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Old 01-29-2016, 09:47 PM   #1
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Recommendations for a wood boat surveyors in SW Florida

Yes, wood. I'm a classic boat kinda guy with both eyes wide open and plan to go the full Monty before cash moves from me to them.
Anyway, location is Tampa/St. Pete and anybody with knowledge of, or experience with a surveyor that has the appropriate credentials please reply or PM me.
The boat is a jewel or not, I need to find out. I have another fellow ( local ) that is a care taker of a pristine woodie that he has overseen since new. He is well respected. I still need a " professional " opinion.
Also doing a full corrosion survey as well as electrical.
Wood boats do not really like salt water. Bonding systems on wood may contribute to a process called alkali delignification - as quoted from a previous survey. In lay terms the galvanic action taking place in the bonding system creates a alkaline that interacts with the wood.
The above is exactly why I'm posting this .......
So....any suggestions would be most appreciated.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:15 PM   #2
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Actually, wood boats like salt water better than fresh water because salt water is less conducive to the formation of rot. Crews of the ocean-going sailing ships back in the day often put big blocks of salt in the bilges to turn rain water into salt water.

Can't speak from the bonding/electrolysis aspect other than according to the most knowledgeable folks on the Grand Banks owners forum a wood boat can be over-zinced which can lead to problems in the wood surrounding the through-hulls and such.

But if I was in the market for wood boat, which I never will be, I would be more inclined to look for one that has been living in a salt water environment, understanding that this is no guarantee against wood rot problems and so on.

Actually, I would be most interested in knowing if the boat has been living in a boathouse regardless of the kind of water it's been floating in.
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:31 PM   #3
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I love this forum. And I am indeed honored that you chose to respond to my post. I have been following your posts on this forum for quite a while and have learned a great deal from your shared wisdom.

With regard to this particular boat, it is a 1968 GB46 Alaskan, hull number 8. I have been admiring it from afar for many months and finally got a walk/craw thru a few days ago and decided to take a swing at it. The boat has not been in a covered slip for about 5 years (the current owners term of ownership). I do not know about its status before that. It was originally sold and berth in SanDiego and then moved to the east coast. That occurred about 20 years ago.

The main reason I have confidence in this particular boat is the current owner is a doc'd captain that sailed all over the world for extended periods and knows wood boats for many years. He managed the marina where she is berthed up to his recent retirement.

My main reason for the post was info gleaned from the survey completed at the time of the CO purchase. They noted the issue I mentioned in the OP and the current owner actually showed me the area of concern. It is located in the stern where the bonding straps run along the tops of the stringers. It's only in a few small areas and runs adjacent to the straps. The wood is damp and appears to be "hairy". It's not deep just on the surface. Any experience with this?
Otherwise the bilge is dry and the boat exhibits a great deal of care from the bilges up.
As far as the above deck wood structure, I did find some small soft spots in the underside of the boat deck on the port side directly above the step up to the fore deck. These were about the size of a half dollar and at the outboard edge of the roof, at the trim (half round) detail. Nothing major - easy fix. The deck house and pilot house junction at deck level is good. The seams and trim work are tight and appear to be in fine shape, but I will make sure the surveyor looks closely at these areas. The boat deck is solid front to back and I carefully check the area around the stack and the seams along the back and front of the pilot house. The seams along the bull works and around the engine vents where the air box sits are sound and have been maintained.
All the major systems ( engines, electronics, generator ) although dated and with regard to the engines, original are functioning.
Your thoughts and insight would be greatly appreciated.
Wifie "M" concurs that at this point if the surveys ( electrical, hull, corrosion) all come in ok we will most likely be proud to continue the sterward ship of this beautiful old classic lady. Hey, for us ole farts 48 is the prime of life. In fact I have seen quite a few 48 year old folks that are in much worse shape than the new to me " Amazing Grace".
Thanks again, fair seas.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:04 AM   #4
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BinkleyBoat--- I'm afraid what I know about boats wouldn't cover the head of a pin. I know a lot about our boats simply from living with them. But mostly what I'm good at is repeating good information I've learned from others.

If you you have not already done so I'd recommend joining the Grand Banks Owners Forum grandbanksowners.com. The founder of that forum, Bob Lowe, owned for many years a beautifully restored (his work) Alaskan 45 named Dreamer, one of only a few manufactured, five I think. There is very little about wood GBs (and fiberglass GBs) that he doesn't know. In addition there are a lot of wood GB owners on that forum, some who have resurrected their boats from near-wrecks.

While any boat, wood, glass, or metal, can be reduced to junk by neglect and abuse, what wood GBs have going for them is they were manufactured with quality materials and quality work and, most important, consistency. So the boat you are looking at will have an enviable heritage. It remains to be seen how well that heritage has been preserved.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:41 AM   #5
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Thanks again. GB Owners Forum and Bob Lowes posts are also a source that I have been studying. I will see what they have to say.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:25 AM   #6
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Hairy wood is where evaporation of salty water shreds the top surface of the wood. The salt crystals cut the wood fibers. Maybe the wood has some source of salt from the past and the hair is just always been there.

All you need do is put some paint or varnish on it to seal the wood.

