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Old 16-02-2012, 05:28   #16
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Re: Steel Boats

OK and sorry for the ribbing Richard.

As you know we sail in Newfoundland and there we have to deal with ice. I've not hit any yet but sooner or later it will be inevitable.

Radar can see bergs, but not bergy bits or growlers.
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:33   #17
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Re: Steel Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastinated View Post
Wow thanks guys. What would be a no go as far as rust goes on a boat you purchase? I'm particularly interested in the hull itself. What does too bad of rust look like. Alot of times steel will look worse than it it, but not always. I plan on using a boroscope in the hard to look at areas. Or maybe some pics from you steel guys with rust you've found. Thanks again!
Spend a couple of bucks to down load this really decent book. Lots of good and practical info with pics.

Metal boat maintenance-A do it yourself guide

Quote:

Metal boat maintenance-A do it yourself guide
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By Captain Scott Fratcher

A do-it-yourself guide to metal boat repair and maintenance.

Steel boat repair? Steel boat project? Thinking of buying a steel boat? Want to assess the condition of a steel boat before purchase? This is the book for you! Packed with information, photos, tips and hard won knowledge you'll save the price of the book on your first day!
Metal boat maintenance-A do it yourself guide
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:35   #18
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Re: Steel boats

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Originally Posted by Gazelle Family View Post
My Corten steel hull is fifteen years old and a recent ultrasound showed one hundred percent (no loss)
Our boat has now reached 16 years, and there is absolutely nothing to do with the hull. Like someone wrote earlier as a part of this thread, its the rust on deck and superstructures that need attention. Nothing major there, just a multitude of tiny spots with rust.

Anything bolted in is likely to be a problem when time goes by. We should now remove our cocpict windows and sandblast the superstructure around the window holes. No need to replace the steel. Does not even look bad, but the windows are starting to leak and I know from the experience, that it will be easier to fix them sooner rather than later. The longer you let the rust stay, the bigger the problems. Add another year and you double your work.

I also have a plastic boat that is for sale. We hit a rock last summer. Just a dent on the keel. A plywood boat on our club doing the same: back part of the keel broke into the hull and they got a large crane to marina just on time to get the boat on hard before it would have sinke.

On my experience, the hull does not require more work than on plastic. The decks do. However, its worth it. You hit something, it is just a bang. You hit something harder, its a bigger bank, but you are still not sinking.
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:47   #19
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Re: Steel Boats

I need to add another reason to go for steel (or alloy). The rigidity/stiffness/integrity of a steel vessel. I than God that I have not spent most of my sailing time on gales, however, I have done that more than what I have liked. None enjoys that, however, it’s a bit more pleasant when you can trust that your vessel will hold. When you are on your limits, it calms you down to see that you boat is not. No matter the waves, the hull is not twisting, there is no new unpleasant sounds coming from the rig or the hull, no chainplates to break loose, nothing but the weather itself to worry about. The boat will stand and will take care of you.
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Old 16-02-2012, 05:50   #20
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Re: Steel Boats

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, fastinated.

Micheal Kasten offers a great deal of information “On Metal Boats”
Here ➥ Articles by Michael Kasten - Kasten Marine Design, Inc.

See also “A primer for Steel Boat Inspection”
A Primer for Steel Boat Inspection

And ➥ Steel boat inspection

Excerpted from ➥ The saving of WhiteBird
“... How to judge a steel boat?
Very briefly, look around as you board.
Is deck gear bolted through the decks? Or on raised flanges? Leaks on decks ruin steel.
Is there timber fastened to the steel? Oh oh.. look carefully around the edges of the timber for signs of fresh paint to hide the rust scale.
Go below and look immediately for the lowest point in the bilges. Not accessible? Walk away. Accessible? Is it dry? I like to see dust and cob webs, maybe even a little saw dust left from the fitout.
Is the prop shaft seal dry or a dripping stuffing box?
Is the fitout nailed and glued? Or does it appear to be removable so the steel can be accessed for inspection and service?
Are the electrics tidy and well organized? Poorly designed or badly installed electrics can destroy a steel hull.
If those items pass muster then go hire your surveyor to see what he/she finds ...”
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Old 16-02-2012, 09:30   #21
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Re: Steel Boats

I have a steel 41 footer I'm getting ready for world cruising.

