Once known as Hartley18
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanked 81 Times in 81 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
To reduced maintenance ,start with clean steel . I get all my plate wheelabraded and primed with cold galvanizing primer, 87% zinc dry film by the steel supplier. My current boat was done that way and still has the 29 year old paint job, no problems. I gave mine 30 gallons of epoxy tar on a 31 ft boat, plus a coat of enamel every few years. Moitessier said the French navy puts ten coats of paint on before launching. The thicker the better. Most steel boat maintenance problems come from too thin a paint job, or painting over rust or mil scale. For many commercially built boats in BC, it comes from zero paint inside. Spat foam is not adequate protection for the inside of a steel boat. Three or more coats of epoxy tar inside before spray foaming is needed.
Out of interest, the paint coating on the hull of a certain 80-something-year old ship I was associated with a while back was almost half-an-inch thick at the end of her ocean-going life. All nice thin layers like the rings of a tree spelling out the various paint colours and undercoats over the decades.. It was fascinating to see.
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"