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Old 10-08-2015, 03:45 AM   #1
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Reluctance to purchase steel

I have a confession I have a massive reluctance to purchase a steel trawler
I don't know why I cant bring myself to purchase steel even when I can get a beautiful big volume trawler that is younger than most fiberglass trawlers for less than 1/2 the price.

Is there a cure will I get over it ? is that little inner voice preventing me from making a big mistake ?
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Old 10-08-2015, 06:47 AM   #2
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Having owned a steel boat, I would say your reluctance may be well founded. Steel boats vary widely in ease of maintaining the interior from rusting. The newer coatings and processes certainly make a huge reduction in required maintenance. However, buying a used boat can be a continuous maintenance nightmare. I would recommend you be fully aware in what's involved before considering purchasing one. The standing joke 25 years ago when I owned mine was, "You start chasing rust the day you buy it; you don't stop till the day you sell it".

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Old 10-08-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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I have 2 friends that bought steel boats. One was sail and the other power. They had a devil of a time selling them and took big losses.
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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http://www.amazon.com/Rust-The-Longe.../dp/1501231367


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Old 10-09-2015, 07:05 AM   #5
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As noted the hassle with steel is maintaining the inside from rust.

Look at the reinforcements to the hull. An I an L or a T section.

If flat the I sand blasting and repaint is a job , but if they are L or T shaped it is not easy to sand blast to clean , where you cant see well .

So getting all the rust is difficult.Especially if the interior is not removed first.

Happily steel repair is world wide , cheap, and well understood.

For a circumnavigation it would be ideal, just sell the vessel when your'e done in a steel friendly country.

AS a dockside cottage or gin palace GRP would be better for lowest maint.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:50 AM   #6
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If well constructed so all the hull interior is accessible, might not be too bad. If hull interior is inaccessible, buried under fine cabinetry, that's a nightmare.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:31 PM   #7
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:38 PM   #8
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It's an annual, keep-on-top-of-it kind of thing. Not having exterior wood helps to compensate.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:44 PM   #9
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If well constructed so all the hull interior is accessible, might not be too bad. If hull interior is inaccessible, buried under fine cabinetry, that's a nightmare.
If properly built and coated, steel is not hard to maintain, as you suggest. I probably spend 8 hours a year doing touch up painting, if that. I seem to recall spending about 4 times that amount doing varnish work on a boat half the size, so I guess boat maintenance is part of the gig. The problem with used steel is that it isn't easy to tell how it was coated in all the nooks and crannies.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:51 PM   #10
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I have researched the history on the boat I had in mind it has been on the market for 3 years and is now less than 1/2 the original asking price. There seems to be no faults with the boat . Now that the broker can see I have lost interest he admits no one want to "TAKE ON" the ownership of a steel boat and have the same problems selling in the future .He also added the present selling price of the boat wouldn't cover the cost of the 2 engines that are in the boat and most offers he has had are from people wishing to purchase the boat just for the engines but the cost of then disposing of the hull outweighs the exercise of buying the motors .


I think I will give it a miss
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:15 PM   #11
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This is one of the boats we've been looking at recently,



Used 1990 ROBERTS 45 Boat For Sale - boatpoint.com.au

She is steel and a nice economical well built boat but this thread has put me off her somewhat.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:49 PM   #12
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This is one of the boats we've been looking at recently,



Used 1990 ROBERTS 45 Boat For Sale - boatpoint.com.au

She is steel and a nice economical well built boat but this thread has put me off her somewhat.


I have inspected this craft PM if you wish
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:37 PM   #13
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Cores, laminates, cold molds, aluminum, steel, solid FRP, wood whew- nothing is any good if one were to literally read TF. Many good vessels of all materials of construction are out there for consideration if one has the hankering to get out of the box.

One of the TF members owns a steel vessel that represents trawlers at their finest. I have seen many other gorgeous steel vessels in the 30 to 70 foot range. Likewise I have seen some deplorable FRP vessels. It all comes down to owner care and diligence.

If you don't feel you are ready to move up Gaston, stick with what you know and can afford. That is where I am, lamenting the fact I don't own a metal NZ build vessel.
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:05 AM   #14
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The boat in my avatar is steel. Florence turned 50 last year.
I think there are other steel boats here on TF of similar age.
My boat requires maintenance. What boat doesn't?
And I think I could probably spend more time on the wood trim than on the steel parts.
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:16 AM   #15
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The boat in my avatar is steel. Florence turned 50 last year.
Cool looking boat! Is she moored in the Rose City?
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:11 AM   #16
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That "Florence A" is one sexy beast!
Steel has its good and bad like every other build medium. The peeps with experience on steel boats don't have a phobia to it.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:43 AM   #17
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To me the biggest issue with steel is what are you buying - used or new. If new then you can make sure the coatings are good and maintainable. If used you have much more of a can of worms to deal with. You really do need to crawl around inside the boat and look everywhere to find rust issues. Steel boats generally rust out from the inside, so an exterior examination doesn't tell you much unless you have the hull gauged ($$$$). Getting a good used steel boat really depends on the level of maintenance done by previous owners. I remember a few years ago when there was a steel boat in the boatyard that was being worked on. That boat looked new when they started working on it. It was clearly a boat the owner had spend lavishly on maintaining the cosmetics but neglected interior maintenance. Over the time it was in the yard, they gradually cut away more and more of the hull as each cut revealed more rust inside the boat in inaccessible spaces. In the end the boat was repaired, but I am sure it cost a fortune because it was all formed steel plates.

Finally, steel only makes sense in larger boats (40 feet is about the minimum) because of weight issues.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:58 AM   #18
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:05 AM   #19
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There are tools that can measure the thickness of steel so you can "see" if the plate is rusting or has rusted and thinned over time. The key, which has already mentioned, is the prep, paint and insulation work done on the interior of the hull. If that is done right there should not be any problems with rust.

Since the price of the boat is so low, it might be worth the cost, to tear out some of the cabinets to see the hull condition. There are long flexible cameras that would allow one to see into tight and dark spaces. The hull plating can be surveyed to check for thickness. Sounds like the boat might be a good buy.

Steel boats have to worry about rust.

Buyers of fiberglass boats have to worry about water soaking the fiberglass, delamination, wet cores, leaks around fittings and blistering. Structural issues could be an issue depending on how the boat was used.

Later,
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:43 AM   #20
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Finally, steel only makes sense in larger boats (40 feet is about the minimum) because of weight issues.
Mark, just call Coot a forty footer and you'll be OK.

BTW, my brother had a steel Feadship. When he got the vessel it was pushing 25 years old. The only material related survey issue with steel "wear" was at one of the shaft locations where a previous owner had not understood that dripless shaft seals should indeed be that.

Steel coating technology and proper preparation has been a well known science for a long time, so says Feadship and DuPont.
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