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  #3221  
Old 01-15-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Out makes a good point. Steel would severely limit how I choose the displacement. I like to draw a shape and then choose a material that allows me to execute the design in that material to the weight target.
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  #3222  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
You have very little control over the small shaping details when you work with steel. There are European yards that can do it but you don't see that level of shape contgrrol in North American steel boats.
I didn't realize that. I wonder if that is because they are more popular over there? Is it a market thing?

Regarding aluminum, can it be made as strong as steel inch:inch, or do you have to make it thicker? Are repairs as easy, I wonder? If so, it would seem to be the material of choice.

Brian
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  #3223  
Old 01-15-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Dad:
I think two things are at work wher shaping the steel is concerned:
You need special tools and refined skills to do highly shaped steel parts.
Steel is marketed here as an inexpensive way to get a strong hull and as such building a steel boat often involved welders that are not schooled in "old world" steel working skills. The nicest steel boat I have seen have come from Germany and Holland where there is a long tradition of building steel yachts.

I think you are also right in that there has been a market in Europe more open to steel boats.
North America has not been very receptive to steel yachts and the resale value reflects this.

Aluminum is easier to work with and has some of the samne durability advantages as steel. Alu will be thicker but lighter and give some nice displacement options as well as shaping advantages.

Here is a 62'er I did in alu in Holland. It has hard edges so there goes that part of my argument. But I think the outcome is "tidier" with more control of the details. But this is not an inexpensive boat.
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  #3224  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Beautiful girl, as usual, Bob!!!
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  #3225  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I didn't realize that. I wonder if that is because they are more popular over there? Is it a market thing?

Regarding aluminum, can it be made as strong as steel inch:inch, or do you have to make it thicker? Are repairs as easy, I wonder? If so, it would seem to be the material of choice.

Brian
Brian,

Where steel comes into its own is that it is very strong and stiff for any given cross sectional area. There are few if any boat building materials that come anywhere close. But steel is also very dense. Because of that an equal weight of any other boat building material has a much thicker cross section. Since the properties of materials (sheer not withstanding) are calculated as the square, cube or fourth power of the thickness (depending on the purpose of the calculation), it turns out that if you believe in the science, when viewed solely on a pound for pound basis, steel is one of the weakest boat building materials.

Where steel comes into its own is that it is pretty cheap relative to its strength, and it has a very high abrasion resistance.

The weight issue often gets dismissed by traditional cruising sailors, but does come into play in very real ways that directly impacts cruisers. When a boat is designed, its hull lines lock in a specific displacement and rate of displacement gain with additional immersion. In other words any given hull shape can only tolerate carrying a given amount of combined weight of hull, ballast, rig, hardware, engine and consumables, and the question then becomes how do you divvy up this weight between the various parts of the boat and what it carries.

If you compare two boats of equal strength, but constructed of different materials, and the hull of one weighs 40-50% more than the other due to the material (an increase which may be as much as a 10-20% of the overall displacement of the boat) that additional hull weight has to be accomodated somehow. That 'somehow' could be a mix of decreased ballast weight, lower carrying capacity, smaller tankage, less interior appointments and the like. And these trade off's translate to a smaller range, less stability, more roll, and so on. And none of that is good for a cruiser.

But, to answer your question, the case of aluminum it does take greater thickness to achieve the same bending, stiffness and puncture strength. But, if you believe the science, even with that greater thickness, an equal strength aluminum hull will be lighter than the comparable steel boat.

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 01-15-2014 at 04:06 PM.
  #3226  
Old 01-15-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Dad:
That girl is now sporting a bright red hull and home to a German family with two young daughters. They cruise full time. The boat is now called MARLIN.
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  #3227  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
"malignant personality".

That makes sense. I'm over it this morning. Like I said, I honestly pity the guy. If he's the poster boy for what "full time 'cruising'" does to a person - NO ONE is going to want to go cruising. Period.
Full time SINGLE-HANDED cruising. Not the best technique for socialization.

Can you say "Hermit" children?

I knew you could.
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  #3228  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
Dad:
That girl is now sporting a bright red hull and home to a German family with two young daughters. They cruise full time. The boat is now called MARLIN.
Another cruising family! I love it!!!

Brian
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  #3229  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Brian,

Where steel comes into its own is that it is very strong and stiff for any given cross sectional area. There are few if any boat building materials that come anywhere close. But steel is also very dense. Because of that an equal weight of any other boat building material has a much thicker cross section. Since the properties of materials (sheer not withstanding) are calculated as the square, cube or fourth power of the thickness (depending on the purpose of the calculation), it turns out that if you believe in the science, when viewed solely on a pound for pound basis, steel is one of the weakest boat building materials.

Where steel comes into its own is that it is pretty cheap relative to its strength, and it has a very high abrasion resistance.

The weight issue often gets dismissed by traditional cruising sailors, but does come into play in very real ways that directly impacts cruisers. When a boat is designed, its hull lines lock in a specific displacement and rate of displacement gain with additional immersion. In other words any given hull shape can only tolerate carrying a given amount of combined weight of hull, ballast, rig, hardware, engine and consumables, and the question then becomes how do you divvy up this weight between the various parts of the boat and what it carries.

If you compare two boats of equal strength, but constructed of different materials, and the hull of one weighs 40-50% more than the other due to the material (an increase which may be as much as a 10-20% of the overall displacement of the boat) that additional hull weight has to be accomodated somehow. That 'somehow' could be a mix of decreased ballast weight, lower carrying capacity, smaller tankage, less interior appointments and the like. And these trade off's translate to a smaller range, less stability, more roll, and so on. And none of that is good for a cruiser.

But, to answer your question, the case of aluminum it does take greater thickness to achieve the same bending, stiffness and puncture strength. But, if you believe the science, even with that greater thickness, an equal strength aluminum hull will be lighter than the comparable steel boat.

Jeff
Thanks Jeff!!

Brian
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  #3230  
Old 01-15-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Full time SINGLE-HANDED cruising. Not the best technique for socialization.

Can you say "Hermit" children?

I knew you could.
According to people who know him, Brent lives with his sister in a flat. So not a hermit.
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