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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
Ted Brewer came up with a process called "Radius Chine" that was plated conventionally but the chine area was replaced with a rolled piece that removed the hard edge. I've seen a couple and you'd never know they weren't conventional round bilge design unless you knew about it.
I don't know the cost details but I can't imagine it would increase the build cost very much - most large machine shops have big plate rollers. The framing in the chine area would take a bit more work as well, to get the radius on all the frames.
I see no reason why you couldn't do the same thing in alloy.
Yes.. agree that that will work in either medium.. more labour intensive still. Amazon and Waterline yachts on Vancouver Island made some very nice soft chine steel boats too, probably using similar techniques.
Years ago I saw in Victoria what I first believed to be a Norseman 447 (one of my favourite Perry designs).. turned out to be a 'homebuilt' in aluminum. It was a work of art and hard to tell from factory. Spent quite a bit of time discussing (and admiring) her with the owner/builder. Perry had apparently reworked the details for him, it looked to have worked out great. Have not seen it since.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)