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Old 02-10-2010, 17:55   #1
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Dutch / European Boat Yards

Hi all,

I'm planning to purchase a boat in Europe (travelling from Australia). I'm looking for a steel/aluminium 10m - 12m lifting keel boat, budget (for boat alone) up to around 100000 Euro's. I'm partial to Dutch designs, particularly by Koopmans and Van deStadt, cutter rigged.

I'm wanting to learn which yards are reputable builders, some recommendations about surveyors (particularly in Holland) for steel/aluminium and perhaps what other designs I should consider.

Yards I've been looking at include Aluboot Hindeloopen (Koopmans designs), Culumant yachts in Hailingen, Damien (Van deStadt design) and Kuypers (Koopmans). Any recommendations on these yards?

I guess I'm a little concerned about arriving in a foreign country, with a hot wad of cash and some pressure to conclude a deal. We are planning to live aboard (in the UK) and will be in temporary (and expensive) accommodation until we secure a boat. I've also been burned with a boat before, spent our lifesavings (mistake 1) on a large cat (mistake 2) that left no money for maintenance (mistake 3), was too large for me to maintain (mistake 4) or wife and I to handle (mistake 5) and was full of problems. Don't want to relive the nightmare. Any experience on the best way to go would be appreciated.

What are people's thoughts on the reputability of brokers in the Netherlands. Several of the boats above are listed with DeValks, any thoughts on the level of service they provide?

Thanks for any help,

Steve Garlick
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Old 02-10-2010, 18:02   #2
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Brokers in the Netherlands are good in general, get a good survey, High Quality steel boats are very expensive to repair, much more then GRP

Dave
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Old 02-10-2010, 18:24   #3
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Why do you say steel boats are expensive to repair?
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Old 02-10-2010, 19:10   #4
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To achive a fine yacht finish, on a steel boat requires significant surface preperation, epoxy fairing compund and an expensive linear polyurethane sprayed finish, this is typical of what a Dutch Yard does ( I know , I used to have a dutch steel boat). The finish out of the factory is good if not better then some GRP ones.

However damage to that type of structure, requires very good welding skills, significant fairing with expoxy fillers and a very expensive respray with LPU, sure bodges can be done ( and most often are) but it never looks right. Thats why I moved away from steel to GRP, I was always terrified of damage and GRP is easier to repair to a high finish, even by amateurs like me

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Old 02-10-2010, 19:51   #5
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Okay, I don't have experience repairing steel. But I've resprayed LP (I know its tricky!! but is doable), I would have thought fairing is fairing is fairing. Any good refinish requires considerable work. Is welding any more difficult than FRP repair?

I've been drawn to a metal boat since I want to spend time in the French canals, and I've heard a lot about the amount of floating junk, and fibreglass just feels 'fragile' in that context. Also, crossing the pond, I wanted the penetration safety of steel or aluminium. I want a lifting keel boat, and there are fewer options in FRP, I'm familiar only with the Southerly's.
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Old 02-10-2010, 20:12   #6
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In my experience good steel repair is very hard to do, bodge jobs are easy, LPU resprays great but very costly. GRP repair requires lots of elbow grease but it can be done by a competent amateur.

With steel the big problem is fixing dent damage, or bad scrape damage, dents either have to be pulled out ( which is very difficult if there is framing damage) and using the common methods of a big sledgehammer has access problems and usually causes the paint layer to fail , requireing a complete side respray at least to ensure the coating integrity.

Bad scrapes are also difficult as teh rust usually restarts behind the filler and breaks through the paint layer.

if you have to weld in sections there is often great problems with heat damage to ajacent woodwork and or isolation ( I saw a fire started this way).

Basically if you go steel you have to accept a "workboat finish" then you just accept that cosmetically it will never look as good as GRP but be easy ( rather cheaper) to repair.

As to french canals, all the hire boats on the canals are GRP and they lead a tough life and survive very well, have a look at them next time your there.

As to steel and ultimate strength at sea. I have owned steel boats, and I remain unconvinced, often the steel survives the impact but the weld fails, penetration strength of GRP is actually very good. Having sailed all over the place, I still dont see the ultimate point of steel. Also the constant "rust hunt" especially in the bilges and behind frames and interior woodwork is a real PITA. Its very hard to keep a 10 year old steel boat looking new, yet its easy to keep a GRP one so.

Aluminium is even more suspect as its very very expensive to build to a high standard.

In my opinion, buy a dutch steel boat if you like a particular design not available in GRP, but otherwise....

As to centreboards, well be careful some designs are awful, noisy prone to jamming and not particulary efficient. Sail it to test it.

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Old 02-10-2010, 20:21   #7
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Quote:
I'm familiar only with the Southerly's.
Also Feeling Yachts, good range better stabilty then Southerlys as far as I remeber all with lift keels

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Old 02-10-2010, 20:45   #8
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Both the Southerly's and Feelings (just checked them out) appear fitted out as coastal cruisers rather than true liveaboard blue water boats. The anchoring, systems etc seem 'lightweight', compared with the OVNI and dutch centerboard steel boats.
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Old 02-10-2010, 20:50   #9
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Why steel/Auminium in Northern Europe?

I realise it's a personal choice but why would you want to buy steel or aluminum in Northern Europe?

If you want to see the canals why not rent a proper canal boat? A normal daily incident for a canal boat could turn into into something very stressful for a yacht. The difference in cost could be covered by reduced depreciation and maintenance. A longer term rental may be negotiable for a lower price.

