Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-16-2005, 09:39 PM   #1
Lieutenant
 
Bajamas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 68
Default Steel vs Fiberglass hull

Could anyone give a good argument toward a steel hull over a fiberglass hull? I know they are much more forgiving in the shallows but what of corrosion? How often does a steel hull need to be bottom painted, I assume as often as a fiberglass hull. What problems will one face with Steel?

Bajamas
__________________

__________________
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes!
Bajamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 12:10 AM   #2
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 178
Default

I'm sure I'm 'over'generalizing in the eyes of some, but here's my take on steel's +'s and -'s. Chip in, everyone else...

Steel is good because:

1. It lends itself to owner build-out, tho' in truth so does every other medium if the needed skill sets are available

2. It will survive an at-sea collision or being run up on coral, tho' some glass boats now have collision bulkheads or are 'unsinkable' due to injected foam (check out Etap's offerings)

3. It benefits by better paint technology than used to be available (which is really the *possible* removal of a liability - corrosion due to poor surface protection - rather than an asset)

Steel is not a good choice because:

1. It's a heavier material and so the hull/deck and therefore the boat can be slower and less handy to maneuver than other choices; it is an especially poor choice for smaller boats (35' LOA for me, tho' others think this length can be lessened) given the huge SA/D and D/L consequences.

2. Coating (painting) the steel structure is more critical (and with mistakes more costly re: maintenance efforts) than any other material

3. Some object to the multichine (angular) hull lines of most amateur-built boats when compared with the complex curves easily accomplished when using GRP (fiberglass)

4. Collision protection can be over-emphasized when selecting the criteria that determine a boat, e.g. how many steel boats did we see up in rocky Scandinavia? (Answer: none)

5. Corrosion is a relentless enemy and can become structural in nature, especially if it is induced by stray onboard current or from a nearby boat. By contrast, 99%+ of the GRP hull blistering which occurs (which in turn is a subset of all fiberglass hulls) is cosmetic, not structural.

Of course, this is more of a 'starter' list than a comprehensive one and many people cruising on metal boats are doing so happily. The French seem to embrace metal boats with special pleasure; perhaps talking to a few of them would prove enlightening.

Jack
__________________

__________________
Jack Tyler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 09:18 PM   #3
Ensign
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3
Send a message via MSN to ianw6705
Default

From my reading and experience, the advantages of steel are these:

(1) it is stronger if you hit something or go aground

(2) it is easier to repair the hull if you have to

(3) the very long joint between the deck and hull is both strong and watertight - one of the weak points of a GRP (or wood) boat - the point that flexes and cause leaks

(4) GRP boats can (and so often do) suffer osmosis, which can be genuinely structural, as opposed to blistering, which can be aesthetic

(5) a thru-hull or thru-deck in a GRP boat is often a source of real weakness, water ingress and very serious damage

(6) the fixing of bulkheads, frames and stringers in GRP boats relies critically on the quality of glass work - and can often be too weak to withstand flexing (or water)

(7) corrosion (and general rust) can be managed on a steel boat - with proper maintenance - whereas osmosis and other saturation problems in cores etc can be very hard to notice and then treat

(8) steel boats can look very sleek!

Regards ianw6705
__________________
Ian

Perth WA
ianw6705 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2005, 10:04 PM   #4
JohnW
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Books have been written on fiberglass/steel controversy. I built fiberglass boats for a living, sailed one for 5 years in the North and South Pacific and now have an aluminium one. I went through the same process you are going through now. There is lots of information on fiberglass boats out there but try the www.metalboatsociety.com and www.kastenmarine.com as a starting point for research on metal boats. Boats are alway a compromise and you must choose the one that is best for you.

John
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 09:08 AM   #5
rod hodgson
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hi Bajamas,

I have owned both steel and fibreglass and personally prefer steel. The fibreglass certainly looks sleeker, definitely is faster and doesn't seem to require the same vigilance with maintainance, so if these are important to you then fibreglass is the way to go.

I lived aboard on the steel boat and therefore was able to chip away, sand and paint whenever rust became apparent and didn't see this as a major issue. The quality of paints available now are excellent so if the work is done well rust can be effectively contained.

Steel allows you to make structural changes more easily and maintain the integrity of the hull and is certainly more forgiving of mistakes. Ultimately, I believe, the manner in which you wish to use your boat and the aspects that are important to you will make the decision more easy.

Regards,

Rod
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2005, 08:21 PM   #6
Lieutenant
 
Bajamas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 68
Default

Thanks to all that replied.

I have found one thing to be apparent in my search for a vessel is that Steel hulled boats are comparibly more expensive and harder to find in the states.

The one benefit that I would have liked would have been the forgiveness of my intermediate sailing skills. My wife and I are looking for a small comfortable cruiser and believe we have found this in either the 32' Bristol or the older Pearson Albergs.

Again, thanks for the responses!

