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Old 12-09-2010, 21:00   #1
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Old Steel Boat - Opinions, Please

1966 Amuthon Steel Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Does anyone have any knowledge to share of this particular boat, it's lineage, or 45 year old steel boats in general?
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Old 12-09-2010, 21:29   #2
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I would not touch any steel boat that uses a combination of timber and steel, whatever its age. Huge maintinence ( corrosion) problems at the interface.
Regards, Richard.
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Old 12-09-2010, 22:39   #3
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I would not touch any steel boat that uses a combination of timber and steel, whatever its age. Huge maintinence ( corrosion) problems at the interface.
Regards, Richard.
Ditto. Steel has a fatigue life & I'd have concerns, though I have friends who have older boats than that. I'd also steer away from a steel/wood hull-to-deck joint, personally.
Mike
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Old 12-09-2010, 22:49   #4
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the cockpit wood appears neglected. if this is the case--run like a scalded dog to somewhere else. i
now, if it is boat of your dreams, make sure hull to deck connection is not deteriorated. the boat looks neglected in the cockpit. wood is cracked and not cared for--the rest of the boat, therefore, is placed into a suspicious zone of neglect vs continuous care. wood was neglected. does engine run? is there a way to x-ray the hull to see about flaws?? find a good surveyor who knows steel boats to examine it thoroughly.
that wood is still fixable with minimal effort i h-think-- from what i see..
the hull to deck joint is steel-- the wood is an overlay, the blurb said.
the steel decks were covered with wood--could be ok. could be not ok--need to look for rust bubbles and for wood rot. ever try walking on hot steel decks??/ is worse than tropics on teak. ouch. cold weather--walk on a steel deck-- ouch
45 yrs is a long time to be alive for boat--but there are steel boats more than 100 yrs old -- i liked steel--i didnt like steel in the cold or in hot sun. ye get the best anchorages --lol--who wants to be near a steel boat!!

i would rather be hit by a whale in a steel boat than in a fiberglass or wood boat.
titanic was steel

she is very pretty boat and the dutch do excellent work --especially with steel boats. if she was surveyed and was surveyed well and the redoing of anything wasnt looking too bad, i would buy her. after seeijg the results of testing of the hull integrity and xray
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Old 13-09-2010, 18:36   #5
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Well, we went and looked at her today. Some scary stuff, but I don't yet know how scary - or if I want to pay a surveyor to tell me how scared I should be.

2 chainplates are not quite see-through, but heading in that direction.



There are lots of bubbly areas (rust under paint? patches? Should-be patches? Bondo? Bubblegum and duct tape??) in the paint. Here's one that also shows some weeping from the chainplates.



The bilge itself is remarkably clean, with only the occasional superficial indication of rust present. This is as bad as it gets.


The hull/deck connection does have some rust, but it's fairly minimal and surficial. Here's about as bad as that gets:



Also note the lack of the alleged steel decks - she's plywood decks on a steel hull.

The ballast appears to be gravel (no, really! Some of it was loose under the head, and it's gravel!) in coal tar. There is allegedly steel in concrete down there somewhere, but I couldn't find it. There's also a funky PVC pipe, compete with customized dipper-thingee, disappearing into the murk. I know not why.



The biggest mystery to me at this point is the engine, of which I completely failed to get a reasonable picture. Anyway, the "front" of the engine, the end with the flywheel, points forward and drives only a 4-groove pulley, which in turn spins 4 V-belts which turn a jackshaft which departs rearward apparently into a transmission. The drive pulley is considerably smaller than the driven. Sort of a V-Drive arrangement, but with belts which I hope never to have to replace, all barely visible at the bottom of this image.



All in all, we like the boat. However, we don't want a perpetual project or an expensive lawn ornament. Help please....
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Old 13-09-2010, 18:54   #6
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Much depends on planned use. She is a great looking boat and may be fine if all you want is to get her back to good aesthetic shape and do some sailing locally.

If you are good at welding and woodwork then you can probably do it.

It is not standard in a Kok boat to use steel rods and cement as ballast. It is a cheap solution. Wondering why they did so.

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Old 13-09-2010, 19:17   #7
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I can weld and beat on nails - I've even been unfairly accused of being a moderately competent carpenter once or twice. I'm not scared of some work, and I'm certainly not scared of maintenance. But I don't want to build a boat either. We both value simplicity in systems, but also want a home rather than a floating tent. This boat seems just what we've been looking for in balancing room and "handleability," and simplicity and livability, has excellent tankage and stowage, etc. We're a long way from walking away from it, but not yet ready to look for a surveyor.

The vague plan involves a couple months in Mexico to see how we like the lifestyle. I have very limited sailing experience, and she has less, so we're looking for a boat that will take care of us in our ignorance (long keel, moderate sailplan, seaworthy design, sound engine, etc.). If Mexico works out, who knows - I'd like to see if this world is really round, but that's not a goal or obsession and we could get stuck somewhere in the middle, or never leave Mexico, or something else. I don't want a boat I'm afraid to take out of the bay.

The steel in cement ballast is owner-reported, so who knows what's actually down there.

Thanks to everyone for the comments so far.
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Old 13-09-2010, 20:02   #8
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I think it is safe to say that unless you have an unlimited budget, this is probably not the best boat for your stated plans. There are lots of options out there, and the shopping is half the fun. Good luck with your boat search, whether this is the boat for you or not.
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Old 13-09-2010, 20:30   #9
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Why not fibreglass?

The boat may or may not be OK. Depends on how much thickness there is left in the plating and structural elements.