Delignification due to electrolysis is easy to beat. Simply unbond all underwater metal fittings on a wooden boat. Also you can pull the fittings out, dry the wood and seal the wood near and around the fitting with epoxy or polyurethane caulk sealant, then reinstall the thru hulls.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:48 AM   #7
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Binkley,
Don't forget the fastener situation. Costs a lot of money to replace the fasteners. Silicone bronze should be used and I think SB fasteners are hard to find irregardless of the price.

And for surveyors you need a wood boat expert. They are hard to find too.
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Old 01-30-2016, 10:59 AM   #8
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Delignification may be a simple fix, as SDowney suggests above, or more complex. Friends of mine took their sailboat on a round the globe trip several years ago. before doing so, they fixed the delignification by removing all of the affected planking and replacing with new. Must have been a huge yard bill. Get an expert to guide you on that issue.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkleyBoat View Post
Thanks again. GB Owners Forum and Bob Lowes posts are also a source that I have been studying. I will see what they have to say.
BB , stay at it man you should be able to find a good wood boat surveyor in that area . Might ask around on the Woodenboat Forum . My old fiberglass boat even has a little hairy plywood here and there .
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:16 AM   #10
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I had a guy in BC survey a wood hull for me, I took his advice and walked. Sorry that's no help to you on the east coast. Good luck!

Eric, not so hard as one might expect:
#8 Silicon Bronze Wood Screws Frearson Flat Head
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
Hairy wood is where evaporation of salty water shreds the top surface of the wood. The salt crystals cut the wood fibers. Maybe the wood has some source of salt from the past and the hair is just always been there.

All you need do is put some paint or varnish on it to seal the wood.
David Pascoe describes what he refers to as "angle hair" due to "weepage" here:
Surveying Wood Hulls: Part 2
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:50 PM   #12
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Thanks again. GB Owners Forum and Bob Lowes posts are also a source that I have been studying. I will see what they have to say.
You can also ask about a surveyor in the other GB site
: Grand Banks Discussion Board • Index page

Mike Negley, very active in the site, is very knowledgeable and is based in SW Florida.
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:22 PM   #13
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Dave wrote;
"Eric, not so hard as one might expect:
#8 Silicon Bronze Wood Screws Frearson Flat Head"

Right. I probably was thinking of Monel.
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:40 PM   #14
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I had a guy in BC survey a wood hull for me, I took his advice and walked. Sorry that's no help to you on the east coast. Good luck!

Eric, not so hard as one might expect:
#8 Silicon Bronze Wood Screws Frearson Flat Head
Thanks for the link. Hopefully I will not need to order to many!
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Old 01-30-2016, 05:52 PM   #15
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You can also ask about a surveyor in the other GB site
: Grand Banks Discussion Board • Index page

Mike Negley, very active in the site, is very knowledgeable and is based in SW Florida.
Just posted the request on the GB site.
Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:18 PM   #16
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Looked at the boat a second time today.

Today the gentleman that I mentioned in a previous post spent about 3 hours polking around " Grace " today. We looked at everything we could think of from the*bilges to the boat deck. Without boring you with all the details, HE WAS IMPRESSED . After the debriefing I ask just one question: Would you buy this boat? After a little thought he looked at me with a big smile and said " If I was twenty years younger- YOU BET". She is basically sound and has been well maintained. Survey and hull, tap it out and if those reports are good, buy it.
So the*plan is to:
Find a qualified wood hull surveyor.
Get a corrosion survey.
Electrical systems survey.
Sea trial.
I will also draw oil samples from the engines a gen set for analysis.

Eyes wide open and a grin on my mug.

BB
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:36 PM   #17
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Don't buy any wooden boat unless you can fix it yourself, or you are rich, otherwise too much money you likely will spend on inevitable repairs.
I have a 1970 37 Egg harbor woodie which I totally rebuilt, new frames, bronze screws from McFeely's, new transom, took me lots of time, etc.... I also have some common sense skills in my favor and also know what will work and what will not through experience. And I also like to experiment with some unusual fixes. My sense is a lot of people look at a wooden boat as a way to get a big boat for very little money. I went into my purchase not getting the survey, did some repairs, then got a survey to get insurance from Boat US. My boat was in pretty bad shape when I got it and we used it for 6 months before the haulout to replace the rotten transom. As badly rotten as it was, it was still well attached to the hull.

Like that Pascoe article, you can tell pretty soon if the wood hull is in good shape.
This boat sounds like one that is in good shape.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:05 AM   #18
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Be sure that you can find a yard that will handle wood boat in that area. I know of two boats destroyed by improper hauling and launching.


Many yard folks just don't know how to handle wood boats and they may be getting fragile.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:57 AM   #19
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One thing to check that is a bit off the beaten path is the block of timber that the stern tube is bolted to. Use an awl and don't be afraid to push hard around every lag. Not an impossible repair but quite time consuming.

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Old 02-01-2016, 02:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
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...So the*plan is to:
Find a qualified wood hull surveyor.
Get a corrosion survey.
Electrical systems survey.
Sea trial.
I will also draw oil samples from the engines a gen set for analysis....
BB
Why not add a mechanical survey, worth doing with twins and genset. They often pick up other things, like shafts, props etc. Unless of course mechanical is your own area.
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