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  #3591  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Brent missed a chapter in his book called "Navigation."


That is actually from the section of Brent's book called "Sales Pitch".
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  #3592  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by Dean101 View Post
I was being tongue in cheek. I've seen your name attached to a LOT of boats stretching back quite a few years. You wouldn't have your reputation without a thorough knowledge base and experience in applying that knowledge in all your different designs. I've got the impression that Brent started by building a basic hull that looks like it would work in origami and went from there. He could weld on either a single or twin keels, added a deck and superstructure, mast, rigging, and those handrails and WAHLA! A boat! It wouldn't be too difficult even for me working with known material weight to come up with some reasonable ratios. The strength of the steel combined with the strength of the welds holding on the apertures would ensure the whole thing wouldn't collapse. In the end, you have what you have. That is very different from doing all those ridiculous math calculations and modeling so you know pretty closely what you will end up with BEFORE you actually spend the money to build it. All the pictures I've seen of his boats look like they derived from the same hull. Everything else aside, that caters to only a very small crowd.
Your impression is pretty spot on. Brent works in a very similar fashion to the old style "beach builders" who build some very substantial work boats by eye, experience and tradition on third world beaches throughout the world.

That makes him part of an ancient and fairly effective tradition but it ain't particularly sophisticated or varied.

On the other hand, Windward Passage was built on the beach in the Bahamas. They used plans from a noted N/A though, not just their thumbs & eyes.
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  #3593  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

"They used plans"
and that is the difference.
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  #3594  
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
"They used plans"
and that is the difference.
The "Noted N/A" part counts too.
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Bob: how accurate is the weight study? When I first realized that NA's did such a thing, my first thought was "how can they account for every little do-dad that goes on board a sophisticated yacht?" I had always assumed the NA had a list with the weights of various materials, and simply applied them to the estimated quantities of material that were planned to go into construction. Based on your earlier post, I now know you keep a running tab on the actual weights of the material used. Do you do an estimate before you start, then adjust the numbers as the actual material is used? If so, how do you adjust the design if your estimate turns out to be significantly off? I've learned alot about design over the years by reading your column in Sailing, and in forums like this; it seems the more I learn, the less I know....
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

mstern:
You pretty much nailed it:

Yes, in this case that is exactly what we did. I started a weight study and used calculations and wild ass guesses. At the time we didn't even know what material we would use for the hull. I had to guess based upon what I thought was a suitable and reasonable ghrp hull laminate. You can dig up an engine weight easily then add something for exhaust, shaft, strip, prop, fuel, tanks, paint etc. At the end I threw on 1,300 lbs. of "overage" to cover things I did not list separately. In some designs this can be as much as 10% of the total displ. and then still not be enough.

Kim and I went over and over the weight estimate in the early days, slowly pinning the various categories down. The when the build began they started physically weighing components and Kim would add them into the weight study. We used load cells to weigh the hull when it was done. Kim would stand on a scale holding a composite bulkhead to get the weight.

Weight studies are notoriously difficult to get accurate. For a big, complex boat it takes a man creative with numbers to get the weights right. There have been some famous weight study mistakes over the years. In our case we were lucky. Kim wanted a simple boat. It was not too difficult to do the accounting and get the weights accurate.
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  #3597  
Old 02-01-2014
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Speaking of steel masts....

.. which we were a few days back..

Came across a large, heavy, scary looking Ferro boat today at Granville Island, in front of Bridge's Pub.

Its rather spindly rig caught my attention too, and as we approached this is what we saw:





Not so pretty.. even healthy and maintained this rig looked way to small for the boat, I hope nobody plans to seriously load all this up at sea
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

You'd think that with that elaborate ladder on it they could at least have kept it painted.
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Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

There are two real disadvantages that I've found with steel masts. Corrosion is one unless it's well coated or metal-sprayed with zinc or aluminium.

The second is that it wreaks havoc with the magnetic compass that mass of steel moving out to port and then to stbd creates a lot of deviation with heel.

Structurally steel masts are sensible though, steel is much stiffer than Al alloy and mast dimensions are driven by buckling criteria which relates to stiffness. So the weight is often not much greater than the available alloy section and the steel sections can be significantly smaller and runners can usually be omitted.

All the sections I've used on smaller conventionally rigged vessels have been rectangular stock sizes. I have seen some welded up from plate that were perfectly ok.

One big advantage is that all the fittings are simply welded on , replacing the mast is also quite cheap.
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

wow, over 360 pages on this thread. I did read the first 20 or so pages and in those the discussion was raging over fiberglass vs steel vs aluminum boats.

Much talk about the stresses and cracks on AL boats. Considering there's many more small boats being made out of AL than steel or fiberglass it makes since you can find stories of those boats having problems.

Also I too have a small 16 foot AL fishing boat I use on the river. Because I know it can take it I often run it up on shoal rocks or the beach. After 15 yrs of doing this it does have some cracks. I do this because I know it can take it. There's no way I'd ever treat a fiberglass boat this way.

I wonder if some of the stories you read are similar, if you know you have a well built boat you tend to use it more often and take more chances with it.

Kind of like a plastic cup vs a crystal wine glass. The wine glass spends 90% of the time in the cabinet.
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