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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,
I have recently made a decision to leave the cities and the continent behind and start living onboard and single hand circumnavigate the globe in a never-ending voyage. I have some sailing and open sea experience, because I am former navy officer, but not good for my personal standards and especially not enough for such project. So it is my intention to set sail in about 4 years, which will give me time to do whatever necessary, including building my own sailboat. I have been Reading various forums about several different topics, ranging from boat size to project designers, and the pros and cons of buying (a commercial or a used one) or building.
Well, opinions vary as everything in life! Therefore, since I have time, I decided to build my own. It will also allow me to get well-familiarized will the details and places of everything that will form my home to be for the coming years.
Now I need to select the project. Again, there are so many variations and I weighting them all to form my own opinion. As of now, I decided for a mono steel hull, ranging from 28-45 foots, with movable keel, center cockpit and preferable a pilothouse. Lifting keels seems to be a nice to have in some occasions to preserve the boat, but I am not sure yet what could be the cons. To be decided…..
So far, I came across two lists of designers/naval architects and checked the pages of a few. Not all of them sell plans and a significant smaller number sell pre-cut kits. As of now, I have selected 3 names: Bruce Roberts, Van de Stadt and Roberto Barros. For each of them I found good and not so good reviews.
I don’t want to mess things around here, and I know that I am running the risk of start a very long thread on something that has been debated for years, but could you please help me selecting a good project designer/naval architect and a project model?
Best,
Guilherme
 

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Have you entertained aluminum? The boreal 46 has gotten great write ups and was designed to do exactly what you want to do. H.S. Friend of my wife just got one and is pleased. If you're loaded look at K + M. as well. Dystra,N.A. would be a good designer.
If you're committed to steel speak with Van Meer.
My 2cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I am not loaded, but is hard to put a price tag to your dream and selected way of life....LOL

Aluminum seems to be tricky to find labour and parts in some remote places of the world, it is not as durable as steel.

I never heard of those designers you mentioned, could you provide more info about them, their websites and etc?

Yes, I am commited to steel.
 

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There is Brent Swain of BC Canada who contributes to this forum.
 
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Not much sense in talking about a boat between 28 to 45ft. That is a huge difference. If you have the money for the bigger boat go to a boat between 43 and 45ft, so money is the determinant factor. One a good boat with a good finish, an one off designed expressly by a Na, the difference in price between an Aluminium boat and steel one should not be more than 10% and I am quite sure that almost any NA will recommend aluminium to you.

A good quality custom boat of that size should cost between USD 500 000 and USD 800 000.

If this is inside your budget we can talk about it, if not you can try one of the voyage boats that exist on the market, like the Boreal that Outbound mentioned or the Allures or the OVNI. That should bring the price to a bit less that the lower number but not much, if we are talking about a boat ready to voyage.

If we are talking about a lot less, like 1/3 of that then probably an option would be going to an heavy steel 36ft, the kind Brent Swain design and build. not very pretty or fast but able to do the job.

So, as you sea, budget for a boat is a fundamental piece of information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. My comments:
1. Size: It is my intention to have the bigger boat possible that I can single hand it. After all, it will be my home and some comfort is never too much. I have indicated from 28 to 45 ft, because I am sure yet of what would be the proper size. Opinions differ, some say that a boat bigger than 40 might be trick to maneuver under bad weather, others that with proper equipment and a good project a 60+ boat can be single handed under the same situation.

2. Steel versus Aluminum: I believe there are pros and cons for each one. So far, steel seem to be better in terms of durability (with epoxy and other treatments it can last forever), maintenance (it is possible to find steel worker in every corner of the world, and if not, fixing is not a big deal) and security. In addition, nowadays it is possible to find steel alloys that are more resistant and lighter than traditional steel, so a thinner steel could be used to reduce the overall weight.

3. Price: Around USD 500k sounds to be a nice round number, however I will work hard to accomplish my goal with less. However, I need to point out that import taxes in Brazil can easily double it, and importing a second hand boat is not possible to my country.

Best,
 

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With that high of an import duty, don't import it to Brazil. Just create an overseas holding company as the owner.

Frankly I think you are going about this all wrong. You need to sit down and figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, and how many people you want with you, then look to see if there are used boats that meet your needs. A good used boat can be had for a fraction of the price of a new built.

Once you have a few years sailing, then go to a NA and have a custom boat designed if you choose. But frankly at this point I don't think you have a clear enough idea of what you need to really begin this process.

