Originally Posted by MedSailor
My wooden boat leaked the most right after a refit. Wooden boat owners (read: crazy people) commonly called this time "taking up" as the planks "took up" water, swelled, and hopefully became tight again.
The torrent of water that rushed in between each and every plank after a refit of my boat was enough to make your heart turn cold. 2 months later though, she'd be tight as a drum when sitting in the slip. Water would come in again in a seaway which was "just the planks working".
I bet they were still "taking up" after their refit only a few days ago.
PS Wooden boat owners have too many euphemisms for water ingress through the hull. Now that I own a plastic boat, there is only one; "We're sinking!!!"
I had a wooden boat, a 80 year's old one. Half of the hull was replaced and the rest I recovered. I used a lot of epoxy, one that was absorbed by the wood and turned hard, closing the wood cells and another type, similar to the one that is used on fiberglass boats to prevent osmosis. I had the boat for about 10 years and it was a dry boat. Not even on stormy conditions the boat made water. The only water inside entered when it rained by the mast.
Even if you don't chose modern materials to take care of a wooden boat and use traditional methods, yes it is natural the boat to make some water but really a small amount and one that can be easily taken away by an old pump and that would be an easy task with a modern one. However you are right on one point, if the boat is old and is not properly maintained it will "work" and it will make water,and that can be a lot of it. Old time sailors were well aware of that and were rightful afraid of sailing in old boats. Most of them were lost in storms just because they made more water than the one the crew could take away. It was normal to have in a storm the pumps working continually.