Aluminium for high latitude sailing? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-19-2009
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Aluminium for high latitude sailing?

Im thinking of getting a metal boat, About 36' im thinking of an Ovni (Aluminium lifting keel) I fancy a metal boat because of how strong they are, I would like to be able to go to high latitudes at somepoint so I need a strong hull, im abit put off by steel because of all the painting needed, Aluminium can be left raw and doesnt need alot ot maintenance, But i know nothing about what to look out for, there doesnt seem alot of second hand ones around is that a good sign?? Has anyone got an aluminium boat out there? what do i look for? anyone know of a good designer out there (i could be perswaded into having the basic boat built from scratch) all info is much aphreciated
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Old 11-19-2009
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Quote:
Aluminium can be left raw and doesnt need alot ot maintenance,
I"ve seen a big increase in the amount of commercial fishing boats and pleasure boats being constructed of aluminum here in the PNW. I used to think it was an ideal material as well because of low maintenance. I'm not so sure anymore. It doesn't take long for aluminum to become pitted from the salt water environment. Should a crack or something develop, it becomes very difficult to repair by welding once this pitting has begun.

I still think it's a strong and fairly durable material, but if I were in the market for an aluminum boat, I would explore their repairability with someone who welds the material.
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Old 11-19-2009
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The low maintenance boat...a beautiful dream . I found this article on metal boats that is a little interesting:

Good Old Boat - Is there a metal yacht in your future? article

Doing a quick search on Al hulls on yachtworld seems to indicate that most of them are overseas, but there are a great number of them out there. Just have to be willing to sail them home.... The prices seem like a bit of a premium, so I guess that's a sign that they hold their value well, perhaps?

Of course, it's only wood hulls for me
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Old 11-19-2009
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Were I to win a lottery, aluminum would be my first choice, followed by epoxy cold molded construction. Maintenance of aluminum is virtually as low as it gets, especially if the topsides are bare. Strength is best of all materials, allowing for the aluminum hull to be thicker than steel for less weight. Layout is flexible as bulkheads are not in as fixed locations as fibreglass. Watertight bulkheads are not a problem to build in. Steve Dashew's designs have a large forepeak for sails and anchor gear separated by a watertight bulkhead and only accessible from on deck, and the same at the stern for the engine compartment, leaving the middle untainted by either. Probably the most unique reason is the bilge should be truly dusty and dry. There are no holes required on deck for any attachment and that's a huge plus. Ac and dc systems require care, but that's a small price to pay. The French love aluminum, a lot of them having multi chine construction and several with lifting keels. In the early 90's I was given a tour of Beowolf, the Dashew's 67' ketch when they stopped in Victoria on the way back from Alaska - bare aluminum outside, very finely crafted woodwork inside, and capable of going anywhere.
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Old 11-20-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whigmaleerie View Post
Im thinking of getting a metal boat, About 36' im thinking of an Ovni (Aluminium lifting keel) I fancy a metal boat because of how strong they are, I would like to be able to go to high latitudes at somepoint so I need a strong hull, im abit put off by steel because of all the painting needed, Aluminium can be left raw and doesnt need alot ot maintenance, But i know nothing about what to look out for, there doesnt seem alot of second hand ones around is that a good sign?? Has anyone got an aluminium boat out there? what do i look for? anyone know of a good designer out there (i could be perswaded into having the basic boat built from scratch) all info is much aphreciated
Take a look at:
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Old 11-20-2009
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Expedition Sail have a look at this website.re Seal.
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Old 11-20-2009
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If you're out cruising most of the time, then aluminum is a pretty good choice...however, steel is far simpler to repair in remote areas, as aluminum is a more difficult material to weld.

for boats that spend a lot of time in the marina, it isn't a good choice due to risks of serious hull damage in relatively short periods of time due to stray current issues.
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Old 11-20-2009
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Craig Smith

Love you website, your boat is truely fantastic!!!!!!!!!, the time, thought, detail, energy that you have put into her is unreal.
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Cheers, still working on that page, there are photos of construction etc to come. Keep an eye out.
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Old 11-21-2009
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Craig Smith

I will keep a close eye on you page it would be great to see photos of her inside and during construction, What sort of Diesel stove do you have? Where are you sailing at the moment?
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