Steel Hull with epoxy? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 02-05-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Elzaar is on a distinguished road
Steel Hull with epoxy?

Greetings all,

I am one of those members who sits in the background reading and researching without ever contributing. You know the sort. But I want to start by thanking everyone who does contribute as I have learned much from you.

I am now (finally) starting the process of maybe buying a boat I can start getting in shape to cruise about on for several years. I've checked out a few boats, but a prospect just came up with a steel hull - of which I know very little, but I'm aware of rust concerns. I talked to the broker and he tells me the hull was professionally constructed and treated with an epoxy coating before two inches of insulation was added to the interior of the hull. I'm concerned that I won't be able to inspect the interior of the hull for rust (or more accurately my surveyor won't be able to), but the broker tells me that the epoxy and insulation will pretty much keep any interior rust from occurring. Anyone have any knowledge on this?

The ad says the boat had a UT two years ago and showed the thinnest sections were still 95%, but in my research I saw someone indicating you can't really do a UT on something with epoxy. Any thoughts?

Also, any tips on just how much work a steel hull is to maintian would be appreciated. I'm fairly handy, but I'd guess my knowledge of metal work barely surpasses my skills with fiberglass - which is to say not much. The boat is 20 years old, but has spent 75% of that time in fresh water and sounds like it has seen regular mainttenancce, but of course we'll see about that.

Thanks again to everyone for sharing their knowledge and experience!
__________________
"You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy ..." ~ Master and Commander
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 02-05-2009
JohnRPollard's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Chesapeake
Posts: 5,680
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 10
JohnRPollard is a jewel in the rough JohnRPollard is a jewel in the rough JohnRPollard is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzaar View Post
I'm concerned that I won't be able to inspect the interior of the hull for rust (or more accurately my surveyor won't be able to), but the broker tells me that the epoxy and insulation will pretty much keep any interior rust from occurring. Anyone have any knowledge on this?
Hi Elzaar,

What the broker told you (above) is consistent with the conventional wisdom. Based on my admittedly limited knowledge, if I were looking at a steel hull I would consider it a plus if it was coated with epoxy prior to insulation.

But we have some steel hull owners on the forum, so hopefully they will chime in with better info. You might mention the design and builder of the boat too. Some designs and yards have very solid reputations, while others are a bit more sketchy when it comes to steel hulls.

And congrats on your first post! See, not so bad, is it?
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 02-05-2009
billyruffn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,272
Thanks: 5
Thanked 25 Times in 17 Posts
Rep Power: 10
billyruffn will become famous soon enough
Elzaar,

You might start with a search of the forum as I think this topic has been covered, at least in part. See Steel Sailboat Maintenance for starters. I think there may be other threads as well.

When you've read through these, I'd be happy to help if you have questions. I've owned a steel boat for amost 10 years now -- I don't have sprayed in insulation, but I've mixed a lot of epoxy.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 02-06-2009
Jeff_H's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Posts: 6,542
Thanks: 5
Thanked 85 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about
Briefly, sandblasting and coating with a coal tar or zinc rich epoxy was the industry standard for protecting steel hulls from corrosion. In my experience looking at boats that are now 20 years old or so, the coating eventually does begin to break down at the edges (near frames, stringers and the like) and it allows rust to start and spread pretty rapidly without being easily detected. In the one boat that I looked at the rust had penetrated roughly half the depth of the 1/4" or 5/16" plating in limited areas parrelleling the welds on the frames and stringers.

Jeff
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 02-06-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Elzaar is on a distinguished road
Thanks for the quick replies. I went and checked out the boat today, but still unsure what to think ...

In answer to the questions ... it's a 1988 Passport 41.5'. The broker states that three of these were built custom by a tug boat builder down by Portland. He said the build was authorized or at least Bob Perry was aware of them being built. Since I live in Seattle, I will probably give Mr. Perry a call if I continue on with looking into this boat. I was kind of leaning that way anyway as he seems to have designed most of the boats I'm interested in - Tayana, Valiant, and Passport.

