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Old 19-02-2016, 23:30   #1
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Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Hello
My name Samantha. My husband and I are currently circling around steel hull boats. However, the questions that we can't find any definitive answers to are thus:

1. Do we have to dismantle the interior and retreat the inner hull of the boat?
If so, how often?

2. What is the average life span of the interior treatment of the boat?

Thank you in advance for any advice/answers you are able to provide

Samantha
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Old 20-02-2016, 00:34   #2
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Hi Samantha

I was in your shoes 1 year ago and invested in a real good book by Scott Fratcher, "Metal Boat Repair & Maintenance a DIY guide" it is well written and will put your mind at ease purchasing the correct steel boat

Regards
Will
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Old 20-02-2016, 00:46   #3
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Probably the best analogy for maintain steel is to think about if you were maintaining a varnished hull (on the inside) If it is taken care of the amount of labor is minimal, if something is let go its a lot of work to get back. Having worked on commercial steel boats for a long time I have seen the super nasty toxic, IE creosote base coatings to tin to lead etc. Most have gone away but the replacements have been proven. A really good properly done paint job inside will last a very long time.


The Dutch are real artists with steel boats probably will not find a better venue.
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Old 20-02-2016, 01:07   #4
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptWil View Post
Hi Samantha

I was in your shoes 1 year ago and invested in a real good book by Scott Fratcher, "Metal Boat Repair & Maintenance a DIY guide" it is well written and will put your mind at ease purchasing the correct steel boat

Regards
Will
Here is the link

Marine books and documentaries by Scott Fratcher
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Old 20-02-2016, 01:37   #5
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

It depends on how well it was done originally. It needs to be set up so there are no bits where water can pool (except the bilge sump)
Even if it is well coated, a good steel boat will have panels that are removable so that you can check the inside of the shell.
I am checking ours for the first time in 25 years and so far have found no problems.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 20-02-2016, 04:44   #6
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Samantha.
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Old 20-02-2016, 04:58   #7
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Welcome to CF Samantha!
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Old 20-02-2016, 05:02   #8
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pirate Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Mine is an '81 steel boat and according to the history she's been treated twice.. which I am inclined to believe..
The hull sections out of sight are still even clean white paint.. no evidence of rust stain or bubble's and no evidence of patching jobs..
Just make sure you get a steel specialist surveyor and a hull thickness test.
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Old 20-02-2016, 05:11   #9
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pirate Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Hi 'Sam'.. Welcome to CF..
My boats a '81 build.. treated well when new then re-treated in Malta in the last couple of years by the previous owner..
Underfloor etc the paint is white, clean and even with no streaking, bubbles or the telltale signs that indicate sporadic patching..
But be aware there's a lot of home builds out there built of the cheapest mild steel that are nightmares under the one or 2 coats of fresh paint..
Choose a Surveyor who's a steel boat specialist and a hull thickness test is vital..
Happy hunting..
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Old 20-02-2016, 08:58   #10
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

I have spent quite a lot of my time getting access and changing things to allow easy access in the future to the bilge of my 45 ft dutch steel ketch. I have changed things like making concrete sump areas in the concrete ballast to hold the little bit of water left after pumping the bilge away from the steel. I have found that many layers of brushed on oil based paint seem to last quite a long time, 3 do not, 5 to 7 seem to last more than few years. You can see much of my work on my website.

I'm my opinion one needs to be able to get access to anyplace on a boats interior wetted surface very quickly or you risk sinking.
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Old 20-02-2016, 09:11   #11
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Never. If the steel was treated with an anti rust coat or simply sealed with epoxy paint, then should be fine for decades. About the only thing that will cause the steel to rust is water or moisture. Usually in the bilge areas. Look for rust. That needs treatment with phosphoric acid and paint once any loose bits are removed. Find the source of the water/moisture and eliminate.

BTW, we treated our metal barn roof with closed cell foam and eliminated all forms of condensation. Got the bright idea to then treat a steel hulled trawler the same way. So far after ten years its going strong: no condensation, no rust, no nothing. If you do that, try to apply the closed cell foam evenly and smoothly so any signs of rust will "pop" the foam so you can spot it. We dried the hull for a month to get rid of all moisture using a dehumidifier system before applying the foam. Once the foam hardens, its water proof for all intent, as long as there are no cracks in the foam. Because it seals the steel from air and thus oxygen, rust can not start.
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Old 20-02-2016, 09:32   #12
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

As above, as long as the hull has been protected properly with a good paint system, you should be ok for years. Keep the boat dry, air it out when you can, and fix any deck leaks. Stay away from teak decks as well - teak decks plus steel hulls are a recipe for trouble.

As for spray on foam, it's good but not infallible, and does break down over time. My boat had 300 black rubbish bags full of the stuff that was soaked through, and all had to be removed before we could grit blast in & out, and repaint the steel hull.

n
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Old 20-02-2016, 10:19   #13
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

It appears that the critically important feature for a steel (and aluminum) hull is to have easy visual access to the entire hull surface in and out.

How do the finer Dutch and Kiwi yachts, full of nice joinery, handle this?
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Old 20-02-2016, 10:24   #14
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

Samantha,

If the hull was built to high quality standards by a professional yard, there will be only spot maintenance, very little work indeed.

I have been on a 15 y.o. Koopmans and we removed plenty of furniture and gear before their crossing. The boat had NO rust on the inside (nor on the outside). The original interior paint was intact and the bilge was bone dry.

So if the boat was built by a good boatyard to a good standard ($$$) inspect, but expect very little work needing to be done. If you see plenty of rust, move on.

b.
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Old 20-02-2016, 10:44   #15
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Re: Steel hull Boat Interiors.

All steel boats need insulation either spray foam or batts. The former prevents much useful inspection above the water line. No foam below the WL. Watch out for Urethane from old days. My own boat is 1985 build and no interior rust as yet Russ
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