For the fellow who was buying
a 50k steel hull
, assuming the design and construction were reasonable, and the steel solid, you made the right choice. Further, as for banning mentioning of Brent's book (hi brent heheh) that would be a serious injustice to the people this forum is for. It is a remarkable source for common sense boat and cruising information you won't find compiled in one place anywhere else, period. As for me, I've been doing this now for about 40 years.
Next, old solid fibreglass hulls abound and if laid up with the right resins and protected from UV, are better than a lot of the new ones for ocean cruising and things that go bump in the night. Sound steel boats are stronger, lots stronger. As I've heard *someone* observe, take a fibreglass nail and hammer it into a piece of steel plate, then take a steel nail and hammer it into a fibreglass panel...anyone with questions remaining...should consider a 30k or better hull
, rock, or the edge of the local concrete dock
. Fibreglass is wonderful if you never hit anything, Unfortunately if you cruise, sooner or later you're going to hit something..or more likely, something is going to hit you. I singlehanded a fibreglass custom Huntingford 53/54 for ten years off the pac coast from Ensenada to Glacier Bay. One momentary lapse by my father put it into a rock jetty at about 3knots and tore a hole in the bow big enough to crawl through, and this boat weighed about 55k.
of an older boat heavily favors steel. There are recreational steel boats running around today that are pushing 100 years old...hull prep and paint are everything regarding maintenance
intervals and longevity. As for building one yourself, see the origamiboats group on Yahoo. Construction using this technique can get you a completely tacked 36' shell, decks, ph, etc. in less than a week...there's only something like just short of 200 of em out there sooo, yeah it works. I like Dudley's designs a lot, but would suggest a strong look at the origami approach verses the strongback frame first technique. Tanton has some nice 40'ish origami designs out also.
used steel boats at the present time is a serious opportunity.
Simply put, if I told you what kind of deals are out there, you simply wouldn't believe me. You can take a magnet and check the structure yourself and if it looks good, call in a metallurgist with an ultrasound rig and for a few hundred, he can tell you to the thousandth how thick the steel is in a given area AND where the coatings have separated from the hull.
Building a Welder out of an alternator
while not trivial to work out the system, is in the end an extremely useful piece of gear
to have on board. The design work has been done, ask Brent..
You can learn what you need to know to weld mild steel plate and stainless in a couple of weeks if you are average. If you're 'quick' you can do it in a few hours with the right instruction. Now you can repair or modify, or add gear
to your boat anywhere in the world without anyone's assistance or permission...now that's cruising freedom.
oh, my boat is a 44 brewer blue water
custom built in steel and aluminum by Kanter in Canada