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Thread: Mando on the boat?

  1. #1
    Registered User Douglas McMullin's Avatar
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    Default Mando on the boat?

    I am pretty sure I have asked about or seen chatter on this in the past, but doing a thread title search is not revealing anything. When I have cruised in our sailboat in the past, I have brought along a travel mandolin, but as of right now I do not have one. I am debating on finding one versus just bringing my Phoenix in a fiberglass eastman case.

    The mando would be perfectly safe, secure and dry in the boat cabin, so the only concern is ocean humidity, which could easily be 100% outside the cabin during a foggy stint. The trip this year will be in early August, so it will likely be a bit drier. I know wood absorbs moisture faster than it loses it and I would keep the instrument in its case, but I am wondering if I am taking a risk and if I should just buy another travel instrument?

    Any thoughts on a mando in this environment for a week or so? I was all geared up to buy something, but then I got to wondering if this environment is any worse than what instruments see at festivals or plenty of other humid places?
    Last edited by Douglas McMullin; Jun-26-2014 at 8:00am.

  2. #2
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Of course you should buy another instrument.

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    Registered User belbein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    What kind of boat? If its sail, you should either buy a beater o.r a carbon fiber mandolin to sawith. If its a power boat, spend the money on the down payment osailboat. ☺
    belbein

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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    I don't think the humidity will be a problem but rather the salt air can pit and corrode the metal parts. That said, I kind of doubt that a week would be long enough to do any damage.

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    Registered User Carl Robin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    You could play for the dolphins ! (a little fantasy of mine) People say they like music. You can buy an inexpensive mandolin for 50 or 60 dollars, if that gives you the peace of mind to relax, and enjoy being on the water. Have fun !

  7. #6

    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Sounds like what you need is a Carbon Fiber Mandolin.

    Well, that may be a little more money than you were looking to spend on a travel/boat mandolin, but it sure would solve the humidity issue.

  8. #7
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    What's the scale length?

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    Registered User Douglas McMullin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    What kind of boat? If its sail, you should either buy a beater o.r a carbon fiber mandolin to sawith. If its a power boat, spend the money on the down payment osailboat. ☺
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Lovely, you keep her in good condition too. Long keel?

    I had a problem with moisture when staying on an island, it got to the glue and the mando became a kit after a few weeks, so it might depend what it's held together with.

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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Unexpected things frequently happen on sailboats.
    A dedicated maritime mandolin of much less value than a Phoenix would be my choice.
    The Phoenix would be left ashore, safe and sound.

  12. #11
    Registered User Douglas McMullin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Full keel boat. I think I will keep my eye to the classifieds for something else to bring.

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    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    I'd consider a couple hundred dollars for a seagoing mando to be worth every penny as insurance for my main axe.
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    Registered User Douglas McMullin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    I am going to do that. Will probably grab a used Eastman 305 or the like.

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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    As one who's played guitar on the beach often enough (and replaced the rusted cheapo tuners thereof), my concern is the salt that seems to condense out of thin air. Maybe pick up a low-end Kentucky or even cheaper if you can stand it (my Rover blem serves the purpose now; Rogues are cheaper yet if you can do the setup).

    It wouldn't hurt to wash & lube the metal hardware when you get home, per Paul Hostetter's tuner maintenance guide.
    http://www.lutherie.net/tuner.maintenance.html
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Just curious, would an all laminate instrument be more stable in this context than a solid wood instrument? My first thought is that laminated wood would be less susceptible to temp and humidity, but is that correct?

    Second, would a generous coating of some type of oil or grease on metal parts be worth considering? I am thinking mostly of the tuners here.

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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Doug is that an Island Packet? I would find a beater, it would be nice to sail around and playing a few tunes. Sound does travel on the water,if people start shooting flairs at you, it might be good to stop playing. lol
    Last edited by nickster60; Jun-26-2014 at 1:11pm.
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    Registered User Douglas McMullin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    It's a Morris Annie (Chuck Paine design). This is #16 of 16 built.

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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    I beautiful boat, I love boats from New England.

