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View Poll Results: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?
Aluminum Hull 10 43.48%
Steel Hull 13 56.52%
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Old 25-10-2011, 18:37   #1
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Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

Question is the title!!!
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Old 25-10-2011, 18:38   #2
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re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

Aluminum if you can afford it.
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Old 25-10-2011, 19:19   #3
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Aluminium.

But never aluminum!
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Old 25-10-2011, 23:54   #4
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

something also that might worth you guys reading is the link below. it talks about the pros and cons of alluminum. Aluminum For Boats
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Old 26-10-2011, 05:40   #5
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

Steel, if only because the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
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Old 26-10-2011, 06:34   #6
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

Quite right hpeer, Alum is too much of an electrolosis nightmare and steel will have you shouting at your friends to stay the $#%@ away from your topsides with their dinghies. Every chip in the paint is a stab at the heart. Fibreglass is lowest maintainance and virtually infinitely repairable. IMO there's no other choice.
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Old 26-10-2011, 07:56   #7
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

I prefer aluminium and steel over fibreglass. When it comes to heavy duty, go-anywhere durability, you canīt miss with metal boats. If you havenīt cruised one extensively, you cannot understand the ease and peace of mind that steel gives you when you crunch a reef or beach your boat. Non steel boat owners have an image of a maintenance nightmare, but I donīt understand why. We would do some painting once a year and general touch-ups for an hour maybe every 3 months.

But now, we have a cat and so we have FG. The touch ups to the gel coat on our current boat require more work than the touch ups to our previous steel hull. The bigger change though is the change to our mentality when approaching a tricky area or beaching. No more purposefully hitting the beach at 3 knots, no more accidentally hitting coral bommies at 7 knots. We still beach our boat, but now we gently kiss the sand and choose the area with more care. It feels like sailing around in an egg shell.

An alum cat would be the ideal future boat for us.
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Old 26-10-2011, 08:33   #8
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

If I was to pick any boat and money was no object, a good steel boat well maintaned is some piece of mind.

Question what are Icebreakers made of?

But in my limited budget world. A plastic boat is the only material not soluble in salt water.
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Old 30-10-2011, 11:58   #9
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

I cruised on a steel boat back in the 80s,and it was very strong but being amature built it was a maintanance nightmare. The single biggest problem with it was the compass. It was a proper steel boat compass with the large compensating balls, but no matter how much I tried to adjust it, it would change readings for every angle of heal. On the way out to Bermuda I would take the hand bearing compass up to the mast and get a reading while I was standing, then yell back to the wife to see what the ships compass said. We would keep whatever the main compass said, but do my DR according to the hand bearing compass.This worked as long as the wind stayed the same, since less heel could change the reading by 10 or 15 degrees. This was all before GPS ,and SatNav was over my budget, but even now when everything is turning to sh** and your batteries are dead, you have to rely on a good compass. Steel is stronger ,but I would lean towards Aluminum, or a steel hull with an Aluminum deck and house.(My 2 cents worth)___Grant.
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Old 30-10-2011, 12:21   #10
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

No one should be allowed to comment on the pros/cons of aluminum or steel unless they have built it, sailed it, repaired it and refit it......

I had 8 large FG boats over a 30 year period- cored deck repairs, gel coat and glass repairs, keel bolt problems, chain plate issues...... And singlehanding at night in a FG boat is like sailing blind with respect to floating objects....

Finally bought an aluminum boat against everyones advice, and would not sail anything else!!!!
Yes, you need to keep good zincs on it.
Yes, keep a stock of delrin and nylon washers on hand.
Yes, Tef-Gel and Boat life caulk become new best friends.
Better keep that diesel fuel clean, as water in the fuel will eat right through those aluminum fuel tanks.
Pay attention to those coatings!!!! We have a painted boat and it required sand blasting and recoating during refit. It was 12 years old at the time of refit, and needed a few areas of plate replaced. Cut it out, weld in new piece, grind and fair, then paint. The fiberglass guys in the yard were jealous..... quick, easy, cheaper and less painful than FG work.
Also has a large watertight compartment foward... no longer wonder what is floating ahead on a dark night....
Keel is integral to the hull- never wonder how those keel boats are corroding.
Chain plates are welded to the ribs of the hull- never have a rig failure below deck due to corroded chain plates....

Not to mention that the hull to deck joint is welded..... no leaks there.
Sail her in a blow (60 knots) and she is as quiet as a church down below- no creaking, working or leaks in this hull and rig.

Got a great deal on her, because everyone is afraid of aluminum.....
"There be dragons in those aluminum bilges"..... mine only have provisions and the occasional cobweb....
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:16   #11
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

Aluminum. Seen working boats made in aluminum and loved them. Seen some very nice sailing boats in aluminum too. Would love an aluminum cruising boat build the fishing industry way - all fittings overbuilt, nothing to break and nothing to worry.

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Old 30-10-2011, 13:27   #12
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GPS is steel friendly...

Yup, with steel I never trust the compass. I figure if I'm getting within 30 degrees I'm doing well.

So a chartplotter, or at least a GPS, on a steel boat is heaven. Don't leave home without it.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:52   #13
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

If initial build cost is not a concern, aluminum is a preference for many. For me, regardless, the preference is for steel, but that is just a personal bias. Better re-sale with Aluminum, btw.
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Old 30-10-2011, 13:55   #14
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Re: Aluminum Hull or Steel Hull ?

Bestevaer 45ST Africa / K&M Yachtbuilders

Benefits of aluminium / K&M Yachtbuilders
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