SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am considering the purchase of a wooden 31 foot 1947 Gaff rigged Ketch. She has been hauled out for two years inside a warehouse and her planks are bone dry- you can see daylight through the seams. The current owner claims that hanging her in a TravLift for a day or two will swell her right up until her own pumps will keep up... i don't doubt him, but that doesn't mean that she won't still be a leaky bugger even when she is swelled all the way up.

So...To caulk or not to caulk? The seams are in decent condition considering her age. It looks like something is in there, but it certainly isn't Cotton or Oakum. I recently finished helping caulk a 154 foot schooner, so if I can do the job if necessary, but if it isn't necessary, that would be fine in my book. Also, I've heard of small boats using only cotton, not oakum...(I never said I know much about caulking...:confused: )...is this true and acceptable?

If I don't need to caulk her, then i have a second question. How can I swell the hull on the hard so that I don't need to pay a lofty fee for hanging her in the TravLift? perhaps a hose in the bilge, or a sprinkler?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,481 Posts
I had an old wooden boat, and yes, you could look right through the gaps before it went in the water. A freshwater hose would help, but I never tried it.
You will see the water peeing out when using the hose, and it will give you an idea of what's about to pee in.
Be very wary of caulking a boat that has not being caulked. The added packing is very likely to keep the planks apart where before they would not be apart.
Also, caulking takes for ever to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Peeing

Now this was back in the 70's so my mind is short and brain is smaller.
Also i was the "LABOR" to two old men...but it didnt sink.

Put the hose to it and keep it up for 4 days...can be measured in cases of crown royale.....:D

Thinking back you need the whisky to keep you fron going OH ****!!!!

Keep it full,Have the "LABOR" tape bags on the outside of the hull with wet raggs in them..

REMEMBER.........FEED THE "LABOR" WELL.......

After 4 days think about Oakum...... But do not CALK.Have more Crown and FEED THE LABOR.As he makes sure wet rags in bags are REALY WET.......

Keep this up untill you eather run out of money for Crown or the darn thing quits leaking....

Now this sounds like it was written toung in cheak but FEADING THE LABOR is the most inportant part....

If it was floating when they hauled it it will float when you put it back in.Just have patience and i say again...FEED THE LABOR....

My knowlage...Finally:D
Mark
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Yes, chances are good that the hull will swell up and the leaks drop to the point where the pumps can deal with them. My real question is why would you want a wooden boat, with all the varied maintenance issues???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
There have been threads about this on the WoodenBoat forum. Be crareful if you use a hose that she doesn't start to fill up and break her stands or tip over. Try a sprinkler outside, wet towels and rags inside. Or canvas drop clths tacked to the hull, wet down every day. All of this will work better in warmer weather.
I've only owned wooden boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
= My real question is why would you want a wooden boat, with all the varied maintenance issues???
Why buy a wooden boat? I like to spend countless hours of my little time off trying to keep my boat from leaking too much, rotting out in Lake Hurons fresh water, springing planks due to corroded fasteners, and in general constantly replacing parts of my boat as they fall off. Its like making a statue out of melting wax.

Honest answer? Youthfulness. I'm 18 so I have the energy for this sort of thing. Not really the money, but hell, we're all screaming that aren't we? The boat is quite the looker...and weighing in at 17,800 with a narrow beam, I imagine she will be rather docile in heavy weather. Besides, i know how to work on wood, and i enjoy it, fiberglass is an ugly and unnatural thing to work with. And on top of it all, the boat is a Gaffer, and i have much more experience and finesse with a gaff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Goodonya Catfish! The dog is allways trolling because he can't go to the head in his boat without sticking his head through a hatch (he has a small cat with no headroom)

Why buy a wooden boat? I like to spend countless hours of my little time off trying to keep my boat from leaking too much, rotting out in Lake Hurons fresh water, springing planks due to corroded fasteners, and in general constantly replacing parts of my boat as they fall off. Its like making a statue out of melting wax.

Honest answer? Youthfulness. I'm 18 so I have the energy for this sort of thing. Not really the money, but hell, we're all screaming that aren't we? The boat is quite the looker...and weighing in at 17,800 with a narrow beam, I imagine she will be rather docile in heavy weather. Besides, i know how to work on wood, and i enjoy it, fiberglass is an ugly and unnatural thing to work with. And on top of it all, the boat is a Gaffer, and i have much more experience and finesse with a gaff.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Wrong on so many counts... DUH... You'd have to be an idiot to confuse a trimaran with a catamaran...

