Wood boat for first time cruise... - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 01-03-2005 Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
Wood boat for first time cruise...

I am getting close to the dream of buying a boat to live on and soon after go cruising. I have been wondering if a wood boat would be good for someone who has sailed very few times and would be learning to sail once we purchase a boat. I believe myself to be fairly handy with woodwork and feel I could possibly handle many of the repairs but am really not sure. Does anyone have an older wooden sailboat and know if repairing them is much more difficult than most people can handle. Also is it more dificult to sail an older wooden boat compared to a fiberglass one? Any help about older wooden boats for cruising would be helpful.

Also if this helps we plan to cruise the ICW and bahamas then working our way down the carribean islands. Thanks for all the help.
slimqs is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 01-03-2005 Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 30
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
Wood boat for first time cruise...

I also forgot to mention that my budget for this boat is under 25,000.
slimqs is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 6 Old 01-03-2005
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 17
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Wood boat for first time cruise...

Sailing a wooden boat is not fundamentally different from sailing a (similar) design boat made out of another material, ie a sloop is a sloop, wood, steel, or plastic. The upkeep is a whole different story. A neglected plastic boat looks bad, a neglected wood boat rots and sinks. In other words, the plastic is more forgiving. Wooden boats have an ambiance that can not be replicated in any other material. Like life, it''s all trade offs.

It sounds like you''re just starting out. I would highly recommend taking sailing lessons, there are ASA schools everywhere. I would start reading everything I could get my hands on.

If you think you like wooden boats, get "Wooden Boat Magazine" Go to the wooden boat shows, take some of the boat building classes. Make friends on the docks, bum rides, get to know the boats, find the one you want, with the owner that wants to sell...

Same with plastic boats (I have one) Take lessons, meet people, crew on a race boat, rent, learn.

In other words, It''s like "should I get married"....no one can answer the question for you, get involved, learn, You will answer your own question.

Oscar is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 6 Old 01-03-2005
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,120
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Wood boat for first time cruise...

Slim, I don''t think you would be making your best choice if you selected a wood boat for your first boat, knowing you hope to live aboard it and subsequently cruise it.

Handling the boat isn''t going to be substantially different (if comparing a heavier glass or metal boat with a wood boat), but there are other issues that make wood a less desirable choice for you.

First, you are not really sure what you''re looking for, or want, or need - and you can only expect so much help from a surveyor re: thoroughly understanding of what you''re accepting as your new/first boat. Most folks inevitably learn a lot as they go thru their first ''purchase/sail/sell'' cycle, but I think it''s fair to say that more knowledge is needed to end up with a suitable, affordable (to keep, not just to buy) wooden boat.

Secondly, storage space is especially important on a liveaboard/long-term cruising boat. Traditionally-built wooden boats will inevitably be either larger (longer and perhaps deeper) than a glass boat for a given amount of storage space or will offer less space than a glass boat for roughly the same size. And size is critical for a wooden boat, because it defines the amount of care, attention and occasional repair that wood will demand from you.

And then we get to the other risk, given your budget. The very common ''first boat'' cycle when shopping for a boat that doesn''t cost a lot but of which a great deal will be asked is to buy an older boat, not particularly well kept, while thinking that a lot of sweat equity and a bit of replacement and/or additions will make up the difference. (''Old'' and ''wood'' are probably synonymous, given your price tartet). This does on occasion actually work out. But more often, the old boat is found to contain (surprise!) old systems - pumps, wiring, lights, batteries, standing and running rig, engine, tanks and I could go on. And so one ends up inheriting a chronic fixer-upper, to which is added the inevitable use/abuse of using the boat full-time while cruising/living aboard and stressing the systems far more than would be true of a local daysailing. In short, you''ll often find folks cruising older (and especially wooden) boats almost always *needing* to work on their boats (as opposed to the rest of us, for whom the work is at least partially optional, as e.g. topside wood care, scheduled engine maintenance, etc.)

It sounds to me like you are an ideal candidate for a smaller/simplier boat that has recently been cruised successfully, is well maintained, is modest insofar as its amenities are concerned but still seaworthy and ready to be sailed. Accept the smaller space (tho'' larger than what a wood boat of similar length would provide), and accept the simple nature of the boat as that which your cruising kitty will be happiest with.

Good luck on your search, and on joining the sailing ranks!

WHOOSH is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 6 Old 03-09-2006
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Naples, FL
Posts: 24
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I say hang on to the house you have right now and practice your techneques. That way you will have all your experience by the time you are ready to purchase your boat.
The Regatta Queen is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 6 Old 03-09-2006
Senior Member
paulk's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Posts: 2,829
Thanks: 4
Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Jack has some good advice. Also, if you're headed to the Bahamas, you should be aware of toredos (shipworm) and how they can turn what was solid wood into swiss cheese in fairly short order. Fiberglass boats have their problems with osmosis and delamination as well. Old boats (wood or fiberglass) are often quite inexpensive to buy because they need major repairs or maintenance to keep them seaworthy. Buying any boat requires keeping both eyes open and getting a GOOD surveyor to go over it before you buy. Carpe Diem, but Caveat Emptor as well.
paulk is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bluewater defined? dch Learning to Sail 45 3 Weeks Ago 07:12 PM
help with lifes dream kimby Boat Review and Purchase Forum 37 12-02-2009 11:32 PM
How heavy is too heavy II ? PCP General Discussion (sailing related) 14 09-21-2007 09:48 PM
the perfect 20'' cruising boat? jbarros Boat Review and Purchase Forum 14 04-18-2004 06:45 PM
HELP! Where to start? MichaelQ Boat Review and Purchase Forum 5 01-20-2001 05:01 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome