Pros and cons of steel sailboats - Page 296 - SailNet Community
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post #2951 of 5317 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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I believe Slocum did not build Spray. He restored it.
OT Post....

True he didn't build Spray, he rebuilt it, there was not much left of the original boat after removing the rot.....

While it may seem to be nothing but an exercise in semantics, being an avid restorer of many things from furniture to cars to houses to boats, one does learn fairly quickly that there is a huge difference between restore and rebuild......
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There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken advantage of at the flood, leads over the reef, on to adventure. Those men who fore go this high water of their life are forever left to ponder, a life bound wallowing in the shallows.......Julius Caesar
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post #2952 of 5317 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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20k for Dove II. It's things that that which convinced me to not do steel. I was highly enthused to do an Alan Pape design awhile back. Got to the point of looking at plans and taking a welding course. Then calculated out man hours for construction and cost of interiors. I know Brent has the time to look around and do these things cheaply. Even if I had the time I would not be pleased with the result so had planned a white wood and teak interior.Cost of the interior is about the same regards of hull material. Figured with part time professional help was looking at ~7-10k man hours. Figured excluding my labor was looking at 75-100k. In glass you may assume a 20-30% loss ( higher for one offs) and about the same in Al. In real dollars if you use and maintain the boat maybe up to 50% loss over life of ownership ( looking at ~ 10y). But in steel ( even professionally constructed with perfect survey) you will have trouble selling it and then at even greater loses. If you want a metal hull at all levels ( modern design with good sailing performance, decent resale, ease of maintenance, aesthetics) Al makes better boat then Fe.
Steve went from a Mason to a Boreal. From what I understand he is pleased as punch. Wonder if steel owners are running into the same hassles with insurance and yards that wooden boat owner are experiencing.
I see a lot of comments that seem to assume the only way to acquire a steel boat is to build one.

And I see a lot of comments indicating that steel boats loose their resale value.

Looking at it another way, I decided to buy steel in part because used steel boats can be a good value buy ( relatively inexpensive) and I got to go sailing right away.

I can't imagine the effort of doing a build, or partial build myself.

Both of our boats were professionally done (hull) and then fitted out (interior) by the owner. I would be very cautious of a homemade hull. We actually went to closing on an aluminum schooner, home made, and backed out on survey due to build issues. A very nice boat, with irregular welding. Ouch.

We ended up with the Pape and are very happy with her. Surely not everyone's boat. But she works for us, well.

The Brewer is getting some much needed attention, but we are happy with her as well.

So, why not take advantage of the market and buy used?

But then again, we have no intention of selling either boat.

Last edited by hpeer; 12-26-2013 at 08:25 PM.
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post #2953 of 5317 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Peer:
Can you post a pick of your boat please? I've known Ted Brewer since 1973. He's a good pal. He was very important to me in my early days in this business. I think "respect" is the word I am looking for.
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post #2954 of 5317 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Bob,

I don't have any real good photos on my Ipad. This is all I have. I'll try to remember to do better when I get to a real computer.

1985ish. Murray 33, his smallest steel design. Just blasted the hull and found a bad spot due to persistent leak around engine control cable and radar cable. Arg! It's those damn little details.

I've had her in Newfoundland for 8 years, where I could not get the time to do many things right. Now I've got her close at hand.

Ted is a great guy, I've never met him, but we have spoken and consulted with him.
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post #2955 of 5317 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

You make a very valid point.there are many sound beautifully built steel boats going for a song given how difficult it is you convince Americans to own steel.your two are examples. Fairs winds
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post #2956 of 5317 Old 12-27-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Peer:
That is a very nice looking hull shape.
Do you also own a Brewer?

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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Bob,

That is the Brewer Murray 33.

Here is the Pape Steelmaid.
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Always liked his cutters with radius chine but the hard chine looks good in your boat. From the picture looks like she's well maintained. Perhaps you would share your real world experience in man hours and expense for your maintenance program. Got to look at a 46' Puffin before doing my last boat. That owner stressed that if properly designed and coated at time of construction his maintenance program was not much worse than grp boats. Unlike Brent seemed he preferred access to all areas of the inside of the hull and had no sprayed in place foam that I could see. He was a prior commercial ship's captain so had pre existing extensive experience with steel vessels.

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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Peer:
That Pape boat looks great. Nice lines. I have been nagging on and on here that just because a vesel is built in steel does not mean it has to be an ugly boat. Your boats prove my point.
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post #2960 of 5317 Old 12-27-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Always liked his cutters with radius chine but the hard chine looks good in your boat. From the picture looks like she's well maintained. Perhaps you would share your real world experience in man hours and expense for your maintenance program. Got to look at a 46' Puffin before doing my last boat. That owner stressed that if properly designed and coated at time of construction his maintenance program was not much worse than grp boats. Unlike Brent seemed he preferred access to all areas of the inside of the hull and had no sprayed in place foam that I could see. He was a prior commercial ship's captain so had pre existing extensive experience with steel vessels.
While lack of sprayfoam is an attractive idea, it only works in warm climates, or on boats which are not lived aboard full time. In colder climates, for full time liveaboards, there is nothing more miserable than a boat which has not been sprayfoamed , nor more comfortable than one which has been properly sprayfoamed. I have seen many try alternatives to sprayfoam , none of which have worked all that well.
The trick with sprayfoamed boats is to get a thick enough epoxy buildup on the steel before sprayfoaming, putting zero reliance on the spray foam for steel protection. The steel behind mine, anywhere I have checked it, is in perfect condition, after living aboard full time for 29 years. Many "professionally built " boats here (Foulkes, and Fehrs) have zero paint under the foam and most rust out rather quickly behind the foam. Most never had the mill scale removed , beneath the foam. Some Foulkes boats , bought in the bare shell stage, and amateur finished ( properly) may still be good boats, but one should steer clear of anything "professionally" finished by Foulkes or Fehr.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"

Last edited by Brent Swain; 12-27-2013 at 05:08 PM.
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