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Old 30-08-2012, 00:22   #1
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Rust Bucket!

Hello everyone, im Tom, and i have a rust boat.

Shes a Roberts 38ft ketch, steel hull, and i have found some reasonably small spots where the rust has gone through... scary?

Over summer im intending on living on the boat and doing lots of work! Fun! But im pretty inexperienced as far as major work is concerned, so any tips etc would help a lot. Basically my plan for the rust is to sandblast or sand with machines right back to steel, so i can see perfectly where the rust it, then depending on the severity, cut the bad bits out and re-weld new bits in.

Sound good?

Im pretty keen not to give up, i want her seaworthy enough to go island hopping
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Old 30-08-2012, 00:34   #2
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Hi Tom

Rust will be part of your life but if you put her back to good shape she'll look after you well. Plenty of advice here in CF. Keep the spirit up and let us know how it goes.
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Old 30-08-2012, 00:37   #3
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Re: Rust Bucket!

This is well worth a download.

Metal Boat Repair and Maintenance: Your Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Guide by Scott Fratcher (eBook) - Lulu
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Old 30-08-2012, 01:18   #4
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Re: Rust Bucket!

That is very serious rust the size and depth will likely have reduced the thickness by a third, sandblasting will not initially remove it, hire yourself a needle gun you will be amazed, then blast cut and repair. Cheers Frank
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Old 30-08-2012, 01:20   #5
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Welcome Tom
The great thing about metal boats is any problem can be cut out, a new bit welded in, and it will as strong as the original.

Steel boats generally rust from the inside, so that is where I would start a carfeful inspection. It's the hard to reach areas that cause the most problem.
Rust expands so often an alarming amount is less of a problem than you think. The only way to tell is to chip and grind away and see what's underneath.

There are lots of steel boats in NZ. Why not volunteer to help an experienced steel boat owner who is doing repairs. In a day or two you could learn most of the techniques.
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Old 30-08-2012, 01:20   #6
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Welcome to Club Rust! We had a fair bit of surface rust to deal with when we bought our girl, and its an ongoing project keeping her looking sweet, but it's worth it! Beyond the surface stuff, we replaced large panels of the cockpit roof last year: we learned to weld and never looked back. Oh, and oxalic acid is your friend!
Have fun!
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Old 30-08-2012, 17:25   #7
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Re: Rust Bucket!

met a guy on the harbour a while ago, steel boat from somewhere in nz, he cut it in half, added 10 feet, put in a workshop, now hes got a floating business fixing other peoples boats. Steel good. (roberts 38 good too, but i might be biased)
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Old 30-08-2012, 17:32   #8
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Re: Rust Bucket!

welcome!! i love steelies, but i can repair fg...lol she looks like she has good bones....
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Old 30-08-2012, 17:46   #9
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My boat is 100 year old steel, believe me I am close and personal with rust.

You need to own a needle scaler gun and air compressor.

Then buy some: http://www.corroseal.com/

Corroseal is very easy to use, washes up with water, gets into cracks/crevices, is also a primer, takes paint over it, and really works. I have used it outside on the hull, never got around to painting over it so it was left exposed to sun and rain, and years later the rust is still gone.

Would work even better indoors.

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Old 30-08-2012, 19:14   #10
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Greetings Tom;

I too own a rust bucket. Mines a Roberts 38 cutter, built in 78 and out fitted by a complete loon. Insulated with styrofoam and then ignored for 34 years. So I too have some rust to work on.

In my case I said to hell with it and stripped the interior out and am back to steel skin, frames and stringers. I'll be having the exterior sandblasted by professionals but the interior with be with an needle scale and small hand sand blaster.

Have a look at my blog it documents the pain. I say that lightly and with a grin, because after the pain will come the pride of having a rock solid ocean going boat.
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Old 30-08-2012, 19:18   #11
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Welcome aboard Tom!

Great lines on that boat.

Did you get the hull sounded as part of the purchase?

Deteriorated steel can end up being a labor of love. One of our club folks has spent the better part of 2 years sorting out rust. He's done a great job and finally has it under control.
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Old 30-08-2012, 21:50   #12
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
met a guy on the harbour a while ago, steel boat from somewhere in nz, he cut it in half, added 10 feet, put in a workshop, now hes got a floating business fixing other peoples boats. Steel good. (roberts 38 good too, but i might be biased)
Yep, we've got friends with a Kiwi built Ganley that was extended about 8 feet... those Kiwis can't seem to get it right the first time!!

Steel does have that benefit for sure.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 02-09-2012, 17:24   #13
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Thats what i want to hear! There will surely be some chopping and welding, i think it will be good to learn to weld and either buy or rent a welder, i have heard that welding must only be done out of the water? And is there any particular type of welding i should learn? MIG, ARC etc? I know very little about either!
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Old 02-09-2012, 17:26   #14
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Thanks for the reply, what i was hoping the sandblast to do is expose all the areas that need attention, then ill hit the rust harder with a needle gun? I have used one before, theres a certain satisfaction from chipping it all away eh?!
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Old 02-09-2012, 17:31   #15
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Re: Rust Bucket!

Thanks SabreKai, i was wondering about the interior, mines the same, insulated and hard to get at, i got an engineer to look her over before i bought, he tapped around with a hammer outside, and inside we looked where we could! We didnt find any rust inside, im a little ignorant of the actual construction, is it just one skin on the hull? All the rust i can see outside seems to be on the deck, or where the deck meets the hull, and that seems to have layers, ive gone through in a couple of small spots, but not through so i can see the wood paneling inside. Hmm. This is great, im learning!
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