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Old 18-12-2007, 13:34   #16
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Great advertisement for steel indeed. In my view, it is still the best material for extended voyaging in a monohull. As to the boat being a write-off, I don't believe it for a second. There is nothing easier to repair than steel. Nothing. The most complex part will likely be removing the interior joinerwork in the affected area. But virtually anywhere on the planet there are workers skilled enough (and steel available)to replace the damaged portions of the stringers/frames/hull plating. I suspect that anyone who told them the boat is a write-off is just looking to 'steal' it...

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Old 18-12-2007, 14:29   #17
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Repairs to steel

Brad--them was my sentiments too--but in some foreign places one is at the mercy of people who will charge a great deal for repairs--considerably more than they would charge the local trawlermen etc.

In Oz fifteen years ago I was quoted twenty-five thousand dollars to build a Colvin Gazelle hull--which included sandblast and primer paint only--no internal fit out but tankage in place. The only place I could get a similar quote was in India. A hell of a long way away--and there would have been all sorts of bother with registration the local builder would not have had to put up with.

Back to the vessel in question. A good whack with all that ballast would certainly give all of the strakes a good stretch--but anything steel is fixable. With no insurance they have little choice but to fix it. They will need a slip or a place to work for a few weeks though--and they will need a stick welder and oxy-acetylene gear, as well as hammers, grinders and cutting wheels as well as a couple of cheap come-alongs.

I think fixing it is their only option unless they want to sell her where she is for peanuts and let someone else fix her or sell off her chandlery.

I find it hard to believe that someone would go below until the container vessel had safely passed abeam though--that was just plain silly.
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Old 18-12-2007, 16:57   #18
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No argument Mike - you can't go off watch for more than a few minutes - and not at all if there is a ship within view. Still, I'm sure they have now learned that lesson.
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Old 19-12-2007, 13:09   #19
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As to the boat being a write-off, I don't believe it for a second.
"write-off" does not mean that it cannot be repaired. It means that the cost of repair is higher than the cost of replacement.

As you consider the costs, don't forget that the interior is pretty smashed up too.
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:03   #20
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Mark, I fully appreciate the meaning of the term 'write-off', but having owned a steel boat I have some knowledge of not only the ease, but also of the cost of repairs. The hull is apparently still water-tight and consequently, the underbody damage is likely relatively insignificant. Ultimately, all that is required is to haul it and cut out the plates that are badly distorted, as well as the damaged sections of the stringers and frames. Weld in new metal, sandblast, prime and then fair in the repair as required. The boat looks as if it were originally painted by roller, so the cost of painting an entire side of the boat is insignificant. Remember also, there is no hull/deck joint that needs exacting repairs (such as with frp), no toerail, no molded inner liner. Lets say $15,000.00 conservatively for the repairs to the hull and deck. If they can weld themselves or hire their own welder and do the grinding/painting themselves, WAY less.

As to the interior, remember that the interior in a steel boat is not structural. They can spend as much or little as they wish, depending upon the materials and quality of joinerwork requested. But if it means proceeding on their trip rather than losing the boat, I'm sure they could put up with painted plywood in the small area of damage with perhaps some wood trim. Who knows, that could very well be the existing interior finish.

Finally, a new mast and most new standing rigging (and it seems they still have the lower shrouds, turnbuckles etc.), $10,000.00 - again conservatively. Way less if it is, as it appears, simply an aluminum pole with an external sail track.

The point is that even if they have everything done professionally, I can't imagine total repair costs exceeding $30,000.00. As a result, I don't believe that the boat is a 'write-off'. This is particularly so since they had apparently equipped it for an extended offshore cruise.

I guess they (and the owners of other steel boats) could also take some comfort from Bernard Moitessier, who's steel hulled Joshua was pounded against the shore off Cabo San Lucas by other yachts during a hurricane. When the boat was pumped out and refloated, even though both sides were heavily damaged, the shrouds were merely shortened and portlights repaired for the transatlantic crossing back to France. Moitessier was quoted as saying that the boat probably sailed better to windward as the sheeting angles were now narrower!

Anyway, it they don't mind sailing a steel boat that looks a little battle weary, crude repairs could no doubt be effected by even inexperienced welders very cheaply. I truly hope that this is not the end of their dream.

Brad
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:30   #21
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It is surprising how quickly freighters move these days. Sixteen knots or better many of them--and at that speed they close very quickly indeed. As soon as I see one I begin to worry unless I am in shallow water. They change course frequently in coastal waters, so not being on a collision course can change quickly. We have bulk coal and oil carriers as well as iron ore vessels on our coasts--usually with minimum crews.

If they hit you they will not be able to stop quickly even if they see you and want to--

yep.... i work on bulk carriers and live on my yacht so i see it from both sides. I think it is only time before AIS becomes mandatory. they are a great item to have and you know what ship is coming at you and they know you are there as well. gives you their course dirrection speed etc etc. only has to save you once to be worth it.
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Old 19-12-2007, 15:35   #22
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The beauty of steel. Brad I agree. So the story goes.....When cyclone tracy devestated Darwin on the north coast of Oz. there was a steel yacht pulled up to the jetty, just as the storm started to hit a navy frigate pulled up. There was no time to shift the yacht so the frigate used it as a fender !! Afetr the cyclone had passed the yacht was some 500mm narrower and slightly longer LOL. I gather that they did some reataching of interior fittings shortened the shrouds and contnued to sail her....
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Old 19-12-2007, 17:28   #23
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There was a similar story with photos in Cruising World magazine a few years back. I gather you have a steel and a ferro cement boat yourself. I recently bought a cat but still have a steel Cartwright 36 pilothouse. Incredible boat and really, if I were planning on circumnavigating, I would keep it. With proper construction, modern coatings and an isolation transformer nothing beats steel (at least for a cruising monohull).

Brad
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Old 30-12-2007, 15:55   #24
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The boat was still anchored in Las Palmas in early December, floating well with someone living aboard, but not much progress in getting it fixed up.
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Old 30-12-2007, 18:28   #25
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Makes you wonder if the watch was alert on-board the freighter..........
I've heard "bar talk" about these island hoppers entering & leaving MIAMI RIVER with questionable qualified crews.......... I've been to HAITI numerous times... seen their ships lately ????
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