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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    SPAIN,Galicia
    Posts
    12,685

    Default Steelboats

    I had a steel hull and deck built which I fitted out.Fairly inexpensive way to get afloat but the hull. And deck are only 25% of the whole thing still if non yacht type materials used in interior fit out and. A keen eye kept on boat jumbles a proper seaworthy boat can be got float.Fertan was an initial error and so where built in tanks.Interior treated with car underbody stuff that worked and interior rust was not a problem.Decide what standard you want to achieve the less yacht finish the cheaper and quicker.Sold the boat and it’s still going 30 yeRs on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    21,257

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Nice to hear that properly made and maintained, that they will last.

    It does seem though, that all over the world, so many marinas and anchorages have elderly rust buckets rotting gently away and are iredeemable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    1,719

    Default Re: Steelboats

    You need to hook up with Brent Swain (http://www.ybw.com/forums/member.php?48191-Brent-Swain), he is the universally acknowledged expert in all things steelboat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    SPAIN,Galicia
    Posts
    12,685

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Brent who?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Oxfordshire, Gosport and Wellington New Zealand.
    Posts
    8,214

    Default Re: Steelboats

    After the previous steel boat thread and the Island Packet thread where our erstwhile steel boat evangalist chipped in I decided to take a look during a 5 mile trip up Portsmouth Harbour to Wicor.

    I looked for steel yachts on moorings, alongside on mid harbour pontoons and on half tide berths. I saw 12. I suspect there were more, but First Mate needed to keep to the channel and three old RN supply ships are moored in the upper harbour and each masks up to 40 or so boats.

    In the same distance there must have been five or six hundred GRP yachts. Two of the steel yachts were in very good order, no rust streaks, shiny topsides and hulls. Five were OK'ish, some rust streaks, tatty paint and a general air of neglect/lack of TLC. The remaining five were, in my view-and I have plenty of experience with steel boats-fast becoming not worth the candle.

    The GRP yachts were also a mixed bag. Some, just splashed and put on their moorings were like new-polished, new canvas, teak trim dollied up and were a credit the the hard work that had kept them in top order. The majority were good, many showing fresh antifoul and clean hull waterlines, tidy without being exeptional.

    About forty were neglected-green with algae-especially the canvas- dirty bootlines and weed encrusted hulls, gentily shabby with neglect and a lack of
    TLC.

    Around a dozen were not long for this world, abuse and years of not being used and maintained was clearly showing.

    What can we glean from this purely subjective study?

    Well, it is very clear that GRP yacts do much, much better without care and attention. Many of the GRP yachts we passed on our harbour tour were approaching 30 years old, some even older. old Colvic, Westerly and Moody models which are easily recognisable. I have no idea how old the steel yachts were.

    To sum up, if you mix steel and seawater you will, to some degree depending on the quality of finish inside and out, get rust and corrosion. If the yacht is in use daily as a floating home the opportunities for maintenance are good-things can be dealt with quickly and easily. After all, steel is a forgiving material. If, as is clear from my observations, this maintenance is neglected, things go downhill fast. Possibly to the extent where it is not worth the time and effort to restore the vessel.

    GRP, however, does not corrode. Even after severe neglect it can be polished to a good finish, or if the gelcoat has gone beyond that, it can be painted. Per capita, far fewer GRP boats were in the " last legs " category.

    Another major point which has been bought up by others is that when the hull and superstructure of a yacht-of any material-is built, it is not even halfway finished.

    Steel boatbuilders who build their own vessels and fit them out with used bits scourced from other yachts need not crow about how cheap their boat was, because it is not like for like.

    Not everyone aspires to a home made steel yacht. I did, I have one in NZ.

    Compared to my GRP yachts the maintenance keeps me very busy indeed..............................
    Last edited by rotrax; 14-04-18 at 22:26.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,365

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Yes plastic boats are far better , for leaving on a mooring. When you consider full time use in rugged conditions, or collisions with hard stuff at night in mid ocean, or uncharted reefs, steel does far better . I have put together over 3 dozen of them, and have done many Pacific crossings in mine( a Pacific crossing can be the equivalent of over 3 Atlantic crossings, both in distance and remoteness). I have lived aboard , cruised in, maintained and and built steel boats for over 40 years.
    Yes, teak is a big mistake , and a maintenance time bomb.
    Yes get it right, and steel can be very low maintenance ,get it wrong ,and it can be a night mare.
    On my first arrival in the Marquesas, I met a steel Aussie boat finishing a circumnavigation. I asked them about maintenance. They said, before Durban, it was a night mare.In Durban they blasted her, and gave her a heavy buildup of epoxy tar. After that ,maintenance was minimal.
    Around here, home made is usually of far higher quality than commercially made.
    Search origami boats yahoo groups. Then pick home, origami boats for many photos of "home made boats."
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 14-04-18 at 23:58.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    17,185

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by capnsensible View Post
    Nice to hear that properly made and maintained, that they will last.

    It does seem though, that all over the world, so many marinas and anchorages have elderly rust buckets rotting gently away and are iredeemable.
    Having sailed GRP yachts for 30 years, on a sea where steel leisure boats were frowned upon, to a degree, (generally on the basis that they were at great risk of rusting away).... I now have a steel narrowboat, on the canal system, where “plastic boats” are seen as the poor cousin, and weak compared to steel.
    Ironic and amusing

    Plenty of 20 to 30 year old steel narrowboats in good condition knocking around, and a few rusting hulks
    Narrowboating From Stretford!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newport IoW
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard10002 View Post
    Having sailed GRP yachts for 30 years, on a sea where steel leisure boats were frowned upon, to a degree, (generally on the basis that they were at great risk of rusting away).... I now have a steel narrowboat, on the canal system, where “plastic boats” are seen as the poor cousin, and weak compared to steel.
    Ironic and amusing

    Plenty of 20 to 30 year old steel narrowboats in good condition knocking around, and a few rusting hulks
    I have a 123 year-old iron sailing boat, she doen't have any rust

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    12,568

    Default Re: Steelboats

    The difference between steel boats and GRP is they don't turn into wind in a gust, they don't broach and don't surf which is why we bought one for long distance sailing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    West of Scotland
    Posts
    2,991

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by KellysEye View Post
    The difference between steel boats and GRP is they don't turn into wind in a gust, they don't broach and don't surf which is why we bought one for long distance sailing.
    That's a function of design - not the material they are made of.

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