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Old 10-12-2013, 15:36   #16
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

We have two steelies. I agree with all that has been said above.

One is traditional build, the other has only stringer. I like the stringer only design because it eliminates places for water to hide and create rust.

I've see some boats with lots of fairing (bondo) that look great, but that proves nothing. I put a big dent in one boat a while ago, and filled it with bondo, just for looks. A glass boat would likely have had the hull deck joint compromised.

Our smaller boat has NO bondo, but is very fair. Yet I will have to do some plating on her before she goes in the water. This boat is 10gage (3mm?) steel, which is fine for that length. ....photo below....



I have seen boats up to 48 foot in 10gage, but not for me.

1989 Custom cruising ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

But even our 44 has two spots where there were persistent leaks under a sink or refer that were not attended to and that caused very localized heavy rusting that required plate, that's why I don't trust ultra sound, the rust can be VERY localized.

If you can try to get a boat NOT constructed by an armature. Not that they are bad, but at least look at a couple of pro jobs so you can see the difference. We once walked out on a nice aluminum boat because welds were not up to snuff. I could only tell by comparing with a couple of pro builds.

Here is a good resource...


Metal boat maintenance-A do it yourself guide by Scott Fratcher (eBook) - Lulu
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Old 10-12-2013, 15:47   #17
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

PS... the good thing about steel is it will develop a slow leak that will tell you there is a problem.

Or so I've been told.

But I think it correct.
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Old 11-12-2013, 13:49   #18
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PS... the good thing about steel is it will develop a slow leak that will tell you there is a problem.

Or so I've been told.

But I think it correct.
Yes, very correct. If you have a rusty spot that starts seeping, dont pick at it while still in the water..
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Old 03-01-2014, 00:06   #19
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Over welding is a common mistake this is what shrinks seams and causes stress points (like the second picture). To seal a seam it should be preheated and skip welded and reheated to go back and finish weld. Otherwise one is going to get the shipyard effect. The old riveted hulls were very smooth except for the rivet heads.
If we look at the second one, is it a real problem or it just cosmetic? Can it be trouble in the future?

The boat has a few(like 20) years of using and it's well taken care of, like new rig and engine, that's give me the feeling it is just a cosmetic thing? Best regards /Benny
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Old 03-01-2014, 04:49   #20
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

A steel hull is a Steel hull, it is strong usually well designed and safe. However everything that is intended to float on water, needs maintenance. Providing the vessel is built properly and originally finished properly, a steel hull probably need less maintenance and will be longer lived than most other types of construction.
When considering an aging boat, it is most essential to find and engage the services of a friendly local Surveyor who actually owns his own Ultrasonic thickness Gauge.... Most commercial organisations have trained personel to do this work, but examination of a commercial vessel with average plate thickness of 8mm or thicker, is very different from a yacht hull which may have only started out life at 3.5mm or 4mm... If he owns his own gear, then he probably knows how to use it to advantage, and knows where the trouble spots are likely to be............. A second and very valid point, if it is an ageing vessel and appears to have a lot of rust on the inside, find out why...... If it was properly finished when new, properly insulated and ventilated at the design stage, IT SHOULD have no more rust inside than the average car. Steel like any other material has its limitations for construction and all the previous comments regarding welding are valid. However the greatest thing is that it can be repaired relatively easily at low cost. Modern welding techniques and chemical treatments can make an old hull as good as new... I have been repairing and building steel vessels for more than 50 years, I have never had one sink yet. My own schooner is both welded and rivitted of 8mm and 10 mm plate, is 100% dry on the inside and is still after 28 years the original thickness.. H the Boat.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:06   #21
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

we have a steel freya and any problems are easy to fix just weld it better...
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Old 02-02-2014, 19:17   #22
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

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Originally Posted by cybber View Post
I been looking on steel sailboats , alot . To buy one , a sunny day.
I find that some of them look real good an some looks like the photos I attached. (3 diffrent boats)
They looks like dents/misshapen or how it called.
Is it a problem or it is just a beauty problems ?
The AWS (AMERICAN WELDING SOCIETY) has documented procedures for welding shell plating, and other procedures also. Amazon books likely has those manuals cheap. Many variables need to be taken into consideration such as ambient temperatures, filler metal size and type (stick, mig , tig). Procedure is important. For instance procedure when bolting down an engine head in sequence is important not to crack the head or not to get leaks. Likewise wrong weld procedure warps your plate, causing undue stresses and extra labor to fix it. Anybody can weld, yes, but not everyone can do it well without certain knowledge of materials and procedures to get optimum results.
That being said, many homebuilts are worthy boats. In my humble opinion, when buying used steel vessels, I would lean toward professional american or dutch built, not nessarily production built. There are many small professional quality yards.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:45   #23
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

I have noticed over the years that the Dutch do some nice steel boats that keep their shape and hold up well. Maybe its because the availability of lumber in the lowlands is a problem and steel was what they had and now they have a great deal of experience with that build type.
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Old 03-02-2014, 16:51   #24
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

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I have noticed over the years that the Dutch do some nice steel boats that keep their shape and hold up well. Maybe its because the availability of lumber in the lowlands is a problem and steel was what they had and now they have a great deal of experience with that build type.
The Dutch were the first steel boat builders.
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Old 03-02-2014, 16:55   #25
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

I might add that AWS & ABS (AMERICAN BUREAU OF SHIPPING) have partnered in some publications which further the exemplary steel boat industry practices.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:57   #26
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I have a dutch built steel motor boat. 5mm hull 4mm to the deck and 3mm cabin. No bog and smooth as silk along the lines. Top boat..
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