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Old 30-04-2014, 09:41   #16
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

My last boat, a 48' Grandy Marlineer was built in 1963.

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Old 01-05-2014, 19:50   #17
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Re: Maintaining a timber boat

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Topper,

Part of it is involved with the type of timber construction,
Ann

Never a truer word spoken.

In North America "wooden" means (mostly) one of three things, carvel planked, strip-planked and plywood.

In NZ and Australia you must consider that most wooden boat are 2 or 3 skin diagonal construction (cold-molded). This type of construction has no more hull-related maintenance than fibreglass (I say maintenance...not damage repair). Strip-plank, plywood, and diagonal hulls are almost always sheathed, making them pretty much bullet-proof.

I had never seen triple diagonal planking until I emigrated to NZ, but they darn-near outnumber fibreglass boats (presumably because the isolation and small-market prohibits creating fibreglass molds). You literally cannot tell the difference looking at them, and they make wonderful boats.

I once considered a tranditonal carvel planked boat (power), I don't mind scraping, and thought caulking would be therapeutic, but it turns out the bronze scews had all disintegrated due to stray voltage in the marina...yeah..nah..no thanks.
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Old 01-05-2014, 20:30   #18
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

Thanks for the photo of your latest project. Leightonyachts... It took me back to when I started working on wooden planked seinboats in the PNW. We used to pull them on a tide grid in winter and tear out the bad planks and any ribs that needed attention, sister up the ribs and replace the planks driving in oakem with a mallet and metal stuffer. Used an old iron hot water tank to soak the ribs in before we bent them on a home made jig. Once we had the planks secured, we would then fill over the oakem with putty knife using a homemade mastic material that predated sikaflex and splashed on a couple of coats of red lead bottom paint and away we went for another season! I'm in my later 70's now so couldn't have spilled too much lead paint on myself! As a matter of fact, I took a road trip up to old Egmont above the Skookumchuck Rapids a couple of years ago and there at the dock, still afloat, was the old Silversides owned once by Leonard Silvey of the Silvey family. Fished on their family fleet for many years. I recalled replacing almost the entire bottom on that old seineboat in the early 60's. Who says that old stuff doesn't last!! Cheers, Phil
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Old 01-05-2014, 21:33   #19
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

Thanks for the interesting story Capt Phil, sounds like you have had a very interesting history that I would have loved to be a part of. I am using old growth yellow cedar on white oak frames, so she should last a long time

Rob
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Old 01-05-2014, 21:38   #20
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
My last boat, a 48' Grandy Marlineer was built in 1963.


Nice!
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Old 01-05-2014, 21:46   #21
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Re: Maintaining a timber boat

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Originally Posted by leightonyachts View Post
I would agree with Ann, that if you do not have the experience already, then going through a wooden boat building school would be a great way to begin your wood timber built boat ownership.



Did you attend a school?
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Old 01-05-2014, 21:47   #22
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

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Originally Posted by leightonyachts View Post
Thanks for the interesting story Capt Phil, sounds like you have had a very interesting history that I would have loved to be a part of. I am using old growth yellow cedar on white oak frames, so she should last a long time

Rob
The great thing about using yellow cedar for planks and white oak for ribs is that the ribs are almost rot proof and the cedar is porous enough to really absorb much of the bottom paint you are choosing to use as well as having a natural ability to stave off toredos and other critters that can destroy planking of another species. Besides, cedar is relatively light and easy to work with. I'm sure you are familiar with the yard at Port Townsend, one of the premier wooden boat building facilities in the PNW. Friends of ours owned Bill Garden's old little ship that he hand built on his island in the Canadian Gulf Islands years ago... she is an absolute masterpiece of fit and finish... believe she was called Toad and lay at the dock in Port Townsend for years being lovingly cared for and sailed regularly. Dip your flag to her in his memory if you see her up there... cheers, Phil
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Old 01-05-2014, 22:12   #23
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

Oak is far from rot proof. Good white or black oak framing steams well. It will rot if not maintained. Sawn futtocks of good oak are often rotten. Poorly bent framing will fail at the bilge turn. Bad fasteners through good cedar planking will fail. Butt blocks if they trap water will rot and the plank ends will follow.
Know what you want. If you are ready for a wood boat you will know.If you are wanting to sail get a plastic boat.



