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  #21  
Old 10-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstern View Post
Assuming identical hull shapes, the fiberglass boat will be lighter, and therefore probably faster. Fiberglass designs do not require the extensive internal framing of traditional plank on frame wood boats, and even a newer cold-molded wood boat will not be as light as the identically shaped fiberglass hull. This is not to say that fiberglass is "superior", just that it is lighter.
This is a bad generalization to make. A cold-molded wood boat would probably be lighter than a fiberglass boat of the same design. Cold-molded wood boats, depending on the construction, may in fact, be lighter and stiffer than a fiberglass boat. To see this, just look at some of the cold-molded dinghies and kayaks out there...

Quote:
The scenario you posit (identical boats made of different materials) is probably not very helpful in helping you make a decision as to whether this is the boat for you. If its a one-design, then the class rules will ensure that the boats are as identical as possible. If its not a one-design, then the material used to construct the hull will have no more or different bearing on "sailing ability" than any other factor.

If you are really considering buying a wood boat, then I salute you; you are keeping alive a grand tradition of beautiful boats and traditional craftsmanship. Whenever I see one, I am thankful there are those out there with more time, money and/or ability than I to maintain these beauties.
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  #22  
Old 10-16-2009
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AndrewMac,

The above posts have somewhat contradictory information. It may be that the seller is giving you mixed messages but the answer on whether this is the right boat for you greatly depends on finding out exactly what the situation is with this particular boat.

The advertisment on Yachtworld seems to suggest that this boat had a completely new hull cold molded roughly 10 years ago. That would produce a very durable low maintenance boat. The use of western red cedar was the preferred species for cold molding since it is strong, light and rot-resistant for its weight. It takes glue well and its cell structure was easily sealed by epoxy.

The discussions above seem to suggest that the boat simply had a cold-molded veneer put over the original hull. That is a very bad idea on a lightly planked and framed boat like this one, which rarely lasts over time and which would likely screw up the sailing ability of a light small boat like this one.

There was a Triangle for sale on the Chesapeake roughly 15 years ago that needed reframing, refastening and replanking. I assume that this is that boat. Lightly built boats that needed that kind of attention were very hard to save. The reality is that the only good way to save them would be to essentially replace the hull, which from the ad it sounds like someone did in this case with a cold molded hull. But there were folks out there adding cold molded laminate over the planking and then glassing which is at best a half-hearted solution which is likely to produce mediocre results over time.

The seller should be able to tell you exactly how the boat was rebuilt, in terms of whether the hull planking and framing were replaced, or simply laminated over and with how many veneers. Without that information I would not consider this boat even at its very inexpensive pricing.

Jeff
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  #23  
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Jeff:

Thank you again for your well considered input. I have received similar feedback from a good friend who comes out of the Brooklin Boat Yard and clearly need to make sure that I have the appropriate homework done on the boat. As i am sure you can guess, much of my interest is driven by the aesthetics of the boat which are appealing to me, but I also don't want to be seduced by that alone - the idea is to have more fun sailing! With that said, do you or anyone else have a sense of how a boat of this design will perform? I am usually in 5-15 knots of wind during the summer months in Maine with seas rarely beyond 2/3 ft (frequently smaller). The main is proportionately much larger than what I am used to and I wonder whether that and the narrow beam will result in a large amount of weather helm (this question may reveal some holes in my knowledge, but that is afterall why I'm on sailnet - to learn from those who know more...)

Thanks to anyone who can give some feedback!

Regards,
Andrew
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Old 10-16-2009
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[QUOTE=deniseO30;532336]As size increases structure increases. I respectively disagree that wood will always be heavier. The bracing and engineered curves needed to keep a glass boat of size within it's design specs requires stringers, keel supports, floors, etc. all need nearly the same types of structure. Ever notice what is in those fiberglass stringers that make that glass boat so strong? wood! what's in the decks? wood! (or foam) Some are tubes of paper to give the glass form while curing.
Glass without something to make it a composite is weak and flexible.
QUOTE]

Nope the above is just wrong! Using modern composite materials you can build incredibly light and strong structures. Why do you think modern airliners race cars and crash helmets are made from composite materials.
Yes composite structures that are not correctly designed or built will fail
but the next time you fly if it is a Boeing 787 or an Airbus 350 then it is a composite structure that is keeping you up there.

The only reason wooden boats can compete with composite ones is if there are weight minimums.

Wood is lovely but its strength to weight ratio sucks when compared to "frozen snot" [Hinckley].

I am now retiring to my flame proof bunker to hide from wooden arrows launched from yew longbows.
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TQA,

I think we are looking at a number of different questions. Will a modern composite, Carbon Fiber boat be lighter than a wooden one? Yeah, by quite a bit. Will a 60's or 70's era fiber glass boat be lighter? Quite often, no.

This debate on weight though of course belays the real question of which this is just one small component... How will she sail, and will Andrew be able to maintain her without bankrupting himself? I'll leave these questions to those more experienced than I to answer.

-- James
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  #26  
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Well - the survey will be done on Tuesday, so hopefully I'll know a good deal more at that point regarding the bankruptcy question . Conversation with the owner and surveyor was pretty positive. Surveyor is also going to talk to the guys in New Hampshire who did the coldmolding work and apparently there is an extensive photo log documenting methods and materials used during the restoration. That leaves the sailing question - owner, of course, says she sails like a dream. One point that was interesting is that they shortened the boom in order to accomodate a permanent backstay, which i assume reduces the sail area and the SA/D which was a touch under 25 on the original. Also, there's no clubfoot on the jib which was part of the original design...
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  #27  
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lol tqa I don't disagree! We where however, (at least I was) referencing to traditional building methods. I guess we could build a carbon fiber replica of of Andrew's boat!

I think beneteau is using a honeycomb for the bottom stucture of its boats. Light and super strong! "

Oh, in older boats I guess the balsa in the decks (yeah, that's a composite too) was a feeble attempt to save weight. (never minding that poly resin doesn't bond with wood very well) And paper tube to give a hollow stringer it's shape would save lots of weight too... as the paper mildews away... and hollow alum spars instead of spruce,, oh don't forget in between were hollow spruce spars! Then along came carbon fiber.....

tries to picture herself at the local sailnet gathering surrounded by experts, pointing, yelling, screaming? "YOUR WRONG"!! when did I say I was right?

But then, who wants 1/4 inch of vac. formed fiberglass between you and cold deep water? Or does your "older boat" with an inch or more of hand laid up fg, huge stringers, carlins, etc. impart a more secure feeling?
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  #28  
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I've only bought 2 boats in my life, and both were purchased for less than an hour of a surveyors time, so I'm not really familiar with the real boat buying process. Am I to understand that all of this, surveys and the like, is being done before the owner has taken you out for a test sail? Is this normal in the big boat buying world?

Thanks.

-- James
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The boat is on the hard, so no test sail available. The previous boats we've bought have all been through our local yard in maine where we have a 35 year relationship and lots of trust. This is all new to me as well. But with something like this, seems like the only way to go is with a thorough survey - would rather spend a couple hundred $$ now than find out there is a $10,000 repair in my immediate future...
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ah, thanks for the clarification. I was certainly not advocating going without a survey, I just didn't realize the boat wasn't available for in water testing at the time. The performance questions make a lot more sense to me now.

Thanks.

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