The big question is "Why?". It looks like it's going to need continual ongoing maintenance. If any of the major parts are suspect then the repairs are going to be major indeed.

Marine ply over steel decks has me asking "Why?". Must be my favorite question.

Parts for the engine/transmission may be hard to get.

The design is old and with a 10' beam in a steel boat there may not be that much room inside.

I did a quick search on 28-32', 85' to 95' fibreglass boats in the price range 25k to 40k on Yachtworld and came up with 250+ boats in North America. Many of them would be better than this boat. Some of them could be much, much better and be suitable for cruising with minimal work.

My personal belief is that steel is best suited to boats over 40' where the cost of maintenance is justified by the increase in structural longevity.

I strongly urge you to keep looking unless you would rather fix boats than go sailing.
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Old 14-09-2010, 00:05   #10
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Assuming that you haven't seen a recent survey on the boat, maybe the $18,500 asking price is a bit high considering the work that might be needed. Do you think the seller might reduce the price by $20,000?
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Old 14-09-2010, 00:36   #11
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That looks scary. I would keep away.
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Old 14-09-2010, 00:43   #12
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Fibreglass comparison...

This boat is for sale by one of our members.

Dufour 34 Sloop in SW FL - Ready to Go . . .



I know you can't really tell from photos and all normal checks need to be done but what a difference...

Even with trucking from Fl. to Ca. it could work out cheaper in the long run.
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Old 14-09-2010, 01:24   #13
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Walk away, walk away, walk away.

Plenty more where that came from and much less risk
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Old 14-09-2010, 01:55   #14
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This boat is for sale by one of our members.

Dufour 34 Sloop in SW FL - Ready to Go . . .



I know you can't really tell from photos and all normal checks need to be done but what a difference...

Even with trucking from Fl. to Ca. it could work out cheaper in the long run.
Exactly, why buy that money pit when a boats like this are out there!
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Old 14-09-2010, 04:33   #15
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I obviously am having a slightly different opinion on this boat (telling by the pictures) than most my co-posters.

A: When shopping for a reasonable sized boat in that price range, it's pretty obvious that you wont get anywhere close to one of them fancy new tupperware boats.

B: I'd rather trust my life to a steel hull any time. (I used to have a 60' steel Nordia Ketch, with my share of rust problems, and my favorite saying was: "If I cant find the harbor entrance, I'll just make one for myself!")

C: One of the big "plus" with this one to me is that it does not have any fancy interior paneling. (Thus also lacking insulation which could be nice or bad depending on the cruising grounds you'd be hanging around in)
But as far as maintenance goes, this is great because you can see, check, access and consequently fix possibly problem areas easily (especially since you state you know a bit about welding yourself!)

D: Just because the woodwork in the cockpit is neglected does not necessarily mean that the boat is junk. Any boat subjected to sun and weather for a while will show that type of neglect first and most of all with the varnished outside surfaces. A couple of weekends, lots of sandpaper, lots of varnish and pacience and a couple of beers later you'd have a beauty since telling by the pictures the neglected wood does not show any "dryrot" or "blackrot" (not sure of the correct English terms).

E: The visible rust seems to be superficial only. Take a look at them fishing vessels who take a hammer, knock the rust off, paint over it and once they are done they start right all over again. No big deal, rust has a multiple of the surface and "amount" than the steel it ate, so that little bit of rust visible on the pictures virtually took nothing off the steel.

F: The hull-deck struts-deck problem resulting from "steel <-> wood" ... if such problem would be existing - is the fastest obvious problem. Against "thanks to the much higher volume of rust as opposed to the steel, you would see lifting, "wavy surface" etc. especially if no teak deck is present. So if you put your eye as close as possible to the deck and look at it, if it looks "smooth" than you probably wont have any problems there.

Now, so far the "good news" in my opinion. Now the real problem zones:
The current owner seems not to have any hand for electricity. The wiring is a nightmare (pictures from the engine-room)
This issue would be only cosmetically if we are talking "tupper ware boat" - but steel boats tend to suffer greatly from electrolysis. Minor currents flowing between metals of different grade, and all you need for that is an "electrolyt" which sea water is "great" for.
No bilge that is bone dry, so this is where you have to go look. Where ever possible and accessibly from the inside, take a screw diver and poke at the steel right along the line where the (filled) keel transits to the hull. Areas you can not access from the inside need this checking from the outside (have fun diving! if she is in the water)
When tapping along the steel with the back (handle) of the screwdriver the sound will tell you if there any significant weaknesses even without having an expensive surveyor move in with fancy equipment.

If that line is sound, the hull is sound, and all you are facing is some varnish (see above) and DEFINITELY (!) re-wiring of at least that mess in the engine room.

Summary:
If I was 30 years younger and this would be all I could afford, I'd offer $ 10K for starters and make the deal anywhere between these 10K and 15/16K.
Add a decent wind-vane autopilot ..........[edit: just have seen it already got one!] .......to this assembly and I would see no problem to circumnavigate. (If you dont have any problems with spending extensive time in very confined space.)
It may sound arrogant (and please believe me it is not intended to be) but I personally think that anything (monohull) below 50' is great for "vacation sailing" but true blue-water sailing in decent comfort and safety starts at 50 feet plus (plus, plus!).

Back to the boat at hand:
At my current situation, CLOD (cruiser living on dirt) if that boat would be located in Mallorca or anywhere in the Med I'd sure consider it for some fun weekend sailing, especially since I am enjoying it tremendously to work on my boats. Comeon! At less than $ 20K this "thing" sure would be fun and good sailing on top of it since the Dutch sure understand a LOT about boat building and design (especially when it is coming to steel)
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