Whilst the OP has already purchased a grp yacht (a Cheoy Lee
is an excellent choice btw), I thought I'd add in my 2c.
Adelaide born, moved to the UK, owned a 34ft grp boat in the Bahamas
, sold up and took on a steel motorsailer
in the UK. No previous experience of boat maintenance
, welding, painting, grinding, etc etc. That was 3.5 years and countless ££ ago
Frankly, most people rubbish steel boats having never owned one. They rust a bit, they're heavier than FRP and some marinas
don't like them. Boo hoo. I had a "well known" surveyor
come past and tell me he'd "never seen a steel boat to be worth more than £40k". Riiiiiight.....
Steel boats are tough as nails, they can be very easily repaired and modified, and paint
systems these days go a long way to helping stave off the rust.
Case in point - my boat had a bath tub in the aft cabin
, underneath which was a veritable rust nursery. Bath tub removed, holes drilled in stringers to ensure water couldn't pool anywhere, no more rust.... (for that matter, surface rust never sunk a boat. If it looks odd, hit it with a hammer and if daylight doesn't shine through, it's not going to sink).
Another case in point - circumnavigator mate of mine recently hauled out and found four stringers had separated from his hull (FRP boat). Cause? Two light groundings and a whale. Would a steel boat have had the same issue? No siree.
For anyone looking to buy a steel boat;
- Get a steel boat surveyor
but also use your own eyes. Eyeball v1 goes a long way to telling you whether the boat is ok.
- If it smells mouldy / damp inside, you might want to walk away. There's a pretty good indication right there you could have a big problem.
- Anything other than a steel deck
, be very cautious about leaks
- Talk with other steel boat owners (or read their blogs - here's my boat build bluecalypso
), rather than those who have a mate, who has a mate, who has a great-uncle with a steel boat