I also have an old stripped-out 33 footer racer-cruiser in fibreglass I share for fun short sails. Both boats suit their intended purposes.

Rust is like exercise...a little bit of maintenance done regularly does you much good over time. I consider the work required to stay ahead of rust, and to master the particularities of electrics/galvanic issues on metal boats, to be a small price to pay for the peace of mind steel brings, and the ability to make my own modifications/repairs on the distant shores I plan to visit.

As to what would be a "no-go", if you yourself aren't technically up to speed on measuring hull thicknesses or spotting galvanically caused issues, pop for a metal boat surveyor. Specify this: Fibreglass surveyors are no good (or sometimes aren't). Get a guy who validates insurance for tugboats and cop boats for the full picture.

An example would be "this boat is very sound and generally free of corrosion except this thinned-out, poorly galvanized single hull plate at the bow".

That's not a deal-breaker. That's thirty grand off the purchase price, or you walk.

I would read Bruce Roberts' "Metal Boats" and Nigel Warren's "Metal Corrosion in Boats" as excellent learning for any potential metal boat owner.
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Old 17-02-2012, 02:14   #22
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Re: Steel Boats

I had a steel 37' van de stadt for 12 years. it was better than 80% of my girlfriends; which, i am not sure, says something about the boat or about me.

the boat was originally built in nova scotia, sailed the atlantic and then ended up in a yard in northern california. an engineer from stanford's linear accelerator center saw the boat, bought it, gutted it, modified and rebuilt her and added all the bells and whistles.

after cruising for a couple of years, he wanted a bigger boat and bought one, and thus had two. i bought the van de stadt.

fun boat to sail and would hit +8 knts in 10-12 knts of wind.

the engineer had even calculated what would happen if the boat hit a floating shipping container with the corner of the container striking the boat at hull speed.

rust was the simplest of issues. i think it was one of the more famous cruisers who writes books and is the nephew of a famous boat designer, who noted his steel boat, that he built, could go a year before a rust issue was attended to.

interlux two part paint (and its complete system) became my friend and thru trial and error i learn to use it well and called it liquid plastic. though, something noteworthy was the documentary on the second QEII, or what ever it was called, made in france - they noted that only one coat of paint was applied as the weight of paint is paint's worst enemy. interesting.

the boat was insulated with rigid insulation and a welder once noted a caution as any welding on the boat could cause the insulation to go off. not sure how true that is and never did have to have welding done.

the van de stadt had a deep bilge which was a pain to maintain as far as rust was concerned.

the one issue that always bothered me was the amount of steel that may be fizzing away into the salt water. while i did all my own zincs religiously, i never knew for sure how much steel was present. even talking to surveyors, i was never comfortable with what they said. i talked to the engineer who had remodeled the boat and he said he had found a surveyor company that could survey the metal density. he hired them, watched them and they stated the boat was sound and all the steel was still there. he noted in watching them - again, this is an engineer with advanced degrees from stanford and working at the linear accelerator center -that the testing they had performed on the boat was a joke and he didnt trust their findings.

at one point, someone recommended a person who worked on building steel tuna boats. i talked to him, hired him and he spent some time inside and outside the boat. he was comfortable with the boat and i was comfortable with how he described and explained things; but in the end, he said he couldnt say with certainty, how much steel was still there.

otherwise the boat was pretty damn cool and even my non sailing friends grew a fondness for the unique vessel.

