Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst ... 23
Results 71 to 96 of 96

Thread: Marine Paint vs House Paint

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    Problem with this thread is that it muddles up latex vs. oil; alkyd enamel vs. polyurethanes, house vs. marine. The chemistry is far more important than the "house paint" label. The marine market is so limited that marine paints are sold and used as house paint. All the chemistries vary in quality, so the "marine" vs. "house" label is more or less meaningless. We use a lot of traditional enamel, rather than polyurethane, due to the problems we have had with the latter. The company that makes the enamel sells most of its "marine" enamel to house painters, since enamel is pretty scarce these days to begin with. As a boat finish, all chemistries have some advantages and some disadvantages. Quality can also be a bit difficult to determine, although the popular marine brands generally are superior, but you don't always get what you pay for.
    Quite true!

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,025

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    I'm afraid you're missing the point, Tom. Imagine if this used to be a small, relatively esoteric forum for classical musicians, luthiers, and composers, and, over time, more than three quarters of the posts came to be by people playing jug band music in their garages who were interested in making washtub and broom handle basses and cigar box ukuleles, thought the Stradivarii belonged in museums, and got all defensive about the inferiority of their instruments. It's all music, but it's interesting how it's always the those at the bottom of the food chain who complain about value judgments.

    That said, I doubt WoodenBoat Magazine would exist today if it had not "dumbed down" its content to appeal to a wider audience, but it's like watching Fine Woodworking evolving into Popular Woodworking.
    Bob,

    I do have some sympathy for that view, so I haven't missed the point entirely. That said, I doubt I would have ever gotten involved in boat building if it were not for modern materials and techniques--which may yet lead me to a traditional build someday. And your hyperbolic comparisons equating modern wooden boat designs to "broom handle basses and cigar box ukeleles" and comments about "dumbing down" seem designed to cause complaints about value judgments. Judge values, but judge them accurately and objectively. You might be surprised how willing people would be to accept value judgments if they're not immediately seen as biased and reactionary. I for one would love to learn more from you and other experienced posters, but you sometimes seem to enjoy insulting builders like me as much as you do educating them.

    And you haven't missed my point, either--I think you're exactly right that WoodenBoat would not exist if it had stuck to a purist carvel/lapstrake only stance. In which case there'd be no Forum at all. So would you rather have a Forum where we're all free to post? Or would you rather have none at all?

    But I will take issue with this:

    got all defensive about the inferiority of their instruments
    Modern wood-epoxy designs are not inherently inferior to carvel or lapstrake boats. In many ways, the use of modern materials offers real advantages, among them the ability to live on a trailer without drying out, and greater availability of quality planking stock (i.e. plywood) for those who don't have access to custom mills and clear vertical-grained timber. So, is an Iain Oughtred design, or a Ross Lillistone design, or a John Welsford design, an "inferior instrument?" No way. Just ain't true.

    Is it easier to build one these days than it was to build a similar boat with carvel or lapstrake? I think that's probably true. Is that a bad thing? I'm less sure about that.

    And that said, I don't use a GPS because I think it "dumbs down" navigation and causes the loss of skills that used to be accepted as necessary. So I do understand and sympathize with your perspective about building techniques. I'm not saying you're wrong, in other words--but we are stuck with the world as it is. And it isn't all caulking and riveting and spiling anymore, anymore than it's all backstaffs and astrolabes.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    21,595

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    Imagine if this used to be a small, relatively esoteric forum for classical musicians, luthiers, and composers, and, over time, more than three quarters of the posts came to be by people playing jug band music in their garages who were interested in making washtub and broom handle basses and cigar box ukuleles, thought the Stradivarii belonged in museums, and got all defensive about the inferiority of their instruments. It's all music, but it's interesting how it's always the those at the bottom of the food chain who complain about value judgments.
    .
    And then imagine if there were no music...

    Somedays the acerbic curmudeons can just make it go away, never to return.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    15,601

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    And then imagine if there were no music...

    Somedays the acerbic curmudeons can just make it go away, never to return.
    I don’t post my “boat” building here, anymore. Won’t, again, either.

    Peace,
    Robert

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    lagunitas, ca, usa
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    And then imagine if there were no music ....
    If Hong Kong pop is included in that ... hmmm ....

    @Rob - toughen up, buddy. You're better than the melting snowflake act.

    Back on-topic, I use Rustoleum (Hunter Green in particular) 'cuz that's what she came with. And I can get it at Tru-Value Overpriced Hardware Stores. And the Dollar Store has brushes. But we don't got no pretensions of pretty, what with the tires front and rear and all ...

    We had a grey whale in the marina today. I still can't believe it. Looked like his finish was none too good, either. Probably house paint
    Last edited by Favorite; 12-08-2018 at 02:51 AM.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    15,601

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite View Post
    If Hong Kong pop is included in that ... hmmm ....

    @Rob - toughen up, buddy. You're better than the melting snowflake act.

    Back on-topic, I use Rustoleum (Hunter Green in particular) 'cuz that's what she came with. And I can get it at Tru-Value Overpriced Hardware Stores. And the Dollar Store has brushes. But we don't got no pretensions of pretty, what with the tires front and rear and all ...

    We had a grey whale in the marina today. I still can't believe it. Looked like his finish was none too good, either. Probably house paint
    Melting snowflake, eh?

    Thanks for proving my point.

