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Old 20-02-2021, 07:51   #31
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Re: Steel sailboat cabin extension

By the way, one question I have is how thick the steel needs to be. I am going to hunt down that book on steel boats!
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Old 20-02-2021, 15:00   #32
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Re: Steel sailboat cabin extension

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You make many points here, Caminantes, that I wish my students would learn, specifically about materialism and the benefits of a more minimalist lifestyle. I cannot get some of them to put away their cellphones, and one is even going through psychological trauma because her mother took her phone away the other day. It is insane. They all want the latest in fashion, they don't have the cash to buy it as a rule, and they don't respect other people in many cases. They rarely appreciate another person's opinion if that person is not in their own circle of friends. I expected that of junior high students, but these are high schoolers, 15-19 years old!

Anyway, to get back to the main part of the thread, I have not welded any boats together yet. I cannot offer much there, but will follow the thread in part for that adventure because I have a welder and WANT to do it! I will learn some things from your experiences I am sure!

I also will say that your philosophy of making the most of the least is very good in terms of boats, which as you note by nature are very small and confined spaces relative to structures built on land. For my wife, for instance, the boat is somewhat confining because she sees the bulkheads around her when she is talking, and she is only considering what she sees at that moment. I ask her to come to the cockpit and tell her "now look around, what a massive yard!" and she grins. It is largely in your perspective! We have a 27 foot boat, and after some extensive coastal cruising may move up to something a little bigger just to add some storage space, maybe a shower of some sort, and gain some room in the head, that sort of thing. Nothing massive. Building that thing out of steel has some attraction, but only if I can get a good feel for the process and learn more about the use of steel in boats. I have seem some really complex origami welding efforts on sailboats, and though they do work, the lines are...not fair. LOL. I met a couple from South Africa who cruised their way up to a yard in Florida USA that I was in, and they loved their "multi-faceted gem" of a vessel. She was hardy for sure, and seemed very balanced and was quite solid. You could see the welds everywhere. But they made her from scrap sheet steel, and she made it to Florida intact and without a leak. I have seen glass or wood boats that could not do that. Especially when very new or very old.

I do have an idea that would potentially keep water from a shaft log out by raising the hull penetration above the waterline a little but I am unsure if someone else has tried that (surely they must have?). It would be nice to be able to eliminate that potential hazard for boats that sit somewhere at anchor or on a mooring but have a slight drip from the shaft. Being able to weld up what was desired in the hull shape seems like a great way to eliminate those sorts of pesky issues through innovative ideas.

I will be watching your journey with great interest!
Hey SailingFan, yes, i observed such behaviour in spoiled city children from materialy rich countries around the world.

Spiritual undernourishment is endemic in some of those so called "developed" countries. Children whose parents work all day so they can have more money to buy stuff they believe they need (from material stuff to an "education" for their children)

Such parents often miss a few important points.

If themselves are submerged in unnecesary struggles to access unnecesary stuff... we can not expect that they will teach any other kind of value to their children. "You are what you have", thats what they teach. Just get a credit.

Education is like food. Home made is always best.
And we cant give our children what we dont have ourselves. Also, i personally believe this world doesnt need more highly certified and educated specialists and technicians, we have enough of those.

This world desperately needs people educated in basic values.

Those you cant get in with a degree in whatever, but at home, if you happen to be one of those lucky people that happen to actually have someone at home who cares about those values.

A very rare finding these days, if you ask me.

What can a child learn in an empty house, connected to some electronic device all day, "comnunicating" with other equally empty lost souls on a plattform who foments nothing but inmediate narcisistic satisfactions? Surely nothing worth.

Also, when everything is given to you, if everything seems to be granted all the time, if you can always get a new one of whatever.

Why would you care? Why to care about stuff, if everything is disponsable? Why to care about people, if you can make new "friends" with a click? Why to even challenge yourself, if easy and instant gratification are the coolest?

These moraly and spiritualy weak individuals can surely be helped.

Some times, if you find them at an early stage of malnourishment, and you feed them some values with patience and love, they can recover to an acceptable level of humanity, and lead a satisfactory life.

Back to the boats. An important question is for what is that we want to use the boat. Where we will keep it. How often we will be actually sailing it. How far. In which conditions. How much maintenance work are we willing to put in.

I find a metal boat offers me a sense of security.

And because i live abord and travel in it, i find the maintenance it requires fair. I take care of my boat, and she takes care of me. Reciprocal. Simple. Strong. Basic.

