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  1. #111
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Atlantic
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    14,391

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
    By the time you get to French Polynesia, the percentage of steel boats goes up drastically, especially European boats. West of there, it goes up even further.
    I didnt see any metal boats in Nuku Hiva earlier on this year and the anchorage was quite busy.

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    28,920

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
    Here is a great quote on the origamiboats site, from Paul on Opus, on the subject of inside epoxy, Paul, who has been cruising the SW Pacific in his 36 ft brentlboat since the 90s.

    Quote)

    This is the problem with a lot of the steel boats made in NZ. A guy who runs a boatyard told me that they are cutting up several steel boats a year due to rust and no buyers. I had one broker tell me that all steel boats are rusty on the inside. When I told him that mine was over 25 years old and completely rust free inside he didn't believe me. It is such a shame since so much effort goes into building a boat. This is the last place you want to make short cuts.

    >>>

    Make DAMNED SURE you have several coats of epoxy on before foaming. That is the most commons screwup on steel boats, which has caused more steel boats to have a short life than any other cause.
    ( Quote)

    The statement that ;
    "I cruised on a steel boat, which had a poor paint job, and concluded that all steel boats have poor paint jobs."
    is a lot like saying;
    " A guy robbed a bank.
    He was blond ,so I concluded that all bank robbers are blond, and all blonds are bank robbers."
    Same kind of logic.
    No ,if you cruised on a high maintenance steel boat, high maintenance due to a poor paint job, that doesn't mean ALL steel boats have poor paint jobs, resulting in high maintenance.
    No, I wont modify my posts to match the pre-concieved, wrongful conclusions of someone else's misconceptions.
    Once again you are bending things to suit your own argument.

    The reality is that there are many rubbish steel boats around as your first anecdote confirms. This means that large numbers of people have wasted their money on inadequate boats that lose all their value and end up being eyesores before they are cut up. No doubt there is a minority that are not like that, but the collective experience has resulted in a poor reputation and an unwillingness of people to risk their life savings on such boats.

    More importantly there is a plentiful supply (some would say oversupply) of well made and robust GRP boats that satisfy the needs of the majority of buyers so there is little incentive to look at anything else. There are virtually no commercial builder of pleasure boats in steel in europe apart from Holland. There it is mainly building displacement motor boats for use on the canals where the advantages of steel are most valued. Aluminium is now a material of choice for custom and semi custom build yachts in Holland and France (although very small numbers compared with GRP for semi custom). As I explained earlier there is virtually no home building in Europe.

    For those reasons I doubt that steel will ever lose its poor reputation among European yachtsmen.

    So, like you, doubt posters here will modify their posts to match your misunderstanding of the environment here. Misconceptions can work both ways.

  3. #113
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    6,794

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranona View Post
    Once again you are bending things to suit your own argument.

    The reality is that there are many rubbish steel boats around as your first anecdote confirms. This means that large numbers of people have wasted their money on inadequate boats that lose all their value and end up being eyesores before they are cut up. No doubt there is a minority that are not like that, but the collective experience has resulted in a poor reputation and an unwillingness of people to risk their life savings on such boats.

    More importantly there is a plentiful supply (some would say oversupply) of well made and robust GRP boats that satisfy the needs of the majority of buyers so there is little incentive to look at anything else. There are virtually no commercial builder of pleasure boats in steel in europe apart from Holland. There it is mainly building displacement motor boats for use on the canals where the advantages of steel are most valued. Aluminium is now a material of choice for custom and semi custom build yachts in Holland and France (although very small numbers compared with GRP for semi custom). As I explained earlier there is virtually no home building in Europe.

    For those reasons I doubt that steel will ever lose its poor reputation among European yachtsmen.

    So, like you, doubt posters here will modify their posts to match your misunderstanding of the environment here. Misconceptions can work both ways.
    Lot of truth in that for sure.

    A few thoughts - "unwillingness of people to risk their life savings" - that's one upside, you don't need very big life savings for a solid steel take you anywhere boat. But you do need practical skills ( and be time rich if cash poor..) to be completely self sufficient

    "There are virtually no commercial builder of pleasure boats in steel in europe". No wonder really, they were badly designed. IMHO. There's no way you'd sell a well designed steel long distance cruiser. For starters it wouldn't look so good next to the teak covered shiny plastic, wood on steel is guaranteed to rust sooner or later, plus no commercial outfit would build interiors which can be taken apart in half a day to get to every inch of the inside of the hull. The market for long term long distance new boats must be minuscule as it is , steel even less.

