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Old 07-02-2018, 15:40   #16
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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Originally Posted by Smart555 View Post
Good morning everyone !
At the moment our big family is looking for a boat for traveling with budget around 200k. And one of choices we considering the 50’ steel custom Motorsailer built in Holland at DeVries yard in 1985. As we can see the boat is in good condition but there is a lot of rust outside over the hull. Before we make survival we’d like to have a clue about around budget to repair and necessary upgrades. What do you think of cost to remove rust and paint the boat? Is is possible to do it at yard for not so expensive (any tips)?
Or it’s better to refuse the general idea to buy this kind of boats and to look for something modern production boat?

Thank you for advices!
Make sure you read this well illustrated article. It contains an extreme example of Rust and what work was involved in repairing the boat.

The saving of WhiteBird
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Old 07-02-2018, 20:50   #17
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

The De Vries Yard in Aalsmeer is a wonderful yard now building the best Super yachts under the name FEADSHIP.

I have spent a few years living there working with them, supervising large projects but a boat of that age can have serious rust issues especially at the ends and turn of the bilge and anywhere it is hard to reach.

Get a surveyor who knows steel and if the plates you can see are clean and without pitting, get ultrasounds of the hidden areas.

On Cor-ten steel. I asked technical director Johann de Vries in the 90's if he ever built with Corten, answer was no as they felt it was hard to form and more sensitive to electrolysis.

I am a big fan of Corten and my own 1983 Dutch built motor sailor built by van Helleman is built that way.

The hull plates are like new, sandblasting and measuring thickness in 2010 showed the plates to be just under mill-spec (probably from previous blasting.

Corten gives you a lot more time to maintain coating damages, in areas where penetrations and leaks (like Teak cap rails) are screwed down.
But it is not maintenance free. You need to keep the coatings intact and that starts with the quality of preparation at build time.

THAT was the only problem I had with de Vries as they admitted it was hard to get good subcontractors to prep properly and spray the epoxies.

(Made them re-do it 3 times until they used their own workers to do it properly.

I love Dutch built steel boats, many who were built with double bottoms for originally skin cooling (as was mine)
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Old 07-02-2018, 21:31   #18
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

To follow on to Pelagic's post, I get a bit tired of reading "steel boats always rust from the inside out", I believe mostly posted by people who have little experience with building/owning steel boats. My boat was 17 years old when I bought her, a 42' steel cutter. I ended up doing a full rebuild on her which involved stripping the inside to the bare hull. (The rebuild had to do with design issues, the hull was in great shape corrosion wise). There was one spot of rust on the entire interior about the size of a postage stamp where a leaking hose had been dribbling.

Proper prep before painting is everything with steel. If it is done properly the internal paint will last longer than you will. Think about it - the interior is protected from UV, impacts, constant exposure to salt, etc. The bilge ought to be dry. And it ought to drain with no standing water traps. Well built steel boat do not have holes in the deck and hull for mounting hardware. The hardware is welded down, or bolted to threaded mounts which are in turn welded to the hull. Welding rod makes a lifetime leak tite seal. Well built metal boats are the driest boats on the water.

There is a huge worldwide investment and experience with steel structures in the marine environment. Ships, bridges, oil rigs, etc. It is common to consider a properly prepped and applied coating on steel structure to have a 30 year life. As Pelagic said above, substandard prep and paint work fails much more quickly.

Steel, aluminum, fiberglass and wood can all make great boats if the construction is done to a high standard. And all of them can make lousy boats when the construction quality is lousy.
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Old 07-02-2018, 21:37   #19
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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On Cor-ten steel. I asked technical director Johann de Vries in the 90's if he ever built with Corten, answer was no as they felt it was hard to form and more sensitive to electrolysis.
Don't know what he meant by "electrolysis" as that is what happens to the electrolyte, not the metals. I can only assume he meant galvanic corrosion.
The only thing that drives galvanic corrosion is different potentials of other metals in contact. So Cor-ten is no more susceptible than any other steel. given the same voltage potential differences.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:27   #20
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

Greetings to all !

After reading this thread very carefully it appears that the De Vries Motorsailor would only be worth considering if it could be purchased at a low price so that a full and complete major refit could occur?

What say ye ?/!
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:45   #21
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

4 inch grinder with a wire brush makes light work of a needle gun these days, and its no where near as noisy,
Paint it straight away, as rust will form if you dont,
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:10   #22
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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4 inch grinder with a wire brush makes light work of a needle gun these days, and its no where near as noisy,
Paint it straight away, as rust will form if you dont,
As a marine engineer i can only say NEVER use a grinder with wire brush on a steel hull, the only way is sandblasting.

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Greetings to all !

After reading this thread very carefully it appears that the De Vries Motorsailor would only be worth considering if it could be purchased at a low price so that a full and complete major refit could occur?

What say ye ?/!
Difficult to answer your question without a complete survey. This beautiful motorsailer can be a dream or a nightmare.
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:12   #23
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

Thanks for the thoughts shipmate.

Just spoke to the salesman and he siad there is just a little room to move down on the price.

At this point I'll pass, keep our almostly completely refitted 44' Nauticat that we just spent over 80k on and let this possible dream or nightmare (think this is the case) PASS !

Michael
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Old 08-02-2018, 10:18   #24
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

Something sticks in the back of my mind that Devries has a good reputation. I would ask if x-rays of the welds had been provided. Get a surveyor familiar with steel. He may or may not recommend having the hull plate gauged.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:17   #25
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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Originally Posted by hatteras53 View Post
Greetings to all !

After reading this thread very carefully it appears that the De Vries Motorsailor would only be worth considering if it could be purchased at a low price so that a full and complete major refit could occur?

