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TOPIC: Wooden boat in the desert?

Wooden boat in the desert? 8 months 2 weeks ago #133917

  • kewpie79
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I know very little about wooden boats. I live in the desert in New Mexico and I have a chance to buy a pristine 1957 yellow jacket. My question is would the dry climate destroy the boat? It has a painted bottom. Is this the type of boat you have to soak before taking it out, or do anything else to before launching? Thanks for any info.

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Wooden boat in the desert? 8 months 2 weeks ago #133948

I may be wrong, but I believe Yellow Jackets are a plywood hull to make them lighter. My '59 Thompson is lapstrake made of Douglas Fir plywood. The advertised dry weight for my 17' hull is only about 800 #. That being said, plywood hulls do not need to be "soaked". The plywood will not expand and stop leaking. Plank bottomed boats, such as Centurys and Chris Crafts, on the other hand do need to be soaked to get the planks to swell. If a plywood boat leaks that means there is seam leaking, usually under the outer keel.
As long as the paint and finish is in good shape, the dry climate should not hurt the boat. In fact, it probably is good for it by pretty much eliminating the possibility of standing water and rot.
I assume someone else will pipe in if I am wrong.

JMHO,
Bill

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Wooden boat in the desert? 8 months 1 week ago #133970

Yep Bill's right I believe the Yellow Jackets were ply so no problem there. Check the seems well and make sure there are/were no leaks or rot started. The dry climate should be fine. Go for it! ;)

Bob

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Wooden boat in the desert? 6 months 2 weeks ago #134683

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Seeing a boat in the dry deserts of New Mexico brings thoughts of the opening scenes of "Close Encounters". How did it get there?

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Wooden boat in the desert? 1 month 3 weeks ago #135777

  • JerryF
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On a historical note: Roy Rogers was a partner ( and vice president) of Yellow Jacket Boats. He raced them and used them for family boating.

JerryF

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Wooden boat in the desert? 1 month 3 weeks ago #135778

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I would shove 3M 5200 into all the seams. It's cheap and easy insurance. Do both sides of the keel, all along the chine and the transom. A big advantage of a plywood hull is that it has very few seams but even a plywood hull will shrink a little when dried out and open those few seams. The 5200 will seal the seams initially and ensure a super tight seam when the wood expands. It will also protect the plywood edge grain from soaking up too much water. Desert wood is thirsty.

Right after doing the seams, dunk the boat and let it stay in the water for a couple days. 5200 cures a lot faster when wet and the swelling wood will squeeze excess 5200 from the seams. If you can't dunk it and leave it, set a couple of those lawn sprinklers under her and let them run overnight. The result will be "tight as a frog's ass"...at that's watertight!

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"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
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Wooden boat in the desert? 1 month 3 weeks ago #135784

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Will that 5200 set up hard to a point where you could sand it smooth if I got sloppy with it? Would it sand similar to epoxy with fairing fillers so that you could fill in chips or ground cracks in bottom of fiberglass hulls where I won’t see it, but want to seal a chip where cloth might be exposed? Seems like this could be a faster and easier way from mixing up peanut butter epoxy. I sure like the wood advice and information!

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Wooden boat in the desert? 1 month 3 weeks ago #135785

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I would advise you to stay away from epoxy on a wooden boat. It has no "give" to it. 5200, being a rubber compound, allows for the slight movement that occurs when wooden boats flex during normal use. You can't really sand 5200 very well. When applying the 5200, shove as much into the cracks as will go, scrape away most of the excess with a putty knife and then immediately wipe off the rest with lacquer thinner. You'll be left with a clean hull with all the cracks neatly filled. After the 5200 has set up, you can paint the bottom.

For repairs on fiberglass boats, 5200 is useless. Best advice is to watch ACBS or U-tube videos showing how fiberglass dings and cracks are repaired, after which you'll know exactly what to buy and how to use it.
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Mentor to the unenlightened!

"Never allow logic to interfere with a boat purchase." - J. S. Hadley
"Vintage quality beats new junk every time." - J. S. Hadley
"Anything supposed to do two things does both of them half-assed." - J. S. Hadley
"Success makes...

Wooden boat in the desert? 1 month 3 weeks ago #135786

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Thanks! That’s just what I was looking for. And excellent work on that Lyman with slant 6 ... amazing attention to detail.

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