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Thread: Hog in large wooden boats

  1. #1
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    Default Hog in large wooden boats

    One of my favorite boats, Hecate Ranger, recently showed up on craigslist:

    https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/b...944495600.html



    Not cheap at $330k, but I think she's worth the money for what you get (cheaper than a used late model GB42, for example but easily twice or three times the boat). Except that when I posted the ad on FB, Tad Roberts noted that she is hogged and posted this photo in evidence:



    In particular, Tad pointed out the hump in the main guard amidships and you can also see that the sheer has flattened out there. So my question is, is there anything that can be reasonably done to fix it? One person commented that it would be a Tally Ho type of repair, which I fear may be true, but I'm curious to hear what others would do here. Is it just part of her character now? Or is it a structural concern? Could one apply forces through jacking and weights to bring her back into shape and then add bracing of some sort? A hernia truss for the old gal?

    To be clear, I am not thinking of buying Hecate Ranger. My question is academic only.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Here's the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan hauled out for some extensive repairs and rebuilding. I believe a lot of the hogging was removed but it couldn't have been easy. The Morgan thread might have details if you're interested.

    Jim



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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Sometimes - and I accentuate the 'sometimes' - a bit of hull hog can be corrected by a very experienced caulker adjusting the quantity and firmness of the caulking fibre in the plank seams, varying it along the length of the seams between the ends. But this is dependant on many factors - the skill of the caulker, the shape and structure of the hull, the amount of hog, etc.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats


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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    For a non sailing vessel , is there a reason to straighten her out?
    Maybe they should a stuck them aluminum bulwarks on her 40 years ago.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    Sometimes - and I accentuate the 'sometimes' - a bit of hull hog can be corrected by a very experienced caulker adjusting the quantity and firmness of the caulking fibre in the plank seams, varying it along the length of the seams between the ends. But this is dependant on many factors - the skill of the caulker, the shape and structure of the hull, the amount of hog, etc.
    Interesting. I can see how that would work but one would have to be an artiste with the caulking mallet to achieve it I think. I do know one such person but I imagine they are not thick on the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Thanks Ian. I looked at that thread but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of practical info on actually fixing the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    For a non sailing vessel , is there a reason to straighten her out?
    Maybe they should a stuck them aluminum bulwarks on her 40 years ago.
    Well, that's part of what I'm asking. My thought is yes - any hog would be an indication that the various structural bits are no longer doing their job as well as one might like. It's too bad that they didn't do anything about it when she was refastened. Seems like that would have been a perfect time to do it. Reef out all of the seams. Get her back into shape with blocking and weights. Refasten and then recaulk per Michael's recommendation above. Maybe?

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    If you really want a permanent fix to the problem you need to do as lot of work. Chris goes part way.
    First off reef out all of the caulking. Then gradually straighten the keel line by wedging the ends up SLOWLY.
    Then consider refastening her to hold the shape. Some times a steel girder keelson will help hold her shape. If she was a cargo vessel and now has significant ballast have a naval architect plot a weight distribution for lightship and a buoyancy curve. Then distribute the ballast to bring the shape of the weight curve closer to the shape of the buoyancy curve. It is this mismatch that causes the hog in the first place. Lastly recaulk her to lock the structure back together.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    I remember reading about the various steps the Navy took to stop and then reduce the hogging on the “Constitution”. They started with a laser reference datum line, and then used removal of caulking along with New planking along with the gradual removal or lowering of blocking to slowly allow the keel to straighten. Then when the new planks, knees and caulking went in it helped to lock in the correct longitudinal shape.
    So, it is certainly doable, but the budget commitment might be sobering.

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    Default

    I'd go the GB42.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Interesting. I can see how that would work but one would have to be an artiste with the caulking mallet to achieve it I think. I do know one such person but I imagine they are not thick on the ground.



    Thanks Ian. I looked at that thread but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of practical info on actually fixing the problem.



