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  #1  
Old 11-05-2010
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moving a wood boat to dry climate

Hi, I'm considering buying a 1967 Dickerson 31--wood hull with plank on frame construction. I hope to use the boat in Northwest Wyoming for lake sailing and then trailer it to the Sea of Cortez in a year or so. Will the move from coastal Maine to the dry climate of the West wreak havoc on this vessel, particularly while hauled out over cold, dry Wyoming winters? Thank you
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Old 11-05-2010
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When I was a youngster, boats were built of wood and during winter months were commonly layed-up ashore. Even water-side, the planks tended to dry out and shrink. Accordingly, every spring when relaunched, they would weap/leak through the seams until the planking had absorbed enough water to swell and close the seams.

Dickersons are exceptional yachts. One of the best boats built in the US. You might contact the Company but I doubt you'd have much difficulty. The cold might be another matter unless you thoroughly winterize the yacht.

FWIW...
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Old 11-05-2010
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Take it out of the water as late as you can, put it back in as early as you can. Inside storage (unheated) on a dirt floor that you can wet down would allieviate most of your problems, but you'll have to expect seeping in the spring as the planks take up.
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Old 11-08-2010
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thanks for the comments

I spoke to a marine surveyor specializing in wood boats. He didn't think there would be a problem and indicated that there were simple steps to take to prevent damage. I keep you posted as I move forward and let you all know how it turns out. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2010
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I'm surprised CharlieCobra hasn't chimed in on this. He knows wooden boats. I have nil knowledge of wooden boats beyond the shrinkage and swelling behavior, and I'm curious as to why the seams don't get caulked with something prior to launching.
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Old 11-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I'm surprised CharlieCobra hasn't chimed in on this. He knows wooden boats. I have nil knowledge of wooden boats beyond the shrinkage and swelling behavior, and I'm curious as to why the seams don't get caulked with something prior to launching.
Becuase then when the wood swells you'll pop the fasteners, crack the frames etc.
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Old 11-09-2010
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Maybe comparable: I bought a ketch in Ft Lauderdale Fl and brought her up to NY. We're more humid than Maine or Wyoming, but way less than Florida. The change seemed to have no effect on her, but I do leave her in water all year.
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Old 11-09-2010
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when we relaunched our wooden boat, we would hang her in the slings and it would take a couple of days for the planks to swell and not seep...before that when we had her on the railway...she would keep the pumps busy, and I as a youngster was given pump detail to make sure they worked 24 x 7...until she swelled..

IMHO the covered slips can be the worst thing for a wooden boat, if you plan on ever using her in the real world...we used to "turn" ours around every month to make sure each side got equal shots at sun and shade.

Still had to do transom work every couple of years, but the rest of the boat was solid.

The Dickersons are extremely well built and if properly maintained should be a pleasure to own..not like some of the plywood boats of the time.
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Old 11-09-2010
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One of the sailing stories I read chronicled the travels of a man in a small wooden sailboat out of Seattle back in the 20's (IIRC). After being on one tack for several days, the boat would leak when he would go on the opposite tack until the planks on that side swelled up again. We've come a long ways baby.
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Old 11-09-2010
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One of the sailing stories I read chronicled the travels of a man in a small wooden sailboat out of Seattle back in the 20's (IIRC). After being on one tack for several days, the boat would leak when he would go on the opposite tack until the planks on that side swelled up again. We've come a long ways baby.
Probably had dark painted topsides.
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