I hoping that someone can help me out with this one. I'm new to wood boat ownership, but have always heard that extended dry-docking will cause plank shrinkage. Can anyone recommend a maximum length of time to keep one dry (Southeast AK dry anyway) without leading to extensive re-corking? ...weeks, months, all winter?
With old fir planking, we here try to get back in the water inside of two weeks. Weather makes a big difference, so you watch the shrinkage. You can actually see the seams opening up as the wood drys out. A tight cedar hull is less prone to shrinkage problems.
When I re-ribbed, re-fastened, and re-corked the Tacora, she was out of the water for 4.5 months. I should have rigged sprinklers a month in advance of relaunching. Instead she leaked like a sieve until she swelled up. After an unavoidably extended dry docking, you can re-cork, use sprinklers, sit in the straps (overnight?), but still you want plenty of pumping power when you go back to your slip. I rented a 120V submersible just in case, but both 1500GPH Rule pumps were more than enough.
If your ribs are shot, you can watch some of the planking pull loose and fall to the ground. That's when you should grab a handful of airplane and take a new summer job.
I have been living and working on an old 194180' wooden fish boat, dug fir planks. The boat has been on the dry dock for three years. It just went in the water three days ago and had only two small leaks that required minimal pumping only, after 8 hours. The boat was recorked during the third year on the hard.