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Old 01-05-2014, 22:16   #24
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

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Nice!
Thank you. Yes, she sure had beautiful lines. I did an extensive refit on her, myself, beginning in '89. You gotta really love it.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:50   #25
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

I'm sure you are correct concerning the potential for rot in both oak framing and cedar planking, Sabray... notwithstanding that, we built sturdy fishboats out of that material for close to 100 years in the PNW and I can attest that they are still afloat provided they received regular maintenance. It will be interesting to see if plastic boats last that long! Cheers, Phil
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:54   #26
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

When I tore apart the schooner, everything that was White oak was rock hard, but the original ribs that were made from Juniper were falling apart. As long as the white oak is not kiln dried or steamed, it will last a long time. The issue with steam bending is it removes the silica from the white oak which makes it repel water.

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Old 02-05-2014, 11:09   #27
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Re: Maintaining a timber boat

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Did you attend a school?

I worked as a volunteer and long time member of The Center for Wooden Boats with other master Shipwrights through my teen years and a grad of Westlawn School of Yacht Design. But I never attended a "Formal" Wooden boat-building school.

If I attended a Wooden Boat-building School, it would have accelerated my learning curve, so I highly recommend them. but getting experience from some old shipwrights was priceless, Its just very hard to find those people anymore and when you do, they usually will not teach you for free.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:50   #28
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Re: Maintaining a timber boat

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Originally Posted by leightonyachts View Post
I worked as a volunteer and long time member of The Center for Wooden Boats with other master Shipwrights through my teen years and a grad of Westlawn School of Yacht Design. But I never attended a "Formal" Wooden boat-building school.

If I attended a Wooden Boat-building School, it would have accelerated my learning curve, so I highly recommend them. but getting experience from some old shipwrights was priceless, Its just very hard to find those people anymore and when you do, they usually will not teach you for free.


Bet we've met. I spent a lot of time at CWB in the early nineties, worked on Wawona, Victoria V, etc. I'm a Gompers grad and attended some other schools as well.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:54   #29
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Re: Maintaining a timber boat

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Bet we've met. I spent a lot of time at CWB in the early nineties, worked on Wawona, Victoria V, etc. I'm a Gompers grad and attended some other schools as well.

Cool, yes I spent some time on the Wawona, was a sad day when they broke her up
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Old 02-05-2014, 13:18   #30
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Re: Maintaining a Timber Boat

As one of those who currently sails a grp boat (1962 Pearson Triton) owned by my family since new, & also currently restoring an Alden designed auxiliary ketch (see my avatar) I can speak a little on both subjects. I have yet to sail the wood boat but know well the maintenance issues for wood in the small amount that is on the plastic boat.

Varnish is beautiful, no doubt. People see the newly planked hull and ask if it will be varnished. I have seen varnished topsides. Breathtaking. I explain a little about what is entailed and ask for their undying help in maintaining it. I have no takers.

I have replanked (carvel) the boat entirely. There are no caulked seams - they are all splined. There are no butt blocks - all plank ends have been glue scarfed. The decks will be made of ply and likely will have a commercial grade cork deck laid. Minimizing movement and ingress of water will go a long way to preventing deterioration of the wood. I like the thought that a live aboard will more likely complete the preventive care needed. I agree completely.

Folks always will comment after I take a cruise that it must be relaxing. These people have never cruised - maybe they have taken a day sail or 2. While I enjoy the work involved in maintaining a vessel (even the grp boat is over 50 y/o -I have done all the refitting, etc) I wouldn't exactly call it relaxing in the way most folks see it. But, for me, knowing my vessel stem to stern in the most intimate ways possible (I may know my hulls better than I know my wife!!) is what brings pleasure when out for an easy sail and confidence when in heavy weather.
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