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Old 01-03-2010, 17:56   #76
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I am just about am convinced to sell my boat and go cold molded now, except I don't know where to put the fish hold on a Wharram Cat.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:20   #77
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On cost... one just saved his holed boat from a reef; time for joy, not complaining about cost of a plain ticket..
How is being joyous that you saved your boat from sinking going to put money in your pocket to fly someone in from overseas to fix it?
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:55   #78
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How is being joyous that you saved your boat from sinking going to put money in your pocket to fly someone in from overseas to fix it?
Well, some will argue that the unlikely event that this is needed makes it cheaper than carrying your own welder and paying for the courses on how to use it.

If you don't have the money to buy a plane ticket you are cruising on the verge of disaster as the slightest accident will have you go broke. It will also not allow you to do any maintenance on the boat and that will only accelerate the events leading to that unwanted disaster.

Also: the less money you have, the more skills you need. So, when you leave without money and can't do all the work on the boat yourself, you won't get far. If you want to do autonomous cruising, you need either money or those skills, you can't do it without one of those and will be better of with both.

cheers,
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:47   #79
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If you subscribe to needing a welder then you also need a generator or at least an operating engine.

If you are in aluminum you also need to carry inert gas/argon. True?
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:30   #80
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How do you make your own Aluminium?
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Old 02-03-2010, 19:08   #81
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here's a novel idea for a boat material...wood...available most everywhere, easily shaped with a minimum of tools, easy to fasten together or to, appealing to the eye, and, if you're cruising on her, not bad to maintain. of course i make my living as a carpenter, so i suppose it's an easy choice for me.
also, there is not a task or repair on my boat that i cannot do myself. but, i was raised on a ranch and have used tools of all kinds all my life. the problem while cruising is having or having access to the proper tools and materials.
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Old 02-03-2010, 19:59   #82
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Well, some will argue that the unlikely event that this is needed makes it cheaper than carrying your own welder and paying for the courses on how to use it.

If you don't have the money to buy a plane ticket you are cruising on the verge of disaster as the slightest accident will have you go broke. It will also not allow you to do any maintenance on the boat and that will only accelerate the events leading to that unwanted disaster.

Also: the less money you have, the more skills you need. So, when you leave without money and can't do all the work on the boat yourself, you won't get far. If you want to do autonomous cruising, you need either money or those skills, you can't do it without one of those and will be better of with both.

cheers,
Nick.
Call me a romantic i guess, but I've always like what Sterling Hayden had to say about money and cruising:

Quote:
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.
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Old 02-03-2010, 20:02   #83
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Aluminum isn't the end all answer, it is slightly better than steel, and if you drop a penny in the bilge it won't be long before a penny sized hole will appear. I would think the whole galvanic corrosion problem would be enough to make one steer clear of aluminum as the final answer. If one has the misfortune to tying up on a dock that has a stray current problem, or the vessel next to you does, then your whole boat can get eaten not just the zincs.
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Old 02-03-2010, 20:25   #84
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Aluminum isn't the end all answer, it is slightly better than steel, and if you drop a penny in the bilge it won't be long before a penny sized hole will appear. I would think the whole galvanic corrosion problem would be enough to make one steer clear of aluminum as the final answer. If one has the misfortune to tying up on a dock that has a stray current problem, or the vessel next to you does, then your whole boat can get eaten not just the zincs.

I have no personal experience with alu boats but I almost bought one recently and did quite a bit of reading up on them. I found that basically the "penny in the bilge" thing is an old wives tale, and that North Americans are scared to death of aluminum, whereas in Europe they have been producing and sailing them for decades without all the perceived problems. I'm on the Chesapeake and the guy in the slip next to me has an Ovni (alu), and despite lots of stray current around (its an old marina with questionable wiring) he has had no problems over several years. Just keep the zincs up and make sure your wiring is in good shape.

Again, no personal experience, just what I've read and been told by some that have owned them.
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Old 02-03-2010, 20:51   #85
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Maybe there is a difference in the salinity of the water around Europe. I was using the penny story as a tongue in cheek reference not an anecdotal story, the hole part may be a wives tale, it is true that copper and aluminum do not like each other. I do own an aluminum boat and have worked on them a lot. There is a very real concern for stray current causing galvanic corrosion. The biggest threat is from inside the vessel stray current. I have seen first hand what happens if you put dissimilar metals that are on the opposite ends of the spectrum from aluminum together. Then there are the stress cracks, aluminum does not do well with vibration or hull plates flexing. I had my hull fracture directly under the motor mount stringer allowing outside water in. All in all I like it better than steel, but not much.
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Old 02-03-2010, 20:57   #86
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You are absolutely right Doodles, it comes down to that corrosion discussion every time. I do believe some bad alu boats were build with a problem or an owner did something stupid but we heard those stories in the EU too so I don't know why there's such a difference.

On wooden boats: we tried that for a couple of thousand years and were all very happy to finally find better materials. With a wooden boat you will have to fight worms (copper plate the hull again?) termites etc. I thought all "wood men" had accepted epoxy or more elaborate composite techniques.

On the Sterling Hayden quote: I think he meant that his idea of a true voyage was to be broke and sail as a hired hand aboard a ship (like he did most of his sailing career) and not sail around on your own boat.

ciao!
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Old 02-03-2010, 21:00   #87
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If you sail around on your own boat, you will be broke most of the time.
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Old 02-03-2010, 21:13   #88
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The biggest threat is from inside the vessel stray current. I have seen first hand what happens if you put dissimilar metals that are on the opposite ends of the spectrum from aluminum together. Then there are the stress cracks, aluminum does not do well with vibration or hull plates flexing. I had my hull fracture directly under the motor mount stringer allowing outside water in. All in all I like it better than steel, but not much.
I do not understand why a builder would put different metals together in an uncontrolled manner like you describe. That practice sounds like something they would get sued for in the EU and I can't believe it is done in the USA.

I can think of ways to kill any hull material. Put fresh water in the bilge of a wooden boat, or salt water in the bilge of a steel boat (all that doesn't hurt an aluminium hull); polyester has osmosis and delamination etc. etc.

If you end up with stress cracks and hull fractures there is obviously a problem with either the design, the used materials or the builder but not with aluminium as a hull material. May be the builder told you so to fend you off because he would be your primary target for responsibility for the damage.

cheers,
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:31   #89
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Jedi, I see your point about the Hayden quote. You very well could be right since he never cruised short-handed. Too much financial security can spoil the spirit of something though I think.

As for the alu, steel, glass or wood thing, I guess I'd have to say go with what you got and develop the skills to repair it. There just seems to be way too much emphasis of the boat, the equipment, the gizmo, etc. and not enough emphasis on the skills, be they repair skills or sailing skills. For example, wouldn't being able to sail without an engine (as JHook suggests) all together make for a more autonomous cruiser? Imagine the stuff you wouldn't need or have to deal with if you had no engine. I know this has all been said before so I'll stop, but I just wonder if there is not too much looking "outside" for things to make us autonomous instead of "inside", i.e. skills.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:40   #90
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When you go without an engine, there will be places you can't go without being towed and you will often have to wait for better conditions like more wind or slack tide etc.

Also, when sailing through reefs & cuts to a nice anchorage, you will need more hands aboard to do that with a comparable level of safety.

You can't pass the Panama canal without an engine other than as cargo on a big ship; I wouldn't want to sail on the ICW without an engine with waiting for bridges etc... it might not even be allowed. And what to do when the anchor starts dragging in a squall in the middle of the night with a reef 30' behind you? In the old days they would send 12 hands into the sloop (rowing) to pull you away but do we have that sloop and so many hands aboard?

cheers,
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