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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: West Vancouver B.C.
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats
I've only seen people state that "Pound for pound" they are - which they are.
I can think of several 36 ft wooden and plastic boats, in the same weight category, or heavier than mine, which would never survive 16 days on a Baja beach in huge surf ,or which would never survive pounding across 300 yards of Fijian coral reef, a collision with a freighter, a hull speed t-boning of a steel barge , log boom, a single season passage thru the NW passage, ramming thru a quarter mile of 5 inch ice. etc. I cant think of any wooden sail boat which would survive such tests . Joshua's experience on a Baja beach, and that of Pygmalion, a sister ship, are more examples. Reality kinda blows your theory.
The thing is that wood and plastic boats "in your weight category" are NOT built that heavily, they carry a lot more ballast. A comparable epoxy laminated wood boat would have a hull several inches thick, which no-one does.
Years ago a Spencer 1330 T-boned an ISLAND around here - ran headfirst into a cliff at night - the island lost. Spencers were not built to an equivalent Lbs per Sq. Ft. weight to one of your steelers.
As you well know, the practical minimum dimensions for plating a steel boat are WAY in excess of what is needed for appropriate strength. Small steel boats are inherently massively overbuilt.
In other materials that is not the case and the thickness/strength ratios can be adjusted to be (choose one) suitable or sufficient or appropriate for the size of boat.
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.
Last edited by Faster; 02-26-2014 at 10:30 PM.
Reason: fixed quotes