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Old 04-01-2010, 00:24   #1
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Stainless Hull?

I was just thinking today of the different ways that materials break down over time. Steel rusts, wood rots, fiberglass cracks.

I'm curious if any one has tried making a hull out of stainless steel or some other material that will hold up well to salt water and sun?

Not that I could afford it. Just curious.


Scott
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Old 04-01-2010, 00:42   #2
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This has been tried before...

IIRC there was a frenchman who built a boat out of it an named it INOX...

She sank after a very short life.

Stainless suffers from stress fractures, which means that it does not flex very well for long before failures start to appear. You may not think of a smallish sailboat experiencing a lot of flex in the hull, but it really does twist and bow quite a bit, which will lead to cracks in a stainless hull.
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Old 04-01-2010, 00:50   #3
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Originally Posted by Morganministry View Post
I was just thinking today of the different ways that materials break down over time. Steel rusts, wood rots, fiberglass cracks.

I'm curious if any one has tried making a hull out of stainless steel or some other material that will hold up well to salt water and sun?

Not that I could afford it. Just curious.


Scott
If it's truly a thought experiment and money is no object, I think you'd be better off with Ti. Or perhaps even Pt...
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:35   #4
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There have been several boats built of Monel, they lasted well in fact I saw one on ebay not long ago. Just too expensive to do these days.

Fair winds
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:37   #5
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it's funny this thread pops up again whenever the last one has just faded away..

nowadays the nearly-non-corrosive material that is also much lighter and widely used is aluminium..
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:40   #6
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it's funny this thread pops up again whenever the last one has just faded away..

nowadays the nearly-non-corrosive material that is also much lighter and widely used is aluminium..
Aluminum - nearly non-corrosive - I don't think so - maybe if used only by itself but bring another metal close to it and watch it disappear.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:38   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. This is just a thought process, I'm not actually building with stainless. I hadn't considered the metals fatigue issue.

I have worked with Aluminium on aircraft. It's my experience that it will corrode and useusally starts in a place that you can't see. like where to pieces of metal come together. Even if both pieces are aluminium corrosion will start between them.


So, I heard monel, titanium, and copper. Are there any drawbacks to these?

Scott
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:18   #8
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stainless or?

You mean drawbacks other than expense?

Well, titanium would be great but awfully difficult to weld... you need a very well controlled environment to do it well, and the ability to get argon to the back side of all welds... it's best welded in a full argon environment, impossible on something that size unless you're a large government agency.

Copper too soft.

Monel the perfect material other than expense. Quite a few boats have been built in it... usually by some one who has access to it (20 years ago a guy who was the purchasing agent for a large Saudi oil company built a 50ish sail boat hull in Saudi... wonder how he got the material?). Four
60 or 70' shrimpers were built in it for a company in Africa, also about 20 years ago... I'm sure there are others.

There's a guy right now in Montreal building a steel hull with a stainless 304 deck...://http://www.alesya.org/journalconstruction.htm ...
he says it's fairly common in france, to cut down on deck maintainance.

Many very successful aluminum boats have been done.

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Old 04-01-2010, 10:34   #9
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Here is an article/link that might be of interest.

Metal Boats For Blue Water - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:06   #10
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Saw a commercial trawler built out of CuNi (copper-nickel) a long time ago.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:15   #11
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Russians built submarine fleet using 5-2.5 alloy titanium. This material has the same corrosion resisting properties as glass. Most of the old subs are being remelted today and the material is going into..........golf clubs! The alloy is non-standard and is not made in the US and cannot easily be modified into a more useable alloy. But if cost were no object, a hull made from it would last forever.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:46   #12
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What about tin?
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Old 04-01-2010, 13:03   #13
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Tin?

Well, you wouldn't need bottom paint, but I doubt the epa woud allow it. Very toxic as I understand, tin bottom paint was banned in the 70's I think.
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Old 04-01-2010, 13:11   #14
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What about tin?
Could an alloy that is substantially tin-based be strong enough.
Or are you referring to galvanized iron or steel, as in corrugated "tin" sheets.
The latter is well known--curious as to what your thoughts are on the former
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Old 04-01-2010, 13:19   #15
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Revere Copper and Brass built a nice Deco looking boat from Copper/nickle to promote their products There are acctullay many such hulls using this material working today Check out this link Fun stuff
Copper.org: Copper Nickel: Copper Nickel Boat Hulls
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