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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffJones View Post
    ... some type of oil or grease on metal parts ...
    Yeah but... If you truly coat the metal parts, then you can't keep the oil or grease off of the wood (*), a sure way for woodscrews to slip in their holes! That's one of the reasons that Paul Hostetter (my link above) recommends Tri-Flow only to lube tuners, after washing 'em in naphtha off the instrument. I get it in a local bicycle shop.

    * - Plus, can't keep oil/grease off anything else, either. I'd rather hold on to my beer bottle!
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Chuck Paine does draw lovely boats. I always lusted after a Vancouver 34. Ended up with an old Holman design instead.

    Ply might not be a bad idea for a beater, the one that died on me had a ply body and that stayed intact, it was the glue joint with the neck that went.

  23. #21

    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Isn"t that what carbon fibre mandos are for?

  24. #22
    Certified schooner-rat Neoclinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Ah, tough call! I end up spending most of my waking existence on boats, so I always (nervously) bring the good mando. My thought is that I bought it to play, and if I didn't bring it I would never play it. I do worry about the glue joints, but I keep a close eye on it and after maybe a year at sea with this one I still haven't seen any problems developing, serious knock on wood. Corrosion doesn't seem to be an issue, but it has Waverlies, and I think they might be actual brass or bronze, rather than plated, so I'm sure that plays a factor. One thing I can say though, is that the temp and humidity changes do play merry havoc with the tuning and the strings don't last as long. But I think that's just par for the course.

    My two biggest concerns however are drips, and falls while heeling. Drips because the boats I sail on tend to be made of wood, and wood boats with traditional decks invariably tend to leak somewhere. And as is the nature of leaks, that somewhere is invariably where you least want it. Like over your pillow, or the electronics, or your instruments... So I make sure to stash them somewhere I can guarantee is dry, and cover them if in doubt.
    But having a 'glass boat you don't have to worry about that, and as for the heeling, as I'm sure you know, just keeping them secured close to the sole so if they do go it's not far. (Thank god for hard cases...). But in my experience boat life takes some extra consideration, but it's alright if you bear that in mind. A friend lives aboard his boat with his Goodall guitar and hasn't had any problems with it either, though I think the neck could be happier.
    But no, I wouldn't worry about a week-long trip from time to time if you're conscientious, and I definitely think that a boat will be if anything more kind to an instrument than playing ouside at music festivals, going from damp and chilly night air to campfires to indoor jams and back again.

    Anyway, nice boat! I've always wanted to sail in Maine. You have some lovely schooners over that way.
    Last edited by Neoclinus; Jun-27-2014 at 7:35am.
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    If ever there were a situation calling for a carbon fiber mandolin, this would be it.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Lovely boat!
    I think I would be concerned about the case almost more than the mandolin, for all the above reasons. The instrument is probably not going to be in much danger when being played other than the salt air issue but, clean it well when you get home and be careful.
    However, this may be the perfect reason to get another mandolin!
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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mando on the boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    If ever there were a situation calling for a carbon fiber mandolin, this would be it.
    For 100% piece of mind, sure, but some of us would prefer a wooden instrument over composite, regardless of risk, either for the tonal qualities or just the aesthetics and feel of a wooden instrument in your hands.

    That might be especially true of someone attracted to living and working on wooden sailboats, like 'ol Neoclinus up there in the thread. I know him, and I've played his cedar/cocobolo Elkhorn F5 (lovely instrument). The last time I saw it about 5 months ago, it was in fine shape.

    The only caution I'd add to the thread, is that the environmental effects are probably a little more benign up here in the Pacific Northwest and the UK (where he is, last I heard), than they are where I grew up in South Florida and the neighboring Caribbean.

    I remember some very hot days in the cabin when sailing my little boat out of Miami. Aside from the risk of temperature damage, a year-long warm environment in the subtropics and tropics encourages growth of mold in the cabin (which I was constantly fighting) and all the warm water critters that eat at a wooden hull (although mine was fiberglass). That's why the wooden boat communities tend to be centered around places with cooler, more wood-preserving climates like the PNW, New England, and Northern Europe. If I was still a boat owner in South Florida, I might lean more towards the carbon fiber mandolin idea. Further north where it's cooler, there is a little less risk for a wooden instrument, I think.

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