    Well, that's part of what I'm asking. My thought is yes - any hog would be an indication that the various structural bits are no longer doing their job as well as one might like. It's too bad that they didn't do anything about it when she was refastened. Seems like that would have been a perfect time to do it. Reef out all of the seams. Get her back into shape with blocking and weights. Refasten and then recaulk per Michael's recommendation above. Maybe?
    Chris,
    As you stated the boat is tired and can't hold it's shape. Probably the keel is not exactly solid plus planking and frames have lost strength. Could be the scantlings were not as large as needed when it was built. Basicly it requires a rebuild to fix.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Could be the scantlings were not as large as needed when it was built.
    It can be the case that a given size of timber is structurally adequate but will still sag. A somewhat well known example is that ridge boards of 2x6 were determined to be structurally adequate in many North American building codes for typical dwelling sizes on well pitched roofs, yet were discovered to hog over 20 years or so. Finally the codes were updated to specify 2x8s.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    This all seems rather dire, likely the minor hog the boat has would be fine for the next 60 odd years. No need to search out a reason to rebuild when it's very possible that its unnecessary. Anywho, odds are she'll need some major work in the stern within the next 20, be it repower, planking, or a horn timber, plenty of time to deal with it then.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelirrojo View Post
    This all seems rather dire, likely the minor hog the boat has would be fine for the next 60 odd years. No need to search out a reason to rebuild when it's very possible that its unnecessary. Anywho, odds are she'll need some major work in the stern within the next 20, be it repower, planking, or a horn timber, plenty of time to deal with it then.
    I'd guess she's working her seams and leaks a bit in rough water. In another 60 years pictures will be the only record of this boat without some major help.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Well that's an interesting point. Hecate Ranger has a Facebook page with many photos of past work:

    https://www.facebook.com/pg/HecateRanger/photos

    I'd guess there must have been at least $500k spent on her over the last twenty years or so. She was completely refastened and recaulked in 2015, along with several new planks as well. And in the photos from that haulout you can see that she is already hogged. So while at one point the hog was probably a symptom of serious structural problems I think it's entirely possible that she is currently sound, but now with that shape locked in by the work that has been done.

    Personally I'd be inclined to think it's not a critical problem for the sort of coastal and protected cruising that we have in the PNW but should be addressed the next time she needs any major work. But I'll bet it's a $100k repair at least so I just wonder about the asking price and the market for her. I think most people would agree with Phil and take the GB42 instead. There are several large wooden workboat conversions or "trawler" yachts for sale right now around here. For example Island Eagle:

    https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/196...rawler-3560528



    For sale for a third of what the seller is asking for Hecate Ranger. That's a lot of boat for the price of a well-used Sea Ray.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    But back to hogging for a moment. Wyrill is also for sale for about the same price as Hecate Ranger:





    Wyrill is absolutely stunning. She's maintained regardless of expense by someone who can easily afford it. But once I start looking for it I seem to see hogging everywhere. So what do we think? Hogged as well?

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    But back to hogging for a moment. Wyrill is also for sale for about the same price as Hecate Ranger:





    Wyrill is absolutely stunning. She's maintained regardless of expense by someone who can easily afford it. But once I start looking for it I seem to see hogging everywhere. So what do we think? Hogged as well?
    Hard to tell without seing her on the slip so that you can see her keel. She may just have been designed with a very flat shear amidships.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    if its clear enough inside,you might be able to bolt a girder underneath, which then may become part of the keel, faired in, i once pulled an 8 inch hog out of a 50 ft keel on a 70 ft ,lead keeled teak hulled sailing boat, i used every heavy shipcramp, g cramp and boiler cramp i had, about 60 cramps pulling down to steel girders, but the floors and keel were clear, once the hog was out it stayed straight
    Last edited by peter radclyffe; 08-04-2019 at 01:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Backing away from the cure to the cause, improper blocking is sometimes the cause of hogging but more often it's just the many years of being afloat. Major weight may be amidships or may be spread but the biggest volume provides the most buoyancy. The bow and stern have less buoyancy and thus over the years can sag while the boat's afloat, especially if afloat and idle. A sailing rig's stays can make a sort of suspension bridge holding the ends up, at least so long as the shrouds don't squeeze amidships allowing some sagging and hogging.

    Larger hard working New England boats often spend half the year blocked ashore, limiting exposure to this problem. Most hogged larger boats I've studied spend the year afloat with little attention to structural protection.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by peter radclyffe View Post
    if its clear enough inside,you might be able to bolt a girder underneath, which then may become part of the keel, faired in, i once pulled an 8 inch hog out of a 50 ft keel on a 70 ft ,lead keeled teak hulled sailing boat, i used every heavy shipcramp, g cramp and boiler cramp i had, about 60 cramps pulling down to steel girders, but the floors and keel were clear, once the hog was out it stayed straight
    Interesting. I could see that working and it could maybe be done by pulling the garboards for access. Still not a trivial repair but much less work than the alternatives. By itself a beam along the keel wouldn’t return integrity to a compromised hull but I can see that it would a reasonable way to fix the shape.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Backing away from the cure to the cause, improper blocking is sometimes the cause of hogging but more often it's just the many years of being afloat. Major weight may be amidships or may be spread but the biggest volume provides the most buoyancy. The bow and stern have less buoyancy and thus over the years can sag while the boat's afloat, especially if afloat and idle. A sailing rig's stays can make a sort of suspension bridge holding the ends up, at least so long as the shrouds don't squeeze amidships allowing some sagging and hogging.

