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Grand Banks Classic. Wood You?

Discussion in 'Grand Banks Yacht' started by Fishtigua, May 25, 2010.

  1. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    There's a pretty little Grand Banks just hauled out in our yard today. The survayor has cleaned back patches all over the hull and the wood looks as bright and clean as the day she was built.

    The owner, a full-time fisherman, bought it 10 years ago as a family cruising boat but his daughters are now almost 6' tall and race dinghies so he has 2 race boats to look after and no time for the GB.

    Has any YFer had experience of a wooden GB, anything to look out for?

    She has a single 4CYL Ford he claims he 'did' last year and the interior looks prettty good and clean. The topsides need doing, so does the varnish on the transom.

    He's asking about $10.000 higher than my stratosphere, any budget busters I need to know about?

    I would be greatly pleased to hear of any info from our knowlegeble readers.

    (Why the f*** do I always get involved with wooden boat?)

    Fish
  2. revdcs

    revdcs Senior Member

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    Dave – it’s because you are a masochist :D

    Seriously though, there’s nothing like a wooden boat. A wooden lady is warm and huggable - and you can fall in love with her over and over again. Yes she is ‘high maintenance’ expensive – but then who wants to hug steel – or even worse, plastic?

    Good luck in your decision making.

    David.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Dave, Maybe you will need to keep that BW and Forceless OB as a tender for your new cruiser.
  4. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Fish --

    In general, the GB woodies are good boats - they're classics for a reason. You didn't give too much information. What year, is his over your budget overpriced or just over your budget, are you having a surveyor, what mechanical equipment has been updated, etc.? In many respects the issues with vintage are the same as to wiring, plumbing, etc. GB woodies aren't my specialty but you might try checking with the GB Owners Assoc.

    Judy
  5. doug p

    doug p Member

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    If there is any rot, it is usually the cabin where it meets the deck.
    Doug
  6. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I think he is asking $10,000 above market value. I haven't had a good look around the cabin to deck joint yet, thats next on the list ,unfortunatly it was pouring with rain today. The owner says the bilge pump hardly ever goes off and the bilges are very dry.

    As to wiring and plumbing stuff, I would replace that as a matter of course on a Classic, thats just me, I always do it. The paint and varnish I think will knock down the price a bit. Other than that she's a tidy little boat.

    Thanks for your input.

    Dave
  7. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

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    If I had the time to take one on, I'd love to do so. There is nothing else out there that comes with a level of character like an old wooden boat such as an old GB does.

    Wish I had more to contribute, but looking forward to seeing her if you decide to pick her up and go through a restore.
  8. Check with your insurance agent to see if you can get insurance on a woody. Fuel tanks have always been an issue on older boats no matter what material the boat is made of. You can put a digital camera on a pole and check places that you can not see easily.
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I hadn't thought of that, thanks. I work in a shipyard where we knock-out stainless tanks weekly, not so much of a problem costwise.

    The engineering side of things I'm not too worried about. What always makes me sweat is finding a wood related problem. You know the creeping feeling when you find rot around the shaft log or rudder stock. Thats when the heeby-jeebys get you. A real heart-sinker.
  10. doug p

    doug p Member

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    Having been around GB "Woodies" seldom is there a rot problem with the hull being in salt water, in fact I would introduce salt water into my bilge to "pickle" the wood, (don't ask how I got rid of the water). As I stated before, where fresh water can accumulate, i.e. cabin (plywood) meeting the deck is where rot happens. As far as insurance, either Hagerty or BoatUS will insure it.

    Doug


    If you don't want wood, I'll trade you a rare 25' steel Chris Craft.
  11. seamoose

    seamoose New Member

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    An ancient thread to be sure... But I owned a GB32 woodie #220 and loved it, Compared to a similar era Owens, Carver, Chris craft the GB is built like a tank and very sea worthy.