I also have my tools, and i like experimenting with them, learning constantly, and adapting the boat to the use i like giving to it. I also couldnt care less of what anyone else thinks of me or my boat, so aestethics are not a priority.

It also happens to be the boat i ve got for 1 euro, which perfectly fit my budget. It is what i have, and thats another good reason to like it.

So in my case, i feel a 29 feet steel boat is good enough.

I think i can relate to your wife feeling cramped inside the boat. I felt like that in all my boats, until i modified them.

Bulkheads are not structural in steel boats, at least not in my boat. So taking them away is a big plus for getting that sensation of open space.

I dont need a wall like structure so people dont see me go to toilet. Since a 10mm wall wont conceal any noise or smells that could arise, i may very well use a curtin if anything, and burn some incense or play some music on the speakers to ameliorate the athmosphere.

Or, if my visit needs privacy for doing their business, i can go to the cockpit closing the companionway hatch behind me, and leaving them in the "privacy" of the cabin.

Myself, im fine with a bucket and some water to clean myself.

In the same line, getting more inner volume by extending the cabin sideways, enhaces that sensation of space inside. It may not offer much more storage area, but it definitively offers more air to breath, and space to move beyond a corridor.

Painting clear colors will also enhance the sensation of light and space belowdecks.

For my kind of sailing, a freshwater shower is a luxury i cant really afford. I do go for swimms daily. Althought after days of salt water only, a small rinse with fresh water is a nice thing to have.

Thats why i believe its important that we are aware of what we need, and that we are aware of the implications of those needs. Their price.

As a man who lives extremely simple, i am more than happy wih my 29 feet and the comforts it offers. Girlfriends come on board and like it. But i never took one for a long journey.

I love the fact that i can go sailing now, without worrying about anything in the world.

If you plan to build your own boat, or modify an existing one, it is always a good start, to accept that you will be making "mistakes".

Those mistakes can be cheap if you see them as part of a learning process. After all, who ever learned something without incouring in countless "mistakes"?

It is also good to try and learn from other peoples mistakes. You will surely find many to learn from my own experience hahaha.

Metal is cheap to cut, weld and fair, if you have the basic tools. But its not so easy to get cruiser like finishings. Workboat finishings are enterely reachable by an amateur.

Then we have also the cuestion of finding the balance between building and sailing.

I like both, and i do both all the time. This spring i would like to get some basic things done and go sailing. But if i get myself caught in building/modifying the boat, i will be equally happy as long as i am doing it in a nice environment that i enjoy working in.

Some people seem to "suffer" the building process more than others.

For those people its maybe wise to get a ready made boat and go sailing, then maybe learn what they would like to change, and do it. Or even change for another boat.

I can also relate to the South Africa couple you mention. I love my boats, not because they look beautiful, but because i know the love i put into them. Just like i love my children, my friends, my family and myself. Not because any of us is beautiful or perfect, but because they are close to my heart.

Thats why i say i couldnt care less of what others see, when they see my boat.

But if for you, a fair look is important, you may want to learn welding to the required level before you commit to the building of your boat. Maybe try with a dinghy first?

I have the same perspective on unnecesary holes in my hull. Toilet and sink will be buckets. Smells can be effectively neutralized by covering the organic matter with ashes from the wood oven or some cellulose rich material (leafs, wood dust, etc).

I dont think i understood your idea of the shaft log. Could you explain it a little for me?

I dont like having a motor inside the boat. If i can make it work, i will keep it for the moment being, as a reasurance in case i found myselff being pushed to a leeshore. But i will try to sail in a way i hopefully dont need the motor.

After a few thousend miles and some experimenting, i would very much like to get rid of it and close the holes in the hull the motor requires.

Thank you for sharing your process here. I am very happy with these forums and the ammount of people i m meeting that are passsionate about boats and the cruising experience.
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Old 22-02-2021, 23:50   #33
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Re: Steel sailboat cabin extension

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Originally Posted by SailingFan View Post
By the way, one question I have is how thick the steel needs to be. I am going to hunt down that book on steel boats!
I wouldnt use anything heavier than 3mm plate for a sailboat cabin.

Thats my gut feeling. Thicker i guess it would make the boat top heavy.

I would tack the plating in place and then finish the welding from the outside mostly. Inside a few tacks here and there.

To get a watertight weld, strong enough, but without deforming the platting too much, and without going trough the pain of welding too much over my head.

I think is good to observe how the original cabin is built once you strip it from the linning. You can always borrow ideas from the original work.
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