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Accordion on a boat

NickC

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We just bought a boat and will be putting it in the water around May 2021. It will be on the bay of the Atlantic Ocean. I was thinking about buying an inexpensive accordion to bring on board. I know water and sun aren't very friendly, but what about the salt air? Will the reeds corrode? Is there anything else that I should consider?
 

TomBR

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Not salt water but you had a look at this discussion?
 

NickC

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Good read, thanks Tom.
Jozz, I saw a book called 'Sea Shanties' a while back. I may have to try and locate it.
 

debra

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You have to be careful about splashes of water. A while ago I got an accordion in for repair that was used (just once) on a boat and some water splashed over the keyboard. The wooden "comb" under the keys (to guide the keys so they don't clack against each other) had a bit of swelling that cause the keys to become sticky (the aluminium guide on each key that moves through the comb did no longer have enough room to move freely. So... in addition to the salty environment not being good for the reeds you need to avoid being splashed.
 

Chrisrayner

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A small cheap used diatonic accordion would be fine I think. I’d be reluctant to take one of my chromatic accordions afloat. Salt water will do reeds and woodwork no good at all. I’d invest in a tough waterproof back in which to store it. I play an old GC two row Hohner pokerwork when in harbour. Never while under way, there’s too much else to do then.
 

Dingo40

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Nick,
Salt air is capable of corroding anything, given time: paint, steel, chrome, brass, copper, zinc even aluminium!
This is without mentioning the other seaside hazard: windblown fine beach sand (which also carries salt).
Salt carrying sea spume coats everything within a kilometre of the beach with a salty layer
( examine the windows of cars parked near the beach ) and that salt eats even into "protective coatings" via small pinpricks and fissures in the coating .
The problem is, sea salt is hygroscopic and will continue to beaver away, out of sight, long after your beach excursion is forgotten!
The best thing to do with any valued accordion is to leave a at home🙂
Buy yourself a harmonica!😀
 
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debra

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Nick,
Salt air is capable of corroding anything, given time: paint, steel, chrome, brass, copper, zinc even aluminium!
...
The best thing to do with any valued accordion is to leave a at home🙂
Buy yourself a harmonica!😀
Good advice. Won't help if you live "close" to the sea as the wind will carry the corroding air for many miles though... (I have seen what living near the cost did to a Hohner Atlantic IV (very bad corrosion on the reeds, under the valves much more than on the outside). And that was not within several miles of the cost. Here in the Netherlands people complain about their stainless-steel garden ornaments and outdoor lights corroding and manufacturers do not guarantee anti-corrosion of stainless-steel within something like 50 miles from the coast (which means about 2/3 of the Netherlands...).
 
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A small cheap used diatonic accordion would be fine I think. I’d be reluctant to take one of my chromatic accordions afloat. Salt water will do reeds and woodwork no good at all. I’d invest in a tough waterproof back in which to store it. I play an old GC two row Hohner pokerwork when in harbour. Never while under way, there’s too much else to do then.

Another option would be an Anglo concertina. Very similar fingering to the diatonic accordion (aka melodeon) and much smaller and lighter. Easy to keep in a waterproof bag.

Chris
 

Chrisrayner

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Good advice. Won't help if you live "close" to the sea as the wind will carry the corroding air for many miles though... (I have seen what living near the cost did to a Hohner Atlantic IV (very bad corrosion on the reeds, under the valves much more than on the outside). And that was not within several miles of the cost. Here in the Netherlands people complain about their stainless-steel garden ornaments and outdoor lights corroding and manufacturers do not guarantee anti-corrosion of stainless-steel within something like 50 miles from the coast (which means about 2/3 of the Netherlands...).
Not just close to the sea, but much of the Netherlands is actually below mean sea level. Without careful attention to dykes and sea walls, pumps and drains many houses in Holland would be hazards to marine navigation. They say that God made the Earth and the Dutch made the Netherlands.
 

NickC

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Thanks for all the replies! The concertina, organetto and harmonica ideas are interesting. I am just not familiar with the repertoire. I'm going to spend some time on YouTube to check out the tunes. I guess I was kind of hopeful since Castelfidardo, itself, is under 10km from the sea.
This leads to another question. I'm not at the point where I am ready to play gigs, but when the time comes, is it a bad idea to have a nicer instrument at coastal gigs?
 

jozz

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that's a tough question

I would be very hesitant to put my Bugari in sea air. On the other hand it is meant to be played isn't it, no matter where.

