do you carry an acoustic Guitar? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 122 Old 03-29-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

Originally Posted by craigtoo View Post
Hi, I'm a member here, but my day job is in the music industry.

I work for a company that makes these... Among many other products. Not trying to advertise, but to help out. Planet Waves Humidipak Automatic Humidity Control System (For Guitar): Musical Instruments

Normally, you'll have to worry about humid conditions. It's best to keep your instrument in a case when you're not playing it, and try to control the environment in the case.

Humidipak will regulate in either direction. However, in dry conditions also use another moisture adding device like a Guitar Humidifier so the pak doesn't dry out.

If its really wet conditions, (above 70% day after day) use a "dried out" humidipak in your case which will absorb moisture.

Again, keeping the guitar in a case when not in use will really help. Also, go to your local shop and learn how to make a truss rod adjustment because the neck will move. It's perfectly normal, I adjust many of my instruments every year to get the action right. It's routine and if you can do basic boat maintenance you can do basic guitar maintenance. Wood moves with trends in humidity...

Finally, consider coated strings to minimize corrosion. This is vital on a boat. My company makes the EXP line of strings but there are others out there as well like Elixir.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I know Cruisingdad has a guitar on board, perhaps he wants to share his experience.

Good luck, keep playing...!!!

D'Addario and Co.
I use D'Add EXP and they are awesome! It is the only string I will keep on my guitar permanently (though I use your cheaper D'adds when I break one). I have also noticed that they last longer from corrosion. For example, I broke an E a while back and the spares were all the non-coated D'adds. I played with that for a while but noticed within a few weeks the corrosion on the string where I pick. That string is now off and replaced with another EXP.

I am a bit miffed about the comments between the PNW and Florida. My experience is that the PNW is very dry - though it rains all the time. Weird, and doesn't make sense, but that was my experience. In fact, it was not unusual for us to put my sons Cello in the bathroom while he was showering to add some moisture to it before a concert. I was more concerned about keeping my guitar in PNW than in Florida! I have always been under the impression that moisture (not too much) is good for wood instruments and helps their voice. In fact, I have had people tell me that one of the worst places for wood instruments are places like Arizona where it is dry and hot.

The exact opposite is true in Florida where we have very high humidity... maybe too much and too much heat at times. SO, if I am not going to be playing the guitar for a long time, I loosen all the strings (just like if you were gong to take it on an airplane). I have had the neck on my Eastman warp about the tenth fret, but I think that was more an issue with the guitar than the environment.

I currentlty play a Taylor 814ce. It is one of the finest guitars I have played, with the exception of the 914ce which I like better and the Martin X(I forget which one, but comparable to the 914... not the GPCPA1). I am a huge Taylor fan - especially in this environment. The neck is fast and REPLACEABLE. The cases are very solid and tight. THis guitar has thousands of miles on it (especially adding in the airplane trips) and not a single issue. We live aboard and the guitar sits nicely beside my bed in its case. I do think that is the key: keeping it in a GOOD case. I do not use any moisture control... have not had to. We do have air conditioning on our boat, and when it is "too hot for the guitar" it is likely too hot for us. We will either be in a marina or running the generator. THat could be a long term issue though - as I generally play in the cockpit (lot of moisture) but keep it down below (dry when the AC is running). No problems yet though, and it has been here for almost a year.

Go price out the difference between replacing the neck on a Taylor versus a GIbson or Martin. Big difference. In fact, on some guitars, replacing the neck ends up being more than the guitar is worth. I found that out on my Takamine. THe Luthier I used also was not excited about replacing the neck on my Eastman, which I value around $500-$600.

I would not hesitate (and have not) taking my guitar on the boat. I love it and have had no problems with this guitar. I think it is a lot better for the guitar to sit on a boat and get used than it is for it to sit in storage and collect dust. Just keep an eye on your neck by pressing down on the 10th plus fret and making sure the height (action) stays consistent down the neck. A neck problem often shows itself early with a small decrease in the space or a buzzing on the E's.

Anyways, I am not an expert in this field. I only enjoy playing and lean on the advice of others for their opinions (luthiers). The only thing I might suggest is to use a really good (hard and tight) case and not a gig bag and keep an eye on your neck. OUtisde of that, jam away!


