Pros and cons of steel sailboats - Page 52 - SailNet Community
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post #511 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

One of Brent's steel boats for sale: 1995 Custom steel Brent Swain 31 sailboat for sale in Outside United States
I like it.

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post #512 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
I actually agree. It's a pretty nice boat - and at $21K, not outrageously over-priced like some of the others I've seen (especially considering the gear listed).

If one wanted a steeler - this one might not be too bad.
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post #513 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
I actually agree. It's a pretty nice boat - and at $21K, not outrageously over-priced like some of the others I've seen (especially considering the gear listed).

If one wanted a steeler - this one might not be too bad.
This one would be worth the price, mostly because it has at least that much value in electronics and other equipment, worst case whoever gets it will have plenty of radio and navigation equipment...Hopefully enough to keep it from following its instincts to grind on reefs and run into cargo ships.

It is good to learn from your mistakes, but much better to learn from the mistakes of others...
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post #514 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Another huge advantage of steel is you get to eliminate the heat exchanger, the salt water pump ,the thru hulls for cooling water, and the related plumbing. You get to eliminate the raw water strainer and any chance of your engines cooling system being plugged by sea weeds and marine growth. You simply turn a portion of your hull into a cooling tank. Aluminium works even better ,as it transfers heat as quickly as anything. One diesel mechanic, who works on yachts, was quoted as saying "If everyone went for keel cooling and dry exhaust, we mechanics would all be out of work."

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #515 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Dry stack exhaust makes you sound like the African Queen. Hold on to yer Gin matey!


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post #516 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Originally Posted by bobperry View Post
Marty:
I'm heading up to PL today with Ruby. It will be a quiet day. I'll be there all day Friday. I have rented the Pintail House for the weekend. It's the nice house at the far western end of the marina parking lot. I might be wandering the docks. I might be at the house. Yoiu never know. I'm a ramblin' kind of guy. I'll be easy spot. I'm the extremely good looking guy with grey hair and a black and white Portuguese Water Dog.

Surely BP you meant to type "I'm the rambling old grey hair with the good looking PWD".

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post #517 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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One diesel mechanic, who works on yachts, was quoted as saying "If everyone went for keel cooling and dry exhaust, we mechanics would all be out of work."
That guy's obviously a dope. Sure, cooling is one of them, but here are SO many other things that can go wrong with a diesel.


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post #518 of 5317 Old 08-15-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Bob, At this time, I do not have to head to PT, only from bremerton to poulsbo then south to winslow, then a ferry ride back to seattle......BUT, who knows what will happen int he AM!

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post #519 of 5317 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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That guy's obviously a dope. Sure, cooling is one of them, but here are SO many other things that can go wrong with a diesel.
Over 60% of marine diesel engine failures come from water cooling, heat exchangers and wet exhausts being the cause of most of them. Then you could try Smacks proposed solution; assuming that if you don't try to avoid problems ,they simply wont happen.
Friends, who went thru two engines since 98, caused by condensation from a wet exhaust corroding the valves, have gone for a dry exhaust, as have many others I know, after serious engine damage caused by wet exhausts.
I have been using a dry exhaust for nearly 40 years , no problems. Commercial boat operators laugh at the foolishness of yachties pumping sea water into their exhausts.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #520 of 5317 Old 08-16-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

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Disclaimer: I own a steel boat
I'm not about to get into a debate about which is better, I'll just describe my experience. As wise person told me the best boat is the one that when you look at it from your dinghy you smile.
I'm on my second steel boat, both Waterlines.
The previous owner of the first boat had hit a whale, it bent the rudder shaft and broke the skeg free of the boat. He made it back to port without any water in the boat. Fast forward a couple of years, I've bought the boat, sailed it from San Francisco to the Puget Sound, and brought it back to Waterline for a check up. They found some cracks in the plating around the rudder post, not seen or fixed after the whale. Fast forward again, a couple of months, new rudder skeg and plating, thinner wallet and all is good. I think you'll agree after looking at the photos that this would have sent most boats to the bottom.
In the six years I've owned the boats I haven't done any more preventive maintained then my fellow harbour mates, those that keep their boats looking good.
Waterline flame zincs above the waterline. On the first boat I had some exposed steel in the cockpit coaming for two years before fixing it, from a poorly lead furling line, not a speck of rust.
In a bad winter storm two years ago a fender popped which allowed the boat to pound steel to the dock for 36 hours before it was fixed. It rubbed the paint off a 25*50 cm area. I used the boat most of the next summer before fixing it, again no rust, just some prep work and paint and all is good as new. I don't know how other boats would have fared but my steel boat did very well.
Good post.! Waterline skegs are considerably lighter than mine , which have over 4 ft of attachment to the hull, and are 3/16th plate, with plenty of backup inside. I also put a half inch plate gusset ahead of that, carrying the weight another 2 ft in the case of a twin keeler, and on to the keel in the case of a single keeler , giving it over 18 feet of longitudinal support from a front on impact. You could drastically increase the front on impact strength of a Waterline boat, by welding such a gusset in front of the skeg. My skeg is my engine keel cooler.
Failures of high aspect skegs are far too common. One way to get a huge increase in strength is to run the skeg right thru, into the cockpit floor, giving it two point support. Much longer, low aspect skegs dont need this.
Flame spraying is a good way to eliminate rust spots, permanently. When I priced flame spraying, I found the cost of doing a hull and decks was the same as the cost of buying the equipment . I told friends building boats in Victoria, that they could chip in and buy the equipment for less than having it done. They did that, and all flame sprayed their boats for far less than having it done by a commercial sprayer. The guy who bought them out did his 50 footer in 92, and hasn't seen a speck of rust since , now cruising the South Pacific. He did some research, and found the US navy concluded that a mixture of aluminium- zinc was the most effective .
I flame sprayed one boat, for a guy who bought the equipment used, for a fraction the new cost. I found that the spray goes on clean, like fine sandpaper at first, with little heat build up on the plate. As the tip clogs up, the spray starts to spatter, and it gets hotter. At the first sign of this, it is time to clean the tip again, by taking it apart and running a trip cleaner thru the tiny holes. If you don't do this frequently, the spray doesn't bond well to the steel.
That was with oxy acetylene equipment. Perhaps that is why Waterline Yachts quit using flame spray. Ed said they had problems with it.The US navy was dumping all their oxy acetylene equipment, for electric arc type, which should have no such problems. Their oxy acetylene equipment should be cheaply available in surplus stores. You go thru a lot of oxy acetylene. Electric would be much cheaper to use, with better results.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"

Last edited by Brent Swain; 08-18-2013 at 10:41 PM.
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