We need to know exactly how fast a typical accordion rusts away on the coast, then we can calculate how many years of coastal playing we can afford...
 

Chrisrayner

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Another option would be an Anglo concertina. Very similar fingering to the diatonic accordion (aka melodeon) and much smaller and lighter. Easy to keep in a waterproof bag.

Chris
Indeed, but most Anglo concertinas are quite pricey. A beat-up but serviceable Hohner two row, pokerwork/Erica/etc. could be procured for about a third the price of a similar condition Anglo. Oh, and if you want to know about sea chanties then Stan Hugill’s book is still available. It’s the definitive work. I remember hearing him sing in the sixties. Shanties from the seven seas
 
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Indeed, but most Anglo concertinas are quite pricey. A beat-up but serviceable Hohner two row, pokerwork/Erica/etc. could be procured for about a third the price of a similar condition Anglo. Oh, and if you want to know about sea chanties then Stan Hugill’s book is still available. It’s the definitive work. I remember hearing him sing in the sixties. Shanties from the seven seas

A Pokerwork or Erica in fair condition (one that plays well, but is cosmetically well-used) goes for around £400-£500 these days, and a pristine one can be close to double that (I bought one fairly recently), but you can buy a reasonable-quality new Chinese-made melodeon (Italian-sounding brands like Scarlatti, for example) for £300 or so.

Concertina prices are a bit weird. The seriously expensive instruments are the antique ones: brands like Wheatstone, Lachenal, Crabb, or most expensive of all, Jeffries; they can (and do) sell for high thousands of pounds. New concertinas are pretty affordable; I have a very decent Italian Stagi concertina which cost a fraction of what a late 19th-century Wheatstone or Lachenal would cost, but doesn’t have that “designer label”. A perfectly acceptable student Anglo costs much the same as the new Chinese-made melodeons I mentioned above.

Cheers,

Chris
 

pentaprism

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Concertina prices are a bit weird. The seriously expensive instruments are the antique ones: brands like Wheatstone, Lachenal, Crabb, or most expensive of all, Jeffries; they can (and do) sell for high thousands of pounds. New concertinas are pretty affordable; I have a very decent Italian Stagi concertina which cost a fraction of what a late 19th-century Wheatstone or Lachenal would cost, but doesn’t have that “designer label”. A perfectly acceptable student Anglo costs much the same as the new Chinese-made melodeons I mentioned above.
We are off-topic now. But... what the heck!

No, I don't think concertina prices are weird, Chris. Costly, yes. But weird, no.

If you are serious about playing Anglo concertina, and buy a "decent Italian Stagi," you will outgrow it in less than 6 months (don't ask me how I know). A "decent" AC, IMHO, is a "hybrid" (with accordion reeds) that costs around US$ 2500 new. A good used one is about $2000.

A decent "antique" that is properly restored costs about $2500 and up.

BTW, my "decent Italian Stagi" is still somewhere in my office (closed due to the shelter-in-place order since March). I don't miss it at all.
 
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If you are serious about playing Anglo concertina, and buy a "decent Italian Stagi," you will outgrow it in less than 6 months (don't ask me how I know). A "decent" AC, IMHO, is a "hybrid" (with accordion reeds) that costs around US$ 2500 new. A good used one is about $2000.

Depends what your needs are, of course. I play purely for my own entertainment, and my Stagi suits me fine. Perhaps I shall reach its limits eventually, but that won’t be for a long time, and not everyone can afford to jump in with an instrument costing thousands 🙂. I refer to mine as “decent” not in comparison to something like a Jeffries, obviously, but in the sense that it’s considerably better quality than the most basic student instruments.

Best wishes,

Chris
 

Pipemajor

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Why not consider the ubiquitous cheap, Chinese Melodica.
It's made of plastic with brass reeds. I bought one recently for under £12.00 including carrying case and free postage and it's brilliant.
A couple of the notes needed tuning but it only took 10 minutes to dismantle it and tune them to an acceptable standard.
Only down side is you can't drink and play at the same time.:confused:
However, if it gets damaged or accidently (deliberately) lost over board, then it's no big deal
 

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