another thing that i learned was that the bells and whistles dont make a boat, and i should have taken all of them off and sold them and made the boat more basic. it is not about what you can fix on the boat, but do you really want to have to fix stuff on the boat over the long run. a simpler boat is a happier boat. basic is fantastic.

i am not materialistic but would tell you that that boat touched me and still does. would i own another steel boat? probably not. first off, they are not easy to sell from my experience. there are some great points about them, but from a simple perspective, thick fiberglass is both cheap and easy to fix; and the boat may be easier to resell than a steel boat, which many prospective buyers think is unusual.
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Old 17-02-2012, 13:27   #23
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Re: Steel Boats

I can not stress the importance of an ultrasound
When I had the survey done while buying our boat the "survey" was a joke but the ultrasound performed was extensive (while the boat was on the Hard) the surveyor did a matrix of over two hundred shots and notated every thickness on a diagram
GOD BLESS CORTEN STEEL!!
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:16   #24
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Re: Steel Boats

So we have started to look at FC and steel boats precisely because the resale value is quite low. You can get a lot of boat for your money. But harder to tell if something is wrong with the hull (which is why the resale value is low).

A nice looking steel boat came up on yachtworld a few days ago. A few minutes of googling turned up it was part of an estate and has been for sale since maybe late 2009 it looks like (assuming it wasn't bought and now being re-sold). It sounds like it may have been anchored out for that entire time which is downright scary. Maybe not maintained much at all. So tired of seeing people ruin otherwise nice boats....thinking about looking at it this coming weekend, was wondering if anyone had tips? I've read several horror stories about people buying steel boats and then finding out they're entirely rusted through and barely afloat. Is an ultrasound accurate? Somewhat accurate? Not accurate at all? So far most of the advice I've read is to check out every nook and cranny you can to look for rust.

website 1974 41' Brandlmayr Pilothouse Steel Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:37   #25
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Re: Steel Boats

This thread answers all your questions so read it first in its entirety. What you need is a survayer that does steel boats. HE MUST DO STEEL BOATS!. A guy that does mostly fiberglass is no help. So read carefully the post here. Do some research and then ask.
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:10   #26
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Re: Steel Boats

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This thread answers all your questions so read it first in its entirety. What you need is a survayer that does steel boats. HE MUST DO STEEL BOATS!. A guy that does mostly fiberglass is no help. So read carefully the post here. Do some research and then ask.
Post #22 raised some concerns to me about whether a survey could be accurate or not...
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Old 01-05-2012, 14:05   #27
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Re: Steel Boats

Yes. that is the deal. He must e a steel sailboat guy. You can find one by asking around at a commercial boat yard. Youi know fishing boats, service boats, small steel boat yards. That will get you a survey that you can count on. However, it is beast to also check out every sq inch of the boat yourself,
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Old 01-05-2012, 16:08   #28
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Re: Steel Boats

Hi there. I think its time for my 2c worth.
I am not going to expound the virtues of Corten Steel over blah blah...
I would like to tell you where we have had problems, and what caused them in order to prevent the same thing happening to you.

Gilana is fitted with an engine driven HUGE Jabsco pump. This is as an emergency bilge pump and also feeds the fire hydrants and their 2" hoses. The suction side of the pump goes to a manifold where you can select, Forepeak, FWD bilge, Aft Bilge, Engine room, or the sea chest when using as fire pump.

All piping is in 2" 316 SS with 2" SS Ballvalves. The suctions are bell shaped with strum wires, to avoid vortices and clogging. The suctions in the fwd and aft bilges were misaligned and touched the inside of the hull in the keel pockets. The Stainless burnt a hole through the hull, well not quite through, but we found it and welded it up. We also shortened, and centered the suctions so they are in the middle of the well.

Case number two, our holding tank is part of a double bottom design that includes the watertank and fuel tanks. Any impact damage there will result in full tanks but not sinking. BUT...

