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Old 30-01-2016, 23:22   #31
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

Thanks Paul (and ozskipper),

Your comments made me smile...

and worry at the same time...

I think somewhere (maybe even on this forum) I read "You buy a plastic boat if you love sailing, you buy a wooden boat if you like maintenance" or something along those lines.

Maybe a wooden boat is better for a hobbie during retirement rather than a boat to live on and go cruising?

Really appreciate all the great feedback from everyone on this topic!
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Old 30-01-2016, 23:31   #32
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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Originally Posted by Paul J. Nolan View Post
Very interesting discussion. A lot of interesting comments on the boat's construction, condition, etc. (and thank you, Delaney, for that link!) but as ozskipper points out, there are other factors to consider, namely, you are thinking of buying a wooden boat.. Nothing wrong with that, but go into it with your eyes open.

1). From personal experience, it is very hard to sell a wood boat. Very hard.. Did I say it would be hard? Take this into consideration before you buy. You must get a wood boat in very good condition at not a good price, but at a ROCK BOTTOM price. You cannot pay up for anything: not condition, not equipment, not emotion (I love this boat), not anything. Remember, rock bottom price.

…….
For some perspective and also from personal experience, my last wooden boat I sold was a carvel constructed 28' Laurent Giles Wanderer Class, about 40 years old and in better than normal condition. Sold inside 4 weeks on the market for the asking price which was (IMO) not low.

Afterwards, the broker told me his other broker mates laughed at him for listing the boat - reckoned timber boats never sell…

He suggested any well presented, well maintained and correctly priced boat will sell in a normal market.

I take the point that a poorly maintained timber boat is almost impossible to sell unless well below rock bottom price. This was the case for my present plywood boat - although very well built, there had been no real maintenance for perhaps a 6 or 7 years. It sat on the market for a year or more which the price falling every few months until I made a offer way below even rock bottom….
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Old 30-01-2016, 23:37   #33
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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Originally Posted by Paul J. Nolan View Post
Very interesting discussion. A lot of interesting comments on the boat's construction, condition, etc. (and thank you, Delaney, for that link!) but as ozskipper points out, there are other factors to consider, namely, you are thinking of buying a wooden boat.. Nothing wrong with that, but go into it with your eyes open.

..........

All of that said, of all the boats I've owned, that old wood Lightning is the one I'd most like to have today. Not unlike an ex-wife you truly loved with all your heart, but could never live with. Make up your own mind, but consider these things in doing so.

Paul
Paul, with all respect, the caveats that you bring up mostly apply to conventional carvel timber boats. With the type of construction under discussion here, most of those worries vanish. The glass and epoxy encapsulation eliminate the worries of worm and dry rot... completely. To be honest, it seems that a well done glass/timber/epoxy hull is more forgiving than a normal GRP hull, for osmosis is not a factor and the hulls are often stiffer than a equivalent weight glass hull. One drawback is that they must be painted to protect the epoxy from UV damage, and paint is not as long lived nor as hard to damage as good gel coat.

And you need to note that the OP is a Kiwi, living in New Zealand. Things are kinda different there (and here in Tasmania as well), for there are lots of timber boat enthusiasts, and lots of new construction in timber, both traditional and modern, in progress at any time. This will make the resale of a sound timber boat much easier than in the timber-phobic USA. Selling any boat is hard these days, God knows... but in some markets a good timber boat may be easier to flog than a middle aged plastic production boat, mainly because that market is flooded with boats. You see the phrase "buyer's market" bandied about here on CF all the time, and they are talking about glass boats for the most part, ones from the same era as the subject timber boat. Your comments about not recouping monies spent on upgrades is certainly true... but equally true for a glass boat!

So, IMO, in this environment, the OP isn't foolish in considering this boat. All the usual caveats about survey and suitability for purpose are operational, but he isn't dooming himself to quite the degree that you suggest.

It will be interesting to me to see how this plays out.... I wish him well!

