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NicBeeee 03-12-2019 15:48

Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Hi, we have been looking at wooden hull yachts of around 40ft. Has anyone got some tips on what I should be on the lookout for condition wise. Very naive still compared to you guys on here. I will be paying out for a survey but would prefer not to waste money or anyone's time if I can see if it's worth or not worth pursuing.
Thanks

Dark Horse 03-12-2019 16:10

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NicBeeee (Post 3028859)
Hi, we have been looking at wooden hull yachts of around 40ft. Has anyone got some tips on what I should be on the lookout for condition wise. Very naive still compared to you guys on here. I will be paying out for a survey but would prefer not to waste money or anyone's time if I can see if it's worth or not worth pursuing.
Thanks


Who is going to insure it and where you going to keep it would be big up front questions. Might be a bit of a problem. Best check before you buy.


There is a reason FRP and cold molded are popular and straight wood yachts are not. It's called maintenance.

Hardhead 03-12-2019 16:22

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NicBeeee (Post 3028859)
Hi, we have been looking at wooden hull yachts of around 40ft. Has anyone got some tips on what I should be on the lookout for condition wise. Very naive still compared to you guys on here. I will be paying out for a survey but would prefer not to waste money or anyone's time if I can see if it's worth or not worth pursuing.
Thanks


I think most sailors here will strongly caution you. Wood boats are beautiful, and have a lot of character, but it will be almost a steady full-time job keeping her maintained. Plus, the cost of doing so is significant. If you like them, there's still a large number of older fiberglass boats (60's to 80's) that still have a traditional look, and a lot of teak, etc. That's the route I took-

sandy stone 03-12-2019 16:35

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
It's my impression that if you develop a flaw in your bottom paint (scrape off a spot, whatever) you don't just get extra marine growth, you get worms eating your hull. Fiberglass for me, thanks.

NicBeeee 03-12-2019 16:41

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Thanks for your input, I didnt realise that insurance would be an issue, certainly was not on my list of concerns. Why would finding somewhere to put it be a problem, are some marinas worried about infestation?

Not to worried about the maintenance side of things as I quite enjoy it. (easy to say before the event I know)

KJB 03-12-2019 16:49

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Hi,

First, there will be a ton of people telling you not to pursue a wooden boat. Some will give very sound reasons, others only opinions based on other people's opinions, hearsay, etc. (but they will sound like experts :banghead: at least to themselves.)

It is true, there is a lot of maintenance with a wooden boat. But then, if kept in proper condition, there is a lot of maintenance with any boat made of any material.

GRP boats tend to have coring issues (for those with cored hulls or decks), gelcoat issues, leaks and a host of other dilemmas. Simply put; pick a building material and it is easy to find a plethora of known issues (many expensive) with that medium.

I own a strip plank built wooden sailboat that is 38' on deck. While it does have a lot of brightwork, the boat (built in 1980) is still rock solid! Nothing gives! The decks are solid underfoot - the flooring is solid underfoot (not so with many and most new GRP boats :flowers:), I weigh 246 pounds and I can literally hang off anything I can grab! Inside or out.

Buying a boat is a personal thing, and I think it is best to keep it that way. Do your research, like you are here, and buy what you want at the end of it. It may be a wooden boat would not suit you. But they do have a lot of character and charm, and if maintained, will take you anywhere the boat was designed for.

There are many different types of wooden boat construction. I would say it wise to familiarize yourself with them, and determine what would be the best type for you should you pursue one.

Other than that: Best to you!

NorthernMac 03-12-2019 16:49

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hardhead (Post 3028889)
I think most sailors here will strongly caution you. Wood boats are beautiful, and have a lot of character, but it will be almost a steady full-time job keeping her maintained. Plus, the cost of doing so is significant. If you like them, there's still a large number of older fiberglass boats (60's to 80's) that still have a traditional look, and a lot of teak, etc. That's the route I took-


That.

Also as someone who lived aboard a wood boat as a kid and now has a smaller fiberglass boat, normal wood construction is going to eat up some interior space with ribs and everything, make two hulls the same on the outside but one wood and one glass, the wood one will be smaller on the finished inside.

Only wood boat I’d get would be something small and fun that I could pull onto a trailer and easily take into the garage, or bigger if I was $$ and could just have “people” who cared for the boat as their job.

KJB 03-12-2019 16:59

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
I would also add that Geico Marine insures my boat. It is true, they are harder to insure, but they can be insured. Just get a professional survey done. Also, some marinas don't like them. at least here in the SF Bay. However, I have literally had legal liveaboard slips offered to me in Sausalito, Emeryville, Alameda, Benicia, South San Francisco, Redwood City, and Richmond. I have found it is as much how you present yourself as how you present your boat.

