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Old 04-13-2016, 12:16 PM   #1
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100 year old hull ?

there is a boat (YW# 1421-2897768) which I like - dry stack, keel cooled, new tanks (750 gal), DD not too fancy, with a very good price, but it was built in 1917. Can wood really last that long and still be good. There is no information as to fasteners, planking history ect. I would just be interested on comments as to age. Thanks
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:46 PM   #2
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There are many wood boats significantly older than 1917 still in service around the world. The key to longevity, as with any boat but probably more so in wood ones, is constant maintenance and repairs. Read $$$$.

Can the wood really last that long? Some of it can and will, but a lot of it gets replaced over the years.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:47 PM   #3
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USS Constitution.....

Old with great maintenance yes, old with less than spectacular maintenance, most likely no.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:57 PM   #4
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I was lucky to have had the use many years back, for a couple of seasons, of a 1903 Herreshoff Bar Harbor 31 (47' OA). She has had her ups and downs as far as maintenance goes, but she is still sailing today. She was fortunate to later have a wealthy owner who completely rebuilt her (including, but definitely not limited to, replacing 70+ frames, some of which I'm sorry to admit I'm sure that I was responsible for breaking. Ledge at 7 kts in a race). She is now owned by a local boatyard that has the skills and facilities to keep her up very nicely.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:35 PM   #5
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There are many halibut schooners still fishing the Gulf of Alaska more than 100 years old. Also a few hundred wood tugs on the West Coast. Most as liveaboards, but I know of a couple still working. At least hundreds of commercial fishing boats are wood and going on the ocean every day. My boat is wood 1942, almost all the hull is original. I keep rock salt or borate (a salt) in the bilge.
As long as bottom paint is kept up (no worms), salt water preserves wood. Old wood boats and ships were built with salt boxes along the top of the hull, between the ribs, under the deck. Filled with rock salt, condensation, deck leaks went thru the boxes, preserving the ribs and planking.
Fresh water and rain is the killer. When I sit in fw for extended times I double up the salt in the bilge.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:35 AM   #6
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If the wood is original, the type of wood also is a big factor. There are a couple of cedar hull boats in my area that are over 80 years old.

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Old 06-30-2016, 09:43 AM   #7
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Besides being eaten by worms the biggest danger to an old wooden boat is a lack of maint to keep it dry at all times.

Second big problem will be EZ to see,, Nail Sick.

The galvanising departs from the nail in time and they rust.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:28 AM   #8
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If it is still sound after all those years, then the wood it was made from was really good wood resisting rot. My own 1970 egg Harbor is quire old, but I repaired much of the hull since I got this in 1998, otherwise it would have been in a landfill.
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:03 AM   #9
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In the pnw there are hundreds of old wood plank boats. They require regular maintenance. The concern is there are not many yards that can cradle support the hull and or work on them. Its a lost art. The places that do are few and expensive. So make sure there is a yard in your area. Also salt water is best as it pickles the wook, fresh water rot them.
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Fill View Post
.... Its a lost art......
Not on the coast of Maine.

There are quite a number of boatyards and builders in Maine that have the craftsmen and expertise to not only maintain, but also to build new (which they are doing), traditional plank on frame or clinker boats of all sizes. And there are apprenticeship programs here keeping those skills alive.

The success of WoodenBoat Magazine and it's School is one attestation to the continuing worldwide interest in traditional boatbuilding and maintenance.
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Not on the coast of Maine.
It's not lost on the left coast either!

The good: check out the Adventress, built 1912. My (limited) time at the helm of that ship told me I was born century too late! Serious $$ have been spent on its preservation, and IMHO it was worth it.

The bad: check out the Western Flyer, Stienbeck's baja cruiser. When I walked that boat, all I saw was a pile timbers that should be book ends. 7 figure project seeking funding.

I think what you are looking at is somewhere in-between, not 7 figures, but it will be a massive labor of love, just be sure that is what you want to do with your life energy and resources. Some people wanna climb Everest, some people wanna resurrect old boats. Nothing wrong with either.

Get the best wood boat guy you know and trust to go over it with you before you pull the trigger.

Saludos
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:21 PM   #12
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Anyone familiar with using wild jack wood? The builders here in Asia use it for frame and planking both (India and Pakistan). They say it's second best, just behind teak. It's a tropical wood so I doubt that western hemisphere builders use it.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #13
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My parents only ever owned one boat. Built in 1923 in Hamilton On. It was a 24 foot, John L. Hacker design. Planks and seam battens were California Redwood on white oak frames. Plus, she was fasted with galvanized screws. Boat was 85 years old when it was sold and while the mahogany, transom decks and cabin were tired the hull planking was in very good shape. Keep in mind when the wood was new it was primed inside with all kinds of nasty lead paint [white & red].
Get a survey, chances are if the boat was going to fall apart that would have happened 50 years ago!
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