Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-09-2011, 08:36   #16
Registered User
 
Artif's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 261
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artif View Post
Most commercial steel boats are built with a 25 year lifespan in mind.

Most of the worlds 100 + year old boats are wood.

As for which is better, that depends on your perspective, plastic is less maintenance but poor for the environment.
Wood is repairable, better for the environment if made responsibly and can last centuries IF maintained.
Steel is in the middle somewhere, requires maintenance and will last quite well.

See the bold statement above.

I'm sure we can all cite older boats of any material that are still going strong or needed extensive repair work, hence the personal perspective.
__________________

__________________
Artif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 08:43   #17
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,331
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

Lets keep in mind that wooden and steel yachts are very different animals compared to wooden and steel commercial ships.

Ships almost always are profit driven, yachts are almost always emotively driven.
__________________

__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 09:04   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: PNW
Boat: custom teak ketch 48' Eastwind
Posts: 607
Images: 9
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

Personally I have a problem with the fact that the hull thickness on a steel sailboat of 40 feet or so is usually only 3/16'' of an inch thick - even though I know that it is the strongest hull out there - I still like my 2'' thick teak wood hull better!
70 years old and still solid & rot free.
__________________
Geoduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 09:27   #19
Registered User
 
Delfin's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA
Boat: 55' Romsdal
Posts: 1,390
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

The comments on steel boats mystify me. Having sailed in a Cape George with wooden masts, cabin sides, deck, caprails, rub rail, rudder apron, etc. for 20 years and kept her bright I can attest to the maintenance burden of wood on boats. Other Cape Georges I saw that were built to the same high standard as mine that weren't cared for looked like wrecks after a decade or so of neglect.

Delfin was built in 1965 and is steel below and aluminum above. She was properly painted a decade ago and most peple think she was just launched. I touch up the odd nick with an airless spray gun but spend a fraction of the time on exterior maintenance on her than I did on Anthem, the Cape George. I spend more time on systems maintenace because she has 10 times the number of systems. All boats require 15 minutes a day of maintenance. If you want to wait a month doing nothing, you owe the boat 8 hours. The second law of thermodynamics rules, whatever the building material.
__________________
http://delfin.talkspot.com
When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to appeal to another cause.
- Ulmann's Razor
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 10:32   #20
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

If I was in the money pretty much no object category - high 10's of millions in net assets (I wish ) and wanted something that I could simply use once or twice a year (with a permanent professional skipper 24/7 & crew - as needed....and under boat yard management)...........

......I would go for wood (or maybe steel and wood), with plenty of historical interest and built Pre WWII. Ssomething like a 2 (or 3 masted schooner / brig - in the 90 to 150' mark ..........plus a bow sprit the length of SF Bridge

We can all dream
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 10:57   #21
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,150
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

Steel is repairable as well. Plates and frames are repaired or replaced quite often. Large wood planks of the right wood are becoming harder to find and more expensive, not to mention the environmental damage when an old growth hardwood or rain forest tree is cut down.

I would imagine that the oil used to produce plastic boats is probably less harmful than the old trees that need to be cut down to repair wood hulls.
__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 11:06   #22
Registered User
 
Artif's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 261
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

Yep oil is better than cutting down a tree and replanting with another


before you go painting me as some green eco warrior, I currently work in the Oil industry and am a confirmed petrol head with a few muscle cars and 4x4's under my belt.

But for me wood is the best most sustainable material you can build a boat out of, certainly if the design is kept simple and using locally sourced materials.
__________________
Artif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 11:17   #23
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,767
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

steel boats look worn after a few years, therefore, snotty yotties dont likee them.
they are good , IFF kept well during first owner. and second, etc, and if you can weld.
i love steelies.
i dont weld , so i have fiberglass.
wood i was taught to sail on. is hard to keep in good shape and the oldies look worn and marinas dont like those sinking in their slips. ins companies wont insure em readily.
fiberglass lasts forever and doesnt deteriorate. therefore there are very many abandoned fiberglass boats looking like hell rejected em.
boat ownership is what you make it. use what you want to use and have a great time with it. it doesnt have to look shiny and it doesnt have to have a snot club burgee running-=-- lol-- find what you can deal with and enjoy sailing it.
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 11:50   #24
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,347
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

