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Old 31-07-2013, 09:33   #16
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

Literally one hour before we let Hawaii for the PNW, I stopped by a music store and picked up a used acoustic guitar. It was cheap, and sounded pretty good. I don't think it had a famous name and it cost me under $100. The crew had two ukeleles with them and we had a great time.

It had steel strings, and by the end of the trip they were pretty rough. I should put nylons on it and see how it sounds.

My point is that if you are looking for a beater guitar for the boat, I think most anything will do. I wouldn't subject an heirloom guitar to at-sea conditions.
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Old 31-07-2013, 09:44   #17
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Re: What make of guitar to take on cruise

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I would stay away from ovations and ovation wanna be's. The reason is that the wood top and the fiber backs expand and contract a different rates with humidity and you are likely to see top separations.
I have a 1973 Applause (Ovation wanna be) that has been on board for 5 years and exhibits none of those problems. Fiberglass does not expand/contract with changing humidity (or we would have a 60' boat by now).

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Old 31-07-2013, 09:57   #18
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

Never bring an expensive guitar onboard if you're sailing in salt water. Over time, the salt air is absorbed in the bracing, top/back, and sides of the instrument causing an irreparable damage to the wood and/or failure of the glue joints. It will also effect the sound of the instrument and its ability to resonate. It also can effect the tuners even if oiled regularly. A good choice would be one of Yamahas inexpensive guitars (FS or CG models $300. or less)with composite wood that is more impervious to moisture and is no sacrifice when its useful life is over. They can be tweaked for better action quite easily ,if you're handy, or the action can be reset by a luthier for about $60. Good luck and good playing. P.S. Please no Heavy Metal if you're anchored next to me.
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Old 31-07-2013, 10:03   #19
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

You dont have to go nylon strings, my old ovation had the bronze wrapped and they lasted pretty well, but today we have Nanoweb strings which last a long time, are a little more muted like nylon but not near as much. Yeah, a boat environment is too humid for a good guitar... there ar some great playing cheap guitars out there now days.
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Old 31-07-2013, 10:12   #20
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Re: What make of guitar to take on cruise

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If money is no issue, I second the carbon fiber guitar but they are spendy. Rainsongs are the gold standard. RainSong : Graphite Guitars : Models

You might find one used on ebay...

I would stay away from ovations and ovation wanna be's. The reason is that the wood top and the fiber backs expand and contract a different rates with humidity and you are likely to see top separations.

If you're looking for something more budget friendly, I would l look for a guitar made entirely of laminates (almost any guitar under $700.00), that is sealed on the inside. Most guitars have unfinished interiors (tone thing....) but a few have lightly sealed interiors and they are going to be more durable in high humidity areas.

Most production guitars made in the last 20 years have polyester resin finishes that are extremely durable and can stand some moisture abuse. Avoid anything with shellac, varnish, french polish, etc. waaay too delicate. The Sigma suggestion is a good one, also check out Washburns and Seagulls. The Seagulls are especially durable and have the added bonus of a cool name
I have one of the Washburn minis and it had the best sound of all the minis that I looked at,still sounds like a toy but it has a nice case and it dosent take up much space...Its been said before but that guy from Hawiia,Jake Shimabukuro(?) can make a ukalale talk!! The little Washburn would be nice if I could make it sing like he does that uk..
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Old 31-07-2013, 10:24   #21
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Literally one hour before we let Hawaii for the PNW, I stopped by a music store and picked up a used acoustic guitar. It was cheap, and sounded pretty good. I don't think it had a famous name and it cost me under $100. The crew had two ukeleles with them and we had a great time.

It had steel strings, and by the end of the trip they were pretty rough. I should put nylons on it and see how it sounds.

My point is that if you are looking for a beater guitar for the boat, I think most anything will do. I wouldn't subject an heirloom guitar to at-sea conditions.
yep, The reason I took my old Ovation was BECAUSE the top was coming apart from the plastic back after many years. Played exceedingly well and sounded fine. ...Already coming apart, plastic doesnt absorb much moisture, and didnt have to worry about it! Sold it for more in Trini than i ever would have gotten out of it in the US too!
There are some new Chinese acoustics around for about $120 that play as good as many guitars I had for years until the "state of art" improved.
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Old 31-07-2013, 10:42   #22
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

This is the one I was thinking of, is not accoustic, just electric with built in amp.
Anyone have one? Will the electrics corrode and fail?


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Old 31-07-2013, 10:53   #23
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

I have an Emerald X7-OS, which is carbon and travel-sized. I keep it in it's case and it has had zero ill effects from sea air or fog or temp changes. Strings need to be replaced every couple of months if you play a lot anyway, I use elixirs..

