I know very little about wooden boats. I live in the desert in New Mexico and I have a chance to buy a pristine 1957 yellow jacket. My question is would the dry climate destroy the boat? It has a painted bottom. Is this the type of boat you have to soak before taking it out, or do anything else to before launching? Thanks for any info.
I may be wrong, but I believe Yellow Jackets are a plywood hull to make them lighter. My '59 Thompson is lapstrake made of Douglas Fir plywood. The advertised dry weight for my 17' hull is only about 800 #. That being said, plywood hulls do not need to be "soaked". The plywood will not expand and stop leaking. Plank bottomed boats, such as Centurys and Chris Crafts, on the other hand do need to be soaked to get the planks to swell. If a plywood boat leaks that means there is seam leaking, usually under the outer keel.
As long as the paint and finish is in good shape, the dry climate should not hurt the boat. In fact, it probably is good for it by pretty much eliminating the possibility of standing water and rot.
I assume someone else will pipe in if I am wrong.