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post #1895 of Old 10-27-2013
Brent Swain
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Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

The October issue of Ocean Navigator has a geat article on the re-building of the classic 141 ft schooner " Columbia" in steel, along with some great photos. They used the gray , cold galvanizing primer , on wheelabraded steel ,the same stuff I used on mine 29 years ago, 99% of which is as good as the day I got it from the steel suppliers.
She is 5/16th hull plate and 1/4 inch deck plate , A-36 steel, common mild steel.
The hull looks like she doesnt have a lot of compound curve in her, only a bit in the topsides, so should be easy to plate, enabling them to use long plates and fewer seams .
The lack of longitudinals will make distortion much harder to control. When they talk about "Fairing " it is not clear whether they mean fairing the steel ,or filler.T-shaping the frames makes them far stronger.
Sadly ,they talk about covering the decks with teak, a huge mistake. Any wood on the outside of a steel boat is a huge mistake, with more maintenace and corrosion along the edges of the wood ,than on the rest of the boat combined. 1/4 inch deck plate gives them more forgivenes than on smaller boats , but only for a while.
At any rate, it looks like an interesting project.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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