Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
I am aware of that and currently own two al boats but I can't help but feel steel may be better in most ways and definitely is for larger boats. I also see a few ancient old woody's still out there working. I've hit stuff with wood fiberglass and aluminum and found the al less likely to be holed but much harder and expensive to repair. Glass and wood will flex nicely takeing up much of the impact while aluminum just crushes.
The bottom line is the boat design and quality of manufacture that is most important. If that wasn't so vessels like the wetsnail 32 would not have achieved such a world wide reputation for getting there crew home while other similar vessel have the opposite reputaqtion
Steel is even harder to hole and much easier to repair, especially a long way from civilization. I can do it with a 100 amp alternator run off my engine.
This reminds me of a cartoon a fisherman told me about , a picture of a guy in a dinghy in a Honolulu shirt asking a native on the beach in a grass skirt, with a spear in his hand, and a bone thru his nose:
"Any body here weldum aluminum?"
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"