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Old 29-09-2011, 16:32   #1
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Boat Poll II - Hull Material

Next Subject-Hull material

I've ruled out ferrocement.
I've accepted fiberglass.
I fantisize about wood.
Considered Aluminun for the scrap value.
Think steel would be too noisy, underway and at anchor.

What are your thoughts and observations?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 29-09-2011, 17:29   #2
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Re: Boat Poll II-Hull Material

You would get better comments if you indicated:

a) your own experience
b) your own ambitions
c) your own style of sailing
d) your own wallet thickness

All come into play when choosing a boat. I own a skinny IOR fg racer-cruiser, and a steel pilothouse cutter. As different in many ways as a Porsche and a soccer mom's Grand Caravan, but then I have different ambitions for them and sail them in different styles.

I'm not saying that a passagemaker can't be a pleasure to sail or can dance nimbly across the waves, but that tends to be expensive. Most cruisers want hulking tankage and stowage and battery banks for independence from the shore, two months of known clean water and motoring range.

By contrast, I tore out the water tanks from my skinny IOR boat. I want it to go faster and crew can use a bucket and wash their hands with a jug of water. "Provisioning" consists of a six-pack and a box lunch. Entirely different point to the thing, and we haven't even discussed hull material yet. Answer the above questions, and there's a reason to.
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Old 29-09-2011, 17:46   #3
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

What about composite?

Surely lighter material build weight would mean that cruisers can carry more crap to get the vessel to DWL

Have seen a nicely converted foam-kevlar-epoxy Farr 40 do just that.
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Old 29-09-2011, 17:52   #4
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

Why not ferrocement?? just asking...
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Old 29-09-2011, 18:02   #5
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

Glass. For no other reason than there are so many more of them to choose from.
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Old 30-09-2011, 04:47   #6
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

no poll on a thread that says poll!
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Old 30-09-2011, 05:19   #7
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailcat View Post
Next Subject-Hull material

I've ruled out ferrocement.
I've accepted fiberglass.
I fantisize about wood.
Considered Aluminun for the scrap value.
Think steel would be too noisy, underway and at anchor.

What are your thoughts and observations?

Thanks in advance.
Sailcat
I see you have limited or no experience with most of the materials....

If you truly understand each materials strengths and weaknesses....you would make a bettr choice and wouldn't rule any out..you would just prefer one over another.

Steel isn't any noisier if insulated (and it needs some anyway)...my glass boat right now is almost noisy enough to be distracting (3 knot current with wind wavelets).

Aluminum makes great boats if you are willing to carefully watch electric/galvanic corrosion.

Wood comes in 2 forms...composite and old styles....big difference. Old style is inexpensive in many cases to purchase but can cost in the long run....where I live right now...many marinas will not haul you or even let you stay past a few days transient for fear you will fall apart on them (as many have in recent years because people buy them cheap and have no clue how to maintain them)
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Old 30-09-2011, 05:35   #8
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Any of these materials are fine, if well built and maintained.

There is material better than the others, as the other posters said, it's preference and how you use your boat.


My preference is fiberglass. Its just easiest to maintain, very forgiving, easy to repair, and if thick enough, is as strong as any other material. Plus, most good cruising boats are made of it so there's more choices.

There are metal boats out there that are built too thin to be safe, suffering from galvanic corrosion in hidden places who's owners think they are fine because they are in a steel or aluminum boat.. There are wood boats suffering from hidden rot and on the verge of sinking.

Design, execution, and maintenance are a bigger factor than material.
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Old 30-09-2011, 06:22   #9
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

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Any of these materials are fine, if well built and maintained.


My preference is fiberglass. Its just easiest to maintain, very forgiving, easy to repair, and if thick enough, is as strong as any other material. Plus, most good cruising boats are made of it so there's more choices.
I would say based on this response that YOU are the most comfortable with FRP (glass)...

I would say many long distance cruisers have chosen steel because it's more widely available and easier to repair in many 3rd world locations...not sure if that arguement still holds (I'll let others add more recent thoughts).

