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Old 09-02-2012, 16:31   #16
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

Wait a minute. For the small amount of welding you have mentioned why bother buying and toting around expensive equipment you will only use infrequently? For the amount of work you mention simply hire a professional and be done with it!
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Old 09-02-2012, 16:36   #17
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

I am not a welder and do not know the technical details, but I can tell you without a doubt that boatyards around the world vary from having almost no infrastructure to being as good as or better than the finest boatyard you can find in the USA, all within the same country. Even within the USA it is not common to have metalworking expertise and/or equipment onsite, and what boatyards can do varies from nearly nothing to almost everything. Even for the use of various hand tools I have encountered everything from needing 100 feet + of heavy extension cords to needing nothing. If what you need is critical, you will probably have to hunt up a particular yard that can handle what you need. One data point: I have witnessed and talked to cruisers in Cartagena, Colombia, getting very high-end metal work done, so I assume the yards can handle everything you speak of.
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Old 09-02-2012, 16:47   #18
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

another option is to hire a welder, plasma cutter, compressor etc as needed. Around my neck of the woods, at least, there is no shortage of hire businesses
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Old 09-02-2012, 16:54   #19
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

Just use JB Weld man!
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Old 09-02-2012, 20:32   #20
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

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Originally Posted by msponer View Post
Hi Guys,H

We recently purchased our first metal boat.

I plan to do the metal work and welding myself. The boat is aluminum, with the deck, hull, and keel between 6-12mm, but with everything I plan to do on 8mm plate or less.

I am planning to bring a TIG machine, but have a few questions:

- What kind of electricity is available in the boat yards of the world? Is 220/240 volt 1-phase the standard? Are the plugs usually high enough amps to drive a welder? I can get a more expensive TIG machine that will eat anything from 90-400 volts (or something like that), but... I hesitate to bring a very expensive welder on a boat, if a lower priced 220/240 volt machine would not limit me too much in where I can do maintenance.

- How long of an extension cord should I bring? If I haul out and say that I am going to be welding, can they usually put me within, say, 50' of an outlet? Or do I need to have something more like a 100' thick cable?

- Is Argon available in most reasonably sized cities? I'm guessing I should bring one small-ish tank, and then plan on it being easy to refill (and not so heavy as to be easily carried in a cab or bus...)?

- Are the gas tanks the same everywhere, or do some countries have different threads?

- Is there a common set of electrical plugs that I should bring with me, or do people just buy one locally, figure out which is which, and splice it onto their own cable?

- I am hoping to bring an inverter welder, since I am now thoroughly spoiled by how clean their arc is, and I believe they are more flexible about the hz of the local power grid. Has anyone had a problem with the hz being different from what the machine is made for? How clean is the power in random boat yards-- do you get many dips or small brown outs, is it better to weld very early in the morning or in the late afternoon when the workers aren't doing anything?

- Is welding by the owner commonly allowed in enough boat yards that I can do the work myself? Some of the 'higher class' boat yards in America won't allow you to do anything below the waterline-- that is 'their' domain. Since this is my first metal boat, I don't know if there is also a thought among 'high class' boat yards about an owner welding, and if they have a different take on above or below the waterline-- is it common to allow welding on deck by the owner? I'm thinking in the context of boatyards along the coconut milk run, and not in America.

The only immediate need for the boat is to close up a coke can sized hole in the keel, another hole on the deck, and add plates to screw a few padeyes for the boom brake and cockpit tethers. Eventually I want to close some thru hulls, but will wait until we figure out our equipment (we're getting rid of the AC and genset, but might add a watermaker, and etc). Once we bring the boat up to our basic seaworthiness standards, and if we feel like doting on the boat more, we might also fabricate some kind of solar panel bimini thing. So-- knock on wood-- nothing major, maybe a couple minutes under the hood for each small project (in case this makes a difference in what various yards will accept).

Thank you!
HOLY CRAP DUDE, YOU BETTER BE A BOILER PLATE CERTIFIED WELDER, IT AINT THAT EASY, I KNOW. IT JUST TOOK 23 DAYS TO REPAIR A BOAT FOR THE U.S.A.F., AND IT LEAKED, AND YES WELDS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY ARE WATER PROOF DO NOT PAS THE DYE TEST, BIG TROUBLE, PAY SOMEONE TO DO IT , WE HAVE A SLOW ECONOMY, DONT BE CHEAP.
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Old 09-02-2012, 20:36   #21
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

mmmmmm that's weird?
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Old 09-02-2012, 21:15   #22
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

The modern Internet is so enormous and amazing. Absolutely everyone is on it.

