Tips for buying a wooden boat

Some will always prefer wooden boats. Although many owners and car assemblers on choose to go to the last, when the topic is sail, never change his wooden boat on the other carbon fiber , however pointer whatever. There is something special on a classic wooden boat; and no matter if it was built a year or a century ago, its appeal is usually huge and if well maintained can even cause fascination.


In a wooden boat to sail pleasure seems to be savored otherwise. To understand why so many owners still prefer wood to more sophisticated, lighter and more efficient nothing better than to walk through a marina and watch as materials wooden boats stand out from others .

But if we have a chance to see them in action in one of the many races of classic boats, then even better; perhaps it is enough for a blazing passion.

But for a more lasting relationship, especially if we are thinking of buying a wooden boat we must be aware that it is a decision that must not be rushed and we should have a professional to advise us. But well we can make the first visit and review key points to decide whether it is a candidate for a relationship with a future; indoor, interior, bilge … we listen to the boat , as if it were a first date.

Regatta Puig Vela Classic Barcelona

The essence of wooden boats focuses even when the dispute Puig Trophy arrives in Vela regatta Clàssica Barcelona. It is a place to go in search of why a classic boat, an event in which the competition is an excuse to put together the elements of chemistry that binds wood, metals, textiles and people event.

The first day of competition I enjoyed with my camera from a boat release and return to earth found Louise Loer who invited me to navigate their “Imola” a motovelero 47 years old , rigged ketch and built in Shipyard Antoni Viudes in Barcelona. Monica is the only patron who participates in the race but also for more than 20 years ago is yacht broker Wooden Boat ( Infoser Nautic ), sailing and motor. He also served for years as project manager of restorations, accumulating vast experience over countless ships. So all, she is defined as a great connoisseur of wood and structures, and considers that there are excellent experts in mechanics or electricity.

Clearly the next two days of racing left the photo to navigate the “Imola” and ask Monica about what are the most important points to check when we visited a wooden boat for the first time. This first analysis will serve to rule out the possibility of immediately love or to return to a professional person, a sort of “Celestina” able to form relationships, almost partner.


Betran thelors: What is your first recommendation for someone who is thinking of buying a wooden boat?

Louise Loer: First of all, flee the friend who knows … People believe in many things that are false. For example, the first thing they do is take the boat out of water and wooden boats suffer a lot in this maneuver that 90% of the time, you can see from the inside what you find out.


When you enter a boat you have to let you speak, you do not have to search you, it’s like a first date, which let the other talk and you learn. It is important to know how many people have had and how they have been, because each applies its knowledge and belief. Find better spent with wounds over time, but the original . It is important to feel the boat, touch the wood to see if it is wet or not; open a closet, touch the clothes, upholstery, ceilings, observe. A good sign of a boat that has been well maintained is to open the electrical box and see what state is all doraditos terminals without salts.

Lots of attention to the deck!

The most important part, and that many die, it is on deck. On deck there are signs that tell us if water has leaked or not . No need to go down to the interior. Just a day of sun deck gets wet and allowed to dry. All points that takes too long to dry is because filtered water. Corners, teak boards, plugs screws. The brass screws, may have a high level of corrosion, are hollow and filtered water, so we presume that the top of the bath where it is screwed is affected. This will not see easily from below, in which case it is necessary to identify the site and spend a gauge to see how much space there, but this is intrusive and you have to ask permission.

Not all that glitters is gold

Attention recently painted boats beneath the gloss may be weak or corrosion inside the floors wood.

Bats have their mystery, because the queues are not used before now and this has evolved but is not known last few years. It is very important that the stick is not dry and this indicates the appearance, color. Like a branch, it is easier to break if it is dry. Most often very dry. Moisturize a wooden stick is very difficult, is possible with an alkyd varnish but who is willing to get on the stick twice a year to give, it would be yours. Although the club is varnished dried, the humidity is not enough and the sun a lot. A wooden stick is a lottery, but must be checked, see that no errajes corridos. Normally, when a wooden stick is broken is because a cable has given, not the wood itself. It may be affected by woodworm.


Signs of moisture

As in any boat there are elements that you have to look inside and out . Check all steps errajes and chainplates. Many times we find inside is not accessible because there is a piece of furniture because it is covered by a bezel, etc. Sometimes I have to assume that other party is wrong.

Then we went to the bilge cuadernillas to see if there sobreplanos iron, in which state they are. Rivets must be verdosillos but around salts.


A cesspool with several layers of paint gives bad feeling, it often happens that you meet, original shipyard gray paint and that’s a very good sign , because it means there has been a correct level of dryness and painting has endured. A broken paint which falls, indicates that there was moisture and then drying, or changes very violent temperature.


At this point we must pay attention to the keel bolts . In wooden boats, bolts are usually iron or bronze and maybe the nut and screw are very nice … but when removing the ballast we find that the bolt does not exist, has been corroded. How you have endured? Well I do not know … everything works twinned by time.

A sign that the keel when the boat sails works is that it makes water. There is a pressure lever, the woods are opened and water enters. The important thing is that to reach port that water go away and everything back to your site.

As in any boat you have to check the hull and horn . The problem is that in a wooden boat hull corrode if the wood rots around.

And most important of all it is that whoever buys a wooden boat must consider is closer to a philosophy of life than a material object.



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