    Peace,
    Robert

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    So I've volunteered to strip and refinish 16 oars that ride along in the 8 MITA skiffs. All 9 footers. These oars ride along in skiffs all summer long tucked under aluminum struts and are mostly used reversed as poles. Maybe used as designed about half a dozen times in twenty yearsHalf were originally painted gray the other half bright. Paint peeling off, lots of black wood under the clear. I'll look around my paint bits and I may have enough gray to repaint the gray but may need to go out to get some more. Unless I can come up with a good reason not to, the bright ones will get paint as well. Totally industrial object here. Next refinish job probably when the paint starts falling off again. So if I need to buy more what should it be? House or "marine" ( my bits are marine) Water based or oil? ( I won't mix them.) If I was doing bright I'd be inclined to use something like Sea Gold which can be recoated without sanding and stripping if not let go. This ain't pretty, just going for industrial. If I was starting from scratch I would have oiled them to make it easy to recoat each year.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Tom, I think we agree about more than you might imagine.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Bob,

    ... I doubt I would have ever gotten involved in boat building if it were not for modern materials and techniques--which may yet lead me to a traditional build someday.
    That's true for many people, particularly younger folks. The issue here, however, is one which has had its genesis in the internet's "anybody can post anything" culture: People who lack experience and education expressing opinions about things they know relatively little about in forums where the experience and educational level spans a broad spectrum from total ignorance to highly authoritative. The "information filters" we used to have don't exist on the internet. There are no editors or publishers to decide what is fit to print. There is no "peer review." What ends up on line is whatever spews from the "great unwashed." Look what this has done to the very fabric of our democracy in the US and throughout the world. There's no need to get political about it, though. We need look no farther than the "Wooden Boat Forum" Facebook page to see the phenomenon in action. Dozens of responses to simple questions about wooden boat maintenance and repair posted by people who obviously don't know anything about what they are talking about. How many people have come to grief following really useless information. How to paint a wooden boat isn't an issue that is best decided by a referendum of the unqualified.

    Most all of us have gained what experience we have over the period of time we've been "messing around in boats." Most started out with little or no knowledge and built on that with the mentoring of more experienced craftsmen. The problem with "modern materials and techniques," is exactly as you've noted: without them a lot of people wouldn't ever have gotten involved with boats... and that imparts a false sense of competence and experience that deters developing broader skills and greater experience. I don't begrudge the manufacturers and designers of "manufactured wood" boats their "rice bowls," but there's no denying the fact that on many levels, the products of their labors are limited by the materials they employ.

    And your hyperbolic comparisons equating modern wooden boat designs to "broom handle basses and cigar box ukeleles" and comments about "dumbing down" seem designed to cause complaints about value judgments. Judge values, but judge them accurately and objectively. You might be surprised how willing people would be to accept value judgments if they're not immediately seen as biased and reactionary. I for one would love to learn more from you and other experienced posters, but you sometimes seem to enjoy insulting builders like me as much as you do educating them.
    Well, I'll have to confess to being a bit edgy at times, but judge that in the context of the twenty years or so of watching the phenomenon of the "resin encapsulated manufactured wood" boatbuilding evolve on this forum. I don't give a damn what somebody else paints their boat with, but it raises my hackles when I hear people strongly advocating inferior practices and materials and denigrating well-established practices and materials in defense of the former. Anybody can paint their boat with anything, but if they ask what to paint it with, there is a narrow spectrum of "best practices" answers and anything else is not the "best practice." As the man says, you have a right to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. As a matter of my own opinion, in terms of extremes, comparing a stitch-n-glue plywood skiff to a cigar box ukulele and, say, a well done traditionally built Rozinante to a Stradavarius violin is a fair comparison. There's lots of gradations of quality between the two and that's a matter of opinion, but in overall terms, design and craftsmanship being equal, the boat built of manufactured sheet goods and plastic resin adhesives and sheathing is never, ever, going to be of the same quality and value as a traditionally built boat. I do believe that the sales market has consistently proven this to be indisputably true, at least since I first sold boats in a brokerage that specialized in classic wooden boats over forty years ago.

    And you haven't missed my point, either--I think you're exactly right that WoodenBoat would not exist if it had stuck to a purist carvel/lapstrake only stance. In which case there'd be no Forum at all. So would you rather have a Forum where we're all free to post? Or would you rather have none at all?
    "Would I rather have a whore for a mother than no mother at all?" I think there's a middle ground, but, no differently than the designers and materials manufacturers that cater to the lower end of the market, I can't complain. It's entirely up to the editors at WB what direction they take with their magazine. Truth be told, there is only so much that can be written about traditional boatbuilding and its associated crafts before it gets repetitiously boring. It's a relatively finite topic. When WB Magazine was first published, we never thought it would last more than a few issues because the subject matter had such a limited audience of wooden boat owners in the days when fiberglass was king. Their timing was right, though, as a "wooden boat renaissance" developed, proof again that the traditional methods and materials which evolved over hundreds of years had staying power.

    "Should everyone be free to post?" Sure, and everyone should be free to tell them when their head is up their ass, too. Those are the rules if they want to run with the big dogs. There's entirely too much pussyfooting around on the internet. I'd rather see the internet like a neighborhood bar where "anything you say can and will be held against you." There's nothing worse that the pathetic fools of internet-dom who snivel and whine when anybody calls them on something stupid they said. "There's no right or wrong. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion." Yea, right!

