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Some friends of ours are giving up there steel narrow boat and are intent on buying a Broads cruiser.

They have seen a 35ft 1968 Ernest Collins "hybrid" (Glass hull, wooden superstructure) and have asked for my advice but unfortunately I have no experience of such a combination. So can anyone help, please, with things to look for which may affect one of these classics?

:default_beerchug:

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They were very well built boats - I can tell you that much!

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27 minutes ago, Vaughan said:

They were very well built boats - I can tell you that much!

But the wood has had 50 years to degrade...

Only a survey will give anything away.

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Excellent combination of a bomb proof hull in the early builds. The thickness of mine had to be seen to be believed. However, the money swallowing aspects are the oh so handsome wooden topsides that can hoover up work and money at an alarming rate!

Plus, they do really need a wetshed mooring to help avoid exposure to the climates worst efforts. But a beatifull craft to own and cruise in.

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Whatever you wish to spend, look at the piggibank and then spend half the contents and keep the rest to spend over the next five years or so as you discover what a survey won’t show you. If you can’t do yourself like Doug ( Brundal Navy) then the woodwork that WILL need to be done is expensive in material and twice as expensive as the material costs in having it done. 

If you still want to continue after reading this kudos you’re as mad as the rest of us.

 

Martin 

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9 hours ago, Malanka said:

Whatever you wish to spend, look at the piggibank and then spend half the contents and keep the rest to spend over the next five years or so as you discover what a survey won’t show you. If you can’t do yourself like Doug ( Brundal Navy) then the woodwork that WILL need to be done is expensive in material and twice as expensive as the material costs in having it done. 

Martin 

Very Sound advice.

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Many years ago (Christmes 1985) Judith and I sat around a table for dinner at The Loews Hotel ( think it is called Fairmont now) in Monte Carlo. One of the guests at our table was Nick Edmiston, founder of the yacht brokers that are named after him.

Someone asked him about what advice he would give someone who wishes to buy a boat. I have never forgotten his reply.

" Never spend more than 5% of your total worth on a boat or 10% of liquid assets"

 

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Timber tops need constant care and attention, just like any timber boat. They can look the absolute mutt's nuts but equally they can go downhill fast if left unattended. They are the epitome of why a boat is called 'she', they are costly to maintain if they are not loved and cherished.  

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48 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

Timber tops need constant care and attention, just like any timber boat. They can look the absolute mutt's nuts but equally they can go downhill fast if left unattended. They are the epitome of why a boat is called 'she', they are costly to maintain if they are not loved and cherished.  

Agreed - and they need the protection of a very good breathable cover when not in use ( unless moored in a wet shed) .

IMHO a 'timber top' combines the best of both worlds , fibregalss where it's immersed in water and wodd where it's not.

'Poppy' is one. the attention to the varnish starts after Christmas.  :default_biggrin:

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If they want to take her somewhere to have work done on her, or have her checked out, John Cressy at Maffetts is first class having run several GRP / wood, and all wood hire boats.  He once told me about when he bumped into the guy that bought Swallows (one his all wooden hire boats) sister ship Flamingo from him. He said the guy was`nt very happy, as he had to scrap Flamingo 5 years after buying her, and that in that time, he`d spent just over £1,000 on it. Johns reply was that he`d spend a lot more than that every year.

Yes, Timber boats do need a lot of maintainance, but if kept on top of, and done regularly, they should last for a great many years, whereas if you put something off, it will lead a lot more problems. As said above, the good thing is, she has a GRP hull, which by comparison needs far less attention than wood.

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Sold my beloved boat with GRP hull and wooden topsides last year, broke my heart, it had already broken my bank. Constant maintenance on the topsides, spent more time rubbing down, painting and varnishing than we did out on the river. As someone has already said, wooden topsides do look ‘ the part’ , but trust me , hard, expensive work......constantly.

I now have a plastic ‘ wash n go ‘ boat , life’s much easier, but aesthetically, not in the same league. 

Good luck, but think very carefully about wood.

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23 minutes ago, Lastdraft said:

 

I now have a plastic ‘ wash n go ‘ boat , life’s much easier,

I need a boat that's just "Go"

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3 hours ago, Lastdraft said:

I now have a plastic ‘ wash n go ‘ boat , life’s much easier, but aesthetically, not in the same league. 

Snap to all that post!

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Strange as it may seem, I enjoy the winter maintenance - all except the anti fouling that is :default_icon_cry:

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2 hours ago, Poppy said:

Strange as it may seem, I enjoy the winter maintenance - all except the anti fouling that is :default_icon_cry:

I'd be very interested in how you care for your wooden topsides Poppy. I have just become the proud owner of just such a boat! I knew what I was taking on in respect of the care needed, she is in lovely condition and I want to keep her that way.

She comes with good quality covers for the fore and aft wells (both have varnished interiors) plus a full all over cover which is a nice fit and allows a good air flow.

I intend to use the all over cover, when she's not in use during the winter and at anytime in the summer if/when we get those strong sun with no shade days.

We like the odd off season cruise and inevitably she will get rained on at times and sometimes it's likely to happen several days in a row - this is probably my biggest concern.

I'm fully prepared to maintain her and will enjoy doing so but good tips and tricks would be very welcome at the start of my learning curve!

 

IMG_20181103_150720087_HDR.jpg

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As I have zero skills we get a man in. Actually several men in lots of times. 

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Ah yes, I know some good men to get in, but I want to do whatever I can to make visits to them less frequent! :)

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Not sure "a good fit" and "a nice air flow" quite go together!

For what its worth and IMHO only one option and thats a wet shed or a very large barn for the winter! Otherwise I suspect she will beat you! This time of year, methinks even boats in wet sheds get too wet - classic boats should be treated like classic cars i.e. very lovingly and very carefully!

I wish you luck but not a task I would wish take on!!!

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All part of the fun (at this early stage) She was completely stripped back and revarnished within recent years and eventually by the sound of it will need doing again sometime in the future.

I shall do my best for her and enjoy her at the same time .. I may start an account with regular deposits for the day the big bills come!

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Selsie and I have also become custodians this week of a boat with a fair amount of wood.  We have a full cover,  but like Ray, this is all going go be a massive learning curve!  Huge thanks to JanetAnne for all his help and advice and being a constant helpline these last few weeks! 

We have a 'boat fund' or maybe we will rename it 'money pit' ! 

 

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