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Old 14-08-2017, 15:36   #16
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Reality check! You have a home made nearly worthless boat ( no worries mate ,I've been there). Replace rotted deck with exterior ply from Home Depot. Then cover with fiberglass Matt and poly resin. This would be the cheapest by far solution. Good luck and let us know what you decide
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Old 14-08-2017, 16:42   #17
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

In theory a steel deck will be far superior if your boat can stand the weight.
In reality the huge amount of work entailed is probably not worth it.
Bear in mind also that when you remove the plywood deck from its mounting flange, there will probably be corrosion there which will need to be abrasive blasted and properly coated before you fit the new deck.

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Old 14-08-2017, 20:05   #18
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Thanks for all the input. I especially appreciate the specifics about longitudinal supports - there isn't any support for the deck as is, and the interior is basically gutted except for a wood floor and some insulation panels attached to the sides of the hull.
The boat is currently in Baltimore. I do not have access to a crane...though I can rig something up using the mast. I'd most prefer a steel deck but it is new territory for me. So I'll be looking for some affordable help and if there isn't any affordable help - it's got to be marine plywood 3/4" thick with FG over the top. I'd read some about just epoxying the whole thing down and not using fasteners. Is this reasonable?
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Old 14-08-2017, 20:21   #19
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

2 points to consider.
1 Plywood is lighter than steel so replacing a wooden deck with steel is going to effect stability
2 Wood is a good heat insulator steel is not. Unless you want to turn the boat into an oven it may be better to stick to plywood!

I have a 50yr old plywood deck that is mostly still original. Very easy to maintain, all it needs is a coat of paint every couple of years and there is no issue of water creeping under the covering. If you do need a repair just cut ot with a router and epoxy in a patch.
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Old 15-08-2017, 02:10   #20
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

If the original wooden deck lasted 30 plus years, why go to a LOT of trouble, and expense, re-inventing the wheel?
Steel
Putting a steel deck on a boat designed for a wood deck is far from simple. To weld, you are going to have to remove a lot of the interior or risk a serious fire. The interior will be damaged removing it so expect an expensive interior replacement job - perhaps very expensive. And think of this: a steel deck heavy enough not to buckle and or distort when being welded may well be heavier than the wood deck and if so, may affect the centre of gravity. Somebody competent will have to do all the sums which means a marine architect, who won't come cheap.
Steel almost certainly means removal of the wheelhouse and replacing the wheelhouse deck with steel - how can you weld without burning it? Deviation will change, so you'll have to swing ship - a job probably best left to a professional - another expense.

Wood
My suggestion to first spend time surveying all rotted areas, and find out exactly why they rotted. Fresh water - rain - rots wood, not salt, and generally takes a long time, so find out where that water came in, and why. There could be design or build or maintenance problems or some combination. It could be that the fibreglass was just too thin, cracked in multiple places and allowed fresh water to leak in. You'll need a hose and a friend or two below decks. Start at the lowest part of the deck: on many boats this is about 1/3 of the deck length forward of the stern.
Once you know location of all the leaks - this may be difficult if the deck is too rotted - modify the original design, if necessary, and go with wood.
Coat the wood properly to seal and preserve it. Pay close attention to the plywood joints, where the wheelhouse meets the deck and the hull to deck joint.

One final comment - what has designer said about a steel deck? That's probably a very good place to start.
However, Imho, wood is a no brainier ...
Good luck!
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Old 15-08-2017, 05:08   #21
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

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Originally Posted by PigZen View Post
... So I'll be looking for some affordable help and if there isn't any affordable help - it's got to be marine plywood 3/4" thick with FG over the top. I'd read some about just epoxying the whole thing down and not using fasteners. Is this reasonable?
The hull-deck-joint is one of the most critical in any boat. Glueing 2 different materials together in this highly stressed area and not using any fasteners there? Who would do such a thing? I wouldn't!
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Old 15-08-2017, 05:56   #22
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

What are long term plans for the boat?

You said Cuba to Yucatan?

Fist you get to Cuba, then Mexico? Then?

If you just have one specific trip planned then the cheapest safe option is the way to go.

If you intend to live aboard near shore thereafter that's different.

If you want to do some serious cruising for a long time that's different again.

My guess is you are looking at the first, one time use option.

An additional thought, if you have not yet pulled the deck off you don't really know the condition of the deck beams. You MAY be in for an ugly suprise which might change your plans.

My advice is to make a plan but don't buy materials or make another big financial commitment until get to access the tops of the beams.