    ... Modern wood-epoxy designs are not inherently inferior to carvel or lapstrake boats. In many ways, the use of modern materials offers real advantages, among them the ability to live on a trailer without drying out, and greater availability of quality planking stock (i.e. plywood) for those who don't have access to custom mills and clear vertical-grained timber. So, is an Iain Oughtred design, or a Ross Lillistone design, or a John Welsford design, an "inferior instrument?" No way. Just ain't true.
    I'll pass on the Kool-Aid, Rev. Jones. Without getting bogged down in semantics, wood-epoxy, manufactured wood products, whatever... No, there's nothing inherently inferior to designs intended to be built with manufactured sheet products and plastic resins. However, excepting strip-planking, which is just another type of carvel, all designers of sheet wood boats are limited by the material's inability to take a compound curve. That is a very big limitation on the design of an entire class of boats. Take a moment to consider all the great classic designs otherwise available, many in the public domain and free of charge, which cannot be built out of plywood.

    I'll grant you that there may be some advantage to someone living in the middle of a desert if their wooden boat doesn't need to take up a bit before it's used, but the challenges of building a watertight hull out of pieces of grown wood, including those that spent most of their time hauled out of the water, were solved thousands of years ago. If it's that big of a problem for a person who trailers their boat, they are best advised to get a boat whose parts don't shrink and swell. There are many suitable fiberglass and metal options on the market. If they still prefer a plywood and plastic resin boat, that's fine, but that comes at the cost of simply having a boat that is made out of plywood, with all the limitations attendant to that.

    Bemoaning "the lack of availability of quality planking stock" in support of plywood boats is not only a shopworn excuse, but also one that is pure BS. Traditional boat builders have bemoaned the shortage of "quality planking stock" since boats starting being built. It's tradition. There is plenty of good boatbuilding wood available today. Perhaps even more than in times past. You won't find it in your local Big Box hardware store though, any more than your grandfather would have found it at his local lumberyard. Being what it is, lumber sawn for boatbuilding has always been at a premium because of the labor involved in milling it. That said, as we speak, the trees keep growing and growing. Contrary to the "you get what you pay for" maxim, grown boatbuilding wood is in many cases far less expensive than plywood.

    Continued below:
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 12-09-2018 at 06:01 PM.

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Continued:

    Is it easier to build one these days than it was to build a similar boat with carvel or lapstrake? I think that's probably true. Is that a bad thing? I'm less sure about that.
    Well, given their generally abbreviated lifespans, I don't worry about how many "modern material" boats are built. Anybody who wants to build something that floats is a good thing in my book. My complaints are focused on those who do the job poorly and feel justified with mediocrity or less. As for whether it is easier or not, the answer depends on the boat's design and level of detail and finish. By all indications, the use of plywood and plastic resins is as much, if not more work, than traditional construction. It makes no sense to me to cut up 4'X8' sheets of expensive marine plywood and scarf it into a poor imitation of far less expensive solid wood plank just as it comes of the tree, particularly with all the waste involved. I'd rather plane plank edges all day long than work epoxy into fabric over a boat bottom. I'd rather fair a carvel planked hull over a epoxy resin sheathed hull any day of the week and, as for lapstrake planking, there's no such fairing needed at all. I don't count learning the skills to do something well as part of "how easy it is to build," though. On the other hand, if "easier" means "Can I build it with nothing but a Skilsaw and a disk grinder, the plywood might pose something of an advantage, although I've seen some good plankers do amazing things getting out plank with a Skilsaw.

    In a way, building a good boat is like mountain climbing. Getting there is an integral part of the exercise. The plywood boat builder is like the mountain climber who charters a helicopter to bring him to a base camp a mile from the summit and then hikes the rest of the way up. Did he "climb Everest?" Well, yeah, but Hillary he ain't.

    And that said, I don't use a GPS because I think it "dumbs down" navigation and causes the loss of skills that used to be accepted as necessary. So I do understand and sympathize with your perspective about building techniques. I'm not saying you're wrong, in other words--but we are stuck with the world as it is. And it isn't all caulking and riveting and spiling anymore, anymore than it's all backstaffs and astrolabes.
    Tom
    Good for you! It seems you get it. Being "stuck with the world as it is" doesn't mean we can't change the way it is. What I take issue with is the attitude that "as it is" is "as good as it gets." One is always free to cut corners and reach a goal with less trouble than otherwise, but, like the First Law of Thermodynamics, such "savings" always come with a price which, in the end, is at best a wash. I love the GPS system on my smart phone and in my vehicles. There's nothing better for getting somewhere I haven't been before without having to even read a map, let alone have one handy. You won't hear me taking credit from being a navigator on that account, though, nor will I post internet answers on the best way to get somewhere as if I knew where I was going. What you hear me complain about are the people who express opinions about gourmet cooking when their credentials are based solely on putting a TV dinner in the microwave.

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,025

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Bob,

    I don't disagree with much of what you posted above--I think you're correct that we agree on a lot--and I've long regarded you as one of the most knowledgeable posters on the WBF. So, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I do think you're overstating the disadvantages of plywood a little bit. After all, plywood lapstrake can be used to create some very shapely and sophisticated hulls, despite the limitations of sheet materials.

