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Old 10-09-2010, 12:06   #1
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Location: South Africa
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Steel Boatbuilding

Hi all,
Im a newbie here and hope to find some joy posting here since rudeness is not tolerated amongst members and strictly applied.

I had built steel boats for well over 30 years and in later stages GRP as well, but are now finally retired and have time to do things I always wanted to do.
My latest "project" was 30 years in the making and now well under way, building myself a Lotus 7 replica car from scratch - no kits for me, I like to keep it real

Reason for my first post after all the ramble; I had seen over the years that there are many people out there looking for info on building steel boats and since most books are out dated on the subject, few if any cover radius or round bilge for instance, I had decided to create a web page based on my experience in the field where advise is freely available to those in the want.

If I may - Steel Boatbuilder's Web Page: Steel Boatbuilding | Steel Boatbuilding

I hope some of your members would gain some information from this.
Just one link is still partly completed and yours truly still has to upload about 150 more picture thumbnails to complete that, otherwise the page is well worth a visit for those interested in steel boats.


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Old 10-09-2010, 12:31   #2
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Location: Malvernshire, on the sunny side of the hill.
Boat: 50' steel canal and river cruiser
Posts: 1,905
Hi and welcome to CF, where nasty sly comments are not permitted and we are all one big happy family.
So, feel free to discuss the merits of steel design and construction.

As for Lotus, did you know its an acronym for

Loads Of Trouble Usually Serious

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Old 10-09-2010, 14:18   #3
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Location: Pelican Bay, Great Sandy National Park
Boat: Steel Roberts Offshore 44
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Good to have some extra expertise...

Welcome to the Forum. It'll be good to have some extra steel expertise.

In the unlikely event that we do experience engine trouble the report post button is located in the lower left side of the posting box.

If you desire a link to your website it can be included in your signature line. See Anjou's post as an example. If more assistance is needed please feel free to PM myself or any of the other Moderators or Advisors.
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Boracay Blog.
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Old 10-09-2010, 14:39   #4
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Welcome aboard Wynand. As an advocate of steel construction it is great to have a person with your actual experience help others to overcome their initial fears.

Your web site does a very god job of speaking plainly about steel building
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Old 17-09-2010, 01:08   #5
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Welcome aboard, Wynand!
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Old 17-09-2010, 06:03   #6
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Location: Finland
Boat: Stormwind 40 cutter rigged steel ketch - "Columba Livia"
Posts: 90
Thanks Wynand! I am not about to build a steel boat - I am just happy sailing a one, however, the site is still very interesting. Knowing how a boat is built is very useful also when maintaining a one. I also found the technical information on the site to be very interesting.
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Old 17-09-2010, 09:58   #7
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Thanks for the kind words to all.
Glad my little webpage is of some use to some
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Old 30-12-2011, 09:15   #8
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Location: Florida.... soon on a boat
Boat: looking build or buy a boat to escape from the rat race..
Posts: 35
Re: Steel Boatbuilding


Thanks for referring me to your site. I found a lot of good info there... Since you got your start with a Roberts design, what is your opinion of the quality of the design and its seaworthiness? ( I am asking as I am trying to plan the building of my "retirement home". )

Baie danke,

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Old 30-12-2011, 09:26   #9
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Location: Portishead UK
Boat: Dudley Dix Hout Bay 33
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Re: Steel Boatbuilding

We have a Dix Hout Bay 33 built in the UK with a really nice Radius Chine and we bought it with the hull and deck completed but nothing other than insulation inside. We find it a really comfortable and safe boat and although it is still a 'work in progress' have sailed almost 3,000 miles in it. This summer we plan on a circumnavigation of Ireland and have every faith in the boat. We also found Dudley Dix a responsive and helpful designer unlike some others I have heard of.
Somewhere at sea
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Old 30-12-2011, 23:30   #10
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Location: South Africa
Posts: 21
Re: Steel Boatbuilding

Hi Scott,

I am a big Dix advocate for the simple reasons because his designs are builder friendly, well engineered, modern lines - even steel ones and in my view his radius chine is the best of what is available. And perhaps because him and I were great buddies when he still lived in Houtbay, SA.

But to your question. Nothing can change the fact that many of Roberts designs were built - hundreds, perhaps thousands? - and most of them are happy with their boats. His Spray's, ugly by nature, is a great cruising boat and well designed.
However, there were some structural failures on some of his older designs and the rudder reinforcing come to mind and I believe it is corrected.

Because my first boat I worked on was a Roberts is purely incidental and at the time I knew nothing about boats per se.
Im on record for disliking Roberts boats and still is of the opinion he is a better salesman and marketer than a designer and Im not going to amplify on this other than this.
One of his best sellers, the TOM THUMB 24, later stretched a little was not designed by him, but by Grahame Shannon.... I built seven of these critters including one for myself in the late 1980's and have bought the plans straight from Shannon in Canada at the time.
I know of designers taking over another design(s) but make known to the client which is which and Hartley/Samson marriage comes to mind. But Roberts sell the TT24 plans as Roberts design in his portfolio.
And this begs the question; how many other great Roberts designs may not be designed by him but sold as his own?

May I wish all you guys a prosperous new year and fair winds
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:58   #11
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Re: Steel Boatbuilding

How long did it take you to complete the Dix 43? You with five helpers and knowing what you are doing and all.

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