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Old 08-13-2017, 11:59 AM   #1
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Wood Hull Maintenance Requirements

Hello All
I'm new to Trawlers, all the sailboats I have owned were fiberglass, so I know what is involved with their care. My question is the amount and type of maintenance, and problems with a wood hull. I tried searching the site but my skills were not adequate.

I have heard others around the marina going on about how much work is involved but I would like to hear from actual owners.
Thank you in advance
Eric
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:06 PM   #2
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Unless you do the work or find volunteers, wood boats are almost collector items because of the work and or costs.

The survive better in northern climes, but can be a handful in southern ones.

I grew up with wooden boats and my fondness for them doesn't overcome the luxuries of modern construction.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:14 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Former owner of a 34' Chris Craft wooden hull...

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Old 08-13-2017, 01:20 PM   #4
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There is nothing like a well maintained wooden boat...as long as it belongs to someone else!
The one time I had the hots for a wooden boat was the one time my wife really put her foot down and said "NO!".
She grew up sailing wooden boats her family owned.
She knew better.
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:47 PM   #5
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All depends if you want an artwork or a workboat/trawler finish.
Full time job for the artwork finish and a lot less for the work boat/trawler finish.

If we could get comparable plastic in Australia for similar cost to our timber it would have been a no brainer, but to get our equal probably would have needed at least $500,000 or more extra dollars, IF, you could find something closely comparable.
That buys a lot of maintenance, especially if we change countries.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Unless you do the work or find volunteers, wood boats are almost collector items because of the work and or costs.

The survive better in northern climes, but can be a handful in southern ones.

I grew up with wooden boats and my fondness for them doesn't overcome the luxuries of modern construction.
Man - You got both those straight... especially the second one!
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:53 PM   #7
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Honestly Broadside, you`ll be flat out like a lizard drinking/busier than a one armed taxi driver with an itch, maintaining even a boat with a fiberglass hull. Inquire no further, get a f/g hull with no osmosis.
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:36 PM   #8
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Really?!
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What kind of boat is that?
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:40 AM   #9
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Really?!
Bob, with all due respect. Didn't you just do a lovely job of redoing your entire boat? Or am I mistaken and all you did was to remove the bridge?

Sure does look great whatever it was you needed to accomplish on her.
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:51 AM   #10
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Bob,please forgive a little Aussie irony/exaggeration. I did substitute "itch" for "crabs".
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:03 AM   #11
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Really what?

There are so many reasons for the demise of production wooden boats, I won't insult anyone's intelligence by listing them.

Yes they are still being made, yes different types of wooden hull construction can be "modern" and different than traditional, yes, yes, yes....

But the expression "labor of love" comes to my mine and every experienced boater I know when discussing traditional wooden boat maintenance.
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:33 AM   #12
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Boating , "messing about in boats" covers a lot of hobbies.

If working on maintaining a boat is your desire , GO Wooden.

If cruising the boat is the desire go SOLID GRP
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:04 AM   #13
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I find that it takes a bit more work than my fiberglass boat. Here in Maine we haul out for the Winter so there is abundant time to do needed work. I figure that I spend about 200 hours each spring getting the boat ready for the season. My normal procedure is to sound the entire hull to identify any planks that need attention. I then replace any suspect wood. Once the wood work is completed the real work starts. Every Spring I sand down the entire boat and apply new coatings (bottom paint, varnish on exposed wood - see avatar, and paint on all other surfaces). When that is done I do the Spring service on the engine and simultaneously begin swelling the hull for launch (pouring water into the bilge, tenting the hull below the waterline and pouring 10-20 gallons of water a day under the boat to raise the humidity there, etc.). Finally I make sure the bilge pumps are working and replace any that are sketchy. Once the boat is launched all I have to do is realign the engine after about two weeks and I am good to go for the season.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:49 AM   #14
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I find that it takes a bit more work than my fiberglass boat. Here in Maine we haul out for the Winter so there is abundant time to do needed work. I figure that I spend about 200 hours each spring getting the boat ready for the season. My normal procedure is to sound the entire hull to identify any planks that need attention. I then replace any suspect wood. Once the wood work is completed the real work starts. Every Spring I sand down the entire boat and apply new coatings (bottom paint, varnish on exposed wood - see avatar, and paint on all other surfaces). When that is done I do the Spring service on the engine and simultaneously begin swelling the hull for launch (pouring water into the bilge, tenting the hull below the waterline and pouring 10-20 gallons of water a day under the boat to raise the humidity there, etc.). Finally I make sure the bilge pumps are working and replace any that are sketchy. Once the boat is launched all I have to do is realign the engine after about two weeks and I am good to go for the season.
1950's / 60's LI NY, as I grew up: My family played on four wooden boats [one at a time]. Lucky for dad I was born with hammer, screw driver and wrench in hand. Soooo... very happily I became his protégée on restoring and maintaining our wooden boats. Haul late October, launch early April. Cover entire boat with wood frame and canvas in the fall, open her up for spring. We together did it all, very seldom was anyone hired to do something we either couldn't do or did not have enough time for.