Aluminum and steel boats are almost all going to be old custom builds and not fitted out for long distance cruising. Expensive upgrades would most likely be in order.

The first part of the trip to Oz is going to be across the Bay of Biscay. Reports suggest that this is not a pleasant trip. Costs in the Mediterranean are high, sailing conditions not easy. Then reports are that the Suez Canal is very stressful and "Pirate Alley" looks to be best avoided. There is a long run to Thailand which looks to be the first pleasant destination.

If you really want to do some serious long distance sailing then buying an ex charter yacht in Croatia or Turkey that is only a few years old may be your best bet. You could then sail through the Med. across the Atlantic through the Caribbean, Panama Canal and across the Pacific to Oz.

It would probably be more pleasant to charter in Turkey, Greece and Croatia to get a good taste of Mediterranean culture and some serious experience of fibreglass yachts, then to fly to the Caribbean, buy an ex charter boat, upgrade to cruising condition and then to sail it through the Panama Canal, across the Pacific to Oz.

On arrival in Oz you'd have a boat that was seriously valued in the local market. Steel boats, even the well built ones don't appear to be highly prized at the moment. The difference in buying and selling price alone may cover rental and charter costs in Europe.

You don't mention what your time frame is, but those circumnavigating don't often seem to do it in less than 3 years.
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Old 02-10-2010, 20:52   #10
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Well I have my views on Ovni's, as to coastal v bluewater dont get me started, They'll all do the job nicely.Southerlys are strongly built as are Feelings, I mean where are you going , the Antartic. You can allways beef up the anchoring systems anyway if you really want.

PS I notice your budget, at 100000 euros you will be looking at old secondhands. Have you actually located any dutch steel centreboards. They are fairly scarce.

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Old 02-10-2010, 21:01   #11
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Yup, the plan is to spend some time in the canals, cruise turkey and greece in the med, then across the atlantic to carribean, ICW, then home via the Panama. Had NO thoughts of going the other way. We thought about buying a dedicated canal motor cruiser for the first part of the trip, but hard to sell in our time frame. We're planning on living on board 1 -2 years in the UK, 1 - 3 years in the Med, and then as we like, sailing home. Rentals don't seem feasible in that time frame.

Dave,

Here's a Cumulant that I liked. There are quite a few in the same price range.
CUMULANT 37 LIFTING KEEL sailingboat for sale | De Valk Yachtbrokers - Yachtbrokerage
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Old 02-10-2010, 21:33   #12
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why live 1-2 years in cold UK i'd do the 5 years in the med lol.

As to teh boats, well if you want steel then theres no doubt that the Dutch made the worlds best. ( however check out the AC and DC wiring systems, they can be suprisinginly poor, especially the AC systems).

Remember in the case of that cumulant, thats nearly a 20 year old boat and is approaching the point that it may need a major refit, especially since you intend a major journey. Get a very thourough survey with a surveyor thats specialises in steel, you may also want to do a X-ray survey, but this can be expensive.

In my experience many of these Dutch boats are poor sailers, nor are they in any way built as blue water cruisers, The Dutch often do a lot of sheltered inshore sailing and lots of canal work and teh boats are designed acordingly. ( well built but to a point)

I suggest that you spend quite a bit of time at this, these are not mainstream brands and can be difficult to characterise.


De Valk BTW is an excellant bokerage house, I have used them in the past, very professional
dave
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Old 02-10-2010, 21:43   #13
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thanks for the info, Dave

Its difficult to really check these boats out from the other side of the globe. Australian boats are different. I've owned a 44' cat, cedar cored f'glass and it wasn't a pleasant experience. There was rot in areas of the cedar, fittings hadn't sealed the core properly.

I'm currently sailing a small farrier glass tri, and training on a steel deStadt 40'. It will be a rush to buy a boat when we arrive over there, so I'm trying to get as much thinking done while I'm still here. Appreciate your ideas, thanks,
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Old 23-02-2011, 09:30   #14
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Re: Dutch / European Boat Yards

for 100k euros you will be lucky to find an OVNI 345, it is 36f.

OVNI is a very strong boat, i wanted to get a 395 or445, but wife dident like the "Looks"
But maybe one day i will, wife out, Ovni in
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Old 23-02-2011, 09:35   #15
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pirate Re: Dutch / European Boat Yards

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
why live 1-2 years in cold UK i'd do the 5 years in the med lol.

As to teh boats, well if you want steel then theres no doubt that the Dutch made the worlds best. ( however check out the AC and DC wiring systems, they can be suprisinginly poor, especially the AC systems).

Remember in the case of that cumulant, thats nearly a 20 year old boat and is approaching the point that it may need a major refit, especially since you intend a major journey. Get a very thourough survey with a surveyor thats specialises in steel, you may also want to do a X-ray survey, but this can be expensive.

In my experience many of these Dutch boats are poor sailers, nor are they in any way built as blue water cruisers, The Dutch often do a lot of sheltered inshore sailing and lots of canal work and teh boats are designed acordingly. ( well built but to a point)

I suggest that you spend quite a bit of time at this, these are not mainstream brands and can be difficult to characterise.


De Valk BTW is an excellant bokerage house, I have used them in the past, very professional
dave
With the Cumulant inspect under the sole carefully... the one I was on in the Med a few years back surprised me in that all the timber out of sight was untreated white wood... would have thought being in an area liable to moisture it would at least have been sealed in some way...
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