PS Love the Gison J150. That thing has a voice!!
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post #22 of 122 Old 07-11-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

Thanks for all the info guys! I am planning on bringing my acoustic bass with me when I go out, but as I live in Florida I will need to invest in some gear to keep it dry! Maybe this is a good excuse to buy a new, fancy 'house bass' as my current relatively cheap acoustic will have to be demoted to 'boat bass' if I notice any changes to tone or playability... finally get that Thunderchief I've been lusting over but cant justify the expense of!
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post #23 of 122 Old 07-12-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

While I only keep my guitar on board when cruising (a few weeks at a time), I have found the Martin LXM (little Martin) has held up well. This is not the backpacker but more of a standard 3/4 sized guitar. It is made with a synthetic laminate body and neck and has so far been resistant to the humidity and salt air. Given the size, it sounds fantastic and I found I play it more than any other guitar I own. I am even thinking of installing a pickup for those open mic tiki bars!

The Admiral has recently found and purchased a ukulele for me. Talk about compact! I have got to say I love it and now pack it along to keep the Martin company....

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post #24 of 122 Old 07-12-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

I'm a lifelong guitarist owning several expensive Gibsons, Fenders and a Martin acoustic. I have never so much as entertained the thought of bringing these along to the boat no matter how short the stay. That said, I recently taught myself ukulele and love it! Ukes blend well into the sailing environment and can be more easily replaced than your other prized possessions and they keep the fingers limber...just a thought.

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post #25 of 122 Old 07-12-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

I've got a Blackbird carbon fiber travel guitar. Like all most travel guitars, it's size limits the low end performance; however, it sounds great and the action is really nice (not as easy to play as an electric, but not bad). It's so stable it can sit for weeks and still be in tune or at least real close. They hollow the neck to get more resonance I guess, and this seems to work. Highly recommended, no affiliation, just happy customer...from this not so good but enthusiastic guitarist.
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post #26 of 122 Old 07-12-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

I can tell you first hand that the marine environment is quite harsh on music gear - ALL MUSIC GEAR! The salt air tried to eat my arranger keyboard stand, my Quick-Loc folding stool, and everything else. I performed in the Florida Keys and all along the eastern seaboard using my Yamaha arranger keyboard, it continues to function perfectly, despite the horrendous conditions of extremely high humidity.

Now, I performed with a couple guitar players, one of which used a carbon fiber acoustic guitar that sounded incredible. He added a pickup, one that fit in the opening and was held in place with spring pressure. It never went out of tune, and the entire time he had it aboard his boat it never saw the inside of a case. I know it was not a low end guitar, but I cannot remember the brand name.

Good Luck,

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post #27 of 122 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

I'm sure my Taylor acoustics would not survive for long on the boat. They have a very specific humidity range outside of which all bets are off. I built a smaller body, nylon stringed, modified (has a radiused fretboard)"classical" guitar especially to keep aboard. It has a Spanish foot type neck structure with a truss rod and is made from Red Cedar. I also built a strong case for it so it can be stowed without worry of crushing. It has been on the boat now for three years without warping or splitting and although it does not project like a full sized guitar, has a nice full resonance.
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post #28 of 122 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

Ukulele BABY!
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post #29 of 122 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

Tenor ukulele. I keep it in its bag when not in use, but it is still difficult to keep in tune (much harder than its twin at home). Then again, the way I play keeping the uke in tune is probably not all that important.
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post #30 of 122 Old 07-18-2013
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Re: do you carry an acoustic Guitar?

I've had my Guild on board for a year now but I am mostly at the dock, no humidifiers though. It is built like a brick shithouse and I have had no issues so far. When I cast off for longer periods than a couple of weeks at a time I may look into one of those carbon fiber guitars. I played one that I really liked and it would be nice to have a good guitar that I felt I could just leave lying about. I also have a cheap Epiphone acoustic that is my beach/boat/camping ax and right now the truss rod needs some tweaking.

I keep a couple of electrics on board as well, but store them ashore when off cruising. Which brings up a question for you cruising types. Do people bring electrics and small amps or just acoustics? Are there many opportunities for jamming? Gigging?
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