High Latitude boats - Metal v Fiberglass - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-04-2006
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metal v glass

hi all
with regards to metal boats as the ex ship fitter said metal is safer and stronger. easier to find repair facil. for. ect. they can be made warm with insul. and have the advan, that if you hit something your chances of survival are greater. they are somewhat more involved to maintain unless sprayed with zinc prior to paint or some other new paint sys. as far as safety you can make multiple collision bulkheads in them easier than glass, because the coll. blkhd becomes part of the permanant hull structure which ties everything together. the problem with glass is that the blkhds are only bonded to the hull struc. and can fail. there is at present only one mfg of glass boats that guarentees unsinkable that is ETAP. they must be built sim. to B-Whaler with a foam core thru out or along that line. as to the Titanic the thought is now after going back down to the wreck that her backbone broke from striking the berg from underneath

regards all mike
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-04-2006
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There is in fact no simple answer to your questions. There have been boats in the arctic frozen in during winter of all meterials except aluminum, to my knowledge. Wood, steel, GRP, it is more a question of hull design. A customer of mine even sailed his Bavaria 40 to Spetsbergen! Some technical 'solutions' are not of the best like finn keels, free hanging rudder, sail drives and folding/furling props. The risk of knocking off a prop blade is probably bigger than knockng a hole in the boat whatever material.
If You want to be up there in vinter there are a lot more factores than hull material that would be of worry. If You plan a summer trip, choose whatever gives you a safe feeling!
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-04-2006
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"So the consensus seems to be that you could take a modern GRP boat into these waters without risking your life." I think you misread the replies.

I would suggest that no matter how experienced the sailor, NO ONE GOES INTO THOSE WATERS WITHOUT RISKING THEIR LIFE. No matter what the boat is.

Survival time in that water, without an exposure suit, is something less than five minutes. If you go overboard, your diaphragm will freeze and you will stop breathing before the boat can drop sail and return for you. Puncture the hull and take on water...and you're in a very short race against that same water.

Beyond that it is just a matter of ego, experience, and relative risk. Metal hulls are less likely to be punctured by ice. Exotic composites (aramid, kevlar) are still basically NOT FOUND in composite yachts, except for the ones built to be ultra-light racers. And any racer can tell you, if you didn't break anything, it was built too heavy. These are not ice-armored boats, they are ultralight boats, and no matter what they are built from it is not designed to fend off ice.

Could you have a composite boat built "armored"? Sure. Can you armor you own boat by laying in high-tech materials, or steel tire belting and other reinforcement? Sure, people do.

But if you intend to sail in harm's way, you'll probably find it cheaper, faster, stronger, to simply buy a metal boat in the first place.

Last edited by jared; 06-04-2006 at 10:41 AM.
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-04-2006
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Catamaran => Won't sink?

People say they might turn over but in reality many of them are sailing and you almost never hear of one flipping. And what happens when they do flip? There you are sitting on the bottom of the connecting deck with all your possesions a bit wet but near by and somewhat accessable. You have a prayer of turning it back upright. Really much better that any monohull. Most of the worlds coasts are shallow and tidal and a cat can sneak in and sit in the shallows or sit on the bottom and still be a great home. Pull it above the tide line and you have a new home under the connecting deck. Work on the bottom anyplace that has a few feet of tide, or you can drag with block and tackle and rollers to get it dryed out for work or storage or tropical island beach cottage. Most monohulls will make you crazy with the small space and no areas to streach out and lay around or work on projects. The cat has a lot of good stuff going on.

My favorite is the James Wharram designs. If only for amrchair sailing the Wharram design book is a great read. Think that a 40' wharram may be our next boat in a few years, or if we can figure the make money with a boat thing out it may be our second boat.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-20-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks again, all.

Obviously I have alot to learn about steel. Can anyone recommend a good how-to-pick-a-good-steel-sailboat book?
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-20-2006
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mmmmm ????

Tom Colvin
"Steel Boat Building"

Ian Nicholson
Books on steel boats/surveying

Gilbert C. Klingel
"Boat building with steel"

Bruce Roberts

Michael Kasten

Most exciting concept in metal boats. I think that Jimmy Cornell's boat is a french built fairmetal boat.


Bruce Roberts is the steel boat marketing king but I found his books to be ???fluffy???.

Tom Colvin's book(s) are very meat and potatoes and cover the building and many other topics (my favorite... but I own a Colvin boat so what do you expect)

Kasten has a LOT of great free info on his web site.

Nicolson's book on surevying metal boats would be helpful.

Klingle's book is helpful if your doing the building.

FAIRMETAL: If I could pick any metal boat I think one built with the 'fairmetal' sometimes called 'origami' would be my choice. Strong or stronger, fewer labor hours in the hull, cleaner interior means fewer corrosion issues years down the road.
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