Hello Band Gun,
It was nice to read of your hopes and aspirations concerning this boat
If I can give you just one tip, it would be to check VERY carefully for rust...
I owned a Corten steel
yacht for 18 years. I got it from almost new when she had professionally made with care from 10 mm-4 mm plate, and had all the best sandblasting and coatings available. In turn, I looked after it carefully and kept rust at bay whenever I noticed any.
Along the way, I had many people tease me...."Rust never sleeps," "you can only ever really get 15-18 years out of a steel yacht," etc. I would stubbornly counter this by refering to all the yachts I knew of that survived horrific strandings, whilst we all know how less strong vessels quickly get smashed, cracked and pulverised. My motto was "if it ain't steel, it ain't real."
As the years passed, I noticed how I had to do more and more work
to keep up with the rust. While I was busy at this, my friends seemed to need less work to keep their wood/glass/aluminum/ferro yachts neat.
Long story short, I sold
the vessel on her 18th birthday. It was great to relax and be able to stop fighting rust!
If you look at steel yachts for sale
, you will notice over and over again....they are generally being sold
at 15 years of age or a little more.
With a fishing
boat, I realise you would be dealing with thicker plate, and maybe more modern coating systems. However, on the downside, you can be certain the owners worked it hard with little time and money
spent on combating rust and corrosion
as it silently eats away in dingy fish
holds and slime-ridden limber-holes. A bit of chipping, and another coat of paint
would likely be all that was done here and there.
If you still want steel, I'd spend the money
hauling her out and having her hull
thickness checked all over. I've watched teams do this on steel yachts with their measuring gysmos.The entire hull
gets external chalked thickness readings about every two square feet, and the overall result is simple to assess. Apparantly the most sophisticated systems ONLY measures steel; they don't get tricked with faired filler over dodgy, thin plate.They do not need antifouling removed either.
Maybe you could modify your dream to a simpler medium rather than steel? I read some years ago that in a world-wide assessment that triple diagonal kauri yacht hulls overall have been found to be the least-demanding medium for maintenance
Keep following your dream by all means, but I think you must be prepared for the rust demon if you go with steel.
Do any other steel yacht owners have any better stories than I encountered? (I hear that Corten steel is no longer highly recommended for yachts..It is really still best suited for bridges. Maybe that was some of my problem? Having said that, how would you REALLY know the exact grade of steel used on an old work boat, unless the drawings and documents state the quality?)
Never the less, I don't regret any of it! I loved my vessel dearly, and she gave me two fine circumnavigations.