Is Steel Scary?? Should I buy a Steel Boat
Well, as a boat building material, steel offers many advantages. The primary advantages of steel are economy, ease of construction, incredible toughness, improved comfort(roll moment of inertia), survivability in extreme conditions, longevity, and ease of maintenance and repair. One big advantage of using steel in boat building and construction is that it's much more rugged, having a far superior abrasion resistance when compared to any other boat building material. A steel boat rusts from the inside-out, so if it's an improperly built hull that has not been cleaned, prepped and coated during construction, there will be future problems ahead. If the boat has been built by a professional builder and has been sand blasted, undercoated and painted to a paint manufacturers written specification during construction, future corrosion issues will be alleviated considerably. So always try and find out if the vessel was built professionally. A well maintained steel hull, with a good coating system, can last almost indefinitely, as long as it's kept properly painted and rust free . It's not uncommon to see steel
boats from the '50s and '60s still in service, if they've been kept in good condition and regularly repainted. It is true that steel hulls have a high potential for corrosion, but modern construction techniques and coatings reduce that risk significantly. Unfortunately, many steel boats on the used-boat market will be short on such protection and when considering the purchase of a steel boat it is vital that the surveyor is experienced in steel boat construction methods and inspects the inside of the hull thoroughly. An ultrasound survey is also recommended, as this will find any areas of corrosion that may exist. If the ultrasound shows that the hull is of a uniform thickness everywhere, then you can be assured the hull is in good condition and will last for years to come with a good maintenance program. Steel is one of the most popular materials used for boats and has consistently been the material of choice for the past century. Its high strength, durability, resistance to abrasion and relatively low cost, are some of the main reasons why steel is widely used in the boat building industry.
Steel hulls will flex the least and are strongest in terms of impact resistance, so in answer to my initial questions "Is steel scary" and "Should I buy a Steel Boat" My answer is No, it's not scary, but like all materials used to build boats, steel has its own set of maintenance requirements. Steel corrodes, wood rots, fibreglass gets osmosis. Don't be scared of steel, it is the easiest and cheapest material to maintain and repair.