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Old 15-05-2014, 00:18   #46
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Do not now the Koopmans myself, other than they have a good name. It is still a family business today
They started building motor cruisers in the old days than designed sailers and motor sailers. As an example here is a link to a "Koopman" Steel Ketch for sale.
It is in Dutch , but you can probably make out the details anyway.
Te koop: Koopmans 36 kustvaarder 4 | Zeilboot | eSailing

This is an example of a strong built very seaworthy steel sailing boat it also employs the "S-Spant " design. If you google.nl you will find many still around.

I am not an experienced sailer, so I rely mainly on the "motor-cruiser" ability of our ship and use the sails on long legs or to get me out of trouble should the engine fail.

Hope this helps
Raoul
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Old 17-05-2014, 17:50   #47
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

looks nice , the boat I am looking at has a teak deck .I have had a look at some posts that say because of the possibility of major rust under the teak , stay away form steel boats with teak decking , or rip off the teak and paint the deck. but I have seen a Koopmans with teak from 1974 ,it looked in good condition , so I am now in two minds ,what do you think ?
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Old 18-05-2014, 02:17   #48
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

I would be very careful of a steel boat with teak veneer. The water can eventually get under the teak and then can't get out. Tell tale signs are uneven bubbles in the veneer, crunching as you walk on it. Unfortunately because it's under the laminate if it gets to the point of creating a hole, then the water seeps into the ceiling which usually has insulation and is soaked up creating an even bigger problem.
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Old 18-05-2014, 05:23   #49
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

I'll add my two cents worth to all the aforementioned advice:

1) Never buy a steel boat without a proper hull thickness survey, no matter how "young" it is.

2) A galvanic isolator is always a good investment.

3) Steel and wood don't mix. Period.

Other than that, I'd say that a properly maintained steel hull is pretty durable (mine's 112 years old) and probably less prone to mechanical vibrations and chop bounce than the plastic or wooden ones. Neeltje's aft cockpit sits on top of the engine room, but the only way of telling that the engine or genset are running is from the burble of the exhaust.

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Old 18-05-2014, 11:51   #50
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

A hull survey (ultra sound) steel thickness is the best solution. Other than that, check carefully the seams of the teak deck, see if there is any damage or missing cork or synthetic seams especially in those places where moisture collects and you may have to remove some decking to visually inspect those areas. Our local boat broker here in holland says that a Koopmans are still one of the best built boats and are an exspensive product of high quality. But in the end you get what you pay for, better safe than....well you know!

Raoul
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Old 19-05-2014, 23:58   #51
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Can anyone recommend a decent; hopefully not too expensive thickness gauge that can read through paint?

All I've found are $1500+ and I'm hoping for 6-800 max (but works decently)

Does that exist?
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Old 23-05-2014, 00:21   #52
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Wotname: I know that after I added insulation (above the waterline) to my 30' steel Starfire (Boro?), life aboard in QLD was much better .
Bollard, Wotname, Bollard...
the mind is the second thing to go. If I remember what the first thing is I'll let you know
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Old 23-05-2014, 03:51   #53
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by pikv View Post
Wotname: I know that after I added insulation (above the waterline) to my 30' steel Starfire (Boro?), life aboard in QLD was much better .
Bollard, Wotname, Bollard...
the mind is the second thing to go. If I remember what the first thing is I'll let you know
Yes... Bollard
It was some time ago...
Can't recall exactly but it was sometime in Jan '81; prolly late Jan; just can't recall the day but suspect it was a Friday or Saturday. I do remember it ended with a "y"...

But yes, the mind is going - some say "gone" .
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Old 23-05-2014, 05:11   #54
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Our Brewer 33 has sprayed foam insulation. For a long time she has had a small but persistent deck leak during winteR only. Finally traced it to water tracking around the engine control cable. In the meantime foam got wet and rusted out underneath. A real bitch to get out and fix.
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Old 23-05-2014, 09:29   #55
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
Can anyone recommend a decent; hopefully not too expensive thickness gauge that can read through paint?

All I've found are $1500+ and I'm hoping for 6-800 max (but works decently)

Does that exist?
My understanding is that a meter which will give an accurate hull thickness reading in all conditions - without the operator having to learn the instrument's responses to varying conditions - doesn't exist at any price.

I think however much you spent you would have to "practice, practice, practice" by measuring all thicknesses of metal with all thicknesses and types of paint and fillers.
My surveyor provided an ultrasound report but his measurements were just evenly spaced rather than being biased toward common danger areas such as waterline, frames etc. In other words, of limited value.

A bit of practice sounding with a small plastic-faced hammer and "skimming" with a good LED torch (around 7W, zoomable Cree) in low light can tell you if it's worth paying for a survey.
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Old 23-05-2014, 10:03   #56
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Our Brewer 33 has sprayed foam insulation. For a long time she has had a small but persistent deck leak during winteR only. Finally traced it to water tracking around the engine control cable. In the meantime foam got wet and rusted out underneath. A real bitch to get out and fix.
Which is a compelling reason to avoid foam and (in my view) all below-the-WL insulation apart from sound-deadening coatings.
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Old 23-05-2014, 11:58   #57
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

I too am not a bid fan of the thickness gauge. My observation is that rust can and does occur in very localized spots, only visible, if at all, from the inside.

You can't make a measurement every inch.

Eyeballs, lamps, and hammer. Oh, and persistence.
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Old 23-05-2014, 13:57   #58
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

I've sounded my hull pretty thoroughly and this summer I intend to grind off the bottom paint so I should hopefully be able to see a bit better; but can you elaborate on the light and what are you looking for? Deflection of the surface when you hit it?
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Old 23-05-2014, 14:11   #59
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

I'm not sure what Bornyesterday meant by "skimming", perhaps shining a light along the hull to look for blisters?

What I meant was to see into all the nooks and crannies you can.

What you REALLY need to look at is the inside. Outside won't tell you much.
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Old 23-05-2014, 15:35   #60
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Re: Advice on Buying Steel

Quote:
Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
I've sounded my hull pretty thoroughly and this summer I intend to grind off the bottom paint so I should hopefully be able to see a bit better; but can you elaborate on the light and what are you looking for? Deflection of the surface when you hit it?

No, sounding is a separate and unrelated method. Takes a while to learn to interpret what you hear/feel. Seeing is easy

A glancing or "skimming" light beam - i.e. almost parallel to the surface under inspection - casts long shadows of even the tiniest surface imperfections. Throws irregularities into sharp relief like aerial surveys near sunrise and sunset.

On topsides, when someone has used a grinding disc or a rust patch has been grit blasted you can see exactly the limits of the repair.
You can tell where sheet edges, frames etc. are by the tiny changes in level/direction of the plates.
Even under thick antifouling you can see when rust is bubbling up as soon as it starts.

Inspecting this way is more effective in low light simply because the contrast is better than in bright light.

The newer LED torches throw an even light over a wide or narrow beam.
Vastly better than an incandescent bulb, very white light.
I like the Cree T6 with a focusing beam, 2 rechargeable batteries and charger, alloy body with water resistant seals, drop-proof. About 15 from China on ebay.
Not keen on modes (flash, bright, dim) accessed by repeated presses of the power button for industrial use but they're better than anything else available so I put up with it.

I can find any tiny blemish on an 8 x 4 powder coated sheet in a few seconds.

With steel hulls keep a plastic coated magnet in your pocket to find filler and estimate its depth - and a tiny mirror to deflect the beam iwhen you want to "skim" a small panel in, say, a bilge next to a frame where you can't hold the torch flat.
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