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1960s Vintage Dutch Steel Boats
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.