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Old 07-12-2013, 10:13   #1
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steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

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 ?
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:32   #2
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Steel like any other building material will need proper construction to be right. Some of the defects of poor steel construction are read-ably visible and others are not. Its the are not ones that make the difference and why you need a really good surveyor.
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:50   #3
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

There is home built and professional built.

The home built's will look worse due to the lack of tooling and the method of welding. e.g. Pros will roll the sheets to form around the frames. Home built's will weld a frame and the push the sheet to the next frame and weld again. That's where you get the square looking boats w/hard chines.

The method of welding also crates hardness in the surface. If the plate is welded to the inner edge of a frame it'll suck in the plate creating a hard corner, especially if it's a full weld. If the plate is plug welded from the outside it pulls it to the frame w/o distortion and can be faired in.

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.
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Old 07-12-2013, 14:51   #4
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Having built a steel boat and maintained it for 25 yrs I would not buy a boat with excessive distortion as it shows that the builder did not know what he was doing.
Also avoid filler like the plague.
If a steel hull is properly designed and an intelligent weld sequence is used, there should be no or minimal distortion.

Regards,
Richard.
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Old 07-12-2013, 14:56   #5
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Old 07-12-2013, 22:51   #6
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Smile Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
They rust from the inside out and rust never sleeps.
yea but they bounce off rocks
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:27   #7
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, cybber.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:02   #8
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

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yea but they bounce off rocks
yes, sometimes, but icebergs?
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:23   #9
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Personally I really like them, if they are build well and maintained they make a wonderful safe cruising boat. There are many smaller but I think they make the most sense from 40 feet up. An insulated steel boat is quiet and you sleep like a baby offshore because even whacking a container is not going to hole you.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:03   #10
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Personally I really like them, if they are build well and maintained they make a wonderful safe cruising boat. There are many smaller but I think they make the most sense from 40 feet up. An insulated steel boat is quiet and you sleep like a baby offshore because even whacking a container is not going to hole you.
Especially if you have at least a 5mm hull, my last sailing boat was steel but had only a 4mm hull and concrete poured into the keel on the inside for balast,( common in the days when it was built). I was always worried that the keel would rust from the inside out and sink while I slept or was away from the boat. This boat is a 36 year old motorboat, with 5mm hull and you can see every bit of it, nothing hidden away from view. I could take on a container and would expect to come away with only a very bad dent, "Hopefully"... My first glassed over plywood cat in Aus and my last plastic sailboat here always worried me a little bit, especially on the nth sea. but not with this steel hull,, But yes, they also said that about the Titanic, didnt they?
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:06   #11
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

They also have terrific SSB grounds
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:29   #12
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Nice forum, and good answers
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:24   #13
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Back when I was very interested in steel boats (I owned one) many builders were changing from welding plate directly to the ribs, to putting full length stringers, and only welding the plate to the stringers. It got away from the hungry horse look of seeing every rib. There were fewer ribs used in that type of construction. If my memory serves me correctly, you could move the stringers in or out a little, even during plating to get a more fair hull. I think one of the commonest mistakes in steel boats is over welding and all of the distorsion that it causes. ___I have said before, that I think CF should have a metal boat sub-forum/section, since there is a lot of good information spread out among the many threads on metal boats that could be organized into one spot. Just my idea???? _____Grant.
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Old 08-12-2013, 20:53   #14
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

After more thought on steel boats I will pass on a tidbit of information that I learned from being a steel boat owner. My boat was amature built(at least the hull was) and the toe rail was SS pipe welded to the top of an about 4 inch bulwark. That worked well on the outside of the toerail since it had a continues weld (ie,easily reached), but the inside of the toerail was welded after the deck was in place and had many skipped sections that led to bleeding of rust from the non welded joint. It is almost impossible to do a decent weld when you only have 4 inches from the deck to the part you are supposed to be welding. My recommendation to anyone thinking of building would be to make sure you weld your toerail before you install the deck. reaching up through the deck frames would be much easier than laying on your side and using little bits of rod to try to get the inside of the toerail. Just another little hint to maybe make life easier. _____Grant.
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:31   #15
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Re: steel hulls and "dents"/misshapen

Here's some shot's of the Rusty spots found on my Ketch AFTER purchasing the boat and sailing it from FT Lauderdale to Trinidad....in average sea's of 4 - 6ft but, a short time in 15ft....gulp!!
Only the fairing and paint kept me afloat....if I had hit something this little note would not have been written!!
Still love Steel Boats though.....just like the 'Ol Timex Watch...Takes a licking and keeps on ticking!!
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