wooden boats in the winter

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by wsvoboda, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: California

    wsvoboda Junior Member

    I was wanting to move to the Maryland area and I wanted to know what wooden boat owners do to their boats in the winter if they are live-a-boards and also I am concerned about salinity levels.
     
  2. BKay
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Reedville, VA

    BKay Junior Member

    2 caveats: 1) I'm slightly south of that (VA) and I'm told those few miles make a difference. 2) I'm not a live aboard (but I have friends that are). Having said that: most of the guys I know continue to live aboard in winter and if there is a particularly cold night forcast, use bubblers to keep ice off the hull. We don't usually get enough of a freeze to be much of a problem - although some old timers always seem to remember when they could walk across the creeks on the ice. You definately have to winterize the engine and FW systems if you are not living aboard.

    I haul my boat for a couple months each winter (cold molded) but would probably keep her in the water if I lived close enough to touch her every day and night. I've seen a few commercial boats in my yard that haul for a couple months as well (these are usually wooden boats that are not worked through dead of winter)
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I've kept wooden boats with bubblers under in Canada with no problem
     
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    A wooden boat is arguably the best boat made for winter liveaboard.

    I've spent several winters aboard hauling firewood (the only source of heat for my wife and I) down to the boat.

    Wooden boats are the best ones for wintering over because they are so well insulated. Wood is an excellent insulator in the thickness you have on a wooden boat. Your boat will stay dry and cozy, but you must have the proper ventilation and/or dehumidifier if on shore power.

    Or course, you must winterize everything (as mentioned above) and hunker down for the winter. You'll want to put insulation up on any huge ports or pilot house windows to help keep heat in.

    The heat that you do produce, as a liveaboard, helps a lot with keeping any ice away, but ice rarely forms in any damaging quantity down south like that. It doesn't even form in Maine in many harbors. Depends a lot on the water flowing in and out with the tide.

    What is your concern with salinity levels?

    I've got about a million tips, so go ahead and fire away any specific questions you may have had. I've attached a picture of my cozy cabin, deep in winter in Maine. My wife and I lived on board year round for many winters.

    Also, see this link to a YouTube video of my dock.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S21gnXpaVc8
     

    Attached Files:

  5. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: California

    wsvoboda Junior Member

    Thank you all for responding so far, I have a 34 foot Sea Spirit, It's a Hugh Angleman design and was built in Yokahoma Japan in 1967 by Tokyo Yacht Works. The planking is 1/1/2 inches thich and made of mohogany and copper riveted and rowed. I need to find a way to put some pictures on this site for you folks. My consern for salinity was I hear wooden boats don't last as long in brachish water. Also when it rains I spread out rock salt all over the decks.
     
  6. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: California

    wsvoboda Junior Member

    1967 Sea Spirit

    some pictures of my wooden boat, Petrel a 1967 Sea Spirit
     

    Attached Files:

  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I'm a little out of my depth commenting on wood, but I do believe you are mistaken about wood and salt water.

    Wood is one of the most durable materials you can find for standing up to salt water. It is *fresh water* that destroys wood. That's why you put the salt on your deck, I suppose... to make it salty. That's what wood likes. The condensation I was mentioning dripping to your bilge in the winter... that is what will kill it, not the salt water.

    A wooden boat is at its best in cold, salty waters because those boring worms that eat away wooden boats down in the tropics don't exist up in MD.

    You'll be just fine.

    EDIT: Sorry, I see you are concerned with LOW salinity in brackish water. This could be a slight concern, but you simply have to see how brackish your proposed winter slip will be. In a lake way up through a lock and away from tidal waters? It'll freeze up around your boat in the winter and surely she'll be more subject to rot. In a marina just around the corner from the ocean? No problem with freezing or brackish water.
     
  8. BKay
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Reedville, VA

    BKay Junior Member

    wsvoboda,
    Beautiful, I see why you are concerned. The water in the bay may in fact be lower salinity than ocean water. But the wood boats here seem to rot from the top down, just like in ocean water.

    I've found a lot of expertise on Wooden Boat forum and there are a number of members there that have older vessels in the bay that can talk to any long term concerns about the level of salinity. But I'd be suprised if you find there is a problem.

    Good luck. BTW, where are you going?
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Not a problem wsvoboda. I grew up with wooden boats on the Chesapeake. Keep the ice off the waterline and the pilings. Build a decent winter cover for the deck , wheelhouse and cockpit to keep ice from deteriorating deck structures. We used canvas on wooden frames...shrink wrap plastic works great. Keep the boat well ventilated and follow normal marine system winterizing techniques. heat is not neccasary unless you plan to be a liveaboard.
     
  10. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    wsvoboda Junior Member

    BKay I am working hard at getting a job at NAS Pax River, I was an Aviation Ordnanceman in the Navy but the job I'm trying to get is a security position. I have sailed all over the west coast and now it's time to move east to sail around with all you folks and learn all about the history of that area. NAS Pax has Marina'a there and since I am retired Navy I will have no problem getting in So my boat would be in South Maryland, They also said there was no problem for me to be a liveaboard so I could take care of my baby :)
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  12. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    wsvoboda Junior Member

    Thank you Michael
     
  13. BKay
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Reedville, VA

    BKay Junior Member

    That's a great location; I know it well (retired Army). How are you getting her to the East Coast?

    BTW - I agree with Michael, there are some good resources in that area.
     
  14. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: California

    wsvoboda Junior Member

    Well if I get called for he job I will have to have her shipped, it's just a matter of finding a fair priced shipper I have heard anything from 6 to 10 thousand. One couple waited for a truck to deliver a boat out here to Alameda Ca, so he only charged them 6 grand to ship their boat to Maine. And If I had time which I dought that would happed I could cruise her down to Long Beach and put her on one of them ships that transport boats fully rigged
     

  15. wsvoboda
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: California

    wsvoboda Junior Member

    Oh By the way BKay thank you for serving your Country
     
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