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Old 03-15-2018, 07:03 PM   #21
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The decision the OP is facing would be an easy one for me. I love wooden boats, but only so long as someone else owns and maintains it. I'd take the money from the insurance company and go shopping.


As beautiful as wooden boats are (and I've charted an old wood GB32) there's no way I would want to own one.
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:55 PM   #22
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At an objective level I`d say "take the money and run". Be comforted it is more likely someone else will re-engine it than part it.
On insuring if you keep it and re-engine,if it`s only an engine failure, and it`s fixed, insurance may be possible.If you find an insurer willing to look beyond the "write off/total loss", otherwise it`s a real problem. You need liability cover at least.
At a subjective level you love the boat and you like wood. Rot potential vs osmosis potential. If it`s your "forever" boat, you should keep it.
Sit down with pen and paper,or a screen. Write down the pluses and minuses of your options. An answer you are comfortable with should emerge.
My, my... you are optimistic!
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:57 PM   #23
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I'd take the money from the insurance company and go shopping.
And he'll still need a truckload of extra cash to make up the difference to get the same in plastic.

Timber boats aren't that bad once you stop treating them like French polished furniture and start treating them like a timber work boat or shed.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:16 PM   #24
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My past experience with wood boats is that owning one is like falling in love with a hooker.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:42 PM   #25
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My past experience with wood boats is that owning one is like falling in love with a hooker.

Did you treat it like fine furniture or treat it like a work boat?

Pleasure owners tend to spend an inordinate amount of money keeping them looking pretty.
Commercial operators get them in quick and earning money.
Cosmetics cost a fortune and don't make the boat work any better or be any more seaworthy.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:42 PM   #26
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My past experience with wood boats is that owning one is like falling in love with a hooker.
Ok, I'm keen to know, what's falling in love with a hooker like (besides owning a wood boat)?

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Old 03-15-2018, 09:57 PM   #27
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More wood?
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:35 PM   #28
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Falling in love with hooker or a wood boat, the same. Both a combination of ecstasy and heartbreak!

I will add that is gets more difficult to make them look pretty the older they get.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:40 PM   #29
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Considering that a timber boat will cost several hundreds of thousand less than its fiberglass equivalent I reckon there is more pain, aguish and years of life you will never get back earning that extra coin to purchase plastic.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:46 PM   #30
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Wood or fibreglass? Rot or osmosis? Now there`s a dilemma.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:45 PM   #31
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Considering that a timber boat will cost several hundreds of thousand less than its fiberglass equivalent I reckon there is more pain, aguish and years of life you will never get back earning that extra coin to purchase plastic.
Simi, my brother has a place on Lake Huron and for decades has longed for an old wood Chris Craft runabout. He's even cheaper than I am and that is why he doesn't own one.

He teases me about my Tupperware boat but I tell him "That's OK, because while you would be spending your summers refinishing the beautiful mahogany in your popsicle stick boat I'll be out cruising around in my Tupperware boat."

I don't spend anywhere near a fortune every year keeping my plastic boat in tip top shape and it always looks good. I must admit that she's looking a bit long in the tooth. She's ready for her every-other-year wax job. Sorry.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:47 PM   #32
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Wood or fibreglass? Rot or osmosis? Now there`s a dilemma.
You forgot steel and rust and aluminium and electrolysis.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:54 PM   #33
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He teases me about my Tupperware boat but I tell him "That's OK, because while you would be spending your summers refinishing the beautiful mahogany in your popsicle stick boat I'll be out cruising around in my Tupperware boat."
Read my earlier comment about not treating it like a furniture piece and treating it like a work boat.
The only varnish or exposed timberwork on ours is in the same place it is on yours, inside and out of the weather.
Ours had varnished timber on the outer, it is now painted in solid colours - see you again in 5 years or more.

Whilst I agree that a fiberglass boat most likely will have less maintenance the difference in the initial cost of purchase can possibly buy a lifetime of timber boat maintenance.


