Keep or sell?

m1taylor

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Here's my dilemma. I have a wooden 17ft yacht which I spent some time painting and varnishing. I like the boat but now am put off by two factors which make me doubt her and look with envy at the plastic ones. First after going in the water at the beginning of April, I am fed up now that she is still taking up - the magic sponge and bucket every week - I just can't be bothered with this. And then the quotes I have had for indoor winter storage vs outdoors are much much more expensive. So I am coming to the conclusion that I am not cut out for wooden boats after all. So should I go back to vulgar plastic where I belong, where there's no rot to worry about when the water's in the bilge, or any last minute persuations to carry on?
 

Parsonsheath

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Well, if you are worried about a little water now, just wait till you put her back next spring if you leave her dry in a shed all winter!

Seriously, if you cannot enjoy her then cut your losses and get something you can relax with, I am not being sarky, I spent many happy years with wood, then decided I would like head room below, the ability to leave my plastic and relax when I went back.and more time sailing.
It all boils down to what works for you at this time, no right or wrong.
 

Niander

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Why on earth do you need indoor winter storage ?

do what I'm doing at the mo

sealing every seam and stopping those leaks in the roof

and wooden boats like to be kept in the water then you wont need the magic sponge and bucket......
 

m1taylor

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So could I leave the boat in the water all winter, take her out for say a couple of weeks in the spring to do the anti-fouling, and touch up any paint etc? How does that compare to six months undercover out of the rain and damp though?
 

Niander

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So could I leave the boat in the water all winter, take her out for say a couple of weeks in the spring to do the anti-fouling, and touch up any paint etc?

A big yes!


How does that compare to six months undercover out of the rain and damp though?

I don't understand that bit?

Your hull opens up as it drys in shed ...not good!...but keep out the rain!...just seal/paint/ varnish/ oil deck/roof.
 

Peterduck

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If you still have water coming in after this time immersed, then it is no longer a question of 'taking up', it is a leak, pure and simple. If you need a sponge to get the water out, then it isn't a very bad leak, certainly not enough to threaten the bouyancy of the boat while unattended. Have a look at your expectations. Are you asking for a completely dry boat when a small puddle in the bottom won't matter? Does the boat have burden boards that you can stand on which will keep your feet off the bottom planking and out of any puddle that is there? It is often said that there are two kinds of boat owner; the 'sailors' and the 'builders'. The sailors like to sail all day, pack the boat up and head to the pub. The builders like to keep the boat looking smart, are inveterate 'improvers', and also go sailing when the weather is fine and the varnish is looking its best. A 'builder' will leave his boat regretfully, looking back and falling in love with it again. I speak here from experience. A sailor's mind is on the pub once he leaves the boat. There's a distinct difference in attitude. 'Sailors' enjoy plastic boats and 'builders' enjoy wooden boats. Do you know which you belong to? Working this out could help you to make the decision. I know that I am a 'builder' and could never be happy with a plastic boat, so I don't even think about them.
Peter.
 

ccscott49

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You have a leak! It's not just "taking up", find the leak, you then may be happy. Do not put it in a shed for the winter, if it's a planked hull. Leave it in the water, preferably or outside but dont let it dry out or you will have a leak, lots of leak!
 

Peterduck

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Firstly, identify where it is coming in from. Does the boat have a centreboard? These are frequent sources of leaks because they are stressed places. Secondly, how quickly is it coming in? Are we talking pints or gallons? It sounds like pints. What kind of construction is the hull; clinker, carvel, strip-planked, cold moulded, or something else? All of these factors will affect how you go about the repair. There is much that you can do before hauling her out of the water. Another thing that you can do is to let her fill up a bit [and only a bit; water is very heavy] before you pull her out of the water. Then when you lift her out observe where the water is coming out, because that is where it will have been going in. Please keep us informed of what you find.
Peter.
 

m1taylor

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Well it's clinker built (mahogany on oak ribs, with a teak keel). It is a lifting keel, and the water comes in along the plank adjoining the centreboard case. The Centre Board case is in good condition - no softness or rot. I went down to the boat this morning - she took in 1/4 of a bucket since last Saturday. The water oozes in very slowly - by capilliary action.
 

ccscott49

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!/4 of a bucket, in a week?? That's not a leak, thats a weep! Leave it until you come out of the water and do it then.
 
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I recently sailed on a new clinker-built wooden boat - larch on oak - where there were 'weeps' everywhere. Standing in the bows compartment on a bright day, one could see several lines of reflected daylight between the planks, each side, where the 'lands' hadn't quite happened.

The builder was adamant that 'she will take up', but with streams running down aft along the tops of the planks inside and three weeks later, the single electrical bilge pump was still running night and day. When the pump float switch failed, the 'little dribble here and there' was up over the boards in an hour.

What is to certain builders 'just a wooden-boat weep' is sometimes rather more than an inconvenience.

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