The first thing you need to know is a steel
boat deteriorates from the inside out... with no insulation
you have condensation
- and it attacks steel faster than you expect... so a FRP boat is much better for someone who has no experience with building and maintaining a metal boat...
As for the above question regarding a 1985 Alan Pape Steel Maid here are my concerns.
1) A 1985 steel boat is going to result in an increased insurance
risk and premium to match. Try to find a 2000+ something vessel.
2) For expeditions I would appreciate larger tankages as necessary. Look at Bruce Roberts
designs where a 55' carries over 1,000 gallon of fuel
3) I'd insist on thicker steel used on the keel
and hull. 1/2" keel and 5/16 or 3/8" hull would be my choice. To much some will say... but when I built the expert advice was steel is economic so why not over build - you are not building a race
boat - displacement
is displacement be it 1/4 or 5/16 steel - build something to survive accidental groundings and bumps in the night.
4) I'd prefer more horsepower for a high latitude expedition boat because of the storms, currents and ice - extreme conditions. I also believe in hanging two alternators off the main so what starts out as 72hp is reduced by the second alt into the 60s which is not enough to my way of thinking for a 50' loa
40K# displacement. More hp is better in my opinion - I'd like to see a CP prop to take advantage of various loads vs extreme conditions. A fixed wheel
is just that - a compromise. Remember expedition, not recreation touring...
Very little air exchange is an accident
waiting to be discovered... air is your friend - as people breath/live aboard they put moisture into the cabin air - if your boat was not insulated during building then don't go north on a lark without a refit
... a boat that cannot breath will suffocate with deterioration. Keep the air exchanges moving to minimize mold
and 'rust' etc... of course you have to properly prepare metal and coat it with a high solids paint
schema... its a protection system based on protecting steel with chemistry... don't be fooled by slick advertising... ask someone who is an expert with painting metal boats... ask Navy
Chiefs for advise... I know what I have used for 30 years - a satisfied customer not interested in changing... the satisfaction is the proof.
Bottom line... always get a professional marine
See you outdoors... on the water!