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Old 30-10-2011, 19:53   #1
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Is this Steel-Chined Hull Structurally OK ?

I'm currently looking at a steel chined sailboat and since I'm not a boat builder or a welder, do these wavy welds and panels look structural? I understand that functional doesn't equal pretty most times but before I travel to see this boat and spend money on a survey I was wondering what comments these pictures would generate. Thank you!

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Old 30-10-2011, 19:56   #2
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Re: Is this Steel Chined Hull Structurally OK?

I would get someone in person who knows steel boat welding and construction really well.
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Old 30-10-2011, 20:18   #3
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Re: Is this Steel Chined Hull Structurally OK?

That's one thing I will do before I go foward. Thank you!
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Old 31-10-2011, 02:11   #4
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Re: Is this Steel-Chined Hull Structurally OK ?

Have a look inside. That's where many problems manifest themselves.

#2 on getting a professional survey before making any major decisions.
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Old 31-10-2011, 02:51   #5
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Re: Is this Steel-Chined Hull Structurally OK ?

I agree functional does not equal pretty (necessarily). But for me, wavy welds does not equal a professional job - so what other imperfections and unwelcome surprises might be lurking under the paint or in the structural integrity of the yacht.
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Old 31-10-2011, 03:58   #6
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Re: Is this Steel-Chined Hull Structurally OK ?

Having built a steel boat (without wavy panels!) , the distortion shown in the photos indicates a very substandard build. There are many good steel boats around and I would be looking elsewhere.
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Richard.
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Old 31-10-2011, 04:15   #7
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Re: Is this Steel-Chined Hull Structurally OK ?

I'll preface this by saying I'm not a boat builder and have never owned a steel boat, but here is my 2 cents worth. Long flat sheets like that used in hard chine construction can be difficult to keep straight (because of heat distortion) for the amateur fabricator and the welds don't necessarily have to look great to be satisfactory for the task. But if the workmanship on the fabrication looks to be of poor quality then the question has to be asked of the rest of the boat's construction. To me (as someone who has been involved in steel fabrication for the last 30+ years although not in a shop floor capacity) the most important consideration for me would be
  1. How long did the hull take to build. If it sat around on and off for years, corrosion would have had a chance to establish itself in the nooks and crannies even before it hit the water
  2. How was the steel prepped for surface coating. Ideally it was sandblasted to the coating manufacturers specification
  3. What protective coatings have been used
  4. And finally, how easy is it to access the usual corrosion trouble spots - i.e. the bilges, under the head, behind the insulation etc

IMHO Whenever you see a boat of that type of design (long straight sections of plate, straight lines and hard chines) it just screams "designed for the amateur builder" so you would expect to see the vast majority of these boats home built with the expectant variation in quality.
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