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post #31 of 33 Old 01-01-2009
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My thoughts about good guitars in humid environments are that short term hi humidity is not the problem, its long periods of very high humidity (above 60%) and then a change to low ( <35% ). I keep my Collings guitar in a Calton hardcase with a dehumidifier in the string compartment of case. You can buy these dehumidifiers at gun shops or Brownells online. They are the size of cigarette pack, you recharge them so to speak by putting them in an oven at 300 degrees F. for 3 hours. They keep my guitar at 45-55 % humidity in the case for 3 or 4 weeks even when humidity outside is much higher. The key is an airtight case like the Calton, or if using a lesser case, get a case cover.

I think exposure to direct sunlight ( hi temperature ) is much more concern than short term exposure to hi humidity. I do agree that a cheap used guitar is the safe way to go. I like 80s-90s Washburns, all solid wood, find em on ebone or Craiglist for couple hundred or so for a D-35.

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post #32 of 33 Old 03-09-2009
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I bought a Fender Catalina in a pawn shop while in Oregon last winter and brought it back to our boat in Louisiana. I don't know how to play yet but want to learn. I think it would be so cool to play guitar on the boat. I opened the hard case the other day and plucked on it and it seemed great! It does take up a ton of room though. I have steel strings and a fellow musician cruiser told me to oil them up with butter- My husband said to use vaseline so as not to attract bugs. Does anyone have problems with their steel strings rusting? I am surprised this really hasn't been brought up so it must not be as big a problem as I thought.

I am so glad to have found others with guitars and similar questions. Now if I could just get one of ya to teach me how to use the thing! I would LOVE to learn sea shanties.

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post #33 of 33 Old 03-16-2014
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Re: Any guitar players aboard?

Hello all,

I just joined this site because my wife and I and looking soon to retire from a state job, sell out stuff, and buy a sailboat for cash so we can engage in the live-aboard cruising lifestyle.

Since I have been playing professionally as a musician for 35 years and my day job includes providing music in a healthcare setting (Music Therapy), I am contemplating doing a solo acoustic/singing act while cruising to help bring in extra spending cash. I just played a steak house few days ago for $50 + $35 tips for a 2 1/2 hour gig.

I have been looking into the humidity problem in a marine environment and figured a good watertight case like those made by SKB and a dehumidifiers like those used in food prepping might help. Also, I use the Elixer strings which are coated and slow down oxidation. I tend to play enough hours anyway that I would probably need to change them before any affects of humidity set in.

Also, I will have to do more research but it seems to me string instruments do better in higher humidities that the dryer climates. The most famous Stradivarius were built in Northern Italy with very humid summers.

Any of you folks know of anyone picking up gigs around the marina areas around the US and down into the Caribbean. I figured even playing for tips would lots of fun and a great way meet people. Do they just play sea/sailing songs and Jimmy Buffet songs? I am more into performing the Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Leonard Cohen, and Tom Waits singing/sonwriter tunes.

Anyway, thanks. I figured just posting this first post is one of my first steps in making the dream happen.
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