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cranki 10-03-2011 07:28 PM

Moving Aboard With 4 Guitars
I am about to purchase and move aboard a Gulfstar 41 and I plan to bring 4 guitars. "Why so many?" You ask. I am a semi pro player and play in a couple of bands. I have 2 electrics and one acoustic that I regularly take to gigs and rehearsals. These 3 are all good quality, but working guitars worth around $600 each. The 4th is a cheapie acoustic that has always been my boat/camping/beach ax. So for my 3 good guitars, and a tube amplifier, what special considerations or accommodations do I need to make to keep them in decent working order. A bit more info, I am in Connecticut so cold winters and warm humid summers are in store.

Minnewaska 10-03-2011 07:43 PM

How will they endure a highly humid and corrosive salt water environment? Not sure. Sounds risky, unless you protect them in a case with a moisture desiccant inside.

dhays 10-03-2011 07:51 PM


Originally Posted by Minnewaska (Post 782328)
How will they endure a highly humid and corrosive salt water environment? Not sure. Sounds risky, unless you protect them in a case with a moisture desiccant inside.

I agree. I'd be nervous living on board with my guitars, and they aren't as expensive. Although who knows? I've had them for 40+ years.

The humidity and temperature ranges could be a real issue.

CalebD 10-03-2011 08:23 PM

It can be done.
The salty air will wreak havoc (read - rust) on the steel strings but you can take some precautions to limit this.
I'd carefully wipe down your strings with either rubbing alcohol or denatured before putting them back in their cases, taking care not to get the thinner on anything but the fret board.
I'd cut out pieces of a heavy gauge plastic drop cloth that could be inserted into each case, on top of the guitars before closing the case tightly. The plastic cut outs should be bigger then the inside dimensions so it gets held in place when you close each guitar case.
I'd use Damp-its or other humidification device in each guitar case (moistened with fresh water of course).
I'd keep plenty of spare sets of strings around in an air tight case or bag.
Invest in D'Addario stock.

The use of dessicants has been suggested and might be a good idea for storing your tube amp in it's own air tight bag.

It can be done.
Good luck.

cranki 10-03-2011 08:33 PM

Rusty strings are not a problem as I end up restringing every 6-10 weeks max because strings go dead after a while. I hate stringing guitars but I hate playing dead strings even more. I used to live on the beach in southern California and noticed the salt air wreaked havoc on my tuning machine heads. May be a good idea to spray metal parts with some Bioshield every so often.

PaulfromNWOnt 10-03-2011 11:23 PM

I would honestly try to find a place ashore to store them for most of the time. If these are the tools you use, then you'll want them to be pristine if possible. Spend a couple hundred on a cheapo electric and see what fails first. I can't think of any land based electronics that like salt and humidity.

SHNOOL 10-04-2011 06:40 AM

Damp rid in the summer (in the boat)... Some kind of simple heater in the winter, and humidifier.

That is a tough environment, but I believe if you keep the dessicants up for the summer in your guitar cases you'll be OK.

A custom roady case for you amp, again with drypacks in the summer you should be OK. Remember to change them regular.

kd3pc 10-04-2011 07:43 AM

I would find dry, safe storage for son plays and he has a guild acoustic, PRS/Fender/Warmoth electrics...he worries about them in the hot car too long when we take him to college...

He says, never for the moisture/temp changes on the boat.

btrayfors 10-04-2011 07:50 AM


Another approach, provided that you're mostly dockside, is to fit out your Gulfstar 41 with A/C and heat. If you're a liveaboard in CT, you'll probably want to do that, anyway.

The A/C will remove the excess humidity, and the heat will help you and your guitar's glue to survive the freezing temps up there.

I've had a wonderful old guitar aboard for some 22 years on my 42' sailboat, and an additional 15 years on a previous boat. It's a Japanese knockoff of a Martin D-28 which I bought in Hong Kong many years ago ($35 with a hard case!!!), and it's survived very well over the years.

NB: I don't keep my real D-28 aboard, though :-)


cranki 10-04-2011 08:01 AM

Off boat storage is not really a viable option because I use them so often and at different places. The heat will not be excessive enough to damage them. The boat will be heated and, hopefully, will net get so cold as to crack the finish. If I leave the boat for any longer than a day during the winter I think I should drop my guitars at a band mates house. I may have to keep them in good cases with desiccants. Right now my main player is in a gig bag which makes it much easier to carry but provides much less protection.

Getting a road case for my amp is also a good idea. kd3pc, your kid has good guitars. My nicer acoustic is a Guild that I bought new back in 1981.

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