Why are we sitting around exchanging quanta of knowledge in such precise terms within little sub categories of sub niches? Isn't there something better to be doing with this tool, expanding our consciousness outside of the well worn patterns of thought in our brains, connecting with the full range of humanity, dancing with the variety of human experience and consciousness? I believe it is well past time to bring on the weirdos, the drunks, the odd, the incoherent, and the all caps. We are all brothers, we will all die, we all poop and eat and love and pontificate quanta at each other. So let us embrace for a moment and love the human condition in it's entirety.
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Old 09-02-2012, 21:36   #23
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post
The modern Internet is so enormous and amazing. Absolutely everyone is on it.

Why are we sitting around exchanging quanta of knowledge in such precise terms within little sub categories of sub niches? Isn't there something better to be doing with this tool, expanding our consciousness outside of the well worn patterns of thought in our brains, connecting with the full range of humanity, dancing with the variety of human experience and consciousness? I believe it is well past time to bring on the weirdos, the drunks, the odd, the incoherent, and the all caps. We are all brothers, we will all die, we all poop and eat and love and pontificate quanta at each other. So let us embrace for a moment and love the human condition in it's entirety.
What i meant was i replied to world but my reply never came up just a re-post of worlds comment.... weird?
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Old 09-02-2012, 21:51   #24
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
What i meant was i replied to world but my reply never came up just a re-post of worlds comment.... weird?
Oh. I thought you were saying it's time to be weird, and so I went with it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 21:56   #25
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

Hahaha embrace away, what design is your boat?
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Old 09-02-2012, 23:16   #26
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

Boat is a one off expedition style thing, a 48' flush deck pilothouse aft cockpit lift keel cutter. Very macho: ginormous exposed ribs in the interior, transom hung rudder on pintle and gudgeons, rigging and mast section oversized to near ridiculouslessness, and etc. So... exactly my kind of weird, and I know I am weird, so I think I am head over heels in love. But, of course, like all boats, not perfect. A somewhat shady electrical system, a few very dubious equipment choices and installations, a few leaks on the deck-- overall, less attention to the safety and seaworthiness basics than my values, but I can fix that. With a special kid, I want a chain of mistakes to be a mile long before there's a need to abandon ship and try to climb up a rope net on the side of a tramp freighter. But... the core of who she is nearly exactly congruent with the sailing style I've evolved to, and so I am willing to put up with a lot of future heartbreak, if necessary, if there is entropy and chaos that I do not yet know about. I won't feel like I am throwing anything away, and will fix her out of love. Which is really important to me, as a mindspace, because boats always disappoint, eventually, and there has to be a love there, to put up with it and not hate the thing you are travelling within and that occupies so much of yourself.
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:32   #27
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

Many years ago I built a gatepost at an evening class - it was two pieces of metal tube welded together and a latch. The latch quickly fell off .

Having set out my credentials , and given the comments in this thread (by OP and others) if one was willing to forgo the ability to weld emergency repairs in the hull ..........then for me the compromise would be to batch up the modifications one wishes to make and either get them done proffesionally (under your supervision?) or borrow / hire the kit to do so yourself - wherever and whenever you come accross somewhere that has the kit / skills to do that (and you have enough work to be done to make that worthwhile)......even if you have to sail somewhere specific for that.

BTW most of the welding burns have gone - apparently welded metal stays hot to the touch for quite some time .
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:18   #28
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Re: Welding in Boatyards of The World...

I think i saw that on a bumper sticker in Minniap,St.Paul or was that San Fran ? just like my Grandmother always said, if you look hard enough you will find a bugger,Friendly advise,... dont make your world so complicated with deep thought on things you have no control over, you will give your self high blood psi in an imperfect world, good luck.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:57   #29
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As a general comment. It's hard to find marinas that allow welding to take place, outside a controlled environment. Usually they will not let you do it yourself. The more upmarket the marina he less likely it will happen. GRP owners are usually freaked out and rightly so about welding and grinding nearby.

Commercial boatyards and fishermans repair areas are usually ok with it. But these can sometimes be hard to access and may not allow you to do the work yourself.

So of your tied up along a few GRP boats don't expect to start welding and grinding !

Dave
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Old 10-02-2012, 13:30   #30
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While all the above in the thread may be true, outside of the us i have had no trouble sourcing power or yards that allow welding. In south africa, in several locations in brazil and now in peakes at trinidade.

What i have found difficult is finding someone who i trust to work below the waterline. If you have the space, take your gear.

Maybe im crazy but i have a full carpentry workshop minus fullsize table saw, stowed under the two aft bunks. Were talking planers, joiners, mine bandsaw, hand planes, mini drill press etc. And by full i mean i can do a full fitout including lamination to superyacht standards with the equip i have on board.

If you know your gear you can make judiscious and efficient choices that do not take up a large amount of room. You would never know they are there and hey i have to balance out all that chain up foward anyway

But hey thats the crazy thing about wood and carpenters we love taking 20 tools to make a single cut.
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