    And a quibble about "best practices" while I'm at it. An intelligent person might argue that the "best" solution is the one that provides the necessary performance most efficiently. If I need to build a footbridge, it's not "better" if I build it strongly enough to support the weight of a 10-ton truck. Any extra resources I put into building that bridge to meet the 10-ton limit is wasted. So, if a latex enamel paint protects your boat well--and I can assure you that my experience proves this can be so--then aiming for some theoretical gold standard used by professionals is over-engineering. It's a less efficient solution. And a less elegant one.

    The "easy" bit is interesting. You are saying carvel is no more difficult--once you have the skills. Would you say it's as easy to learn those skills as it is to learn how to build with plywood lapstrake? (That's an honest question, not trying to argue one way or the other).

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  11. #81
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Nice to see a positive exchange of views. Seems rare these days on the internet

    Cheers,
    Mark

  12. #82
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Spring City, TN, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Bob Cleek and WI-Tom....superb civil and interesting discussion here.

  13. #83
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Bob,

    I don't disagree with much of what you posted above--I think you're correct that we agree on a lot--and I've long regarded you as one of the most knowledgeable posters on the WBF. So, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I do think you're overstating the disadvantages of plywood a little bit. After all, plywood lapstrake can be used to create some very shapely and sophisticated hulls, despite the limitations of sheet materials.

    And a quibble about "best practices" while I'm at it. An intelligent person might argue that the "best" solution is the one that provides the necessary performance most efficiently. If I need to build a footbridge, it's not "better" if I build it strongly enough to support the weight of a 10-ton truck. Any extra resources I put into building that bridge to meet the 10-ton limit is wasted. So, if a latex enamel paint protects your boat well--and I can assure you that my experience proves this can be so--then aiming for some theoretical gold standard used by professionals is over-engineering. It's a less efficient solution. And a less elegant one.

    The "easy" bit is interesting. You are saying carvel is no more difficult--once you have the skills. Would you say it's as easy to learn those skills as it is to learn how to build with plywood lapstrake? (That's an honest question, not trying to argue one way or the other).

    Tom
    I fully agree that "good enough" is often just that, so long as one doesn't fool themselves into thinking it's anything more than that. Water-based house paint may be fine for a boat that's stored indoors and only gets occasional use. It's "good enough" for that, but to say that there is never any point in spending money on marine paint and varnish on that basis isn't correct.

    As for planking with natural wood versus plywood, I think that natural wood is much easier. Planing edges, grown wood or plywood? No comparison. Planing lapstrake gains? No comparison. Planing scarfs? No comparison. Dust and mess? Obnoxious fumes and dangerous chemicals? Both methods pose similar issues, but plywood and epoxy much more so. Plane shavings versus chips and adhesive dust? No comparison. Handling materials? Wrestling a 4x8 sheet versus rough planks. No comparison. Checking and delamination problems, epoxy sheathing? No comparison. Fairing a curved hull without sanding through veneers? No comparison. Repairs and plank replacement? No comparison. Compound curves? Not even in the same zip code.

    No question that traditional planking requires different skills, but they are not rocket science. There are many "tricks of the trade" in spiling a plank, but all are easy and thoroughly explained in all the books. If you can use a compass and a straightedge, you're pretty much good to go. An "Ikea boat," packed in a kit with laser-cut parts will enable the average person capable of following "insert flap A in slot B" instructions to assemble a simple boat. That's fine, but then they enter the world of the dreaded "amine blush," "bubbles in my resin," "my epoxy won't cure!" etc., etc. etc. and end up having to learn all about plastic resin technology anyway. Sheet-material often requires more spiling than grown wood construction. In the case of cold molding, three or four times as much spiling as grown wood. There's great satisfaction in learning any craft anyway. One of my favorite quotes was Pete Culler's encouragement, "Experience starts when you begin." Traditional boatbuilding should not be intimidating. It's just like music, though. It's better to master your instrument before you start trying to improvise. It seems many people focus on "getting it done," over "getting there." It's a process. If they don't want to expend the effort learning, those who often say, "I want to get out on the water, not spend my life building a boat." that's fine, but they should then buy a good boat, rather than wasting their time trying to build one. There's no shame in that at all.

    Yes, it does take some effort to source good planking stock, but it is by no means extremely difficult. If someone lives where trees don't grow, that's not the trees' fault. They just have to haul their wood farther. Unless you want to go full-out "Neanderthal," building with grown stock does require a thickness planer and a bandsaw for maximum efficiency in most instances, but where the contest between plywood and grown stock ceases to be even close is that grown stock frees both the designer and the builder from the limitations of shape (compound curves) and dimensioned material. That puts the boat designed for and built with grown wood in an entirely different class versus the boat build with dimensioned material that can only bend in one direction at a time. When one asks, "Which boat should I build?," their choices if building with plywood are far more limited than if they are building with grown wood.

    There are indeed shapely boats designed for plywood construction, notably the lapstrake planked models. They accomplish this by essentially cutting up plywood sheet and scarfing it together so it is shaped like planks that in traditional construction are cut straight out of the tree. With plywood lapstrake, you have to "make your planking stock" before you are able shape your planks. That takes more expense for the plywood, and the wasted offcuts, and the epoxy to glue the scarfs, and so on.

    Finally, construction with grown wood is generally much less expensive. Marine plywood is expensive and planking with it often generates a lot of expensive waste. Epoxy is good stuff for a lot of applications, but it is relatively expensive. For a small skiff, it becomes perhaps one of the most expensive items on the list.

    So, you pick your poison, as they say.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 12-10-2018 at 02:40 PM.

