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Old 10-09-2008, 12:08   #31
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I believe, if you do some research, you'll find that cold-molded wood is strongest & stiffest, pound for pound, and easy to keep up. Fiberglass is also easy to keep up, but nasty if you have to work on it. A friend had a beautiful, Dutch-built steel boat years ago. It was not the usual hard chine variety. He had at least as much constant upkeep as I did with my wooden boat.

For comfort, warmth, and elegance - go traditional wood.
For strength and ease of maintenance - go cold-molded wood
For ease of maintenance - go fiberglass
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Old 10-09-2008, 13:39   #32
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I have friends who had a high quality 48 ' Aluminum boat built in new england. Wonder ful boat, but you could not keep paint on it! Re-painted three times in 6 years.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:54   #33
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I have friends who had a high quality 48 ' Aluminum boat built in new england. Wonder ful boat, but you could not keep paint on it! Re-painted three times in 6 years.
...

why would you want to ?


The joy of an ally boat is that you don't have to. Its a looks thing only. Below the water line there are well regarded epoxy systems that allow for anti fouling. All else is personal taste. Get rid of it.
Grip can be stuck on with tapes. Look at the French Ufo boats. Have a look at Welcome to the Metal Boat Society a not for profit group and you will find the answers.

Most of the serious expedition boats are are either steel or (mostly) ally....
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:23   #34
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Yes. I saw alot of French boats in the islands that were not painted and that is the way to go with aluminum. Those of you who have been out cruising with an aluminum mast know what I mean.... the bottom several feet of the painted mast is always bubbling up. Those with an unpainted mast... no problem! Aluminum is great medium for boats when done properly.
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Old 12-09-2008, 09:59   #35
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At the end of the day if it comes down to a survival situation in a remote area where you are stuck pounding on a reef waiting for the tide and anchors to free you. You will wish your boat was full keeled and heavily built of steel.

But hey!..... that never happens!
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:42   #36
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Go green, build a sailboat.

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And as for steel or aluminium, the cost in carbon footprint is unconscionable in this enlightened age.
We're not talking pop bottles here. Amortized over the life of the hull the 'footprint' is far better than most other consumer products. A well maintained hull, of any material, is going to outlast the owner, the current legislative body, and a whole bunch of greenies. On top of that you'll get all that free wind power. A pretty good investment in carbon, in my opinion.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:51   #37
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Sure it does, Pelagic! and all six of them wrote a book, making the whole concept "common knowlege". [the perils of anecdotal evidence.]

We love to speak in generalities, and are frustrated when it comes to fiberglass.

Ubiquitous, ordinary fiberglass. It can't be that special, its so, er, common! And no two builders can even agree on the recipe! Some have 2 inch thick parts, others have a sixteeth of that measure. Some have so much aged resin in them that they crack concrete piers, and others are nearly translucent. Some are made with foam like off the top of your beer, or balsa wood, for God's sake! And they are every where, in every shape, size and weight, some are built as quickly as swimming pools and hot tubs, by the same laborers, and others are exquisitely layed up by space-suited master craftsmen, gently infused with perfectly prepared teas of exotic fluids, and lovingly incubated in laboratory conditions to beat any steel or aluminum alloy in every parameter.

Its infuriatingly difficult to say "fiberglass" and hope your listener has the same picture in mind. Be that as it may, most boats are fiberglass.

And its all a total waste of time. Most fiberglass boats will meet the needs of most sailors most of the time. Most of those fringe conditions the "I'm-tougher-than-that" crowd cite have been survived by unexceptional fiberglass boats, while polar-expedition-ready armored watercraft have sunk in a slip. If you have to take a small boat somewhere that eats big ships, what that boat is made of is not your biggest problem.
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:58   #38
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Steel.... hmmmm.... unless that heavy steel boat ended up on the reef due to it's inability to sail it's way clear! Of course there are many heavy fibreglass boats that wont do that either!
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Old 12-09-2008, 17:30   #39
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Sandy, unfortunately more than 6 and I personally know of 2 yachts in the last 12 months coming out of Pohnepei harbor that spent a long time on the reefs before getting off.

Both steel and both owners attribute their survival to that inherent strength and malleability. Not hearsay, I was in communication with them at the time.

Every material has its pros and cons from economics, weight, and inertness, to ease of repair if catastrophic damage happened in a remote area.