I have searched the steel hull info on the forum, but I hadn't found anything on the epoxy coating of it. I'll work on it again some tomorrow.

As for the brief inspection today: I pulled up the access hatches and found just as has been predicted - rust along the one I-beam stringer that I had easy visual of. There was what I would describe as just a bit deeper than surface rust in patches up to about a half dollar in size. I took a couple of blind shots with my digital camera of the hull where I couldn't see, but my battery went dead by the end of the visit so I can't check out what those look like, yet. I could see where the owner has put down more epoxy in the bottom of the bilge, but I'm a bit nervous about that as he may have just trapped in moisture. I was also surprised to find they were using the bilge as a sump for the shower. Seems like I'd do everything I could to keep moisture out of there, not add more to it - but then I'm no expert. There was no obvious rust anyplace else, but again I couldn't see a lot of places.

The boat is marked pretty low, but still more than I really wanted to spend for the base boat, so I'll be in a quandary whether to make an offer and pay out for a survey or just walk away. I guess the question is how much rust is too much rust? And how difficult is it to get all the flooring pulled up to get access to the entire hull - or at least enough so to reach it? I was thinking on the long drive home that it wouldn't be too difficult to wire brush it out and treat it if it isn't too deep - if I can get to it - and then wondered if there isn't a product that you can just paint on now to neutralize the rust and strengthen the steel.

Otherwise, the boat was very basic for a Passport, but that's kind of what I'm looking for so I can spend a few years sailing locally and setting it up how I find I want her before going on an extended cruise.

Thanks much for the advice. I'll probably spend tomorrow at work obsessing over possibilities and pricing things out. One other question, the rigging (sloop rig) is all original, so just over 20 years old. I was figuring $20k to have it re-done or probably $10k to do it myself. The broker claims it can be done by a local place for less than $2k by just bringing in the existing wires and having them make new ones there for me to re-install. Can that be right?

Anyway, sorry for going on , but much to think on. Thanks again for any insights!
__________________
"You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy ..." ~ Master and Commander
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 02-07-2009
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,878
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 15
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Now you know not to trust the broker.
__________________
No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 02-07-2009
JohnRPollard's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Chesapeake
Posts: 5,680
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 10
JohnRPollard is a jewel in the rough JohnRPollard is a jewel in the rough JohnRPollard is a jewel in the rough
Interesting.

I would not call this boat a "Passport". Passport is a fairly well respected asian builder in fiberglass. This is really a steel-hull built to the same design as the Passport 41.5 (possibly pirated). Be careful about paying for a "Passport" when you are not actually buying one. And give alot of thought to re-sale value as well.

In this size range, and given your focus on the designs you mentioned, I would stick with name-brand fiberglass boats.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 02-07-2009
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
bdwr1962 is on a distinguished road
if you decide to get the boat, there are different primers out there that do seal up the rust. I am not going to sound like a commercial. So, if you are interested in hearing about any of them, shoot me an email, and I will tell you about them. They are all marine.

I know of a boatyard in Ohio that restores steel hull houseboats. After a thorough sandblast to the hull, they do use a two part expoxy barrier coat product, and mix it with Cabosil, to fair out the hull, and get rid of rough surfaces. Then they apply the antifouling.

There are primers, and epoxies that work well on steel. The primer that you apply to the steel to stop the rust and seal it up, it adheres to anything it gets on. So, if you get it on your skin, it will go away when your skin erodes within a couple weeks.

I always say for any product, read the instructions twice, and apply once.
__________________
Bob Harris
Pettit Marine Paint

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 02-07-2009
billyruffn's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,272
Thanks: 5
Thanked 25 Times in 17 Posts
Rep Power: 10
billyruffn will become famous soon enough
Elzaar,

A couple of points:

Steel boats usually rust from the inside out. The design is important, but it's the builder who usually makes it or breaks it. If the builder builds it right, and coats it right while under construction then much of the interior rust problems are postponed. My boat is 15 years old and has very little interior rust. My surveyor says I should thank the builder. So, find out who built this boat and check out their reputation. If they're still in business, go see them and ask them about the boats they've built. Then find the owners and ask them what their experience has been. If the builder has build lots of steel boats, it may be OK. If they build a few every now and then, be careful.

