Join Date: Jan 2001
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buying a 60'''' steel
Hello Capt Jon,
A steel hull boat is an excellent choice. Steel is a more popular choice than you think at first glance. If you look around you''ll see that for over fifty foot just about all commerial boats you see will be steel. The reason for that is you can buy good steel anywhere and with a reasonable amount of practice most anybody can be a good welder. Mind you you''ll need to practice on scrap, not on your new hull.
When you walk on a steel boat it doesn''t make the boat move around because your weight is not significant compared to the weight of the boat. This makes for very comfortable motion on the water. It also has a tendency to be a bit slower than boats with the same waterline.
If this boat was built by someone like Thomas Colvin or Merritt Walters/Rover Corp. or any of the professional outfits it''s probably OK. If it was homemade i would inspect it alot closer, so as not to purchase something of a learn to weld project. Not to say that homemade boats can''t be built correctly, because they can. Go on the inside and try to find seams and inspect the welding.
Welding is fairly simple if it looks really good it probably is, if it looks rough it probably isn''t. I know alot of people that will tell you that there welds may not look good but they will hold and that is unmittigatted hog wash. If a weld doesn''t look excellent it is not. It should look like a roll of dimes laying down with very even simetrical spacing.
Also finding financing for any homemade boat is difficult. If you look around you''ll find, numberous Colvins, a few Walters, fewer Topper Hermanson''s, etc, available for sale that you shouldn''t have any problem getting financing for. You may have to look around for your financing, but no one buys a commercial steel boat and pays cash, it doesn''t make good business sense. So there has to be some loan vendors that will loan on steel boats. You might want to call some of the boat yards that build out of steel and ask them were you could obtain financing.