    Larger hard working New England boats often spend half the year blocked ashore, limiting exposure to this problem. Most hogged larger boats I've studied spend the year afloat with little attention to structural protection.
    I suspect that is the case with Hecate Ranger since she has likely even afloat with few breaks since she was launched. Plus I believe that she has suffered at least one major grounding that I’m sure did not help.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Backing away from the cure to the cause, improper blocking is sometimes the cause of hogging but more often it's just the many years of being afloat. Major weight may be amidships or may be spread but the biggest volume provides the most buoyancy. The bow and stern have less buoyancy and thus over the years can sag while the boat's afloat, especially if afloat and idle. A sailing rig's stays can make a sort of suspension bridge holding the ends up, at least so long as the shrouds don't squeeze amidships allowing some sagging and hogging.

    Larger hard working New England boats often spend half the year blocked ashore, limiting exposure to this problem. Most hogged larger boats I've studied spend the year afloat with little attention to structural protection.
    That nails it. It is exactly why ships like Constitution , the Morgan and Victory hogged, and why the attempt to use ballast distribution (post#7) to alleviate it was tried with one restoration.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    I'd agree, but I dont think there's a wood boat out there that doesn't need major help at least every 60 years no matter how good the maintenance schedual is. My point is that by that by the 60 year mark and probably well before she's going to need major work on either her structure or her systems, and that that would be the time to address the hog. If she's sound in all other aspects I cannot see why a relatively minor amount of hog would be an impediment to using and enjoying the boat.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Would be interesting to learn if Hecate Ranger has diagonal hull strapping. Carvel hulls have a structural weakness built in because the individual planks are not fastened to each other, and so the planking does not add torsional stiffness to the structure the way clinker, sheet ply or a laminated hull would.

    The proper way to address this is diagonal strapping, and it's been used since the days of Constitution, but maybe it's too much to ask of a workboat standard expected to last maybe 20 years? It would be a bitch to retrofit, basically impossible without doing a complete replanking, since it runs between frames and planks, from backbone to sheer, criss-crossing the plank runs. And it's not corrective, so you'd have to fix the hog first.
    Last edited by MoritzSchwarzer; 08-04-2019 at 03:47 PM.

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    Chris a few of your comments suggest that you see a bit of hogging as a major structural failure. I don't think it necessarily is. It's a tiny, tiny bit of movement spread over a large structure. You wouldn't want it on a planing hull, but on a big heavy displacement hull it's nothing more than a cosmetic thing. A sign of ageing but not infirmity.

    A slightly different condition often develops in sailboats, where the shrouds are cranked up so tight that they pull the topsides up and push the keel down in way of the mast. At the sheer it looks like hogging, but if anything the keel in the middle has been pushed down rather than up. The hapless owner will often hammer in more and more caulking, trying to keep the water out, and making the situation worse in the process.

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    Last edited by Phil Y; 08-04-2019 at 04:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    I sail past Hecate Ranger every time I leave the slip. While I have never been aboard, from outward appearances she is a fine example of her class. Always been well taken care of.
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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    I would be absolutely astonished if hecate ranger has hull strapping, its possible but incredibly unlikely. I find this discussion fascinating as Hecate ranger is basically new by the standards of existing pacific northwest wooden boats. There exist a fair amount of older, yet similar boats that continue to fish outside in alaska and generate a profit, while still getting their crews home safe. These old wood boats can take a lot more abuse than i think most folks give them credit for, a good example is the rebuild of Westward, where it was found that she had had a broken keel since roughly the 1930s/40s.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Chris a few of your comments suggest that you see a bit of hogging as a major structural failure. I don't think it necessarily is. It's a tiny, tiny bit of movement spread over a large structure. You wouldn't want it on a planing hull, but on a big heavy displacement hull it's nothing more than a cosmetic thing. A sign of ageing but not infirmity.

    A slightly different condition often develops in sailboats, where the shrouds are cranked up so tight that they pull the topsides up and push the keel down in way of the mast. At the sheer it looks like hogging, but if anything the keel in the middle has been pushed down rather than up. The hapless owner will often hammer in more and more caulking, trying to keep the water out, and making the situation worse in the process.

