Advantages of Cruising in a Steel Sailboat? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 04-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Advantages of Cruising in a Steel Sailboat?

Are there any substantial advantages to cruising in a steel sailboat? How about protection in a grounding? Any cruisers have experiences with steel sailboats they can relate?
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post #2 of 18 Old 04-25-2008
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Originally Posted by stipakb View Post
Are there any substantial advantages to cruising in a steel sailboat? How about protection in a grounding? Any cruisers have experiences with steel sailboats they can relate?
YOu don't have to polish the gel coat...

other than that....they are hard on impact...
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post #3 of 18 Old 04-25-2008
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Nothing tougher...
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post #4 of 18 Old 04-25-2008
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It is biodegradable!

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post #5 of 18 Old 04-25-2008
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They are also make nice "thomp" "thomp" noises when you use them as drums...
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post #6 of 18 Old 04-26-2008
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There is an advantage with steel in terms of hitting coral or rocks versus sand, in that steel may well withstand it. Sure I guess some will say that should not happen but charts are often unreliable.

2 However seemingly minor damage has to be dealt with in both cases - rust versus osmosis.

3 Repairs are relatively easily done by any welder.
However properly protecting from rust is difficult and relatively sophisticated but then so is osmosis protection.

In smaller sizes like less than 40 ft the hulls tend to be heavy without the centre of gravity being lower.

Often they are homebuilt and finished and it shows.

In short, they can be ok if you expect to hit coral or rocks, & consider that their life cycle can be limited. So can that of other boats if you consider the value of replacing different components or say proper osmosis treatment which may be uneconomic.

So an older boat may not be cheap when the value after repairs is considered steel or not.

You may well hit rocks and coral depending on where you cruise. Otherwise you will hit mud and sand. In the former case steel might be useful.

There is no free lunch. A lot of steel boats will have been built by people short of a buck. A lot of other boats will be owned by people who did not spend the bucks required. Either way expect to either scrimp by, ie adapt your sailing to that to which the boat is suited or spend $$.
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post #7 of 18 Old 04-27-2008
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Steel is much better than fiberglass at bouncing off icebergs.


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post #8 of 18 Old 04-28-2008
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Steel is much better than fiberglass at bouncing off icebergs.
--Quoted from the designer of the Titanic.

I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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post #9 of 18 Old 04-28-2008
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A picture is worth a thousand words...

Maybe Steel rules... after all!

That dent looks just like the bulb on the bottom of a freighter.

I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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post #10 of 18 Old 04-28-2008
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Our decision to take steel was based on a number of factors, but one of the more persuasive ones was the ability to do deck repairs and hull damage in far-off locals (there's welders everywhere, but not good glassers), and the very simple observation that a large percentage of "expedition yachts" are aluminum or steel. We know we've got a heavy boat (Saturday's weight on the crane with empty water and full diesel was 29,500 lbs.), but we have confidence in her, and attitude is really a large part of successful sailing.

Even so, I am doing some extensive modifications of the tankage to get her a little stiffer, as I feel that I can get a bit more out of the sail plan if I lower the CG a bit, not to mention the motoring range extension I will get with a third fuel tank.

Keeping on top of rust is an issue, yes, but not an onerous one if you try to keep a clean boat. For some of the concerns involved, I would suggest reading "Metal Corrosion in Boats".
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