The Telstar is a Trimaran, not a catamaran. It has 6' of standing headroom throughout most of the boat.
Goodonya Catfish! The dog is allways trolling because he can't go to the head in his boat without sticking his head through a hatch (he has a small cat with no headroom)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Goodonya Catfish! The dog is allways trolling because he can't go to the head in his boat without sticking his head through a hatch (he has a small cat with no headroom)
I'm sympathetic. If I had just my head poking out onto the deck with all my head-using faces laid bare for the world to see, I would be a grumbling curmudgeon too. :rolleyes: Remember, 'Only $$$holes face the bowl'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Evening Dawg, I thought we had you cured of that bad attitude about wooden boats :D Don't make me come up there!

Catfishsoup, you really should pose your question on this topic over at the Wooden Boat Forum. There is a lot more to think about when reintroducing a wooden boat to the water than just the planking. For example, shaft alignment, rig tune, etc.

The larger timbers in the boat will take longer than a day or two in the slings. Over in the WBF they will ask you more about her construction and planking and will want to see photos so they can provide good advice.

Best of luck,

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,119 Posts
I am considering the purchase of a wooden 31 foot 1947 Gaff rigged Ketch. ?
I did almost exactly what you are thinking about when I was a couple of years older than you.
My boat was a 36' Crocker Schooner. Absolutely gorgeous.


You are welcome to email and/or call me to find out what happened.
Are you willing to share how much you are planning on offering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I did almost exactly what you are thinking about when I was a couple of years older than you.
My boat was a 36' Crocker Schooner. Absolutely gorgeous.


You are welcome to email and/or call me to find out what happened.
Are you willing to share how much you are planning on offering.
The asking is 2k (yes, yes i know "gasp, it must be catastrophically crappy!") so hopefully if i walk into the yard and flash fifteen one-hundred dollar bills in front of him, he will take it (always worked for me in the past with other boats and cars). The owner is the mechanic at Torreson Marine in Muskegon, MI. He claims the engine runs like a top (even though it is ancient). He lives on his boat (different boat) in the winter, so it may be the case that he needs to sell the thing for cash. I believe it has been for sale for 3 years or so.

The obvious problems with the thing are...

the mast

worn, but un-torn sails

steering seems iffy

needs complete re-varnishing on deck (not the deck itself, mind)

the interior is filthy but intact. there are no cusions etc but structurally it seems all together. it will probably take a week to get the interior clean

it has no head, but an attached tank head will mend that

i have no idea what shape electrical systems are in. I am considering a complete rewire for peace of mind.

I have only looked at the boat casually so alot of the really important stuff hasnt been addressed yet. Soon to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
"It looks like frozen snot." - L. Francis Herreshoff, looking at a Herreshoff Bullseye built of fiberglass.

It's not that I agree with the observation, I have owned mostly fiberglass boats myself, I just thought CatfishSoup might appreciate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
"It looks like frozen snot." - L. Francis Herreshoff, looking at a Herreshoff Bullseye built of fiberglass.

It's not that I agree with the observation, I have owned mostly fiberglass boats myself, I just thought CatfishSoup might appreciate it.

I appreciate it whole-heartedly, actually. I've also heard them referred to as "birthday cakes" And modern power cruisers look like speeding tennis-shoes. And I like to call cigar boats "Compensators"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Evening Dawg, I thought we had you cured of that bad attitude about wooden boats :D Don't make me come up there!

Catfishsoup, you really should pose your question on this topic over at the Wooden Boat Forum. There is a lot more to think about when reintroducing a wooden boat to the water than just the planking. For example, shaft alignment, rig tune, etc.

The larger timbers in the boat will take longer than a day or two in the slings. Over in the WBF they will ask you more about her construction and planking and will want to see photos so they can provide good advice.

