Wooden boats

share hints, tips and experiences
Ianphot
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:44 am
Location: United Kingdom

Post by Ianphot » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:34 am

Responding to a post in another thread about cost of ownership/restoration/sailing I'll put in my tuppenceworth! At the dinghy show I heard more "I wish" expressions from the viewers of wooden boats than on any of the plastic boat stands! Sailors admire the beauty of wood - when did you last see a beautiful rotomoulding! I heard a scientific lecture recently on "Why are flowers beautiful" which started me thinking - "why is wood beautiful" maybe I'll get an answer here.
As to the saving of old boats I think that there are several factors here 1 - storage, 2 - time, 3 - money, 4 - somewhere convenient to sail, 5 - partner permission, 6 - dedication/madness etc etc. I would love to take on another boat or two but my wooden boat lives outside and I have to dismantle fences etc to get her to my (uncovered) working space in the garden. Other half has vetoed the hanger I was designing for this purpose. Telling her it was an indoor games space for the grandchildren did not work - she found my sketch of two boats side by side under cover! So my next project is to find a retirement property with at least a double garage (will buy her the new Mini she needs as a distraction!) Cars are designed to be left outside anyway. Then I can join you guys and save a few more hulls.

Garry R
Posts: 856
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Chapel Allerton Somerset

Post by Garry R » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:14 pm

I think that you have the same retirement desires as I have - double garage and enough room to work. Preferably in an area where it is warm enough to glue and varnish (at least 7 months of the year), close to sailing which offers central access to Vintage events. In Aberdeen none of the criteria apply so will serve my time here and then shift!! As to why wood has the appeal - I think it's a natural affinity and satisfies a man's basic instinct. How many people slide their hand lovingly along a fibreglass boat? Watch them looking at a varnished wooden boat and folk seem to HAVE to touch it - a sensual thing I guess. Yep the plastics are practical but then we love fiddling around with our wooden ones so go with it.

Garry R
Posts: 856
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Chapel Allerton Somerset

Post by Garry R » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:52 pm

I think that you have the same retirement desires as I have - double garage and enough room to work. Preferably in an area where it is warm enough to glue and varnish (at least 7 months of the year), close to sailing which offers central access to Vintage events. In Aberdeen none of the criteria apply so will serve my time here and then shift!! As to why wood has the appeal - I think it's a natural affinity and satisfies a man's basic instinct. How many people slide their hand lovingly along a fibreglass boat? Watch them looking at a varnished wooden boat and folk seem to HAVE to touch it - a sensual thing I guess. Yep the plastics are practical but then we love fiddling around with our wooden ones so go with it.

charlespsmith
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Post by charlespsmith » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:05 pm

The thwart in my (second) old National 12 has just come up the most beautiful honey colour - it was lurking under all that old varnish. I guess the knees will be the same when I finally get through the toffee apple stuff. Who would not admire knees like that?

Cheers
Charles
Charles Smith

Alan Price
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:37 pm

Post by Alan Price » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:59 pm

Is that the National that has gone from next to the clubhouse in recent weeks, Charles?
Yep,you certainly cannot get knees like that on the NHS.Yours is a different sort of National Health Service, N12HS.

charlespsmith
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Post by charlespsmith » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:32 pm

Hi Alan

Yes and no. The one by the club house was (is) Pendle Witch. She is still at the club but the other (1713) has come home for the next bit of work. Means I can get a cuppa. Wonderful what our Health Service can do - especially now they I know which way the grain runs..

Cheers
Charles
Charles Smith

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3485
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Post by Ed » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:10 am

"Why is Wood Beautiful?"

The colour? The Texture? Because it comes from a living thing? Because it reveals the craftsmanship that made it? Because it looks 'old' and reminds of the past? Because it reflects quality and we know that it will/can last longer than most plastic boats? Because it is normally expensive? Because wooden boats are normally all a little different - even in one-design fleets like the Firefly. I could go on I am sure....

But although it is always heartening to hear those gasps of "Wow - look at that....!" I fear it won't be reflected in any growth in the number of wooden boats on the start line.

For one thing......cast your mind back....those people saying 'I wish...' What age were they? Simple fact is that most wooden boat owners are the wrong side of 40 and most people who admire them do so because it reminds them of their youth. Its simply that some of us spend our teen age years coveting toys that we couldn't afford and then spend the rest of our lives trying to get the things we could never afford at the time. For myself I have 7-9 (I forget) boats all from 50s-70s, I have 3 motorbikes all from 70s and I still listen to Led Zepplin on Vinyl. Although I do hear children gasp at wooden boats, it is normally out of surprise rather than admiration. I don't see many 20-30 year olds admiring wooden boats.

