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  #91  
Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
The shipping companies should be required to design shipping containers with hydrostatic flooding valves and enough ballast to ensure they sink promptly, but what is the likelyhood of our miniscule sailing lobby of ever getting that to happen?
Would it be cheaper for the shipping industry to subsidize the cost of metal sailboat hulls to match the price of fiberglass hulls?

Quote:
Ok, say I'm really scared now. Thinking about trading my fiberglass boat for a corton steel boat. Curious how well the steel boat will hold up to corrosion (especially in the bilge area where nooks and cranies will normally have at least some moisture and maybe salt water). What is the life expectancy between glass and steel boats?
I never liked the idea of being in a fiberglass boat out on the ocean. Ideally you want aluminum, but it is expensive.

The life expectancy of a smaller sized steel hulled boat with a length in the 30's is about 20 years in salt water, with an average paint job on the inside. The reason for this is that's about how long the paint on the inside holds up. Since insulation, wooden shelves, and other structures are installed inside the boat blocking access to the inside of the hull, painting the inside is impractical. If I had a steel boat, I would gut the inside until the hull was completely exposed everywhere. I would make shelves out of welded steel and get rid of any insulation. The floor would unbolt and everything would be made to be opened to expose every inch of the hull. Now it's just a matter of going through and spraying paint along all the stringers every few years. Now the boat should last more than 50 years. Welding patches on the outside won't be a problem anymore since I could easily repair the burnt paint on the inside.

The outside is easy to take care of. The electrical cathodic protection of the hull (usually from zincs) prevents rust from forming under water in places where the paint has chipped off. Places above the hull which are exposed can be patched up. Great care must be taken when hauling the boat to ensure the hull is clean and free of barnacles which can ruin the hull if left to sit that way. Steel can be sand blasted and repainted from scratch fairly easily if the equipment is set up. There is no gel coat to worry about.

So, stick with fiberglass and stay near your life raft and near shore, or get an expensive aluminum boat, or get a steel boat that has a high quality paint job on the inside with no spray on insulation, or gut the inside and learn to sail rugged, or get a big steel boat where all the inside objects can be moved around to expose the hull for maintenance.

Quote:
Just last fall, 3 yachts were abandoned between the NE and Bermuda, yet none of them were scuttled by crews who clearly had the means to do so, and fully aware that other sailors would be following in their wake...
But they could leave the anchor light on with their solar power. No need to sink it. If it does sink, it will go down fast since it's not filled with inflatable balls or something. Someone will be happy to find it and claim it. But I do think something needs to be done about people who claim abandoned vessels, salvage anything of value, and then let it loose to end up as a wreck on a shore. I have the same problem with scrap collectors who remove part of the thing that has value and then leave the worthless part in your front yard and the trash truck won't take it, nor will anyone else now.

Last edited by steel; 11-09-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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  #92  
Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

While motor-sailing 25 miles off the east coast of northern Florida in my 34' Prout Snowgoose catamaran during the 1980s, the outdrive prop struck a drum between the hulls. Weather conditions were cloudy during daylight, and the drum, which apparently was floating just beneath the water, wasn't visible. The prop ripped into the drum and snagged it. Freeing the drum from the propeller was difficult (I was solo). The only damage to the boat was a bent and torn prop.
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Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Don't let irrational fear stop you cruising!

Aa3jy's photo is a good one, they do exist. But if they were at all common we would ALL have photos of them. His was taken in 1996 thata 15 years ago!

Most reports are something UNSEEN that goes bump in the night. Vastly more likely to be a current buoy, a oil drum etc.

You will lose your life if you stay on shore.... Your cruisng life. So don't let irrational fear stop you as there are enough real concerns that stop cruisers!

Trees are something that is vastly more likely to bump your boat however most have rotted and a bump not a bang.

So please do not give up your dream of cruising because of Internet crap.


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  #94  
Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

If you hit a partially-submerged container chances are you've been picked by Lord Neptune for a change of boat and possibly a new incarnation if your at speed when you hit...but such is life...I'd be more worried when I'm driving I-75 than when sailing across a shipping route after a blow....at least the shipping container isn't going 80 mph...
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  #95  
Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steel View Post
Would it be cheaper for the shipping industry to subsidize the cost of metal sailboat hulls to match the price of fiberglass hulls?


I never liked the idea of being in a fiberglass boat out on the ocean. Ideally you want aluminum, but it is expensive.