Jim
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Old 31-01-2016, 01:51   #34
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

I'm finding i want to add a little bit to what Jim wrote. I was a bit scared of this boat when we bought her, I was afraid she was like an eggshell. However, there was never a bit of flex. When we bumped a mooring, it was a sharp, hard sound, but didn't even bother the paint.


I learned to trust her, and, as a user, not a possible seller--some of us keep out boats a long time--eventually, I came to think of her as a nature's carbon cored hull! 'Struth!

Flimsy, she ain't.

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Old 31-01-2016, 02:51   #35
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

+1 in favor of wood epoxy composite construction. A story I read along time ago illustrates an important point about what makes wood a good material for boatbuilding and goes something like this-

One of the Gougeon brothers (can't recall which) is meeting a bunch of other designers/builders at some event/symposium and begins a discussion by pulling several material samples out of a briefcase. Steel, aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and wood. They all measure the same length and width and are all of equal weight. They vary only by thickness. Guess which one was the thickest?

If you guess the wood sample, than you guessed correctly. Now can you guess which one was the stiffest?

If you guessed the thickest material was the stiffest you also guessed correctly. Why is this important? Because stiffness or the ability to resist deflection, rather than ultimate strength, is a very desirable feature to have in a boatbuilding material.

Yes, steel is a very strong material. But it is also very dense. Something like x22 denser than Western Red Cedar. This means that if the aforementioned steel sample was .1" than the Western Red Cedar sample would be 2.2" thick. Considerably less force is required to bend and permanently deform the steel sample than would be required to break the WRC sample.

In addition to very respectable strength to weight ratios wood also has excellent cyclic fatigue resistance. Imagine a tree swaying back and forth in the wind it's entire life.

That last point touches on a couple other nice qualities about wood for boatbuilding. Because wood really does grow on trees it can be economical to use. Jim Cate's boat is a practical example of this. His boat wasn't built using wood epoxy composite construction because it was the most expensive. It was built using this technique because it was the most economical, and therefor the best way.

This is partly because wood is a renewable resource that can be responsibly harvested from sustainable forests. Unlike traditional wooden boatbuilding techniques which rely on large clear timbers from old growth forests, wood epoxy composite lends it's self exceptionally well to working with less than clear lumber available from plantation grow trees.

Moisture is the enemy of wood as a structural material. It robs wood of it's stiffness and when combined with a source of oxygen it can lead to rot. The key to wood epoxy composite construction is encapsulation. Something epoxy can do very well. Epoxy isn't the friendliest material in the world, but neither are polyester or vinyl ester resins and unlike typical FRP materials, wood epoxy composites are mostly wood.

Wood composite does require more labor than most FRP boats, but only in cases where a mold already exists. When building with wood composite the mold can be the boat, the other reason it can be economical. There are more custom boats built using wood composite than you might think. Richard Cohen's Foggy, recently built by Brooklin Boat Yard is an example.

Frank Gehry's First-Ever Yacht Looks Like Nothing You've Ever Seen

FOGGY | Brooklin Boat Yard
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Old 31-01-2016, 03:04   #36
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I came to think of her as a nature's carbon cored hull! 'Struth!
Funny thing, carbon fiber comes in a couple different flavors including a few that are made burning rayon, which is of course made from cellulose, which of course comes from trees. Carbon fiber equals burnt wood.
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Old 31-01-2016, 03:40   #37
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

Also, my bad. My information is outdated. I reread the relevant section of the Gougeon brothers book and can see it has been revised to allow for lamination thicknesses up to 1" (25mm), so I am wrong about that.
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Old 31-01-2016, 08:05   #38
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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This is not the way I understand the engineering on Insatiable. The skins, except in high stress areas like the stem, skeg and so on, are only one layer of 650 gram biax IIRC. The strip planks are not functioning as a core between those thin skins, but as a true composite. At least that is the way the builder explained it to me, and how Jon Sayer explained it to him. Possible that something was lost in the telling...