That background brings me to a couple questions regarding what I bolded in your post above. the other items were standard annual fare we did as you each year.

1. Does your boat's bottom planks shrink so much in one cold winter that when launched she would not swell soon enough for bilge pumps to keep her afloat without doing as you say - "... pouring water into the bilge, tenting the hull below the waterline and pouring 10-20 gallons of water a day under the boat to raise the humidity..." I can never recall doing any of that. Last boat [the one we had for longest time] was 38' sport fisher, raised deck with carvel planking. We would schedule it so the strap launch stayed in place for first hour or two as initial swelling got well underway... then of to our slip we motored.

2. Why does your engine need annual realignment? "... realign the engine after about two weeks and I am good to go for the season ..." We seldom aligned our engine is any boat. I recall doing so when work on shaft was done and one other time after we put in new engine and a few months of use had gone by. But as a general rile... engine alignment each year??

Just wondering!
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:54 AM   #15
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It's "wood boats" not wooden boats.

Wooden shoes .. wooden toys. Wooden thus is used disrespectfully as in substandard. In the day wooden toys meant cheap toys. Good toys were made out of metal not wood.

A wood boat being superior to a plastic boat should be given the obvious respect due. Think of a dozen or so plastic toys scattered about in front yards across the country. No respect. Of course this applies mostly to wood boats of superior design, materials and construction.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:14 AM   #16
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It's "wood boats" not wooden boats.

Wooden shoes .. wooden toys. Wooden thus is used disrespectfully as in substandard. In the day wooden toys meant cheap toys. Good toys were made out of metal not wood.

A wood boat being superior to a plastic boat should be given the obvious respect due. Think of a dozen or so plastic toys scattered about in front yards across the country. No respect. Of course this applies mostly to wood boats of superior design, materials and construction.
You say tomato... I say tomaato. I was brought up working on what was then called "wooden" boats... in my area of the U.S. You must have worked on wood boats. I won't hold it against you. Smarty Pants!

Don't know why you bothered to spent time for writing a disconcerting post against a perfectly innocent post. Get up on wrong side of the bed, Eric?
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:16 AM   #17
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The best place for a wood boat is in seawater under covered moorage.

Wood boats rot over years in the rain and sun. Covered moorage is a good investment for a wood boat. Not say'in sun and rain is good for FG boats either .. just not as bad.

The OP only mentioned the hull. Those that know wood boats know they basically go south from the top down. Rain is freshwater w no wood preservative known as salt. However salt is no friend to the many fasteners found on a wood boat. The best wood boats are fastened w bronze and/or monel, not SS. Like a FG boat painted w Awlgrip .. in the best category. But Poly and even oil based paint is excellent on wood if applied and maintained properly. Oil based paints are better on wood if given excellent wood prep and primered appropriately.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:21 AM   #18
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Your opinion Art and at least slightly acidic response.
But different opinions is what forums are all about.
Too bad the acid frequently comes with it.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:35 PM   #19
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Superior is in the eye of the sander......and caulker.....and plank fitter...and ...... all the way to bill payer.....

Well...... one gets the idea.....

Oh...and don't forget the rescue crew that comes after a plank has popped....
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:27 PM   #20
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"I figure that I spend about 200 hours each spring getting the boat ready for the season."

If woodwork is NOT your hobby , think what 200 hours of purchased labor will add to the annual bill.
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