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Old 04-11-2007, 17:10   #1
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Thinking...

Hi All,

I'm new here and somewhat new to sailing. I really like woodworking and I'm thinking of taking on a project boat. The thing is, I'm starting to realize that the cost of day-to-day ownership might make this not possible. The boat I'm thinking of is a 47' privateer ketch. The largest thing I've sailed previously is 12'. Trying to get it to my property - and off-loaded from the trailer might be quite a challenge. Any thoughts, advise -- how much to keep this beast going for a year -- insurance....

Cheers and good winds
Bob
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Old 04-11-2007, 17:37   #2
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if you get a project boat that is going to spend the next 5-7 years in your back yard, I don't know why you would insure it until you actually have the value up to the point where risk of loss would hurt you.

It also sounds like you have a lot of thinking to do about this. A 47 foot project boat is not a task for the light hearted and it actually has nothing to do with sailing. It has a lot to do with potentially spending $100,000 on top of the boat price and doing no sailing for 5+ years.

Do you want to sail or fix boats?
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Old 04-11-2007, 18:45   #3
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Aloha Bob,
Welcome aboard!! Hope you find the information and opinions here on the forum enlightening. In my opinion 47 is 11 feet too long for the largest boating project. I've owned wood boats and they are constant maintenance. Living aboard is almost a requirement. There are many smaller wood boat projects available and if it were me I'd pick a smaller one that might be sailed almost immediately. Do the repairs and renovations as you are learning to sail the boat.
The question is: Do you want to sail or work on a project? I think 50/50 is a good mix. My opinion is that you find a project that you can sail 50 percent of the time.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:03   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for the feedback. To a certain extent it is about working on the boat. Like I said, I like doing woodwork and having a project that forces me to learn new skills. Did I mention I just did a second major house remodel? My wife is scared of having drywall and paint around her because it doesn't happen too often! Anyway, working on the boat for 5 -7 years in the backyard seems like fun to me. I'm just worried that at the end of that time I wouldn't actually be able to afford to sail her. In the meantime I guess I would have to figure out where to take some classes or something to learn how to sail her -- I was actually hoping this forum would help me out on that. As to daily maintenance -- idle hands are the devil's workforce-- if I wasn't doing that I would remodel the barn or buy an old car to restore and my wife would divorce me.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:52   #5
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Aloha Again Bob,
Now I see. Ok, so you want a backyard project that you'll be able to sail in a few years and you like working with wood. Still, I would never recommend anything larger than 36.
Are you anywhere near the major wood boat schools, i. e. Port Townsend, Washington? Have you gone to your local book store and checked out Wooden Boat Magazine? Lots of information in the Public Libraries too.
Good luck and if you have sailing questions we can certainly help. Before taking anything home ask the forum about sailing characteristics of the particular boat you might adopt.
Kind Regards,
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:10   #6
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I would definitely research the hell out of the costs and time required to repair and maintain a wood boat versus that of a plastic or a metal boat.

You can purchase a wood boat for very cheap but on the other hand, don't expect any kind of financial return for all your efforts. The only exception I have seen are relatively famous wood boats....even then, they don't have huge appreciations. It IS going to be a money sinkhole.

Also, your current home carpentry skills are going to need to be radically modified to those of boat carpentry skills. I have seen a number of wood boats repaired or modified in the same way you construct a house...big mistakes were made in materials and techniques. Boat materials and construction techniques are always more expensive which makes it tempting to do things like you would do with a house. Boats get thrown around and flex and expand and contract, get doused with salt water and get saturated with water...houses generally don't. Wood boats and wood land based structures are radically different in how they are constructed. I'm sure you know all this though.

Nobody can say how much is too much of a boat for you. Just keep in mind that when you double the length, you cube the amount of work/money/time/materials required.

If you do go ahead then enjoy! There is nothing like the sense of pride in doing something yourself.
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:46   #7
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Even More Thanks

SkiprJohn -- I was wondering why you recommend nothing larger than a 36'? Ease of being able to transport/...?

Also, I'm not going in totally blind. I'm taking classes with the Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation. We don't meet again until December and I wanted to get outside opinions first.

Finally, what section on the forum should I use to ask about specific vessels?

Cheers and thanks for all your time!!
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:47   #8
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Scratch build...

Why not build from scratch. Renovating you will spend most of your time (and money) fixing other peoples mistakes.

There are some nice designs available. Check out Dudley Dix.

Good woodworking skills combined with epoxy resin (read up on WEST System) makes a magnificent boat.

36' is really the upper limit for what can be singlehanded/managed by a couple without salt water in their veins.
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Old 05-11-2007, 22:16   #9
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Would a cold molded wood boat done in epoxy interest you?...they are strong as hell and have that wood boat look.

Here is an example of one: Custom cold-molded wooden boat construction The 34' Odyssey
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:46   #10
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Aloha Bob,
36 is the upper limit for ease of handling, maintaining and the costs for replacement of required gear that I'm willing to do any more. If you want all my reasons why just do a search on all my posts.
I owned, lived aboard and cruised an all wood 35' Mariner Ketch and loved it but now would not have anything that didn't have a fiberglass or cold molded hull unless I was a permanent liveaboard.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:47   #11
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I don’t know if 36” is the magic number, but it’s close… My wife is the woodworker in the family and has rebuilt her own house, but boat woodworking can get awfully protracted and slow-moving so even though I’ve owned wood in the past (26' & 48') I’d study this for awhile… Wood used to be relatively inexpensive, but I’m sure you’ve already priced white-oak, teak and mahogany… my guess is boat building woods have gone up faster than petroleum products in recent years… still it is a satisfying medium…

I always figured that the maintenance of a boat was more closely related to its displacement than length – at least for the usual cruising configuration… but having lived aboard a heavy 42-footer some years back, I’m cured of the “big” notion… for a bit I thought I might have gone too small this time, but it was available -- and the ease of finishing what used to be week-long projects in an evening sure is refreshing… I think I’d be real tempted to see what the mid-thirty foot range had to offer… but, good luck… post lots of photos…
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