Jim
Strip plank composite construction is different to just plain strip plank construction. I don't know your boat but I am familiar with the designers work. I have built several strip plank composite boats as well as the more traditional strip plank construction as the op describes. In the case of your boat the strip planking becomes a core when you apply a structural skin to both sides, 650gsm biax is a structural skin. The only real difference between the way your boat is built and a typical production boat built in a female mold is that you have superior materials involved. A WRC core is the only core that is structural in its own right, you could go sailing with just the core although you would need more internal framing( but then it would be just a strip planked boat like the op is looking at). There is no other core material where the core is fully structural which is why you can have less glass in the skins. The two 34ft sailboats I was involved with were built upside down with 5/8" wrc core and 2 layers of uni s glass running at opposing diagonals continuously from gunwale to gunwale with balanced weave cloth inside. As you know it is a very good build method, far better than most production boats for a number of reasons. The vast majority of reasonably modern production boats are also wood boats as, (by volume, not weight) the balsa core is the major component, just like your boat, except a wrc core is very resistant to decay (unlike balsa) epoxy resin is very resistant to osmosis (unlike polyester resin) and with the wrc boat you cut out the middle man and skip the gelcoat and go straight to 2 part polyurethane to begin with, its much lighter and the production boat is going to end up painted anyway in 10-15 years.

Steve
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Old 31-01-2016, 08:17   #39
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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@clockwork orange: Thanks for your very insightful comments. The designer/builder was Allan Smith. His yard was in Whangarei.

PS: You are probably right about the bronze rather than brass nails.

(The Jim Young that I currently have is a trailer yacht and as far as I can tell just ply without any glass over.)
Yes I am aware of Smiths, i once worked on the fittout of a production glass boat, a pacific 38, from a bare hull and deck back in the 70s that was designed by him, nice boat. I assume your trailer sailer is one of Jim Youngs water ballasted boats, I would be a little surprised if it was not glassed but who knows, they were mostly home builds.

Steve.
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Old 31-01-2016, 08:33   #40
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

Poking around the inside with any pointed steel object can tell you a lot. Looked at a fishing boat built this way about ten years ago with a surveyor friend and found that much of the wood could swallow the blade of my pocket knife. This vessel had fished the previous season. We had the thing destroyed by excavator and it was scary how easy that was. Just have a good look. Having built fishing boats i would go all glass any day for longevity.
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Old 31-01-2016, 09:18   #41
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

No way to answer your question without knowing how the boat was constructed. Stitched and glued? Frames or entire hull mahogany? Solid mahogany or plywood/mahogany laminate? Each will produce a different answer.
In theory you can fiberglass any wood, including teak. The wood oils will mix with the esters. Would really question why they went to a wood/glass construction unless its a stitch/glue method, and then its mostly amateur hour.
Real mahogany is rare nowadays. Most likely Philippine mahogany which is not a real mahogany and is not a happy camper in water. Probably not even a wantabee mahogany but some tropical hardwood.

If a boat came into our yard, given what you described, we would probably take a pass at it and let someone else figure it out.
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Old 31-01-2016, 09:39   #42
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

At the right price it may be a good deal? My concern would be dry rot from the inside, condensation or deck leakage. Poke around with you pocket knife for any rot especially the pillow blocks. JMHO
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Old 31-01-2016, 10:34   #43
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

101--a simple Google search would have provided you with basic information. Do your proper due diligence. There must be much more info available to you, locally. As far as buying a 35-year old wooden boat, good luck.
Sailboat designs of Claude AllenÂ*Smith by year

Claude Allen Smith
1934-2008
Claude Allen Smith
Well known designer and boat builder from New Zealnd. Among his best known designs are the EASTERLY 30 as well as the PACIFIC 38 (called the COMPASS 38 in Australia). He also became a dedicated advocate for the International Dragon Class, first resoring a number of older boats and later developing his own mold for contructon of new boats in fiberglass.
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Old 31-01-2016, 11:56   #44
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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That's because you didn't pay attention to what I specifically said and chose instead read into it notions that satisfied your outlook.

