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Old 10-05-2014, 15:59   #31
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Thanks so much for all the replies. The information is helpful and an interesting read.

I did have my heart set on a 'boden germaine' that was in lovely condition, however she was sold.

Being by no means closed to other materials (except ferro) I have finally purchased a fiberglass 'Cheoy Lee Offshore 39'. I must say I would for several reasons have preferred steel, many of which are mentioned by posters who have replied. But a solid fiberglass vessel at a very reasonable price is a good buy, and the Choey Lee seems somewhat an over engineered solid lump of fiberglass. Just what I like.

As some have mentioned, It really comes down to personal preference, but all materials have their good and bad points, and all have potential to cause issue.

Thanks agin for everyones input.
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Old 10-05-2014, 16:13   #32
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Well the OP is out but for posterity if anyone else reads this my advice buying steel would be to get a *good* welder and a very good compressor & learn to DIY (and buying used it doesn't have to cost a lot)

I struggled for a year with a bottom end hobart 110 and it 'worked' but when I spent the bucks on a millermatic my welding (and happiness) improved instantly

And then the other advice I would have is find a scrap or bulk place that sells steel by the pound esp remnants because it's WAYYYYY cheaper than buying retail

As a relative newbie I'm actually astonished at how easy it is work steel; a good drill and a good grinder do wonders and if you have a lot of work to do plasma is also TOTALLY worth the money it's literally zip zip zap "done"
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:00   #33
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
.........
As a relative newbie I'm actually astonished at how easy it is work steel; a good drill and a good grinder do wonders and if you have a lot of work to do plasma is also TOTALLY worth the money it's literally zip zip zap "done"
Not much that can't be done with a welder, grinder and scrap stock
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:30   #34
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

For purposes of building, steel is a simpler material than wood. Also, how many folks do you see building a female mold for a one off GRP hull? Ferro cement had it's day (hour?). Aluminum is not as forgiving a metal as steel to work with. Shaping, welding and repair is way easier than the skills needed to be a decent wood shipwright.

Plus, as has been pointed out, whales bounce off it.

Downside - swinging the compass
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Old 12-05-2014, 14:38   #35
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

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For purposes of building, steel is a simpler material than wood. Also, how many folks do you see building a female mold for a one off GRP hull? Ferro cement had it's day (hour?). Aluminum is not as forgiving a metal as steel to work with. Shaping, welding and repair is way easier than the skills needed to be a decent wood shipwright.

Plus, as has been pointed out, whales bounce off it.

Downside - swinging the compass
My boat has a pretty nice compass but to be honest I feel the thing is mostly decorative at this point

A decent handheld GPS can display course is what? $100?
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Old 12-05-2014, 14:44   #36
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

The other 'problem' nobody mentions with steel is that I've set my boat on fire like 6 times

On the "plus" side in all but one occasion it was merely "interesting" not the catastrophe it would have been on a glass boat (OTOH I probably wouldn't have been welding aboard a glass boat)
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Old 12-05-2014, 16:25   #37
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

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My boat has a pretty nice compass but to be honest I feel the thing is mostly decorative at this point

A decent handheld GPS can display course is what? $100?
Yes, GPS is here to stay. I find it amazing that some people I come across continue to say things like, 'if the GPS network goes down then your stuffed'.. The reality is that the GPS network, like mobile phones and the auto-mobile are here to stay. We won't be going back to the horse and cart and we wont be going back to the large hand radio systems of the older wars. If the GPS system goes down completely, then there is much more to be worried about than finding your way across an ocean.

I currently have two GPS based navigation aids. When I update my chart plotter I'll have three, on two separate systems. Ill still use charts though to plot my course on ocean crossings, but the majority of times I'll stick to GPS. I won't be buying a $1000 steel reliable compass.
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Old 12-05-2014, 16:50   #38
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Advice on Buying Steel

GPS a not a good way to get reliable real time heading ( ie compass) information. Try steering to GPS course info, very awkward.

You can buy a GPS compass. About $ 4k ,good bit dearer then a proper compass!!!!

