Are you scared of wood? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 36 Old 12-29-2009
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Agreed Sabre - Charlie is doing a phenomenal job.

Charlie, you really should chronicle all this in a book. S/V Oh Joy is becoming one of the most famous boats in the world already! And it's been really fun following the progress.

If you do end up writing a book, put me down for one.

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post #22 of 36 Old 12-29-2009
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I've built two wood boats, toying with a 3rd. An 8' pram then 12' sloop, now might be a dinghy for current plastic boat. Would be a sailing dinghy. Still have the plans for the pram, along with the sail. Not sure how I still have the sail, as I sold the dinghy back in 76 or there abouts...........anyway.

Keep up the work charlie.


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I drives me dinghy!
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post #23 of 36 Old 12-30-2009
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Hey Chuck,

I love wood, and I live in the PNW. I would like to stop by and see your boat, maybe help out with some things...


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post #24 of 36 Old 12-30-2009 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by csaintg View Post
Hey Chuck,

I love wood, and I live in the PNW. I would like to stop by and see your boat, maybe help out with some things...

I sent ya a PM.

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #25 of 36 Old 12-31-2009
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Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
Many people follow my threads on the restoration of Oh Joy it seems. Most just read them and go on, either because they don't know enough to comment or don't see anything to comment on. Some comment about how HUGE the project is and that they are amazed by the undertaking.

Why is that? Now that I've dug into the old girl I'm finding that repairing and restoring this fine old wooden yacht is really quite simple. Folks who own fiberglass boats in particular are usually intimidated by the thought. They don't think anything of stripping the skin off the deck of a glass boat to repair a section of rotten core or cutting out a section of busted glass and repairing it so why would they find a wood boat so intimidating?

I think it's a matter of perspective. As I've gotten into the bones of this old boat, I've discovered that EVERYTHING is repairable or replaceable. Nothing on a wood boat cannot be repaired or replaced. A wooden yacht is just a collection of a thousand little jobs done right, to borrow a phrase. Each component can be taken apart and fixed. Granted, some parts are buried and you have to peel the connecting parts away like the layers of an onion but given enough time, it can be done.

What about maintenance? When Oh Joy is complete, the only maintenance will be the normal wear and tear a boat has plus the brightwork. Rot? Wood rots. If it's exposed to nature, yes. if it's sealed and cared for properly then no. Part of this restoration is to insure the areas of rot I ran across (mostly caused by really poor repairs) don't come back. Black Locust doesn't rot. You can stick it in the ground for over 100 years and it'll look new when ya pull it. Bugs don't like it and it has all of the qualities you want from a piece of wood for building boats. That's why I'm replacing any marginal wood structural members with it. Also, modern sealants such as Sanitred, which adhere at the molecular level, which are waterproof and UV proof will keep the enemy (fresh water) from the wood.

So, back to the maintenance issue. Varnish, plenty of it too. If properly applied, varnish, when refreshed with a couple of annual coats, will last up to 10 years. Stripping the brightwork of varnish or "wooding" CAN SOUND INTIMIDATING BUT IT'S REALLY NOT THAT HARD. It is time consuming but it only has to happen once a decade if you do it right and perform some simple maintenance. Planking? Planking is an issue with a traditional wood boat but not so with my girl. the planks don't see any water nor are they free to move around and work loose because of the C-Flex. Planks really aren't that hard to replace on a wooden boat either so that wouldn't scare me, not anymore.

So is there really maintenance in a wooden boat than a glass one? Not really. It's a matter of perception. Is there a difference in the lifespan between the two? That depends on the luck of the boat. If a wood boat has owners that care then no, it will last longer than a plastic boat because it won't experience delamination, crazing or general breakdown like glass will. Fiberglass does not last forever in a seaworthy form. It can only take a finite amount of flexing and stress before it starts breaking down. Can you fix it? Yes but how do you do that? Don't ask me. Will a glass boat take neglect better than a wooden one? You betcha. Wood boats that are ignored for long periods of time tend to fare far worse than their plastic counterparts.

So it's a trade off. A decently maintained wood boat will last forever, provided a piece here and there is repaired or replaced as needed. I don't know if the same can be said about a plastic boat because they really haven't been around long enough to say. There is a difference in the way the two materials sail though. Wooden yachts are quieter and just feel more solid than glass. I've sailed on both and the difference is undeniable.

What stops folks from owning a wooden boat? Pre-conceptions usually. They hear about how much maintenance is involved from folks who either bought a boat in poor condition or who've never even OWNED a wooden boat. Wooden boats are out there in all shapes, sizes and prices. To me, it's the cheapest way to get into a good boat. If you're intimidated by the prospect of fixing or maintaining one because you don't think you have the skills to do so, read the internet. Go to the WBF. I didn't know much of anything about wooden yacht s when I bought Oh Joy and started this project. I had some mechanical ability and a bit of wood working experience but nothing spectacular. I learned on the job, one little piece at a time. That's all a wooden boat is. A bunch of little pieces tied together. Nothing to be intimidated by at all.

