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Long-Range Trawler / Explorer Yacht Brands

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by ThirdStew, Mar 17, 2020.

  1. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Technically, the first Zopilote was a highly modified 48’ Pacemaker SF that Bruce took from Marina Del Rey to Hawaii once on its own bottom, a spectacular cruise to say the least:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=D...BBAB#v=onepage&q=yacht zopilote sinks&f=false

    I have been a fiberglass guy forever, but the sinking of The 70’ Delta built Zopilote was an eye opener, she peeled open like a sardine can on that reef, even with a massive frp thickness, didn’t stand a chance. And Delta lost a 120’ version of a similar model on a reef as well.

    Steel has a lot of benefits and does not burn more fuel in a displacement boat than frp, heck most true ocean going displacement boats built in frp have to ballast with concrete to get to the design waterline weight and that weight is just as much as steel. Cosmetic challenges yes, but doesn’t stop the big boy yacht guys.

    I would love to see a yacht version of one of these:

    https://www.fredwahlmarine.com/scout
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Hit a rock in a steel boat and you can poke a hole in it also. Steel is not impervious to having holes poked into it from running into a rock or onto a reef at cruise speed. Are they a bit stronger yes, but that's the day they're built. You lose thickness to wastage on a steel hull every single day, although minor, there generally is an area or two on steel hulls that waste away a lot quicker than others, either due to water collecting in that area, the interior coating not coating that area or whatever, as time goes on.
  3. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Capt J: Puhlease! Poke a hole? A bit stronger? Losing wastage every single day? Please let's not sidetrack this thread with you and I bantering and you never willing to say maybe you typed too quickly or were shooting from the hip or maybe just because you always feel you need to be contrary when I post. But do yourself a favor and do some research on steel yachts: how many have sank due to poking a hole? or from daily wasting? How many steel yachts have sank?! Check out the burning temps, tensile strengths, etc. I've given seminars at boat shows on hull material comparisons. You could probably pull up some of my statistics if you bother to research it. The statistics are overwhelming.
  4. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I'm going to fully support your perspective that the statistics are overwhelming, but steel vessels also tend to rule out many low-end novice buyers that tend to skew statistics in many categories. I'm on aluminum now, and I'm educated on its challenges. I've been on steel. Good boats, both. My Hatt 53c I rebuilt was a freakin tank, though. Once had a Rhodes Bounty II for a few minutes that I brought back to life, and I burned up three hole bits trying to install a waterline thru hull for AC discharge. So....whatever the material, all depends on how she's actually built. They don't lay up the FRP like they did back in the day.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You sound like the Advertisement for the TITANIC.

    There is NO doubt steel is a stronger material for a hull than both FRP and Aluminum when properly designed and built. It is also heavier and has more maintenance than FRP.

    YES- hit a reef or rock with a steel hull and you can tear a hole in the hull and it can sink. The Costa Concordia is a Prime example of that, but there are many others that have hit reefs and sank. There are many many others. Also many examples of steel ships totally breaking in half in rough because the hull wasn't supported properly (designed correctly). MSC CARLA was a prime example of that. So while steel IS stronger when built correctly, it is not indestructible or unsinkable.

    YES- it is true that there is wastage every single day with Steel or Aluminum hulls due to electrolysis and corrosion, generally it is VERY MINIMAL, but it is in fact there and why most insurance companies require a surveyor audio gauge steel or aluminum hulls every 3 years. It is very common to see some plates have been replaced on a 20+ year old yacht due to an area being too thin from wastage.
  6. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Meh, I think the maintenance concept is somewhat overblown, or perhaps eagerly discounted for FRP. FRP is often considerably taken for granted early in a boats life, and owners pay for it later...steel and aluminum is pretty straight forward once you get your mind right.
  7. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    You’re blowing smoke J, reaching out to cruise ship examples on a yacht forum, and the wastage stuff is just BS, there are plenty of old and new steel yachts with long life that have been maintained properly. The analogies are not even close and are therefore irrelevant , going back to the Titanic is a crock of....
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Whatever you run can be pealed open on a rock. FRP, aluminum, steel are all good hulls. It just depends what you're doing with them. There's a lot of factors to consider. If I'm cruising through ice I'll take steal, but after watching the crew boats switch from steel to aluminum I'll stick with steal boats being heavier and therefore burn more fuel, but of course there can be mitigating factors. Steel also absorbs heat and cold. I don't expect to see bikinis laid out on a steel deck in summer. Frp looks really smooth and minor dings fix easily. Aluminum is in the middle on all counts. Not as fragile as frp, not as heavy as steal. So my first thought in choosing would be where do I expect to cruise, what kind of abuse do I expect to give it, then what size vessel am I thinking of. Seems to me that the industry has already figured it out (although they've learned to stretch the boundaries through better understanding the materials and markets).
  9. bayoubud

    bayoubud Senior Member

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    Welded vs fasteners, no blisters, no delamination on metal boats always appealed to me. Thought it would make up for a lot of long-term issues on frp, not to mention a fire while cruising. A good choice for a long range ocean trawler.
  10. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Positively +1 to all of that.

