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1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

Hello Everyone:

I'm looking for insight from anyone on the forum who has owned a 1960s vintage Dutch boat, especially in the 32-37 foot range. I'm going to begin my journey living aboard and doing costal cruising (in Europe, where I would buy the boat), and eventually graduating to longer offshore passages (exploring South America, South Pacific, etc..). I have found a great looking canoe stern 32 footer for a fairly reasonably price (although not out of line with similar boats on the market).

Some things I really like about steel (when compared to GRP), and this boat in particular
1. The obvious strength, the ability to deform vs. fail
2. Steel deck, meaning no core delamination issues to deal with
3. The hull to deck joint is steel welded to steel, far stronger and leak proof than any fiberglass hull to deck joint
4. Chainplates are steel welded to steel ring frames, far better in my opinion than hidden chainplates bolted to plywood tabbed into a glass hull.
5. This is a round bilge hull which was yard built (no back yard specials of questionable quality)
6. While the boat is no lightweight and won't be winning any races at 20,000 ish lbs. it isn't really any heavier than a Westsail 32.

I realize steel hulls do require vigilance as far as keeping them painted inside and out to prevent rust, but in my opinion not having to deal with osmosis, delaminated deck cores, questionable chainplates, leaky hull / deck joints more than makes up for the extra painting. I grew up on and around wooden boats so I'm no stranger to labor intensive maintenance, and I plan to take a few basic welding classes at my local community college before departure.

So my questions are:
1. Is the quality of steel alloy from the 1960s such that even a well maintained boat (which is now approaching 60 years old) will be nearing the end of it's usefull life / and or need a major replating job.
2. Are there any other major things to look for in a yard built boat of this vintage?
3. Any recommendations for insulation?

Sorry for the long winded post and thanks again for your input.
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post #2 of 8 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

You would need a very thorough professional survey, including detailed ultrasound readings of plate thickness of the entire boat. Dutch steel boat builders turned out good boats, but that boat is over 50 years old. It only takes one season of neglect to seriously damage steel hulls.

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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

The industry assumes that a steel hull will loose .004" per year to general corrosion, i.e. not rust, just general wearing away. So on a 50 year old boat you can assume it has lost .2" of plate thickness.

Any idea what the original plate thickness was? Because classification societies require re-skinning at about 20-25% thickness loss. Since I doubt that this hull plate was 1.2" thick either it has long since been replaced, or desperately needs it now. If it was done already then you have no idea the quality of work, if it hasn't been done then you can probably write the boat off as not being worth it. Replateing is probably far more expensive than the boat is worth.

I am not trying to be snarky, but there is every chance in the world that the boat is worth less than nothing.

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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

A lot newer Dutch built boats on the market. A popular design we see in many places are the various Van DE Stadt designed sail boats. Think you can find something to suit your budget.

An interesting one here:

2014 Van De Stadt Seal 36 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com


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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

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A lot newer Dutch built boats on the market. A popular design we see in many places are the various Van DE Stadt designed sail boats. Think you can find something to suit your budget.

An interesting one here:

2014 Van De Stadt Seal 36 Sail Boat For Sale - Boats for Sale - New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com
A 36 ft 28 year old steel boat for 80, 000 euros is WAY OVERPRICED.

Half is still expensive and would need to be turnkey.
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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

All kinds out here..just an example. Remember the parts are going to be worth more then the whole. Well equipped cruising boat's gear will exceed the hull value any day on most smaller steel boats. Buy one in good nick with all the gear.


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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

I remember reading "SUPERTANKER" about the huge oil transport vessels. They were theoretically built to last about 25 years before they got sent off to scrap yards on the Bangladeshi coast when (despite regular maintenance) their hulls rusted through, wore too thin, or corroded too much to be safe to use. I have to think that the steel they used to construct those hulls would be thicker than whatever would have been used in a small cruising sailboat. As suggested above, a 50 year-old steel hull is likely to be patches of rust held together by paint, with the 20 layers of paint keeping the water out. Rust never sleeps, and paint hides many sins. There may be old steel boats that are still solid and strong - but go in with both eyes open and one leg at a time.
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Re: 1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats

I wouldn't assume that because a hull is steel and old, it's in a poor state of repair. I have sailed (and motored) on some very old, very hard working steel vessels 50-100+ years old, that were in good shape. Provided they were properly built, properly maintained (and replated) as necessary, steel vessels can last a very long time. I've also been on 20 year old aluminum boats that were completely trashed and fatigued and I have been on brand new fiberglass boats that I have questioned the seaworthiness of. I don't think one can general old steel= bad.

Steel hulls don't deteriorate at a uniform .004" per year. That's a very average figure. The sections that have endured the greatest panting stresses and cavitation around the prop may have been replated numerous times over the course of a steel vessels life time, while the top side and middle third may not yet require plating. the condition of a steel hull can (and frequently is) assessed by marine engineers and naval architects. Your yellow pages pleasure craft marine surveyor may or may not know how to do it, but if you can find a shipyard, naval architect or classification society pro that knows their way around a steel boat, they can assess the quality of the workmanship and thickness of hull plating fairly easily.

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