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Old 03-03-2016, 03:20   #46
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Originally Posted by BigNickMontana View Post
Oh, you Talking about Nike's boat?
Hi Nick, yes, Nike's boat. Took guts & determination to get through all the work & all the setbacks she had with the boat.
Happily sailing now AFAIK.

About the various materials for boats...
Every material has a sweet spot where strength beats weight/inertia/momentum.

A small steel boat like those we sail can withstand weeks of being pounded on rocks & be dry inside (Moitessier's Joshua) or being humped by a whale while a large ship touching a hard sand bottom might not survive.

A lightweight fg boat has proven it can bounce off rocks which a heavier (maybe much heavier) fg boat will drive right into and be wrecked in seconds.
That Dehler 31 video was certainly an eye opener.

Still, feel a little bit safer inside all this steel. Rest of you might want to up your watchkeeping when unclemack Magoo sets off though
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:40   #47
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Hi Nick, yes, Nike's boat. Took guts & determination to get through all the work & all the setbacks she had with the boat.
Happily sailing now AFAIK.

About the various materials for boats...
Every material has a sweet spot where strength beats weight/inertia/momentum.

A small steel boat like those we sail can withstand weeks of being pounded on rocks & be dry inside (Moitessier's Joshua) or being humped by a whale while a large ship touching a hard sand bottom might not survive.

A lightweight fg boat has proven it can bounce off rocks which a heavier (maybe much heavier) fg boat will drive right into and be wrecked in seconds.
That Dehler 31 video was certainly an eye opener.

Still, feel a little bit safer inside all this steel. Rest of you might want to up your watchkeeping when unclemack Magoo sets off though
Yeah her boat is definately a case of buyer be ware, it was a total basket case when she started and she has gone a long ways towards bringing it back, although she does have a long ways to go.

If you notice in the episodes where she did the bottom the Zinc's were toast, and I mean totally gone. That is why she had holes. there were places the bottom paint had been chipped through to the bare aluminum and with out the cathodic protection it just ate holes in her boat.

With proper care and maintenance it would have never been an issue.

I suspect another 6 months with out being tended to and her boat would have been on the bottom, and I suspect the small holes in the bottom had a lot to do with why she had so many mold issues.

Slowly but surely though she is bringing that boat back around, I can tell when she started she had no idea what she was getting herself into, and you can see along the way her skills have really grown.

I really have to admire her tenacity for that, even though her project got pretty overwhelming at times she stuck it out and did something most people couldn't see through.

When it comes to ships bouncing off rocks, its all in how well built the ship is as to what it will put up with, for instance the Costa Concordia probably had a 3/8-1/2" thick hull, if that? So when she hit the rocks she peeled open like a sardine can.

On the other hand had it been the USS Missouri with her 16" thick hull, I suspect the Mighty Mo would have made the rocks get out of her way, at least for a little while.

Above and beyond the materials there is always the consideration of design and workmanship. I have seen plenty of people who have no business what so ever doing any kind of welding. And what is worse is I have seen these very people build things like trailer hitches, roll cages and boats.

Even the finest of materials cannot overcome shoddy workmanship and design.

I would rather put to sea on a wooden boat that was built by the finest craftsman verses a boat made out of the finest steel or aluminum if it was red neck engineered and booger welded together in someones driveway when they had no idea what they were doing when building it.

Thus there are so many points to consider when looking at a craft, unless it is critical to your mission like needing to be able to break ice, I think the material is of less concern than the quality of the build and condition of the boat.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:49   #48
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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To my way of thinking the biggest negative with fibreglass is it's extreme flammability. Once a fire gets established there is little hope of putting it out.
You will have the same issues with a steel boat though because the paint and sometimes insulation will be very flammable as well. Not to mention all the wood on the interior which both are going to have.

Even if the insulation is not flammable its self, it will burn when the paint and interior covering burn. So it is a bit of a catch 22, which really is going to be more of an issue on older boats.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:13   #49
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Originally Posted by BigNickMontana View Post
Even if the insulation is not flammable its self, it will burn when the paint and interior covering burn. So it is a bit of a catch 22, which really is going to be more of an issue on older boats.
Why just older boats? If you have a significant fire in any boat, you're in deep water (possibly quite literally).

It's the same as the argument about why you shouldn't use Marelon sea cocks (the thinking being that plastic will melt in a fire, whereas bronze won't). If the fire's hot enough to melt sea cocks, there's a very good chance you're going to lose the boat.

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Old 03-03-2016, 06:28   #50
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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To my way of thinking the biggest negative with fibreglass is it's extreme flammability. Once a fire gets established there is little hope of putting it out.
Hi Raymond, good point didn't think of fire and then you reminded me of a friend that bought a burnt out Adams 40 steel hull, the interior was cactus, and even the base of the mast melted. But the hull and deck ok! Total refit required of course.

I noticed you are a Roberts owner. What do you think of the Roberts 38 Offshore, aft cockpit, multi-chine steel?

