Life span of a boat??????????? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 63 Old 03-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Life span of a boat???????????

I know I am going to get raked over the coals, but the wine tasted good tonight

So I know this is an unanswerable question...or not? Just how long do we expect these things called boats to last??????

Something we have debated until we're sick to our stomach's, the debate over cored vs. solid and/or what is suitable core material.

My 1982 Tartan 37C has some balsa coring below the waterline, its going on 29 years old, and still there is no indication the hull is not seaworthy, or indication of it being wet. So then why is balsa not a acceptable choice for a core material???? There is NO question there are benefits to a lighter hull, and some may say stiffer as well when using balsa or something else. She could last another year or two, or maaaaaaaaybe another 10, 20, or 30?.

So does anyone really know how long it would last (assume its properly cared for)? NO, but quick to make a determination about what is acceptable and what isn't, based on what???

BTW, I understand that one reason is the difficulty of repairing a cored hull.

I believe there are probably hundreds, thousands, of wooden boats in the world still afloat, the USS Constellation berthed here in Baltimore, was built in 1854? (Yes, a LOT of restoration has been done, but the boat is over 150 years old ) So then why is a balsa not an acceptable choice for a core material?

Using the core debate as an example...what are your expectations for your boat. Me, I'd feel good if she lasted another 20 years...but

I guess I felt like stirring the soup tonight

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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Last edited by T37Chef; 03-06-2008 at 12:46 AM.
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post #2 of 63 Old 03-05-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I....
So then why is balsa not a acceptable choice for a core material???? ...
If your question begs a serious answer, the best location I know of adressing this question is Boat Hulls - Cores and Structural Issues: Online Articles by David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor

The way I look at this, is if you don't have a cored hull, then you don't need to worry your number will come up and you'll be one of the growning number of boat owners who have paid $3-400/ft to replace all the core in their hulls. Leaves plenty of other things to worry about.

PS. That said, the Tartan 37 is a truly lovely boat, and the boat that almost made me make an exception to avoiding cored hulls during my lasy boat search, and I can easily understand how the pleasures of such a nice boat can justify accepting a little more risk...

Certified...in several regards...

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post #3 of 63 Old 03-06-2008
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It is great to hear that your Tartan is in a good shape. However, in my previous boat searches I found numerous Tartans with cored hulls for sale at very low prices. In all cases I found significant water intrusion in the hull, almost everywhere under waterline (and often - above). This does not mean the boat will fall apart under regular conditions - after all just the external FRP skin is probably strong enough to act as a hull for a while. But in any collision this will probably be very detrimental to boat survival. They are cheap for a reason.

That said, I will pass here an apocryphal story from a surveyor. A few years ago he surveyed a Tartan for a guy, and found her to be pretty well waterlogged and, in his opinion, basically junked. He was diplomatic in telling this but explained the situation. The guy said he'll think about it. He met that guy a number of years later and asked him how the deal went. Turned out deal went great, the guy bought the boat real cheap and sailed her down to Venezuela. Down there he had a problem with an engine so he left here there and came back.
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post #4 of 63 Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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If your question begs a serious answer, the best location I know of adressing this question is Boat Hulls - Cores and Structural Issues: Online Articles by David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor
Read all that Pascoe stuff, among others when I discovered blisters and freaked out

Cheers,
Shawn

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1982 Tartan 37C

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post #5 of 63 Old 03-06-2008
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Question Debatable

I could say one thing and someone else say different.

But!!!!! Ha! I know Wood is proven, it proved itself for Centuries. I guess Fiberglass have a foot hold.

I remember when I bought my one and only Harley Davidson Motorcycle. 1983 New!!! I was at a gas station and an Ego Dude (I guess Jealous) mention in front of the women how a Harley leak oil and Blah Blah. OK, I had a Kawasaki Trail Bike it not like I buy for ego!

Feeling sorry for the guy, and trying to offer good advice from experience. I tell him; "A Harley is like a good woman. You not take care of her you lose her to a man who will".

Fiberglass probably be here after Friday 13, 2029 when we all die.
Friday the 13th, 2029

But, in my heart ................. Wood be here forever!!!!!

Now, I will warn you 1957 may be young for wood. But, many men will not care for that woman. I WILL!!!!!!! This a good example of a good woman, she not "old", she just good!
Boats for Sale

But, I guess like the biker I mentioned, we all have our opinions. I respect that.

I hope the links work.

All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full.
Ecclesiastes, 1:7
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post #6 of 63 Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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I don't really expect my boat to last another 20 years, which is really what I am getting at.

If I purchased a new boat today, say a Hallberg Rassy ( I wish), for the price tag, is the expectation, properly cared for of course, it would still be structurally sound for my grandchildren's children? 100 years, 200, 75

Cheers,
Shawn

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1982 Tartan 37C

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post #7 of 63 Old 03-06-2008
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Well... the beer is good tonight here in CA (usually is) so I'll bite (and probably regret it).

Of the many, many, many wood boats built through the eons, a few very lucky and well built boats are still floating. Badly designed or built wood boats are gone and unfortunately many well built but unlucky wood boats are gone too.

The bottom line is carvel hulls are designed to be wet, cored hulls are designed to be dry and its only a matter of time until they get wet. Not to say it could be 30 years from now but eventually they get wet.
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post #8 of 63 Old 03-06-2008
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The first fiberglass production boats in Canada (Shark 24) are still going strong. They started making them in about 1959. I race an old one (not sure how old) every weekend. It will outlast me, I'm sure.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #9 of 63 Old 03-06-2008
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I don't really expect my boat to last another 20 years, which is really what I am getting at.
Ahh! The truth comes out!

Heck, I not know how old you are. I am 35 and been 35 for 15 years. Your boat be here longer than I will. Now, length of time may be different.

It like I said about the Harley. I sold mine to my Nephew. He paint and it really look good how he changed the Bike. Never had more than an Oil and Filter change.

Take care of it or not. Just some simple TLC go a long way it Life.

Listen, now this Motor Boats. But, I have seen then mounted wrong and the owner do "Not" until the transom rot out. It the same with Sailboats!

I fixing to buy a sailboat. Retractable Keel. As far as fiberglass and all, hey it look good. Some "Normal Cracks" in Gel Coat (1978) they could been prevented.

But, the main is the Keel! Now, had I bought the boat early in it's life. I promise!!!!!!!!!!!! That Keel be good as new. But, sadly, now! I can fix her.

I get a good deal at the expense of a person that not do simple TLC. Oh, I will pill the Keel. But, that a hobby to me at the lose of Blah, Blah.

Your boat, with care, in my opinion, be here until you give it away (Maybe in your 'Will').

All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full.
Ecclesiastes, 1:7
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post #10 of 63 Old 03-06-2008 Thread Starter
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Gryzio...I hear the Hawaiians are nuts for Spam, so Anthony Bourdain said, you know of any proof of this

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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