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Old 25-09-2012, 04:27   #46
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Ive owned a steel boat ( for a short while). It was Dutch built. I am in a yard currently with a lot of steel boats,

My conclusions

(a) Proper cosmetic repair of anything above the waterline , is way more difficult and expensive then GRP. Yes you can "slap on a patch" but if you want an invisible repair, its more easier to do it on GRP. Steel requires far more work, requires a good skill level and you can be faced with a complete boat repaint. Its just like damaging your car,

(b) The skills to do this type of repair are not commonly available in most boatyards, yes youll get a guy who works on trawlers, but that isnt what you want, if you have a 2-pack LPU finish, you may need a proper paint bay. these are not common.


(c) GRP repair people are readily available anywhere there is a reasonable boat industry, the materials are common and a good ( not neccessarily perfect) repair can be made by an amateur, leaving aside matching coloured Gelcoat, its not a particular skilled operation


(d) While the ultimate strength of steel itself as a material is far stronger , Having seen the type of construction of steel vessels I would have my doubts, In my experience impact damage on steel causes weld lines to fail and it is a skilled job to restore such damage to pristine. Often the interior has to partly or fully removed, unlike in a GRP job.


(f) Rust of course has been talked about already, Its not unusual to see 5 year old steel vessels look like 25 years old and 25 year old GRP vessels to look new

(g) steel is very difficult to do simple modifications,I wanted to put in a small oddments locker, in my GRP boat , that required a Jigsaw, some basic GRP components and a pre bought locker. IN my steel boat I would need a plasma cutter, lots of grinding, a rework of the 2 part LPU finish around the opening and still the rust would start under the ope, and streak


In conclusion, if you want a workboat, and its going to take punishment, you dont mind rust streaks and it can be patched by a dodgy stick welder, buy steel.

If however you want a "fine yacht" steel is way more trouble then its worth.


Dave
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Old 25-09-2012, 05:00   #47
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I know you all want to own a ferro boat right next to no maintenance dead easy to repair and loves house paint.
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Old 25-09-2012, 05:01   #48
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Steel is very easy to modify.
Have just replaced both cockpit coamings with higher ones, removed the cockpit seats and narrowed the cockpit. True, I had to remove the interior but for this magnitude of work you would have to on any boat.
The coamings took two days each. I cut the old seats out with a recipro saw. About one hour each.
Took about three hours to weld each new seat in using a MIG. Nobody who had not seen the boat before would know that it had been changed. The boat is as strong as it was before the work.
I believe that this job would have been much more difficult in wood or GRP, and it was all done on the mooring.
In the past 25 years we would have been sunk or badly damaged at least three times, but because we are steel, the damage was cosmetic.
Agreed that for most steel cruising owners it helps to be relaxed with a workboat finish. Like the boat, I find with my vintage cars we happily cross deserts and stony tracks because we don't care about a few chips. Our concourse friends panic and turn back when the tar runs out.
Finally, if you are racing, and someone calls "starbord", you just answer "steel"!
Each to their own.
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Old 25-09-2012, 05:07   #49
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Quote:
Took about three hours to weld each new seat in using a MIG. Nobody who had not seen the boat before would know that it had been changed. The boat is as strong as it was before the work.
Yes as I said, there are few owners that can MIG weld to that level of competence, but there are many GRP owners who can lay down a bit of glass matt and polish out.

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Old 25-09-2012, 05:32   #50
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Build in 1976 Neala is yet 36 years old. She is LOD 30' and LOA 32,5' - carries 52 sq. mtrs sail and sports a 28 (new) Mitsubishi engine.

Displacement is about 5.000 / 5.250 kgs or thereabout. A bit heavy, but she carries a lot of stuff.

I spent a lot on upgrading but rust is definitely no issue - even after all this time.
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Old 25-09-2012, 05:49   #51
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Paint it in a Matt or semi gloss paint, Patch it up with out any noticeable differences,

Gloss paint is a PITA.

I could be wrong, But most people who build steel boats can weld, They are usually tradesmen building their own boats,
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Old 25-09-2012, 06:02   #52
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Reading through these posts supports my experience from owning two steel boats and looking a quite a few others.

The key is the original build and coating. If that was done right then you should have little problem, if not then it may be a mess.

Our 44 was flame sprayed with aluminum at the yard and has little rust going on 25 years.

Sure there is some, but not a big issue. I will have to replace the sprit this year, will try to make it out of ss.

And, a couple of times steel has saved my butt. Had a run of bad luck on the 44 and in two years have hit a submerged piling at speed and got caught on an exposed ferry dock in a gale. Piling left nary a scratch but could have easily done in another construction. Gale gave me a bit of a dent from the ferry fenders. On a glass boat it could easily have badly damaged the hull deck joint. I had out 8 fenders and a fender board. Ate the board and blew 3 fenders. Ferry fenders were too big diameter to stray off of. I now have some large fishing buoys, a pair of big orange balls!

But I do go North into fishing villages and around a bit of ice and am typically solo. So I appreciate the ruggedness of steel.

Ameron two part epoxy is the base coat when needed.

Integral water tanks were inspected and recoated by me when we bought. That was a tough job. Epoxy was bubbling but no rust.
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Old 25-09-2012, 06:16   #53
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Ameron 400 is definitely the way to go. Neala' s deck has 2 basic coats of 400 and two coats of 2-comps poly-urethane mixed with silver sand as anti-slip.

Nevertheless deck can be slippery in winter and when overly wet. Therefore I still consider a teak or afrormosia deck.
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Old 25-09-2012, 06:49   #54
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

You can get a grit rubber strip and glue that down, It dont let you slip, and you can still walk on it in bare feet,
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Old 30-10-2012, 20:41   #55
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

we have a steel freya 41ft. Our first boat was Grp. Now my experience is that they seem to be about the same in maintenance. In terms of weight the boat is less heavy then some Grp boats of the same size We are 12000 kg at 41 feet. If a steel boat is built correctly and is above 35 feet then the weight issues are about even but people tend to overbuild. The other thing is that allot of home built steel yachts were not built very well. But if both Grp and steel are done well then the maint is about the same. Most glass boats tend to be production boats, most steel yachts are not. I am sure if more grp boats were homebuilt then the comparison would be more realistic..
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Old 31-10-2012, 05:43   #56
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Dulls,

In my opinion you hit the main point. IF a steel boat is properly built and finished, particularly inside, then it is no more maintenance. It is hard to find a home builder who can do that. It is also hard to find a professionally built steel yacht.

We have one that fits the bill, and one that is close.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:36   #57
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Built in 1963 in a Dutch shipyard. All steel!Click image for larger version

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Old 31-10-2012, 06:44   #58
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Oops....Slips!
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Old 31-10-2012, 18:06   #59
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

I owned a Steel Boat once. ONCE! Everything has been plastic ever since.
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Old 06-11-2012, 00:01   #60
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Re: Steer me away from a steel hull?

Friends of mine had their steel yacht moored at bunderburg 2 years ago when the floods went through ,when they arrived back no boat no marina.Eventually they found her wedged in some mangrove trees high and dry with only scratched paint all around them were pieces of glass and timber boats Only damage occured when tug pulled her out it bent the rudder,owners now cruising in Thailand.Plastics good for toys
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