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Re: Guitars and Salt Air OnBoard
You might be surprised how low the relative humidity can be near the ocean, especially when the air temperature is high. My experience is like others: the strings and tuners are susceptible to corrosion; the wood will be fine, but far more likely on a sailboat to get damaged from getting banged up.
2Gringos was right except for one thing: rapid fluctuations in air relative humidity do not damage guitars. Moisture enters and leaves seasoned wood quite slowly. Check diurnal RH fluctuations in most locations. They can easily go from the 90s in the coolest hours to the 40s in the warmest hours, back to the 90s again, all in 24 hours. Think of the millions of guitars that have withstood decades of those daily fluctuations with no damage. Instead, it's the average humidity over a longer period of time that affect guitars. The damage that you hear about is mostly due to keeping guitars in heated houses. Raising temperature of cold air that leaks in reduces the RH to the 30s or even lower. Do that all winter without adding moisture, and your guitar may crack.
Now, go look at the long-term weather data in your sailing area. If the average humidity (not just the daily high) is more than, say, 70%, then you may want to consider different strategies. One strategy is to keep one guitar on the boat, and if it does show effects of high moisture in the wood, then swap it out for another guitar that has been kept in a drier environment. Alternate guitars as necessary.
P.S. It puzzles me why people refer to their guitars as "axes" or "weapons." I wonder if painters call their brushes swords or machetes.
Last edited by jwing; 02-11-2016 at 12:53 PM.