SailNet Community banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have experience with electric guitars aboard in the tropics? Outside of keeping the guitar and amp out of the water is there anything to think about with regards to brand/model, wood, etc. ?

I'm most concerned about the effects of consistent heat and humidity on the guitar. Any suggestions or concerns anyone can pass along?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,378 Posts
The others in your anchorage may not be as enamored as you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The others in your anchorage may not be as enamored as you.
Electric guitars don't have to be played loud. They work quite well pumped through headphones or tablets with headphones. I know - my son plays his that way well into the wee hours and I'm unaware of it.

It's likely others in my anchorage won't know my son is playing his guitar :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Anyone have experience with electric guitars aboard in the tropics? Outside of keeping the guitar and amp out of the water is there anything to think about with regards to brand/model, wood, etc. ?

I'm most concerned about the effects of consistent heat and humidity on the guitar. Any suggestions or concerns anyone can pass along?
I lived aboard in Key Largo FL for 6 years in the '90s. I had an acoustic and electric guitar onboard though mainly played the acoustic (Martin 00-18). I kept them wiped down after use and in quality hardshell cases and never had any issues other than strings tended to rust after a while. I did live in a marina w/ shore power and had air conditioning on when it was real hot.

I would assume the salt in the air would be problematic for the electronics (as it is for the strings) so would never leave it "sitting out" when not in use.

btw, I'm in Glenwood Springs, CO .. where are you?

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I lived aboard in Key Largo FL ...

I would assume the salt in the air would be problematic for the electronics (as it is for the strings) so would never leave it "sitting out" when not in use.
Yeah, I'm guessing there is more of an issue with the amp than with the guitar. As it stands guitar strings don't last long here anyway. I don't even see any use for the amp while aboard most days, but grabbing a gig in a bar or on a beach is to sweet so we'll be stowing one or two. The 'pocket amps' that go right into headphones are perfect for practice where quiet is worth a lot.

The wood is so heavily lacquered I'm guessing the biggest issue are the pickups, as far as the guitars go. Then perhaps the battery and those wires.

Key Largo? That's where I'm hoping we'll land and get some more training in before leaving for our cruise.

btw, I'm in Glenwood Springs, CO .. where are you?
Other side of the mountains - Denver. Puts you a few hours closer to the ocean than me ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Yeah, I'm guessing there is more of an issue with the amp than with the guitar. As it stands guitar strings don't last long here anyway. I don't even see any use for the amp while aboard most days, but grabbing a gig in a bar or on a beach is to sweet so we'll be stowing one or two. The 'pocket amps' that go right into headphones are perfect for practice where quiet is worth a lot.

The wood is so heavily lacquered I'm guessing the biggest issue are the pickups, as far as the guitars go. Then perhaps the battery and those wires.

Key Largo? That's where I'm hoping we'll land and get some more training in before leaving for our cruise.
The guitar should be fine, espcially in a good case. Though be careful with the amp since it probably won't have a case. I had a Honda Shadow motorcycle in Key Largo with a nice "cover" that I kept over it. Got really busy and didn't ride it for about 2 months. Took the cover off and the chrome had rusted like crazy! Partly because it was cheap Honda chrome but also I believe the "cover" and lack of ventilation actually concentrated the salt and humidity thus speeding up the process. If you wrap the amp to protect it, add something to help absorb the humidity .. like those dessicant(sp?) packs you find in shipping packages. And check it regularly! Ventilation is your friend.

Other side of the mountains - Denver. Puts you a few hours closer to the ocean than me ;-)
Will be much closer soon .. am moving to the Seattle area this winter and moving aboard again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Will be much closer soon .. am moving to the Seattle area this winter and moving aboard again.
Nice. A good friend of mine lives up there. He misses the sun. Private message if you want to hook up with someone who regularly sails and I'll introduce you guys.
 

·
Fortuitous
Joined
·
338 Posts
As others have said, I doubt that the heat or humidity will effect an electric very much, and I think the brand/wood type would be irrelevant. You might go through strings faster and the electronics might suffer in the long term, but that's all relatively easily replaced.

A nice (solid-topped) acoustic guitar is far more susceptible to the type of damage that you're imagining, and lots of people take those on boats successfully all the time, so I think an electric would be no problem. I've taken a couple of electrics aboard, and I just play them with a tiny little <1W battery powered solid state amp that I built into an old alarm clock. I had no worries about them getting messed up. My acoustics though...no matter how many people get away with it, I went as far as to make myself a boat guitar out of Formica to avoid bringing my nice acoustics aboard.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,289 Posts
There is a liveaboard on one of the guitar forums I frequent. Not sure what guitar he has on board but I know he recently purchased on of the Yamaha TH series amps. Not sure if he went with the TH5 or TH10. I think I'd go even cheaper and choose something like a Roland Microcube and consider it "disposable". Same with the guitar. I'd pick up something like a Squire Strat or Tele and a decent gig bag and if it is survived the cruise, great! In not Oh Well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
The signal from an electric guitar isn't very compatible with a stereo system.

A guitar amp colors the sound of the guitar in a very favorable way. Played through a stereo an electric guitar has a boring, undesirable tone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
PHP:
Can't you just run the guitar through the aux jack on your boat stereo?
I guess you could if there's an amp attached. I gave my son a VOX AC30 amp. It can fit in your pocket and plugs into the guitar. From there you plug in a headphone and you're good to go. He's even played it through his iPhone, using a software amp on that.

Doesn't sound as rich as the tube amp but it's better than nothing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,685 Posts
I can assure you that the electronics will not suffer. I carried a Bose L1 Compact PA system with me to the Florida Keys, played outdoors concerts with it a couple nights a week, no problems at all. Same for my Yamaha PSR-3000 arranger keyboard. No problems. Before I left, though, I called both Bose and Yamaha, and they both told me the PC boards are pretty much moisture proof - not water proof, though. If you dump them out of the dinghy they will die from that saltwater exposure.

There were loads of guys there with guitars, mainly wooden, and no one seemed to have a problem with them if they kept them dry when not in use. Most carried a silicone cloth with them for wiping down the guitar and strings after use, then put the guitar in a hard-shell case with moisture absorbing bags in the case to be on the safe side.

Good Luck,

Gary :cool:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top