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Old 18-10-2008, 19:28   #1
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Wooden Boats 'out of the water'

Aloha everyone...I know most people switch from Wood boats to Fiberglass ones but I am considering going the other way. I have the opportunity of picking up for extremely cheap, an Alden cutter built in the 30's. I once knew the owner who passed on a few years back. The boat has been surveyed and the garboards need to be replaced and an engine installed which is currently in storage after it was rebuilt. It is of famous lineage which I will not disclose at this time since I do not want to give its location away.
My question is, how long would I be able to haul her out of the water for a refit and what are the proper proceedures in doing so? I have heard to spray the hull down once a week, inside and out, with salt water in a garden sprayer and so on. I may want to keep it on land for a few years. If you have any suggestions or know of a good book to buy, let me know.
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Old 18-10-2008, 21:05   #2
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Try Wooden Boat Magazine web site

www.woodenboat.com
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Old 18-10-2008, 21:59   #3
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Freshwater is the bain of wooden boats. If you religiously salt down any leaks or keep freshwater from pooling anywhere in the boat and/or constantly wetting the wood, it doesn't hurt a wooden boat to be out of the water. It's not soaked wood that rots, it's wood that is consistanly damp from fresh water that rots. The boat does have to be properly blocked as they can suffer permanent deformation if they aren's supported properly. A thoroughly dried out wooden boat's seams are thoroughly scary. If it wasn't for the caulking, you could see daylight. Sometimes even with the caulk in place you can. When a wood boat is relaunched, they will leak like a sieve until the wood swells back up. More that one has sunk because they weren't carefully monitored for the first 24 hours or longer and the bilge pump failed.

As far as replacing the planks, you have to know how close they can be fitted so they don't swell too much and pop the adjoining planks loose. That's why caulking a boat is such a skilled job. Too much cotton and the planks pop loose, too little and the boat leaks constantly.

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Old 19-10-2008, 03:26   #4
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For some excellent information on wooden hulls, see the 54 page PDF,
USCG NVIC 7-95
“Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls”
at:
http://uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1995/n7-95.pdf
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Old 19-10-2008, 13:02   #5
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Thanks everyone. So far this is steering me in the right direction. Hopefully, someone will have info on how long I can keep it out of the water and what procedures to follow. The idea of wetting her down seems to make sense.
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