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  #1  
Old 05-20-2006
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Little Harbor 38

I recently posted the Hinckley Pilot 35 thread and got some valuable responses. The weather here in NE is just terrible and I haven't been able to survey/sail the 2 Hinckleys. In the mean time I have located a couple of Little Harbor 38's at more reasonable pricing and would very much appreciate some input about he boat. Any feedback from those with knowledge or personal experience, good or bad would be very helpful. Thanks, Kevin
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Old 05-20-2006
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These are genuinely good all around boats. They are known for their high build quality, reasonably good performance and attractive lines. They are very close cousins of the Bristol 38.5 and Wauquez Hood 38 which can generally be found at lower prices.

Jeff
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Old 05-20-2006
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I have known and sailed alongside a number of people who have had a LH38. Ted Hood's design philosophy at the time was minimum wetted surface, and although the boats look like they are bulbous, they move very quickly. It is a boat I would definitely considering if I were upgrading especially now that I live in the shallow Chesapeake (center board). They are beautifully finished below. I think you get much more boat for the money with a Little Harbor 38 over the Hinckley Pilot 35...certainly more space below, and you probably have a much faster boat.

Moe
Apache 37
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Old 05-20-2006
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Rob Proctor the President of Marine.com - owner of Sailnet owns a Little Harbor 38. I'll send him an email and ask for his comments. I know he loves his.

- jeff
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Old 05-23-2006
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I have looked at the Little Harbor 38 on YachtWorld and noticed that most (if not all) have teak decks. Would this feature be a deal breaker for anyone when comparing the Little Harbor 38 to the Bristol or Wauquiez 38? Teak decks sure are pretty but seems like I only read negative stuff about them. Opinions please.

Techman
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Old 05-23-2006
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A properly installed teak deck can be a beautiful thing...but it requires a fair amount of upkeep compared to a fiberglass deck. A badly installed teak deck is a nightmare waiting to happen. The screws used to hold a teak deck in place can often be the source of water penetrating a cored deck's core, and lead to delamination issues.

I prefer to sail my boat, rather than varnish and oil my boat...so I have a fiberglass deck, and excepting the tiller, no brightwork at all on deck.
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Old 05-23-2006
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This comes from an earlier discussion. Teak Decks are one of those items where opinions vary widely and a case can be made either way. In their favor, teak decks provide good traction and a beautiful appearance. Nothing speaks of old world charm like a well-maintained teak deck.

The negatives are also very real. However you cut it, sooner or later, a teak deck is high maintenance. There are a lot of theories about how to maintain. On one hand there are the more traditional methods using teak oils, sealers, and mild abrasives in block form to minimize eating out the softer wood. At the other end of the maintenance scale are those who simply believe in washing down periodically, eschewing detergents or scrubbing in any form. In between are believers in washing and scrubbing like any other deck material. This last approach typically results in the shortage lifespan.

The scrubbing process eats out the grain and erodes the depth of the wood comparatively rapidly. In the sun, UV degradation accelerates the oxidation of the surface of the teak. Left to its own devices teak has a wonderful defense against surface deterioration. Teak (like many species of wood) turns gray as its surface oxidizes. That grayed surface acts as a kind of insulator retarding oxidation and sunburning of the teak below. The oxidized layer on teak is particularly efficient at protecting the heart of the teak as compared to other wood species.

Simply washing the decks leaves this barrier largely intact and so the teak lasts a lot longer than if it is scrubbed where the weathered wood surface is easily eroded away by scrubbing and detergents, exposing new wood to deterioration. But simply hosing off the decks allows dirt and mold to form making for a deck that is grimy and not especially appealing.

Although surface oxidation causes surface deterioration to take place at a retarded rate, the sub-surface does still continue to deteriorate. The oxidized teak holds moisture and in freeze thaw circumstances that trapped moisture can accelerate checking and surface deterioration. The pourous nature of the surface also draws essential oils out of the teak below the surface accelerating checking and rot deeper in the wood and lossening the plugs over fastenings.

Oiling and sealing teak prevents the formation of the protective oxidation layer. In echange it renews the oils in the teak, and in the best cases the oils contain UV screens. But the oils can build up and become stick over time, and can become darkened as dirt, and pollution bind to the oils. This means that the deck oils need to be stripped and the decks need to be sanded from to time.

Over time, no matter which method of maintenance is used the decks erode and become thinner. On a 1939 Stadel cutter that I owned with my Dad and restored in the 1970’s, the erosion exceeded well over a 1/4" with 3/8” erosion occurring in many places over the 33 years life of the boat. This meant that fastenings were proud of the surface and water was seeping into the framing below and the deck planks were too thin to hold caulking and keep water out.

It is not all that unusual to find 10 to 20 year old teak-decked boats with serious deck problems. There is no one single answer to your question because the methods of building teak over glass decks vary widely and the extent of the problems will vary with construction type, climate and maintenance that the individual boat has received.

For example, the under layers vary from heavily glassed foam coring, to heavily glassed marine plywood, to lightly glassed non-marine plywood. Fastening varies from planks epoxied in places without fastenings left in place, to bronze wood screws, to stainless steel pan head screws, to steel (galvanized or not). Bedding varies from epoxy, to 3M 5200, to none.

And when the seems in the deck begin to leak there is damage to the under layer. It is my (albeit pessimistic) belief that with any screw fastened teak deck you can expect to find pretty large areas of rotted coring at some point in the life of the boat.

Having owned and repaired boats with teak decks I personally view them as a deal breaker. I see them as a high maintenance deck that in most cases is inherently unreliable since it is nearly impossible to assess the condition of the core below a teak deck. I also have a real problem with the weight that teak decks add to a boat esoecially located as high as it is above the vertical center of buoyancy, which reduces carry capacity, stability, motion comfort, and performance. But that is just my opinion. I know that there are completely opposite opinions of teak decks out there and believe that for those who love teak decks an equally good case can for having them.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 04-18-2007
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little Harbor 38' dinghy solutions

Hi there!
I am currently purchasing a 38' Little Harbor sailboat and am wondering what other owners have done re the dinghy issue/solutions. Lugging up a dinghy each evening is not high on our list; and creating a davits system on the stern is worrisome in that it might compromise the integrity of the hull/transom/BEAUTY of the boat! I would love your input... THANKS SO MUCH. Davis
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Old 04-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
A properly installed teak deck can be a beautiful thing...but it requires a fair amount of upkeep compared to a fiberglass deck. A badly installed teak deck is a nightmare waiting to happen. The screws used to hold a teak deck in place can often be the source of water penetrating a cored deck's core, and lead to delamination issues.

I prefer to sail my boat, rather than varnish and oil my boat...so I have a fiberglass deck, and excepting the tiller, no brightwork at all on deck.
For what it's worth, I have teak decks on my boat and there is no varnishing or oiling involved. I have been advised that both of those steps shorten the lives of the decks. We just clean them twice a year.

But, if all other things are equal I can see why one wouldn't want to deal with them. Mine had just been redone when we bought the boat which made the decision a little easier.
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Old 04-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBinRI
For what it's worth, I have teak decks on my boat and there is no varnishing or oiling involved. I have been advised that both of those steps shorten the lives of the decks. We just clean them twice a year.

But, if all other things are equal I can see why one wouldn't want to deal with them. Mine had just been redone when we bought the boat which made the decision a little easier.
CB-

Never said varnishing or oiling were involved...but there is still a lot of additional maintenance required if you have teak decks. Replacing bungs, recaulking, etc...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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