The point I was really trying to make is that choosing the hull material is simply a matter of priorities and if we all made decisions based on worst case scenarios, we would never go to sea, but in that scenario, steel has most of the advantages!
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Old 13-09-2008, 05:01   #40
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Well goodness me !! they do come out of the wood work (or is that steel work? !)
GIVEN that all boats are built to the same quality that the material allows....and we except that sometimes stuff happens. I would rather be on a steel boat. It is not to say that they are cloaked in super mans underpants. They DO break up. You will get a bit more time in a shitty situation though. This time factor is important. In a survival situation it is the size of the breach that matters . Large chunks of material coming loose is pretty hard to deal with. "tears" are a bit easier. Strength is a separate issue again. How the material behaves when "stressed" is worth thinking about. Steel will not delaminate along large sections. It cant. The layers of other materials become weak when the glues break up. They revert to the individual strengths of the components. Balsa is not strong. A few mills of epoxy is not strong. Steel is one layer that maintains its material strength constantly regardless of its rearranged shape. It is this constant strength that may allow you to stop ingress. It will not start flopping.

It does not guarantee anything...it requires more work.....its looks don't appeal to a lot of consumers. It is heavier. You still need to be able to get to the hull to deal with a breach.

I would still rather be on a well built steel boat if I hit a reef..............
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Old 14-09-2008, 16:44   #41
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If money were no problem, I'd go full carbon. If money was tight I'd go fibreglass. My boat is fibreglass / kevlar... I like that - stronger/lighter than fibreglass, cheaper than carbon. I don't know if polyester resins are still used, but if they are, don't epoxy resins are a bit more expensive, but worth the extra dollars.
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Old 14-09-2008, 16:59   #42
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Steel needs its reinforcement-

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Well goodness me !! they do come out of the wood work (or is that steel work? !)
GIVEN that all boats are built to the same quality that the material allows....and we except that sometimes stuff happens. I would rather be on a steel boat. It is not to say that they are cloaked in super mans underpants. They DO break up. You will get a bit more time in a shitty situation though. This time factor is important. In a survival situation it is the size of the breach that matters . Large chunks of material coming loose is pretty hard to deal with. "tears" are a bit easier. Strength is a separate issue again. How the material behaves when "stressed" is worth thinking about. Steel will not delaminate along large sections. It cant. The layers of other materials become weak when the glues break up. They revert to the individual strengths of the components. Balsa is not strong. A few mills of epoxy is not strong. Steel is one layer that maintains its material strength constantly regardless of its rearranged shape. It is this constant strength that may allow you to stop ingress. It will not start flopping.

It does not guarantee anything...it requires more work.....its looks don't appeal to a lot of consumers. It is heavier. You still need to be able to get to the hull to deal with a breach.

I would still rather be on a well built steel boat if I hit a reef..............
Actually, a poorly designed or built steel boat will 'flop' and crack. This happened with a Bruce Roberts design when he didn't specify reinforcement inside the plating of a steel boat where the rudder skeg was attached to the hull. In general, steel boats are unusually strong because you can't build very lightly in steel, and so smaller steel boats are overbuilt--also it is usual to make a wastage allowance when designing a steel boat.

All of this said, I my first criteria were the survival of a boat if it were to hit a coral reef, steel would come readily to mind. I am building a sailing catamaran, and so this isn't an option. I do, however, have many watertight compartments and full foam floatation in my fiberglass design-so where a steel boat might not get holed, I can survive holing.

Worrying about balsa shows a lack of understanding of the I-beam principle. Google I-beam and balsa and read about it.
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Old 15-09-2008, 17:15   #43
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I am fully aware of the skeg problem....I have one and its a Roberts and it was of the BAD ones and I fixed it.......and I have spent a lot of time advising other owners on how to rectify this problem !! : ) now I did say all things being equal.....A badly built fiberglass boat is...a badly built fiberglass boat.....As for I beams ?? A (as I said) A breached delaminated hull with the core exposed is going to break up in pieces..You can stick a Z beam in there...Balsa is an easily compressible material that does not withstand IMPACT very well. Of course as a part of a SYSTEM it provides the rigidity nessesary for a light and strong hull. My point was and still is...the components in there individual pieces can break up. If the hull has been pounded on a large rock this is likly to happen. Its called the sledge hammer test : )
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Old 19-09-2008, 21:24   #44
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Well, since I own the Original Teacher's Pet III from which all the Trismus designs are either copied from or stretched out! I favor the original construction, which was Strip Balsa, which we cut from the originakl trees which we had imported. After 38 yrs and a trip and 1/2 around the world, sitll sound, no leaks still beautifully fair!
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Old 19-09-2008, 21:28   #45
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Hey Steve: I own the original Teacher's Pet III from who's design U'r boat was built! I astill favor the original construction!
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