can lapstrake planked boats stay on shore for winter storage or more?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by urisvan, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. urisvan
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    Location: istanbul

    urisvan Senior Member

    hello,
    i intend to buy a second hand boat. i found a lapstrake planked folk boat.
    and i have a land near the sea that i can store it for long periods when i will not use it.
    i think it is not suitable for carvel planked hulls, because the boat shrinks if it stays too long on shore. and if you put it on the water without caulking it will sink.
    is it the same for lapstrake planked hulls?

    cheers
     
  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Yes in principle!
     
  3. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    There are several things you must do to prevent the wood from excessive drying. You should place the boat over dirt, the kind that doesn't pass water so easily. Something that grows grass well. A constant dampness is good for the hull.
    You should completely cover the boat. The sun can do a lot of damage, and wind can also excessively dry a wooden hull. If you cover it so that the cover encloses the area below the boat, all the better. Allow for a small amount of air flow, but not too much.
    You should also make sure the hull is well painted. Paint slows the process of moisture give and take. Bare wood shouldn't wait til spring.
    Finally, the bilge should be clean. When there's a storm, the winter cover can be blown off and no one but you will care if it does. It's up to you to go and inspect it. Rain water should not be allowed to enter the bilge, so cockpit drains should be checked for debris that would allow the cockpit to fill and flow into the cabin in case the cover gets damaged or blown off.
    Clean the bilge while the hull seams are tight, right before hauling if possible, not months later after the seams have opened some and the bilge debris has entered the seams from the inside. This will prevent problems down the line.
    Wood likes slow changes. Everything you do should work towards a slow exchange of moisture content. Good wood can deal with this slow change and usually, if the change isn't too extreme, such as years in a very dry climate, the wood will return to its original shape and condition. Narrow strakes do better than wide ones since the expansion/contraction limit is less. Garboards are widest so they need the most protection--- paint, sun/wind protection, and bilge inspection.
    Spend well on the cover. Plastic tarps are fine for fiberglass boats, but get a good acrylic tarp if you can, one that can stand some bad weather without tearing. Canvas is good too, but must be allowed to dry out on its own, which may be a problem if in contact with the ground.
     
  4. urisvan
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    urisvan Senior Member

    thanks
    how should i cover it? complety cover like a package, round the bottom, or the cover will be like a skirt
    should its keel touch the dirt, or damped ground?
    cheers
     
  5. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Hello, may I hack this thread to ask Alain (and others with hands-on experience) what is their opinion on epoxy-coated wooden boats' behaviour under the same conditions? Did you ever notice a formation of surface cracks or other indicators of wood shrinkage on hulls left unattended outside?
    I'm asking this because I've read and heard some claims about glassed boats' weather-resistance which sounded to me like quite over the top.
     
  6. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    You won't take advantage of the dirt unless you take the cover right down to the ground. Allow for some air gaps here and there, and an exit vent higher up as well.
     
  7. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    So much depends on glass thickness and type of wood. There's no doubt that wood can continue to "work" despite an epoxy or epoxy/glass sheathing.
    This is why it's not a good idea to epoxy-coat large chunks of solid wood, since you couldn't afford the incredible glass thickness required to keep it from distorting.
    Plywood should, if properly epoxy coated, weather like a fiberglass boat does. Fir plywood ought to be glassed as well due to it's hard/soft grain variation because the soft grain has many times the expansion potential of the hard grain, and there's no preventing it except to protect it behind a good 9 oz or so layer of glass.
    The problems are moisture exchange and heat/cold cycles, but with epoxy (completely sealing the wood both outside and within and every edge), it's temperature variation that's left to effect wood.
    For this reason, a tarp should be used to keep the boat protected from the direct rays of the sun. This does a lot of good where paints concerned too.
    Temperature variation can cause the wood joints to "telegraph" through the glass to the surface, but it's not a structural issue, just an aesthetic one. It's not too common either, mostly due to light glass being used, and most common when the wood isn't sealed with epoxy inside.
    The most important consideration of all is moisture exchange. I can't over-stress the need to seal the wood as near completely as possible if using epoxy.
    Light colors also help. Black absorbs far more heat than white, flat finishes more than glossy. You spend a lot on epoxy and glass and labor. Back-coat a plywood deck with epoxy before installing, edges too. Laminate together small pieces instead of big ones in a keel, for example, if sealing with epoxy.
     
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  8. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Great info, thank you very much!
     
  9. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Due to financial difficulties of a client, we left a 68´boat (well supported) on the hard for over 4 years in Turkey. It was only covered by a corrugated sheet roof (that made the ambient temperatures even worse). Apart from 1 vac. cleaning of the cockpit area every spring and autumn we did not touch anything (not even opened the wheelhouse). The engine was still in "ex factory" condition and no batteries installed. The vents and engine air intakes were lightly stuffed with polyester cotton to prevent insects from entering, that was all preparation made.
    After some 50 month the accommodation was pretty dusty but nothing else has shown any sign of wear and tear. The exterior was just rinsed, waxed and buffed and off she went.
    But of course that was a new boat and a wood epoxy laminated, not just a older vessel covered with goo and glass.

    Urisvan
    where around in Istanbul are you? Maybe I can assist you.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  10. urisvan
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    urisvan Senior Member

    yes. apex1, i am in istanbul.
    i would be very glad.
    looking forward to hear from you.

    ulas risvanoglu
     
  11. urisvan
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    urisvan Senior Member

    i was thinking that the thickness of the epoxy-glass laminate over the wood is not very important to correspond the strain of the wood shrinkage, because before that delamination occours between wood and epoxy-glass.
    maybe epoxy should be use as a water/damp barrier. and a thick epoxy-glass laminate can be a better barrier. these were what i believe and they can be wrong. i will be glad if you enlighten me.

    and what do mean by that sentence.

    regards

    ulas
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest


    where around in Istanbul are you?


    was my question............
    Istanbul is big.

    I´ll give you my phone # through PM.

    Richard
     
  13. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I don't understand your questions. I'm sorry.----- Alan
     
  14. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    I meant you do not get the greatest value of epoxy until you use its ability to slow down moisture changes. Epoxy is used to prevent immediate wetting and drying of the wood on the outside, but it also slows the exchange of ambient moisture, only possible if the entire piece is sealed in epoxy.
    It makes no sense to seal only the outside surface because wood can expand quite a bit (and also shrink quite a bit) by taking on or giving off moisture through inside surfaces too rapidly.
    The bond to epoxy can shear off against the outside surface if the piece has enough design flaws such as being too dimensionally large, of certain reactive species, of hardwood, and if not sealed on every surface.
    it follows then that one should tend to epoxy thinner and smaller pieces, of quarter-sawn wood, preferably softwood, and seal all surfaces.
     

  15. urisvan
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    urisvan Senior Member

    thanks a lot.

    and last question: which one is better; leave the boat on the water all the time or store it ashore in winter with a proper cover on it?

    regards
     
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