I certainly wouldnt rule out a steel boat, at least above maybe 38 feet or so, as long as it was well and properly built and in good shape to start with. Be prepared to have a long hard time selling it if you put too much money into it though. There's nothing that has the general feel of a good wood boat, but you have to REALLY be into that and the maintenance to like it. and double ditto on selling it.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 13:28   #25
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

There's steel, and then there's steel. I wouldn't mind being seen on this rust bucket, Endeavour. I watched her sail under the Golden Gate headed west near the south tower from the Otis Spunkmeyer DC-3. Later that night I walked the dock at Pier 40, and ran my hand along her hull as I walked her length. What a day for nostalgia. We flew the plane with the red stripe

Douglas DC-3s - Otis Spunkmeyer and Transwest Air Express

America's Cup - J-Class Yacht History - from CupInfo.com

If it was me I would use the cold molded process with strips of wood wrapping around bulkheads, and frames. Light, strong, easy to work with, and repair anywhere in the world. Carry some epoxy, wood, fiber. I will be doing repair under the waterline in a couple of days. A hard hit from a log will be repaired here in Costa Rica where there are noi facilities, Golfito.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Endeavour.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	37.0 KB
ID:	31154   Click image for larger version

Name:	O.S. DC-3.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	60.8 KB
ID:	31155  

__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2011, 14:31   #26
Registered User
 
Delfin's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Anacortes, WA
Boat: 55' Romsdal
Posts: 1,390
Re: Steel or Wood construction? Why or Not

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
steel boats look worn after a few years, therefore, snotty yotties dont likee them.
47 years old, and counting....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Outside bow.jpg
Views:	82
Size:	13.1 KB
ID:	31156  
__________________
http://delfin.talkspot.com
When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to appeal to another cause.
- Ulmann's Razor
Delfin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2011, 11:30   #27
Registered User
 
SteveT's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Portishead UK
Boat: Dudley Dix Hout Bay 33
Posts: 139
Re: Steel or Wood Construction ? Why ?

I work on steel ships and own a steel sailing boat. The two are not comparable. The yacht is over 10 years old and has been lifted every 2 years. There is not a single spot of rust above or below the waterline. I have a minimum electric system with large zinc anodes attached to the hull. The hull was coated with Awlgrip from construction - an expensive but worthwhile coating.

My last ship was also 10 years old and was like all commercial ships showing rust despite having 5 men spending most of their time maintaining it. The coating used was a very good but commercially viable product costing about 25% of the cost of Awlgrip. However the main deck is 2,500 m2 which requires considerable investment from the owner to maintain. The ship came from the yard showing rust, still shows rust and will always show rust right up until the time she is scrapped in about 15 years. However with proper maintenance her hull would be good for decades but as an earlier post said it is not the hull but the systems within that become obsolete and uneconomical. Commercial ships are built of steel because it is the only material which is strong enough and cheap enough to do the job.
__________________
SteveT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 06:41   #28
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: London, UK
Boat: Helleman, 45' Steel Trawler
Posts: 92
Re: Steel or Wood Construction ? Why ?

go to holland and you will see lots of very old steel boats. if you have a grinder and a welder then it is not a big job to cut and replace. steel boats rust from the inside. it is important to keep the interior dry and to avoid salt water ingression.

the 32 year old steel on my boat seems a lot stronger than the modern stuff i use for repairs. where the stell has been kept dry, the steel is in perfect condition with just a coat of original primer. however, where condensation has been allowed to sit against the paint, or salt water has gained entry through a leaking porthole, the corrosion is evident. however, as long as it is not deep, the solution is to spot blast to bare steel and then prime and coat with a quality epoxy.

i ran into a submerged wreck and came to a complete stop from 5 knots. the keel was dented, and an easy fix. i wonder what would have happened in a similar situation in a glass boat...

i like wood too, but it requires maintenance. then again, lots of fibreglass boats seem to have their own maintenance requirements too.

how about a quality ferro cement boat? virtually no maintenance!
__________________
Honey Ryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 07:42   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: PNW
Boat: custom teak ketch 48' Eastwind
Posts: 607
Images: 9
Re: Steel or Wood Construction ? Why ?

