Once known as Hartley18
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
I think you are also right in that there has been a market in Europe more open to steel boats.
North America has not been very receptive to steel yachts and the resale value reflects this.
Aluminum is easier to work with and has some of the samne durability advantages as steel. Alu will be thicker but lighter and give some nice displacement options as well as shaping advantages.
FWIW, there are a lot of steel, aluminium and wood and plastic (horror!) down here.
A fair few decades ago living in North Queensland my parents had a local machine shop build a 50' steel cruising yawl - one my Dad designed and Joe Adams drew up. No chines.. just a nice curved hull and clipper bow. It was the biggest thing the husband-and-wife shop (the wife was a top-class welder) had ever taken on - they had to extend their shed to fit it in. As a kid it was an amazing place to explore and learn new skills.
As you'd expect the boat had a fair few complex curves, but with the right tools made right there in the shop (like a hydraulic piston-press around 20' high for shaping the plates and a monster forklift made from the chassis and engine of an old Dodge truck) she took us up and down the Queensland coast for many years.
Aside from a few home-made ones, I don't see so many yachts being made down here in steel any more - most new metal builds seem to be Aluminium. Around here I do see more new wooden boats in build than any other material.. but you could argue that I might not be looking in the right places.
"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"
Last edited by Classic30; 01-15-2014 at 10:05 PM.