Bajamas
__________________
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes!
Bajamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2005, 02:40 AM   #7
Commander
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 156
Send a message via Yahoo to Robinsvoyage
Default

Upon my return to Arizona my friend Brian and I will be building two 38 foot steel catches from plans of Bruce Roberts. The design is of the Spray 38.

-Robin
__________________
Robinsvoyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2005, 10:28 PM   #8
Ensign
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 3
Send a message via MSN to ianw6705
Default

Hi.

I think ROn Hodgson above has hit the mark. If you can live aboard a steel boat (or at least have a very intimate relationship with it on a regular basis) then it can be great and meet your needs. If you can ferret out the points of maintenance and enjoy it, then a steel boat can be great. If you want a more "inert" floating item, then it may not suit you at all, and GRP is the go, although they have their own issues as well.
__________________
Ian

Perth WA
ianw6705 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2005, 12:56 AM   #9
Ensign
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 9
Default

I have a steel hull sailing yacht. I wouldn't have anything else. She's sturdy fast and comfortable. She's 30ft long with a 9ft 6in beam and 4ft 6in draft. On the crane, the bare hull with no ballast weighed in at 3 1/2 tons. I reckon fully fitted out she probably weighs about 5 1/2 tons.

As long a steel boat is well designed she should not be inferior to any other cruising yacht on the market. The trouble is, there are some real tubs. So my advice is - be selective.
__________________
panthablue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2005, 05:26 PM   #10
Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 71
Default

GO STEEL....particularly if cruising

rumrunner
__________________
<font size="1">"Rumrunner"

Melbourne, Australia.

Web: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/rumrunner/?xjMsgID=5680</font id="size1">
rumrunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Home Port: Fort Erie
Posts: 2
Default Steel Vs glass

Im hoping to get some sound advice for experienced sailers.
Im looking at a 30' steel sailboat however the more I read Im afraid this may not be the best boat for me.

Im going to be doing the great loop next year and as you may or may not know most of the route would be under power.


Would the extra weight make a huge difference in fuel economy?
also would it slow me down as much as Im reading?

The boat Im looking at an old 30 ft. Alan Mason design.It has a 5' draft and a 25HP deisel.

Please give any feedback

Thankyou
__________________
scrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #12
Moderator
 
redbopeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,016
Default

what is your boat's displacement?
__________________
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

links to what we're doing now - The boat and other stuff

redbopeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #13
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Home Port: Fort Erie
Posts: 2
Default

Not sure as of yet however I imagine as much as 14000 pounds.
__________________
scrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 03:18 AM   #14
Ensign
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Home Port: cincinnati
Posts: 1
Default steel vs fiber

in regards to power there is something I found at the Dutch Barge Association


Following up from previous interesting threads, I’ve looked at the size of engine recommended for 4 hypothetical vessels to achieve various desired top speeds, using Volvo's Engine Configuration web page http://www.volvopenta.com/volvopenta...figurator.aspx

I’ve rearranged things to show what maximum speeds (in knots) certain engines will propel these 4 vessels.

I chose vessels of the same weight but different waterline lengths and of the same length but different displacement:

Installed HP - 20 40 75 110 180 225 260

Vessel A: 14 m – 22 tons 6.1 7.3 8.4 9.1 10.3 10.9
Vessel B: 19 m – 22 tons 7.1 8.4 9.6 10.5 11.8 12.5 13.1
Vessel C: 19 m – 50 tons 5.8 6.9 8.0 8.8 9.8 10.2 10.6
Vessel D: 27 m – 50 tons 6.8 8.1 9.5 10.3 11.5 12.1 12.5

These are presumably speeds in ideal conditions – smooth deep water, good antifouling on a clean bottom, a slippery hull shape, etc. The main things of interest:

· At slow speeds all these vessels are incredibly easily propelled – 20 hp is enough.

· An increase in displacement slows you down – as you would expect

· An increase in length speeds you up – by quiet a big margin!

· The big vessel (D) of twice the length and twice the weight of the small one (A), requires less power to maintain any given speed. At 10.3 knots, the big vessel needs just 110 hp, whereas the tiddler requires 180 hp.



I am ready to buy my fist boat in he US and am amazed that there are so few steel boats available. Also most boats seem so much 'overpowered'

After having been on boats who are over 100 years old I like to see how durable fiberglass is
__________________

__________________
eurocruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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 Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fiberglass Repair During Installation Of New Forward Hatch jwlord Repairs & Maintenance 2 10-29-2010 07:10 AM
Steel Vs. Fiberglass As A Hull Material JeanneP General Cruising Forum 15 07-16-2010 09:23 PM
Analytic-10 Steel? magwas General Cruising Forum 4 10-24-2009 02:11 AM
Solid Fiberglass Boats KevinBarr General Cruising Forum 16 06-08-2009 12:35 PM
İn Hull Depth Transponders For Steel Hull ? steelfan General Cruising Forum 3 09-14-2007 02:35 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0