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Old 07-14-2002
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John Kretschmer is on a distinguished road
Steel Boat Maintenance

I have purchased a steel boat, but as you say "rust never sleeps." Can you recommend any books on steel boat maintenance?

John Kretschmer responds:
Welcome to the world of rust, I mean steel boats.

Actually, I love my steel boat and I am a lot smarter today than I was 10 years ago, or maybe not smarter just more realistic. As far as steel boat books go, I haven't actually found any that I strongly recommend. Most seem to deal with building a steel boat and few address the issues associated with secondhand boats. Steel Away, by Smith and Moir, is exhaustive, although poorly laid out. The newsletter put out by the Metal Boat Society in Port Townsend, WA, is helpful. Your can reach them at 360-385-6407.

My boat is due for another paint job (yikes), but at least I feel comfortable with the paint system I am now using. I am a believer in Devoe Paints, particularly their Bar Rust 235 two-part epoxy primer. This paint is durable and reasonable, selling for about $40.00 a gallon. I usually apply three or four coats of Bar rust, and then use the Devoe metal boat antifouling paint.

Again, it is less expensive than most marine paints and holds up well. One day I will bite the bullet and use the Devoe two-part polyurethane on the topsides, but for now I use a one-part epoxy like Easypoxy. It's reasonable and easy to apply but it doesn't hold up well.

Here's wishing you good luck with your steel boat ventures.

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