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Old 08-08-2017, 15:31   #1
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Steel hull construction

Im fairly new to the forum thing ...
Im planning on building a 39 ft steel monohull as a bluewater cruiser. Where do I go to chat with the guys who have done the same.
I have some questions about hull design properties that I can not seem to find the right people or place to ask
Cheers
JT
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Old 08-08-2017, 15:37   #2
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Re: Steel hull construction

Ask away!
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Old 08-08-2017, 15:37   #3
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Re: Steel hull construction

Try boatdesign.net.

Be aware that after spending years building your own boat, you will have spent more than an equivalent boat is worth, even if your time is free.

If you want to go boating, buy a boat that is done and use it. If you want the boat exactly how you want it and like to build, buy an existing boat and do a major refit. If you want to spend 10 years and huge money and never actual go boating, build your own boat from scratch.

Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2017, 15:46   #4
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Re: Steel hull construction

Thanx
Im getting close to retirement ( sort of )
I want to build a floating house /workshop to marina hop around the world .
Im a fairly multi skilled craftsman and are certain that I would be able to earn my boats keep
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Old 08-08-2017, 15:50   #5
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Re: Steel hull construction

I have decided on a straight keel design .But I cant seem to find a place where I can compare various designs . In short I dont know what to search for
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Old 08-08-2017, 16:20   #6
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Re: Steel hull construction

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Originally Posted by JacoT View Post
I have decided on a straight keel design .But I cant seem to find a place where I can compare various designs . In short I dont know what to search for


Try googling Brent swain origami steel boats
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Old 08-08-2017, 16:53   #7
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Re: Steel hull construction

I agree that it makes better sense and cheaper to fix a used boat than to build a new one from the ground up, regardless of how handy and budget conscious you are.
That said, if you are really keen to build or enjoy building it, a wiser way is to look for unfinished boat projects, there must be quite a few lying around if you look hard enough.
That said if you are looking for designs, I like those from tantonyachtdesigns.com, they are practical and straight forward to build, and also from faymarine.com. There must have been much more designs out there too, like Van de Stadt, Roberto Barros, Dudley Dix and Devilliers have a few designs to your size.
Many have success with Bruce Roberts and have circumnavigated with them, there are unfinished projects that pop up on his brokerage site.
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Old 08-08-2017, 16:55   #8
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Re: Steel hull construction

The Metal Boat Society.
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Old 08-08-2017, 17:06   #9
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Re: Steel hull construction

Depending on your level of skill, this book could help you when you talk to others who have built their own steel boats. It is very comprehensive.

https://www.amazon.com/Steel-Boatbui.../dp/1888671025
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Old 08-08-2017, 17:09   #10
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Re: Steel hull construction

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Try googling Brent swain origami steel boats
+1. Other good designs are any of the Dudly Dix ones or the Adams/Radford designs, eg the Adams 40. Kasten, and George Buhler. Ted Brewer also has a bunch of nice looking designs as does Tom Colvin.

But I really think getting a fair few sea miles on a variety of different boats is the best thing you can do before investing a large chunk of your life and finances into a boat that may not suit you. Prehaps you may decide to go for a catamaran?

There are plenty of very cheap, well made and capable long keeled steel boats for sale at prices way below what it would probably cost you in materials alone to build an equivalent boat. This means any boat you build is going to be worth something like half what it cost you to build. 12 years ago this was not the case and secondhand boats were much more expensive comparitively so building made more sense. I'd strongly recommend buying one of these boats and going sailing first.

On the long keel thing (I assume this is what you mean by straight keel) there are some big trade offs. At sea they are fine. A tad slower in light airs and to windward. The bigger issues are when manuvering in tight spots like marinas. Here the long fin with a separate rudder does much better which makes berthing much less stressful. With proper straightforward engineering on a steel boat there are no real structural weaknesses with fin keels or separated rudders. I'd also look at twin keels for a steel hull. And prehaps also consider something like the Diesel Ducks.
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Old 08-08-2017, 19:49   #11
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Re: Steel hull construction

I would also like to add that with used boats, sometimes you get a more "proven" boat and save on refitting cost if the boat have extra features installed that you want.
It only makes sense to build boats when you enjoy it like the guy in NCIS, wanted a one of a kind vessel, have special requirements or for racing or simply not having the lump sum money for purchase and therefore build as you can afford.
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Old 08-08-2017, 21:44   #12
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Re: Steel hull construction

If you have the skills to build a steel boat, then you have the skills to do some re-plating on an older steel boat that the owners have given up on. There are many used steel boats for sale that are proven designs and need major work. Major re-plating is still easier than a full build. The hull cost is roughly 10 to 15% of the cost of a boat. Buying a used boat, you will have much of the rest of the cost already there. My second cruising boat was steel, and I loved the security but it was home built so I bought it cheep, sailed for a couple of years and sold it cheep. Also keep in mind that chine boats generally sell for much less than round bilge boats, so if you are going to get into major work (new or used) you might as well work on one with better resale value. Just my 2 cents worth. ____Grant.
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Old 08-08-2017, 22:08   #13
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Re: Steel hull construction

The value is in finding a semi complete..........

find a broken dream hull rusting away in a field ( its a good thing no a bad thing) ..... pennies on the dollar and then complete it your self


there are a few dix, roberts and Standt semis kicking aorund if you google search.


LD
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Old 10-08-2017, 20:06   #14
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Re: Steel hull construction

Hi Guys
Thank U for the quick reply to my vague post
On the good advice of one of the members, I compiled a small bio on me and my plans. Think this will help to clarify the back-ground of my questions
Cheers J
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Old 10-08-2017, 20:55   #15
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Re: Steel hull construction

If you REALLY Hurry, you can make it to the Metal Boat Society's 30'th Annual Festival in Anacortes, WA. It starts tomorrow, the 11th https://metalboatsociety.wildapricot.org/event-2325308
Usually there are a good number of quite renowned designers & builders in attendence. And the PNW is a huge nexus for all kinds of boating. There are also about 3 Wooden Boat festivals (or more) within 100nm of there within the next month. So no shortage of things to see, people to meet, invites to gather.

I've had occassion to talk to Dudly Dix a few times, & he seems like quite an interesting guys. Obviously, or perhaps not on the surface, a genius, who's designed dozens of successful boats in every material there is. And many of them can be purchased either in flat pack, or as a CAD file. Which then gets connected to a CNC laser, & it cuts out all of your plates for you. With great precision, obviously. Anyway, he often attends the above festival. Sometimes a few of the Wooden Boat ones as well.

But keep in mind that with a metal boat, you're actually building several boats. The metal hull shell. Insulation, paint, & such (inside & out). And then an interior, probably from wood. All of which has to fit through a 2' square hole that is the companionway. So it makes doing a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded look easy.

A great book on the subject is Steel Away, it's a classic (old). But it covers most aspects of a build. From picking a design, all the way to putting in the galley, & the head, & going sailing. With parts & materials checklists for much of this, & dozens of building techniques that look quite handy.

And it's already been mentioned, but spend some time on www.boatdesign.net/forums as well as the main page featuring designs & such.

Welcome! And good luck!

PS: Another one worth reading is Get Real, Get Gone. Look it up on Amazon & see for yourself.
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