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Thread: Steelboats

  1. #1431
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Rather than trail through the pages of for and against! Are there any photos of Brents state of the art steel yachts, with close ups of his "Coded " welds?
    Just asking!

  2. #1432
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    Dec 2010
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowlyButSurely View Post
    This is the crux of the whole debate. Others have different experience from yours and you have not personally experienced the benefits of a steel boat, only the maintenance of an old one.
    As I have not hit a whale, sunken container or a reef, no, I have not experienced the benifits of a steel boat. Apart from inherent strength, are there any others?

    As I go through my sailing adventures I ensure that I am unlikely to hit a charted reef, rock or obstuction by basic navigation, seamanship and keeping watch. Sunken cotainers and whales are an intangible. After our previous life racing motorcycles, the risks, to First Mate and I, appear pretty small.

    The benifit I have recieved from my Steel Hartly 32, built from corten steel in 1986, was the cost. Even in NZ, a sailing area ideal for steel boats, it could not be sold by the previous owner for even modest money.

    I stole it really, but I was the only potential deal he had had in two seasons of trying to sell. The fact that we would not make a sandwich or a cup of coffee aboard for over two weeks - untill we had cleaned the interior and galley area and sanitized and disinfected it - might give a clue as to what we took on. It was disgusting.

    I am now assured that the work we carried out earlier this year is still looking good, no rust streaks from the re-done windows and appatures.
    We will have her hauled in early November, clean the bottom, check the anodes, clean the prop and poke the mussels out of the thru-hull intakes and paint the hull-where we have done local treatment it is a bit patchy.

    Then, perhaps we can go sailing-Marlborough Sounds, here we come!

  3. #1433
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by rotrax View Post
    As I have not hit a whale, sunken container or a reef, no, I have not experienced the benifits of a steel boat. Apart from inherent strength, are there any others?
    Yes, though probably not relevant for the majority. For long distance having a boat which doesn't leak is a biggie. Beth Leonard And Evans Starzinger went away from grp for their second boat.
    B&E: Most people guess we chose metal for strength, as we planned to go to the high latitudes. But in fact we picked it because we could make the decks absolutely leak proof. Our experience with fiberglass decks was that after two or so ocean crossings the boat had worked enough that at least a few of the fasteners through the deck would start leaking. There are zero fastener holes through Hawk's deck. Everything is either welded on, or machine screwed to blind tapped plates that are welded on.
    No more leaks no matter how much water is going across the decks on a brisk ocean passage, no more rebedding anything on the deck. Cuts maintenance down massively, any fittings bolded through the deck will cause rust. Though not many steel boats will actually be built with that in mind and it's a load of work afterwards. Fitting strong tie down points etc is another big help, simple stern or bow but not simple where there's sprayed foam. Stainless chain links cut in half work well. Strength isn't limited to hitting containers, can't think of many cruisers who have hit really big heavy things offshore, but a good few who have been hit at anchor, one on Cape Verde which meant a year refit instead of an afternoon with a paintbrush.

  4. #1434
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    Jul 2003
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    Solent
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by rotrax View Post
    As I have not hit a whale, sunken container or a reef, no, I have not experienced the benifits of a steel boat. Apart from inherent strength, are there any others?
    Yes, there are many others but unless you go cruising long term you won't ever know what they are. That is of course unless you listen to the experience of others.

    Just one example: met a chap a year or two ago who was having his grp boat lifted into a cradle. One of the pads was not aligned correctly and when the weight of the boat rested on it the result was a crack in the hull. The ensuing repairs and insurance claim took a month to complete and as he was living aboard this meant spending a month in rented accommodation, considerable cost and disruption to his plans etc.

  5. #1435
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowlyButSurely View Post
    Yes, there are many others but unless you go cruising long term you won't ever know what they are. That is of course unless you listen to the experience of others.

    Just one example: met a chap a year or two ago who was having his grp boat lifted into a cradle. One of the pads was not aligned correctly and when the weight of the boat rested on it the result was a crack in the hull. The ensuing repairs and insurance claim took a month to complete and as he was living aboard this meant spending a month in rented accommodation, considerable cost and disruption to his plans etc.
    And, conversly, IIRC, one of the ex clipper steel RTW boats fell over in a West Country Dockyard and became a write off. We have had direct experience of four GRP yachts over the last 17 years.Two had no deck leakage problems at all, but were very well built Island Packet yachts. The previous two, a British Hunter and a GibSea had minor deck leaks, from stantion bases strained during minor collisions. Both were easily fixed. Unlike the leaking houdini hatch on the Hunter! That took a bit more effort.

