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Old 11-07-2007, 22:59   #31
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Well i have owned both steel and fiberglass and even though i am a boilermaker/welder i prefer the fiberglass boat for the ease of maintenance but in saying that the steel boat i had already had issues when i bought it due to bad design/workmanship when it was originally built. i think a well designed and mantained steel boat would easily be as good as a well designed and maintained fiberglass boat. i also have friends that have plank wooden boats and they are great as well. I think it is more important to find the features you want in a boat and make sure it has been well maintained.
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Old 11-07-2007, 23:36   #32
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If I were to do a "project" boat, I think I would lean towards steel. Steel holds no secrets, if it is in trouble it will be obvious to everyone.

I really like the idea of cutting out a panel and welding a new one in. The structural considerations are a lot simpler in my mind.

Structural fiberglass repair is a tricky science.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:04   #33
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Structural fiberglass repair is a tricky science.
Reminds me of a saying from one of my friends in the boat yard.

"When in doubt, you can always add more fiberglass to a fiberglass boat."

Not as easy with a wooden, steel, or aluminum boat.

Working with metals requires special skills and tools. Anyone with no experience and no special tools (especially expensive ones) can apply fiberglass. Where the skill with fiberglass comes in is making it "look good", but if you are not so concerned with looks...
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Old 12-07-2007, 16:25   #34
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An interesting observation. A question was asked on another thread about the biggest fiberglass boat and I went looking. I looked at some amazing Mega Yachts. Most of them were steel, some aluminum, but none of the big ones were fiberglass. At least none that I found.
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Old 12-07-2007, 18:21   #35
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An interesting observation. A question was asked on another thread about the biggest fiberglass boat and I went looking. I looked at some amazing Mega Yachts. Most of them were steel, some aluminum, but none of the big ones were fiberglass. At least none that I found.
Two popular megayacht builders around here, Northern Marine and Westport, build megayachts in the 100-200 foot range.

All fiberglass.

Come to think of it, neither have built a steel or aluminum boat.
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Old 12-07-2007, 18:50   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by learningcurve
"When in doubt, you can always add more fiberglass to a fiberglass boat."

Not as easy with a wooden, steel, or aluminum boat.

Working with metals requires special skills and tools. Anyone with no experience and no special tools (especially expensive ones) can apply fiberglass.
Admittedly my fiberglass experience is limited to a couple of years of Sailplane repairs. However, just adding more fiberglass isn't necessarily going to make a broken wing spar stronger. Sure patching a hole in a hull no big deal. But I would be wary about structural ribs and so forth.

I have seen some fiberglass repairs that were so bad they had to be removed completely.

We have a J-24 at our club that got holed about 6 inches in front of the keel a while back. It sank to the bottom and the keel is now displaced about 2 degrees to starboard. All the gurus are scratching their heads on this one. There is discussion about scrapping the boat because of the potential liability if the keel falls off on a renter.

At a minimum they have to let the hull "dry" out for 6 months to start with. A steel boat might be back on the water already.

Again, I think it is what one is used to and a "personal" preference.

Another plus is that I bet you could pull into any cove or harbor in asia and find someone with a welder and some sheet steel. Not too many will carry microballoons and epoxy ;-)
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Old 13-07-2007, 07:07   #37
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Another plus is that I bet you could pull into any cove or harbor in asia and find someone with a welder and some sheet steel.
Asia would be quite a ways to travel for me. All just for a repair. They would have to be REAL cheap to make it worth it.
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Old 14-07-2007, 21:12   #38
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Another plus is that I bet you could pull into any cove or harbor in asia and find someone with a welder and some sheet steel. Not too many will carry microballoons and epoxy
Yo Dan,

while it is not likely that we will intentionally seek out remote/ill-equipped places to refit our boats, every serious cruiser should carry emergency-repair materials, regardless of hull construction. It is my opinion that an emergency repair kit for a 'glass hull can be very economical. And the requisite skills are easy to learn.

Requiring a skilled person, with a portable welder makes this a huge negative to the average cruiser, as virtually none will have the necessary equipment aboard. HOWEVER, a steel hull can be so indestructible that this aspect need not be a major consideration.

best, andy
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Old 15-07-2007, 05:42   #39
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Those are some good points, Andy, re hull types and repairs.

I'm going to be sure to have that kit you speak of aboard. I'm building a DC genset that will double as a permanently affixed welder for the steel boat your posts and others have allowed me to decide upon.
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Old 15-07-2007, 06:06   #40
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While not a fan of steelies, I heard about this engine driven alternator and electronic box that put's out enough grunt to run a welder on board.

ENERGO-TEC 220V POWER SUPPLY

May be of interest to you steel freak's out there.

Dave
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Old 15-07-2007, 09:21   #41
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While not a fan of steelies, I heard about this engine driven alternator and electronic box that put's out enough grunt to run a welder on board.

ENERGO-TEC 220V POWER SUPPLY

May be of interest to you steel freak's out there.

Dave
Now THAT is pretty cool!
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Old 15-07-2007, 10:06   #42
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LC, re: Northern Marine and Westport. Yeah, I missed those. Probably lots more out there as well, however I did find a lot of metal mega yachts.
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Old 15-07-2007, 10:19   #43
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Quote:
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I'm building a DC genset that will double as a permanently affixed welder for the steel boat your posts and others have allowed me to decide upon.
Yo Sean,

having one's own welding capability aboard their small yacht is an intriguing and uncommon concept. Be sure to discover the safety issues involved with welding on a boat, in the water, with the potentially extremely dangerous high-voltage DC.

Also it might be amusing to find out what special kind of electrolysis problems are related to this.

best, andy
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Old 15-07-2007, 11:06   #44
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LC, re: Northern Marine and Westport. Yeah, I missed those. Probably lots more out there as well, however I did find a lot of metal mega yachts.
My guess is that this is somewhat related the local skilled labor population. Skilled glass workers are easier to come by than skilled metal workers (for marine at least, around here). The two of the more well known local steel boat builders, Todd Shipyards and Dakota Creek, probably have the lions share of local marine metal workers.

I suspect in places where there were (now mostly long gone) steel ship builders (I mean BIG ships) is where you might find steel mega yacht builders. I suspect the east coast is such an area as well as european locales.
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Old 15-07-2007, 15:00   #45
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Yo Sean,

having one's own welding capability aboard their small yacht is an intriguing and uncommon concept. Be sure to discover the safety issues involved with welding on a boat, in the water, with the potentially extremely dangerous high-voltage DC.

Also it might be amusing to find out what special kind of electrolysis problems are related to this.

best, andy
Right... especially interesting would be water trapped somewhere heating to the vaporization point and exploding.

Of course, it's for emergency use... the primary use is for battery charging. Would probably haul for any below deck type of repairs, or at the very least careen her.
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