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Old 28-04-2010, 09:18   #1
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Remind Me Why this Is a Bad Idea

Someone do me a favor and remind me why it's a bad idea to buy an old steel boat and attempt to rebuild it.

Heck, even a book that discribes how hard it is to rebuild such a boat. How confusing the wireing is, and how difficult the carpentry work is. All the reasons why I DON'T want to do that.

Remind me why a novice doesn't want to do such a thing. Why I hate welding so much. And why it's cheaper to just go buy the thing once I've got enough money from my regulary job.

My resistance to the idea is fading. The finances seem to be suddently working out. (which shouldn't be possible.) And I'm not remembering hateing welding quit as much as I think I did even 2 weeks ago.
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Old 28-04-2010, 09:51   #2
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The fumes are getting to you, Viribus. Boats will do that to you. Steel boats more so.

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Old 28-04-2010, 10:24   #3
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That's bad.

If the fumes are getting to me, and I don't even have a steel boat, something bad must be happening!
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Old 28-04-2010, 11:23   #4
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I'm not saying nuthin.

You know you are on a bad idea and write it.

Then little 'ol unsuspecting me comes along and confirms your opinion and then a zillion of so others who have never done a bad idea before will come and defend your bad idea.

Yes, mate, you can renew this hulk to a wonderful cruising yacht worth more money than a new boat, yes you can go sail the world in it and only need $10 per week to do it. Yes, yes yes!

Have fun


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Old 28-04-2010, 11:31   #5
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Your brain has rusted and seized up, just like mine did 17 years ago. Go for it!
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Old 28-04-2010, 12:03   #6
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The nice things about steel are those small little rust pockets that one can not see or get to, you'll always show up on radar and if you get tired of the boat you can still sell it for scrap metal.
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Old 28-04-2010, 12:25   #7
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Heard an interview last night (on my way back from the boatyard) with a guy who spent 30 years building his steel 40-footer from a set of plans. (And a bunch of steel, of course.)

He splashed it last weekend, somewhere in England.

With remarkable understatement, he said that he and his wife had missed out on lots of other things because they were building the boat.

Sailing among those other things, I would guess.

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Old 28-04-2010, 13:00   #8
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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
The nice things about steel are those small little rust pockets that one can not see or get to, you'll always show up on radar and if you get tired of the boat you can still sell it for scrap metal.
You guys are evil. So full of bad advice.

Well, that's easy. If you can't see it, I can't get to it, and it isn't sinking the boat, I REALLY don't care!

I love the idea of showing up on radar, so that a tanker can aim themselves right for me. I suspect a steel boat is a bit like waveing a red flag a bull for at a container ship.

Everything costs something. I used to think that my time was free, because I always had more than enough of it. And then I started working, and ran out of time. I changed jobs, and changed possition, and have enough time to realize I had no time before. From then on, I've realized that both time and money cost something.

I'm still working on the money/time and work/life ballances. I don't think I'll ever actualy "solve" that problem.

Edit in>> I just came to the realization that I capitalized my title in the most incorrect fashion possible. Good thing I'm not being graded on my english here!
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Old 28-04-2010, 13:08   #9
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fiberglass and composites float, steel and lead sink.
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Old 28-04-2010, 13:08   #10
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The original question: "Someone do me a favor and remind me why it's a bad idea to buy an old steel boat and attempt to rebuild it." It is a simple axiom that you never buy "used steel" either buy new or construct a new one yourself. The only exceptions are for the very few steel boats that were owned by compulsive obsessive cleaners or a sort-of new steel boat whose owner just up and died before the thing had much time in the water.
- - As mentioned by others, steel rusts, is subject to electrolysis, and a hundred other problems that "plastic" is immune to. Normally a used steel boat is up for sale because the owner cannot maintain the boat anymore so it gets "rusted" from the inside out. Home built steel is dangerous if the builder used the wrong kind of steel. Replacing plates is one thing, having to replace stringers and internal bracing will put you in the cost bracket where buying new would have been cheaper.
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Old 28-04-2010, 13:59   #11
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It's not all doom

Here's a little (hopefully interesting) story about old steel boats.

A very good friend of mine in Holland has a steel boat he calls home. It was built in 1911 when it was 26m and has been cut in half and extended twice so it is now 38m and 250 tons.

You can see the details here Motorschip Zwerver (Check out his steam launch also !)

It has a complete machine shop, huge generator, air con, a sauna and a hydraulic crane that he can lift his car on board with. He lives permenantly on board with his wife and two small kids.

In short it's his entire life.

I introduced him to a colleague of mine who also lives on a similar steel vessel which is at least 50 years old. During the obligatory tour my friend mentioned that the usually dry bilge had sprung a leak a few weeks ago from a section of the hull which was almost impossible to weld.

I was horrified as even a few drops of water in the bilge of my fibreglass tub has me breaking out into a cold sweat, but they just turned to each other with a knowing look and said simultaneously "Blu-Tack".

"No problem", thay said. "It can wait until the next haul out - probably next year."

Apparently this is a well used method of repair and that chewing gum also works.

Duncan
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Old 28-04-2010, 14:45   #12
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ossirsial.

You sir, are a team player. Thanks, your helping rekindle all my old fears of a steel boat. Good job, I say to you!

Problem is that I'm not all that scared of my old fears. If I could find a boat that is selling for the scrap value of the engines and the steel, my gut keeps saying, "why not?"
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Old 28-04-2010, 16:12   #13
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Originally Posted by ViribusUnitis View Post
Someone do me a favor and remind me why it's a bad idea to buy an old steel boat and attempt to rebuild it
1) Because their is someone who knows that old steel boat 1 million percent better than you. and he's selling it


2) Their is a reason why that old steel boat is cheap. That reason is..............the previous owner(s)


Fibreglass is the most PO proof material for boats, albeit nothing 100%............
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Old 28-04-2010, 16:13   #14
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If you have...

If you have:-
* 4,000 to 10,000 hours of available time.
* building space close to home
* $130,000 of surplus cash available during the build time
* lots of blue tack (thanks, Duncan, now I've another item to keep on board).
then go for it...
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Old 28-04-2010, 16:22   #15
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there must be a catch, but this one looks clean, relatively new and a hell of a deal

George Bueller "JACK" Steel Cutter 37ft, 1997, Hernando Beach, Florida sailboat for sale
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