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Old 03-02-2013, 10:06 PM   #1
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Wood Boats...SCARY???

Hello all,
I have come across this wood boat. It's a Malahide, built by Southern marine. The current owner did tons of work to it and they represent that it is in very good condition.
So here's my questionn. Are wood boats really a maintenace nightmare? I have researched, and while some claim that they are a lot more maintenace others say that if the boat is in good condition to start with that it's not much different than maintaining glass or steel.
Anyone have or had a wood boat and care to comment?
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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I'd suppose a wooden thirty-foot sailboat would cost something close to seven digits to be rebuilt.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:51 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Ms GG. I would agree with the statement "if the boat is in good condition to start with that it's not much different than maintaining glass or steel." IF the boat is in good condition to start with. The only modifier I would add is you HAVE to really keep on top of things. Leaky ports/decks/bulkheads, loose caulk, damaged paint/varnish etc.? Repair ASAP.
Unlike a steel or FRP vessel a wood hull will have to be refastened after a period of time. Many more pros and cons others can add I'm sure.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:52 AM   #4
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Fresh water is the enemy of a wooden boat. If you're going to keep it in a boathouse then maybe. Otherwise your maintenance costs will be much higher than fbg or steel.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:34 AM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. Bob. I fully agree with the fresh water statement. That's the reason I said you have to keep on top of things. Granted, there is more expense involved than FRP in paint and varnish alone and you may be a bit more lax in maintenance with a FRP vessel as water ingress will possibly be much less likely to generate rot and do potentially catastrophic damage as it would in a wooden hull. With a wooden hull you MUST be willing to maintain it. With Ms. GG's familial obligations, she may not have the time to spare. I wouldn't go so far as to describe the exercise as a nightmare, just more intense. I suspect a steel hull would be more work than FRP as well.
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:59 AM   #6
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Hi there!
By fresh water, do you mean as apposed to salt water?
Isn't keeping it in a boathouse, still in the water, just with a
roof over it's head?
So, if the boat has been maintained, is their a life expectancy for a wellbuilt wooden hull from normal wear & tear, even if good maintenance
is practiced? And if so, is it different for all wood vessels depending
on how they are built?
Old Ironsides comes to mind when I think of age and life expectancy.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
Fresh water is the enemy of a wooden boat. If you're going to keep it in a boathouse then maybe. Otherwise your maintenance costs will be much higher than fbg or steel.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:14 AM   #7
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard Mr. meatsea. Salt water seems to have some sort of antiseptic effect so a boat sitting in salt water would be less prone to the development of rot (usually dry rot) than one sitting in fresh water IF there is any water ingress into the hull. The BIG problems come from rain through any leaks topside. Depending on specific construction, some styles may be more prone to retaining this fresh water and subsequently rotting.
Life expectancy? There are a LOT of wooden boats still afloat since before FRP was invented. I've done my fair share of chine rebuilding, batten,rib and plank replacement and I'm no shipwright. I've also done some FRP work. Personally, I prefer working with wood in spite of the fact I have a FRP vessel.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:56 AM   #8
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Another factor to consider is where the wood boat is homeported. Up here in Puget sound, the colder salt water retards invasive shipworms from doing damage to the hull or keel/wormshoe. Southern California waters are a different story altogether with the common water temps of 60 deg plus.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:08 AM   #9
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Galaxy Girl,
A well built , well maintained wooden boat is an absolute pleasure to own and use.
If in good condition and well maintained they are not much more expensive o keep.
The one thing, at least in the tropics they should be slipped every 12 months to check for worm.
It is 17 years since A boat builder and myself built Tidahapah.
It is Australian hardwood so is painted with oil based enamel and gets painted every 5 years plus touch ups along the way (This I do myself)
If different timbers are used such as some of the soft wods or Huon Pine ,mahogney etc they can be splined , sanded and 2 pack epoxy painted and you will get upwards of 10 years.

Fresh water is the bain of all timber boat owners, so leaks etc must be repaired pronto.
Timber decks (real) hose down with salt water every few days or so or sprinkle coarse salt over them and hose down.
Recaulking should not have to be done unless the boat is very old or been poorly maintained.
Refastening if boat has been looked after , possibly after approx 20/30 years.
Mine is 17 years and as good as the day we launched her.
Don't be scared of a good wooden boat but be friends with a well found timber boat man or learn the skills youself.
The same applies if it is FG , tin or concrete.
Cheers
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:46 AM   #10
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Even a wooden boat that is kept up superbly , never a deck leak, never a loose piece of hardware and painted annually will need maint eventually.

The problem is the maint requires high skilled labor that is familiar with wooden boats of that style construction.

AS steel, aluminum and plastic is king in the first world , a visit to someplace that routinly does the required work is required.
There may be language and import difficulties , as well as a different version of TIME.

