any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-26-2018 Thread Starter
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any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

Hi,

We are planning to build our own steel sailboat in the 38' range for blue water cruising. We are in touch with bruce roberts about spray 38 but we want to be sure if we are on the right track about the designer of a steel sailboat.

Considering the boat will be cruising mainly on the mediterranean sea, which designers or the specifically plans do you suggest?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-26-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

Bruce is certainly one of the most prolific and popular designers of steel boats and his designs are popular with those who wish to build their own.
I'd say you couldn't go wrong choosing one of his designs and beginning your project, though personally, I am not that enamoured with his junk rigged boats.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-26-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

How much lifetime do you have to spend on this?

Bruce Roberts, here ya go,
Partially complete 42' Bruce Roberts Mauritius Ketch, center cockpit.
Most? of the work is done? Builder died, Have Rustolem will travel? "Free" but says $2000 duh
https://cleveland.craigslist.org/boa...625981430.html

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-26-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

Ted Brewer is still selling plans and has a web site. But I don’t think he supports his work much anymore. I believe he forwards folks to John (?) Simpson who is active.
Ted Brewer Yacht Design
http://simpsonmarinedesign.com



Then there is Kasten Marine Design
http://www.kastenmarine.com


jay Bedford has some interesting stuff
Benford Design Group

Tell us more about what you are looking for and keep us posted.

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post #5 of 13 Old 06-26-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

The guys two spots over from me had an awesome homebuild Roberts about 38'. The father had built it on his kibbutz and left the hull in a shed for decades, then the son did a super job finishing it. They had done the Cyprus run and were very happy with the performance, but I don't know if they had much basis for comparison.

He sailed off into the sunset last fall, said he was looking for the edge of the world. I get his pics on FB.

There are so many boats for sale in the Med I can't in a million years imagine why anyone not looking to do the NW passage would bother building :-)

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-26-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

One Life is to short to build a boat. if you just want to build a boat because you like to build then build but if you want to sail a boat in your life time than buy a boat and go sailing. most home built boats of this size are never finished by the original builder and if ever finished it is usually by the third or forth owner. well over half are never finished. Way to many good boat for sale way cheaper then you can build one.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-26-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

Chester Grayber had that dream but he did not have adequate ventilation while doing all the welding so he died of lung cancer before he completed the hull despite working on it for around 3 decades. He was a steel salesman and got the steel at his cost. He used 11" wide steel strips since those were the largest he could handle without heavy equipment and a lot of forming. It took another man (Tom Taylor) an additional decade to partially finish the boat before it sank due to some issue with thru-hulls and an exhaust system below the water line. It was a 74 foot motor yacht but it does exemplify the potential time it can take when you have a day job and the risks of welding in a confined space.

If you are actually planning on doing the work yourself and not have a ship yard build the steel hull for you then indeed vet out how many man hours will be required to do this and then at least double that if you'll be working alone.

It can be done with planning and determination however if you have a day job it can take decades to pull it off by yourself.

Yes a lot of the second owners issues could be viewed as self inflicted but its still a sad tale of a dream that ended badly for two men along with their families and spanned almost 40 years:


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post #8 of 13 Old 06-27-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

many thanks for your sincere responses.

actually we are sure about giving the plan to the shipyard to build the hull firstly. also we are in touch with our 2 friends in this sector who will help finding the builder and etc.

the thing that we are not sure about yet, is to continue the project by ourselves or to let the ship yard finish it after the hull is built.
so we will need extra advice and technical support during the process.
as far as i heard bruce roberts is not efficient enough on this. as you know, it is important for us to get online support from the designer about revising the interior (if necessary) or anything.

who do you suggest considering this?
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ece Dursun View Post
many thanks for your sincere responses.

actually we are sure about giving the plan to the shipyard to build the hull firstly. also we are in touch with our 2 friends in this sector who will help finding the builder and etc.

the thing that we are not sure about yet, is to continue the project by ourselves or to let the ship yard finish it after the hull is built.
so we will need extra advice and technical support during the process.
as far as i heard bruce roberts is not efficient enough on this. as you know, it is important for us to get online support from the designer about revising the interior (if necessary) or anything.

who do you suggest considering this?
I built a Ted Brewer design (Bull Dog 30) and sailed it extensively. I had it welded by a professional (using mig) and finished everything else – it took me 5 years.
Not sure where you are located, but in any case check out the metal kits provided by Dudley Dix
(https://www.dixdesign.com/kits.htm) and the designs from Robertl Tucker both are respected designers.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-27-2018
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Re: any designer/plan suggestion for building a steel sailboat

I have not sailed on the Med so I am somewhat going on second hand information. My understanding is that (depending on the season) the Med has a strange mix of very light winds most of the time, with long periods of very high winds in between. I am quite familiar with the Roberts Spray designs, and frankly that would be close to the worst design you could chose to build for those types of conditions.

The Spray is a high drag design with comparatively little stability for its drag. Because of that the choice of rigs tend to be extremely inefficient as well. This results in a boat that is essentially a motorsailor in light to moderate winds, and which is not particularly good in heavier winds.

Steel is a really crummy material to use for boats under about 13.5 meters since there is a minimum plate thickness that can be used because of localized bending and so steel boats become excessively heavy. Having worked on the design for steel boats, and seen how they hold up over time, they are comparatively high maintenance and in most cases short lived compared to the other choices. That heavy weight of a steel hull results in a mix of poorer sailing ability, less stability, poorer motion, and less carrying capacity than a similar design executed in almost any other material. While steel has a very high strength per square area, it is also extremely dense. The net result is that compared to pretty much any other boat building material, on a pound for pound basis, steel is the weakest of the possible boat building materials to chose from. If you really want a metal boat, I would strongly suggest that you consider aluminum rather than steel.

But in any event, if you have your heart set on steel construction, then I would look at Dudley Dix's designs. Dudley tends to produce designs with efficient hullforms and rigs. His drawings tend to be very complete and more fully explain how his boats are actually built. The details that I have seen have been very clever in terms of simplifying construction while producing structurally sound designs. He would be my first choice if that I was leaning towards a steel hulled design.

There are other very high quality designers out there as well. As mentioned Ted Brewer has produced some very nice designs aimed at steel construction. I think his Kaiulani 38 is a particularly nice design.

Van De Stadt has a number of nice designs. I was recently acquainted with their Helena 38 which appears to be an exceptionally nice design. I have not seen a set of Van De Stadt drawings but they have a reputation for producing well detailed and engineered designs and providing excellent customer support.

I really liked some of Charlie Wittholz's designs. (I worked for him three decades ago) But Charlie has passed on and I can no longer find a source for his designs. I really liked his 'Departure' series. They were nice wholesome designs.

But cutting to the chase, building any boat is wildly expensive proposition, and the cost of the drawings (even if you pay a couple thousand Euro higher price for the drawings) is the smallest part of the cost. Because of that pick the best design that you can find. Building a wildly out of date, poor sailing design, only results in creating a boat that will be joyless to own and difficult to resell.

Respectfully,
Jeff


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