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Thread: 1949 Alden Malabar Jr. "Nixie"

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Judging by that floor timber, it looks like she was built with good wood. Do you know the planking and backbone species? Galv fastened or bronze? If you only saw a couple frames, and they were cracked, its likely that most of them are cracked. It is certainly worth pulling up the sole (what you might call a "floor" in a house) and taking a look at them all. You can add sisters without much surgery, no need to pull planks usually.

    Better than sisters might be this type of floor. Photo from Dave Lesser.



    The boat is upside down, but shows a very strong floor timber with wings that would massively strengthen your frame heels. 5 of these in way of the mast and ballast would do wonders.

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Imagine getting one of those frames down thru the deck, behind the clamp and stringers, and back up the other side before it cooled. Maybe if laminated in place.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Yes those are laminated. Something like that could be fairly straight forward to retro fit.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    I had a Yankee One-Design whose keel and floors wiggled back and forth with every pair of tacks. On the Yankee, the frames run out on the floors rather than in turn down to sockets. My friend the boatbuilder suggested 'ring frames'. Laminated frames from deck to deck, through fastened to the floors as they passed by. Stopped the waterfalls from the windward third seam (where the floors ended) right up.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Ok guys - I'm moving ahead with an offer and make it conditional a haul-out and survey. I'm smitten and hope that nothing too terrible comes up in the inspection. Wish me luck.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Good luck. It would to also be good have it subject to a sea trial on a good windy day. Sail her hard and see how much she leaks. I once got to that stage on a lovely Nicholson 32. Took her out and found essentially the mast doing a great job of trying to punch the keel out through the bottom of the boat. Fixing the cracked ribs and beefing up the floors and mast step would have involved gutting and rebuilding half of the interior, due to access. Walked away, sadly, but I think wisely.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Good luck. Worse than finding something in the survey is not finding something in the survey.

    It would be interesting to learn the history of this boat; it's not one that I've seen in Seattle or environs.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Great! I think you will be very happy, and very busy! BTW, I wasn't suggesting full new frames above, just short wings laminated like those shown, but only extending up a few planks above the break. Most of the work could be done with minimal intrusion hopefully.

    Welcome to the greatest cruising ground on earth! Learn about local currents and what happens when a strong wind is set against them. (In the sound, not the lakes) See you out there. Post more pics of the boat when you get the chance.

  9. #44
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Good luck. It would to also be good have it subject to a sea trial on a good windy day. Sail her hard and see how much she leaks. I once got to that stage on a lovely Nicholson 32. Took her out and found essentially the mast doing a great job of trying to punch the keel out through the bottom of the boat. Fixing the cracked ribs and beefing up the floors and mast step would have involved gutting and rebuilding half of the interior, due to access. Walked away, sadly, but I think wisely.
    Very good advice.

    Best of luck!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Great idea on the sea trial as a condition...

    I'm a sucker for punishment so the idea of pulling out the cabin interior (which is nothing special - just plywood for the most part) and doing some frame reinforcement (like laminating those wings) seems like a fun project. I recently gutted and remodeled the master bath in my 1913 Craftsman bungalow to the studs and sub-floor totally solo. The house is about two stories up from the street, so hauling sheets of drywall and other building materials up to the work area by myself about broke me. You can imagine what I was thinking when the pallet of tile was dropped off at the sidewalk - nearly an actual ton of marble for the floor and shower enclosure had to be humped up to house box by box before dark!

    If I can get a fun summer of sailing in and deal with these other more structure/rehab issues over the winter, I'll be pretty happy.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Best o'Luck! Looks to be a fun project if all's well

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Some moorages require the boat to be insured, and the timing of some of the repairs may be determined by the insurance policy.

    Search Woodenboat magazine index using the search term 'buying' and 'insurance'. Spend a day at the Seattle Public Library. Both topics have a number of articles.
    Last edited by bvv; 01-10-2018 at 06:36 PM.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    OK - offer in and negotiations started!

    Found a little more information on her history and even some pictures of her being sanded down to bare wood and repainted in 2012. The builder was in Tacoma. Not sure of wood species other than cedar planks and oak frames. Maybe you can more tell from the pic?

    Denise: the engine is basically a new Beta 14 installed in 2014.
    7707935634_d94407e602_o.jpg

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Looks great. Most old wooden boats will have ongoing maintenance. Try not to put things off for too long, they never resolve themselves. But also try not to take on a big, out of the water, gut and rebuild unless you really, really, really know what you are getting into. Most of those lead to a chainsaw and skip, just after the divorce.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Did I say most? I mean all.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Hull looks good from the photo. That shortie looks like red cedar to me.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    It looks to me like the transom has a piece of ply over the old planks. The tape is standing proud at the seams and it should be flat. I don't see it in the first picture so maybe it's just the tape job.

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Looks great. Most old wooden boats will have ongoing maintenance. Try not to put things off for too long, they never resolve themselves. But also try not to take on a big, out of the water, gut and rebuild unless you really, really, really know what you are getting into. Most of those lead to a chainsaw and skip, just after the divorce.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Did I say most? I mean all.
    My wife told me I wasn't allowed to cut up our boat. I have no choice but to finish it.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by bvv View Post
    Hull looks good from the photo. That shortie looks like red cedar to me.
    That hull looks like red cedar to me too.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    What's the verdict on red cedar? Any way to know what kind of fasteners were used from the pic?

    We have a deal on the boat - now just need to get through the survey and trial!

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Hoping for the best!

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by sejman View Post
    What's the verdict on red cedar? Any way to know what kind of fasteners were used from the pic?

    We have a deal on the boat - now just need to get through the survey and trial!
    If you don't mind, please post the survey for us to read.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by sejman View Post
    Any way to know what kind of fasteners were used from the pic?
    I hope this works fr you and you get a good survey. We can't tell what the fasteners are from the pictures. I can tell you that the fasteners are effecting the planking around many of the screw holes, or at least that is what the picture looks like. It could be from glue smeared around the bungs, but I'm doubting that. I would want to know when it was refastened. I can see that some sister ribs were installed in that picture. I suspect that's why there are short planks below the shear, it allowed someone to slip in ribs and clamp them. Three short plants in a row like that isn't a great indicator of professionalism so I hope everything else is up to snuff.

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by sejman View Post
    What's the verdict on red cedar? Any way to know what kind of fasteners were used from the pic?

    We have a deal on the boat - now just need to get through the survey and trial!
    Western red cedar is pretty rot resistant, light, and soft. I don't see any weeping, so I'm hopeful it's bronze fastened.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by sejman View Post
    What's the verdict on red cedar? Any way to know what kind of fasteners were used from the pic?

    We have a deal on the boat - now just need to get through the survey and trial!
    Cool, fingers crossed. She looks great. BTW, everyone here says get a survey. Unless you are really lucky, most surveys arent worth the paper they are written on, except that you need one to get insurance. Just occasionally you will get a worthwhile report from a knowledgable shipwright/surveyor, but that's rare. Spend the day, or hour, or whatever, with the surveyor. Ask questions. You want a lot more than just a list of gear, the engine make and number, and a note that the flares are out of date. OK I exaggerate a little, but not much. If you can, get an estimate, even if only verbal, of work required. Then double it.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Lee's pretty knowlegable, it really depends on how much of the boat is accessible to him. If there's ceiling, hard to see much in way of planking, frames.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Just a few updates - the haul-out and survey ran into scheduling problems (now scheduled for Feb 6) due to the Seattle Boat Show so Lee was nice enough to come down and poke around the boat for an hour in the meantime. He was very happy with how dry and tight the whole boat is and was paying a lot of attention to the decks and deck/hull connections. Regarding the frames down in the bilge, he shrugged them off for the most part, confirming our hunch that asking a piece of oak that fat to turn that hard and fast was a lot - he figured they have looked that way for decades. Since each one is bolted to a floor at that turn (bronze bolts), the frame isn't doing much work down there anyway. So far, so good.

    I was also able to track down and get in touch with the owner (prior to the current owner) who put a lot of work into her, including the re-power, sails, mast refurb/painting, and hull strip/paint. He answered all of the questions that were bugging me - all the result of an older picture I had discovered. He confirmed that he was the one that replaced all of the stainless life-line stanchions with original bronze (same with the winches). He also converted her to a club-footed working jib, repurposing a spar and some bronze hardware from salvage and second-hand places around Seattle/Portland. He and his wife moved to Florida and he felt the warm water there would have probably been a bad thing, even if otherwise he could have moved her cross country. Definitely makes me feel better being able to talk with him, as he has no financial motivation in this transaction and is eager to see that she is cared for. He also noted that she has two sister boats from the same builder still operating in the Seattle area - I'll have to track them down at some point.

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Well, that's all pretty good news. Hope the rest of the process goes as well.

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    The survey went very well - I think I'm a about to be a wooden boat owner!

    The only real structural issue that they found was some possible rot or delamination in middle of transom, well above the water line. It could be that the transom is a layer of ply or veneer over the transom boards - something to investigate at some point.

    Fasteners pulled in about 8 spots - all bronze. Most are slotted 1-1/2" screws (#10?) above and a bit longer (2"?) Phillips head screws down lower near garboard.

    Not sure I mentioned this before, but also found the full original plans for the boat rolled up on board - very handy to have!

    Cruising over to the boat yard under power (about 3/4 throttle) we were moving along at 6.5kts (indicated by GPS) on calm water and just a touch of headwind - slowed to about 5.5kts at 1/2 throttle. The relatively new (2014) Beta 14HP seems well matched to the boat and prop.

    A few additional pictures:
    IMG_2634.jpg
    IMG_2616.jpg
    IMG_2609.jpg

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Sweet!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Sounds great!

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Congratulations!

  33. #68
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Congratulations on your boat buy.

    Put more zink on her to keep your screws healthy. The head of that screw is getting thin and pink is not fashionable for bronze.

    "When dissimilar metals are in damp, salt-water wet wood they become electrically connected and corrosion occurs. With unserviceable bronze fasteners, the metal becomes pink in color and brittle,"

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Good luck. Hope the survey finds only minimal issues.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  35. #70
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    Default Re: Contemplating owning a wooden sailboat in Seattle

    Zincs often do more harm than good, especially to wooden boats. I'd keep one on the prop or shaft and leave it at that. A zinc won't do much for fasteners as they are isolated. All it will do is induce a current in the water between the fastener and the zinc and some of that will go through the wood leading to electrolytic damage. Very bad!

    Much more important is a galvanic isolator on the shore power ground circuit. That screw looks to have quite a bit of life left. I think you should be very happy.

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