Sound is really good. Not as good as a full-sized body guitar, but smokes all the other travel guitars, with the exception of the blackbird rider and the Cargo.. Price is under a grand. Love it. Use it as my primary play guitar, just because it is so light and comfy..

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Old 31-07-2013, 11:06   #24
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
This is the one I was thinking of, is not accoustic, just electric with built in amp.
Anyone have one? Will the electrics corrode and fail?



Yeah - I have one. Great sounding with a head set or amp but useless without. I'm not sure how the electronics would fair over the longhaul you might see some corrosion - maybe?

I also have a voyage-air around somewhere and have found that as a daily player (when traveling) it's annoying to set it up and then collapse it but I think that's because the act of tensioning the neck makes my stomach turn just a little. It seems wrong somehow.... that said it sounds decent and I haven't had any real trouble with it. Also you might give some thought to where you are going to store a guitar. The voyage-air case is short but thicker than a regular acoustic case.

If you're playing steel strings be sure to get a few sets of coated strings (there are several brands). Strings dunked in goretex remain playable quite a bit longer than the uncoated ones. Don't forget the capos, picks, tuners (a tuning fork uses no batteries - just sayin' ), etc and a nice leather strap
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Old 31-07-2013, 11:14   #25
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

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Yeah - I have one. Great sounding with a head set or amp but useless without. I'm not sure how the electronics would fair over the longhaul you might see some corrosion - maybe?

I also have a voyage-air around somewhere and have found that as a daily player (when traveling) it's annoying to set it up and then collapse it but I think that's because the act of tensioning the neck makes my stomach turn just a little. It seems wrong somehow.... that said it sounds decent and I haven't had any real trouble with it. Also you might give some thought to where you are going to store a guitar. The voyage-air case is short but thicker than a regular acoustic case.

If you're playing steel strings be sure to get a few sets of coated strings (there are several brands). Strings dunked in goretex remain playable quite a bit longer than the uncoated ones. Don't forget the capos, picks, tuners (a tuning fork uses no batteries - just sayin' ), etc and a nice leather strap
Yeah, the Voyage Air is a weird guitar but I love mine!
You forgot to mention harmonicas and the slide bar!
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Old 15-08-2013, 14:57   #26
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

I think this is a great topic! I haven't started sailing yet, but I'd sure like to. I also have some guitars and would have the same question.

That said, here's my observations on what's lasted me and what hasn't.

I have an Ovation that I bought new in 1981. It's lasted and lasted through different continents, 3 years in the tropics, and numerous midwest winters. Great guitar that just goes and goes and goes.

I also have a Martin that I'm disappointed in because the neck warped a bit surprisingly early. I'm told that Martins have this problem. Wouldn't recommend taking one into anything other than a very controlled environment.

Finally I have an old Oscar Schmidt that has a small hole in the back. I bought it at a pawn shop, and I take it on camping trips. With new Elixir strings on it, that guitar sounds great and it has stood up to all kinds of weather punishment. Of my three, this is the one I'd take.
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:13   #27
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

I have a Fender Okavango (acoustic/electric), and use silk and steel strings. Strings need replacing at about the same rate as when I lived ashore.

Its a good guitar and some would argue too good to be on a boat. But I figure life is for enjoyment, and I like playing a nice sounding guitar. I figure if it gets wrecked at some point then I get something else, and it will be another nice guitar and probably a Maton.

In my humble opinion don't over-think it, just find a nice guitar at a reasonable price, keep it in a case and enjoy playing.

Tony
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Old 19-08-2013, 07:36   #28
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

I keep a Martin LXM on-board and for a small guitar it plays and sounds decent. The reason I chose it is because it is basically made of Formica and is virtually unaffected by the high humidity. The thing will stay in tune for months even when left on-board. The size and form factor make it great for boats where space is limited. I used to have a Baby Taylor but it could not deal with the conditions at all. My Santa Cruz and real Martin would never go on the boat....

As for strings I find the Elixir strings hold up quite well. I don't play them at home but on the boat they work great...
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Old 19-08-2013, 07:42   #29
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

I have a plain Spanish classic guitar. Hard shell too. No issues.

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Old 19-08-2013, 07:46   #30
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Re: What Make of Guitar to Take on Cruise

fender country western, silk 'n steel strings. sounds great, but I've never taken it for cruising months on end. Leave it in the case with a couple of silica bags to fight moisture. Take it off the boat when not cruising.
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