Zee says, "Fiberglass boats last for ever...."
Ever heard of polyestermites?
I think maybe a ferro cement boat might outlast them all- but-
they sink like a stone!
__________________
Geoduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2011, 00:38   #30
Registered User
 
BillAU's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Corio
Boat: Careel 22
Posts: 452
Yes...Ferro Cement Could Well Be The Way To Go.

I read the following information on Ferro Cement Yachts at: Marine surveys, Captain Alan Hugenot San Francisco, CA Home

Quote:

ANALYSIS: It surprised me that all these concrete ships seemed to remain indestructible after 60 to 90 years and yet they had received almost no maintenance. I know from my own first hand experience that steel, aluminum or wood vessels given the same neglect would have deteriorated and disappeared in less than 20 years. So, I began to seriously re-consider and research ferro-cement, and I was amazed with what I learned.

NEARLY INDESTRUCTIBLE: Ferro-cement is nearly indestructible when properly constructed, and it is very popular as a work boat construction material in Europe and the developing world. In France, today, there are several ferro-cement vessels still afloat which were built before 1855. Outside the United States ferro-cement construction is fairly standard, and in developing countries ferro-cement is economically competitive with steel, aluminum, wood, or fiberglass construction, simply because it is less expensive than steel, aluminum and FRP, and wood is now becoming more and more scarce.

ECONOMICAL: Further, ferro-cement boat construction only requires locally available materials and a large supply of hand labor. Consequently, local semi-skilled jobs can be created using ferro-cement construction without the need for extensive tooling or welder training, and the finished boats require only minimal maintenance.

Ferro-cement?s excellent suitability for boat construction is recognized by the U.S. Navy? s, Ferro-Cement Boat Building Manual (NAVSHIPS 0982-019-1010) issued by the Naval Ships Systems Command (now NAVSEA) in 1972. This three volume text covers the entire ferro boat building process, and forms an excellent basis criteria for marine surveys of ferro-cement boats.

IMPERVIOUS TO WATER PENETRATION: The great advantage to ferrro-cement is that it is completely impervious to water penetration. It simply does not get wet on the inside, Consequently, when the mortar covering any embedded metals is of sufficient thickness (over 9 mm or 3/8?), tests have shown that the embedded metal is fully protected from chemical attack by the impervious cement, even when full immersed in a corrosive such as salt water. In other words ferro-cement is better protection than many paints.

Unfortunately, this fact is counter intuitive to most people. Most folks are not schooled in the physics and chemistry of structural cement, so they nearly all believe that cement gets wet all the way through when it is immersed in water. They never realize that the wet look is only on the surface when the cement is properly formulated.

Actually, when ferro-cement is properly mixed and formed, it becomes an impervious monolith that water cannot penetrate. As Joe .P. Hartog, the professional Naval Architect who designed many ferro-cement vessels stated clearly in a technical paper on ferro-cement which he published in 1988:

?Because well-made ferrocement is impermeable (waterproof), there should be no need for painting?. Quoted from UNDERSTANDING FERROCEMENT CONSTRUCTION, (?1988, ISBN: 0-86619-284-0)

Unfortunately, this popular mistaken belief (that water always penetrates clear through cement), creates an additional unfounded fear (which takes on the form of an urban legend along the waterfront), that the chloride (salt) dissolved in sea water will penetrate (soak) through a cement hull and attack any metals imbedded within the structure. But, this is also completely untrue.
End Quote.

After reading the above information on FC built boats, I for one will be looking at professional built FC yachts when it's time for me to step-up from my plastic 22'er to something more substantial The Captain provides lots of other helpful information on a number of boat subjects: Marine surveys, Captain Alan Hugenot San Francisco, CA Home
__________________

__________________
No-one knows but...You could be dead for a long time! So treat others as you would have them treat you! Go out in the world and enjoy your life
BillAU is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fiberglass vs Steel Hulls larryb Monohull Sailboats 24 21-08-2016 00:31
Steering Cables - Steel or Stainless Steel ? sailorchic34 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 46 14-01-2014 17:46
Steel Boats and Welding SaltyMonkey Monohull Sailboats 634 04-05-2013 02:54
Are You Scared of Wood ? CharlieCobra General Sailing Forum 116 18-03-2013 17:45
Rocna Recall - China vs Canada Quality Comparison Hogan Anchoring & Mooring 201 15-12-2011 08:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:33.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.