I was pondering Marin and Eric's recent "discussion" about the merits (or lack of) of Grand Banks hull design. So I went lookin'.* I found these boats for sale on YW.* What handsome*vessels they are. I mean, I don't know anything*about the coefficient of drag and stuff like that, but the hulls look pretty nice to me. *And they are all woodies (wadya think I was talking about?).* I just love wooden boats though, so much character.* I wouldn't want the upkeep though. So,*I was wondering if any of the forum folks own any woodies (or have owned)*or if you know any folks that own woodies.** KJ*
-- Edited by KJ on Friday 18th of February 2011 03:42:40 AM
I have no interest in owning a wood boat. However, they are gorgeous. One of the prettiest boats I ever sold was a 50' wooden Trojan tri-cabin. Thank goodness she was (believe it or not) gas powered or I would have been tempted to buy her myself she was so pretty! In fact, we actually have her listed for sale again but luckily I have enough exterior teak to maintain on our Monk to where it is close enough for me.
A good wooden boat though- can't beat it!
I have had several woodies, only one really big one though.. a 1969 gb 36. The hull was rock solid, though the cabins on gb woodies can have their issues, mainly around the windows and at the wall deck transitions. I think the woodies have a better feel than the glass versions... but the maintenance is MUCH greater.
Oh,* I almost forgot ... I have a woodie right now.. although it's tucked away in the barn awaiting restoration, I have been working on a 1959 21' Chris* sea skiff.* The only way I will own a woodie anymore is if it can be trailered and stored inside.
And .. although I know it is not right... the smell of a rotting wood boat still smells better than fiberglass HOLLYWOOD
Vessel Model: 2001 Island Gypsy 32 Europa (Hull #146)
Join Date: Sep 2008
RE: Do you have a Woody?
Owned this one (or it owned us) for 22 years until two years ago. She is
now under new stewardship by someone who can afford to pay a yard to do
the work that we did ourselves. She is a 1939 Smith & Gray "Gentleman's
The question my friends with wooden boats are always asking is not, "will it rot?", rather "how fast is it rotting?". Some go slowly. One is coming up to its 100th birthday. Others, much more quickly. All take constant vigilance to keep the rot in check.
I built my first boat out of wood, an 18 foot inland lakes racing scow design. Still remember the scent of cutting the alaskan yellow cedar bedlogs. I still enjoy woodworking and fine craftsmanship, but for me I prefer the wood to be inside the boat, which is the reason I particularly appreciate the Ocean Alexander and Grand Banks. Our first trawler was an MMC 36 (Monk 36) which had varnished teak everywhere - handrail, footrail, window trim, flybridge trim, which we kept in bristol condition. It looked great and got lots of comments, but man what a chore to keep up!
If cold-moulded epoxy counts, then I have a wood boat - the 1 1/2" thick hull consisting of 6 layers of cedar strips are layer by layer encapsulated in the epoxy, so in many ways it is not correct to imply I have the maintenance of a typical wood boat.
But it is very stiff - not much flex, very light comparatively and quite strong.* In an impact type of accident,*wood fares somewhat better than glass in that it tends to crush rather than splinter.
Although I have not had to do any impact repairs, I understand that it is not too difficult.
There is no drying/shrinking when hauled out and my bilges are dusty.
warmth of*a wood boat w/o alot of the maint - I think that is a good scenario.
So,*I was wondering if any of the forum folks own any woodies (or have owned)*or if you know any folks that own woodies.** KJ
I would guess that perhaps half of the regular participants on the Grand Banks owners forum have woodies.* I know a few of them personally.* Not sure what you want to know about them, but a wood boat in excellent shape is no more work to maintain than a grp boat in similar shape.* Some of the things you need to do are different, but it's not like if you have a wood boat you are constantly dealing with it.* There are things you have to be more vigilant about.
