Beautifully finished wood interiors - how to get one? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-01-2008 Thread Starter
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Beautifully finished wood interiors - how to get one?

What's the best way to get a boat (monohull) with an interesting and good quality wood finished interior?

Early on I decided that I only wanted a boat that I really loved being in. For me this implied a good wood interior, and excluded Beneteau/Bavaria etc mass-produced charter types.

Seems that some of the northern European boats such as Halberg Rassy and Nautor are pretty good.

The best boat I found when looking had a one-off interior - really beautiful work. Unfortunately I missed out on that - but bought the same design (34ft) but with a pretty average standard interior.

Now want to upgrade to about 38ft. Top quality wooden interior and offshore capable are the main requirements.

So, question is this: Does anyone have views/experience on whether it's generally better to buy something like a Halberg Rassy (those are expensive boats) which does have a top interior, or to buy a much cheaper basic boat such as a Ted Brewer Morgan 38 and have it redone with a custom finished interior.

I did phone the guy who did the interior work I liked so much and had quite a talk with him. He did offer to do something similar for me, but my present boat isn't suitable and I'm still trying to decide whether to go that way or to try to find a good pre-finished one, which could well cost a bit too much even if I could find a good one. I also heard there's a guy down in Cartagena, Colombia who does pretty good work at a pretty good price.

I'm just hoping to get some feedback on this before I go ahead with whichever option.
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I did phone the guy who did the interior work I liked so much and had quite a talk with him. He did offer to do something similar for me
Did he mention cost?
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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If you're planning on replacing the interior anyway...get a boat with a crappy interior that is in need of replacing... and save some money.

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post #4 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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I don't have any real "answers" for you but I am another with an insatiable lust for beautiful wood interiors and I'll share my different fixes for my addiction. When I bought a new Catalina 28 I couldn't stand the plastic sole so the winter before it was even splashed I hired a carpenter who formerly worked with Bristol Yachts in Bristol RI to make me one for around $2500 I believe. Of course it was much nicer than a factory job being fully framed with solid teak and all but it was a heck of a lot of money for a little 28 footer's sole
Then came my c320 which over the course of a few years I ended up with a mostly teak interior created in my cellar. At that time a large local wood dealer was selling out so I picked up a lot of heavy teak lumber and ripped my own boards. Some of the cabinetry work was very good and some was not but as you mentioned trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear is hard ..... but I hate plastic.
Then I went the other way.... and for an obscene amount of money I have an interior that is totally plastic free that I love just sitting in

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Wickford/Narragansett Bay RI

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post #5 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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It all depends on money......and condition. Shannons, Gozzard,Morris, Hinckley and the like will have beautiful interiors at a premium price. Taiwanese boats will have beautiful interiors, but some may suffer from poor sailing performance and poor hull construction and water intrusion, but there are some good ones such as Panda, Passport, Baba and the like.
If you go with an American production of an older vintage in that size range, look at a Sabre 38, Tartan 37, Bristol 38/40, and others along those lines. My Tartan 37 has an all teak interior that I refinished and added new raised panel doors as well as tongue and groove paneling, stainless portlights and much more. The older the boat, the more likely you're going to need to refurbish it, but you'll spend much less for the purchase price....Just my two cents...
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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A note of caution. You won't necessarily get your money back from a large investment in an old boat. There's a price range for any given boat & you'll be hard pressed to exceed that range.
A gold plated turd is till a turd!
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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Older boats, hmm, I have one of them. Six inch wide teak planks for the sole and lot's of mahogany. I you want the mile deep finish for the wood you have, that takes proper finishing of the varnish. Wet sanding with 1500/2000 followed by slow machine buffing will bring out the grain in amazing detail. As far as older boats go, there are turds and there are TURDS. I happened to get a classic turd that's built like a tank, weighs 14K Lbs and sails really well. Is the maintenance headache worth it? Ask me when Oh Joy's turning everyone's head as I slide into an anchorage or marina. It's worth it to me.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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there are turds and there are TURDS
Didn't mean to disparage all old boats. Yours sounds like a real head turner. I admire your tenacity in keeping up with it. I cringe at keeping up with just a teak railing!
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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No problem. Wooden classics aren't for everyone and before this boat found ME, I didn't think they were for me either. The stars aligned with regards to me getting this boat and I don't regret any of it, except waiting some 25 yrs to take the leap.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-01-2008
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I would buy the boat you want based on its hull and rig and then go about modifying the interior to your liking...it's only wood. You can do a lot with wood and get everything custom to your likes and uses. You can't really change a hull or rig. Check out boulter plywood just to get some ideas on the variety of wood available. You'll wonder why every boat manufacturer chooses the same few woods every time.


who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little
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