Want to see my G-string?

Any luthiers or guitar experts out there?


I always keep a cheap guitar on the boat. I want it to sound decent, but if worse comes to worst, I don’t want to feel bad if I have to use it as a paddle.

My first boat guitar was an Epiphone Dove with a cracked neck that I procured for $30.


A little wood glue, and it was a nice player for about a year. Then the same spot on the neck broke again, so I stripped it for hardware and junked the body.

My current guitar is an Epiphone AJ. It was a B stock guitar with a few blemishes that I picked up new for $89.


For the past two years or so, it played and sounded great. Unfortunately it has suddenly started popping G-strings. The last two times I’ve played it the G string has broken at the saddle with less than two hours of use. Then tonight I swapped the strings again, and the G broke while I was just tuning it.

I use Elixir strings, so they don’t rust out in a week on the boat, but they’re about $15 a set. When the guitar is worth less than $100, even $15 is a large investment, especially if the strings are now only lasting for an hour or two of play time. They were previously lasting for up to six months of weekend jams.

My Gibson has a bone saddle, and I see lots of them available on eBay for anywhere from 99 cents to $20. But how do I know they’ll fit, and is a 99 cent bone saddle really any good? Should I search for a replacement nylon/plastic saddle? Should I gift this guitar to a starving artist and find another sub-$100 boat instrument?

Right now I have a B string replacing the G string, so that there’s less tension, but it makes the tone a little funny. Using two B strings is definitely not a long-term solution.

Come on guitar experts, I know you’re out there. What in the world is going on with my guitar and how do I fix it (cheaply)?

Spontaneous raft-up

While we spent Friday and Saturday focused on wedding activities, we couldn’t let the first sunny skies we’d seen in weeks pass without getting out on the water for at least a few hours. Sunday we headed for the marina and puttered out into the bay.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough wind to even pretend to be sailing. Everyone was just kind of bobbing around with their sails sagging. Then we heard a familiar laugh echoing across the bay. Sure enough, our friend Rene was out on Sea Angel, so we puttered over to drink his rum instead of ours.

Not long after our friend Adam on Storyteller appeared as well.

It was a spontaneous raft up!


We still haven’t mastered the raft up. We ended up tying a bow line from Gimme Shelter to the stern of Sea Angel and letting her dangle out there. However, with no wind Gimme Shelter had a tendency to start floating up beside us instead of staying behind us. Storyteller tied up to the side of Sea Angel, which was fine except when the passing motorboat wakes set the two boats banging against each other. I’m sure there’s some kind of trick to it that we’ll eventually figure out.

I think this impromptu party qualified for the hashtag #SundayFunDay


This week the rain and fog have returned, but at least we got a sneak peek of spring.