As for steel vs aluminium. It has been beat to death on this forum and others. But there is a reason that there are vanishingly few production steel sailboats being built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sometimes this is the way to go, but creating an offshore company is not a solution. It might even increase the problem and make it more expensive if the tax authorities decide that you are doing this to avoid taxes. Thanks for you remarks. I will consider them with good care. Best,
 

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If you are not going to sail in Brazil what is the problem? I meet two years ago on the med a Brazilian family sailing and living on a Amel. They were living in France for the winter. I think you can also have double nationality (Portuguese/Brazilian) and can have fixed residence in Portugal (in the boat). Flying a Portuguese banner you can buy a new boat in Portugal with a tax of 23% or can buy a used boat on all EC without any tax (if the boat has already the tax payed, that is what is more normal).

As you are going to be travelling that should not be a problem, except maybe bringing the boat to Brazil on a permanent bases. But a production aluminium sailboat keep a high resale value and you can always sell it when you decide to return definitively to Brazil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unfortunately I don't have a double citzenship nor I can apply to one. Otherwise it could be a good idea to reduce taxes.
 

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4 years to build a boat to sail the hi seas... with all due respect... Not going to happen. UNLESS you pay a yard to build it. OR have really really close friends that are jacks of all trades.

You will want to consider Home - Origamiboats: The Art of Frameless Steel Boatbuilding


Also, consider strongly the wisdom in buying a proven blue water boat to refit/restore/refurb. It just makes a whole lot of sense. Steel boats can be picked up for a pocket of change and a bucket of rust olem :) Hell, they may even pay you take them!

Just to build a boat, to build a boat usually that.winds up unfinished.. Is all time that you could be using to learn how to sail. there are thousands of boats out there "project, just needs.... and will be ready with....."
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi, this is exactly what I want to do: select the designer/project and hire professionals to build it for me, but I will be involved in the process. I know how to sail, and the time not used building the boat will be used to increase my sailing skills (the ones that really matter!), as you pointed out. Best.
 

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You have a good project by a Brazilian NA, Barros, the Kiribati. The boat is not properly beautiful but it seems effective to me. I had a look at the boat file and the stability curve and everything looks well, even if I would prefer a faster boat, what probably is not your case since you are thinking in steel.

a.b.b. - amateur boat building - Kiribati 36


Kiribati is for sure inside your budget. I would prefer this one, a 43ft by Dick Zaal. I don't think it will be inside the 500 000 usd (at least made in Holland), but you can make an inquire:

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/1254850-post5621.html

Boths boats are in aluminium but any of those designers can provide you with a similar design in steel, even if I think it is a mistake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know Roberto Barros (Cabinho)'s projects. He is a great NA very well known in Brazil, perhaps the most successful around here. He would be my in my shortlist, but first I need to have a list with other NA’s….LOL. Around 10 years ago I sailed one of his projects, Delta 26. A great sailboat, easy to handle.
Thanks for pointing me to Dick Zaal. His projects look really great!
In respect to budge, what should I expect? Perhaps an interesting reduction would come from having the parts cut in a country such as Germany and have the boat mounted in Brazil. If this could be possible, my concern would be the quality of welds and how to create a good quality control. Badly made welds ca increase the weight and make the hull more fragile.
It seems to me that you are not a fan of steel hulls. Will I trouble you if I ask you why?
Best,
 

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.....
It seems to me that you are not a fan of steel hulls. Will I trouble you if I ask you why?
Best,
Grafare, Welcome to Sailnet!

The 'steel or not' debate is a well documented one with obvious and passionate views on either side.

I'm sure Paulo will come back, but he may be asleep by now... In my view a steel boat is really only specified if one intends to do polar sailing or extreme venues like that (or you plan to play 'demolition boat' with every coral reef you come across!;))

Modern techniques and generally far better designs can be rendered in typically fiberglass, or possibly even better, cold molded wood/epoxy. Go back through Paulo (PCP's) "Interesting Sailboats" thread for some ideas on what's happening mostly in Europe of late.

The 'economy' of steel is often overrated as what ever hull material you choose will end up being a low 10-15% of the overall finished cost of the boat fully finished and equipped. In that respect the 'cost' of the build (of the hull) is not a major consideration overall.

There's no denying the inherent strength of steel, but if it really was the best choice one must ask why, as Stumble pointed out, there are SOOO few steel boat builders left. A well engineered hull of any other material can be nearly or perhaps equally strong, (and certainly more than 'strong enough' for typical cruising and safe boat handling) and ultimately will be lighter, faster, and probably better shaped.

Had I the ability to specify a new custom build, my first choice would be a cold molded hull, with perhaps a molded f/g deck, though the tooling costs there might be excessive... and, most probably, from the drawing board of Bob Perry...
 
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Dick Zall is known (among other things) by his aluminium and steel boats. He is Dutch and Holland has a great tradition of building aluminium and steel boats. I am sure he could have all pieces cut for you.

