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Old 25-05-2016, 06:36   #1
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Steel hull for cruising

I have been around boats most of my life, built & owned timber & fibreglass ones I am presently looking for a bluewater cruising Yacht & found a great one but its steel. I never thought I would ever consider buying a steel boat before, as it is foreign to me, not a material I have or can work with.
Who ever built it did a good job because the hull is as fair as a fibreglass boat.

My Questions:
Are steel boats harder or any more expensive to maintain than a fibreglass boat?

What are there downfalls & advantages?

Do they hold there value if it is a good design & well built ?

Tell me your thoughts.
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Old 25-05-2016, 07:10   #2
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

...corrosion is your enemy on steel.. as far as you paint with adequate steel paint hull and keep different metal separate to avoid corrosion, you're fine.. steel is a little more heavy than plastic but very, very good for bluewater cruising.
If you're gonna get an used one, be sure to run an extensive hull test with ultrasonic sensor in order to avoid any possible hull corrosion. Be sure bilge is dry and without any water mark inside..
But it's a very good material...
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Old 25-05-2016, 07:33   #3
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Good choice.

Seems somewhat more maintenance than grp on average BUT not so when built and protected to high standards from new!

If you like metals and welding, look at alloy too.

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Old 25-05-2016, 10:57   #4
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

resale not the best because now no longer fashionable, most of the mega sailboats eg Perini Navi are steel hulls. If you lift your boat every year and manage corrosion, should be fine. lots of glass boats have steel keels. Good for bluewater because they bend, not shatter when they hit solid objects.
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Old 25-05-2016, 17:02   #5
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Had one for almost 30 yrs and am very happy with her.
There have been many threads on this topic, if you run a search your questions may be answered.

Regards,
Richard.
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Old 25-05-2016, 17:33   #6
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Steel is the medium of choice in the shipping industry.

Learn about electrolysis, keep up with ur zincs and do a good bottom job.
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Old 25-05-2016, 21:15   #7
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

The forums Google Custom Search on the term "steel" yields many threads and many good comments and advice. Follow this link and have fun reading. Lots of good stuff.

https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=011403...eel&gsc.page=1
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Old 25-05-2016, 22:20   #8
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

I keep meaning to ask you how you access that custom search steady. It seems a heap more usefull than the normal search...

Onto steel, it has its plusses and its minuses. Overall a lot really depends on the original paint system, construction, and care to keep bilges dry and chips touched up.

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Old 30-05-2016, 16:33   #9
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I keep meaning to ask you how you access that custom search steady. It seems a heap more usefull than the normal search...

Onto steel, it has its plusses and its minuses. Overall a lot really depends on the original paint system, construction, and care to keep bilges dry and chips touched up.

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Regarding your search comments above:

I think it is much better!

I see you are using the CF mobile app to access the forum. I use Safari browser, not the CF app.

I seem to recall that someone wrote me many months ago to say they could not see the Google Custom Search field while using the CF app. Since I don't use the app, I can't advise on that.

The Google Custom Search field is found, using a browser to view the forum, under the drop down menu bar item labeled "Search." The menu bar is at the top of the screen while using a browser.

Hope that helps.

P. S. I installed and tried the CF App. I looked and tried the Search function. There is only one search type, and the Google Custom Search is not available as a choice in the app.
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Old 30-05-2016, 16:49   #10
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Size is one of the delineators. After a certain size threshold, steel becomes more effective for most non-racing boats. Also, if you plan Arctic with ice steel is the choice. Dents, not holes.
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Old 30-05-2016, 17:17   #11
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Check any prospective boat's topsides with a good magnet too. The thickness of fairing I've seen slapped on some hulls borders on incredulous. The blighters rust from the inside out, too, so double check the anchor locker and deep bilges and other areas where the protective coating is subject to wear or was difficult to apply during construction.
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Old 30-05-2016, 17:26   #12
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Found steel requires minor maintenance every year or two to keep ahead of corrosion. No worry about waterlogged cores, however. Yes, steel requires more maintenance, but it is stronger.
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Old 31-05-2016, 03:40   #13
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

I have had a steel boat for 29 years but an in the process of switching to fibre glass because I am getting old and lazy and don't want to keep up with the maintenance of both an aging steel hull and an aging human body - the energy budget only stretches to one of these.


My steel hull has four fairly substantial dings and dents, two of which would have resulted in expensive repair jobs and two the loss of the vessel.


The biggest maintenance headache has been caused by the hull builder's building in of water traps and I have had to repair about six thin spots due to this cause however on the plus side the repairs were quick and cheep to do. I am addressing the problem by filling the traps with a slurry mixture of boiled linseed oil and cement - it sets hard like a rock. I am also coating all the bilges with a mixture of paraffin wax and engine oil. I know the slurry idea works but don't know whether the waxoil will at this stage. I do know that epoxy paints don't work that well without sand blasting first. The outside has been blasted and recoated once in the twenty nine years I have had the boat.


If you are inexperienced with boat handling, excessively adventurous, on a tight budget, go to risky and remote places or just in general want a tough, solid, ductile hull material between you and nature steel is your thing.


On the maintenance side I don't think it requires much more effort than any of the other hull materials however it does require vigilance in early detection and remediation if you want to avoid serious problems.
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Old 31-05-2016, 05:31   #14
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

Corrosion is your enemy with a steel boat. Good quality coatings, epoxy based, require grit blasting. Spot repairs on steel dont work well. You get to the whole job each time.

Do you know what type of steel it is made from? Anything hot rolled is to be avoided. Also check for prior repairs. Bondo, etc.

What is the interior and exterior condition like? Can you inspect the entire hull. Is there excessive corrosion? If it's too far gone it's unrepairable.

Pluses include welded strong points and chain plates, much better impact and abrasion resistance than fiberglass.

My background is in metals. I prefer fiberglass for repairability and lower maintenance than steel and aluminum. Plus who wants to repair rust? I have enough alum and stainless steel metalwork to keep me busy. Much nicer materials to work with in the marine environment.

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Old 31-05-2016, 23:12   #15
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Re: Steel hull for cruising

having had a fibreglass boat that was always leaking somewhere through the deck I really appreciate my steel boats dry decks,Rust can be an issue if you dont keep on top of it,but it probably has about the same amount of maintenance as an old glass boat.
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