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    Ah, good point Phil. I should be clear that I have no preconceived notions at all about the hogging as a structural issue. I assume that it has some structural implications (how could it not?) but I have no actual experience or knowledge here. I started the thread out of pure curiosity because I admire Hecate Ranger a lot. Like stromborg, I have always thought of her as a superlative workboat-yacht but I wonder how much the (admittedly minor) hogging would affect people's perceptions of her value and I am interested learn what, if anything, could be done to correct it. But I think my curiosity has been entirely satisfied. I now know a lot more than I did this morning. The rest is academic since I'm not planning to buy her.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Oh, and yes, Hecate Ranger did run aground back in the late 70s.






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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    By pointing out the hogging of Hecate Ranger I was not suggesting she is suddenly dangerous and will sink tomorrow. But the fact remains that, due to the way the boat is configured, she is ripping herself apart. It will get worse until dealt with. Martha's hog was quite visible for many years before it was fixed a couple of years ago. Bluenose II's hog was painfully obvious for probably 25 years before she was scrapped. It's worse in sailing vessels with added upward pressure from the shrouds. To truly fix it you need to remove most of the hull planking and major longitudinal stringers, then gently re-align the backbone and sheer, then re-fasten all longitudinals and re-plank. And hopefully correct the weight vs buoyancy problem that caused the hogging in the first place. Not impossible as the Martha project shows, but it's a big job.

    Here's Westward post re-build, they fixed some of the hog but not all......For all her wonderful attributes, this sheer will never appear in the WoodenBoat calendar and maybe that's as it should be.

    Gearysheer.jpg

    And here's two perfect sheers from 1941, by HC Hanson. Summer Wind and Gyrfalcon.

    Hansonsheer.jpg
    Last edited by TR; 08-04-2019 at 07:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    I was looking at the Uchuck 111 when it was hauled out at point hope and noticed quite a bit of hogging, wish I would have taken a picture now to see how it compared to Hecate ranger.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Thanks for clarifying Tad. And great photo of Summer Wind and Gyrfalcon. Perfect sheers indeed. So my next question, possibly unanswerable without seeing lines, scantlings and weight distributions for all of the boats, is why Summer Wind and Gyrfalcon have not hogged while Hecate Ranger and Westward have?


    Penta2, I do see from photos that Uchuck III has a significant hog. Far worse than Hecate Ranger:



    She must be ten times the displacement of Hecate Ranger though. Significantly larger than the Charles Morgan even. Fixing her would be a project of an entirely different level of cost and complexity I'd imagine.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Thanks for clarifying Tad. And great photo of Summer Wind and Gyrfalcon. Perfect sheers indeed. So my next question, possibly unanswerable without seeing lines, scantlings and weight distributions for all of the boats, is why Summer Wind and Gyrfalcon have not hogged while Hecate Ranger and Westward have?


    Penta2, I do see from photos that Uchuck III has a significant hog. Far worse than Hecate Ranger:



    She must be ten times the displacement of Hecate Ranger though. Significantly larger than the Charles Morgan even. Fixing her would be a project of an entirely different level of cost and complexity I'd imagine.
    Chris,
    You would need to see all the above plus know the condition of the individual parts.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Right, of course. Good point navydog.

    Interestingly I had assumed that both Gyrfalcon and Summer Wind were built as yachts, but it turns out that they were both built as US Coast and Geodetic Survey vessels. Workboats sure looked better back then.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Right, of course. Good point navydog.

    Interestingly I had assumed that both Gyrfalcon and Summer Wind were built as yachts, but it turns out that they were both built as US Coast and Geodetic Survey vessels. Workboats sure looked better back then.
    One of my co-workers bought a big old Chriscraft and was using it as a dive boat harvesting scallops. Chummy (Robert Rich) said the boat was like a floating mattress and no one should go out in it. The scantlings were to small to start and with age just became weaker. Jim kept using the boat and didn't die that season but it was a leaky mess. The point being every boat gets old and has individual issues that can only be assessed by a survey of some type. Condition is the main factor.

    Survey boats weren't hauling nets or anything. They were Plain Jane cruisers. Coincidentally just found a coastal survey marker last week on the beach in Worton Creek.
    Last edited by navydog; 08-05-2019 at 01:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Hog in large wooden boats

    If I was going to fix the hog on a sort of reasonable budget, my strategy would be to remove the garboards and broadstrakes and very slowly adjust the blocking over the course of weeks to correct some of the shape. Then, I would add a heavy beam over the top of the floor timbers as a keelson, heavily through bolted through floors and keels. Replank and go cruising.

    Of course, there may be bad wood in there, there may already be a keelson, etc.. Caveats apply, I'm not familiar with the boat.

    If it was the difference between keeping the boat going, and not, external diagonal strapping could be installed. Sort of dire, but would help structurally. I suspect it is a very strong boat to survive the grounding like that.

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