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Old 14-12-2012, 08:03   #46
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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Your steel boat goes up on a reef: you wait around while it gets repaired or search far and wide for another quality steel boat. My GRP boat goes up on a reef the little balsa bits float away and I simply buy another readily available GRP boat in the next cruiser harbor. kinda joking, kinda not.

I will be carrying enough generation capacity and a MIG welder capable of handling my existing plate thicknesses. If I couldn't repair things (and I expect steel to fare better or at least long enough versus coral to kedge off or find another end to the punishment), I shouldn't go. Steel, I believe, is more tolerant of circumstance IF properly maintained. No, it is not a "make and forget" material, but for long-distance cruising in weird, under-serviced locales, it has advantages.

West System in the Bismarcks is hardly ever on sale...

As I've said, our plans are somewhat rarefied. We aren't going to Florida or the Bahamas or the Leeward Islands or the Med, but we may stop there. If we were, I'd prefer a plastic catamaran.
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Old 14-12-2012, 09:22   #47
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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There's a reason most of the boats you're seeing are GRP. It's called "rust."
... which never sleeps. Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, nothing beats fiberglass, IMHO.

Personal experience: A 40' steel houseboat broke free in the slip next to mine during a strong nor'easter and repeatedly collided full-force with my 1978 Taiwan-built cutter. If you had been there (and I was) and seen the way the galloping houseboat was smashing into my beautiful girl, it would have made you cry. I assumed there would be *major* structural damage from this encounter, but on subsequent inspection, the damage was only skin deep - the gelcoat was scratched, but that's it. Proof to me that fiberglass in sufficient quantity (and it was 3/4" thick on these old Asian boats) is great stuff.
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Old 14-12-2012, 10:24   #48
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

(switch to sarcasm font) Ford! Chevy! Ford! Chevy! The debate continues..... I find it entertaining to watch the "mine is better than yours" dance. It reminds me of an old saying " I would agree with you but then we both would be wrong" Lets just all agree that steel is the best and move on
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Old 14-12-2012, 10:57   #49
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

Maybe the Navy should switch back to steel!

This is the navy story link:

Navy Finds
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Old 14-12-2012, 11:53   #50
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

There are hundreds of very large aluminum ferries that are not having corrosion problems because they stuck to the rules for avoiding aluminum electrolysis. The problem with the navy ship is obviously unique to that vessel. To make a statement that all aluminum corrodes just isn't true. If you do the right things then it does not.

There are rules for owning an aluminum boat that you cannot break...like using copper paint or letting your hull anodes get too small or bonding any DC or AC shore power circuits to the hull or attaching copper or its alloys directly to aluminum below the waterline. I run an aluminum boat that has no corrosion problems.
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Old 14-12-2012, 17:26   #51
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

I am not sure the argument about strength or impact damage resistance really holds. Both steel and grp can give boats strong enough to take a grounding.

Gypsy Moth went hard aground on a coral reef. She got salvaged. She 'wasn't even grp' ...

b.
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Old 14-12-2012, 19:43   #52
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Frp, wood, steel, aluminum and more all have their strengths and weakness. Pick one you are comfortable with and learn how to maintain and repair it as all will fail eventually with neglect. FWIW I don't itch for a week every time I touch my boat with a grinder; I like my steel boat.
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Old 14-12-2012, 19:48   #53
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
(switch to sarcasm font) Ford! Chevy! Ford! Chevy! The debate continues..... I find it entertaining to watch the "mine is better than yours" dance. It reminds me of an old saying " I would agree with you but then we both would be wrong" Lets just all agree that steel is the best and move on
100% agree. It's a simple pis***g contest which can only be trumped by one other topic. (but mentioning guns creates a challenge to logic...so I won't mention it).
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Old 15-12-2012, 00:21   #54
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

Don't you mean "best anchors"? eheheheheheh
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Old 15-12-2012, 01:09   #55
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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Don't you mean "best anchors"? eheheheheheh
Most of them are steel.
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Old 15-12-2012, 02:01   #56
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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Most of them are steel.
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Old 16-12-2012, 14:52   #57
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

There is no such thing as a perfect boat building material, pick the one you can deal with. I sail a modern day steel boat built in 2002 with the correct barrier coatings and have far less maintenance that I had with my last boat which was wood. I am currrently at anchor in Antiqua and every boat owner here is just as busy as the next guy fixing, repairing, varnishing, messing with teak decks you name it there is no way out its a boat. I think the best material is cold molded wood while expensive to build as they are mostly one off's they are almost as strong as steel won't rot due to being saturated with epoxy, don't leak, paint once every 10 to 15 years with a two part paint. They are much stronger than modern day glass that is for the most part very thin with minimum resin holding them together and saturated wood doesn't blister. Again not perfect but dam good.
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Old 16-12-2012, 14:57   #58
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

Down Under & Auzzee
By the way my steel boat was designed by a fellow country man of yours Graham Raddord you can see pictures of the boat on his web site. It's a Radford 450
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Old 16-12-2012, 18:41   #59
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

I sail a steel boat and like all boats it takes some work but no where near what you will encounter with a fiberglass boat with varnish trim and teak decks and possible blisters. currently the boat and I are in Antigua and every boat is the harbor is being worked on all day every day. It's a boat it needs. A steel boat properly built with modern day coatings like those on my boat built in 2002 are a lot less hassle than you would imagine plus the boat is extremely quiet, absolutely dry, fantastic motion at sea and strong strong strong lots of confidence in all conditions. On the plus side my boat looks as good as any fibergalss boat no chines or flat surfaces if you look at the boat out of the water you would think it was a glass boat. boat pictures can be seen on the designers web page. Google Graham Radford yacht design and look at the Radford 45 the pictures are of my boat.
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:33   #60
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

The hull material debate is a flame thrower, no doubt. It's especially annoying when a newbie (such as myself) sheds an opinion about it

However; I've been hard at work for months trying to figure the angle of every dangle. It's complicated, and that's an absolute certainty. I'm slowly piecing it together, with help from the internet especially. Forums such as this one are good starting points, but it helps to wander around a bit, and to read the logs of sailors, the ones often written out on blogs and dedicated web sites. I look for such logs, but especially for the ones dedicated to trips involving the part of the world where I intend to spend retirement (South Pac).

My reading tells me I NEED a steel boat. I've read far too many horror stories involving reefs and fiberglass hulls. I've read many a happy story involving steel hulls, reefs, and a couple of dents that the skipper will take care of someday ...

In searching for a steelie, I've found that most of them are in the South Pacific (go figure). They use steelies and cats, and once in a while a fiberglass jobber that stays away from the reef like a mosquito from deet.

Along the US coastlines, the fiberglass boat reigns supreme. The weekend seafarer does well with these boats, which don't rust and can be left in the marina all the weeks (and months) that their skippers are too busy to float around the intercoastal waterways.

A materials decision is really going to be fiberglass, most of the time. For a few areas of the world, this newbie's not-quite-educated opinion is that only steel is for real ...

As for steelies in the US, I think the upper great lakes seem to be a good place to look. Those are likely to have retained most of the hull ....
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