  14. #84
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Availability and figuring out what is needed is actually a major issue for amateur builders who have no access to sawmills or lumber yards that stock more than whitewood and pressure treated 2x4. On this coast for example, atlantic white cedar is now rare and you will spend considerable time bunging knots in what you do get.

    It's why John Gardner who figured that it was amateurs that would keep traditional building alive worked a lot of his designs into plywood and why he didn't take the next step on his traditional plans to figure out the amount and size of raw stock needed. He also assumed that an amateur builder would not have access to a planer and generally not to a band saw. Maybe a table saw was the only fixed base tool available. It is the work by designers who are working with readily accessible materials that are keeping amateur building alive. Certainly you can build mechanically fastened small boats; Joe Liener's ducker and melonseed both built in the 1950s were built with aircraft ply. He figured you needed to downsize it by a 1/16" to make up for the weight. So you really need to match your design to material availabily.

    BTW I love this thread drift; especially when there is a plywood thread living right next to it.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  15. #85
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    I agree with Bob on his last comment. I dislike working with plywood and epoxy. I will say that it does seem difficult to find boat lumber - look at Leo and the Tally Ho trucking the live oak flitches across the country. This is one reason we decided to build in steel, along with our fresh water location (great lakes) and the desire to have a boat that can freeze in over winter. The nice thing about metal is the consistency - it doesn't depend on user application of goop and glass.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  16. #86
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    South Australia and Tasmania
    Posts
    16,012

    Default

    But would you paint your steel boat with house paint?

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  17. #87
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    Availability and figuring out what is needed is actually a major issue for amateur builders who have no access to sawmills or lumber yards that stock more than whitewood and pressure treated 2x4. On this coast for example, atlantic white cedar is now rare and you will spend considerable time bunging knots in what you do get.

    It's why John Gardner who figured that it was amateurs that would keep traditional building alive worked a lot of his designs into plywood and why he didn't take the next step on his traditional plans to figure out the amount and size of raw stock needed. He also assumed that an amateur builder would not have access to a planer and generally not to a band saw. Maybe a table saw was the only fixed base tool available. It is the work by designers who are working with readily accessible materials that are keeping amateur building alive. Certainly you can build mechanically fastened small boats; Joe Liener's ducker and melonseed both built in the 1950s were built with aircraft ply. He figured you needed to downsize it by a 1/16" to make up for the weight. So you really need to match your design to material availabily.

    BTW I love this thread drift; especially when there is a plywood thread living right next to it.

    "Figuring out what is needed" shouldn't be a major issue for amateur builders who can add up what is required. There are many "rule of thumb" formulas for doing so, as well. And, if you order too much, most yards will take back excess for a refund less, perhaps, a small restocking charge.

    I have a hard time believing that finding acceptable boatbuilding wood is a problem in Maine. Some favored species may not be as available as in the past, but the selection is rather wide. If you can't get one, you can almost always find another. Do you still have larch (tamarack) up there these days? Trust me, if you look around, you should have no problem sourcing good boatbuilding wood in Maine. Find a local boat yard or boatbuilder who works on wooden boats and find out where they are getting theirs. They have to be getting it from somewhere. If you don't want to spring for a "lunchbox" planer, find somebody who's got one and bring them a bottle of the good stuff and have them help you do it with their planer. (Before you crack open the bottle, for safety's sake.

    John Gardner, bless him, probably was well aware of the fact that at the time he wrote his books, at the height of the "fiberglass craze," nobody was building wooden boats. His "translation" of traditional designs for plywood construction insured that somebody would read his books. Trust me. I've been in and around the business for over forty years. It wasn't amateur builders that kept traditional wooden boatbuilding alive. As it was and always has been, the very wealthy people with good taste who demand the best and are able and willing to pay the big bucks to commission the building of beautiful, impressive floating works art professionally built, maintained, and restored, who have kept traditional wooden boatbuilding alive and well. All of the great yacht designers and naval architects of the Twentieth Century, the Herreshoffs, the Aldens, the Stevenses, and the rest, designed the vast majority of their masterpieces for a very wealthy clientele. Even when they ostensibly designed "sensible cruising designs" "for the ordinary yachtsman," like LFH's H-28and Rozinante, don't kid yourself, few of us making what we would have made back in the day would have been able to afford them either!
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 12-11-2018 at 01:57 AM.

  18. #88
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark0 View Post
    I agree with Bob on his last comment. I dislike working with plywood and epoxy. I will say that it does seem difficult to find boat lumber - look at Leo and the Tally Ho trucking the live oak flitches across the country. This is one reason we decided to build in steel, along with our fresh water location (great lakes) and the desire to have a boat that can freeze in over winter. The nice thing about metal is the consistency - it doesn't depend on user application of goop and glass.

    Cheers,
    Mark
    I say this to encourage people. It drives me nuts when I hear it said repeatedly that "you can't find good boatbuilding wood anymore" as an excuse for building in plywood. That's just not true. Boatbuilding wood has always been a specialty item. It's always had to be found. I really don't know anybody who has ever built a good traditional wooden boat who bought their wood at Home Depot. Today, with the internet, there is just no excuse. There are lots of specialty lumberyards, mills, and independent sawyers with portable chainsaw mills selling wholesale quantities of boatbuilding wood of all sorts of different species. Granted, you may have to pay shipping if you live in Kansas with a hundred miles of wheat fields in all directions, but if that's the case, what the hell do you need a boat for, anyway?