Inside rust is usually harder to fix than outside rust because it's so much harder to get to. IMO, covering rust ("sealing it up") doesnt work -- you've got to grind it out (or sand blast it out), chemically treat what you can't get out and then recoat it using a high quality paint system, which will ususally be some mix of an etching primer, expoy primers (multiple coats) and top coats, often urethanes. Do everything right and it can be good as gold, but sometimes even when you do everything right, the rust comes back. The only way to inhibit rust is to get rid of all the oxygen. With steel boats you do get higher strength, but higher maintenance comes with it.

When you've finished kicking the tires and are starting to think seriously about it, you'll need to find a good surveyor. I'd go to someone who doesn't have a dog in the fight to get recommendations. Ask around -- ask at the bigger boat yards, mechanics, riggers, etc. Find someone who regularily surveys steel boats and make sure they have a professional certification. I think you can find websites of the marine survey associations and they will point you to people in your area. The survey will cost you many hundreds, so wait until you're really serious to take that step.

I'd second Cam's point re the broker. He's blowing smoke. I've been told that the rule of thumb with standing rigging is "watch it closely after 10 years, be thinking about replacing it at 15 years and do it by 20". There's no way you get a new rig for $2K. I've heard that the old SS wire is often better than the stuff you get today, but, I'd be really careful when it comes to reusing anything. One of the more famous riggers in the world is in Port Townsend, Brion Toss, (see Brion Toss Yacht Riggers, Sailboat Rigging). Give him a call, see what he thinks. The people at Port Townsend Rigging are also excellent (Port Townsend Rigging: Services and products tailored to your sailing experience). Rigging is not a DIY type of job. If you mess up and it comes down, people can get killed. Let professionals do the rigging.

Last point, it's fun working on boats, but it can get old. The idea is to go sailing. If you spend too much on a boat that needs a lot of work and has so many projects that you can't afford to have the yard do most of them, you'll never go sailing. You can prevent that by buying a less expensive boat, or a smaller one that's been loved a lot.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 02-11-2009
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 34
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Elzaar is on a distinguished road
Smile

Thanks for all of the well thought out replies.

I think the points about the difficulty of bringing the steel back are on the mark. Honestly, if I didn't think I'd have to pretty much trash the entire interior to get at all of the potential problem areas I might go for it if the price were right. But I have this recurring thought in the back of my head that if the rust you can easily see and treat is that bad who knows what lurks up in the back corners of the bilge?

The other killer is the comments to the rigging cost. I re-checked Beth Leonard's book, as well as Nigel Calder's, and the comments are right in line with what's been said here - $15k to $20K. I figure if I can't trust the broker on something as standard and frequent as that, it would be tough to take any other assurances seriously. Thanks also for the tip on Toss - Pt. Townsend is a good resource that I haven't even thought about as far as boats and mainenance go.

This has been a good first foray into the process. After four years of reading and research I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I want in a boat and where I want to go with it, but now that it's real money it is even more instructive.

Back to the search process and I'll try to actually make some posts to earn my keep (first one will be on guns and voyaging, I suspect).

Thanks again!
__________________
"You've come to the wrong shop for anarchy ..." ~ Master and Commander
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steel Hull and Rigging Question RunawaySkeleton Boat Review and Purchase Forum 11 03-01-2009 09:53 PM
Filling holes in hull with epoxy barrier coat slugchewer Gear & Maintenance 12 09-02-2008 11:40 PM
Yet another seacock thread danielgoldberg Gear & Maintenance 13 08-12-2008 10:36 AM
Boat Prices, Boat Values Edo Kazumichi Boat Review and Purchase Forum 14 07-10-2006 07:22 AM
Combination stainless steel chain/ galvanized steel anchor Grigrigrigoris Gear & Maintenance 11 07-03-2005 03:46 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:08 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.