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Hi folks,

I'm new to this group and hoping to gain some advice on the Brent Swain 26' Steel Twin Keel boat before making it my home and placing all my life possessions on it.

I was blown away when I first learnt of this type of boat, I had never heard of a twin keel before but I was very excited to hear that it will allow me to access more shallow water and yet still allow my boat to self-right if it unexpectedly gets caught up in a big storm/ swell.

I am adamant that I want to buy a boat that is made of metal because its the strongest material, i plan to sail close to dive sights and I cannot bare the thought of my boat containing everything I have sinking to the bottom of the water. One day I plan to sail to polar regions too, steel will be needed for that. Speed is a low priority for me, I'm happy to sacrifice a few knots for the peace-of-mind.

I also love the sound of the enclosed wheelhouse so I can stay sheltered from the weather and reduce the risk of falling overboard while sailing.

I also hear that the design provides less rocking/ more stability. This is music to my ears. I want to sail to hard-to-reach spots around the whole world and I want to do it as comfortably as I can afford (I can't afford a catamaran).

Although a newly qualified day-skipper, I'm still quite new to sailing. I once helped as a deck-hand on 39' ketch from Tahiti to Tonga; although there were only a couple of days of rough seas, I still wasn't a big fan of rocking around so much on the boat.

I've found a BS26' boat that has been made to the highest standard I can hope for by a seasoned boat builder who built this boat as his intended retirement vessel but had unfortunately reached a state of poor health.

I've been trying to do a little research into Brent Swains boats. I've found some chatgroups discussing his 36' design but nothing on his 26' design. BS seems to have a lot of praisers as well as a few very vocal and upset critics. All I care about is whether his design will allow me to sail in deep blue water, big swell, torrid weather and if I get turned upside-down, will i roll back upright again?

Please pardon my ignorance but I have a few questions I'd like advice on before I put everything I have into one of these boats.

1. Will the steel hull bounce off anything? Or could it potentially puncture?

2. Will foam against the inside of the hull help keep the boat afload incase it punctures? Does foam affect the quality of the air in the confined space of a boat?

3. If the boat turns upside down, will it 100% deffinately right itself? What if the wheelhouse is not air tight?

4. If the boat turns upside down, will the weight of the boat burst the windows?

5. How often do boats really turn upside down? What are the odds of it happening. Aside from avoiding seriously bad weather and huge swell, what else can be down to minimise capsize risk?

6. Can I register this boat in Australia. Will its qualify as compliant?

Thank you for your help.

Many questions but I can say this in short. While it is and has been done by experienced sailors crossing oceans in very small vessels, I would want at least a 31 foot boat to go offshore and to live on. The 26 is capable if conditions favour you but I think it would be too small. Brent’s boats clearly cross oceans. You can find them for sale in places like Hawaii and Mexico. I have been on them including Brent’s boat. They are solid, purpose built boats. You won’t win races and they have more rocker than some steel boats due to the origami construction but there are boat yards in France using similar methods of construction. Because something is a bit unorthadox it doesn’t make it bad. I would check the webbing around the keel. Some people don’t in my estimation put enough structure around the keel attachment point. I would make sure that there are good webs welded in along the keel. If that is the boat from SaltSpring I heard the builder is well qualified in his craft. Should be a decent vessel
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