    I live in the SF Bay Area. Good professional wooden boat builders I've known hereabouts generally buy a load of good wood whenever they find the opportunity and set it aside to dry. Even with a one-off build, they'll drive five or seven hundred miles up the coast with a flatbed trailer behind their pickup to buy a hand-picked load of Yellow Cedar or other boatbuilding wood from a mill or sawyer in Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia for a fraction of what it would cost if they tried to buy it retail in small quantities from the few local "hobby" lumberyards selling less common species. We have a non-profit educational historic site that operates the last large timber steam powered sawmill in the state about ten miles from my house in Sonoma County. They cut old growth redwood and Doug fir, most from trees downed in storms which are donated to them to saw for demonstration purposes. They sell the milled lumber to support the non-profit historic mill site. They are happy to saw vertical grain old growth Doug fir, even large beams for keel timbers, for incredibly reasonable prices, if you are willing to give them the time to do it as part of their demonstrations when the mill is operating. Their prices are an incredible bargain. That's how it's done. That's how it's always been done.

    It only is difficult to find boat lumber if you don't know where to look and what to use. Live oak is really great boatbuilding timber, but it simply doesn't grow in the Pacific Northwest. It's no surprise that in the PNW, "it's hard to get." We have Gary Oak, Doug fir, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Juniper, and other species. If one wants Live Oak, you have to go where it grows in the Southeast. That's the way it's always been. You bring Muhammad to the mountain or the mountain to Muhammad. I'm betting there's a glut of Live Oak downed in the recent hurricanes that's getting ground up in chippers and cut up for firewood as we speak. I'm sure Leo wisely realized that in the current market, it was much the cheapest alternative to have a local sawyer slab out those flitches, go down and get them, and sticker them for drying himself. If he were smart, he'd haul as much as he could back and sell off the extra at a nice profit. It just takes getting your head out of the usual spoiled consumer mindset. Just because you can't find it at a lumberyard that only sells dimensioned construction lumber doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    I agree that there's lots to recommend metal boats, but every boat and every material is a collection of compromises. Metal comes into its own on boats over around 35'. Below that, not so much. Steel, even the specialty alloys (Corten, etc.,) has its own collection of challenges. it has to be sandblasted to exacting standards, primed with expensive coatings (or spray-galvanized with molten zinc,) all of which is essential to prevent rusting. It's a whole other set of skills. That said, it's certainly worth considering, if the boat they want built is suited to it. But then, it's not a wooden boat, so it's not what we are talking about at the moment.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 12-11-2018 at 01:54 AM.

  19. #89
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Bob,
    I should have been more specific and confined my remarks to small boat building. My apologies. Paul Lipke's account is instructive. Also instructive is a recent conversation that I have had with a fine small yacht builder who was thinking about adding high end dinghy/ yacht pod building into his repertoire. He looked at it; even being as efficient as possible with patterns, molds, and materials he couldn't build at a price even his market would be willing to pay. One challenge was staff, finding someone who wanted to build the same time after time, and then having to retrain people to build when that person was no longer interested. The smallest that he can build and people will buy would be something like a 12 1/2. What plywood, design suited to materials, and designs suited to the fact that there are only relatively few people that have access to the water allowing boats to be wet sailed, there has been a rebirth in small boat building. John didn't think about the big stuff, he was interested in small boat building and seeing that fiberglass was overwhelming it. Building big stuff is great for those that can afford it. Small boat are for those that can't. What modern materials have done is democratized building. Culler tried this as well, but while writing well, he didn't see the barriers that John did and for which the new school of designers creating with elegance and style.

    Tools and materials are an issue; I disagree with you. In building my next skin on frame, the recommendation is for me to have a table saw, a planer and a plunge router. None of those tools I own and the cost of them exceeds by several orders of magnitude the materials needed to build the boat. I'm fortunate, as I have friends with these tools. But many do not.

    To get from a design to a materials list for traditional building after you loft you need to expand all of your planking. Lofting is enough of a challenge for amateur builders. It used to be that lumber yards would specialize in what was needed: Condon was the go to place. Not sure they are still in business. One person was pretty much supplying the New England builders with larch; he was killed in an lumbering accident. Fastenings are an issue with clench nail making down to an antique machine at a museum that a number of museums financed keeping it going. Small rivet stock is also and issue. And standard small screw fastenings are going for twenty eight bucks the box of 100. All of this is a much higher proportion of boat building than it is for yacht building where as you know the hull can be less than 1/3 the cost of the boat.

    I love mechanically fastened traditional boats, and indeed nurture three of them. But I also like seeing the scores of little boats that show up at regattas and rallies. Without modern materials these boats would not exist.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  20. #90
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    But would you paint your steel boat with house paint?

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk
    Only if you paint your house with 2 part epoxy paint !

  21. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    Bob,
    I should have been more specific and confined my remarks to small boat building. My apologies. Paul Lipke's account is instructive. Also instructive is a recent conversation that I have had with a fine small yacht builder who was thinking about adding high end dinghy/ yacht pod building into his repertoire. He looked at it; even being as efficient as possible with patterns, molds, and materials he couldn't build at a price even his market would be willing to pay. One challenge was staff, finding someone who wanted to build the same time after time, and then having to retrain people to build when that person was no longer interested. The smallest that he can build and people will buy would be something like a 12 1/2. What plywood, design suited to materials, and designs suited to the fact that there are only relatively few people that have access to the water allowing boats to be wet sailed, there has been a rebirth in small boat building. John didn't think about the big stuff, he was interested in small boat building and seeing that fiberglass was overwhelming it. Building big stuff is great for those that can afford it. Small boat are for those that can't. What modern materials have done is democratized building. Culler tried this as well, but while writing well, he didn't see the barriers that John did and for which the new school of designers creating with elegance and style.

    Tools and materials are an issue; I disagree with you. In building my next skin on frame, the recommendation is for me to have a table saw, a planer and a plunge router. None of those tools I own and the cost of them exceeds by several orders of magnitude the materials needed to build the boat. I'm fortunate, as I have friends with these tools. But many do not.

    To get from a design to a materials list for traditional building after you loft you need to expand all of your planking. Lofting is enough of a challenge for amateur builders. It used to be that lumber yards would specialize in what was needed: Condon was the go to place. Not sure they are still in business. One person was pretty much supplying the New England builders with larch; he was killed in an lumbering accident. Fastenings are an issue with clench nail making down to an antique machine at a museum that a number of museums financed keeping it going. Small rivet stock is also and issue. And standard small screw fastenings are going for twenty eight bucks the box of 100. All of this is a much higher proportion of boat building than it is for yacht building where as you know the hull can be less than 1/3 the cost of the boat.

    I love mechanically fastened traditional boats, and indeed nurture three of them. But I also like seeing the scores of little boats that show up at regattas and rallies. Without modern materials these boats would not exist.
    "What modern materials have done is democratized building." If I understand the meaning of the word "democratized." it means "made common," "cheapen it," "lower the net," and "let the riff-raff in." I know there will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth here, but I've never felt that "more boats" of lesser quality was a good thing at all. Much of our navigable water is overpopulated with drunken yahoos blaring rap music from banks of speakers while screaming across the water, fools on jet-skis, and thousands of plastic buckets without the common decency to rot away. LFH bemoaned the same in his day. (And his occasional digs at The New Deal in his articles betray that he wasn't much of an egalitarian either! ) In the old days, a lot of farmers built skiffs not for pleasure, but because they needed one. Not yachts. "Quick and dirty." They served their purpose well, but they sure didn't consider themselves "amateur boat builders." There's nothing wrong with starting out with a simple kit plywood boat, but developing more sophisticated skills really should be encouraged.

    Let's not define "amateur builders" too broadly, either. An "amateur" is one who does it for the love of the game and not for money. A true amateur craftsman aspires to do it as well as the "professional." People who employ short-cuts to produce an inferior imitation of the "professional" product aren't amateurs. They're just impatient. Look what "democratizing photography" did to that art form. There was once a time when "amateur photographers" used darkrooms and processed their own film and did their own printing. They had to know a lot and have the necessary equipment to do so. It was all Greek to most people. The products of their labors were respected and appreciated. "Fine photography" was shown in museums and galleries and was priced accordingly to reflect the time, money, and skill it took to produce it. Photography stores and studios were commonplace. Professionals earned their living doing it in local photography studios in every town.

    In the "blinking of a shutter," digital photography came on the scene, "democratizing" photography. Seemingly overnight, or at least as long as it took an industry to tool up enough to produce the equipment inexpensively, everybody had the ability to "take a picture," even with their telephone. They could shoot movies and multiple frames and simply pick the snapshot that they felt looked best. No need to worry about wasting film or having to process it. Digital editing put the "darkroom magic" of the past into the hands of everyone. Nobody had to worry about f-stops, shutter speeds, or depth of field anymore. This has had its pluses and minuses, certainly, but I think it's made photography somewhat mundane and pedestrian. One thing is for sure, for the real "amateurs," it's certainly not as interesting as it once was in the days before digital. The days when a guy like Ansel Adams could make a living selling photographs (the originals of which used to sell for thousands of dollars) are over. I'm not saying that there aren't some nice looking pictures taken with digital cameras, nor am I saying there aren't some nice looking boats built with "manufactured wood" and plastic resins. I'm just saying that they don't come close to the level of satisfaction in the accomplishment, appreciation, respect, and even reverence, of the traditional methods which brooked no compromise as to craftsmanship and quality.

    I sympathize with your professional boat builder friend who discovered that producing nice small traditional wooden boats on a production basis didn't "pencil out." It's been that way for a long time now. I have no doubt that, for example, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company's small boat shop which turned out so many Herreshoff dinghies and small sailboats on a production basis wouldn't have made a profit in today's business world, either. Their stock small boats were built by "mechanics" (as they called them then) who were paid a pittance. (That hasn't changed a whole lot for yard workers today.) They were sold to buyers, most of whom, likely had many times the wealth that most of us in this forum would have had in that economy. There was a distinct class boundary between the workers and the wealthy in those days. That's how the bosses made their money, at least until Henry Ford got the hot idea to build a lot of cars the average person could afford. But consider that for a moment: The Model T was nowhere near the quality or style of a Duesenberg or a Rolls Royce, and was never meant to be. Compare the value of a Model T today with that of a Dusenberg and it is apparent which, dollar for dollar, proved to be the better investment. The same is true of wooden boats, although classic wooden boats require far more maintenance over their lifespans. Let's say, though, that one were of a mind to build a "traditional" car from scratch (far more daunting a task than a boat!) Would their time be better spend building a Model T from reproduction parts easily available from catalogs today, or a Duesenberg? Maybe that's not the best example, but I think you'll get the point.