There are people on the GB forum who have brought wood boats back from being almost total write-offs.* Doing this sort of thing requires a large variety of skills and a lot of time.* And everybody on the GB forum who has a woody, either in great shape or "a work in progress" loves the fact that it's wood.* They have all sorts of reasons for this, from the practical to the philosophical, but the fact is that I've never seen any posts on the forum from a woody owner complaining about the fact their boat is wood and wishing it wasn't.* They ask the shipwrights on the forum how to do such-and-such and they discuss various kinds of repair or maintenance techniques, but as a group, I think they are the happiest bunch of boat owners I've come across wih regards to their attitudes toward their boats..
Probably the biggest difference I can see between a wood boat and a grp or metal one is what happens if they get neglected outside (as opposed to being in a boathouse).* The systems in a boat will be basically the same be it wood, glass, or metal.* So if neglected, they will all react the same way.* But in terms of the hull and superstructure, a neglected grp or metal boat simply gets real dirty.* That's about it.* A neglected wood boat will eventually start to leak moisture through cracks in the paint, dried out sealant and seam material, and so on.* And once the wood starts getting wet the door is open to the formation of rot.
There is a grp GB36 of the same vintage as ours--- either a late '73 or early '74--- in a boathouse near our dock.* We have been on our dock for the past ten years.* The GB in the boathouse has never moved once during that time, nor have we ever seen anyone on it and we are at our boat almost every weekend year round.* I have no idea what shape it's in since we cannot access the locked row of boathouses.* The boat is covered with dust and grime.* Every system on the boat may be shot.* But the basic structure of the boat will be in as good a shape as our boat that gets used on a year round basis.* If the GB in the boathouse was a woody, maybe not so much even though it's out of the weather other than the bow.* But if this boat was a woody and kept outside and totally neglected for the last ten years, it would very likely be approaching the point where it would be declared derelict by the Port and unless the owner took some sort of action it would be hauled over to Seaview and cut up.
The boat pictured below is a woody.* It's an Alaskan 45 built by American Marine in their Kowloon Yard (across from Hong Kong) at the same time they were starting up their Grand Banks line in the same yard.* It is aesthetically just about the best looking recreational boat I have ever seen.* Dreamer is owned by Bob Lowe, one of the two founders of the GB owners association.* For many years Bob owned and operated Oak Harbor Boatworks on Whidbey Island, a yard that worked on anything but specialized in the maintenance, repair, and customization of Grand Banks boats, particularly woodies.* I doubt there is anything about GBs--- wood or glass--- that Bob has not encountered, maintained, or repaired.* I have never been aboard Dreamer but having seen numerous photos of the boat's exterior and interior on the owners forum over the years I would be willing to bet that Dreamer is in better condition inside and out than almost every boat owned by the members of this (and the GB owners) forum including the almost-new ones.* And it's a wood boat built in (I believe) the late 1960s.
So wood is good if you know how to maintain it (or have the money to hire a person who knows how to maintain it).* I have only dealt with one wood boat in my life, but if I had the time--- I don't and probably never will--- and the knowledge, which can be learned easy enough over time if you have the basic aptitude for it, I would not rule out a wood boat if we were in the market and came across the perfect boat for us and it happened to be wood.* But I don't think one should approach it thinking that a wood boat is just like a glass boat only it's made out of wood.
-- Edited by Marin on Friday 18th of February 2011 12:02:17 PM
Owned this one (or it owned us) for 22 years until two years ago. She is now under new stewardship by someone who can afford to pay a yard to do the work that we did ourselves. She is a 1939 Smith & Gray "Gentleman's Sedan Cruiser"
When I bought Willy I had another boat. A 29' Sumnercraft. It was a boat like no other and if were all FG I'd prolly still have her. She had a wineglass form/keel that was just wide enough for the engine that was a Sabre 120. The engine was 90% down inside the keel. It was based on the same British Ford engine as the Lehman but had a much better marinization. Had a SS exhaust manifold. Anyway the boat was made of sandwich construction. one inch Douglass Fir with FG on each side. Was built like a typical strip plank boat, plank strips edge fastened and bent over forms upside down. Then it was fibre glassed. Then it was turned right side up, the forms knocked out, hull aligned and fiber glassed inside. A true sandwich hull. The whole boat only weighed 8,000lbs and made 20 knots at 2500rpm. Ten to 12 knots was a very easy and sweet ride. Had to choose between Willy and the Sumnercraft. They were built in Amityville NY in the early 60s. She was an express style typical of the 50s and 60s. I have no digital pics.
