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Thread: Steelboats

  1. #271
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
    I just read the December 2018 issue of Sail magazine. On page 20 Nigel Calder talks about hitting a bar and causing skeg damage. He also mentions a sister ship sinking in mid ocean from similar skeg damage.
    I have read of several plastic boats sinking in mid ocean, from the same problem.

    On page 68 is the mention of one charter fleet in the west Indies losing 50 boats to hurricanes,and hundreds lost in other charter fleets, all in a single season.

    Kinda blows the theory that very experienced cruisers in plastic boats never hit things, or screw up! Kinda blows the theory that plastic boats are never wrecked, and don't have to be tough, because, being plastic, their skippers never screw up.
    I happen to have met Nigel Calder. I've also heard him lecture on the subject of Blue Water Sailing. He is very experienced and is a big fan of skegs for rudders.

    What is interesting to me is all his boats have been GRP. Even the ones he had built to his spec from scratch.

    Yet you quote him as an authority. Any comments?
    Semper aliud

  2. #272
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    1,289

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Yes, its truly amazing how, when a boat proves dangerously inadequate ,people still cling to them, assuming that in any contact, breakage is inevitable, and unavoidable, rather than thinking of what could have been made strong enough to prevent it.
    It's like having something break , and rather than make it stronger , replacing it with something identical to what proved inadequate in the first place.
    A very common syndrome,.

  3. #273
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    32,180

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
    I just read the December 2018 issue of Sail magazine. On page 20 Nigel Calder talks about hitting a bar and causing skeg damage. He also mentions a sister ship sinking in mid ocean from similar skeg damage.
    I have read of several plastic boats sinking in mid ocean, from the same problem.

    On page 68 is the mention of one charter fleet in the west Indies losing 50 boats to hurricanes,and hundreds lost in other charter fleets, all in a single season.

    Kinda blows the theory that very experienced cruisers in plastic boats never hit things, or screw up! Kinda blows the theory that plastic boats are never wrecked, and don't have to be tough, because, being plastic, their skippers never screw up.
    Once again you are being highly selective with your "statistics".

    Please give PRECISE details of the "several" boats lost through skeg failures.

    Are you so detached from the rest of the world that you are not aware of the hurricanes in the Caribbean in 2017 which destroyed complete island communities and inevitably many hundreds of boats, some of which no doubt were built of steel. Equally inevitably the majority of the boats destroyed would be GRP for the simple reason that the majority are built of GRP.

    When are you going to learn that people here are not taken in by your unsubstantiated claims which only show how ignorant you are about the subject.

  4. #274
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    Oct 2010
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    1,289

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Just read the article, then email Sail ,saying they must be lying, as you "know" plastic boats "never" break. Tell Calder that ,while you are at it.
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 15-12-18 at 23:48.

  5. #275
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    Default Re: Steelboats

    Where did you get ‘proves dangerously inadequate’ from?

    Is there some sort of proof that we don’t know about or do you mean ‘in my opinion’?
    Semper aliud

  6. #276
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    South Oxfordshire, Gosport and Wellington New Zealand.
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    7,590

    Default Re: Steelboats

    I have just re-read loads of posts on this thread, and related ones.

    Not one, from many contributors, has ever said GRP never broke.

    Brent-what part of " I agree that steel is a stronger material to build long term liveaboard in out of the way places " are you incapable of understanding.

    Most sailors don't live aboard in out of the way places and regularly cross oceans.

    For their purposes, steel boats may not be suitable, unless they have one built by you-which you don't do-they are unlikely to find one well sorted and low maintenance like your one obviously is.

    Most sailors have a wife or partner. A simple strong boat like your would mean many, many wives or partners would not go sailing. They like a bit of luxury, like hot showers, microwaves, walk round beds, comfortable salon seating and table and room to entertain.

    I don't expect your strong, simple, Pacific crossing , reef bashing, lee shore surviving boat would do for them.

    So, your potential players are of a certain type, who, like you, wish for a simple, strong boat that can survive potential disasters.

    They, compared to mainstream sailors, are small in number. As are steel boats, compared to GRP, timber, glassed timber and Aluminium.

    Nigel Calder chooses GRP, Tom Cunliffe chose GRP after he sold his timber Pilot Cutter. The world girdling solo lady sailor Jean Socrates-on her third time round-chose another GRP Naiad. This after ending up on a Brazilian beach when her autohelm failed. The hull was not breached, but the Insurance paid out and she got another one.

    Very small numbers of sailors choose steel when getting a new boat, or even a used boat.

