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  #2751  
Old 12-09-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
We all do. The real question is - do you have a half-finished steel sailboat in your yard?
Or a cement one?? - may as well get them all in here!

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Last edited by Faster; 12-09-2013 at 02:21 PM.
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  #2752  
Old 12-09-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
The colder it gets the weirder the posts get.
By February things should be truly strange around here.
No kidding! All this 60 degree weather we are having makes it difficult to want to go sailing in shorts! I even had to hang up my boat flip flops for deck shoes last week, it was horrible!


Btw I love living in the south sometimes.
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  #2753  
Old 12-09-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Brent

To me and according to Alex Christie's site origami is a folded method of construction. As everybody on this thread knows this is limiting in hull shapes possible. The Van De Stadt 34 is a steel multi chine boat built in a jig with framing added later. I see no "origami principles" involved here, no folded construction. It is clever but it is also very similar to many steel and aluminum hard chine boats built around the world as well as many single and multi chine boats built out of plywood. It also can create many different hull forms than can be built with a folded design.

Origami means folding. I don't see any folding on Van De Stadt's site or very many other builder's sites for that matter.
The jig only controls the midship section. The ends are controlled by the shape of the edges of the plate, which is the principle of origami construction. You could easily take the plate shapes and pull them together origami style, and end up with exactly the same hull shape. Or you could leave the seams attached in the ends, eliminating chines there, and end up with beautiful, well rounded ends, eliminating a huge amount of welding cutting and potential distortion.
The Van de Stadt in the picture could use a proper bulwark and proper lifelines. She looks precarious to sail on; one can easily slide under the trip wire style lifelines .
The corners of the reverse transom are a maintenance night mare, as it is almost impossible to keep paint on them. One would be wise to do the corners in stainless. One client ran series of stainless downhand welds on his corners, then ground them fair, to give him stainless where the paint is inclined to chip. That reverse transom is hard to rig a simple self steering on , but it looks like that boat may work well with a large QME style vane .
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  #2754  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I understand what you're saying in general. But are you sure that's the case in the above boats? What is the thickness of the skin in those? That's my concern.

Again, the guys building these may know exactly what they're doing (one of them especially is very well detailed). But where are those aluminum thickness specs laid out in Brent's books, DVDs, or drawings? Maybe they're there - I just haven't seen any evidence of it.
Looks like Jean Marc or Harvey's 55 footers. 3/8th inch 5086 was used on them. They passed coast guard certification for charter boats .Jean Marc who loves stormy weather, has cruised year round in Hecate strait area , enough miles to complete a circumnavigation. No problems . Far more accurate and reliable than your armchair calculations.
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  #2755  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Have tried repetitively to move this thread back to what I perceived it's original intent and will try again.
I looked at steel construction some time ago. Multiple designers offered plans at that time which included CDs with cutting files allowing nesting of plate/frame components maximizing usage of material and minimizing costs/labor. At that time there were multiple yards constructing in steel. I seem to recall Kanter ( since moved to all Al)in Canada, yards near Biloxi and up in the Bath Maine area. I recall you could approach a yard doing fish boats or work boats such as those around New Bedford and they would fabricate a hull and deck for you. I believe you could get a boat in "sail away" state allowing you to do the labor intensive in fill on your own but saving you innumerable hours and ensuring a fair, safe hull. Given the downsizing of the sailboat and fish boat construction industry in this country I have several questions:
1. Are these resources still available to Americans? If so where?
2.If so have the advances in CAD/CAM and other technologies expanded into this sphere?
3.Brent speaks to the durability of "old school" coating systems. Have there been advances in coating systems for steel boats that allow increased beauty with decreased maintenance?
4.Is demand sufficient that further understanding and advances in hull shape and design in recent years has been expanded into the genre of steel sail boats.?
5. What recent designs ( 15y to present) in steel are there or is this a material where limitations due the material and economics have not allowed any changes in paradigm?
Cad is slowly working its way into boat building. However it takes a lot of time to do for a one off,
The flame spraying which Silas Crosby has, is the best way of eliminating corrosion and maintenance. A friend, who did a lot of research on the subject ,concluded that a mixture of aluminium and zinc was the most effective. As I mentioned earlier, frequent cleaning of the gun when using acetylene is critical to getting a good bond. Probably not a problem in the newer, electric arc types of guns.
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  #2756  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Many of the contributors to this thread has alluded Al. There are active yards and designers in AL. I further wonder given the limitations of steel why anyone would currently build in steel The Al boat would be
faster
actually have reasonable resale value
just as safe
could incorporate modern design
not require external paint beyond bottom paint
Admittedly unless the home builder was skilled in TIG welding ( which I found just as easy as long as you moved the puddle and thought about heat distortion) and had access to a wind free environment construction in Al is problematic. Still given hull/deck usually compromise ~10-15% of total cost even if these are professionally constructed the "home builder" ends up with a better boat for 20-30% more money. I wish Brent and others would speak to this. Finally, most of us make more money doing what our "day job" is than we would save by home building. In Al you can still buy a "production boat" with appropriate certification ( CE, ABYC, Norske Veritas, German Lloyds etc) that would allow easily obtained insurance and financing.
The materials for an aluminium 36 was over triple the cost of steel, and the welding was also far more expensive, complex, weaker and far less forgiving. Aluminium boat owners are constantly struggling to find an antifouling which is effective and wont react with aluminium, disolving it. No conclusive solutions yet! Aluminium above the waterline is far more corrosion resistant than steel . Below the waterline it is far less so, and when it goes it goes far more rapidly, especially in electrically hot marinas.
Unpainted aluminium in the tropics can burn the soles off your feet, in the sun. Painting it is the only solution.
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  #2757  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I would say that very few top NA are designing steel boats, not even big steel yachts. Big steel yachts used to be made of steel and brands like Perini or Jongert used to build in steel but not anymore. The turning point happened for the more conservative brands, like these two, around 2000.

