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Tiffany 46 Sportfish

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by Gray-Sea, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    Good morning, folks!

    I haven't posted here in quite some time, so I figured I would check in and let you know how things turned out for us. I know this forum isn't necessarily big on old wooden boats or restoration projects, but I still wanted to share because this boat is a beautiful classic.

    After a lengthy search and looking at many, many boats, last summer we ended up making an offer on a Tiffany that we actually looked at over a year prior but never thought seriously about until it was relisted. Everything fell into place and after surveys, closing, and having some work done, we ran her back to northeastern North Carolina from the upper Chesapeake on September 1, and her restoration will be ongoing.

    She was built in 1968, and we are her fourth owners. She was repowered in 1993 with 3208 CATs which currently have around 950 hours on them. She's almost exactly 46' long, has just shy of a 15' of beam, and is about 12-1/2' a the transom. She is "batten-seam" built mahogany plank-on-oak-frame, with a double-planked mahogany bottom. Under load, cruise is around 18 knots at 2350 rpm. Slow, but she rides like my living room!

    This is what has been done so far:

    - rudder and intermediate strut backing blocks replaced
    - all fluids changed, belts, basic maintenance, etc.
    - new bilge pumps
    - bow rail removed, holes epoxied and painted
    - salon curtains removed
    - salon windows tinted
    - salon painted
    - galley seating reupholstered (Sunbrella)
    - galley seating area and port side walls sanded and painted (Interlux Brightside OffWhite 1990)
    - latches, hatches, handles, and fixtures repaired/replaced/added
    - all interior lighting replaced with LEDs
    - starboard head wallpaper removed (revealing beautiful mahogany underneath)
    - new carpet throughout
    - new vinyl flooring in heads and under galley seating
    - new rod holders

    This fall/winter the bottom will be soda blasted and repainted.

    After that:

    - new topside paint
    - new hull paint
    - installation of new (used) outriggers
    - new top
    - redesigned flybridge
    - new electronics

    We went from a 21' skiff to a 23' center console to this boat...hence the name, ESCALATION. :)

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  2. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    Very nice profile, post some interiour pictures, and keep up the good work!
  3. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Classic wood is good! Congrats. Thread has been moved to the Sportfish Yacht forum for better indexing so other owners/enthusiasts around the web can find this thread on Google.
  4. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    P46, now that the flooring is finished, I will post some before and after photos once I get the chairs back aboard on Monday.

    Apologies for placing this in the wrong section, I debated heavily before posting as to where it should go and chose wrongly! :)

    Thanks for the correction, sir.
    P46-Curaçao likes this.
  5. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I believe there are more wooden admirers than you might think. Congratulations. The boat looks great.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Im an admirer from afar......I like to admire them, but I sure as heck wouldn't own one!
  7. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    Ha...one of my favorite quotes from another forum speaks to that. It's a labor of love, but I think it's worth it!

    "If you're asking whether you should buy a wooden boat, you probably shouldn't buy a wooden boat. If you don't already obsess about them, dream about them, hang calendars on your wall, post photos of them to Facebook, subscribe to Wooden Boat Magazine, and spend your every waking moment thinking about them, and every spare bit of cash on them, then you may not be up for the task.

    Honestly, you're just not going to do it properly. You need a glass boat or something else instead.

    In this day and age, you don't just DECIDE to be a wooden boat owner, it's already been decided for you by your inner makeup, and you do it because you just can't help yourself. You hear the soul of the boat call out to you, asking to be saved. That's something glass boats don't do. They're nice; some are beautiful, but they're silent.

    Since there are many more practical options for far less total outlay in cash, time or resources, if you actually have to ask yourself, 'should I buy this wooden boat?' you should count yourself lucky."
  8. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Hi Gray-Sea,
    Don't mind these guys...all kinds of people have all kinds of fetishes, Cars, Vintage Farm equipment...the list goes on and on. You just happen to have a love for buying a bigger hole in the water to pour more money into...but it makes you happy...and after all, I believe that we were all put into this world to be happy. By the way....I've got some incredible Mountain property in the Everglades, that for the right price I'd part with....just let me know.
    It's basically what Capt J said...only funnier.
  9. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    You're absolutely right about that. There's no other way I'd rather happily piss my money away!
  10. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Good for you! **** the torpedoes...full speed ahead! So.... you're not interested in the Everglades property? Just askin'.:D Actually she is a very pretty boat. Very classic lines. Just please tell me that when you pull her this winter, you'll let her dry out for a couple of months, and then add a couple or three coats of epoxy to seal the bottom. I'm assuming that epoxy would be a good sealant for wood as well. I don't know anything about wood hulls, do wood hulls need to be wet in order to expand to create watertight seals between the planks? What's the drill for wood planked hulls? I'm not being a smart a** here...I really don't know...I'd appreciate having some education on wood hulls. I'm sure they are a different breed from cold molded hulls...yes?
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  11. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    As much as I appreciate the offer sir, I try to limit my financially draining decisions to divorces, classic wood boats, and antique fire apparatus! ;)

