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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 08-12-2010
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steel or glass

I am reading a lot of bad review of glass boats and some bad of steel boats. As a person that never had a boat, it is more likely for me to bump something. While steel boat can have some dent, the glass boat my crack. On the other hand, the steel boat rust and most never boats are glass. I found few steel boats, but they are classic from 1964 to 1969. I am looking for 30feet steel boat, but can not find one. More that 30 will be too much for me to handle. The join method of glass boat ( hull and deck) it is really scary consider drilling into glass to put a screw in. Are there any never boats in the 30-35feet range made of steel?
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Old 08-12-2010
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From my limited knowledge, steel is now only used on very large boats. The vast majority of new production boats are fiberglass. Fiberglass can be very strong if it is built right. You just need to find a boat strong enough that you are comfortable with it. One of the boats I was looking at, a Mariner 39, reportedly has a 3" thick (at the bottom near the keel) fiberglass hull -- that's strong!
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Old 08-12-2010
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Since there are about 200 fiberglass boats for every steel boat and since you don't commonly see the fiberglass boats coming apart unles they're thrown against cement bulkheads in a hurricane; This 200:1 ratio IS the vote of confidence you're looking for. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-12-2010
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glass boats are most prevalent for a reason - durabilty & ease of care & maintance
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Old 08-12-2010
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If you do an advanced search on Yachtworld for steel sailboats 30 to 35feet you come up with 92.

Many are home builds from Van der Stat or Roberts plans so quality varies but they are easy to fix.

But the real motherlode for you would be France and the French islands also Canada.

Chatam and some other manufacturers over there have been churning out steel 30 + footers for years and still do so today and they are lots for sale.

They are not pretty but many have circumnavigated and they can take a beating see pic below

Rats no upload so see

Picasa Web Albums - John

It could be pulled off and would float.
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Old 08-12-2010
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Old 08-12-2010
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Back in 1982, Cabo had a storm come through that put several boats on the beach including the steel boat of some famous French guy, Bernard Moitessier. While the steel boat was damaged beyond repair, some of the fiberglass boats were salvaged, including two built by the DeKleer Brothers who laid up my boat. Aire Dekleer was very proud of the fact that his glass boats were tougher than steel.
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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
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Old 08-12-2010
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Thanks sailing dog this site only lets me upload pics from time to time.

From Hoot Mon


In case it lets me embed today here is a typical Chatam 10.5 metres and the colour scheme makes it a little less boxy.

They are roomy inside but as many are home completions the internal layout varies a lot. I have seen one where the owners a young couple just threw some mattresses inside, some camping cooking gear, recycled plasitic containers to hold extra water, some big plastic bins for storage and left France on their own Rhoute du Rhum to Guadeloupe. Just a big empty hull without any bulkheads even the engine was just sitting there.
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Old 08-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erps View Post
Back in 1982, Cabo had a storm come through that put several boats on the beach including the steel boat of some famous French guy, Bernard Moitessier. While the steel boat was damaged beyond repair, some of the fiberglass boats were salvaged, including two built by the DeKleer Brothers who laid up my boat. Aire Dekleer was very proud of the fact that his glass boats were tougher than steel.
Errr that is not the case.

Moitessier just did not have the heart or the money to salvage Joshua. Instead he gave it away to some locals they salvaged it and went sailing, eventually it was purchased by a French sailing organisation in La Rochelle, refurbished to a degree, they left the dents for Cabo unrepaired and she is still sailing today often with youth groups.

From Hoot Mon


I was in La Coruna in 1991 and she tied up two spaces down having just sailed across Biscay with a crew of teenagers. I guess she still leaks as they pulled out lots of uncovered foam and were drying everything out.

The Pic is from 2009 I believe.

Incidentally I really like what the French did with Joshua. The Brits took a famous boat called Gypsy Moth IV stuck it on the hard in Grenwich and allowed it to deteriorate, the French just sail the snot out of their famous boats.

Last edited by TQA; 08-12-2010 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010
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I recall reading that once you get under 40' or so, that the weight to size ratio starts becoming an issue. Don't recall what book that was in, but it seems to make some sense to me
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