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Old 13-08-2015, 04:44   #1
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Questions from a newbie....

So far my only experience has been sailing a 33' GRP sloop rigged Najad as a Day Skipper (on the Solent). I am currently looking at a 35' steel Schooner. (My local area is now Bristol Channel)

Questions...
What differences do I need to be especially aware of?

What resources can anybody recommend to aid the cross-over and stop me looking too much like a plonker?

Is this a 'step too far'?

Thanks in advance

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Old 13-08-2015, 05:12   #2
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

G'day Miss Pebble,

Simple questions, complicated answers.

The standard search function on the forum is a bit pedestrian; so the google search or an advanced search from an external search engine is much more likely to turn up what you're actually looking for. This community has probably already hashed out most topics under the sun, some of them even related to boat cruising. There are lots of links but the best resource here is the experience of the members. Patience, persistence, humour and curiosity will get you through, and you are sure to meet folks from your local area and also those sharing a similar outlook.

Being naturally gifted with genius has biased me toward junk-rigged bilge-keeled steel mono-hull schooners, so I can confidently reassure you anything else is simply expensive rubbish masquerading as a vessel and maliciously placed by perverse cretins at the sea/air/land interface to make life entertaining. Dissenting opinions are permitted. Have fun, and welcome aboard!

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Old 13-08-2015, 05:12   #3
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Hi Nikki and welcome,
We live on a narrowboat near bath but also have a sailing boat currently in New Zealand. I sometimes work in Bristol. Were you thinking of living in the harbour?

Can you give any more detail of what you're thinking or wondering about? I wouldn't want to offend you with information you might find obvious.

What is it that concerns you? Is it your skills or the suitability of the boat? Perhaps a link to the advert if so, or a little bit about what you want the boat for?

All the best,
Ruth
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Old 13-08-2015, 05:36   #4
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

The question I would ask is why steel?? It's much harder to maintain than fiberglass and all the low areas where it's hard to get to tend to have water sit in them and develop rust than hole where very difficult to repair. With good old fiberglass none of that is a issue
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:00   #5
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

One of the main differences that you are going to deal with is the massively different tides! Bristol sometimes deals with 11 meters of tide whereas you probably used to around 5m on the Solent. Clearly then the draft of the new boat is a real consideration and may be a compromise to the boats seaworthiness if you go too shallow.
Personally - unless you like 'chipping and painting' I would go for GRP construction rather than steel!
I'm a Bath based sailor with a 42' sloop in Plymouth - much easier for getting to some interesting cruising grounds and hopping across the Chanel!
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Old 13-08-2015, 09:01   #6
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

No difference in handling- handling a 33' or a 35' or a 50' is the same- you should learn the particular behavior of this vessel and there you go.
Be aware of heavy electrolysis where you leave your boat for long periods.
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Old 13-08-2015, 11:14   #7
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Two issues come to mind. The first one is that in my opinion, 35'is a little too small to rate a schooner rig. As far as steel construction goes, it depends on the quality of the build. I owned a36' Van de Stadt built in Grave, Netherlands for years that was built in 1959 of corten steel. I had a bronze chipping hammer that I'd spend about five minutes around the"horn timber"every time I'd haul out. I did take the scuppers down to bare steel and coal tar epoxy them before painting them and that was the end of any rusting problems. In my experience, steel hull rust from the inside out. If you want a schooner rig I'd suggest you go to at least a 38 footer.I knew Tom Colvin and love his junk rigged hard chine schooners. As far as grp hulls, depends on construction.
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Old 13-08-2015, 12:31   #8
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manos1955 View Post
No difference in handling- handling a 33' or a 35' or a 50' is the same- you should learn the particular behavior of this vessel and there you go.
Be aware of heavy electrolysis where you leave your boat for long periods.
No difference in handling between a 33' and a 50' boat? This is not true at all it is a huge difference in almost every way.
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:40   #9
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; } So many replies so quickly - I am liking this forum already

I am looking to have a mobile home with a carbon footprint as low as possible. As a live-aboard my home needs to be spacious (!) and comfortable. Originally I looked at a Nauticat 33 but, due to finances beyond my control, I started looking at similar designs.
I plan to learn in the Bristol Channel and Estuary on the grounds that if I can deal with those conditions most of the rest will be easier. Next I plan to circumnavigate the UK - something I have dreamed of doing for some years. After that hit the Med...... Politicians permitting. I have no time limits and can work on board.