The OP said the thickness of his strip planking was 1" thick.

I never said the Gougeon brothers said hull thickness that was to be encapsulated should not be more than 3/8" thick.

What I said the Gougeon brothers said is that "wood to be encapsulated should not be more than 3/8 thick".

If the builder of the boat in question built the boat to the Gougeon brothers recommendations they would have laid down an initial layer of strip planking 3/8" thick and then followed with subsequent layers of laminations not exceeding 3/8" thick (so called cold molded) to achieve the required hull thickness.

Basically, the greater the thickness of individual laminations, greater the movement. Beyond the recommended maximum lamination thickness you are exceeding the epoxy's ability to resist that movement and to maintain the encapsulation. Hence the limit.

It's prolly been twenty years since I last read the book in question so I can't cite the page offhand, pretty darn sure it's in there somewhere. Maybe I am wrong, like I said it's been twenty years and there are always exceptions to rules, but I invite you to prove me wrong since you seem to doubt me.

One thing is for sure, I never saw plywood laid up from 3/8" veneer. Have you?
You should stop while you are ahead.

You are trying to compare strip planking to multi-layer laminations. Two completely different methods of building.

Encapsulation is not the same as covering the hull with glass on the outside as the OP described the hull he is looking at. Encapsulation is the theory that epoxy will saturate the wood and prevent moisture cycling, hence the reason for the limitation on thickness. In practice not always successful [in thicker hulls], due to the likelihood of moisture incursion leading to swelling of the wood.

A well built strip planked hull one inch thick edge glued and edge fastened with non-ferrous nails then covered on the outside with fiberglass is an extremely strong structure. Extremely "stiff" and dimensionally stable. Less framing and internal support required, etc. The only real drawback is slightly more difficult to repair hull damage.

And for the record Bill Luders was the true pioneer of multi layered glued construction. Although he used resorcinol glue and cured his hulls in an enclave the theory was applied by the Gougeon Bros. with easier to use epoxy resins [much wider range of temperature tolerance]

I worked on a 6 meter style [L-24] built by Luders in 1943 and other than a small area of damage below the water line it was in perfect condition. The repair however was difficult as the hull consisted of 5 layers of 1/8" mahogany. But that hull was laminated not strip planked...I used it as an example only.
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Old 31-01-2016, 12:07   #45
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Re: Would you buy it? Fibreglass over Mahogany

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Very common boatbuilding method, I see the op is from NZ so if the boat was built there it was most likely glued with epoxy or possibly resorcinol and sheathed with one or two layers of either 6oz or so glass cloth or dynel with epoxy. While as minaret suggests in 1981 epoxy was unlikely, that may be so in the US but in NZ epoxy was the most common resin used to sheath a wood boat ( cold molded, glued strip plank or plywood only) since the 1950s. I very much doubt that brass nails would have been used for the planking by a professional yard, ever, they would have been bronze ring shank nails. This construction method is not the same as Jim Cates boat which uses the wrc as a core and the glass skins are structural, just the same as a typical foam or balsa cored production boat except with better materials and engineering. A much better book on this type of construction is written by John Guzzwell, I believe his Laurent Giles designed "Treasure" was built exactly the way the op described in the 1960s. How about sharing who the builder was, lots of good designer builders of modern wood construction down there, I see you have a Jim Young design, He did lots of strip boats and is the very first that I know of to build the way Jims boat is built.


Steve.


Steve
You seem to be one of the few here commenting that seem to understand what the OP is asking.

And as you say, the Kiwis are masters at that style of construction and produce some very fine boats that are capable of going virtually anywhere...

A strip planked hull, glued and edge nailed with bronze ring shanks, covered with fiberglass [mainly for abrasion resistance and to minimize moisture incursion] on the outside, is extremely strong.
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