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post #1 of 12 Old 02-09-2014 Thread Starter
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planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Hi there, I found a wonderful boat. It's a Koopmans 37 "Ocean Racer", build in Holland in 1984, very well maintained and equipped. The only thing I don't like is the fact that her hull is made of steel while her deck is made from marine plywood & fiberglass (resting on steel frames) covered by a teak deck. I have owned 2 steel boats by now, and I am comfortable to accept the necessary maintenance routine. What I am afraid of is the combination steel / wood. Isn't there always rust where steel and wood meet? And aren't these areas always most difficult to reach? Her famous designer chose this composite construction method to save weight. And he succeeded: less deck weight, less ballast resulting in 7 tons total weight for 37 feet.
Does anyone of you have some experience in this regard? I am flying to France in 2 weeks to see the boat and possibly buy her. So I am most grateful for any advise you might have.
Cheers,
freebirdsailing

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post #2 of 12 Old 02-09-2014
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Nice boat!

IMO, there's nothing wrong with composite construction - Clipper Ships pioneered that idea centuries ago - so long as the deck is fastened to the frames properly, there should be no issues to speak of unless someone screwed something into the deck without sealing it properly.

Just make sure you look for deck leaks (with tell-tale rust trails) overhead when you're doing the inspection down below.

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Last edited by Classic30; 02-09-2014 at 11:05 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-12-2014
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

A wooden deck on a steel hull is a big mistake and a huge maintenance problem down the road. With wood swelling and shrinking , and steel stable, there is no bedding compound in the world which will keep it tight forever.
I have heard the coast guard had good luck with steel hulls and aluminium super structures, bolted on. I' d prefer to make the transition at the cabinside -cabintop joint.
With a wooden deck you lose the huge advantage of metal ,the ability to weld things down, the most reliably watertight and super strong connection possible.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"
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post #4 of 12 Old 02-12-2014
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Brent, sure, steel-on-steel is better structurally but for various reasons it isn't always what people need or want. Timber deck planks should be at least as thick as they are wide and sealed at the edges, not underneath. Here's a picture for you:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
A wooden deck on a steel hull is a big mistake and a huge maintenance problem down the road. With wood swelling and shrinking , and steel stable, there is no bedding compound in the world which will keep it tight forever.
Wrong again: It's called "Jeffery's No.2 Deck Glue". Amazing stuff.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-13-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Many thanks for your thoughts and the picture so far! I myself would have never considered buying a steel boat with a wooden deck for the obvious reasons - its just that everything else of this yacht is just what I want
The owner claims that this boat has been cruising for 30 years now without any leakages or corrosion issues due to her steel / wood construction. I will have a close look on these arguments next week during the inspection.

By the way, she has been on the market for quite some time now (the latest add just expired) and the current asking price is 65.000 Euros or 88.500 US$. So, beautiful and well equipped as she is, there seems to be a lot of doubt out there in regard to her lightweight construction.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-13-2014
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Lightweight construction? You mean people don't like how Koopmans Senior designed his yachts? I've never heard of one falling apart.

If well built and well maintained, I see no reason why there should be any leakage or corrosion issues - even after 30 years. If she's as good as you say, the price seems about right to me but if she has been on the market for a while you may be able to talk the price down further.

If you like what you see, make sure you get the boat professionally inspected before handing over any money. Preferably take the inspector with you if you can. No one should ever buy a steel boat, any steel boat, without first arranging an out-of-water survey.

Good luck!! I hope it works out for you.
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Thanks, Classic30, I will keep you updated!


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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

.. and with "lightweight construction" I was only referring to this particular composite build yacht, which, to my knowledge, is rare among the koopmans designs. I would prefer a solid steel construction.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-15-2014
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic30 View Post
Brent, sure, steel-on-steel is better structurally but for various reasons it isn't always what people need or want. Timber deck planks should be at least as thick as they are wide and sealed at the edges, not underneath. Here's a picture for you:





Wrong again: It's called "Jeffery's No.2 Deck Glue". Amazing stuff.
No doubt. Marine ply that has been glassed doesn't move. Teak that has cured well prior to installation doesn't move either. Butyl works great as does good old fashioned tar. More horsecrap psuedoknowledge by Mr Swain as usual...

Brent old Son, please trying to impress folks with your knowledge or lack thereof. Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought of as a moron than to open it and confirm it....

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #10 of 12 Old 02-15-2014
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Re: planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck

Go get 'im Charlie!
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