With all due respect, Reefmagnet, I'd recommend stick(SMAW), rather than either FCAW or GMAW, for the "one-off" builder, due to the difference in start-up costs. At work(shipyards/drydocks) I run a suitcase with FCAW, sometimes, SMAW for tacks & small length welds. When working on others' project
boat builds, I run either FCAW or SMAW, though I have no problem with the use of GMAW, if, by a qualified welder.
While Low-hi rods do require protection from moisture, they are not as finicky as many believe. In high-stress weldments, they are, to me, preferable to 6010/11, to avoid cold-cracking & embrittlement, as well as, tensile strength. A small rod oven
can be rented easily enough, or one can build one. In fact, I have seen instructions for building ovens on the internet
I always say, "To each their own. It doesn't matter to me how someone else builds their boat." To be honest, I wouldn't recommend building a boat to anyone who wants to go sailing. There are so many used boats available on the market that can be bought for much less than it costs to build a quality boat. There are very few amateur (first-time) builders whom have set a build period and achieved it. Most believe that they will finish within a couple of years. Those whom actually complete the project
seem to take 6 to 10 years, on average. If that is what the author of this thread wants, go to it. If what he wants is to get out on the water, however, I suggest getting the boat closest to what serves him best & go sailing. In my area, Vancouver, I looked at a 1983 37' Alberg
yawl, present asking price
$57,000(Can). Though I will be building a larger boat, with a crew, in an area where labour is cheap
, I am considering buying
a boat for the trip over. I have seen too many cheap
boats, off-shore capable, listed for sale
in places like California
to ever consider building my own for the trip & I already own the necessary equipment
to build with FCAW.
That's my 2 bits worth.