Cheers Daz
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:01   #51
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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I'm still leaning towards steel I think the extra sense of security will give me peace of mind particularly considering I am a relatively novice sailor. I'm with you the regarding the maintenance of steel, I work in an industry where steel is predominant and harsh environment exists, when steel coated properly with quality material it can maintain its integrity for many, many years. Also I prefer to work with steel and fibreglass. The key issue is determining the condition of a old secondhand steel boat! Thanks for the info regarding insulation. I'll add that to the checklist along with ability to remove panels.

Cheers Daz
Perhaps walk around a yard where there are steel boats. Your " when steel coated properly with quality material it can maintain its integrity for many, many years", will go right out the window. But it's your decision. you feel you sleep better at night knowing that steel some how makes you feel safer...go for it. But if steel were the way to go, then 99.5% of boats would be steel and not FG. And it has zero to do with cost before somebody decides to go there.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:50   #52
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Tit for tat really, you're making a mountain out of a molehill.

I just said why I like steel. I never said I don't like FRP. Good chance ill be buying a FRP boat at the end of the summer.

That being said in a couple of years ill be building my dream boat, and it will be steel.
Have you owned either to make a honest assessment?
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:53   #53
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Hi Cheechako, you hit the nail on the head - buy a boat without the rust issues to start with. If the coating has been done with great diligence, with quality material and one is confident of that, then I believe a steel boat would not require any significantly greater maintenance than a GRP boat.

thanks for your input, cheers Daz
Again...please tell me what experience you have with either. Ive built boat and I can tell you that you might be talking yourself into something.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:13   #54
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Perhaps walk around a yard where there are steel boats. Your " when steel coated properly with quality material it can maintain its integrity for many, many years", will go right out the window. But it's your decision. you feel you sleep better at night knowing that steel some how makes you feel safer...go for it. But if steel were the way to go, then 99.5% of boats would be steel and not FG. And it has zero to do with cost before somebody decides to go there.
A steel boat well coated and visited regularly (ie. opened up for ventilation) will indeed last for many, many years. All boats need maintenance, fact.

Steel isn't the way to go, it's a way to go, and a very good one at that. There's no right or wrong / better or worse when it comes to hull materials - each material has it's own pros & cons that need to be respected and treated as such. I've owned both (steel built from a bare hull, GRP had extensive work done on it) and my preference on a dark, cold night well offshore would be steel. In saying that, I've had enough of monohulls and you can't make a good steel catamaran, so it'll be wood & epoxy for me.....

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Old 03-03-2016, 10:16   #55
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Why just older boats? If you have a significant fire in any boat, you're in deep water (possibly quite literally).

It's the same as the argument about why you shouldn't use Marelon sea cocks (the thinking being that plastic will melt in a fire, whereas bronze won't). If the fire's hot enough to melt sea cocks, there's a very good chance you're going to lose the boat.

n
The reason being is that older boats made of older materials have less of the benefits of science. In the last 30 years flame retardant technology has made leaps and bounds. Its not perfect, but newer insulating materials are less likely to burn, and when burning tend to emit less noxious gas.

You're absolutely right though, a fire on a boat is always a bad thing.

I also totally agree with you on the Bronze,
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:23   #56
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Have you owned either to make a honest assessment?
I've actually never owned a boat, my experience comes from working on boats during my time in the Navy, I worked on everything from a small 14'er, all the way up to the USS Lexington, I've dealt with every hull type from Steel, Aluminum, Composite and Wood.

I've scraped plenty of neglected bottoms, fixed a lot of dock rash, drilled ground and welded cracked aluminum, dug out water logged foam, rebuilt it and glassed back over it.

I've even re-floated a boat after it sunk on the dock. It was a great education and I was glad that I got paid to get it instead of having to get it on my dime!
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:27   #57
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Steel isn't the way to go, it's a way to go, and a very good one at that.
n
Exactly this, there is no one true way to do anything. What works good for one may not work good for another. You go with what the job requires and what works for you.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:33   #58
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Originally Posted by BigNickMontana View Post
The reason being is that older boats made of older materials have less of the benefits of science. In the last 30 years flame retardant technology has made leaps and bounds. Its not perfect, but newer insulating materials are less likely to burn, and when burning tend to emit less noxious gas.

You're absolutely right though, a fire on a boat is always a bad thing.

I also totally agree with you on the Bronze,
ARE there any fire retardant uses being employed on boats? The only one I know of is the Valiant fire retardant resin disaster many years ago... which didn't turn out well. But maybe some users are using something that way now...?
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:35   #59
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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Exactly this, there is no one true way to do anything. What works good for one may not work good for another. You go with what the job requires and what works for you.
This^^^^^ Fishermen and the Navy have used steel boats for 50+ years.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:45   #60
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Re: Steel Vs Fibreglass

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ARE there any fire retardant uses being employed on boats? The only one I know of is the Valiant fire retardant resin disaster many years ago... which didn't turn out well. But maybe some users are using something that way now...?
I am not familiar with that whole ordeal.

What I am referring to are insulation products. For instance foam, they have developed several foam type insinuations that will not burn unless fire is directly applied to them, where as older types of foam are very flammable being a neat tidy package of air and fuel all in one only missing that one element of the fire triangle.
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