    I cant help wondering where we are all going wrong by choosing such an inferior material. Especially as very few world girdling GRP boats suffer catastrophic hull failure. If they did, we would know about it. They are not perfect, very little IS perfect, but most give good service and are suitable for the job. And they don't corrode.

    I have had four GRP boats, a very well built British Hunter 27 OOD-a steep learning curve for a new sailor as it was a bit lively, a GibSea 96, built in France by Gilbert Marine, also very satisfactory and well built. Then came a senior moment and we spent a great deal of money on a very strong and well built Island Packet 350. Six fantastic years later we changed to another Island Packet, the Motorsailer model, the SP Cruiser.

    None have ever had any problems with hull integrity or keels dropping off, or osmosis, or balsa cores-none had such a thing.

    However, the corten steel Hartley 32 I am currently working on in Wellington Is keeping me very busy dealing with what was obvious bad practice during build. The rusty window apertures are Donald Ducked. My tame welder/metalworker is away from site and despite promising, he is unable to cut out the rust and weld in new metal until he returns.

    Trouble is, the yard needs the space, so I must fake it up and have it done properly next year when I return to Wellington.

    It is noticeable though, this steel boat takes far, far more time to keep nice-all my boats have been nice-than any of the others.

    Would I recommend a steel boat to a prospective owner?-only if they were planning long term liveaboard in far flung places.

    Anything else, keep clear of old steel boats. They are trouble-from direct and current-experience.

  7. #277
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Hopefully somewhere warm
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    9,113

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
    Blocks shackled to those loops will chafe the paint under them. I prefer to weld them down on stainless pads, but putting a cover of stainless welds under them, and grinding the welds smooth, helps a lot.
    I.
    Some stainless weld underneath - another excellent tip ta, though steel shackles uses onboard these days are very few - soft shackles all round so hopefully will be ok.
    Not many blocks either , more and more low friction rings and dyneema. A simpler boat with less moving parts as time goes by with some high tech materials

  8. #278
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    1,289

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by rotrax View Post
    I have just re-read loads of posts on this thread, and related ones.

    Not one, from many contributors, has ever said GRP never broke.

    Brent-what part of " I agree that steel is a stronger material to build long term liveaboard in out of the way places " are you incapable of understanding.

    Most sailors don't live aboard in out of the way places and regularly cross oceans.

    For their purposes, steel boats may not be suitable, unless they have one built by you-which you don't do-they are unlikely to find one well sorted and low maintenance like your one obviously is.

    Most sailors have a wife or partner. A simple strong boat like your would mean many, many wives or partners would not go sailing. They like a bit of luxury, like hot showers, microwaves, walk round beds, comfortable salon seating and table and room to entertain.

    I don't expect your strong, simple, Pacific crossing , reef bashing, lee shore surviving boat would do for them.

    So, your potential players are of a certain type, who, like you, wish for a simple, strong boat that can survive potential disasters.

    They, compared to mainstream sailors, are small in number. As are steel boats, compared to GRP, timber, glassed timber and Aluminium.

    Nigel Calder chooses GRP, Tom Cunliffe chose GRP after he sold his timber Pilot Cutter. The world girdling solo lady sailor Jean Socrates-on her third time round-chose another GRP Naiad. This after ending up on a Brazilian beach when her autohelm failed. The hull was not breached, but the Insurance paid out and she got another one.

    Very small numbers of sailors choose steel when getting a new boat, or even a used boat.

    I cant help wondering where we are all going wrong by choosing such an inferior material. Especially as very few world girdling GRP boats suffer catastrophic hull failure. If they did, we would know about it. They are not perfect, very little IS perfect, but most give good service and are suitable for the job. And they don't corrode.

    I have had four GRP boats, a very well built British Hunter 27 OOD-a steep learning curve for a new sailor as it was a bit lively, a GibSea 96, built in France by Gilbert Marine, also very satisfactory and well built. Then came a senior moment and we spent a great deal of money on a very strong and well built Island Packet 350. Six fantastic years later we changed to another Island Packet, the Motorsailer model, the SP Cruiser.

    None have ever had any problems with hull integrity or keels dropping off, or osmosis, or balsa cores-none had such a thing.

    However, the corten steel Hartley 32 I am currently working on in Wellington Is keeping me very busy dealing with what was obvious bad practice during build. The rusty window apertures are Donald Ducked. My tame welder/metalworker is away from site and despite promising, he is unable to cut out the rust and weld in new metal until he returns.

    Trouble is, the yard needs the space, so I must fake it up and have it done properly next year when I return to Wellington.