There are basically two types of projects from a NA, a one off, where you say what you want to an NA and he just does a project to you (expensive) and a project already made that the NA sells to several clients. That is the case with the one I posted. I had once changed some emails with Zall. He speaks English and is a nice guy. If you are interested send him an email and ask about prices.

You have also on this Forum Bob Perry (NA) that is a nice guy and has also experience in designing Aluminium and steel boats. You can also talk with him. you can find him on the thread about steel boats.

Another option are the stock plans from Van De Stadt:

http://www.stadtdesign.com/designs/stock_plans_sail/tonga_56/1
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Faster: I agree with you on your comment about the pseudo economy of a steel hull. My main concerns are related to safety, maintenance and repair. I am not sure about the other material, but with almost 100% certainty one can find a worker/welder who knows how to handle steel in any part of the world.
So far, I found no data about the speed reduction due to weight increasing on steel boats when compared to aluminum and other materials, considering the same project. Do you have any information regarding this?
Best,
 

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Faster: I agree with you on your comment about the pseudo economy of a steel hull. My main concerns are related to safety, maintenance and repair. I am not sure about the other material, but with almost 100% certainty one can find a worker/welder who knows how to handle steel in any part of the world.
So far, I found no data about the speed reduction due to weight increasing on steel boats when compared to aluminum and other materials, considering the same project. Do you have any information regarding this?
Best,
In all sailboats weight matters. The smaller the boat the biggest difference between s steel hull and an aluminium hull. On bigger sailboats (over 60ft) the difference exist but will be smaller. I believe that you will find also everywhere people able to repair an aluminium hull if needed.

One thing you should be concerned about steel is resale value that is very low.

Berckemeyer (NA) that has also some very interesting aluminium boats in his portfolio says it better than me:

ALUMINIUM YACHTS:

Aluminium nowadays is the most popular building material with custom built long distance cruisers. You can leave it unpainted. Claims about electrolysis problems with Aluminium hulls are mostly exagerated, however, this aspect should be observed and proper protection installed.

The following comparison will show the pros and cons of Aluminium versus

steel:

Weight: Aluminium is lighter than steel for the same strength. Hence the available displacement can be utilized for carrying water, equipment and provisions, rather than a heavy steel structure.

More stable and faster: Due to their lighter weight, Aluminium boats have a lower centre of gravity and are therefore more stable and faster.

Appearance: In order to keep the weight of steel hulls down, plating is thinner than with Aluminium yachts. Therefore, over the years, steel hulls will often acquire a buckled appearance, with reduced resale value.

Labour saving: Light weight means labour saving during the construction of the hull. Also, Aluminium can be cut abt. 3x as fast as steel and it can be cut with normal woodworking equipment. Aluminium welds approc. 2x as fast as steel, even considering the thicker plating to be welded in the case of Aluminium construction.

Safety: Aluminium deforms or stretches beyond its elastic limit more than steel before rupturing. This is of particular importance when hitting floating objects ( it is estimated that approximately 10 00 containers are going overboard annually ).

Safety: Aluminium is non-sparking and non-magnetic.
Price of material: Aluminium is more expensive than steel, however, it does not require a very elaborate paint system for corrosion protection and the resale value of Aluminium yachts is the highest of all boatbuilding materials.

COMBINATION ALUMINIUM / WOOD:

Aluminium hulls with wooden decks (inside: natural wooden deckbeams supporting a white painted plywood deck) combine the warmth of wood with the safety of Aluminium hulls. Furthermore, a lot of time is saved with this building method, since labouriously covering up deckbeams and stringers at the inside of an Aluminium deck can take the same time as building the deck in plywood accoring to the WEST (Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique) system.

STEEL YACHTS:
Steel is the traditional material for metal boatbuilding. However, in spite of all claims that steel can be 100% corrosion protected, it still needs care and when you see a rusty spot on an exposed surface, you will have uneasy feelings about the hidden parts which will rust away undetected. Moreover, steel adds approx. 20% to the displacement as compared to Aluminium hulls, which could be better utilized by way of supplies. The resale value of steel boats is low

O. Berckemeye


Berckemeyer Yacht Design

Regards

Paulo
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Paulo,
I read the thread “Steel or not” as mentioned by Faster. Putting the BS aside, it provides interesting information about the pros and cons of steel boats. I must confess that somehow I don´t few very comfortable with aluminum due to damage, electrolysis, repair and maintenance. Perhaps I need to study more about it in order to change my mind. On the other hand, according to a friend of mine, there some new special steel alloys that are lighter and more resistant than ordinary steel used in maritime applications that could reduce some of the cons listed on your last post.
It seems that a 60 ft boat is too big to be single handled, so the difference will be significant on the size I am considering. By the way, the arguments listed on your last post make total sense to me.
Best,
 
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