    I'm working with a Carolina boat builder who has recommended against glassing the bottom pending having it blasted and inspected. It can certainly be done, but he reasons that it would be costly and the benefit would be minimal since it wasn't designed that way it could affect the ride. If I ever do glass it, it'll be from the waterline down. Just epoxying the bottom is an option as well but I'd be more worried about maintenance on that than just painted wood, and the builder said blast it and paint it or glass it but don't halfass it with just epoxy alone.

    You're correct that she will shrink and subsequently swell back up when put in the water, however my understanding is that this method was popular in the northeast for boats left out of the water during the winter to minimize shrinkage.

    She was out for a couple months after purchase, and had to be left in the slings for a while until she swelled back up and the pumps were checked (and re-checked). Another Tiffany 46 used to be nearby, I believe it was a 1972, and that boat had been glasses below the waterline. That boat was also fully restored. My restoration has just begun.

    From a pragmatic standpoint, it would make more sense to not glass the bottom until when/if I repower. And these 3208s should (knock on abundant mahogany) should last quite some time. By that time, the boat may well have reached the end of its useful life, and I'll get my money back out of it just by parting it out and mulching the yard with her hull.

    I'm not an expert, largely self-taught and educated through harassing with my questions those who build boats for a living, but cold molding, plank-on-frame, and batten-seam construction are all methods to build custom wooden hulls (Carolina boats, and I think Florida sportfishers as well). To complicate matters for you further, batten-seam is an evolution of carvel construction, and batten-seam is also a version of plank-on-frame construction. Even glassed-over wooden Carolina boats will take on water until they swell back up after being on the hard.
  12. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Thank you for the information...never too old to learn something new. And unlike some people here, I appreciate your sense of humor. Some times being a little tough skinned here helps, as well as turning the other cheek...and by the way, Welcome to YF! You'll come to find out Gray-Sea, every once in awhile I like to walk around and kick a hornet's nest just to keep everyone's blood pressure up. :D Some of these old guys here don't get a lot of Cardio!
    Gray-Sea likes this.
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    No Stuff!!

    Good morning kids.
  14. timvail

    timvail Senior Member

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    Your right, things will tighten up after a few days. Up here in the northern part of the country we pull wooden boats each fall and back into the fresh water after 6 months on the hard. They sit in a lift till the wood swells up and safe to take to their slip. Sometimes a little sawdust on the outside of the hull helps to slow any leaks that are taking a little longer to expand. And of course a couple of good bilge pumps as well just in case.
  15. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    Well played. And back at ya, sir!
  16. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Hey Gray-Sea, from your photo's it looks the caps around the stern are varnished? I'd be so freaked out that I'd step on those and my foot would slip, and with my luck break my back! Do you lay a mat over the caps for boarding purposes?
  17. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    Yes, the covering boards are varnished and are treacherous when wet. With boat shoes, bare feet, or flip flops it's not an issue when dry. If they were teak, I would strip them and oil instead of varnish, but since they're mahogany, I think I'm stuck with varnish since it doesn't share the same characteristics as teak. I step on top of the transom to board, but there is a boarding mat on the starboard gunnel that's soon to be replaced.

    So far the only injury (knock on wood) was when the boat was at the Tiffany yard and my wife left the Port hatch open while I was moving furniture and didn't know it. I fell in, and somehow only ended up with soft tissue injuries. It's a downright miracle I didn't break anything.
  18. NEO56

    NEO56 Member

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    Is there something you could sprinkle onto the varnish before it set to give it a non-skid finish? I understand that's negating the whole varnish thing.. but safety would be paramount to me over aesthetics.
  19. Gray-Sea

    Gray-Sea Member

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    I've heard that salt, sand, or nonskid particles can be added to varnish but I don't have any firsthand experience. Salt is supposedly a traditional and easily maintained "non-skid" for the final coat.
  20. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    ...crushed walnut shells have typically been used in varnish as non-skid material.