    Th Antipodean hatch on our steel Hartley also leaked badly, so not exlusive to GRP. Again, easily fixed with proper re-bedding and sealing.

    I conceed the one piece deck and no bolt through fittings is as good as it is likely to get in regard to sealing against water ingress.

    But, I fear, you must conceed that not all steel yachts are built to this excellent standard.

  6. #1436
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by rotrax View Post
    And, conversly, IIRC, one of the ex clipper steel RTW boats fell over in a West Country Dockyard and became a write off. We have had direct experience of four GRP yachts over the last 17 years.Two had no deck leakage problems at all, but were very well built Island Packet yachts. The previous two, a British Hunter and a GibSea had minor deck leaks, from stantion bases strained during minor collisions. Both were easily fixed. Unlike the leaking houdini hatch on the Hunter! That took a bit more effort.

    Th Antipodean hatch on our steel Hartley also leaked badly, so not exlusive to GRP. Again, easily fixed with proper re-bedding and sealing.

    I conceed the one piece deck and no bolt through fittings is as good as it is likely to get in regard to sealing against water ingress.

    But, I fear, you must conceed that not all steel yachts are built to this excellent standard.
    I thought the Clipper boats were all grp or frp.

    Anyway the point is that it's not a competition between steel and grp; each material has its advantages depending on the usage. I have heard many reports from cruising sailors of deck leaks in grp boats and I gather it can be quite distressing.

    You don't need to be so defensive about grp, it will continue to be the default material for production yachts until something else will give the builders a better profit margin.

  7. #1437
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowlyButSurely View Post

    Anyway the point is that it's not a competition between steel and grp; each material has its advantages depending on the usage.


    Perhaps Brent needs to be appraised of the above.

    He obviously feels that it most certainly is a competition by his continual disparaging remarks about GRP boats and their 'Marina queen' owners.

    That is really what I, and some others, are challenging.

    We have agreed that for full time liveaboard cruising in out of the way places where self reliance is of paramount importance, steel is perfect as a boat building material.

    Brent will not accept the fact that non steel boats also manage perfectly well in most cases. Or, if he does, he wont say so on here!

    Ergo, the reason for this ongoing saga.

  8. #1438
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    Jul 2002
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowlyButSurely View Post
    You don't need to be so defensive about grp, it will continue to be the default material for production yachts until something else will give the builders a better profit margin.
    In many ways, GRP is time consuming and costly to build with. If steel and origami methods were so brilliant, and with so many advantages, commercial boat builders would be building them.

    Safety is a big selling factor for reluctant sailing partners. (remember the selling points about non-sinkability of some Sadler boats many years ago). If commercial builders thought that they could make steel boats cheaply using origami techniques and also sell them using the alleged safety benefits of the hull material then there would be commerically built origami constructed steel boats offered for sail in countless adverts around the world. The fact that there aren't means something is wrong with the argument.

    Firstly, GRP is not half as weak as Brent makes out although I freely admit steel can be a good choice for long distant cruising in remote areas.
    Secondly steel has rather more problems than Brent admits. Not only with corrosion but with all sorts of other factors.
    Thirdly, origami really limits the shapes that you can produce. It's not the panacea that Brent harps on about but he refuses to admit that as well.

    The simple fact is that boat builders aren't stupid and they're not part of some conspiracy against steel boats. If Brent's steel boat designs were that good, then commercial boat builders would be building them and selling them.

    Steel is an excellent material for some boats for some situations.

    The only reason I keep answering and challenging in this thread is that I am deeply concerned that people who dream of giving up everything and sailing away into the sunset don't get suckered into believing all the stories that Brent tells about how easy it is and how building one of his boats is going to be a wonderful (and very cheap) experience that will lead to a lifetime of bliss on the high seas.
    Semper aliud

  9. #1439
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    You missed a bit........


    badly designed and built (of which there are many) boats made in ....

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    ..... steel has rather more problems than Brent admits. Not only with corrosion but with all sorts of other factors.

  10. #1440
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    Mar 2017
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    102

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    Secondly steel has rather more problems than Brent admits. Not only with corrosion but with all sorts of other factors.
    .
    Oops, I think you've re-lit the touchpaper.

    I'll grab a coffee and settle down to enjoy the show :-)

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