    Never saw one with a four banger though... :)
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The 32's came with a 4 banger.......I think a 120hp Lehmans....or was it 80hp? I don't remember. I ran a wooden one a long long time ago....it was a nice little boat, really easy to handle and dock, etc. I don't have the pockets or whereforall for a wooden boat myself.....LOLOL......Well, you can always make him a lowball offer and see where he stands.
  13. seamoose

    seamoose New Member

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    The wooden GB 32's all came with the Ford Lehman FL120, a manually aspirated six cylinder inline diesel designed by Bob Smith. The ones painted green are the Dorset engine, a marinized version of the English industrial tractor/heavy equipment motor, the ones painted red were built for marine use. It's a spectacular engine provided one remembers to change the oil in the separate injector bath, and does not overheat it. Later models in glass came with the Cummins inline six (220 hp, now known as the QSB 5.9) that matched the updated hull design.

    The FL120 is easily good for 20,000 hours if treated nice, @ 1850 rpm (about 6 1/2 knots) they burn 1.8 Gal/Hr which works out to around 3-4 NMPG depending on conditions.

    Maybe one or two of these came with FL80 twins but I have never seen one. The 36 twin (and the 42) woodies all had the FL120.

    With the 3 bladed wheel they can be a handful in a tight marina, many owners elect to go to a four blade to improve the low speed handling. Easy to handle is relative to what you came from I suppose. A 20,000 pound boat with a 120 hp engine and big flat sides in a crosswind takes experience to dock for sure!
  14. rmjranch

    rmjranch Member

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    I had a 48' Grand Banks (Wood) 49' Grand Banks (Plastic) and now a 78' Jongert Motor Yacht (Trawler) (Aluminum). Travels over 25,000 miles with easy of the Grand Banks and the Jongert has made 5 transatlantic crossings on her own bottom. Just back from an 8000 mile trip on the Jongert.
    The best sea boat I ever had, for it's size, was the wood GB. When it is over 4' outside and you are going into it, the wooden hull absorbs the impact MUCH better than the plastic hull. Much softer ride. The Jongert has a real displacement hull. She knifes thru the water and does not pound. Not fair to compare a 50,000 pound boat with a hard chime to a displacement hull that weighs over 100 tons.
    Anyway #1 The electrical panel and wiring on the wooden GB probably needs to be replaced.
    #2 and MOST important. Make sure you have someone to fix a wooden hull. I had a great danish fellow who did my wood work, now moved away. I live in Ft Lauderdale where you can get almost anything fixed. Was in the yard a few years ago and there was a wooden Trumpy getting rebuilt. The owner had to bring in shipwrights from North Carolina. Not only had to pay their hourly but had to rent housing & food. He could not find anyone, for any price, to do the work.
    Had Ford Lehman's in the wood GB. Never missed a beat. Had problems with dirty fuel down in the islands. The generator was never happy, an Onan, but the Lehman's never stopped.
    Good luck and if you have a wood person buy the boat.
  15. MichaelPilot

    MichaelPilot New Member

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    I had a 32 ft GB , built in 1969.

    Bought it on the hard shortly after doing a refasten and rebuild of a 30 ft Glouster and 50 ft Ed Monk Sr built in 1942. The 32 GB had sank in marina and the transom had gave out. Rebuilt transom (serious item to pre inspect) then dry launched in July heat. Ouch. She took up after several hours in slings.

    The problem I have with Woodie GBs is that surveys don't know where to look for rot in them. They rot out between the mahogany planks , unseen to most eyes. You can find the tell tale signs from inside the bilge if you know what to look for, or by removing planks. As a rule I find if it has 2 or 3 bad planks its prob really going to be 9 or more. Old GBs are way over rated by some romantic idea that they were built so well . Also, owners selling think they should get back every dollar they paid based on this romantic notion that GBs are almost God like Fact is its been a long , long time they have been sitting in the water in some maria, often seldom run or used and they are all getting tired. No matter how nice they look above the water line, rot between the planks and plywood transoms are rotting away under a pretty varnished stern. Also, the good old Ford 120 6 cly usually needs all new injectors, alternator, starter, ground bonding straps , injector lines and original Black iron fuel tanks are expensive to replace. And who said soft ride? If a wood boat is riding that soft beware as the fasteners and planks may be getting loose. Get a GB expert woodie pro for a survey. 500 bucks is better then $15,000" in fasteners, planks or more.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015