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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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A really well built and maintained steel hull will not be an inexpensive one.. a well-looked-after older hull COULD be OK - just like any other boat built of any other material.
Today's steel boats have benefited greatly from the advances in coatings and corrosion protection measures. One would have to wonder if a boat built in '63 will have taken advantage of any of that.
There's nothing quite like the confidence you'll feel in the strength and integrity of a good steel boat, but the yard-built ones are pricey, and the DIYs will require careful scrutiny. Ultrasonic testing is quite accurate, but only wrt to the specific areas tested.
Here's a recent cautionary tale about an (admittedly neglected) steel Folkes 37, a popular owner-built design here abouts. Having been idle in her slip for some time, a considerable crop of mussels and growth had accumulated. The owner, deciding it was time to sell, hired a diver to clean the hull. Part way through the cleaning, the boat began to take on water.. a hastily arranged haulout ensued. I saw the boat on the hard a couple of days later.. there were several thumb-sized holes in the immediate area of one of the thruhulls. The growth and mussels had actually kept this area sealed as the metal was corroding away... yikes! Seeing that you had to wonder what the rest of the hull was really like!
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)
Last edited by Faster; 01-28-2010 at 03:39 PM.