I am pretty experienced at working in sheet metals, and I have gotten paid a lot of money to weld stuff that was x-rayed, pressure tested, and inspected very tightly, and I would not attempt to build a steel boat unless I was in a full service sheet metal shop with a plasma cutting table, a heavy steel break, roller, and all the rest of the stuff you would find in an industrial fabrication and machine shop.
I am fairly sure most wannabe cruisers do not have this, which as far as I can see is the only reason they would consider a BS design in the first place. I certainly would not build a blue water cruiser out of steel without using frames, because I would want to be able to isolate compartments using some of those frames, and I would want to have the rigidity that the frames would give not only my hull, but my deck and my cabin sole, plus that it would give a nice place to hang stuff that I wanted to mount, like conduit and plumbing.
certainly am among the few I know with the skills to do the job, though I am far out of practice, I have not forgotten, and I still do some welding and fabrication for a couple of charity organizations from time to time. Most people are not certified welders, do not have any skills in working sheet metal, and certainly do not have a shop with overhead cranes, welding machines, torches, plasma cutters, grinders, a brake, a roller, or a sheer and this stuff is expensive.
This little gem is $24,500.00 and you would need it to build a steel hull boat of any size or you would need to pay someone to use theirs.
By the way, if you have one of those and a press roller and all the other stuff in a nice big high ceiling shop, say 80 feet high, located directly on the waterfront please feel free to contact me, we might be able to build something.
I worked for may years on a brake press in the 70's, at Mainland Foundry in Vancouver on a 180 ton Pearson hydraulic, along with plate rolls and section rolls, at Canron in Vancouver, on a 400 ton Pacific hydraulic and a Cincinatti 600 ton mechanical flywheel brake , and in Auckland at A&G Price on an 87 ton Dye hydraulic. I was considered very innovative as a brake operator, being asked to do jobs no one else could figure out. In all the boatbuilding I have done 38 hulls , I have only seen about 15 minutes worth of brake press use which would have been helpful, the edges of the forehatch and main hatch cover and the cockpit well, which we have had done for as little as $10. I have seen no use for any other kind of rolls in my boats. They could be useful on a power boat, with so many straight corners, but not on a sailboat, with almost all corners curved.
Plasma is nice , but not worth the cost for a one off. For the last boat we found it too finicky, and it quit often, without reason, so we used the torch mostly.
Inability to build a small steel sailboat without such expensive toys would take a total lack of imagination, or lack of ability to innovate.
Welds on a 36 footer simply don't break, no matter how badly they are done. I've never heard of it happening. The inertia of a 36 is simply not great enough. How does even the worst weld compare in strength to that of a copper fastening in red cedar every six inches, or six inches of plastic?
A kid I taught how to weld and build boats, went to welding school and got every ticked he needed. He said "Boy ,when it comes to embellishing their importance, welders are sure full of it."
Or as my next replacement says "You are not building a nuclear submarine."
You should s check out the origamiboats site, or my book or Alex's video to see how we have made overhead lifts redundant, by our building methods. Innovation does the trick.They would save maybe an hour or two at most, in building an origami boat.
80 ft overhead clearance would only be useful if you planed to put a 70 ft mast up in the shop. How often is that done?
I , Roberts, Dix, Tanton, Van de Stadt, Shannon and many others have designed very successful boats, without transverse frames, for decades, none of which have suffered any consequences for not having frames, and which has proven transverse frames irrelevant in a boat under 41 feet.
So would it be wise to believe the statements that we are all wrong, by someone who has never built or cruised extensively in a small steel sailboat?
This is the type of uninformed disinformation which needlessly discourages people from building their own small steel sailboats, and has them going to sea in boats which have far less chance of surviving a collision with Fukashima debris, sometimes resulting in boats going missing without a trace.