    The forces at play in a 100 tons steel trawler moving at 8 knots vs. a floating town (whose mass was more than a thousand of times greater, and moving at twice that speed) are so far apart that any comparison is beyond a joke.
    Sounds like hitting the same reef that sank Zopilote, but with a 14' aluminum dinghy, while pootling around at 2 or 3 knots, and expect to draw any meaningful conclusion.
    It doesn't take a lot of boating experience to figure that the dinghy could survive almost anything at that speed, with not much more than scratches...
  11. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Out of idle curiosity, which type of crew boats are you talking about?
    I'm asking because 'crew boat' makes me think of something fast-ish, and if that is the case I certainly agree that steel isn't the right tool for the job, and the weight difference can impact fuel burn heavily.
    When I said in my post #31 that I would like steel better than anything else in a go-anywhere boat, I was strictly referring to displacement hulls, whose fuel efficiency is also affected by weight, but to a much lesser extent.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    A steel yacht can be a 100 year yacht, and is generally the strongest hull material when built properly. I didn't refute that and I said the wastage is generally VERY MINIMAL, which is why I capitalized it. Please DO NOT take what I say and change it to mean something else. Steel is the strongest hull material when built properly, but not without it's own set of maintenance issues. Additional draft is another HUGE issue for a trawler like Zopilote's size if it were made out of steel. Really restricts where a boat like that can go to......compared to FRP.

    However, I've seen several yachts where zincs weren't kept up with after the recession and yes they had plenty of wastage and had to have a few plates changed. Or standing water was left in bilge areas. I've also dealt with a few steel yachts where water collected in certain areas that weren't easily accessible and they too had a lot of wastage in those areas. I've also seen it on the area's where the stuffing boxes constantly dripped prior to dripless shafts. I have also seen wastage from neighboring boats with bondage issues or with bondage issues on the yacht itself, it does happen.

    I also ran a 103' Aluminum Broward MY and during the survey the surveyor found a 1' area with a ton of wastage and a nub on the bottom of the hull, we looked inside and a mechanic had dropped a large adjustable wrench that sat under a generator where it wasn't seen for a long time and it eroded the plate so bad, a new plate had to be welded in. The nub was the thumb screw of the wrench that eroded itself almost through the hull bottom. Bottom Line, it happens.

    There are other nagging issues with steel compared to FRP, generally the steel water piping they use which as it ages gets burrs/flakes in it, or sends tiny pieces (flakes) into things like the toilet solenoids causing them not to shut completely. Or toilet paper gets caught on them and you have heads that back up from time to time. Or, the rust streaks from all of the seams around the port holes and things of that nature. SO don't say OH it's a perfect material to build yachts out of. Each material has it's own set of maintenance and issues.

    I started in the industry on a 97' STEEL long range motoryacht with a 8.5-9' draft, with 7 water tight bulkheads, and it did a transatlantic. So I know all about the maintenance issues with steel. It was built in 1987 and looks like a Bristol, classic, canoe stern Feadship and was finished off like one with perfectly faired Awlgrip exterior, teak decks, Gardener diesels, etc. And, it still is in Bristol condition. It's been owned by the same family since 1988, I just saw it a few months ago.

    And yes, it is entirely possible to tear a gouge right through a Steel hull. If it was in the same situation as the Zopilote mentioned and hit a large rock at cruise speed, it too would have a hole or tear in the bottom. Or you piled it up on a Coral Reef with a sea state over 3' where it's getting pushed/pulled over the reef for a period of time it too would develop a tear in the hull. Does it have better puncture resistance than Aluminum and FRP, generally yes.

    What I'm getting at, is you cannot say a Steel is an unsinkable or the perfect material to build a yacht out of. PERIOD.
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Yes fast-ish, most 12-20kts depending on the boat, Used to run a bunch from 45'-110', mostly steel. They were cheap to buy cause of how much they burned and their slower speeds. The oil fields went aluminum. We were often standing station, running in heavy seas or breaking through ice in the work we did. So speed and fuel efficiency weren't a big issue for us. Like I said, all good if they match your purpose.
  14. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Weight really isn't your challenge with fuel consumption at displacement speed. Light, ok, easy to get moving yet easy to stop. Heavy, takes a bit more to move, but hard to stop or slow down at sea. So it isn't so much the weight as it is the overall design coupled with the technology of the machinery pushing it. My 53c with twin 800's burned the same as my 68 Aluminum and twice the weight and twin 750's at displacement.
  15. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    No one said any material is unsinkable and I never stated it was the perfect material either, all these comments coming with no basis whatsoever, you are all over the map in an incoherent way, highjacking a thread again.

    There was enough concrete ballast in the 70’ Deltas to build the hulls in steel and sit on the exact same waterline with no increase in draft. Something not too difficult to grasp except for a few on this post. The solid frp laminate of those boats were overbuilt and the hull thickness below the waterline with all the overlaps was measured in inches.

    If you want your own steel vs. frp thread than go ahead and start one.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    THESE remarks below are precisely why I wrote what I wrote and were not directed at your comments. When a member wrote in 2 different postings eluding that steel is practically unsinkable. But to answer JWY's question of "How many steel yachts have sank due to poking a hole, or daily wasting, how many steel yachts have sank". MANY steel yachts have sunk over the years due to wastage, neglect, or running aground/hitting a reef...….just like Aluminum, FRP and wood yachts have also. I can tell you this much, if you totally neglect a yacht with a steel hull and one with an FRP hull for 5 years, I can guarantee you the FRP hull will be seaworthy, the steel......probably not.

    "Delta unquestionably builds a good boat. Nice to see the pics of Oasis. But I never understood after the sinking of Zop I after hitting an uncharted rock, how BK could build another fiberglass boat."

    "But do yourself a favor and do some research on steel yachts: how many have sank due to poking a hole? or from daily wasting? How many steel yachts have sank?!"
    JWY
  17. longpig

    longpig New Member

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  18. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    That's a great steel mini-ship, can't imagine any other 55 footer in the world that has packed all those features in one platform, great cruiser!
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've always loved the Florida Bay Coasters. Absolutely the best use of space for a live-aboard (although I DK how I feel about landing a helicopter on one). However, although they are very stable boats, they're still considered a coastal boat.
  20. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    Didn’t one of those roll over in the Chesapeake bay a couple of years ago?