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post #21 of 5317 Old 11-20-2012
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Do many builders here zinc flame the hulls?

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post #22 of 5317 Old 11-21-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by CaptainQuiet View Post
tdw,
What were the shortcomings in your VDS34 performance? And someone mentioned before that maintenance (rust) is becoming less of a problem with more modern paints- would you say that is true, and finally - what kind of a maintenance schedule are we talking about here?
thanks
CQ .... even with modern paints and protective coatings steel will require more maintenance than glass. There is always some small spot that needs attention and if you ignore, it is not going away. With a steeler you simply need to keep an eye open, your dremel at the ready and a touch up kit. We found POR to be worthwhile.

Performance shortcomings in reality are only when compared to a similar boat. The glass or timber boat (vds 34s were made in steel, glass or cold moulded diagonal strip) has less overall weight, same sail area but more weight in the keel itself. The steeler has a heavier hull so can carry less ballast in the keel. Ergo the glass and timber versions will stand up to their sails better and can get along in less wind.

One other point to consider is that it seems to me that whenever people build steel boats they also tend to go for all timber interiors with bugger all attention given to the weight. A friend of mine with a timber VDS34 and a comparatively lightweight interior sits around 150mm higher in the water than our old girl with her full timber fitout. Sure we had the more comfortable boat, more fuel, more water but in anything under 15 - 20 knots the other girl sailed rings around us.

To be clear I am not down on steelers though if I was to go down that path again I'd want more than 40' and more care taken to keep interior weight down. Aluminium is quite frankly preferable .... in my eyes at least.
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post #23 of 5317 Old 11-23-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Thanks to all for your replies. A lot to think about.
Funny what started out as a thread on steel boats has turned into an endorsement for aluminium boats. While I greatly appreciate this info, I wonder if there are any steel boaters out there who have yet to chime in ?
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post #24 of 5317 Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Comox backwater, Jack??

The undeniable inherent strength of steel has to be a big comfort at sea and in rock-hopping scenarios.

With today's advanced coatings the maintenance issue is probably much reduced relatively speaking. Repairable anywhere.

But, (no offence, Brent) they're not always pretty and most are hard chine, which is OK but something you need to 'like'.. Soft chine metal boats are usually much more costly to have built.

It's not a quick easy way to build a boat, esp compared to 'plastic' so steel boats will always be in the minority in 'yachty' circles...
With a skilled owner and good tools, I've put together a 36 ft hull in two days or tacked together the shell( Hull, decks, wheelhouse, cabin, cockpit keel and skeg ) in 6 days. My methods have reduced the time in building a shell, to 1/10th the time of traditional steel boat building, and the cost to far less than building a new fibreglass shell.Once the shell has been built, the ability to fabricate and weld, rather than bolt down fittings,further drastically reduces the cost of building in steel .

When the cost of steel to build a 36 was around $4K ,the cost of aluminium to build the same boat was around $20K, and aluminium welding equipment was far more expensive . You can only weld aluminium outside in a dead calm, in dry weather. Aluminium welds are only 60% the strength of the surrounding metal, whereas steel welds are 100% , demand far less skill, and are far harder to screw up on.
It's extremely hard to find effective antifouling which wont react with aluminium.
When people ask me about corrosion, I tell them steel has far more problems above the waterline ,where you can easily see it and deal with it. Aluminium has far more trouble below the waterline, where you don't see it, it is harder to deal with ,and happens far more quickly when it does..
On my steel 31 footer, maintenance cost has averaged around 2 hours a year, and less than $50 a year. Trimming all, side corners with stainless and fabricating all your cleats, handrails and details with scrap stainless can reduce your maintenance by 80%, as the main chipping of paint is on outside corners, rarely on flat surfaces. If you have rust problems on flat surfaces your epoxy is probably not thick enough. The thicker the better.
Weight problems on steel boats are largely caused by outdated building methods, with tons of uneeded and irrelevant framing. I remember one steel boat made out of 1/8th inch plate. They let carpenters put the interior in. They lined it with one inch plywood then an inch of teak, which combined, weighed many times the weight of the steel .
It's not displacement alone which makes a boat too slow .It's the displacement to sail area . Heavier boat, more sail.
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Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"

Last edited by Brent Swain; 11-27-2012 at 08:50 PM.
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post #25 of 5317 Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Comox backwater, Jack??