List of large sailing yachts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can look at this list and you can see clearly the abandon of steel has a building material for hulls at around 2000. After that almost all big hulls are aluminium.

The last famous one in steel was this one:



But that's because they used reused an old 1989 steel hull.

Older boats from Jongert or Perini have steel hulls, like these yachts:






Now these two shipyards, even on classic boats, use aluminium:



and obviously on the modern ones too:









Regarding small sailingboat's hulls advantages in steel or aluminium, Berckemeyer gives a good explanation:

CONSTRUCTION:

YACHT TYPES, ROUND BILGE / HARD CHINE:
Generally, we prefer round bilge yachts for their better looks and performance (no sharp corners to create turbulence). Metal hard chine hulls may be 15-25% cheaper than round bilge ones of the same material, however, since with a custom built yacht the hull represents only about 30% of the value of the complete boat, the hard chine saving is only approx. 5-8% of the overall value, but the resale value of the whole yacht may be reduced by 25 % or more, compared to the round bilge counterpart.

BOAT BUILDING MATERIALS:
Metal boats are the safest for serious long distance cruising, since unfortunately there is a lot of debris floating around, even lost containers. When you hit one of them with a GRP boat, you are in trouble. ...

ALUMINIUM YACHTS:
Aluminium nowadays is the most popular building material with custom built long distance cruisers. You can leave it unpainted. Claims about electrolysis problems with Aluminium hulls are mostly exaggerated, however, this aspect should be observed and proper protection installed.

The following comparison will show the pros and cons of Aluminium versus steel:

Weight: Aluminium is lighter than steel for the same strength. Hence the available displacement can be utilized for carrying water, equipment and provisions, rather than a heavy steel structure.

More stable and faster: Due to their lighter weight, Aluminium boats have a lower centre of gravity and are therefore more stable and faster.

Appearance: In order to keep the weight of steel hulls down, plating is thinner than with Aluminium yachts. Therefore, over the years, steel hulls will often acquire a buckled appearance, with reduced resale value.

Labour saving: Light weight means labour saving during the construction of the hull. Also, Aluminium can be cut abt. 3x as fast as steel and it can be cut with normal woodworking equipment. Aluminium welds approc. 2x as fast as steel, even considering the thicker plating to be welded in the case of Aluminium construction.

Safety: Aluminium deforms or stretches beyond its elastic limit more than steel before rupturing. This is of particular importance when hitting floating objects ( it is estimated that approximately 10 00 containers are going overboard annually ).

Safety: Aluminium is non-sparking and non-magnetic.

Price of material: Aluminium is more expensive than steel, however, it does not require a very elaborate paint system for corrosion protection and the resale value of Aluminium yachts is the highest of all boatbuilding materials.
....
STEEL YACHTS:
Steel is the traditional material for metal boatbuilding. However, in spite of all claims that steel can be 100% corrosion protected, it still needs care and when you see a rusty spot on an exposed surface, you will have uneasy feelings about the hidden parts which will rust away undetected. Moreover, steel adds approx. 20% to the displacement as compared to Aluminium hulls, which could be better utilized by way of supplies. The resale value of steel boats is low

O. Berckemeyer


Today Nas that still design sailboats in steel do that almost exclusively for amateur boat builders. Steel is harder to cut but much more easier to weld than the aluminium and for the low budget boat builder, that are not going to spend a lot on a good interior, good mast, good winches and good sails the difference in price will be important. Not to a shipyard where the cost of the hull only represents 30% of the cost of the boat and the difference in price between using aluminium of steel only a small fraction of that.

The designs that are made for amateur boat builders have not as main objective pure efficiency in what regards hull design but easiness of building and generally the designs offered on the market are old and have one or two dozens of years or more. Not properly the top of the crop in what regards hull design

Regards

Paulo
I cant think of any cruisers I know who would have any use for such huge "penis extenders." I certainly have no use for one.
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  #2758  
Old 12-09-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
The materials for an aluminium 36 was over triple the cost of steel, and the welding was also far more expensive, complex, weaker and far less forgiving. Aluminium boat owners are constantly struggling to find an antifouling which is effective and wont react with aluminium, disolving it. No conclusive solutions yet! Aluminium above the waterline is far more corrosion resistant than steel . Below the waterline it is far less so, and when it goes it goes far more rapidly, especially in electrically hot marinas.
Unpainted aluminium in the tropics can burn the soles off your feet, in the sun. Painting it is the only solution.
Wow, what a recipe for disaster! 3X-plus more expensive to build, weaker and less forgiving, slowly dissolving into the sea...in addition to equating to ZERO resale value, I'd say there are some charter customers in grave danger:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Looks like Jean Marc or Harvey's 55 footers. 3/8th inch 5086 was used on them. They passed coast guard certification for charter boats.
You really should warn the CG about these guys. Those "boats" are ticking time bombs!
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
A day or so ago we were discussing membership in various design associations.
Earlier today I posted a link comparing steel and aluminum. It was to Michael Kasten's site. I have just spent some time looking at the rest of his site and was surprised to find he belongs to everything he probably can!

Royal Institute of Naval architects

Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

Society of Boat and Yacht Designers (didn't know that existed)

Metal Boat Society

ABYC

Doesn't mean much to me, except possibly for ABYC, but I don't think I have seen such a list under one name before. Look at all those annual dues!
And his clients get the bill!
Such names and numbers and his comments are still as dumb as a stump.
He is definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Think I will go to Tijuana and buy me some qualifications as a rocket scientist.
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
He is definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Said the ball of twine.
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