Best wishes and great luck.
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Old 15-08-2017, 06:19   #23
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Another quick question...

What is your time frame?

How long can the boat lay where she is? Does she have weather protection?

Time costs money, but also doing things quick ain't cheap, you have a double bind there. Winters coming.

My guess is you want to get South this year? You don't want to pay storage more than necessary. That all tends to lean towards the fastest safe job possible.

The risk is to get part way through, hit a stumbling block (laid up for a month with a bad back), and then have to pull out loosing your nest egg. I think you need to keep in the back of your mind that you may have to abandon the project as not feasible.

You need a Dutch Uncle to lay this before and get a solid assessment of the risks, liabilities, pitfalls.
Look at your
SCOPE
SCHEDULE
BUDGET

Again, great luck, may your dreams be granted.
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Old 16-08-2017, 07:00   #24
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Please do not do this until you have consulted a naval architect to determine if the additional weight of steel will change the stability of the boat. Stability is a function of many different factors, and you need to know how changing one will affect the rest.
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Old 19-08-2017, 13:46   #25
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Thanks again for the assistance with this. I am seriously doubting the ability o this keel-less steel hull to right itself after a knockdown. Hence I'm leaning either toward either plywood decking or just scrapping the boat for the price of steel. How do you think this boat would do in a storm crossing the gulf stream?

Again it is a 45 ft LOA 12 ft beam 30 HP diesel with a mast - gutted interior with plenty of freeboard.
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Old 19-08-2017, 15:03   #26
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by PigZen View Post
Thanks again for the assistance with this. I am seriously doubting the ability o this keel-less steel hull to right itself after a knockdown. Hence I'm leaning either toward either plywood decking or just scrapping the boat for the price of steel. How do you think this boat would do in a storm crossing the gulf stream?

Again it is a 45 ft LOA 12 ft beam 30 HP diesel with a mast - gutted interior with plenty of freeboard.
You've got a keel, but the typical keel of a motorboat. Under normal circumstances there should be ballast in your keel, sufficient so she can right herself after a knockdown. I would expect the mast being shortish, just to stabilize her in a sea, maybe helping with making way also. But she's definitely not a sailboat. What would worry me more - provided she has ballast in her keel - are the big windows.
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Old 19-08-2017, 15:24   #27
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Phil Bolger's widow might be able to give you some guidance. She long helped him draw up boat plans, and has a good understanding of all his designs.

(I think yours might be "Bell's Puffer" . . . but I'm not sure.)

Susanne Altenburger
Phil Bolger & Friends Inc.
66 Atlantic Street
Gloucester, MA 01930-1627 USA
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Old 19-08-2017, 16:07   #28
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

If stability is an issue then a lighter deck is an asset. And of course more ballast
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Old 19-08-2017, 17:46   #29
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

The plan would be: Baltimore to Florida. Florida to Cuba then Yucatan. Then down to Belize. I would be using the boat to bring supplies to and from a farm I am going to get started on the Moho river in southern Belize. As for pulling off the deck and seeing what's beneath - the deck is virtually unsupported from below. A two inch by two inch arch made of wood goes across and supports the deck in several spots, I think one about every five feet.
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Old 19-08-2017, 18:32   #30
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Re: Steel Hull 45 ft New Deck

Do you know the gal (Becky?) who runs the resort on Lamont's key. Glovers Atoll? Her family had an old wooden schooner they ran out of Sitee River before they wrecked it. She ended up buying a big dissmasted proa in Rio Dulce to run guests back and forth. She is, or was, married to some local guy.

My guess is she would be a good source of hard earned local knowledge. And I think she would share.

From what I understand this really isn't a "sail boat" it's more a sail assisted cargo boat. Shoal draft, lots of hold space. Once you get it there it will only run infrequent local passages lugging freight. She has got be 15 tons, and 30 hp is pretty light. Doable but you won't be bashing into the waves much, at least not going forward. Lots of limitations and compromises.

My guess is that you really need to look at how much risk you have a stomach for. Once you get her there your personal risk goes down, but she isn't really a blue water boat and you need to be VERY careful in making your passages.

How's the engine? How you gonna maintain this beast in Belize? I think you will have to take her to Rio Dulce for any real work. Interesting project.

I would also consider looking around Rio Dulce, just in case there is a good buy down that way. Google Rio Dulce Chiseme and look for boat sales. But also maybe post on that forum, you never know, geezers drop all the time down there.
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