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Old 18-08-2015, 17:37   #46
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post

Likewise, it depends on the build quality of the steel boat. A poor quality weld could easily split the first time it hits the rocks.
Anybody building steel hulls is probably a good welder or they will be by the time they get done. A bad weld is typically much easier to spot than a weak poor mix or bad bond of fiberglass resin.

I've seen plenty of poorly built and repaired fiberglass hulls, I almost lost one due to somebody making a poor quality repair at the front of the keel on my first large boat. I learned many things on that boat, mostly what I didn't want. Like gas engines, with their ignition system, they have no business being anywhere near salt water. Hull failed, ignition got wet, engine stopped, batteries died, I bailed for 28 hours with a 5 gal pail.
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Old 18-08-2015, 18:32   #47
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

By coincidence, last night I watched a movie on Netflix called "All is Lost". It stars Robert Redford as a solo sailor whose fiberglass sailboat is hulled by a shipping container.

I recommend the movie to prospective blue water sailors. As expected, a number of mistakes were made. I had two main thoughts about the story: (1) a steel hull would probably have not been punctured, and (2) a large capacity manual portable pump, mounted on a board and with a long handle, would have helped a great deal in bailing the boat.

Regarding the "best" boat building material, I suggest that it depends on the intended use. For ocean crossings, steel may be best, while for coastal cruising fiberglass with its low maintenance makes a strong case. And traditionalists may well prefer wood.
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Old 19-08-2015, 03:03   #48
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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(1) a steel hull would probably have not been punctured...
Quite an amazing judgement to make with so little detail, especially about a piece of fiction!
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Old 19-08-2015, 03:29   #49
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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Originally Posted by Tensen View Post
Quite an amazing judgement to make with so little detail, especially about a piece of fiction!
Is it just me who is having a deja vu moment all over again re 'all is lost'?

Captain Smith thought steel was good... the iceberg thought different....
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Old 19-08-2015, 08:18   #50
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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Originally Posted by wegman View Post
(2) a large capacity manual portable pump, mounted on a board and with a long handle, would have helped a great deal in bailing the boat.
With my 28 hours of bailing with a bucket, I now have steel and also added a very large manual bilge pump, 1 gal per stroke, 12 inch diameter bronze, with a 4 foot handle. That's in addition to the one re mounted near the helm, that was in a stupid place. It was near the helm but you had to have the access hatch to the engine room wide open in the cockpit to use it. If you had water coming over cabin top, it would come in much faster than you could pump it out. It is maybe a cup per stroke. It's now above the hatch that does not have to be open. Things like this is why I have not been sailing for 4 years fixing all the mistakes an my "million dollar" yacht designed and built by people that just wanted to get it done and get paid.

I'm also fighting a legal battle at home. That's taking up my time right now. I've learned that county attorneys have absolutely nobody that oversees them. They are an elected king. I'm about to cut one down to size. They don't prosecute personal property crimes, a national problem, 97% go unprosecuted. I'm the victim of 1/3 million theft, we got the guy arrested, recovered an item, lots more evidence, and the prosecutor lied to me, lied to the judge and used none of the evidence to not take it to trial. They don't want to prosecute personal property crimes, they make no money on them, they want to do drug crimes. They have filled our jails with 50% nonviolent victimless criminals, a $50 drug crime gets you 5 years in jail, steal 1/3 million, get convicted (which they don't do) and you get 10 months of probation, not one day in jail. Stand up and make some noise, this has to stop. We need to legalize all drugs, our 40 year, trillion dollar fight is stupid to continue. Legalize it, tax it, make $46 billion instead of spend $25 billion, a $70 billion per year revenue increase. It's absolutely no difference than alcohol in the 1920's. I'll step off the podium, sorry for the lecture, but everybody in the US needs to know this.

Back to steel boats, not steal boat.
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Old 19-08-2015, 09:26   #51
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

Wow, we have gone from a discussion on the best choice for building material on a boat to movies and legalizing drugs.

A boat is only as safe as the person at the helm.
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Old 19-08-2015, 09:54   #52
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

The safest hull material is the one with a prudent, intelligent, experienced captain aboard!
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:21   #53
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

Inuit people found seal skin kayaks pretty safe. Not safe for the seals though.
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Old 19-08-2015, 12:39   #54
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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The aluminium did not catch fire so much as just slumped into balls of molten metal because of it's low melting point. However aluminium can be quiet flameable and is used in rocket fuel.

I came to have a steel boat by way of my wife having read a number of survival stories I had in a file whilst I was trying to decide which material to build in. She glanced through the file and said " Every boat which survived being run down, crushed, beached and burnt was steel so I will go cruising with you if you build a steel boat" end of decision process.
Yes, that is so.

And there have been steel and aluminum ships that "melted" after intense fires below decks.

Last year I read about a USN guided missile cruiser USS Belknap that had a collision wth another ship, causing an intense fire that almost lost the ship. The superstructure and decks looked like they melted in the mid ships area. I can't recall the name of this ship, but it was a famous example. Perhaps someone else will remember. Happened in the 1975 as I recall, I believe in the Med.

EDIT: I found the ship. Here is the story.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Belknap_(CG-26)

Excerpt:

The fire and the resultant damage and deaths, which would have been less had Belknap* '​s superstructure been made of steel, may have in part driven the US Navy's decision to pursue all-steel construction in future classes of surface combatants.[citation needed] However, in 1987 the New York Times cited cracking in aluminum hull ships such as what occurred in the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates rather than fire as the reason the Navy returned to steel on some ships.[2] The first USN combatant ships to revert to all steel superstructure were the Arleigh Burke class, which were commissioned beginning in the 1990s. Belknap was reconstructed by the Philadelphia Navy Yard from 30 January 1976 to 10 May 1980.
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Old 19-08-2015, 15:45   #55
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Is it just me who is having a deja vu moment all over again re 'all is lost'?

Captain Smith thought steel was good... the iceberg thought different....
Ah but it wasn't welded. It was riveted.

Ironically WW2 Liberty Ships were all welded and they cracked without any help from icebergs. They had to be cut all the way around and have riveted section inserted for flexibility.

In the true story "Survive the Savage Sea."
a family of 4 survived 3 months in an 8' fibreglass dinghy after their wooden yacht was sunk by whales off Galapagos.
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Old 19-08-2015, 16:25   #56
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

The Liberties had a design fault causing stress concentration, which was fixed, as was the metallurgical problem of embrittlement in cold. They and the more flexible Victory ships served long after the war; some of the Victories are being scrapped now, 70 years later. Not bad for war emergency ships pioneering new, fast construction meant for temporary service, frequently overloaded. Small sailboats are different creatures entirely. I'd love to ask the Robertsons what they would build Lucette II in.....perhaps someone knows?
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Old 19-08-2015, 17:10   #57
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

I would bet some money on steel due to its decent resistance to fire. I am not sure how alloys stacks up. Wood and plastics burn down to waterline in minutes.

I believe fire onboard is quite common and quite fatal.

But as OP showed safety can be defined in many ways.

b.
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Old 19-08-2015, 18:00   #58
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

I put my money on Strongall alloy, 2 could be CF...
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Old 19-08-2015, 21:19   #59
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

I suggest that each of us who hits a whale for the next ten years or so posts it on Cruiserforum and in 2025 we will revue the data and decide then which is the best material for a boat in which to run down whales???
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Old 19-08-2015, 21:44   #60
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Re: And the safest hull material is...

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Originally Posted by Tensen View Post
Quite an amazing judgement to make with so little detail, especially about a piece of fiction!
It would have been a different movie alltogether
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