Just my 0.02 :biggrin:

NicBeeee 03-12-2019 17:04

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Cheers guys

In respect of that nasty shipworm do some timber vessels have sacrificial timbers plus an iron keel.
How often do you need to check for worm and is it a case of listening out for it. Usually you can here any beast chewing woodwork.

NicBeeee 03-12-2019 17:07

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KJB (Post 3028909)
I would also add that Geico Marine insures my boat. It is true, they are harder to insure, but they can be insured. Just get a professional survey done. Also, some marinas don't like them. at least here in the SF Bay. However, I have literally had legal liveaboard slips offered to me in Sausalito, Emeryville, Alameda, Benicia, South San Francisco, Redwood City, and Richmond. I have found it is as much how you present yourself as how you present your boat.

Just my 0.02 :biggrin:

Hi KJB

Does the insurance tend to cost a little more, and is it just pure snobbery in respect to the age of the vessel and marinas or is it due to being timber construction.

KJB 03-12-2019 17:21

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NicBeeee (Post 3028913)
Hi KJB

Does the insurance tend to cost a little more, and is it just pure snobbery in respect to the age of the vessel and marinas or is it due to being timber construction.

Yes, insurance can cost more as I understand it. Although to be truthful, I have no means to compare.

Yes, it is often pure snobbery!!! They may claim safety reasons such as fire or just plain tell you that all wooden boats are sinking. Followed by a diatribe concerning the personal character of wooden boat owners (don't ask me how I know - lol). I have even had a yard owner yell at me during a haulout once when I told him the boat was wooden. I had already told his wife (secretary) when scheduling the haulout. To be fair, He did hand me back one of 15 c-notes I paid him for the bottom paint, as his way of apologizing.

With strip plank construction, at least with mine, no one knows it is wooden until I tell them. The hull is that fair. I could lie about it if I wanted to, but I don't want to and I don't want to (redundant on purpose).

redneckrob 03-12-2019 17:30

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NicBeeee (Post 3028913)
Hi KJB

Does the insurance tend to cost a little more, and is it just pure snobbery in respect to the age of the vessel and marinas or is it due to being timber construction.

To be fair a marina is effectively lending you money secured by your boat since most wont and in some places can't evict you after you miss a couple payments. It almost inevitable that every marina ends up with a few boats they have to sell off to pay overdue slip fees, so it's a real thing. And in general those boats are going to have a lot of deferred maintenance, cutting into the value they have available to recover their fees. All things being equal, a wood boat is going to suffer the most over a given period of being ignored, and the market is tough to sell even a good condition wood boat, it's nearly non-existent for a wood project boat. So it's not "pure snobbery", it's really just a business decision. Perhaps not one everyone agrees with, but then not everyone has the experience of running a business where losses come out of their own pocket.
At the end of the day it really does depend on your attitude as was mentioned. If the marina owner is active in the management and you present yourself and your boat as professional and unlikely to stop paying slip fees, that "official policy" can always be waived. If you come at it with a sense of entitlement and the attitude that the marina owner is a snob....well your milage may vary but you do get more bees with honey than with vinegar.

NorthernMac 03-12-2019 17:34

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by redneckrob (Post 3028924)
To be fair a marina is effectively lending you money secured by your boat since most wont and in some places can't evict you after you miss a couple payments. It almost inevitable that every marina ends up with a few boats they have to sell off to pay overdue slip fees, so it's a real thing. And in general those boats are going to have a lot of deferred maintenance, cutting into the value they have available to recover their fees. All things being equal, a wood boat is going to suffer the most over a given period of being ignored, and the market is tough to sell even a good condition wood boat, it's nearly non-existent for a wood project boat. So it's not "pure snobbery", it's really just a business decision. Perhaps not one everyone agrees with, but then not everyone has the experience of running a business where losses come out of their own pocket.


Demographic wise I’d think people who were down to own a large wooden boat would probably have more $$ and commitment, vs seeking out a boat based on what would require the least work?

boatpoker 03-12-2019 17:51

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
Many marinas and yacht clubs will no longer accept wooden boats due to a number of huge claims when they broke up in the travel lift slings.
I stopped surveying them about 15yrs ago as no one was willing to pay for a three day survey on a 40' footer. To properly survey a wooden boat if extremely time consuming and requires pulling a number of fasteners for inspection ..... few owners will permit this.

The last one I surveyed looked spectacular (38' Pacemaker). I started at 0700hrs and ran out of note paper at 1700hrs.

If you intend to pursue this get a surveyor that really knows wooden boats and preferably has repaired or built them.

Tillsbury 03-12-2019 17:52

Re: Wooden hull for long term cruising
 
I think that’s the key. Buying a wooden boat on a budget is probably a very bad plan. If you know what you’re doing, and know you have the time and money enough for ongoing maintenance then great.


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