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Old 11-07-2015, 09:50 AM   #10
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City: Coupeville Wa.
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Pelorus
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 498
I've owned an old classic woodie, maintained another for years and repaired quite a few.

I agree with most of what the other's have said above.

I disagree that wood won't rot below the waterline in salt water. Simply not true. The wood will fail faster and more often from fresh water. But it does rot in salt water.

I also caution against Grand Banks woodies and Chris Craft woodies. In my opinion and after having worked on quite a few they are lightly built and not well built. Escpecially the Chris Crafts. Sure the joinery is beautiful, I'm talking about planking and framing. If you want a woodie take your time and learn the local boat building history. Lean which yards had a rep for good boat. Not just beautiful joinery, good solid, long lasting construction. The bones of the boat. Search out boats built by those yards, carvel planked, bronze fastened. Planks and frames as heavy as you can find. They're rare but they're out there.

In general avoid old wooden work boat conversions. They've mostly been "rode hard and put away wet".

As mentioned get a good wooden boat surveyor. A suggestion is find a good local well respected wood boat shipwright. There are very few left, and hire him to take a look and tell you what repairs the boat needs. Do not use the word survey, he'll run and hide. In a very short amount of time, far cheaper than a survey, you will know if the boat is worth surveying.

Unless you are fabulously wealthy bringing an old woodie back to life is a bank account killer. I learned that lesson personally the hard way.

If the boat is right for you and you are the right kind of boat owner there is nothing better than wood. Nothing. They have a beauty that fiberglass with wood joinery will never equal.

One final comment. If you want a varnished classic in all glorious beauty be prepared to spend a lot of time and money on the brightwork. It it's worth to you, then go ahead. I prefer painted finishes, easier to touch up and keep up.
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