    "For those reasons I doubt that steel will ever lose its poor reputation among European yachtsmen."
    That would be the vast majority of European yachtsmen, there are a load out there drifting around the oceans of the world very happy with the benefits steel brings when you're way off the beaten track, who know the pitfalls and are capable of keeping a tip top dry bilge tough as old boots boat self sufficiently anywhere. Then when you spank into something or something spanks into you at a rate of knots it's no big deal, sooner or later that's quite likely. Probably OK round Europe or a little ARC jaunt but go far and wide you're on your own which is where steel has many fans.

    Though on here the vast majority don 't need such things so why would you not go for some plastic

  4. #114
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Daytona Beach, Florida
    Posts
    14,850

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    I heard tell there are even (shock horror) the odd wooden boats out there. Obviously they never really caught on in competition with steel.
    Sermons from my pulpit are with tongue firmly in cheek and without any warranty!

  5. #115
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranona View Post
    Once again you are bending things to suit your own argument.

    The reality is that there are many rubbish steel boats around as your first anecdote confirms. This means that large numbers of people have wasted their money on inadequate boats that lose all their value and end up being eyesores before they are cut up. No doubt there is a minority that are not like that, but the collective experience has resulted in a poor reputation and an unwillingness of people to risk their life savings on such boats.

    More importantly there is a plentiful supply (some would say oversupply) of well made and robust GRP boats that satisfy the needs of the majority of buyers so there is little incentive to look at anything else. There are virtually no commercial builder of pleasure boats in steel in europe apart from Holland. There it is mainly building displacement motor boats for use on the canals where the advantages of steel are most valued. Aluminium is now a material of choice for custom and semi custom build yachts in Holland and France (although very small numbers compared with GRP for semi custom). As I explained earlier there is virtually no home building in Europe.

    For those reasons I doubt that steel will ever lose its poor reputation among European yachtsmen.

    So, like you, doubt posters here will modify their posts to match your misunderstanding of the environment here. Misconceptions can work both ways.
    My last steel boat I built for $4500 and sold for $23,000. The first 31 I built was sailing and being lived aboard for around $7K, and sold for $18,000.
    A friend started building a Bristol channel cutter in 1982, and after a year of work and $3K spent on the mold ,he priced the fibreglassing materials for it, and was quoted $12K. Then he watched me build the hull, decks, cabin, wheelhouse, rudder, keels and skeg for a 31, in under three weeks for $3500. He abandoned the plastic boat and built the steel31. The owner was quoted $80 K for the same job, from a commercial shipyard.
    The last guy to get such a quote was quoted $250K for the same job, a few years ago. I think he ended up paying around $17 K for a back yard builder.
    One back yard builder was paying $20 a month for a building site, with the use of a shop full of tools . You just don't do that with aluminium. Two aluminium boats built near here, paid $600 a month for a building site, indoors.
    When steel for a 36 was around $6 K, the aluminium was $20K. Aluminiun welding is far more expensive, and you don't get to do it in a backyard in all conditions . Aluminium welds are far easier to screw up, and you only get 60% strength, compared to 100% for steel.
    Steel for the shell of a 36 is around $9K these days. That wont come remotely close to the bill for fibreglass.
    The mold alone for fibreglass can reach around $300K.
    The reason fibreglass is so popular is it is perfect for leaving unattended in marina 11 months a year, which is how 95% of them are used . For full time rough use in remote areas, their shortcomings start to show, in a big way.
    One reason steel has not become more popular is the grossly outdated building methods people building them cling to, pushing the labour costs to extreme heights.
    Colvin estimates 1,000 hours for a hull and decks, something my methods have let me do in under 100 hours. I have put a hull together in two days, and a shell; hull, decks, cabin, wheelhouse, cockpit keels and skeg in a week.
    Yes ,in the anecdotes mentioned, doing it wrong gets bad results ,just like with any material. Paul's proper paint job, perfect after 25 years ,is demonstration of what results you get when you paint it properly, and a comparison between that and not painting the inside adequately.
    Paul said people building steel boats where he built his, said my methods would have easily saved them about a year in building time.
    What does that work out to at $shop rates?
    Most of my clients come from having owned and lived aboard plastic boats, and all consider the move to steel a major upgrade. No way would any of them consider going back to plastic.
    Yes, if I were boatless, I would definitely buy a cheap plastic boat ,until I could upgrade to steel.
    The September issue of Yachting monthly listed 3 people on one boat, and 4 on another, losing their lives to the fragility of plastic boats. Having hit some big, solid things in mid ocean at night, I definitely would not be here, had I been in plastic. Probably true of the ever growing list of "missing at sea" cruisers, posted on many forums.
    Yes, back yard boat building has dropped off drastically around here, due to the glut of cheap plastic boats, adequate for weekend and fair weather cruising, and aging demographics making many more good steel boats available ,but for a new, custom made boat ,the "hire a pro "to put together one in your backyard still remains the only affordable option, unless you are rich ,which very few cruisers I have met have been .
    I have replaced a soggy plywood cabin top ,on a steel Colvin Gazelle, with much lighter aluminium, with good results.
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 12-11-17 at 00:54.