    It is noticeable though, this steel boat takes far, far more time to keep nice-all my boats have been nice-than any of the others.

    Would I recommend a steel boat to a prospective owner?-only if they were planning long term liveaboard in far flung places.

    Anything else, keep clear of old steel boats. They are trouble-from direct and current-experience.
    Agreed .
    You can do the window work while in the water. You don't need to be in a yard for that. My current boat was launched as a bare shell, the rest of the detail was done after launching. ( in ten days)

    Maybe a strip of stainless under the window, to direct condensation above the spray foam, rather than under it, would help. Steve on Silas Crosby wisely had that area flame sprayed. Extra thick epoxy down there , is also a good idea, as is learning to do your own welding and fabricating.

    Yes there are some well built plastic boats ( older "unstylish "boats who's keels never fell off) but they are rare.
    For couples with wiser wives, who value safety over pretentiousness, I am meeting far more lately , who's wives insist on steel. So much for your theory that all women are dense and pretentious ,when it comes to cruising priorities! Many are far wiser than their husbands. (Who make unfounded, baseless assumptions on what their wives really want ,or how wise they really are, given the relevant info .
    )
    Jean Socrate's boat is a metal , aluminium. She would have had a lot more problems had it been plastic.

    Sail magazine had a series of articles recently about a guy doing a single handed, high latitude, Southern Ocean circumnavigation in a Bob Perry designed, stock plastic boat. It took him 3 Perry designed goose necks to get around the Horn. The first broke before he got to Mexico. He was soaking wet and pumping for his life the whole way, a huge contrast to Moitessier's trips in the same area.

    Compare Web Chiles book "Storm passage" , a similar experience, to that of Moitessier, in "The Long Way" and "Cape Horn the Logical Route" .

    Why did he choose plastic ?
    A NAZI ear criminal was famously quoted as saying"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes generally accepted as fact. " Chiles , the Sleavin family, the guy in the Perry design, and m,any more heard the lie "Steel bad,plastic good " so often that they bought it, and had far more miserable and dangerous trips than they ever would have in good steel boat , as Bernard proved, over and over. Ditto many cruisers. Such continual repeating of lies works, or they wouldn't spend $billions doing it.
    Another reason is, steel boat builders cling tenaciously to 1950's building methods, which needlessly puts the price of a new steel boat far beyond what it should be, and out of reach of many.

    The guy I sold my last boat to, ex navy, said he always wanted a steel boat but some of the prices he saw made him believe he would never afford one in his lifetime.

    Yes, plastic is better, for marina queens and occasional short term cruising, as I have said all along. ( Which you refuse to read). My boats are for a small part of the market, those who prefer toughness over pretentiousness, who prefer the self reliance and knowledge which comes from building your own boat, and for whom cruising is a full time, way of life, a use for which they are far superior to plastic. Yes, it is a small part of the market , but big enough to keep me as busy as I ever wanted to be, enough to have had to train others to do my job.The rest of the market? Who cares?
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 18-12-18 at 00:25.

  9. #279
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,289

    Default Re: Steelboats

    I have seen several boats ,Van De Stadt ,and some French boats which use only the sharp end of the hull plate, extended up, to serve as a toe rail .I have been hired to put a solid SS rod ,or SS pipe on it ,to protect it from paint chipping and protect the feet .If a big enough pipe is used, you can weld your stanchions to it , eliminating toe busters. A sheet bock clamp can make it into a track for your jib sheet.
    I have timed myself welding the outside of this rail, on a 36 .3 hours for the entire outside weld, 6 hours for both sides. With cutting and fitting, a day and a half should do it ,well worth doing.
    A hose running water along the deck, should keep anything below the weld cool, avoiding burning anything there.
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 18-12-18 at 00:56.

  10. #280
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    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,289

    Default Re: Steelboats

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post
    Where did you get ‘proves dangerously inadequate’ from?

    Is there some sort of proof that we don’t know about or do you mean ‘in my opinion’?
    Dangerously inadequate for the kid who lost his boat in a collision with a whale at night, for those who convinced Tom Cunliffe to state that the fig leaf rudder has the highest failure rate of any rudder design , for the Sleavin family , for the hundreds lost in the west indies in a single year last year, dangerously fragile enough for the Cal 48 I mentioned, losing his rudder in sheltered water in a flat sea, those lost in the 79 fastnet race, Pandemonium which lost its keel in mid Pacific, those lost in Cabo in 82, and many many more.
    Last edited by Brent Swain; 18-12-18 at 00:53.

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