Next thing, when you heard those 'slightly older' blokes looking at the wooden boats and saying 'I wish' was it with a sigh of admiration for the wooden boats or a sigh of resolution because they know that now with family, responsibilities, modern life pressures......they simply do not have the time to look after a wooden boat, like they once did. It is again a sigh for a lost youth rather than a sigh about 'wood'.

Ah, look at the time, must dash.....toddler to feed, clothe and get to play-school....and have to turn over my 'Who' LP.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Ianphot
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:44 am
Location: United Kingdom

Post by Ianphot » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:24 am

I like Ed's response. Not so sure about the youth bit though - I've seen plenty of youngsters around the wooden boats at club open days and they need to touch the varnish too.
The vinyl is in the loft and I cannot find a wooden iPod anywhere! Now there's an idea for development - wooden laptop and matching accessories. - Ideal for sailing - you could make them float!

Garry R
Posts: 856
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Chapel Allerton Somerset

Post by Garry R » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:49 am

You are right about the youth of today looking at old boats and admiring them. But they want a Laser for some reason and of course Mum and Dad have the cash nowadays to buy it for them where I was expected to sail in Dad's Enterprise and still remember the clip round the ear for not keeping the jib in tight - social workers would have had a field day in Enterprise 7542!!! And if you ask those who think they have no time for restoration/maintenence - well ask them how much time thay spend watching mindless television. Or too expensive to maintain? How many ciggies a week do they smoke or bottles of wine. Sure, to get a boat from a wreck to sailing costs a bit but once there I really don't think it costs a fortune. It's all down to what you percieve as your priorities in life.

I like and agree with Ed's statement about reminding one of the past. I can't restore my body to that of yesteryear (it wasn't ever great anyhow) so might as well restore a boat or bike or car. Yes - nostalgia isn't what it used to be!!

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Post by Rupert » Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:57 am

Interesting this - I listen to old music, but on a CD player - I'm guessing this reflects my liking for updating old hulls to make them competitive with new ones. And downloadable music must be the equivelent of Rotomoulded boats? Very easy and cheap, but lacking in soul? And seeking out boats like Darings and Ghosts must be like trawling through jumblesales and 2nd hand shops for rare albums that no one else has ever heard of? This all seems closer than the boat/car comparsions?
Rupert

User avatar
Trevor C
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:54 pm
Location: United Kingdom, Kent

Post by Trevor C » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:30 am

<font face="Century Gothic"></font id="Century Gothic"><font size="2"></font id="size2"><font color="blue"></font id="blue">With J9 awaiting mast parts I went sailing, with my son, in an RS Feva. I have never sailed in this sort of dinghy and though they are far from pretty (in my view) it was easy to rig, fast and fun and I fully understand why a junior may prefer this to a Cadet or a mirror, wooden or not.

Talking of knees mine still ache from crouching and kneeling in the small gap between kicking strap and mast.
Uffa Fox Jolly Boat - J9
Mirror - 34359
Hornet - K140


Please see http://www.justgiving.com/160miles for my charity ride to Paris in May

Rupert
Posts: 6254
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Post by Rupert » Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:48 am

I'm too young to remember, but I expect when plywood boats like the Mirror came out, they were regarded by the "old timers" then much as we present day "old timers" regard boats like the Feva now, as (at best)fun but soul-less. In 40 years, I expect Rotomoulded boats will be looked back on with nostalgia by today's children. Especially as the oil to make them will have run out, and we will be back to clenched nails...
Rupert

User avatar
Steve
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 6:16 pm
Location: Bern, Switzerland
Contact:

Post by Steve » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:36 pm

Sadly, I'm not too young to remember looking down my nose at an early Mirror Dinghy and thinking 'I suppose that it's alright - but it's not a <b><i>real</i></b> boat'

Several years later I rather enjoyed racing one !

Steve
Steve Crook
Int. 12' Dinghy - NED486/SUI-4 - Einepyk

Garry R
Posts: 856
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:01 pm
Location: Chapel Allerton Somerset

Post by Garry R » Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:37 pm

If the oil has run out what will we use for varnish? By the way have you seen the price of copper on the world markets so maybe I should start stockpiling!!!!

User avatar
pegasus
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 9:36 pm
Location: Hampshire United Kingdom

Post by pegasus » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:13 pm

I (being a youngest (17)) love old wooden boats i guess the thing i find with most people my age is that they think wood means slow, although this was a few years ago my freinds dad used to race kayaks(k1) for england on inland water and he used to train in a carbon fibre one but would always race and often win in his custom made wooden K1 this was vv light had fast even when he raced carbon boats it would win i couldnt say if this was user related or not but i like to think that there a chance for wood to as fast as plastic and if i had the space time etc (like Ian said) i would have a wooden boat. but i would be like rupert i think and would want it to be as fast as it could be using modern ideas aswell as old ideas.

Greg
Pegasus 166(The Darkside) SOLD
Cherub 2646 Madge

Post Reply