Why buy a steel hulled sailboat? - SailNet Community
 2Likes
  • 1 Post By hellosailor
  • 1 Post By Arcb
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 03-05-2017 Thread Starter
GreenasGrass
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 298
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

Thought fiberglass was the preferred material since the 70's.
With electrolysis and expensive sandblasting prior to painting, I don't get the logic behind the steel hulled sailboat.
Looking to buy a 40' liveaboard in 2019. Plenty of time to study up and prepare.
ColoGuy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 03-05-2017
Senior Member
 
amwbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 632
Thanks: 23
Thanked 34 Times in 34 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
Re: Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

The thing is, fiberglass stands up well to criminal levels of neglect, and can be cheaply reconditioned so it can eventually be neglected all over again.

Steel is perfectly fine if you are seriously willing to keep up the proper maintenance it requires. Very few are willing to take that on. Which is why most of the steel sailboats you'll see are a mess.

Same with wooden boats. They can be fantastic IF you're willing to see to their proper care and feeding. Almost nobody is...and so they rot away and wind up as firewood in a boatyard stove somewhere.

"Freedom is the increased knowledge of what you can do without." —Thoreau
amwbox is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 03-05-2017
Senior Member
 
Faster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 19,488
Thanks: 160
Thanked 587 Times in 558 Posts
Rep Power: 17
     
Re: Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

I think metal boats make sense when planning to cruise into extreme latitudes (ice bits) and perhaps even in regions like the PNW where there is plenty of floating debris, though most steel boats would be frustrating given our frequent light winds, esp in summer.

Another + for steel, especially, is the fact that welding services and materials are likely available anywhere in the world in the event that you needed serious repairs.

Cheap metal boats are likely not a good call; well designed, well built, well prepped and treated steel boats are rarely in the bargain bin.

When shopping, the huge numbers of fg boats is going to skew the availabliity.

Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Faster is offline  
 
post #4 of 7 Old 03-05-2017
██▓▓▒▒░░▒▒▓▓██
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,645
Thanks: 11
Thanked 253 Times in 248 Posts
Rep Power: 15
   
Re: Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

Let it pound on a coral reef for a couple of hours, steel will explain its own worth to you. Oh, wait, you're not in Polynesia...

Let your boat stay in the water in Boston or NY and get caught in a cold winter (in 1776 they walked and ran wagons from Brooklyn to Staten Island, no bridges needed) and steel will justify itself.

Or let some drunk t-bone you in the marina, and steel will explain itself.

Now, on the downside, yes, it does require different maintenance and since every hull is a "one off" it can be more costly, and heavy, until you hit vaguely the 40' OAL point. Steel is more vulnerable to maintenance issues, like poor priming, poor painting, electrolysis, cold sweating if no insulation, rusting if wrong insulation...but then again, steel is also fireproof and doesn't suffer from blistering.

Horses for courses.
SailorMaggie likes this.
hellosailor is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 03-05-2017
Dirt Free
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,566
Thanks: 22
Thanked 145 Times in 140 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
Re: Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoGuy View Post
Thought fiberglass was the preferred material since the 70's.
With electrolysis and expensive sandblasting prior to painting, I don't get the logic behind the steel hulled sailboat.
Looking to buy a 40' liveaboard in 2019. Plenty of time to study up and prepare.
Tip of the day .........
Do not ever hire a marine elecrtician who uses the word "electrolysis"

Definition - Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to an electric current being passed through the water.

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is online now  
post #6 of 7 Old 03-05-2017
Senior Member
 
Arcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,661
Thanks: 210
Thanked 195 Times in 191 Posts
Rep Power: 4
 
Re: Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

I've put some pretty decent miles on about 5 different steel sailboats. All bigger, all in the 70-165 foot range.

Steel does what it does well, very well. It has high abrasion resistance which makes it very good in ice. Nothing else comes even close in performance in ice in my opinion.

It also stands up well to impacts due to its ductility. Which makes it good for commercial use. You can smoke it off concrete piers, you can run it up on rocks.

The downsides I have observed ar, it needs a near professional level of maintenance. My experience is limited to 5 sailboats, but I have found each and every one of them to be very slow, when compared to even a much smaller fibreglass or wood yachts.
SailorMaggie likes this.

Last edited by Arcb; 03-05-2017 at 05:43 PM.
Arcb is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 03-05-2017 Thread Starter
GreenasGrass
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 298
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Why buy a steel hulled sailboat?

Think I'd rather sail in the Caribbean than the arctic regions. Hopefully won't be hitting ice flows.

Thanks for all the great tips. The slowness would turn many away.
ColoGuy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
planning to buy: steel hull / wooden deck freebirdsailing Sailboat Design and Construction 11 03-10-2014 07:56 PM
Stainless steel backing plates, thoughts, where to buy? MarkSF Gear & Maintenance 33 02-11-2012 10:15 PM
Buy a steel boat or not? Polypterus Boat Review and Purchase Forum 21 01-30-2010 02:10 AM
AB aluminum hulled RIB speciald Gear & Maintenance 2 01-11-2009 09:40 PM
Inexpensive Wooden hulled Boats? Grauadler Boat Review and Purchase Forum 2 12-26-2002 12:03 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome