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Thread: can a wooden hulled boat be moved from saltwater to freshwater?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    spokane, WA
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    hi, and thanks for your attention!
    i'm an inexperienced seaman... and i'm still learning!

    my question is,
    what are (or could be!) the ramifications of moving a wooden hulled sloop (double-planked mahogany on oak, bronze fastened)(recently inspected and painted) from saltwater to freshwater... and then sometime in the future, back into saltwater?

    does the change from one environment to another have any adverse effect on the wood?

    any advice, experience, or conventional wisdom will be much appreciated!!!

    thanks! and best wishes.

    LB
    L

  2. #2
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    Sep 2001
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    USA
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    No problem mon, sail on [img]smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    Well, the fresh water will kill the teredo worms, and the salt water will kil the zebra mussels.

    Best of both worlds, I'd say

    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Marysville, Wa. USA
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    In fresh water the boat will sit lower ie deeper draft. Make sure that you have no openings near the waterline that will submerge in fresh water.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    The land of reefs
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    The short answer is : yes, but only by trailer

  6. #6
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    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.
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    it is also necessary to walk around the boat every other day with a box of "Morton's" salt and sprinkle it in the water all around so the wood "remembers" it's origins.....
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
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  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    No! No! No!

    We and our boats are not salmon.

    We may be blessed to have been born near the sea and stay there. We may have been sentient enough to seek the sea.

    But we should follow the telos of all civilization, life, planatary cycles . . . everything leads to the sea. The only stuff that leads elsewhere is rain, which returns, or folly.

  8. #8
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    Seek out Noah.He just transplanted a Hinkley from Md. To Lake Champlain.He sort of asked the same question,but maybe he has gained some more answers.From what I've heard is salt water isn't what rots wood,it's the fresh water.Good luck and keep posting for the rest of us.Good Luck Dan L.
    LIVE FREE OR DIE..............TRYIN'

  9. #9
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    The Noah of whom he speaks is a member of this forum - not the one who left his boat on Mt. Ararat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Originally posted by ken mcclure:
    The Noah of whom he speaks is a member of this forum - not the one who left his boat on Mt. Ararat.
    Are you sure?
    Hey! It's MY Hughniverse!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Burlington, Vermont, USA
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    You can never be too sure...I do have a few boats in barns around here...

    Yes I just moved my Hinckley up to a lake from brackish/salt water. Nothing to it really. Except I replaced a bunch of the stem in between and did some other work.

    Yes, salt water can rot a boat a bit more, but heck, on this lake we have lots of 1700's and 1800's wooden boats down at the bottom that are still in great shape...a couple of them are even in the Smithsonian now.

    Here is a picture of the Hinckley in fresh water, along with our Lyman. (note, she still rides high even in fresh water. I didn't note much of a difference...)



    This is the day she went in and the mast still isn't up. Also the water coming out the back is the engine running, not a bilge pump.

    Noah

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Looks good. Actually, the rot problems that bedevil wooden boats are mostly consensation and moisture induced and are equally problematic whether in salt or fresh water. The boat certainly graces any water on which she sails.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Noah,

    Your boat looks great!

    As an aside, have you heard the old surveyor's chestnut about Noah's Ark being the only perfect boat ever built?

    The Designer's specifications were unimpeachable, the execution was supervised by The Highest Authority and completed by the minimum size crew working at the lowest cost. She was launched just in time, and was afloat only as long as necessary to fulfill her intended purpose.

    [ 08-07-2003, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: rbgarr ]
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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