Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
Originally Posted by Brent Swain
I worked for may years on a brake press in the 70's, at Mainland Foundry in Vancouver on a 180 ton Pearson hydraulic, along with plate rolls and section rolls, at Canron in Vancouver, on a 400 ton Pacific hydraulic and a Cincinatti 600 ton mechanical flywheel brake , and in Auckland at A&G Price on an 87 ton Dye hydraulic. I was considered very innovative as a brake operator, being asked to do jobs no one else could figure out. In all the boatbuilding I have done 38 hulls , I have only seen about 15 minutes worth of brake press use which would have been helpful, the edges of the forehatch and main hatch cover and the cockpit well, which we have had done for as little as $10. I have seen no use for any other kind of rolls in my boats. They could be useful on a power boat, with so many straight corners, but not on a sailboat, with almost all corners curved.
Plasma is nice , but not worth the cost for a one off. For the last boat we found it too finicky, and it quit often, without reason, so we used the torch mostly.
Inability to build a small steel sailboat without such expensive toys would take a total lack of imagination, or lack of ability to innovate.
Welds on a 36 footer simply don't break, no matter how badly they are done. I've never heard of it happening. The inertia of a 36 is simply not great enough. How does even the worst weld compare in strength to that of a copper fastening in red cedar every six inches, or six inches of plastic?
A kid I taught how to weld and build boats, went to welding school and got every ticked he needed. He said "Boy ,when it comes to embellishing their importance, welders are sure full of it."
Or as my next replacement says "You are not building a nuclear submarine."
You should s check out the origamiboats site, or my book or Alex's video to see how we have made overhead lifts redundant, by our building methods. Innovation does the trick.They would save maybe an hour or two at most, in building an origami boat.
80 ft overhead clearance would only be useful if you planed to put a 70 ft mast up in the shop. How often is that done?
I , Roberts, Dix, Tanton, Van de Stadt, Shannon and many others have designed very successful boats, without transverse frames, for decades, none of which have suffered any consequences for not having frames, and which has proven transverse frames irrelevant in a boat under 41 feet.
So would it be wise to believe the statements that we are all wrong, by someone who has never built or cruised extensively in a small steel sailboat?
This is the type of uninformed disinformation which needlessly discourages people from building their own small steel sailboats, and has them going to sea in boats which have far less chance of surviving a collision with Fukashima debris, sometimes resulting in boats going missing without a trace.
Well you certainly think a lot of your opinions, as I do my own. I have personally been in charge of transportation for a LOT of steel that went to shipyards to be used in the building of ships. Funny thing BS, a lot of it was rolled, or had been bent with a press brake. It is a good way to get nice straight lines in steel, something I am sure you know. Now as to why I want the building to have such a nice high clearance, I want to be able to rig the vessel inside in order to have it all ready once I am ready to move it. I would not leave it on there, I just would like to be able to get every bit of the rigging done indoors, all the stuff fitted and done correctly, then take it all down and transport it. I kind of doubt that it would be a bad idea to be able to do it, an even better one would be to have the building be located where you could launch the boat mast and all right into the ocean by using a nice travelling crane to walk it out and set it gently into the water, fully rigged and ready to test the engines and sails.
If you used a brake or roller to make some of the bends and shapes you would be able to get a lot more out of the steel than if you did not. The fact that you are braking the material when you pull it together does not mean that a method of braking it was not used, because it is either rolled or has a brake in it anywhere it is not flat. Facts is facts, and since even you are not trying to sail a flat piece of steel it had to get bent some way, I just thought I would prefer to do it a little ahead of time, and not as I was trying to make the hull joints. In fact in light steel like the kind you use I would think the brake would give some rigidity, like if you broke the two halves at the keel seam up to a 90 degree angle to make a flange to weld together there, now maybe you are using angle iron or something like that welded at the keel seam, but I think that if you ran it through a brake, or even a roller brake and put a 4 inch high 90 degree flange along the seam it would be easier to weld, and would have a really good structural load point there.
Maybe I am wrong, but I know the material would be much stronger and you would have the added benefit of that flange, which you could have to the inside or the outside whichever one makes the most sense to give you a structural reinforcement right there along the keel seam. If it were facing to the inside you could drill through it to mount things like the mast step, the engine mounts, and the other loads. If it faced outward it would act as a mini keel from stem to stern and you would have a centerline that you could use to anchor the keel on the cross section as well as the welds or bolts that you use from the bottom to the hull. If you wanted to do things like that to the design then you could, but of course you like to have it built in someone's backyard, take ten years to do it, and then have the poor original owner have to sell it and let someone else come in to finish it.
It is good to learn from your mistakes, but much better to learn from the mistakes of others...