Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
I have been watching this thread with interest it seems people think any steely under 40 feet wont sail.When I was a kid my parents bought a 37 foot steel yacht round bilge fin keeler we sailed 10 000 miles in it and it sailed really well reaching at 8 knots on a good day.A lovely yacht only problem was the wooden decks wet beds on passage every time.last year my father bought a 32 foot steel kuiper a dutch yacht with a big rig and bowsprit,I have an old quarter tonne racing yacht and if I dont keep my hull clean and boat light I cant catch him.I think possibly some are really overbuilt and that gives the rest of them a bad name.They arent all slow by a long shot.
What makes some overweight is misplaced priorities, and redundant structural steel, such as transverse framing , etc. The steel would be far more useful in plate thickness than in transverse framing with thinner plate to compensate. I have seen a Tahiti ketch with 3,000 lbs of framing , and 1/8th inch hull plate . Without the framing , 3/8th plate would weigh the same and be a lot tougher ,and more corrosion resistant. With only 1/8th plate against such hard points , the framing increases the odds of holing.
Before putting in more steel, one should look for something which is structurally doing the same thing.
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"