"Iris" is currently on a pontoon at Channel Yacht Sales in Bristol Harbour. To my untrained eye she has been repainted inside and out, woodwork is sweet and polished (waxed/oiled), there is no green on any of the ropes that I could see, new standing rigging, the masts were clean and all the sails are still in the bags from cleaning/maintenance.
She is 35 feet long and the aft mast is the bigger than the forward one. Am I wrong to call her a schooner?
I did not try to remove the sole when I went to see her, but I intend to stand at the shoulder of the surveyor as he does his thing and ask questions.
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:41   #10
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; } Point taken with the rust...and how serious and spendy it could be. I am also aware that I fell off my first motorcycle and am not naive enough to think that I wont have 'incidents' as I learn to use it. My thought are that it would withstand an impact better than GRP (Was it Timothy West who said that boating is a contact sport? maybe it was just narrowboating!! )

Thing is, this boat ticks all the boxes - size, fit-out, *price*. I dont want to reject it out of hand because of my ignorance (of two masts and also steel construction).

I am aware of my own ignorance and inexperience as a sailor. I started on Optimists and graduated eventually to racing Lazers. In the past I have worked in the mountains aiding Search and Rescue, taught scuba and skippered a dive boat in the Caribbean and been a motorcycle instructor-trainer. I am also well aware of my own mortality

Thank you for your replies - and please keep the info coming
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:55   #11
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Here are the two currently active steel threads:


Steel Hull?
Steel Hull Insulation

Of particular note would be the posts featuring surveyors, and what can happen if they miss something. Why was the boat painted? It pays to check, check again; trust but verify!

http://thecoastalpassage.com.au/rust.html

One thing we haven't covered yet is environmental friendliness of steel. At the end of its life it returns to iron ore, either as oxide as it once was, or recycled into something new. Fibreglass is essentially forever, unless it's burned; the CO2 is just plant food, but some of the other stuff in it might not be so healthy....
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Old 13-08-2015, 16:06   #12
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Howdy Nikki!

I like the look of the boat in the photo you posted.

My friendly suggestion: do a Google Custom search of this forum on term "steel" and begin reading all of the many posts on the subject here in this forum.

Look for the search menu up at the top menu bar of the forum, then use the Google Custom search field.

Good luck!
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Old 13-08-2015, 16:20   #13
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Nikki, I took a quick look at the boat IRIS.

It looks very nice and I find the style and finish and condition appealing.

It appears well maintained.

I like the pilot House.
I like the stove in the salon, to warm it up.
I like the bow thruster, should prove handy.
Overall, it looks like a nice Dutch built steel boat.
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Old 13-08-2015, 19:41   #14
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

hi Nikki,Could write a book on this subject. I agree with the other posts that 35ft is too small to justify a schooner rig. The other problem is it's likely the boat will be very slow sailing as steel boats tend to be very heavy for their length at that length due to the minimum plate thickness you can build with. Some say speed doesnt matter but trust me it's nice. Very few cruisers go from a modern fin keel design to an old full keel design but most go the other way. Fiberglass is a lot easier to deal with. I think with that design you would do a lot more motoring than sailing. Yes the steel will be better in a collision if the colliding boat is a similar size but the object is to avoid collisions so unless you are going to be in ice ridden waters why put up with steels drawbacks. Sounds like with your life experience you would have no trouble rising to the challenge of sailing. The sailing dinghy experience will serve you well as you will have a feel for it. After experiencing every usual type of hull material thru ownership or crewing my choice would be FRP/GRP but I'd like to try titanium if I was a multi-millionaire!
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Old 13-08-2015, 21:23   #15
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Re: Questions from a newbie....

Having owned a steel boat, and sailed on a couple of schooners, I would say that if the boat was well designed, and the rig was well designed, then it can be fine. The thing to check on is that many designers that go with traditional looks , also go with very under rigged boats. If you can find the stats for the original design, and determine if it is under rigged, or has enough sail area, then you can decide. A well designed 35 foot steel boat can be similar in weight to a FRP boat (OK maybe not a Hunter or Beni) and sail very well. I sailed on a 30 foot schooner (Art Hammonds Wanderlore) and it was one of the sweetest boats I ever sailed on. He criss crossed the Pacific for years on that boat, and turned in good passages. Check on the designer, and if it was built to the original specs (many amature steel boat builders, overbuild, and take a good design and ruin it). Make sure you get a good surveyor. If the seller or the broker recommends a surveyor, run the other way. Best of luck. Grant.
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