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Old 08-11-2016, 09:48   #1
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Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

My BF is taking his guitar and I am taking my bowed psaltry . Any tips for keeping these instruments their best?
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:09   #2
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

A Loos tension gauge keeps my shrouds humming in the wind. The rigging is the only stringed instrument I can play. My wife plays the flute which stays in tune on board.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:39   #3
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

I have a guitar and banjo on board. Other than the usual on-land precautions, such as not leaving in direct sunlight, storing in the correct orientation etc, the only additional thing I do is to ensure they're zipped up in their soft padded cases when it gets a bit humid and/or damp. Not had any problems as yet.
I have no idea about psaltries - wouldn't even know how to look after one on land !
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:05   #4
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

While I'm not a coastal cruiser yet (meeting my new-to-me boat next April when I repatriate), I have had numerous guitars with me throughout my US Navy career at sea, living in salt air environs, and Egyptian deserts. I know nothing about psaltries however.

As previously stated, store them in a soft case (they will absorb moisture that you can dry out later). Hard cases are only good if they are air tight. Bring lots of extra strings as salt air will corrode even the best steel strings (I tend to detune for storage...but that causes its own wear and tear when re-tuning). Nylon strings obviously won't suffer as much in a salt air environment.

FWIW, One thing to consider is the guitar manufacturer's recommended temperature and humidity range for any given guitar. As an example, I had always wanted a higher-end Martin acoustic guitar. Found the one I wanted and had it shipped to Egypt. Within 3 months the body had cracked in 3 places. Finally read the recommended temp and humidity range for the guitar (max 92-degrees F and minimum 40% humidity). I'm in Egypt...summer 110 F in the shade at something like 9% Humidity for a couple of months. So, something to consider.

Oh, and still have the Martin....now held together with West System G-Flex (Great Stuff!). Doesn't look too pretty but still sounds pretty good!
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:13   #5
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

You could also do a simple search on GUITARS and read away. As you might imagine, this question has been asked a few times.

Good luck, we use a soft case, too.
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Old 08-11-2016, 13:06   #6
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

Speaking as a classical guitarist, here are some rules to follow if you want to take a guitar on a cruise:
1. Never take a concert(high quality) instrument on a boat. A working
guitar around $1500. or less is the best choice since it will be exposed
to salt air, wide temperature variations and a few unavoidable
knockabouts. My boat guitar is an Esteve IGRO8--solid cedar top,
rosewood sides and an ebony fingerboard. It has solid wound
basses and nylon trebles.
2. Never store any guitar in a soft case. A hard case will protect your
guitar and maintain more conistent humidity levels.
3. Never de-tune your guitar when in storage. Always keep it tuned
since a guitar needs proper tension to withstand the variations
of temperature and humidity.
4. Buy a moisture meter and a guitar humidifier that can be adjusted
to "optimum" conditions.
5. Never polish a good guitar but wipe the body, neck and head with
distilled water to remove impurities. Wipe with a clean dry cloth.
6. Oil tuning pegs as needed. Wipe strings with a string cleaner
after playing.
7. NEVER LEAVE YOUR GUITAR OUT AFTER PLAYING. PUT IT BACK
IN THE CASE.
If you adhere to these simple rules, a "boat guitar" should last about ten years before microscopic salt encrustation permeates the inside of the guitar. After that happens, keep it around for a good dinghy paddle in times of need. Good luck and good music. P.S. Please disregard the above advice if you play Country Western, Rock and Roll or anything that resembles Peter, Paul and Mary. Your audience won't know the difference anyway.
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Old 08-11-2016, 13:08   #7
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

I agree with not taking an instrument to dear to your heart or pocket book. It's a damp humid environment. The hardware may corrode some eventually. Too much moisture and the wood may crack etc.
I took my lower end Ovation guitar. It was worth more down island I discovered and sold it just before returning to home. Had a few people asking.
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Old 08-11-2016, 13:17   #8
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

Thanks for the tips! We don't own any high end instruments so no big financial loss. We will get more strings and vacuum seal them!
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Old 08-11-2016, 15:46   #9
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
Thanks for the tips! We don't own any high end instruments so no big financial loss. We will get more strings and vacuum seal them!
SD,
You can extend the life of your strings by using Dunlop UltraGlide 65 string cleaner and conditioner. Here's a link:Musician's Friend: Musical Instruments Store › ... › Cleaners & Lubricants for Guitar & Bass
Good luck and good music.
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Old 08-11-2016, 16:19   #10
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

I tried a number of medium value guitars on board over the years cruising between Alaska and the tropics with little long term success. Like Echo 12 string and Ovations, Japanese classical.

All ended up damaged by humidity, banged in heavy weather or by using in confined spaces, and tender runs to beach jams.

Finally, I found the perfect boat guitar...! Brass, nickel plated resonator.

So I bought the same model as used by Mark Knopfler many years ago and it has survived all kinds of exotic places and tunings without any problems.

Really is a great guitar to keep its tune, plays well with local musicians who love its clean tennor notes and when you slide in open D with someone playing eastern instruments... pure heaven.


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Old 08-11-2016, 17:22   #11
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

Quote:
P.S. Please disregard the above advice if you play Country Western, Rock and Roll or anything that resembles Peter, Paul and Mary. Your audience won't know the difference anyway.
Nice!

The story about Buddy Rich's last words had him heading into surgery and the nurse asking him (referring to allergic reactions to meds), "Is there anything you can't take?"
His answer: "Country music"
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Old 08-11-2016, 17:37   #12
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

I've had good luck with my Ovation is a soft bag
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:34   #13
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

Knocks and bangs aside it's no different than living in a coastal city.
Pretty sure at my cottage the air over/in the structure is the same as over the Atlantic Ocean 50' away, no AC or furnace in that place.
It's the humidity changes that cause the issues if you take out the extremes. Where I live I go from high humidity in summer to very low humidity in winter, spring and fall I have to do a minor truss rod adjustment.
Being said the Taylors and Gibsons don't go on board, have a couple plywood body, spruce top cheapies for that, one parlour guitar and one dreadnought.
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:52   #14
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

We have had a guitar with rosewood back and sides, spruce top, onboard for 2.5 yrs without any structural faults. The tuning keys show some corrosion and the internal pickup/electronic (Fishman) are not going to survive much longer. Strings dont seem to last as long and thats a factor of sweaty hands in a humid environment. Weve cruised half way around the globe now and this ol stringed instrument will remain.
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Old 09-11-2016, 16:32   #15
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Re: Guitars and other stringed instruments while cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
SD,
You can extend the life of your strings by using Dunlop UltraGlide 65 string cleaner and conditioner. Here's a link:Musician's Friend: Musical Instruments Store › ... › Cleaners & Lubricants for Guitar & Bass
Good luck and good music.
Also, coated strings like Elixirs outlast regular steel strings.
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