-- Edited by nomadwilly on Friday 18th of February 2011 12:51:19 PM
Wooden boats you just gotta love them.
You don't own them
It is not true that they take a lot more looking after. OK you must haul them at least every 12 months mainly to check if there
is a worm problem. This depends on your location.
This also depends on what timber has been used in hull construction, older boats here in Aus built with Huon pine or Turpentine (type of hard wood) are less prone to toreodo attack.
My own vessel is built with 1 1/2" spotted gum an extremely hard eucylupt, built on spotted gum frames and an Iron Bark keel.
Hard pressed to find a stronger boat.
At places in frames and knees there is 14" of solid timber.
When I first launched Tidahapah i used to haul her every 6 to 8 months this is now 11 to 14 months.
It is hard to describe the relation ship one has with a good timber boat as it is more alive than a glass or steel vessel.
In a heavy sea you get a few creaks and groans but they are comforting sounds and you feel at ease with your vessel working with the elements.
Also when you own a woodie you always wake up with one.
I'm a bit pressed for time so I won't rant on about all the positive things re owining a real boat.
Some of the boats I looked at on the web were wood and most of the ones I really really liked were wood. You have a new wood boat and I'd go for that in a heartbeat but to buy a 40 yr old wood boat bothers me. By the time I'm 80 it'l be a 50 year old boat. There's refastening, sister ribs and all that other stuff. Chris was rather hard set against the wood boats but there were some that I was Ga Ga over. Her's one example.
Do skiffs count? 18' Cabin skiff about 70% completed (with only 50% to go). It will be around the 8th or 9th boat from scratch Ive built. Sizes from 6' to 30' , all glass over ply.
All built in the backyard formerly known as the "Budweiser Shipyard". Kind of a busmans holiday.
The design is by Jim Michilak an" AF4"
Another big beautiful woody.* Heh.* This is Ursa Major, a 65ft. North Sea trawler, used for passenger service.* I thought I'd throw the specs in, pretty interesting themselves.* *Dimensions
Length- 65 feet Beam 20' Draft 9 feet
Displacement 109 ton
Fuel 3000 gallons diesel Water 475 gallons
Main Engine: Caterpillar Diesel D-353-TA In line 6 375 hp , 9 knots at 800 rpm
Generators: Two Northern Lights 16 kW and 6 kW
Power: 110, 24, 12 volt. Inverter: Heart
Propeller: Four blade Brass 55 x 46 on 4 inch bronze tailshaft.
Stabilizers: Vosper active hydraulic
Environment: Marine Air Systems Heat and Air conditioning with individual stateroom electrical.
Rudder 1/2 inch steel plate 6 foot height.
Simrad autopilot and backup.
Water Heater: 10 and 30 gallon in series for continuous hot water output.
Watermaker: HRO 25 gallons per hour.
Frames 5.5 x 6.5 laminated pine on 24 inch centers, Deck Beams 6 x 6.5 inch laminated oak on 18 inch centers, Stringers 3.25 x 4.5 doublers.
Planking2.5 x 6.5 inch Pitch Pine
Decks 13/ 4 x 4.5 inch Iroko overlaid with teak decking.
Fasteners 1.25 inch locus trunnels (treenails) (dowels)
House and CabinFabricated high grade Aluminum
Masts 6 x 8 inch , Booms 6 inch Spruce
Ballast8 inch diameter iron ingot between frames secured with poured* 40 tons of* concrete
-- Edited by KJ on Friday 18th of February 2011 07:01:31 PM