With so many other boats out there that are cheap and easy to maintain , wood would have to be almost free for me to consider a wooden boat for Large cruising.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #11
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My woodie was seaflexed back in the 70's. It still looks good and doesn't leak a drop. Having worked on sailboats in the past both wood and FRP I would prefer the woodie. Nothing like chasing down delam.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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GG, maybe you have Voyaging Under Power so this is redundant, but here is what that book has to say about the Malahide. This boat is a proven passage maker and the type is referred to as the North Sea trawler. Romsdal also made a North Sea trawler. Southern Marine Shipyard in Malahide County Dublin, Ireland started in the late 1950s by converting British Admiralty surplus boats and fishing boats into private yachts. These boats were completely gutted and redone, and were robust and utilitarian. As it became more difficult to find the used boats to refurbish, they turned to other shipyards to supply new hulls from Irish Government shipyards, and shipyards in Portugal, Norway, and a few hulls from Ghana. The hulls were from 52 feet to 68 feet. The years 1970 to 1975 were peak years, but the oil crisis of 1973 caused increases in labor, materials and interest rates. The owners of both the Romsdal and Malahide North Sea trawlers are really dedicated to their boats and have been known to spend unreasonable amounts of money to restore these boats, so it is rare to see a North Sea trawler that is run down.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:24 AM   #13
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GG, this is off topic but perhaps relevant to your quest: The Essentials of Living Aboard a Boat by Mark Nicholas. This book is written by a fellow who lived on a sailboat in Boston. Here is what Amazon says: "... educates both dreamers and explorers with information about this wonderful and rewarding lifestyle. Mark Nicholas has combined his experience of life aboard with the advice of other liveaboards, marina owners, technicians, boat manufacturers and advocates in order to detail the challenges and offer real advice for success..."
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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GG, I Goodled Malahide and got these. There were also others around $700,000 dollars.

Malahide that sleeps eight in four staterooms, plus captain's cabin and two crew in the separate crew cabin.It's 395,000 euro or $514.357 dollars as of today.
Classic Malahide Trawler Style 21m Motor Yacht Power Boat For Sale (17424)

Malahide 11 berths with 2 doubles and 7 singles in 4 cabin(s) 280,000 Pounds or $420,504.20 dollars
Malahide Trawler Yacht Boats for Sale

Malahide 4 cabins, In Dollars, cost is $514,290
Used SOUTHERN MARINE Malahide Trawler-Style Motor Yacht 1975 for sale in Marmaris, Turkey
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #15
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Has the Radiant Star in Anacortes sold?
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #16
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Here is a wood Romsdal North Sea Trawler $317,938.83 US Dollars:
5 single berths (4 crew quarters berths plus pilot berth on the bridge), a large master stateroom, and a guest stateroom with double berth
1962 Romsdal North Sea Trawler - Boats.com
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:21 PM   #17
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Wood Boats...SCARY??? ..................

For whatever valid or invalid reason that's the prevailing mentality.

For that reason you can find outrageous buys on wood boats.

But one day you will sell it. And with the above attitude I'd hate to be selling a wood boat now.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
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Buying a massive old wooden boat when you don't know anything about the effort involved is probably a bad idea. Some of the Malahide's were built of mostly Iroko and have aluminum deckhouses, this is what I would look for.

The ability of wooden boat owner's to deny problems is legendary......Pre-purchase survey must be done by a specialist, and it takes a long time because problems are well hidden (usually). With massive traditional construction problems are serious and they cost a lot to deal with unless you can do the work yourself. Even then the materials are hard to come by, not impossible, but hard and expensive. You can't get anything useful at West Marine, there are suppliers but they are mostly in Europe. And wood comes from specialist small mills......

I usually tell people that any traditionally built boat over 50' LOD, is a full time job for one man to maintain to a high standard. That's unless it lives in a shed (afloat) and no one uses her. Wooden Boats of modern (cold-molded) construction have the same maintenance as a fiberglass boat.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Has the Radiant Star in Anacortes sold?
Looks like Radiant Star is still available but is probably beyond GG budget at $695,000. Nothing is said about cabins and berths: Radiant Star
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobofthenorth View Post
Fresh water is the enemy of a wooden boat.
I must disagree! Yes, fresh water does result in more rot than a boat sitting in saltwater but the subject here is wooden boats. Rain that leaks into a wooden boat's cavities will result in rot, regardless of what kind of water the boat is kept in. Wooden boats that reside in saltwater are subject to Teredos (saltwater worms) that can result in catastrophic damage to the vessel. (Just ask Christopher Columbus.)

That is why in the days of wooden ships, they sought anchorages in fresh water to combat (kill) sea worm infestations. Lake Union and Lake Washington were used by wooden ships for this reason.
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