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post #21 of 33 Old 12-04-2008
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I carried a‘beater guitar’ on my solo voyage around the world. I often sang enthusiastically (and loudly in my lonely hours.) Loved the fun of it. I also enjoyed singing Tom Dooley, Down in the Valley and other ‘great’ tunes to fellow cruisers when I reached shore for they always applauded although, in hindsight, I recall no one ever asked for an encore. Still, I enjoyed the show bus life.

My show bus career, however, ended one evening in a remote lagoon in Fiji. Reality, as often happens, is made crystal clear by the honesty of children. I had invited a Fijian family to my boat, ‘Mika,’ and after dinner I, of course, brought out my guitar. I thought Down in the Valley went well but in the middle of Tom Dooley, Una, the 8 year old daughter, began to fidget. Her expression looked pained. I feared a sour stomach caused by my rich dinner.

Una, snuggled close to her mother in Mika’s cockpit, and tugged at her mothers blouse to get her attention.’ Mama,’ she whispered several times. And several times her mother signaled her to be quiet and to listen. I continued. ‘Hang down your head Tom…’ ‘Mama, Mama,’ said Una, more urgently. ‘Una,’ said her mother, a bit irritated, ‘what is it?’

‘Mama…when is he gonna STOP?’

S/V Mika
California's Channel Islands
Hans Christian Traditional
38 feet
S/V Mika Photos on

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Last edited by Cruisingdreamspress; 12-04-2008 at 02:49 PM.
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post #22 of 33 Old 12-04-2008
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My boat is a live-aboard, and I keep an Alvarez folk guitar onboard. I live in FL, so there is quite a bit of humidity, though I use a marine air conditioner which keeps the temperature and some of the humidity reasonable. I have noticed that the strings tarnish and need replacing more often than when I kept it off of the boat. The guitar seems to take the boat-life okay, but then again I would not consider myself a musician. (I sort of make noise on it. )
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post #23 of 33 Old 12-04-2008
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I used to

have a cheap six stign for the boat but I hated playing it and teh humidity wreked havoc on it and it needed constant tuning. I won't bring my good guitars on boars so I finally settled on a Martin LXM.

The Martin LXM is made of a composite that looks a lot like Formica and the neck is made of a massive lamination schedule that basically makes it nearly inert to moisture variation and tuning issues. It sounds amazing for the size and sounds oodles better than my Big Baby Taylor did but never or very rarely needs tuning. It plays well, but it's no Santa Cruz, and also has decent low end for a mid sized guitar. It also takes up less boat space an an OM or Dreadnaught does..

I'm a big fan of the Martin LXM for the boat.. Neck & Body (photos courtesy of Elderly Brothes Music - one of the best sources of fine acoustic instruments in existance)

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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post #24 of 33 Old 12-05-2008
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Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
Ohhh I sit everynight on my deck, watching the sun go down, and I play my guitar to the world..

I love to play the guitar while I sail...yes I do




I am all love and music when I sail.....and the bees....and the and my cruising Valiant ...'re more into accordion music?

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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post #25 of 33 Old 12-05-2008
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Guitars on board is awesome. A friend of ours brought one along in a hard case during the commissioning trip and in other circumstances my wife brings her "Resonata" beater guitar (which I think was made in the GDR). It wasn't left on board for long periods of time, but we noticed another problem: it takes up about as much space as another passenger, though it does eat less.

The OP didn't say what the size of her boat was, but she did refer to it as "small"; ours is a 27'. With a guitar and all the sail bags and back packs, it was an interesting challenge to sleep four people on our boat (especially if you insist on having access to the head at night).

Challenging but worth the effort.
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post #26 of 33 Old 12-06-2008
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I play classical guitar and I live aboard. It is less humid than i thought it would be in my boat. But to be sure that I do not jeopordize an expensive instrument, I use my Yamaha CG-101 all wood laminate (ply) guitar. I've had no issues with it or my other solid top spruce that I had on board for 4 months during the hot and humid summer months.

Humid environments have far less damaging side-effects than the dry environments do.

My suggestion to you would be to go out and buy a nice quality low end guitar like the Yamaha for camping/boating. Both outings could involve things getting wet and thus make bringing expensive instruments not the best idea.
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post #27 of 33 Old 12-08-2008
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I'm a big fan of sitting around the cockpit and playing music with friends. Some of my favorite cruises have revolved around music.

As for the effects of a water environment on guitars (and I think this echoes what some others have said), a friend of mine used to bring his Martin D-35 with him all the time on board for weekends and extended cruises on his boat. That guitar now has a split on the side. I have a Martin HD-28, and because of his experience, I refrain from bringing it sailing (or anywhere like that even). I either bring my Backpacker, or if I want a full-size, a old Alvarez or Washburn, neither of which I worry about (both are veneer, not solid).

Anyway, have fun playing on the water!
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post #28 of 33 Old 12-09-2008
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sailor's instrument

apologies for wandering a bit off topic. I used to be a guitar player until an industrial accident took the tip of a finger that is essential to playing. But music was in my blood, we had a small sailboat, space was a premium. The wife says why not a concertina? I said what's that? She said the instrument tall ship sailors played. So off we go to the music store and darn, if they didn't have a cheapie.

So been playin' that little squeeze box that only movie/cartoon sailors play for 30 years now. Not the cheapie, it didn't last 6 months.

I used to play lots of Shanties, one time we were sailing on SF Bay when a whale boat & crew raced along past us. I switched to a rowing tune for them.

(OK, five posts down, 5 to go )

San Rafael, CA
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post #29 of 33 Old 12-20-2008
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How about a harp?

Let me assure you, if you think a guitar is hard to keep in tune aboard...

Whenever I take off on an extended solo cruise, I bring a little folk harp I built from a kit. The kit was relatively cheap, yet once completed it had a better feel and sound than many higher-end production units (I like woody rather than tinny harps.) Even the little folk harp is too big aboard my little boat unless I'm soloing, though.

This particular design uses ply for sounding, and heavy solid cherry for the box, neck, and column. While the humidity is unlikely to directly harm the instrument, for the first week or so aboard it is plainly cantankerous to keep in any sense of tune. Tuning sessions take up a half hour, at least, almost as bad as when I'm stretching in a new suit of strings.

Fortunately for everyone in the anchorages I drop into I'm both a poor player and (I hope) a considerate one; I practice below, and not at all if anyone is hooked close by.
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post #30 of 33 Old 12-31-2008
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I haven't read through all the posts so I may be repeating what somebody else has already said, sorry.
I had a terrible time keeping an old Yamaha in tune but I was hauling to and from the boat (don't like to keep too much stuff on board, it tends to grow). Got tired of ever tuning so I started leaving it and once it acclimated to the humidity it was fine. Of course, the boat is on the west coast and humidity isn't as high as say, the SE. You should be fine leaving an instrument aboard in CO.

As for feeling sluggish on board. Moving around on moving boats will make you hurt in places you didn't even know you had at first but you too will acclimatize to being on board. I used to sail with a guy who was in his middle ages, was way bigger around than he was tall but could move around on an Olson 30 like a monkey. He spent every weekend sailing and put us younger guys to shame.

I wish you luck with your fitness program.
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