The inlet to the holding tank from the head is on the port side. There is a 3" plastic hose inside the tank leading to the STBD side, so there is no back-flow when heeled. This hose was held on by SS hose clamps. The "bolt" of the clamp, being of poorer quality disappeared in the soup that is in the holding tank. The clamp bands fell off, and by wave action landed up at the high tide mark in the "mud" inside the tank. There they lay for ???? long. When we hauled last year, (we only haul every 6 years) I pressure washed the hull, and noticed a spot that did not dry....
I put a screwdriver on it and hit it with a hammer, and out came poop...
So we had a hole in the hull right in the holding tank.
We pumped the tank into a biohazard tanker, and proceeded to lift the tank lids, 244 8mm bolts. per lid. We found the remnants of the hose clamps exactly where I made the hole with the screwdriver.
Once again, 3 minutes with the welder and we were as good as new, but oh the poop in that tank...14 years of it, indescribable...!!

The moral of the story and the lesson learned is:
Although Corten A is several times stronger than mild steel (133kpsi yield) because of its Copper content, it is susceptible to electrolysis. The electrical junction made by the proximity of the stainless ate into it, with a perfectly round hole. IF the stainless was WELDED to the hull, NO problem, but, lying a few mm away even with 8 layers of epoxy, the electrical current between the SS and the Corten burnt a hole...

Be careful of dissimilar metals in proximity submerged in an aggressive electrolyte!

A small thing I have learned. I "grew up" in the navy. We used traditional methods to fight rust, namely "Red Lead" and Alkyd Enamel paint. Then along came all these wonderful epoxies, and polywhatnots. Next it was conversion primers and all manner of things.

I have found that epoxy is for new steel perfectly cleaned and blasted. BUT if you need to make a temporary repair, and cannot remove the last molecule of iron oxide, then don't use epoxy. The rust will come back, and pop the area off and it will spread under the epoxy. Rather use OSHPO, and then 24 hours later wire brush, then use Red Lead or equivalent, and then you can put an epoxy or polyurethane over that. The Oil based paint stays soft under the epoxy, and will only "blow" directly above the problem area the size of a pin head, not the size of a quarter...

We draw 8'6" and in Current Cut in the Bahamas, we hit bottom, boy did we... Doing near 8 knots at the time. The damage was we lost the paint on the keel shoe. See the photos here...
West Palm Beach to Cartagena de Indias

In the Azores in 2002, we met a steel boat that hit a semi submerged container, it was apparently bobbing in a vertical position. They smacked it fair and square. The only damage was the bow section, and they had to run their anchor over the side...not over the rollers.

All boats are a compromise....it just depends.....
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Old 01-05-2012, 16:44   #29
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Re: Steel Boats

Another plus for steel is the ease of making modifications. I wanted higher cockpit coamings. Took the old ones out, welded new ones in. Wanted narrower cockpit, cut one side out late last week with a reciprosaw and grinder ( took around 3 hrs). Will finish welding the new one in today. Once it is done, will be as strong as new.
Costs for two new seats bent up at a fabricator, $320. Cost of new coamings in stainless around $500. Used two 1 kg spools of wire and a cylinder of gas.
Have done the work on the mooring using a generator.
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Old 01-05-2012, 17:01   #30
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Re: Steel Boats

HINAYANA, I used to own that boat. I was the second owner. The first owner spent years building it and finally set off single handed for England. Three days out he hit a gale, and turned around, went to the first port he could find(no chart) tied up to the first marina he could find , found a broker and said sell it and never went back to the boat. That is how the broker told it to me. When I bought it , the paint on it was enamel so I cleaned it up and repainted with the same. I went from the East coast to Bermuda, to the Caribean and back the same route. One season and it turned into a rust bucket. I was always useing OSPHO to wipe away the streaks. Most of it came from poor welds on the pipe on top of the toe rail. I think the engineer that bought it from me completly rebuilt the boat and probably used a proper paint system. It is good to hear that the old girl gave you a lot of pleasure.____Grant.
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