Classic Mahogany Wood Boats in Salt Water

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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Jerry Hepler
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Classic Mahogany Wood Boats in Salt Water

Post by Jerry Hepler »

I am considering building a Classic Mahogany inboard like a Monaco or Tahoe which I realize is typically a fresh water lake type boat. The problem is I llive beside the Intercostal Waterway in North Carolina and I am interested in learning the feasibility of using this boat in a salt water environment with the new epoxy and fiberglass manufacturing methods employed today. I would appreciate input from anyone who might have traveled down a similar path.

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Bill Edmundson
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Post by Bill Edmundson »

Jerry,

It had better be OK. My Tahoe is used in the ICW in Alabama. Butch Barto uses his in a Florida bay.

Just be careful choosing metals. You want bronze, 316 stainless steel, and I think it's 6061 T6 Aluminum.

As for rot, saltwater kill the fungus that causes it.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

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kens
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Post by kens »

The Gougeon Bros, (West System) has a lot of research on that. Some of their early boats are still solid after some 30 years. Their findings are that Mahogany/Epoxy holds up very, very well. Their 1st choice for wood is mahogany.
Stay away from woods that exhibit a lot of swelling when moist. Mahogany is a very stable wood, even when wet.

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Bob Perkins
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Post by Bob Perkins »

The construction will work fine in salt water when using epoxy, etc. The boat needs to be able to avoid moisture in the wood under any circumstance. Of course pick the right metals, etc..

You need to pick a hull design that will not pound you in salt water. For instance, my Biscayne 22 is perfectly flat at the transom. I use it in fresh water - but if there is a fair amount of chop - we pound through the water pretty good. i.e. mine is a flat water boat.

Pick a hull with plenty of vee at the transom if you want to use it in salt water which is normally choppy as compared to lakes, etc...
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Bob Perkins

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kens
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Post by kens »

Yeah, a deep vee would help the boat run in choppy water, but I really think the engine in the middle of the boat has more to do with seakeeping ability than having a vee'd transom. My Double Eagle has a damn near flat transom and it does not pound at all, but, the engine is in the middle.
If you want a salty Classic Mahogany, then why not consider the 'Miss Chris' ?
She is a beam/length ratio of 4:1, (which contributes to good seakeeping); has a moderate vee at transom, has a deep fine bow entry too. Also, at 28' the hull weight is some 300lbs less than my Double Eagle. Not to mention the Miss Chris can handle the power of a big block V8 if you so desire.
I think the Miss Chris is a sleeper design that you dont see much pictures posted. Just looking at the numbers on the design, it would appear to be a dandy. A beam/length of 4:1. 28' LOA @1000lbs. And handles big block power. This seems to be a recipe for performance.
And nowadays with engines like a small block 383 stroker, this boat could be light and fast, and go to moderate salt water.

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Bob Perkins
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Post by Bob Perkins »

My Engine is in the middle :)

The vee helps with the pounding quite a bit.

However, if you sit in the very back seat.. The ride is perfectly smooth in any conditions. The pounding happens up front on a flat bottomed boat.
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Bob Perkins

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Matthew Edmondson
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Post by Matthew Edmondson »

A lot of old runabouts were used in a salt-water enviornment. Sea Lyons, for example, were designed for the wave conditions around Long Island Sound.It'll be even better with the fiberglass sheathing.
I cut it, and I cut it, and it was still too short!

Butch Barto
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Post by Butch Barto »

My Taho is 24'4" with the 8.1 big block she rides great in saltwater chop.I would try to avoide aluminum whereever you can . I have several chrome plated aluminum peices all are peeling or have tiny blisters that will peel soon.She has been used in saltwater regularly for three years.We always rinse her with fresh water after pulling out of saltwater. I plan to make new parts using brass, chrome plated or stainless steel and polish it.I find stainless verry hard to work with but the best choice.I made my cutwater from some old restruant equiptment,spent a long day polishing it still looks great with no maintance.

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Jeff007
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Post by Jeff007 »

Jerry
I would also think about installig fresh waster cooling, and a zinc on the prop shaft.

Butch Barto
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Post by Butch Barto »

I ordered my engine pkg with fresh water cooling from the factory.I added FWC to a 350 and two 454's, the aftermarket takes more space.I like the faactory FWC everything is more compac

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John B
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