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post #3 of Old 10-03-2006
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Difficulty with deciding to go steel is that there are not as many boats on the market at any one time and to find a broker who specialised would be pretty hard I would think. Holland is a likely place to start looking as they, along with the French seem to be most into metal sailing boats. If you have no experience with steel then think very carefully about your decision. Steel is wonderfully strong and relatively easy to work on but maintenance wise only timber requires more work and like timber, steel can deteriorate very quickly indeed if it is left unattended.
That said, our boat is a Van de Stadt sloop. 34' multi chine. We've only had her about six months now and I have to say she is a beauty. Never going to be a light air screamer as the big negative of a small steel boat is the weight, but in anything over ten knots she is fine and she feels as solid as a rock compared to my previous fibreglass boat. We chose her, by the way, not because she is steel but because she screamed "buy me" when we first stepped on board and then proceeded to pass every test put to her. I'd have to say though, if I was buying another boat in excess, say of 40' I'd probably go back to plastic but that's only cos in reality I'm a lazy old sod.
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