Well, I'll add my ten cents worth. I've had my 36 foot steel ketch for almost three years. I've now clocked up close to 5000 miles, not much I know but I'm proud of it. When I first started considering purchasing
a boat I decided, intentionally to go for a steel boat. Part if the reason was because a descent fiberglass
boat was out of my price
range and secondly because as others have said, steel,can take a battering and then only need some panel beating.
Mine, was 30'years old and not n good condition. But I didn't me know that when I first purchased her. A survey
was a waste of money
and said only minor superficial rust but that wasn't true. However, what rust she did have was far from fatal and was easily rectified. In November last year I had a required insurance survey
done and I had increased it's value by $15k, after spending close to $30k doing it up.
The most major rust was around the toe rail which had a wooden nudge bar bolted into it. Wherever the bolts went on it had rusted through.
Under the kitchen cupboard at about 18inches under the water
line I found a patch of rust which was about 6 inches long by 4 inches wide. I put a scrapper through the hull preparing to paint
it. I had to slip it the next day and my boiler maker then cut out a stringer of about a 3 feet by 6inches. Cost $800 to repair, so no big deal. Why it rusted in that one spot I could never work out.
Under the engine near the engine mounts was another place prone to rust but I got to that before it was too late.
Now, in 2014, I'm left with one hole in the starboard side 6 inches down from the toe rail. This rust was created by a leaking hf through hole fitting in the deck
, which they obviously didn't bother to stop leaking. The water
then collected on the spot where the rust was.
The most rust I found was in the sole around the entry hatch
which had to be rebuilt. They had used household batts as insulation
. When it got wet it stayed wet and then rusted the roof.
The insurance assessor commented that it's in very good condition for its age and with very little rust he said.
So that's my boat. I completely disagree that all steel boats are rust buckets. You can find owners out there, like I am that are very conscious of rust. Once you have it in hand, then it's not that hard to keep rust from becoming a cancer.
12 months before I purchased mine. I was interested in a 34 foot sloop
I found in a harbour two hours away. Being sold by a boat broker
. Three times I went to have a look at it until I became suspicious of the brokers. They simply would not give me time to give it a good going over. On the third visit I pulled a draw out of the gally and put my hand up underneath. I touched the edge if a chime and noticed it was heavily rusted. I grabbed one of the stringers and about 12 inches broke off in my hand. At that the broker wouldn't let me look any more. I walked away. Looked terrific on the outside, but I suspect she was beyond repair on the inside.
I'm not at all anti wood, plastic or concrete. But I wanted mine insured so I had to bypass concrete boats. But steel are good as long as they are good. Mine will travel as fast as 12 knotts and 4-6 is common on a min wind
. If you want a cruiser then your not wanting to go anywhere fast so I don't think weight should be a problem. Size of engine depends on size of boat obviously. But then you need to consider fuel
and tank size.
That's my two cents worth.