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Old 27-10-2012, 12:47   #31
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

I meant to post this earlier. This is a boat up in the yard from my marina. It's probably the finest example of a modern wood boat I've ever seen.
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Old 27-10-2012, 12:59   #32
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

Lovely! I'm going to read back, but did you say what it is, exactly?

Mine's not so shiny...
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Old 27-10-2012, 13:29   #33
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

Not sure exactly. The yard workers here are above talking to the general public.
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Old 27-10-2012, 13:51   #34
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I have seen it first hand on both traditional wood construction and modern construction. Typically, it begins with a water entry point. Someone drills a hole somewhere and doesn't seal it properly, the toerail gets loosened when the boat bangs up against a dock, a panga bangs into the hull. Once the epoxy/fiberglass layer is punctured and water gets in it begins to do its insidious work. I sold a solid cold molded boat to a guy who basically neglected the boat and it became a basket case in a few years of sitting around the boatyard, with water pooled on deck and in various nooks and crannies, and in the bilge, and pretty soon rot had set in. In general, a more traditional wooden boat can withstand a lot more abuse because the moisture has a chance to go out as well as come in--with epoxy sheathing it gets into the structure and stays in there. Also, on a traditional boat it is a lot easier to replace a rotten plank or two, or a broken frame, then it is to rebuild a section of disintegrating cold molded hull. What I'm talking about is neglect--I personally love wood if I am onboard, watching things, and keeping on top of all the little niggling things that can later turn into nightmares. A fiberglass boat can withstand a lot more neglect, which is the care that many boats receive.
G'Day KEttlewell,

It seems to me that what you are describing is somewhat similar to the frequent expositions here on CF about the cored decks or hulls on FRP boats, but never mind, I take your point!

And I guess that I agree that gross abuse can have bad results even with great construction. But, with only normal maintenance, modern wood/epoxy/glass seems pretty durable. OUr boat is now 22 years old, has done well over 100K miles and shows none of the decay that you describe. The builder/PO and I have both done normal maintenance as we cruised, have sealed any new (and all the original) holes, but have not worried about bottom paint that was too old to repel worm or bumping against docks, etc... about what any serious cruiser would do. Is it possible to defeat this sort of construction? Sure it is, and in general, I agree that FRP is able to deal with neglect and abuse better.

But, I still feel that suggesting that the OP consider this sort of boat was good advice for someone asking his sort of questions.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 27-10-2012, 14:06   #35
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

I think where many people get the bad taste for wood boats is when they see the wreck of one in a yard that has stayed there going from owner to new owner to newer owner.with little being done to it, with it's planks separating. but given the general skill level of most sailors, I would say that a well maintained glass or wood boat is well within the repair capability of most of them. Having built 3 steel boats and owning 2, I would never do it again.
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Old 27-10-2012, 15:32   #36
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

Very helpful, all of it. I enjoy reading in the archives, but I admit to having trouble getting the search function to take me where I want. I apologize for redundant questions.

I'm a she Sailing experience in my past, but realizing I need to consider myself a newb all over because it's been years since I was the one responsible, and we have two little kids to think about and a boat that's new to us this past year. Husband is the boatbuilder and the sailor on this boat, but we both have a lot to learn and I took a good, long read of some horror stories today to humble back up.
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Old 28-10-2012, 07:22   #37
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

Quote:
And I guess that I agree that gross abuse can have bad results even with great construction. But, with only normal maintenance, modern wood/epoxy/glass seems pretty durable.
I basically agree, but probably 95% of boat owners rarely use their boats, leave them sitting in a marina or on a mooring most of the time, completely unattended, and something like a small deck leak can quickly become a huge rot spot. And, yes the same type of situation can happen with coring on fiberglass boats, but often those boats, even with rotten coring, remain useable at the level that most people use the boat--weekends and the occasional coastal cruise. One huge factor in wood is how fancy the boat is decorated, and unfortunately many people purchase a wooden boat as a work of art. So, you get monstrosities like the all-varnished hull someone showed in this thread--looks great in the marina, takes a ton of work and expense to keep up, and has no place on a cruising boat. The tropical sun just eats up varnished wood. I worked in a boatyard for awhile, and we had one 28-footer with a lot of exterior varnished wood, and the owner paid the yard around $10 grand a year to maintain the varnish. That was for a six-month season in RI back in the '80s. When we owned a classic Danish built Aage Nielsen design she had gorgeous varnished woodwork, but I would rather be sailing than spend the many weeks every year we spent on keeping woodwork up.
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Old 28-10-2012, 07:37   #38
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

That brings me back to the living aboard question. If one is conscientious about minimizing one's responsibilities and what those are/entail, it seems like it then comes down to what *type* of work one is doing. Not necessarily how much, but is it good, meaningful work, or crappy, miserable work? I think the romantic nature of wooden boats is part of their siren song; folks get sucked in by a vision. Old farmhouses have the same effect sometimes...not that I would know...
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Old 28-10-2012, 08:47   #39
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

The big bonus of plastic is that if areas require fixing (from poor design / age / damage) that if fixed well then it's fixed for life......and therefore allows you to get / stay ahead of the game.

of course even with a plastic boat still plenty of other stuff to fix / maintain.........
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Old 28-10-2012, 09:04   #40
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

Is it safe to say, then, that f/g is the material that best withstands neglect, and what you like to maintain is the best material for a boat that gets regular maintenance?
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Old 28-10-2012, 14:37   #41
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

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Originally Posted by thompsonisland View Post
Is it safe to say, then, that f/g is the material that best withstands neglect, and what you like to maintain is the best material for a boat that gets regular maintenance?
I'm not sure it is that simple. We all love out boats, not because of the material it is made from but how the care for it reflects back to me it's significance to my life. It gives me feedback of my skills, my dedication, my self worth. I enjoy accomplishing things. I love to work with wood and there is always just enough of it on a F/G boat albeit inside mostly but some outside also. There is a reason I say "she" and not it or that thing. Am I fooling myself? Doesn't matter. My choice
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Old 28-10-2012, 16:38   #42
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Re: Wooden Boat Owners

No matter what you're boat is made of, a huge part of cruising is fixing your boat in exotic harbors around the world. The lower the maintenance of basic hull and structure the better, as you will definitely be spending a large portion of your time on maintaining and repairing systems, engines, rigging, sails, etc. I recall arriving in the VI one December after a tough passage and anchoring near a cruiser who had also just arrived. He had a lot of systems that had conked out on the way down from Florida. Two months later we returned to the same harbor, after cruising around the VI, BVI, and Puerto Rico, and that boat had not moved one inch, and he was still repairing all the stuff that had broken or failed. I think the #1 reason people drop out of cruising is that they get tired of all the DIY fixing that is required, no matter what your budget. So, whatever your boat is made of, keep it simple, make sure that you can fix most things, and the smaller the better, within the limits of your comfort zone and budget. Wood does seem simple to fix to some, but keep in mind that you just can't get decent quality wood, let alone specialty hardwoods, high quality fastenings, or even quality woodworking tools a lot of places you will be cruising. OTOH, basic fiberglass supplies, resin, cloth, and epoxy is available almost everywhere these days, along with boatyards that are 100% familiar with how to work on it, along with most of the other cruising boats in the fleet.
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