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Old 04-23-2012, 01:54 AM   #1
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The downside of wood boat maintenance

Took these photos today in the yard at our marina. This is what you DON'T want to experience with a wood boat and is what will happen if you let a wood boat "get away" from you in terms of maintenance and repair.

This fifty or sixty foot boat sank at its mooring at Shaw or Lopez Island a few weeks ago. I have no idea why. I did not see any sprung planks or other obvious bottom damage. However it's certainly possible that some seams started to leak big time or a hose failed on a seacock or........

The state had it salvaged and hauled to Seaview North where it will be demolished and sent to a landfill. I have no idea what they'll do with the engines and hardware on the boat.

I assume the crude holes sawed in the sides were done as part of the salvage operation as they are freshly cut. But judging from the condition of the boat, while the sinking didn't do it any good it was in VERY sorry condition before it sank. It was only underwater for a day or so I think. But the condition of the exterior wood leads me to believe it was a virtual derelict long before it went under.

Too bad, as in its heyday it was undoubtedly a very beautiful boat. I have no idea of the make. I have never seen a boat exactly like this in person or in pictures so it may have been a one-off yacht built for someone. But I have seen Shane and Huckins yachts that were similar in style to this one. The radome seems an odd appendage but it indicates the boat was in operating condition in the not-too-distant past.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:31 PM   #2
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I like the twin props with only one rudder.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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You'd have liked the Titanic/Olympic/Britannic then. They had three props and one rudder.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #4
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Looks like a modified trumphy yatch.

They are selling a 1/5 th share in the pictured boat for 2 million. hahaha
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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Is stern called
A tumble home?
With that reverse rake to it.

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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Tumble-home is the term for a hull that curves back inboard at some point above the waterline. So yes, the stern could be said to have tumble-home. One of the more famous examples of tumble-home can be found in the Chris Craft runabouts of the 1940s.

Tumble-home is a challenging thing to do with a fiberglass boat that is made in a mold because the reverse-curve in the upper portion of the hull makes it impossible to remove from a one-piece mold. So fiberglass boats with tumble home have to be made in a two piece mold, or in port and starboard molds and the two hull halves joined after they're removed. Tumble-home also reduces slightly the interior volume of the boat so in today's production cruisers-- floating condos, as FF likes to call them-- reducing the hull volume for the sake of aesthetics is not something most buyers would want. But tumble-home can make for a very pretty boat, power or sail.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:41 PM   #7
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Is there an upside?
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:00 PM   #8
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Sure, if you have a wood boat in great condition. Just like there's an upside to fiberglass boat maintenance if you have a glass boat in good condition. The upside in both cases is they stay that way.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:17 PM   #9
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Is there an upside?
Yes ... in most any sea conditions a wood boat will 'ride' alot smoother- be alot more comfortable than a glass hull boat ( of the same type hull ).
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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Here are some pictures of HONEY FITZ. This 105' Defoe was once owned by President Kennedy. The yacht was hauled on a synchro lift so that it had full support along the entire keel. Then it was jacked up one inch with over 50 jacks spaced along 2x12 planks to spread the strain, so that a new keel could be installed. Cost of the job? More than a new big Nordhavn.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:38 PM   #11
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That was a joke, Marin. I guess I should have used my sarcasm font.

There are some beautiful wooden boats out there. And in the right climate (not where I live) they can be viable vessels.

You almost never see a wooden boat down here over about 15 ft. that is much more than a derelict. They just don't last in the heat, sun and bugs without heroic efforts like Tucker's guy above. Plus there are very, very few people left that have the skills to work on them. Heck, it is tough to find someone who even knows how to varnish anymore.

Just in my little backwater two beautiful wooden sailboats expired in the last two years. One, a 28ft Herschoff design rotted and sank at the dock. The other, a really nice 38 to 40' ketch, was brought into Alligator Harbor, anchored and abandoned, still fully appointed. It sank about a year later, was raised, then hit by lightening, burned and sank again. The day it went down for the last time I was running back in with a charter and found its pieces and parts floating all over the harbor. I salvaged a nice teak ladder that is on my swim platform right now.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #12
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There are a surprising number of large wooden boats up here---- big cruisers, commercial fishboats, etc., many of them dating back to the first half of the 20th century. But there are a number of yards that can work on them, too. Seaview North in our marina seems to be one of them. They always have a number of them being worked on, from small cruisers to GB woodies to big yachts to full-size purse seiners. They have a 150-ton Travelift so they can get thes big things out of the water.

There is a lot of wood boat experience over in Port Townsend. And of course there are yards in Seattle that practically specialize in wood boats.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
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Yes, I know that, and in NE as well, just not down here.

I used to work for a company based in Seattle, I would go out early for meetings, rent a peapod from the Wooden Boat museum and sail on Lake Union. It was very cool. I miss it.

Those craftsmen have completely left Florida. There are still some beat up old wooden shrimp boats around, but man, I wouldn't go offshore in one of them. Shrimping is dangerous enough without doing it in a death trap.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:35 PM   #14
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There are still some beat up old wooden shrimp boats around, but man, I wouldn't go offshore in one of them. Shrimping is dangerous enough without doing it in a death trap.
There won't be many of those ' beat-up ' shrimpers left either after a few more years. There are still a few fishermen up here that would rather fish a wooden boat and wouldn't mind the maintenance , but the insurance companys wont write a policy on them ..... kinda sucks.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:35 AM   #15
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This wooden sailboat has a hole in its hull. It's stuck in the middle of Suisun Bay where water is shallow.

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Old 04-26-2012, 12:38 AM   #16
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This wooden schooner, which ferried lumber from the Pacific Northwest to San Francisco, rests in the shallows of Carquinez Strait at Martinez, California. (Pictured at low tide.) It is hard to imagine now that people could make a living sailing such a small ship carrying lumber.

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:57 AM   #17
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There are still a lot of wooden shrimp boats on the Gulf coast but they are rapidly disappearing. For the last 15 or so years, many of them have laid fiberglass over the outsides of the hull in order to get a few more years use out of them.
Most insurance companies I have deal with on the coast would not insure a wooden hull for commercial or pleasure boats. I know as soon as I say this, many will chime in and let us know where one can get hull insureance on a wooden boat, so lets hear it. I would be interested to find out.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #18
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Around here in New Jersey...many marinas won't even allow a wooden boat...to tie up or to haul...

It's a shame as obviously there are well cared for woodies...but so rare around here EVEY wooden boat is a potential derelict and future nightmare for the marina.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:07 PM   #19
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Insurance is no problem at all for wood boats in this area assuming they pass a survey. Many, many GB woodies up here, older Chris Crafts, sailboats, Lake Union Dreamboats, salmon trollers, seiners, etc. I have never heard of any wood boat owner having trouble getting insurance here assuming their boat was up to snuff.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:43 PM   #20
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Marin,
I think your Friday Harbor boat is a bad design in the stern. A boat that long needs all the turning ability twin rudders would afford. Even though I usually like twin screw single rudder arrangements. I'll bet they had to steam the liv'in devil out of those stern planks to make the turn up at the stern. Judging by the size of the props they may have had plenty of power though.
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