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flylikeabeagle 07-06-2008 07:33 PM

Any guitar players aboard?
Hi Gals,

My husband and I bought a small boat recently and are learning how to sail. I am a musician by trade and have played in a variety of bands as a keyboardist, guitarist, and vocalist. My education is in music therapy and I work mostly with seniors and adults with disabilities. When we head out on longer trips I will probably bring a guitar on the boat. Any guitar players out there that have lugged around an acoustic guitar on an extended trip? How did the conditions affect the guitar? Out here in Colorado the dryness is a factor and one of my guitars needs some work. Any musicians out there?

One other question: how much sailing do you do in the winter? We live in a mountain town in Colorado but are hoping to be able to head to a southern resevoir during the colder months and still get out. I'm a total rookie at this - are wetsuits a good idea? I know how to dress to climb a mountain, but am clueless about this water stuff.

I am also starting a major plan tomorrow in order to lose some weight and get into better shape for boating. I feel sluggish on the boat and am not moving around with much quickness or agileness when doing boating stuff. I would also like to not look atrocious in a wet suit this winter. I'm going to weigh in once a week every monday starting tomorrow 7/7 and with 25 weeks left in the year I hope to be lean and mean. You can read about my progress ad nauseum at Any women out there that are looking for a weight loss pal and want to take up the challenge with me would be great. I'm sure you all are very fit though from your sailing experience

Sorry for such a long post! Laura

Valiente 07-07-2008 05:20 PM

I haven't field-tested my guitars yet by leaving them on board, but I would suggest that the odds are good that it's going to be too humid for them. Consequently, I would do two things: Make an Ovation or some other "plastic-backed" guitar your "boat guitar", and be fastidious about cycling out dessicant packages through the guitar case, and to keep the guitar IN the case when not in use.

I will probably just bring a "beater" guitar with us when we voyage, because my Larivees are too nice to get abused...

welshwind 07-07-2008 05:29 PM

We're typically only weekend sailors and play acoustic guitars. My daughter brings her Laguna up, I sometimes bring my old Ovation. I would NOT bring my Taylor. We don't leave any of them up there during the week as the boat gets awfully warm when it is all locked up (just like we don't leave any wine either :-) ).

If we were going on a longer trip, we would bring my Ovation and leave the Laguna at home for the reasons mentioned above. And ditto on keeping it in the case when not in use. It may be easy to do something stupid at home, it is much easier to do something stupid on the boat as it is a smaller area and inherently less stable.

Enjoy... a beautiful sunset and singing with guitars is a wonderful thing.

NCountry 07-07-2008 05:32 PM

Wow, timing is everything even here on sail net. I've been wanting to take my guitar on board BUT was concerned about humidity and its "ill" effects on my 2nd favorite toy. Spent lots of time trying to figure out a plan to deal with humidity and picked up a neat trick in a cruising magazine.
I bought a couple of 12 volt computer fans at the local radio shack and using some 5200 adhesive glued them into the clam shell vents on the back of my 30 foot Islander. I leave the boat plugged into shore power anyway when I'm away so the 12 volt drain is not a problem AND the humidity and it's associated problems with the woodwork have completely ended. This last weekend my wife even commented about how dry the boat interior is. I've also made a habit of turning the fans on for a little while when we're on board and on the water. 15 minutes or so just to freshen the air in the boat and it has had a miraculous affect. I'm not sure how much air solar vents pull through the boat but in comparison to the boats I know of that have them my computer/vent fans are kicking butt. SO, now I'm ready to bring my guitar on board. I won't be leaving it while I'm away BUT now I'm very confidant that I'll have no humidity associated problems with my guitar while onboard. JAM NIGHT here we come!

cranki 07-07-2008 05:37 PM

I am a guy so sorry for posting in your forum, but, I saw the title of this thread and thought I might have some knowledge. I find that the salt does more damage than humidity. I am assuming that by extended trip you mean ocean and not lake sailing. The salt will wreak havoc on any metal hardware (tuning machine heads)

I have a cheaper but decent sounding Epiphone that I call my beach guitar. I bring it and sometimes leave it on the boat. I take it camping and, yes, to the beach.

I leave the expensive babies at home.

sailingdog 07-07-2008 05:42 PM

A friend of mine has a carbon fiber guitar. Humidity isn't an issue for it.

harpguitar 07-07-2008 06:15 PM

Carbon Fiber guitars are made by rainsong. They are not cheap. Personally I would just use an old harmony or yamaha that is in the under 100 price range. I wouldn't think you would want to leave even that level of guitar on the boat for extended periods.


Harvester 07-07-2008 10:42 PM

Hi, My boat owns her own guitar that I bought for 30 euros and is allways there (I can't carry it in and out every time I go sailing). It's only been 6 months so I can't say yet how much it deteriorates. I have a Seagull at home but I haven't taken it to the boat and I don't think I will.

Joesaila 07-07-2008 11:42 PM

I was carrying a baby Taylor back and its left on the boat. I have coated strings [ELIXER] that cost a little more but are supposed to stand up to moisture. [never considered the keys...gulp,maybe some fine oil for them?] We'll see how it goes though.

sailingdog 07-07-2008 11:52 PM

Might also want to consider spraying the string tensioning screws with a bit of Boeshield T9.


Originally Posted by Joesaila (Post 338200)
I was carrying a baby Taylor back and its left on the boat. I have coated strings [ELIXER] that cost a little more but are supposed to stand up to moisture. [never considered the keys...gulp,maybe some fine oil for them?] We'll see how it goes though.

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