So if you are wanting a sailing or motor yacht and like me, can't afford the latest and greatest, think about wood. Wood boats ask for your time and love and what better way to spend some spare time than on your boat...
Amen, Brother.
I like to juice people and say ours is made of "Unidirectionally Reinforced Cellular Composite".
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post #26 of 36 Old 12-31-2009
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Originally Posted by cormeum View Post
Amen, Brother.
I like to juice people and say ours is made of "Unidirectionally Reinforced Cellular Composite".
....excellent, just "xylem" may work too.
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post #27 of 36 Old 12-31-2009
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If my boat weren't wooden, I could not afford her. And you can search her stem to stern, there's no rot.
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post #28 of 36 Old 04-03-2010
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About 15 yrs ago I bought an old tired/retired lobster fishing boat (wooden of course) Built in 1971, she was open to stack lobster pots, a plywood box in the middle of housed a 292 chev 6 cylinder with a straight pipe stuck up thru the middle of it.

I fell in love with her sweet sheer, her long slim hull.(40' long x 10' beam)...and her asking price... Well I put on my rose colored glasses paid the 2,000$ and hauled her off the shore line and drove my baby home.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well after the honeymoon, I began poking around in her past and came up with quite a few questionable areas, soft spots in the planking, broken frames etc.

The hull is pine strip plank, edge nailed with steam bent timbers. The first small piece of planking I removed was about 1 1\2'' x 14'' long and i didn't sleep that night. ''She'll never float again''. Since that day I have replaced all of the garboard planks, all of the stern section from one waterline to the other, and at one point could go in and out thru the bow to get tools etc.

Steamed in new timbers in 75% of the boat, replaced the biddings under the motor, (also put in a John Deere diesel). Built a cabin and basically have never stopped with projects, improvements, upgrades etc.

Would I do it again, probably NOT, but every weekend when we are anchored in some remote cove, a scotch in hand there is such a feeling of contentment and satisfaction that I have no doubt in my mind that it was worth every bit of effort expended.

Wood is quiet, warm and if you keep the fresh water out of the mix will last a long, long time.

I think it comes down to wither you are a guy who likes to work on your boat, be it puttering or more extensive stuff or you leave all that stuff for the guys at the yard.

15 yrs ago I could not have afforded to purchase a 40' Pleasure Yacht. I would have had to work hard, save my money for 15yrs or so before buying.

I choose to buy a PROJECT, worked hard at it yes but as the saying goes, '' it's only hard work if you don't enjoy what your doing''. Plus I have gotten to use the boat every summer for the 15 yrs,during which time the kids were young (read willing to go with Mom and Dad...).

Anyhow folks a wooden boat, - the right path for everyone - certainly not,
but just don't run past that woody at your yard, beneath the peeling paint there lies possibilities. Today I am installing a couple of cabinet doors in the wheelhouse. (And I gotta get at it !)

All the best, Wilson
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post #29 of 36 Old 04-03-2010
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Personally if I was going to go through all that I would put the effort into a steel boat. Like wood they can be easily worked on by the owner with basic tools and are little more than thousand jobs done right.

But glass is cheaper in both time and money so glass it is for me.

That said I do hope that wood boats never rot away, they are what boating has been for thousands of years. That alone makes them a worthy project.

Have faith that the oceans are going to rise and flood the world, that plague and pestilence brought on by Climate Change is going to punish us for not believing. Please do as they say it is our only hope. :P
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post #30 of 36 Old 04-03-2010
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"Hello my name is Medsailor and I'm a recovering wooden boat owner. It's been 762 days since I have owned a wooden boat"

Chorus: "Hi medsailor"

Am I scared of wood?


Why? Because the care and feeding of them is largely a lost art. I tried to learn everything I could and be a good wooden boat owner but nobody told me that electrolysis near wood would eat it away in a way that is invisible to visual inspection. My keel timber (8"10" solid oak) and it's floor timbers which supported my 3,500lb keel had the tensile and sheer strength of cooked spinach and I didn't even know it. Good thing I didn't sail her hard those last couple years. Working with wood is very gratifying, but worrying about cracking a plank in a storm (again, because I did that too) almost gave me another ulcer.

On the plus side, based on my experience over 7 years with many many problems and near-sinkings with that boat, I do believe that wooden boats are highly favored by the gods of the sea, which is very important. May the gods be with you and your boat.

Proud owner of an ridiculously overbuilt full keeled plastic boat with an encapsulated (ie doesn't fall off) keel.

PS If you every want to talk bilge-pumps pm me. I'm quite sure I have more experience with them than anyone on earth.

I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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Last edited by MedSailor; 04-03-2010 at 08:10 PM.
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