The undeniable inherent strength of steel has to be a big comfort at sea and in rock-hopping scenarios.

With today's advanced coatings the maintenance issue is probably much reduced relatively speaking. Repairable anywhere.

But, (no offence, Brent) they're not always pretty and most are hard chine, which is OK but something you need to 'like'.. Soft chine metal boats are usually much more costly to have built.

It's not a quick easy way to build a boat, esp compared to 'plastic' so steel boats will always be in the minority in 'yachty' circles...
The chine is below the waterline, and invisible at high tide.

Notice I've radiused the chine on the green one, not that hard to do, if you consider it worth the trouble.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #26 of 5317 Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

You have asked about a boat build with aluminum stongal. I find this one that was built by a reputable shipyard (meta) and that is being sold at an incredible price. I don't know if the boat has any problem. It is sold directly by the owner and that can make it less expensive. At that price I think it deserves a look

Meta Chantier Naval » LOGIQUE DE MER 40

CHANTIER META LOGIQUE DE MER 40 Voiliers 10 - 12 m année 2002

Contact : Mme Pascale MAISONNEUVE

Mail : pascalemai25@yahoo.fr

You can see on Meta shipyard page more used strongal boats like this one:

http://www.meta-chantier-naval.fr/we...sions/dalu-40/

Here is the page:

http://www.meta-chantier-naval.fr/we...nos-occasions/

Last edited by PCP; 11-23-2012 at 06:56 PM.
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post #27 of 5317 Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
On my steel 31 footer, maintenance cost has averaged around 2 hours a year, and less than $50 a year.
Can you elaborate on that? In my experience the dinghy takes more than that. Are you meaning the difference compared to glass boats?

Quote:
Trimming all, side corners with stainless and fabricating all your cleats, handrails and details with scrap stainless can reduce your maintenance by 80%,
Can S/S be welded properly to mild steel? Having cleats, stanchions, chainplates, bow rollers etc. all one piece with the hull would be a BIG advantage - think of all the caulking you'd save!

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #28 of 5317 Old 11-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
With a skilled owner and good tools, I've put together a 36 ft hull in two days or tacked together the shell( Hull, decks, wheelhouse, cabin, cockpit keel and skeg ) in 6 days. My methods have reduced the time in building a shell, to 1/10th the time of traditional steel boat building, and the cost to far less than building a new fibreglass shell.Once the shell has been built, the ability to fabricate and weld, rather than bolt down fittings,further drastically reduces the cost of building in steel .

When the cost of steel to build a 36 was around $4K ,the cost of aluminium to build the same boat was around $20K, and aluminium welding equipment was far more expensive . You can only weld aluminium outside in a dead calm, in dry weather. Aluminium welds are only 60% the strength of the surrounding metal, whereas steel welds are 100% , demand far less skill, and are far harder to screw up on.
It's extremely hard to find effective antifouling which wont react with aluminium.

It's not displacement alone which makes a boat too slow .It's the displacement to sail area . Heavier boat, more sail.
Brent- where can I see some of the designs you've done. I can't find your website. Love to see more. Got anything in the 40ish range, center cockpit ketch? We're going to be a family of four and would like it to be a go anywhere boat- around the marble perhaps.
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post #29 of 5317 Old 11-24-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by CaptainQuiet View Post
Brent- where can I see some of the designs you've done. I can't find your website. Love to see more. Got anything in the 40ish range, center cockpit ketch? We're going to be a family of four and would like it to be a go anywhere boat- around the marble perhaps.

I think this is his site: Boat Designs

hth
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post #30 of 5317 Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

This is Brent's site.

Home - Origamiboats: The Art of Frameless Steel Boatbuilding

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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