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Old 03-12-2012, 16:06   #16
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Boat: Helleman, 45' Steel Trawler
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

i have a 32 year old 45' steel trawler. a marine surveyor told me it was a good boat.

two years ago i got a little suspicious and took up some flooring. in the end i removed the entire interior, back to bare steel. behind two bathrooms that he had installed i found rust. i also found a rusty black tank. and a leaking rusty water tank. and a rusty chain locker with no drainage holes. and a leaking porthole. and rusty horizontals (with no limber holes), and rusty steel sole supports. and a rusty hawse pipe.

i sandblasted the entire interior, including the anchor locker, back to bare metal, twice. and then painted with ameron epoxy sealer followed by two coats of ameron epoxy, then insulated.

moral of the story? unless you are absolutely sure that the marine surveyor that you are employing is good, then learn how to do it yourself, and do it. it is not hard to use a machine to measure steel thickness.

if you are sailing 20 miles offshore, don't you want to know for sure that your hull has total integrity?

sad to say, but in my experience, a so-called reputable and big talking surveyor, and a well regarded boat yard took my money and told me a pack of lies. why? because they make the bet that the boat will never get used. so they're safe. but are you? sure, it's fine if the boat is going anywhere, as most boats do. but if you intend to use your boat as a boat rather than a dockside condo, then do a good job.

an electronic instrument to measure steel thickness is a lot cheaper than a marine surveyor.

in my humble opinion, i would not buy a steel boat without either knowing for sure how thick the metal is everywhere, or by looking at the steel from the inside.

buy a guage, get a flashlight, and then prepare to crawl around in the bilges and see for yourself. look in the anchor locker, and take the chain out first. is the black tank made of steel? is it integral? if so, and if it has been used for purpose, then it will last no longer than about seven years before it will be corroded and need to be replaced (urine is extremely corrosive).

the great thing about steel is that it is easily repaired, and as long as it is shot balsted and coated with epoxy, it will outlive you by a long way. but....if bare steel has been exposed to oxygen and water then the clock is ticking. add salt to the equation and the cancer accelerates.

the fratcher book is very good. also try and get a copy of "steel away". they tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:21   #17
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

Delaminated steel.

Good one. I'll have to keep that in mind, Its so much more dignified than... RUST!
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:40   #18
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

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Originally Posted by SabreKai View Post
Delaminated steel.

Good one. I'll have to keep that in mind, Its so much more dignified than... RUST!
LOl yep!

I have a question: On my boat I have some chainplates, well they are not really chainplates per se but they are 1/2 thick tabs that are welded to the hull where the rig attaches. Since the rig moves it rubs off the paint and so they create ugly rust streaks and a couple of them have 'delaminated' 1/8" or so.

What's the best solution to that? Just cut them off and weld on a stainless replacement? Is it really that easy?

Could I clean it up and then somehow just attach a facia like a washer or something? (but you can see the current washer isn't workin)
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:45   #19
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

Its really that easy. Make sure you cut back to "nondelaminated" areas. I love steel.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:48   #20
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

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Its really that easy. Make sure you cut back to "nondelaminated" areas. I love steel.
Thanks! I guess 'easy' might not be the right word since I guess I'd also have to remove the entire rub rail.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:59   #21
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

Use the correct rod. You are joining dissimmlier materials in a corrosive environment. Mr Galvanic corrosion is ever present. After welding the toerail all the way around my project, I bead blasted the steel and the bottom 1/2 inch of the SS, then painted the steel and the weld, leaving the SS exposed. I dont know if this is the correct way to do it, but its what I did.
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Old 06-12-2012, 13:08   #22
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Re: 20+ Year Old Steel Hull

thks again. at the moment My welding is way too amatuerish and I've never done stainless so I'm a long way off from attempting anything on the rig just yet. but I'm thinking about it because I don't want to refinish the hull and then have it instantly ruined with streaks either.
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