    Believe me, sourcing materials today is far easier than it ever was before the internet. Forty years ago, we didn't have forums where you could ask questions, either. You did that at the boatyard, if you were welcome there and they were willing to share their trade information with you, or at the yacht club bar, or maybe, if you were a polite enough kid, some older guy would mentor you and maybe even pay you a few bucks to wash down his boat. There weren't any "data bases" for finding materials, except for the few yachting magazines, few of which catered to builders (who were of a decidedly lower caste than they new-yacht-buying readers.) Before Spector created Wooden Boat Magazine, he put out his five or six Mariners' Catalogs, sort of Whole Earth Catalogs for traditional boaters. That was it. Early on, WB Magazine published a book full of all the addresses and phone numbers of all the boat lumber suppliers in the country, state by state. That's the way it was before Google. It was all word of mouth and very little printed data. Of course, hot-dipped iron cut boat nails were a bit easier to find in those days, but the internet has made up for that. This was part of the fun of "messing around in wooden boats." This is how one participated in the "wooden boat community." I'd encourage people to enjoy the search. It's part of the game.

    Continued...

  22. #92
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    San Francisco Bay
    Posts
    11,690

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Continued...

    A lot of great boats were built with few, if any, power tools in the days when woodworkers knew how to sharpen an edge. Tools, whether they be hand tools or powered, are a requirement. If you want to play tennis, you need a racquet, no? What's the point of expecting to avoid investing in the tools to do the job right? Most all of us face a financial squeeze these days. That's nothing new. If buying a tool is necessary, you save up for it and hope to find a used one. If it's an expensive stationary power tool, maybe you even go in "halfsies" with a friend. Some guys buy power tools like bandsaws and planers used and, when the boat is done, immediately sell them to put the money back into outfitting the boat. Again, this is how it used to be done.

    I sure can't remember a time when I thought boat building fasteners were cheap. I doubt they ever were. (It's said that the "idiot boys" who swept the shop floors in the old days earned their salary and then some retrieving the dropped fasteners they swept up.) That goes with the territory. I'll say this, though, considering the labor as well, they are cheaper than epoxy resin and fabric, especially considering the waste factor. At some point, we have to accept the reality that boats are expensive luxuries in most instances. Everybody tries to economize, but they just are. Better boats cost more. I still think, though, that boat building is a hobby where you stand some chance of having something worth something when you're done, if you do it well.

    I encourage people to "keep at it" and not to be intimidated by the challenges of learning the skills involved in traditional boatbuilding. They are easily learned if one studies the many excellent books available today. When I was starting out, Chapelle's Boatbuilding was about it. There was even less available about small boats, except for Gardner's articles in The National Fisherman, which he later put into his great books. A "Wooden Boat School" was unheard of. Now they are all over the place, some better than others. There's a wealth of additional "tricks of the trade" that can only be learned from guys who came up through the old apprentice systems. Sadly, while most have passed on to a few of us some of what they knew, they have, or are, dying off. I don't think there has been a union wooden boat building apprenticeship program in existence since WWII. The last guy I knew who went through one began at Mare Island Naval Shipyard before the War. I had studied Vaites' book, Lofting, but he taught me how little lofting was really necessary, which was quite a revelation after my struggling through Vaites. I think one has to enjoy learning about such stuff. If they don't, maybe boat building isn't for them. It's like reading. A kid can enjoy comic books and that's fine, but if he isn't encouraged to go on to read "books without pictures," he'll miss out on a huge amount of enjoyment and enlightenment. A simple plywood skiff sheathed in resin and fabric is a "comic book" (and I still enjoy an occasional comic book these days.) A lapstrake Herreshoff Columbia dinghy is Shakespeare.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 12-11-2018 at 10:33 PM.

  23. #93
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
    Posts
    3,429

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    What many people don't know that John G. was a labor organizer before being a boatbuilder. This really does get into class. Before trailers people had to live on or have access to the water to boat. ( See my old essay Blue Collar Boating) Boat liveries were everyman's way to row and sail, while canoes were the first affordable middle class boat. Amateur ( in this case I'm think some one whose objective is to boat not to build) took off after the WWII and the halcyon days may have been the 50's and early 60's. Then factory produced boats overwhelmed them with the introduction of glass. What modern materials and designers have done is made nicely designed home built boats accessible and practical. A good example might be the Coquina. Dozens of these have been built and nice jobs too. Bob, you'd argue that people shouldn't bother as these are lesser boats requiring lesser skill. That would not be John's attitude which was much more egalitarian.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  24. #94
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,025

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Ben and Bob,

    this is a fascinating discussion and I can't quite figure out who I agree with more in principle. As a practical matter I guess I'm in the "dumbed down" modern materials school. It's great to hear both sides debated so knowledgeably.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  25. #95
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Hi ,

    Bob, interesting comments. I'm wondering if it's worth copying it over to another thread with a more meaningful subject heading. I've found that finding these valuable bits of information on this forum is difficult as they are usually tucked away in thread drift.
    Mark

  26. #96
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Emerald Coast, FL
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Marine Paint vs House Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    What many people don't know that John G. was a labor organizer before being a boatbuilder. This really does get into class. Before trailers people had to live on or have access to the water to boat. ( See my old essay Blue Collar Boating)
    Hi Ben,
    Where could we find this essay, sound interesting.

    Cheers
    Kent

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •