To caulk the hull or to not caulk the hull? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-22-2008 Thread Starter
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To caulk the hull or to not caulk the hull?

I am considering the purchase of a wooden 31 foot 1947 Gaff rigged Ketch. She has been hauled out for two years inside a warehouse and her planks are bone dry- you can see daylight through the seams. The current owner claims that hanging her in a TravLift for a day or two will swell her right up until her own pumps will keep up... i don't doubt him, but that doesn't mean that she won't still be a leaky bugger even when she is swelled all the way up.

So...To caulk or not to caulk? The seams are in decent condition considering her age. It looks like something is in there, but it certainly isn't Cotton or Oakum. I recently finished helping caulk a 154 foot schooner, so if I can do the job if necessary, but if it isn't necessary, that would be fine in my book. Also, I've heard of small boats using only cotton, not oakum...(I never said I know much about caulking... )...is this true and acceptable?

If I don't need to caulk her, then i have a second question. How can I swell the hull on the hard so that I don't need to pay a lofty fee for hanging her in the TravLift? perhaps a hose in the bilge, or a sprinkler?
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post #2 of 22 Old 11-22-2008
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I had an old wooden boat, and yes, you could look right through the gaps before it went in the water. A freshwater hose would help, but I never tried it.
You will see the water peeing out when using the hose, and it will give you an idea of what's about to pee in.
Be very wary of caulking a boat that has not being caulked. The added packing is very likely to keep the planks apart where before they would not be apart.
Also, caulking takes for ever to do.
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post #3 of 22 Old 11-23-2008
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Peeing

Now this was back in the 70's so my mind is short and brain is smaller.
Also i was the "LABOR" to two old men...but it didnt sink.

Put the hose to it and keep it up for 4 days...can be measured in cases of crown royale.....

Thinking back you need the whisky to keep you fron going OH ****!!!!

Keep it full,Have the "LABOR" tape bags on the outside of the hull with wet raggs in them..

REMEMBER.........FEED THE "LABOR" WELL.......

After 4 days think about Oakum...... But do not CALK.Have more Crown and FEED THE LABOR.As he makes sure wet rags in bags are REALY WET.......

Keep this up untill you eather run out of money for Crown or the darn thing quits leaking....

Now this sounds like it was written toung in cheak but FEADING THE LABOR is the most inportant part....

If it was floating when they hauled it it will float when you put it back in.Just have patience and i say again...FEED THE LABOR....

My knowlage...Finally
Mark
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post #4 of 22 Old 11-23-2008
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Yes, chances are good that the hull will swell up and the leaks drop to the point where the pumps can deal with them. My real question is why would you want a wooden boat, with all the varied maintenance issues???

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post #5 of 22 Old 11-23-2008
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There have been threads about this on the WoodenBoat forum. Be crareful if you use a hose that she doesn't start to fill up and break her stands or tip over. Try a sprinkler outside, wet towels and rags inside. Or canvas drop clths tacked to the hull, wet down every day. All of this will work better in warmer weather.
I've only owned wooden boats.
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-23-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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= My real question is why would you want a wooden boat, with all the varied maintenance issues???
Why buy a wooden boat? I like to spend countless hours of my little time off trying to keep my boat from leaking too much, rotting out in Lake Hurons fresh water, springing planks due to corroded fasteners, and in general constantly replacing parts of my boat as they fall off. Its like making a statue out of melting wax.

Honest answer? Youthfulness. I'm 18 so I have the energy for this sort of thing. Not really the money, but hell, we're all screaming that aren't we? The boat is quite the looker...and weighing in at 17,800 with a narrow beam, I imagine she will be rather docile in heavy weather. Besides, i know how to work on wood, and i enjoy it, fiberglass is an ugly and unnatural thing to work with. And on top of it all, the boat is a Gaffer, and i have much more experience and finesse with a gaff.
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-23-2008
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Goodonya Catfish! The dog is allways trolling because he can't go to the head in his boat without sticking his head through a hatch (he has a small cat with no headroom)

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Why buy a wooden boat? I like to spend countless hours of my little time off trying to keep my boat from leaking too much, rotting out in Lake Hurons fresh water, springing planks due to corroded fasteners, and in general constantly replacing parts of my boat as they fall off. Its like making a statue out of melting wax.

Honest answer? Youthfulness. I'm 18 so I have the energy for this sort of thing. Not really the money, but hell, we're all screaming that aren't we? The boat is quite the looker...and weighing in at 17,800 with a narrow beam, I imagine she will be rather docile in heavy weather. Besides, i know how to work on wood, and i enjoy it, fiberglass is an ugly and unnatural thing to work with. And on top of it all, the boat is a Gaffer, and i have much more experience and finesse with a gaff.
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-23-2008
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Wrong on so many counts... DUH... You'd have to be an idiot to confuse a trimaran with a catamaran...

The Telstar is a Trimaran, not a catamaran. It has 6' of standing headroom throughout most of the boat.
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Goodonya Catfish! The dog is allways trolling because he can't go to the head in his boat without sticking his head through a hatch (he has a small cat with no headroom)

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Telstar 28
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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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post #9 of 22 Old 11-23-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Goodonya Catfish! The dog is allways trolling because he can't go to the head in his boat without sticking his head through a hatch (he has a small cat with no headroom)
I'm sympathetic. If I had just my head poking out onto the deck with all my head-using faces laid bare for the world to see, I would be a grumbling curmudgeon too. Remember, 'Only $$$holes face the bowl'.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Wrong on so many counts... DUH... You'd have to be an idiot to confuse a trimaran with a catamaran...

The Telstar is a Trimaran, not a catamaran. It has 6' of standing headroom throughout most of the boat.
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