Best of luck,

John
I had forgotten about Woodenboat having a forum, and you are right, that would definitely be a question for them. I have very limited knowledge in the engineering department, so i will have to research shaft alignment, or ask the engineer on the ship I work on. As for rig tune, the only thing i can forsee a problem with is that the boat would be hogged from sitting on the hard so long, if a boat that small even will hog significantly. As long as i launch her and let her sit for a few days she will settle in and i can properly tune everything. If I am wrong about that, please tell me :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,119 Posts
The asking is 2k
This sounds amazingly like my story only 25 years later.
Here is the the big problem.
It is a 31' boat.
Lets say:
the engine is good for 5 years.
The planking is good?
You have a free place to dock it.
The standing rigging is good.

Do yourself a favor and price out stuff you know you will need.
Paint, Varnish, Bottom Paint.

If you can buy all the quarts of stuff you need for several hundred you will be doing fine.
What about running rigging? Maybe another 3,000. Do you know how many lines their is on a ketch and that they need replacing every few years.

Ask the yard how much it will cost to haul it?
The deck will leak like a sieve, count on it. Making the hull waterproof is easy compared to the deck.
Lets say you have the smallest of engine issues. That starts at hundreds just to have a mechanic look at it and say they can't help.
Price out the gear you need just to sail it with a couple of friends to comply with coast guard rules and some basic stuff you will need.
Horn, life jackets, dock lines, shore cable, flares, GPS, charts, bilge cleaner, sea tow membership.
Do you need a dinghy?

Order a copy of "Rebuilding Rose" a 25' Atkin Packet Sloop, a boat that is less than half of your boat.

You say you are only 18 but what do I know. That 1,500 you have in cash may be pocket change left over from your weekly trust fund payment. The point I'm making is that the purchase price of this boat means absolutely nothing. Most wood boats are restored by old guys with lots of money time and possibly experience because and the real experts on this forum will correct me if they disagree. A wood boat will always cost significantly more to maintain per year than a glass boat of the same size.
I'll bet if you ask the woodenboat forum guys you will get an idea of parts and labor cost for maintenance of a 31' wood boat. I would guess thousands for parts and weeks of labor every year.

If you want to sail we have some good options for you.
By the way what is your sailing experience?

And I can't get over the idea that this guy let the mast go to the point where you are considering cutting three feet off of it when the maintenance to preserve the mast is easy and cheap while he did what was necessary to make sure the frame, planks, floors, stem, stern, deadwood, keel bolts, and deck were maintained such that you will not have to do major repairs.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

By the way a significant problem people with wood boats have is finding the proper wood and parts. It is very hard to find, takes weeks sometimes to find the right board and a lot of traveling. You don't get that kind of lumber at the local lumberyard. Also some shop tools like a band saw are almost necessary depending on the piece that need fabricating.
Metal rudder bearing etc will most likely have to be fabricated at a machine or welding shop unless you have the tools yourself. Those parts are not a west marine.

In short it doesn't matter if this boat is 1,000, 5,000 or 20,000 purchase price. Five thousand dollars on a boat like this is just loose change.
In fact that would be a fun post for a new thread.
What is the loose change number for a given boat.
20' $500
25' $1,000
30' $2,000
40' $5,000
50' $10,000
Where loose change is defined as the amount of money you can spend for an unexpected event without being unduly ruffled.
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Whampoa-

It isn't a bad attitude about wooden boats...but a realistic one... Varnishing brightwork is bad enough... but a whole wooden boat is way too much maintenance work... I'd rather be sailing. :)
Evening Dawg, I thought we had you cured of that bad attitude about wooden boats :D Don't make me come up there!

Catfishsoup, you really should pose your question on this topic over at the Wooden Boat Forum. There is a lot more to think about when reintroducing a wooden boat to the water than just the planking. For example, shaft alignment, rig tune, etc.

The larger timbers in the boat will take longer than a day or two in the slings. Over in the WBF they will ask you more about her construction and planking and will want to see photos so they can provide good advice.

Best of luck,

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
Thanks for clearing that up for me Dawg :)

Time to go heat up the varnish :D



Happy Thanksgiving to All.

Regards, John
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Kind of my point right there... :) As one of my friend's sadly said... you don't own a wooden boat... you buy it and then it owns you...
Thanks for clearing that up for me Dawg :)

Time to go heat up the varnish :D



Happy Thanksgiving to All.

Regards, John
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top