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post #1 of 11 Old 01-20-2013 Thread Starter
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The Metal Yacht

Ted Brewer recently guest posted on my blog to share his perspective about the advantages and disadvantages of steel/aluminum sailboats. He touches on weight, strength, corrosion, hull shape, and a few other issues.

Anyone else have strong feelings one way or the other about metal sailboats?

Here's Ted's article: The Metal Yacht - Aluminum and Steel Sailboat Perspectives by Ted Brewer

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-20-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

Locally we had a custom build of one of Ted Brewer's designs, around 38 feet IIRC, in aluminum. She was left bare and we used to joke that when the crew tossed their empty beer cans astern that she was 'spawning'.. Leaving the issue of such jetsam for the moment, it was a lovely vessel, and was especially nicely fitted out below. The cockpit and been painted in two part poly, but decks, cabin and topsides were left bare except for nonskid areas that were likely of Treadmaster type material.

She made a couple of voyages to Mexico and around the Pacific.. sadly the owner/builder has turned to power and now owns an American Tug. But I'm sure that Sandingo is making some serious track still.

In 1986 I did my first 'offshore'/deepwater delivery from Victoria BC to California.. on a Colvin steel schooner.. it was not a terribly satisfactory trip for a number of reasons, however there was never any doubting the massive strength and integrity of the vessel.. no chainplate concerns, deck leaks, or any of that.

I still think, though, that given the opportunity I'd probably still go for a solid, rugged F/G boat like a Passport 40 for such a trip, but mostly because equally good metal versions of similar boats are quite rare in North America.

Ron

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

I think if I ever make enough to have a boat built for live aboard purposes.. it would be an aluminum hull. I just like the idea of the strength, malliability for the inevitable grounding, and the fact that it needs less maintance. If it is good enough fot the USCG in their boats.. it is good enough for me

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post #4 of 11 Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

A steel boat is a labor of love, but when you hit something hard (as I did in Alaska at 6 knots) you know why you love her. In a GRP or wooden boat the season would have been lost at a minimum and we might have lost the boat. Billy Ruff'n just bounced off and we kept going.

Please, no crude comments about the skipper's navigation skills. (Yes, the rock was on the chart.)
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

br- hmmm, all the rocks I hit are on the chart too:-))

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-21-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: The Metal Yacht

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
But I'm sure that Sandingo is making some serious track still.
Ted told me a bit about Sandingo a while back. She was built in the 90's by John Dearden of BC. Not only did she do Mexico and the South Pacific, I'm told Sandingo was competitive in local races too.

In any case, a cool boat!

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

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Originally Posted by kwaltersmi View Post
Ted told me a bit about Sandingo a while back. She was built in the 90's by John Dearden of BC. Not only did she do Mexico and the South Pacific, I'm told Sandingo was competitive in local races too.

In any case, a cool boat!
Indeed....she participated for years in a local trifecta, the annual 'round Bowen Island race, SOAR (Squamish Open Annual Regatta), and the shorter lived Gibson's Regatta. All Howe Sound regattas with a relatively casual feel, and an overall trophy to boot.

Ron

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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

I am not sure I could deal with the bare aluminum finish.. unless it was a purely race boat. Then I could excuse it as part of the "stripping out" to add lightness to the hull
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-21-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

Mad- I agree. When it's shiny and new it's great, but it doesn't take long for it to start oxidizing and there's not much you can do about it. Nice looking boat though.

John
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-22-2013
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Re: The Metal Yacht

IDK, I kind of like the look of the bare aluminum hulls I have seen, even the hard-chined ones. They just seem so practical and rugged.

Just out of curiosity, does a metal boat heat up on those hot days? I imagine the metal is conductive enough that the water temp cools it down, but I would hate to bake in a metal "oven" if that's not the case...
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