Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 45 Times in 44 Posts
Rep Power: 18
One of the advantages of steel boats is that they can supposedly be easily repaired anywhere by anybody handy with a welding torch. Even the owner, in a pinch. One of the disadvantages is that they rust and corrode all over, and therefore need repairs. I believe that commercial steel ships are only expected to have about a 20-year lifespan. A fiberglass covering over steel sounds like a recepie for disaster. Wouldn''t condensation tend to form between the layers, causing unseen rust and weak areas? Steel doesn''t get cost-effective in the strength/weight equation unless you''re looking at a pretty big hull - perhaps 50 or more feet. Costs to equip, maintain and crew such a large hole in the water could get serious pretty quickly. Smaller steel cruising boats seem to be more popular in Continental Europe - especially France - than here. They''re used to pretty heavy winds and short distances between ports. It makes me wonder how much sailing they actually do (and how well many of them actually sail). With a limited budget, unless you''re a welder yourself, I would look for something more readily available and less prone to "issues". Not that fiberglass, wood, aluminum, or other materials don''t each have their "issues" as well.