What say ye ?/!
It looks like you have made up your mind but I’ll comment anyway.

The boat need not be a disaster and may be well worth the asking price. I’m not a big fan of surveyors or ultra sound surveys.

And I feel strongly no one here has enough information to advise you on making a purchase.

IMHO the boat has a good background, many Steel boats are home built and can be problematic. It come from a good yard and typically demand a premium price.

All that said, I would require at least 8 hours, perhaps 16, for ME to do an internal survey of the hull. Flashlight and hammer in hand. It is necessary to see as much of the boat as possible especially any places where water may accumulate. If you can not see ALL of the interior hull walk away. Rust can occur in very localized areas, a ultrasound survey will be done about every 12”. It may easily miss small but bad rust spots.

On the other hand, assuming the hull is otherwise in good shape and if it had some small localized deep taut spots that needed repair, and they could be accessed withou removing the interior then I would not be very put off by that.

Last year while repainting topsides we found 2 bad spots on our big boat (1985).
1. At the bow, in front of the chain locker. High up. Probably condensation in a very wet space.
2. In the stern where the old exhaust through hull used to be. It clearly leaked for a long time.

Neither spot compromised the safety of the hull and were repaired for under $600 in metal work (welding) with me doing the final fairing and painting.

Not to second guess your decision. Just my 2˘.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:29   #26
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

I just looked at the boat on Yachtworld and wanted I add this comment.

Forgetting the “Steel” issue for a bit I would ask how you intend to use the boat?
She’s a big girl with lots of tankage. Her rig is pretty dang short. My guess is she is a MOTORsailor, heavy on the motor.

If the “functionality” of the boat meets your needs then I think she is fairly unique. But then again she is far from what is now in vogue.

A lot depends on how she meets your needs. Hull material is somewhat secondary.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:35   #27
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

@hpeer without a proper survey (done yourself or a surveyor) any outcome is possible. I know from experience that replacing hull plates don't come for cheap.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:58   #28
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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@hpeer without a proper survey (done yourself or a surveyor) any outcome is possible. I know from experience that replacing hull plates don't come for cheap.
Agreed. I did not mean to imply no survey at all. It’s valuable for the balance of the boat and gear. I DID mean to say, all other things aside, one should do a propped and extensive HULL survey yourself. Not difficult, but time consuming. Know what you are getting into.

The cost and effort of replacing hull plates depends access and other factors, may be extremely costly or not so bad. On our small boat it started with cutting out the steel fuel tank under the cockpit sole. Effing miserable job. The other two spots were readily accessible and no big deal. It all depends. It’s all in the details. Thus the need to do a hands on survey yourself.

Not arguing, just expanding.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:06   #29
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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Don't know what he meant by "electrolysis" as that is what happens to the electrolyte, not the metals. I can only assume he meant galvanic corrosion.
The only thing that drives galvanic corrosion is different potentials of other metals in contact. So Cor-ten is no more susceptible than any other steel. given the same voltage potential differences.
I am sure I will be corrected if wrong, but isnt lot of marine corrosion caused or stimulated by stray currents and improper grounding in marinas? I have heard of situations where zincs are eaten up in a matter of weeks.......
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:19   #30
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Re: Boat for big family (steel boat choice)

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Originally Posted by Pauls View Post
To follow on to Pelagic's post, I get a bit tired of reading "steel boats always rust from the inside out", I believe mostly posted by people who have little experience with building/owning steel boats. My boat was 17 years old when I bought her, a 42' steel cutter. I ended up doing a full rebuild on her which involved stripping the inside to the bare hull. (The rebuild had to do with design issues, the hull was in great shape corrosion wise). There was one spot of rust on the entire interior about the size of a postage stamp where a leaking hose had been...
SNIP
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What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice, but I do see this issue differently from you.

I am not a steel boat owner or builder. I do respect the experience of others, but I also recognize that one person's experience is simply their own personal experience, and it may not be the same experience another has or will have. I mentioned in my earlier post, the opinions of boat owners are always colored by their own experience, some good, some bad. Some steel boat buyers are lucky, some unlucky. A prudent person looks beyond one example.

One does not have to own or build a steel boat to understand the issues related to them, or to heed the advice and cautions that many experienced steel boat owners and builders have offered, many times found in online boat forums, that the hidden rust (corrosion) is a risk when one considers buying a used steel boat, of any age. One should not have to poke oneself in the eye to understand that it is not a good thing to do, and hopefully others will have cautioned one against it.

Furthermore, your own example says you did a complete rebuild of your boat. While you say it was due to a desire to change some aspect of the interior design, it apparently alllowed you to carefully examine the entire interior of the hull, if the furniture was taken out. I imagine you felt relieved at the time to find you had little problem with the interior paint job. Lucky you.

Taking out the entire interior (furniture) or gutting a boat is NOT something a typical buyer of a used sailboat, especially a first time boat buyer, expects to do and the OP does not appear to be a boat builder or experienced with steel boats, so I suspect it is very unlikely they would want to gut their new to them boat.

Your own example (a small area of rust was found) means you were lucky. Good for you. But, not every used steel boat is like that, and certainly not every used boat buyer is going to gut their boat to find out. And that applies to homebuilt and commercially built boats, as there are differences in each yard, each paint system, and each crew of workers painting the boat, and each owner's maintenance of that boat. So, too many variables to simply say steel boats don't rust inside. In fact, many do rust inside, sometimes with catastrophic results.

I think it is prudent for anyone who is going to buy their first steel boat to understand the reasonable cautions, risks, and the nature of how steel boats need to be built, painted, and maintained. This is especially necessary if the buyer has only sailed or owned fiberglass boats before, because they do not suffer the same issues with interior paint and corrosion of the hull.
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