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Old 24-02-2021, 21:01   #1
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Guitar players and musicians on board?

Who out there is a real player and lives aboard or does extended cruises with a nice instrument?

Curious about what you play, acoustic, electric, your rig, etc? how you deal power if you play electric? How do you deal with humidity if you play acoustic or hollow body?

I have quite a few nice guitars. I brought a cheapie acoustic with me to the boat for some time, it did suffer a bit. It doesnít play near as nice as my taylor, which I refuse to take to the boat.

I play electric mostly, blues and jazz. But my electric rig is too much for my small boat. Perhaps when I get a larger boat I will come up with a way to power an amp modeler.

Just curious as Iím sure there are a few good musicians who appreciate nice instruments and enjoy playing on board. Iíve not run across any conversations about it though...
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Old 24-02-2021, 21:08   #2
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

Zemurry,

I have a musician friend who travels on his Westsail with a small carbon guitar. He claims it stays in tune longer, resists humidity, and if all else fails, he can paddle with it.
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Old 25-02-2021, 04:00   #3
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I bring my Seagull acoustic along pretty often. It hasn’t suffered but we usually have the wood stove going, and dehumidifier when at the dock. Got a katana amp recently and I’m plotting on getting that in the boat. I don’t tend to worry about climate so much with my electric. I should be able to drown out the sound of the engine with some nice heavy metal on those long runs. Girlfriend will be so happy...

I’ve been so thankful to have the guitar whenever i took it along. Spent many long days weathered in at anchor with the guitar as my main source of sanity.
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Old 25-02-2021, 05:35   #4
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

We had decent climate control inside the boat...

So I've taken my acoustic/electric Ovation Legend (12-s) and PRS Alex-somebody-or-other (6-s) onboard for extended cruises. No damage to either.

Fender and Marshall both make (made?) very small battery-powered amps, and I have one of the tiny Fender models. Sounds surprisingly good enough for just us on board.

I'd actually like to have a drum kit onboard, but my acoustic rack set-up wouldn't work at all. I have a small Yamaha multi-pad that could work and I might try on a boat, sometime. I've got it on a stand, with a kick pedal and couple of real cymbals, augmented with an external (real) hat. Small amp, sounds passable and doesn't take up much space...

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Old 25-02-2021, 09:18   #5
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I don't think humidity is as bad for an acoustic as dryness. But that said there are non wood guitars like the Ovation mentioned above which is what I have on my boat. It has lived full time on the boat for about three years with no ill effects. The sound board is spruce but the sides and bottom are synthetic. And the All carbon ones mentioned above are likely impervious to humidity. As for amps my Sony stereo has a line in which might serve though I have not tried it. It might need a pre amp.
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Old 25-02-2021, 09:19   #6
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

Didn’t want to risk damage to my Martins and Taylor guitars, so purchased a Journey carbon fiber guitar with breakaway neck and pick-up. Sound and action are really quite good. Great on the boat and for travel. I also have a Blackstar battery powered amp. Pretty reasonable sound. https://journeyinstruments.com/produ...-fiber-of660m/
https://www.blackstaramps.com/uk/products/fly-3
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Old 25-02-2021, 09:25   #7
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I don't take my regular Taylor or Martin guitars on the boat. I have a Taylor GSMini (7/8 scale) that I keep on the boat. However, we only live on the boat for 5 months at a time. After a few weeks of humid weather mid-summer, the guitar does get 'wet' and the action lowers appreciably. It's to the point that I will need to start taking a tool to re-set the action this summer. I'd rather sacrifice a $500 guitar than one that is several thousand dollars.

I'll be looking at a carbon fiber guitar down the road. I was sitting in a bar in St Thomas having a drink with a guitar player after his gig and asked him how his acoustic survives in the humid weather. He said he had problems until he went to a carbon fiber guitar. Now he has no issues.
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Old 25-02-2021, 09:44   #8
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I play fiddle and mandolin. I have and have had both acoustic fiddles and mandolins aboard since I started cruising full time in the eastern pacific and caribbean in 2011. None of my instruments have been adversely affected by the environment aboard my monohull sailboat, other than mandolin strings do rust, despite buying really good strings. I also have an all-carbon fiber acostic-electric fiddle aboard (both wood and carbon fiber bows). It too has not been affected at all by the environment. I have also jammed with other cruisers who have keyboards, full size acoustic basses, vioins, violas, accordians, cellos, guitars (acoustic and electric), and drums. None of them have been adversely affected. Bring the instrument you like to play and donít fret about it faring well or poorly. I DO keep my instruments in a case all the time to avoid being knocked about. And I Do ensure that my electronic devices (amp, keyboard, cables, etc.) are protected to the greatest extent practicable from being dripped on with fresh water (condensation for e.g.) and sea water. Cheers
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Old 25-02-2021, 09:51   #9
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

Not for the faint of heart when it comes to price but these are some very attractive carbon fiber gutars.

https://emeraldguitars.com/
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Old 25-02-2021, 09:54   #10
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I'm not sure if I should even post here. I've little skill and few abilities when it comes to string instruments, but I've opted for a modest-level ukulele as my instrument of choice on board.

It's easier to store, and not very expensive. Still carries a good tune if you get away from the teeny soprano versions. I've settled on the tenor size, with a good case:

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Old 25-02-2021, 10:11   #11
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I got my wife a Fishman amp that has a battery back up for here to take with us when she plays her acoustic electric. That think really sounds awesome, she also has the Fishman Performer which is for gigs and unless you play them back to back itís hard for the novice ears to tell the difference.

We plan on just bringing her nice Martin, if it happens to get ruined Iíll just buy her another one, it brings so much happiness to our family and sounds amazing canít imagine being without it.
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Old 25-02-2021, 10:24   #12
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I keep a guitar on hand to dissuade overly amorous women. It's a big problem.

Carbon fiber guitars are the answer but they're pricey. Ovations are a good compromise.

I don't recommend AC powered tube amps aboard; real electrocution potential there.
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Old 25-02-2021, 10:24   #13
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I have a carbon fibre Rainsong, it’s a real guitar, a friend has a little Martin made from high pressure laminate which has done well for the past 4-5 years........ my D28 stays home.....

I also suggest a good gig bag it’s easier to store than a hard case on a boat....
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Old 25-02-2021, 10:29   #14
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I carried a Fender acoustic and a Stratocaster for four years and other than occasionally rusting strings saw no appreciable negative effects even in the Sea of Cortez. I also had a small cube amp that was okay. When coming into port/anchorage I was able to jam with musicians on other boats. It also made the beach parties a hoot.
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Old 25-02-2021, 10:34   #15
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Re: Guitar players and musicians on board?

I like the NUX Mighty Air for an amp if you want to take an electric guitar. This amp is super portable and has a decent number of modeled sounds for various types of amps and pedal effects. The amp only weighs a couple of pounds and is powered with either a USB cord or by 6-AA batteries. You can play music thru the amp to jam along with and it has pre-set drum beats as well. the only downside is that it is low volume and the speaker can sound a little tinny. However, for the size and price ($100) it is perfect for a sailboat. All the best, Kevin.🎸
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