Posted by Eric S on July 11, 2004 at 10:31:18:
In Reply to: At least it was good spam posted by stephen clark on July 11, 2004 at 01:06:16:
Steel is relatively cheap (even since the price increases), it is very strong, and it is the easiest to repair of any material. Using 10 guage steel you can build a boat so strong that in aluminum it would have to be built out of 1/4 or 5/16 to begin to match the strength. At this rate aluminum becomes very cost prohibitive and the construction also becomes more complicated because you have to rely more on internal reinforments (gussets and framework). Welding it is also a pain in the a$$. Aluminum can also crack at the welds sometimes rapidly and without detection, scary!
Steel gets coated with an epoxy zinc mastic then it gets the topcoat of Imron or LP and you're done. The inside gets the same zincing but gets bed liner sprayed in and you can literally beat the thing with a sledge hammer and not do much damage. The only drawback to steel is the weight, but with the proper designs this problem becomes minor.
There is a marine construction outfit that works the Petaluma River and The S.F. bay delta that uses steel skiffs for their work and they wouldn't be caught dead in an aluminum boat. They regularly sandwich those poor steel skiffs between barges, hoist them around, clang em bang em, They let them rust for a while then once in a while get the mig out and weld up some holes or put a patch in and shlock some mastic on there and back in the water they go. Those things last for years. A fiberglass boat would last about a day and aluminum about a week with those guys.
That's what gave me the idea about steel.
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