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Old 12-12-2012, 12:17   #1
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Steel over GRP !!!

Good evening to all,
Has anyone any views on purchasing a steel hulled yacht over a GRP version, in my price / age range (say $80,000 ish) there seems to be lots of 40 - 44ft yachts to consider, but mostly GRP of course but wonder if a steel hulled yacht has some benefits (or not) ?.
If there is already a thread on this subject, sorry to start one again.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:58   #2
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

buy the fiberglass boat
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:12   #3
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

There are threads on the subject. You can find them using the forums search engine. This is sometimes a pretty hot topic. People are pretty passionate about their plastic/aluminum/steel/concrete hulls.
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:23   #4
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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Originally Posted by Just Cruisin View Post
Good evening to all,
Has anyone any views on purchasing a steel hulled yacht over a GRP version, in my price / age range (say $80,000 ish) there seems to be lots of 40 - 44ft yachts to consider, but mostly GRP of course but wonder if a steel hulled yacht has some benefits (or not) ?.
If there is already a thread on this subject, sorry to start one again.
Have you any experience working with steel? If not, avoid it like the plague. But I get the impression you don't. Otherwise you wouldn't be ask'n.
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:26   #5
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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Originally Posted by Just Cruisin View Post
Good evening to all,
Has anyone any views on purchasing a steel hulled yacht over a GRP version, in my price / age range (say $80,000 ish) there seems to be lots of 40 - 44ft yachts to consider, but mostly GRP of course [....]
There's a reason most of the boats you're seeing are GRP. It's called "rust."
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:28   #6
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

There is an overwhelming bias towards fiberglass, because ninety percent of boats are made of it. People tend to favor what they have. There are a lot of problems with steel, but I think (I'm like you, very new = still learning) that steel has a place depending upon how harsh is the environment you're going to sail in. This forum has a ton of posts on this subject. It's really a little bit of flame bait, I think. Click the search menu item, and type 'steel hull'. The search works great, and you'll find a lot of information. Here's one:

Steer me away from a steel hull?
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Old 12-12-2012, 13:29   #7
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

They are all good materials. It depends on what you want out of your boat and how you are going to use your boat. Just about the entire merchant marine, the world navies and most larger sailing ships are made from steel.
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Old 12-12-2012, 15:51   #8
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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They are all good materials. It depends on what you want out of your boat and how you are going to use your boat. Just about the entire merchant marine, the world navies and most larger sailing ships are made from steel.
While its true that most big ships are steel, they also have full time maintenance people who do nothing but scrape and paint steel all day. Frankly I think all materials have a use, but steel in pleasure boats is just a bad mix of materials and intended use. There are advantages, but steel isn't nearly as robust as many people think, and fiberglass isn't nearly as fragile.

The reason 90% of pleasure boats are made from fiberglass is because its fast (and relatively cheap to mold hulls), lasts forever, and requires minimal maintenance. It is also cheap and easy to repair.

Go take a look at the bill for a replateing job from a steel boat, and you will get a sence of how much work a steel hull can be.
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Old 12-12-2012, 16:31   #9
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

Yes. There are such threads. Dig in.

Buy a boat built with materials that will be up to the job. Make sure you have some feeling for the specific material, if you plan to do your own maintenance.

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Old 12-12-2012, 17:26   #10
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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They are all good materials. It depends on what you want out of your boat and how you are going to use your boat. Just about the entire merchant marine, the world navies and most larger sailing ships are made from steel.
Yes! And they have an enormou$ budget and manpower/labor. Like one of our members states "Rust never sleeps" even while on the hard.
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:28   #11
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

As a steel boat owner I have to agree that steel needs maintenance, and not doing it is almost immediately obvious on the outside. It's less obvious on the inside, but if one looks it's almost always there.

Steel also has the disadvantage that any mistakes in planning and fabrication are pretty well obvious. Fibreglass gives a much better looking boat.

The big advantage of steel is that for a one off custom boat it's king.

I'll also argue that fibreglass is not maintenance free. It's just not obvious when it needs to be fixed.

For a boat for full time cruising my opinion is that steel is superior, if you want to leave a boat on a mooring (or in a marina) for years fibreglass is better.
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:32   #12
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

No one has asked where you're going or what your plans for the boat are. Fiberglass is great for most applications, but if you're planning on high latitude cruising, the equation changes.
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:36   #13
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No one has asked where you're going or what your plans for the boat are. Fiberglass is great for most applications, but if you're planning on high latitude cruising, the equation changes.
What's high latitude. ? You mean like the poles

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Old 12-12-2012, 17:39   #14
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

My two cents is that most people are perfectly happy with GRP, and there are a lot more boats to choose from. As some have already said, purchase steel only if you know what you are doing and have a particular reason in mind. Steel boats can be wonderful, but they are not for the average cruiser. I would say the same for other materials like aluminum and wood.
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Old 12-12-2012, 17:43   #15
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Re: Steel over GRP !!!

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What's high latitude. ? You mean like the poles

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If you start worrying about running into ice, steel should be considered in my opinion.
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