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Old 05-11-2009, 11:47   #1
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Commissioning a Steel Hull - Where's Good ?

I'm starting to plan my next boat project: a large steel yacht in the region of 40 t displacement. At the moment, I'm thinking that a Bruce Roberts S58 Spray would be a good fit. Planning is at an early stage so the build is over a year away.

If you have a similar dream, project in progress, or completed boat, I'd be grateful if you'd get in touch - I'm keen to compare notes!

In particular, where in the world would you go for high quality steel hulls for sensible money? The Netherlands would seem to be an obvious choice but perhaps the same quality is available elsewhere for less?

Cheers,

Robin
r at floatingabode dot co dot uk



More about the dream/general requirements:
I could buy used but I'm intending to live aboard for a long time so I want to get it right. Also, I don't want to put my family and all our worldly possessions in a boat that I can't trust 100%.

It needs to be a strong, safe boat. I weld quite a lot (mainly TIG) and like the strength and resilience of mild steel. I've also used modern epoxy coatings on the steel of my current boat and they last forever! It'd take a lot to convince me to choose a different material.

The rig needs to be manageable for 2 people. The accommodation needs to be a comfortable size for a family of four to liveaboard permanently (the wheelhouse on the S58 is an attractive bonus).

I spent a lot of time measuring spaces and shaping materials to fit into those spaces on my current boat so this time I'm hoping to design the whole thing in 3D CAD, allowing stuff to be made remotely with only minor tweaking to get it to fit in.

About me:
33 year old telecommuting product designer/design engineer with loads of practical skills and a penchant for extreme DIY. Living aboard for nearly 10 years. Current boat is a self-fit-out narrow boat (english canal boat) with hybrid propulsion, waste heat recovery and storage (free underfloor heating!), robust electrical system for cooking/laundry/welding etc. The inland waterways of the UK are crowded and 2 dimensional though and I've always enjoyed sailing. Add to that my partner's desire to travel and my objections to flying and it's clear that it's time to go salty.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:06   #2
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Turkey used to be fairly cheap for steel work...but if you compare the quality to the Netherlands its going to be hard to beat the quality work of the Dutch ............the money is another thing.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:37   #3
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Thanks for the reply, James - nice work in your gallery by the way. I particularly liked the neatness of the wiring and the washboard locking mechanism, but your uncompromising approach in general is great!
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:40   #4
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I'd consider Poland, they have a naval history, even make yachts now, can't really get anything wrong with steel as long as conservation is done properly..
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:42   #5
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Thanks Uisce..those are sure kind words....I've learned much from this forum.
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Old 05-11-2009, 13:38   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idpnd View Post
I'd consider Poland, they have a naval history, even make yachts now, can't really get anything wrong with steel as long as conservation is done properly..
Poland will never get you the quality you buy in Holland. Building cargo and fisher is way different from the fine art of yacht building.

I have friends here who have a 15 yrs old Koopmans here. No sign of rust on her anywhere.

I know that Kanter builds some great boats in (?) Canada. I have seen some great US built steel boats too. And Holland / France are the place for alu.

I believe that the Dutch thing can be expensivish upfront, but cheapest in the long run.

b.
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Old 05-11-2009, 15:06   #7
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When I was researching my "new to me" Van de Stadt designed (dutch) and french built custom steel ketch, I was surprised to see, that although my builder was no longer in business ( 1979 build) there were a number of yards around the La Rochelle/ North Brittany (France) still going strong. Serendipitously, over the last year or so I have met with recent built steel boats (up to eight years old) here in the southern caribbean which were built in France and Argentina and their owners were extremely pleased with the final result.

Best regards with your hunt.

Regards

Alan
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