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Critique a 42 for me, please.

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:26 pm
by Hawgwash
Perhaps the start of a long relationship…

I grew up on the BC coast, have boated all my life and my first job as a 16 year old was running water taxi out of Lund, in the 60s. I have intimate knowledge of the waters of BC and WA.

I have always liked the GB.

I have never owned a wooden boat.

What would really, REALLY, make me happy is if some of you can take me by the hand here. I am kicking the fenders of a 1972 42 Classic and would love as much feedback as I can get; especially from WA and BC Grand Banks owners because you know the seasons and local conditions.

Year round cruising is the intent, maybe even live aboard.

If any of you are willing, I would like to PM you with a spec sheet of this boat and get your honest assessment on the basis of that limited information. Praise it, damn it, whatever you like.

Since it is wood, I am particularly interested in knowing rough annual budgets for routine upkeep and repairs.

Anyone caring to make general comments here; please do.

The boat is a 1972 GB 42 with twin 2714E Lehman’s with 2700 hrs.

There is a nice clean “in the water” insurance survey from 2012 that I can send as well.

Direct email contact: hawgwash(at)gmail(dot)com


Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:46 pm
by JoMeKe

Woodies have their fans as well as their detractors and I will leave that argument for others. My hat is off to all those who keep the wooden boat heritage alive and the boats in good condition. But I would say that, in this climate (PNW), I would consider it imperative that she be kept under cover unless you really enjoy spending most of your time maintaining her. Whether you will want to live aboard when the boat is under a roof or in a shed/boathouse is your call. Many around here do, including at least 4 on our dock. Others feel it is too confining. And I wouldn't begin to be able to tell you what maintenance costs on a woody might be.

The Lehman is a workhorse engine. I have a pair of the 135s in my boat with almost 6500 hours on them and love them. The GB is a great boat. We are on our second, both however fiberglass.

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:35 pm
by Hawgwash
Thanks Ken.
Even the glass ones have a lot of wood.
I don't want to be scraping and refinishing all the time.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:24 am
by Bob Lowe
Here is a link to a discussion on wood versus fiberglass including maintenance requirements for both from some years back.

It is just as relevant today as then.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:11 am
by Don Prior

There are as many opinions about wood vs plastic in GB's as there are owners of GB's. This topic is right up there with the best anchor to use and what is the best varnish to use on a GB.

I bought a woodie in 2005 which was built in 1970. It has twin Lehman 120's which had about 6,000 hours in 2005 and now have 8,000 hours. It is my first wood boat.

Maintenance costs are variable to say the least. If you stay on top of the small maintenance problems you will drastically reduce the larger problems. I do not think my "maintenance" costs are any higher than a plastic boat. I do spend more time walking the decks of my boat looking closely into corners for breaks in the paint coverage. I touch up anything that looks like it may let water into the hull or cabin as that is the greatest source of trouble in a woodie.

Mechanically the 1970 GB 42 is identical to a 1974 GB 42 with the same engines. The only difference is the hull, cabin and decks. My teak decks were almost an inch thick and are still almost 3/4 inch thick compared to a much thinner deck on the plastic version.

The biggest cost difference in my opinion is the cost of a covered slip. In the PNW a covered slip for a woodie is a necessity. Fresh water is not good for a wooden boat. Unfortunately a covered slip is more expensive than an open slip.

I had my boat hull and cabin professionally painted when I bought Brassbounder. Other than that I have done all the maintenance and touch up painting by myself although I had new electronics professionally installed.

My recommendation would be to get a very good survey and then consider buying the boat based on the condition and price, not wood or plastic. :)

Fair winds.

GB 42-139
Anacortes, Wa.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:56 pm
by Hawgwash
Thanks very much for your input, it is exactly what I am seeking.
It isn't glass vs wood as much as it is about the caveats of wood.
I take great pride in "like new" boats that attract attention and spend at least half my time away cleaning things I already cleaned yesterday, if you know what I mean.

See, the bit about cover being a must, especially in our part of the world, is the kind of feedback I want and even though it would eliminate the live aboard concept, I need to hear it. I simply cannot survive on artificial light. I will rethink that one.

Thanks a bunch, Don.


Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:32 pm
by Hawgwash
Bob Lowe wrote:just as relevant today as then.

Thanks Bob, some good reading there.
Every forum whether boats, bikes or bon bons has a go to guy and you seem to be it here. I know it can be frustrating at times so thanks for what you contribute for everyone’s befit and learning.

Now… wood to glass.
Did all GB models transition at the same time (’72 wood-’73 glass) and was it a total switch, hulls and houses at the same time?

Thanks again Bob.


Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:36 am
by Bob Lowe
They made the first fiberglass GBs in 1973 in another yard. However, they had wood hulls already started, keels laid, in the original yard and finished those in 1973 and even beyond.

For example, Dreamer, an Alaskan (GB with slightly different hull, especially at the bow) was a 1974. I have seen other GBs as late as 1974 and even some Alaskans (all Alaskans were wood) as late as 1976. Could also be some larger wood GBs in the later years.

Others here may have more detailed information, from a historical point of view, but the above will give you a little to start with.

You might also find some additional information on the GB Woodies site, link above in the header. :)