The life expectancy of a smaller sized steel hulled boat with a length in the 30's is about 20 years in salt water, with an average paint job on the inside. The reason for this is that's about how long the paint on the inside holds up. Since insulation, wooden shelves, and other structures are installed inside the boat blocking access to the inside of the hull, painting the inside is impractical. If I had a steel boat, I would gut the inside until the hull was completely exposed everywhere. I would make shelves out of welded steel and get rid of any insulation. The floor would unbolt and everything would be made to be opened to expose every inch of the hull. Now it's just a matter of going through and spraying paint along all the stringers every few years. Now the boat should last more than 50 years. Welding patches on the outside won't be a problem anymore since I could easily repair the burnt paint on the inside.

The outside is easy to take care of. The electrical cathodic protection of the hull (usually from zincs) prevents rust from forming under water in places where the paint has chipped off. Places above the hull which are exposed can be patched up. Great care must be taken when hauling the boat to ensure the hull is clean and free of barnacles which can ruin the hull if left to sit that way. Steel can be sand blasted and repainted from scratch fairly easily if the equipment is set up. There is no gel coat to worry about.

So, stick with fiberglass and stay near your life raft and near shore, or get an expensive aluminum boat, or get a steel boat that has a high quality paint job on the inside with no spray on insulation, or gut the inside and learn to sail rugged, or get a big steel boat where all the inside objects can be moved around to expose the hull for maintenance.


But they could leave the anchor light on with their solar power. No need to sink it. If it does sink, it will go down fast since it's not filled with inflatable balls or something. Someone will be happy to find it and claim it. But I do think something needs to be done about people who claim abandoned vessels, salvage anything of value, and then let it loose to end up as a wreck on a shore. I have the same problem with scrap collectors who remove part of the thing that has value and then leave the worthless part in your front yard and the trash truck won't take it, nor will anyone else now.
Man,what a crock!
My steel boat is 28 years old,and as good as the day I launched her. Where I have cut steel out, the epoxy and steel under it has always been as good as the day I launched her. Older one's I've built are in just as good a shape. The reason some rust from the inside out is because many
( Foulkes, Fehr, Amazons ) have zero paint on the inside, but bare foam over only primer, or bare steel. Foam is not protection for steel . Three coats of epoxy tar, on wheelabraded and primed steel will give you no serious corrosion in a lifetime.
Most of the critics of steel are those who have never owned a properly built and painted steel boat , but are just passing on bar room rumour from plastic boat salesmen.

My building methods have reduced the building time of a hull and decks to a tenth of that of more traditional methods, reducing the cost of a new hull and deck to well below the cost of building in fibreglass.
If you tried to live aboard your uninsulated steel boat in winter, it would be coated inside with a layer of ice for weeks on end. When you applied any heat, it would rain harder inside than outside, from condensation, and the only warm place would be within 3 feet of the stove. I've seen people try doing it your way, and the above describes the result.
Best get your advice only from those with experience in what you are planning, not from speculators and armchair experts.
I've lived very comfortably aboard my steel boats for 36 years, mostly in BC, year round.
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Last edited by Brent Swain; 11-23-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

I have often T-boned moored log booms at hull speed. The easiest way to tie up to them.No worries. Some steel hulls have only 1/8th inch hull plate, and lots of framing, which makes it much easier to tear a hole in them. Many like Foulkes and Fehr hulls are welded one side only, often the outsider,with most of the weld ground off to make it look pretty. Many are painted outside only with zero paint inside, which rusts thru quite rapidly. I prefer frameless 3/16th plate, well epoxied inside. My boats have hit barges, including the corner, at hull speed, with zero damage
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Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

To the OP, send Minaret a PM on cruisersforum. He worked on a nordhaven that had hit a partially submerged container. The damage was impressive.
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Old 11-23-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Cruising sailors follow the winds, but containers fall off the motor vessels that go direct point-to-point, and then those containers likely wind up in mid-ocean gyres. In writing such an article, could be you should interview fishermen, not sailors?

The greater dangers for sailors are all those rocks close to shore, and the power-boaters who think that alcohol and speed are hot and easy twin sisters.
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

In the cargo container world is there any serious discussion about making the hinges on the containers to where they would open up when submerged in water and thereby sinking? This came up in a discussion while we were delivering a boat to the BVI and had just sighted something mysterious floating just below the surface, we determined it was a small pile of plastic with accompanying eco system. but it started the stories flowing none the less.
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Have you ever hit a shipping container?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainQuiet View Post
In the cargo container world is there any serious discussion about making the hinges on the containers to where they would open up when submerged in water and thereby sinking? This came up in a discussion while we were delivering a boat to the BVI and had just sighted something mysterious floating just below the surface, we determined it was a small pile of plastic with accompanying eco system. but it started the stories flowing none the less.
From my experience with such...

Flickr: aa3jy's Photostream

This was a Reefer container..floats even if the doors where ajar. We tried to sink it. I have more pixs to be shown if the OP will publish the article that he promised.
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