Glass while strong and somewhat abrasion resistant...is often NOT as impervious to damage as a good metal boat (with no/limited corrosion)...especially many sailboats as they often don't have much glass in their sides.

I don't think there is any boat easier to maintain than an unpainted aluminum boat.

I also think that in the true world of full time cruisers there may be more glass boats than anything else...because for the last 30 years or more glass became the choice for production boats...but there is a higher percentage of other materials due to the nature/origin of crruising boats than in weekenders/daysailors...
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:08   #10
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That's why I said my preference !

Not that fiberglass is the best, etc.

If I had unlimited funds I'd probably get a custom aluminum boat.
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:16   #11
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

I also prefer fiberglass. They tend to be widely available and relatively affordable. I can work on or modify fiberglass myself with basic tools and I don't have the worry of rusting or galvonic corrosion. There's a reason the majority of yacht makers these days choose fiberglass.

Wood is way too much maintenance for me, and most probably more difficult to resell.
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Old 30-09-2011, 07:30   #12
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

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I also prefer fiberglass. They tend to be widely available and relatively affordable. I can work on or modify fiberglass myself with basic tools and I don't have the worry of rusting or galvonic corrosion. There's a reason the majority of yacht makers these days choose fiberglass.

Wood is way too much maintenance for me, and most probably more difficult to resell.

Glass is the easiest and cheapest to make look good with unskilled labor...production...from a mold...etc...not because its better.

You can make a cheaper one off...but you give up the interior decor that catches the eye but most cruisers would want put back into true cruising features and hull integrity.

Most production boats have MANY seaworthy flaws in them right from the factory starting with number, type and placement of thru hulls right up to nearly impossible to reach/ maintain systems.

Glass is easiest to sell to the average buyer...but any material done and maintained well will be sellable to the cruising crowd.

See what material the majority of boat designers choose for a lot of their cruising designs or themselves...while glass is still in there...it's probably not the same percentage of boats out on the water.

Again, don't take me wrong...big difference between a coastal cruiser (even a full timer like me) and a true passagemaker....
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Old 30-09-2011, 09:07   #13
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

I agree with perchance that glass gives you the most choices...and by a huge factor.

Glass will also be the least amount of maintenance unless you prefer an unpainted aluminum hull....which to me are unattractive.
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Old 30-09-2011, 09:39   #14
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailcat View Post
Next Subject-Hull material

I've ruled out ferrocement.
I've accepted fiberglass.
I fantisize about wood.
Considered Aluminun for the scrap value.
Think steel would be too noisy, underway and at anchor.

What are your thoughts and observations?

Thanks in advance.
Sailcat
FC - probably good material (there is a recent thread on FC) - seems like maybe resulting in heavier boats, if weight and related factors no issue, do not cross it off the list,

GRP - (and related technologies) - solid GRP is very low maintenance, sandwich construction - some potential issues but excellent properties if intact, carbon, kevlar, epoxies - all add to the cost but also allow to attain better strength/weight,

Wood - no issues, a wooden cat will in fact float even if holed, plenty of maintenance,

Plywood / epoxy - an option, easy to build and repair,

Cold molded wood - excellent, labour intensive, fantastic strength and mechanical properties, potential issues at ballast joint,

Steel - excellent. Must be properly primed at the boatyard and then maintained regularly. A layer of foam will insulate against cold / heat / noise. Very easy to position and fit everything. Very good ground for ham radio. Would be my personal No 2 for a serious offshore toy.

Aluminum - better than steel, potential corrosion issues, probably the choice for a 'money no issue' cruising dream.

I think the trick is to pick up the boat / material that best fits the use you have in mind - an alloy pilothouse for the arctic voyage, a wooden classic to impress the dock walkers, etc.. My friend lives onboard of a FC boat that nobody will give a look and I would NOT sail her out of the marina ... and yet, she IS a great liveaboard.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 30-09-2011, 09:45   #15
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Re: Boat Poll II - Hull Material

i use for hull material whatever it is the boat i LIKE is made of. as long as is in decent shape. decent being --able to handle seas.
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