  6. #116
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin View Post
    I heard tell there are even (shock horror) the odd wooden boats out there. Obviously they never really caught on in competition with steel.
    When wood was considered your only option ,crossing an ocean in a small boat was considered a "death defying stunt", which resulted in writing a book about it, more often than not.

  7. #117
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    (Quote)
    There's no way you'd sell a well designed steel long distance cruiser. For starters it wouldn't look so good next to the teak covered shiny plastic, wood on steel is guaranteed to rust sooner or later, plus no commercial outfit would build interiors which can be taken apart in half a day to get to every inch of the inside of the hull. The market for long term long distance new boats must be minuscule as it is , steel even less.
    (Quote)
    Mine keep selling, usually fairly quickly, for far more than their owners have into them .Plans keep selling, along with books, to very experienced cruisers, with no interest in plastic.
    Most of those who owned them, held onto them for several decades, with no interest in selling them, (until they got too old).
    As Paul said, a teak deck is a big maintenance time bomb, with no practical, functional advantage whatsoever, in the long run, a big mistake. They only look good to those who don't realize that. Not to those looking for practical ,functional values; more functional than a shiny , pretentious exterior.
    As Paul pointed out, get enough epoxy inside, and you have no reason to take any interior apart.

  8. #118
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    UK, Greece and Spain
    Posts
    16,790

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
    My last steel boat I built for $4500 and sold for $23,000. The first 31 I built was sailing and being lived aboard for around $7K, and sold for $18,000.
    Just to confirm are you saying you built a boat, ready to sail away for $4,500 ? What size was it, I assume it had engines, mast, rigging sails etc?

  9. #119
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caribbean
    Posts
    1,707

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by jordanbasset View Post
    Just to confirm are you saying you built a boat, ready to sail away for $4,500 ? What size was it, I assume it had engines, mast, rigging sails etc?
    The guy talks nonsense. Unless you are prepared to build and live with a worthless piece of crap then you cant even buy a new engine for most boats for $4500. So is he is saying he built just the hull which might be possible but I suspect the steel alone would cost more than $4500 for the hull and deck without even lifting your angle grinder or welder.
    If you want to build a boat on a par with a nice grp yacht then apart from the hull every other item is the same. The costs will likley be the same to buy a grp hull and fit it out as apposed to building in steel from scratch. To buy all the components that make a yacht will cost a small fortune and you dont have the purchasing power of the large yacht builders. It makes no economic sense to build your own boat whether in steel of grp unless you are looking for something that is unavailable on the market. Far, far cheaper to buy a secondhand grp boat and rebuild it than start from scratch in steel as others have said.
    If you have a look on some of the American forums this guy gets the same lack of respect for his thoughts on boat building as he is getting here. Saying things like he built a boat for $4500 just gives it away that he is an idiot in my opinion.
    If you bend a few sheets of metal to form a dish and weld them together and it floats, is that a boat?

  10. #120
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Steel boat as a long-term liveaboard (in a warm(er) climate).

    Quote Originally Posted by geem View Post
    The guy talks nonsense. Unless you are prepared to build and live with a worthless piece of crap then you cant even buy a new engine for most boats for $4500. So is he is saying he built just the hull which might be possible but I suspect the steel alone would cost more than $4500 for the hull and deck without even lifting your angle grinder or welder.
    If you want to build a boat on a par with a nice grp yacht then apart from the hull every other item is the same. The costs will likley be the same to buy a grp hull and fit it out as apposed to building in steel from scratch. To buy all the components that make a yacht will cost a small fortune and you dont have the purchasing power of the large yacht builders. It makes no economic sense to build your own boat whether in steel of grp unless you are looking for something that is unavailable on the market. Far, far cheaper to buy a secondhand grp boat and rebuild it than start from scratch in steel as others have said.
    If you have a look on some of the American forums this guy gets the same lack of respect for his thoughts on boat building as he is getting here. Saying things like he built a boat for $4500 just gives it away that he is an idiot in my opinion.
    If you bend a few sheets of metal to form a dish and weld them together and it floats, is that a boat?
    Exactly, it's just an attention-seeking wind-up merchant, don't waste electrons on him. I've had steel, plastic and have now got wood (oo er missus), the guy is a bit mad in my opinion..
    regards P
    Iceni barbari sunt

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