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Old 12-05-2014, 17:09   #39
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

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The other 'problem' nobody mentions with steel is that I've set my boat on fire like 6 times

On the "plus" side in all but one occasion it was merely "interesting" not the catastrophe it would have been on a glass boat (OTOH I probably wouldn't have been welding aboard a glass boat)
Because fire extinguishers are expensive and run out without warning I always kept a pump-up 10L garden sprayer full of water next to me when I was welding cars at the garage. It's on the boat now.

One day we found the garage's kitchen well ablaze from an exploded paraffin heater. Unfortunately the water main entered the building through that kitchen.

Fire had turned the water in the pipe to steam, which had pushed the water back down the pipe, which in turn had allowed the fire to melt the solder in a pipe joint.
The pressure had then forced the joint apart so there was now a waterspout in this inferno but no way to use the water to fight the fire.

That was a scenario I hadn't anticipated.

All our recently purchased extinguishers - some CO2, a halon and some powder - didn't make a dent because the fire had reached between the ceiling and the roof. Finally put it out with two ancient water extinguishers the salesman had thrown in for free to sweeten the deal.

I know this isn't much to base an opinion on but I only trust water now.

When I do some welding on the boat I'll have someone fire watching - I'm too old and slow nowadays to be running up and down a ladder.
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Old 13-05-2014, 01:33   #40
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

That's a really good idea; on the one that was a little more than just interesting the only reason it got so big was the FOUR damned extinguishers that didn't work


I do have a unused pressure thing I was going to use as a shower but it could certainly do double duty when welding as well Thanks for the idea!
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Old 13-05-2014, 05:21   #41
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

I have to say it's been an unusually interesting discussion.

Agreed on the Millermatic.

I'm gonna fill up my water sprayer next time I'm welding, Thursday!

I too have had fire extinguishers fail.

I had problems welding on 110 due to distance. I bought a couple of extra 100' extension cords at Lowes, 8 gage, and made adaptors for a RV Putlet on one end and the welder on the other. That allowed me to weld the heavier stuff adequately.
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Old 13-05-2014, 09:59   #42
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Steel boats are best!
I know now, have a heavy duty dutch built motorsailer for 18 months now, a12 mtr. Ketch Displacing 18 tons
Would not change it ever. Planning a world trip. Departure in about 18 months. Yep there is always a bit of rust,
Plastic boats got osmosis and wooden boats have rot. But out at Sea and messing about in Harbours and living on board
It has to be steel..
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Old 13-05-2014, 17:33   #43
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Originally Posted by trentz View Post
Steel boats are best!
I know now, have a heavy duty dutch built motorsailer for 18 months now, a12 mtr. Ketch Displacing 18 tons
Would not change it ever. Planning a world trip. Departure in about 18 months. Yep there is always a bit of rust,
Plastic boats got osmosis and wooden boats have rot. But out at Sea and messing about in Harbours and living on board
It has to be steel..
Attachment 81089
I am looking at steel hulls too , so I hope you are correct
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Old 14-05-2014, 01:27   #44
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Good Luck with the Hunt.
I think it is also important to look carefully at the Hull Design, depending on where and how you intend to use the ship. Our Ketch is a " S - Spant " (sorry I do not know the english translation). But the " S-Spant" Design is stronger and much more robust, it can take a few knocks and it is also more stable in the water when the going gets rough, and with a 'Ketch' ones the Mizzen is up you are in for quite a comfy ride when the waves show their crests.

Raoul
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Old 14-05-2014, 15:57   #45
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

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Good Luck with the Hunt.
I think it is also important to look carefully at the Hull Design, depending on where and how you intend to use the ship. Our Ketch is a " S - Spant " (sorry I do not know the english translation). But the " S-Spant" Design is stronger and much more robust, it can take a few knocks and it is also more stable in the water when the going gets rough, and with a 'Ketch' ones the Mizzen is up you are in for quite a comfy ride when the waves show their crests.

Raoul
I have been looking at a Koopmans , do you know anything of them?

cheers

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