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I don't spend anywhere near a fortune every year keeping my plastic boat in tip top shape and it always looks good. I must admit that she's looking a bit long in the tooth. She's ready for her every-other-year wax job.
Your tin shed berth and every other year wax job will probably cost more than my maintenance costs for several years living aboard.

Just a berth here is over $1000/mth
Tin roofed ones are non existent but if they were available they'd probably be double, so $25,000/year.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:35 PM   #34
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And he'll still need a truckload of extra cash to make up the difference to get the same in plastic.

Timber boats aren't that bad once you stop treating them like French polished furniture and start treating them like a timber work boat or shed.
I agree with the above whole heartedly.

In my opinion the scuttle butte about how much work wood boats take is over blown. Its true that a wood boat will absorb as much work as you want to put in to it - but thats not the same thing as saying it needs all that work. I think the ride of the wooden GB's are much nicer than those of fiberglass to be honest as is the silence of the hull while sitting in the birth. Besides - wood is beautiful and fiberglass is just... well its fiberglass. What can i say.
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:48 PM   #35
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yeah, after decades of watching wood boats sink because they DONT get the maintenance they need...
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:18 PM   #36
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yeah, after decades of watching wood boats sink because they DONT get the maintenance they need...
Through hulls and stern glands can fail on plastic, steel and alloy boats as well.

I can show several fiberglass boats in the harbour near us where the pumps come on every hour or two.
I have a counter on ours and they come on once a week or longer and only after we have done some miles.

As for seams, sure they take some extra but easily picked up on when the regular antifouling is done.
The extra hours required on seams last slip would had been 3 hours on a 60fter
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:30 PM   #37
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Through hulls and stern glands can fail on plastic, steel and alloy boats as well.

I can show several fiberglass boats in the harbour near us where the pumps come on every hour or two.
I have a counter on ours and they come on once a week or longer and only after we have one some miles.

As for seams, sure they take some extra but easily picked up on when the regular antifouling is done.
The extra hours required on seams last slip would had been 3 hours on a 60fter
His point is still valid though, that there are proportionately far more sunken wooden boats around than glass, steel and aluminum. On the lake we saw them regularly. Here on the coast, not so much, but have seen a couple.

I'm not demeaning wooden boats but it's a reasonable concern and an area to be cognizant of. Wooden boats aren't for me, I've got more than enough wood on decks, but they're beautiful when properly maintained. However, that takes the level of maintenance you find excessive.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:39 PM   #38
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His point is still valid though, that there are proportionately far more sunken wooden boats around than glass, steel and aluminum. On the lake we saw them regularly. Here on the coast, not so much, but have seen a couple.
Perhaps because back in the day there were far more wooden boats.
As wooden boats cost a fraction to buy compared to others, they are sometimes bought by people who wont even do the bare minimum of maintenance.
Some won't even have auto bilge pumps, batteries or solar to keep up charge.
Because of their low initial cost they are financially easier for people to walk away from.

I can take you to parts of the globe where steel boats litter the bottom.
Doesn't mean that steel boats are bad.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:57 PM   #39
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Not having a go at you here BandB but you come across as a shiney furniture piece type of wooden boat owner and as mentioned earlier, that is excessive cost and maintenance.

Actual working trawler/work boat finish is far easier.
Think of a fiberglass boat painted with industrial enamel and a roller vs one with the mirror finish done in awlgrip.
One is painted and back in the water being used while the other is still doing prep work.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:05 PM   #40
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Perhaps because back in the day there were far more wooden boats.
As wooden boats cost a fraction to buy compared to others, they are sometimes bought by people who wont even do the bare minimum of maintenance.
Some won't even have auto bilge pumps, batteries or solar to keep up charge.
Because of their low initial cost they are financially easier for people to walk away from.

I can take you to parts of the globe where steel boats litter the bottom.
Doesn't mean that steel boats are bad.
This is all true...

But miss one area of bad fasteners on haulout and the result is usually sudden death of a wood boat.

So maintenance or lack of is way more critical, workboat finish or not.
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