was a point you brought up in the first place.
I'm not sure if this is worth belaboring, but I guess I didn't come across clearly at all.

The strength to weight ratio of fiberglass compared with wood is beside the point for a few reasons:

1) Cored fiberglass (duflex, airex) DOES have far better strength to weight ratio than wood for panelled construction, bulkheads, etc. Granted, also costs more.
2) Molded fiberglass interiors are lighter than the equivalent in wood, not because the strength to weight is necessarily better but just because it is easier to build light and optimize form and the use of materials.
3) In many cases you are adding wood over structural fiberglass which is adding weight for no reason other than cosmetic.

So, I'm not saying weight doesn't matter, just that the structural qualities of sold fiberglass versus solid wood may be beside the point of how much weight your interior adds to the boat.

Martin
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Old 07-08-2009, 17:06   #67
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Maybe it's just me, but if ever there were a place to give an object some soul, it's the interior of a boat.
Aha! Thank you! I think this is the absolute crux of the issue. This is the attitude that befuddles and confuses me. I am not trying to hassle you Bob, but I am genuinely and deeply curious why you say that.

Here my thinking. A boat is inherently a difficult thing that engenders deep compromises. It has to float, it has to balance forces of wind and wave, it has to withstand wildly varying conditions, it has to survive a hostile, corrosive environment. Then we take this thing thousands of miles from anywhere and trust our lives to it. For these reasons, almost anything on a boat costs ten times more than the same thing on land. Weight, strength, durability, maintainability, all far more important on a boat than almost anywhere else we are likely to spend our time. So why choose a boat as a place to imbue with soul?

When there are so many compromises already involved in building and fitting out a boat, why add one more constraint -- an ineffable and difficult constraint at that?

Is it precisely because boats are expensive -- and difficult to justify rationally -- that we have to imbue them with something intangible to prevent ourselves from despairing of the entire enterprise?

It's not that I don't agree with you guys on the beauty of wood. I was a woodworker before I was ever a sailor. Bob, Efriam, and many others have posted elegant stuff that makes my breath catch in my throat. It just doesn't seem to me like a boat is the right place for it. Trust me, I've seen some gorgeous wood work, and I'd far rather have it in my living room than on my boat.

I think the point many have made that this is a matter of taste and there is no explaining taste is a good one, and it is well taken. Still this is an interesting discussion to me and I am definitely learning something. I hope y'all will continue to indulge me the experience.

Martin
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Old 07-08-2009, 17:53   #68
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This thread has me chuckling... We have just recently finished the search for "The Boat" and one of our issues was wood and fiberglass.

Back ground; I was raised on on wooden chris-craft boats and spent far FAR too much of my youth doing bright work and such. Honestly... 100 degrees in the shade and I was sanding and varnishing. And when there wasn't work like that then we were on the dry and replacing what ever area needed replacing (ply construction has many inherent weaknesses verses it's only strength; Cheapness of construction.) with what ever would best do the job. And if you have read any of the thread about bilge pumps then you know that that childhood experience scarred me for life and left me with a huge need for the artificial security of pumps and switches and floats and batteries and such...

So my mantra was "No wood hulled boats. NONE NADA, Nunca!"

Himself was ALL about wood... "oh lookey at that pretty wooden hulled traditional rotting under the shiny painted monster POS BEAUTY with all the wood trim!" (italics are my silent mental editorial ; -)

So we compromised. We got a fiberglass hull, with NO wood trim, which I am just THRILLED about, absence of bilge pumps not withstanding, with an interior that has a generous amount of wood.

And this will slay you Sparohok; We are adding more wood. Where the insides are painted fiberglass I am installing paperbacked Mahogany veneer. And I have to confess that as abhorrent as I find exterior wood, I like well done interior wood. And my experience has been the interior wood wears far better than the interior fiberglass...

But I will also add something that I lived by in a past life as an Interior Designer... There IS a reason Baskin Robbins has 31 flavours... every single one of them is SOMEONES favorite!

So you get the flavour you like ; -)
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Old 07-08-2009, 18:19   #69
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Is it precisely because boats are expensive -- and difficult to justify rationally -- that we have to imbue them with something intangible to prevent ourselves from despairing of the entire enterprise?
More or less, yes.

In the 21st Century sailboats are a pretty clunky way to go places. If it weren't for the intangibles, they would have gone the way of the horse and buggy long ago.

There are and always should be some of the elements of a love affair. We usually call them "she." And, it isn't just the way she performs or how sailing her makes us feel. No matter how little it may have to do with her function, we want her to look beautiful, at least to us, when we're motoring out to her in the dinghy or sitting below at the nav table.
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Old 07-08-2009, 18:57   #70
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Trust me, I've seen some gorgeous wood work, and I'd far rather have it in my living room than on my boat.


Martin

For some here already and a lot of us wishing for that final day to hurry up and arrive...they are or will be our living room.....maybe now you get it

Good thread..been fun.....OH and BOB!..you suck!....love your work man...I have a hard time putting away my framing nailer mentality..
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Old 07-08-2009, 19:16   #71
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This thread has me chuckling... We have just recently finished the search for "The Boat" and one of our issues was wood and fiberglass.

Back ground; I was raised on on wooden chris-craft boats and spent far FAR too much of my youth doing bright work and such. Honestly... 100 degrees in the shade and I was sanding and varnishing.

No one should be varnishing in 100 degree heat.

I did own a glass boat once- it didn't turn out well.
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Old 07-08-2009, 20:10   #72
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No one should be varnishing in 100 degree heat.
I did own a glass boat once- it didn't turn out well.
I don't recommend varnishing fibreglass, at any temperature.
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Old 07-08-2009, 20:13   #73
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I don't recommend varnishing fibreglass, at any temperature.
LOL. Good one. That wasn't the problem.
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Old 07-08-2009, 23:16   #74
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I love the wood Interiors!

But I can Sympathize if you don't like the cheap ply wood or fake wood finishes!
But from my experience the Sail Boats my Father owned were wonderful interiors with beautiful wood carvings on the interior.
My Father Owned a Formosa 51' 1975 Garden Ketch, and later owned a Formosa 41' 1975 CT Garden Ketch, and both had wonderful carvings on the interior.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:54   #75
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interiors

Sparohok, Stillraining has it right... my boat's interior is my living room. You say you'd rather have wood in your living room than on your boat, so there you go.

You ask why choose a boat as a place to imbue with soul, after listing a number of requirements that a good boat has to have in order to do well. It seems to me that if a boat does do those things well, then she has the beginnings of a soul anyway, or of a sort of life of her own, and it's only the logical next step to try to bring a little life out in her in the expression of the interior. The natural beauty of good wood, judisciously used, helps to do that. One good reason for trying to imbue a boat with soul is because you're trusting the life of you and your family to her.

A Ferrari has soul, and so does a Mack truck, but of a different type... the Ferrari will snarl around the race course, and the Mack will soldier on for 200,000 miles without much complaint. But does, say, a Ford Taurus? Most would say not so much. It all depends on what you want to drive... different strokes, I guess. As Sarafina said, that's why they make 31 flavors.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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