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post #2 of Old 04-05-2003
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Steel Boat

Good evening out there in the world of snow. It isn''t very warm here in the middle of the Med either.

Ok, to your steel boat. I have no idea about the Al Mason design but i own a steel boat and am about to finish a major refit on it.

Main concern on steel boats is rust and how to get it of.

If the boat is a shore, go around and have a look at the general paint work. Uneven paint below the water line is normal. If the paint is very somth, I always get the idea sombody is hiding something. If the paint is blistering of in big bubbles don''t look further, it''s a waste of time exept the boat is realy cheap and you don''t mind rebuilding at least part of it.

Easy parts are window frames. Have a close look at the area around the frames. If the wood around shows water marks or is deformed ore the windows show cracks, you have rust around the frames. Not a big problem if you can get the windows out and part of the interior without destroing half the boat.

Wooden hutch brackets ore any wood fitted on the deck or cabin roof can cause a problem. If the sealer came of, water stays between the wood and the steel and causes rust. Also here, the problem is mainly accsses.

More difficult is the bilge on smal boats because if there is rust you meight end up destroing half the interior to get to it. The biggest problem are fuel or water tanks sitting in the bilge ore keel. Some times you have just something like a millimeter between the out side of the tank and the hull. That''s a place wich never gets try. If you can just unscrew the tank and lift it out, no problem but they are usualy welded some where. If this is the case you are buying truble.

Shaft tunnel and rudder are also werth having a look at. Depending on what kind of shaft seal is used you find a permanent wet area around them.

Electrics can cause rust on steel boats. If it''s already twenty years old, try to find out what they did with all the negatives. If the hull is used as a common negative you have always problems with corrosion, no matter what you do, what paint you use what so ever. Make shure, they used cables to connect the negatives on kind of a bus, which is NOT connected to the hull in any form.

If you aren''t shure, get a survayor to have a look at. They are able to messure the thiknes of the steel without driling holes in the hull and much more.

Hope I could help you a little with it.

Appart from that, steel boats are fine boats, much more stable in havy sea and so. They aren''t as fast as the "plastic" ones but sailing is a lot of philosophy any way.

Happy sailing!
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