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Old 01-06-2016, 03:05   #16
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Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Ahh a new, ye old steel boat for cruising thread

What everyone else has said.

Mine is a steel chimed boat. I look with envy on those I've seen that are so well put together you can mistake them for glass.

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Old 01-06-2016, 07:19   #17
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

I like that others can tell we are steel. Helps convince them to get outta the way!

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Old 17-07-2016, 19:11   #18
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Location: Mandurah, Western Australia
Boat: Roberts 45
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

We have rebuilt a steel 43 Roberts Mauritius over the past 4 years and have mixed feelings about it as a construction material vs fibreglass. On the positive side when we are 80nm offshore and plugging along in a pitch black night, you get a feeling of confidence that you might better survive hitting something that would otherwise hole a glass boat. Oh I've had these discussions - glass vs steel and will avoid entering that gray now. Another issue is the quietness of the hull. I've been on glass boats, especially the newer ones where just the swirls of tidal current make such a noise it is difficult to sleep. Another is weight when plowing upwind. We have just done 500 nm down the West Australian coast mostly either right into the wind, swell and slop or pinching at 30 degrees apparent under low motor. There were times that I truly doubt a light glass hull, particularly the lighter flat bottomed type, would have made way at all. We did 12 hours at an average 2 knots in one stint. Sure, at another time in life we'd have waited weeks for the right wind angle but we didn't have that luxury. The watertightness is another benefit. There are no .bolts through the deck other than traveller tracks. All our stanchions, davits, chain plates etc are welded so there are no water leaks. Alas there are challenges. My greatest is minimising corrosion inside, particularly on the stringers (londitudinals) I am fascinated with the comment above on boiled linseed/cement and I will investigate, thanks. Finally I will say it's forgiving. I made a serious mistake in not following my instinct when a cold front caused a very quick wind change in direction and strength and pinned our long keel against a reef with a rising tide. I decided to drive it off which my Wife pulled in the anchor chain. Wasn't fun but we got off. I'd never have tried that with a glass boat and probably would have procrastinated my way into a far worse situation. When we start cruising full time I know that I will be able to weld properly by then so I will be able to do upgrade and repairs myself. The advent of the 309 welding rods allows one to weld stainless to mild steel so I've a fair few deck fittings to upgrade. As others have said above - there's no clear answer but overall I'm glad we have steel.

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