1928 steel lifeboat sailboat conversion and freeboard

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by newindustar, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. scott hightower
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    scott hightower Junior Member

    welding thin metal

    Don't worry about welding on the thin metal. Just practice a bit on some scrap metal until you get the machine set up just right.

    The dirt is another problem however. Be sure to clean the weld area with a wire wheel before you start welding so the weld is not contaminated.

    Scott
    Fab Manager
    Welders360
     
  2. newindustar
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    newindustar Junior Member

    Image try again

    Hope for the best
     
  3. newindustar
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    newindustar Junior Member

    Once more

    Just 1 image this time
     

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  4. newindustar
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    newindustar Junior Member

    Great!

    Glad to get the pics working, am I limited to five? I could not find my camera flash so hard to see under the hull. Recall the 22 inch high, 12 foot long bolt on keel is not on, she's on her regular keel in the pics.

    I experimented on a rusty patch in the bilge with 6013 1/8' at around 50 amps. There is some porosity, leaching of the in the worst areas that can't be ground out completly without removing the sheet, recall is about 1/16th. Fortunately these areas are very small and are right next to the centerline rib so there is something to weld to. Any recommendations for rod and amps in these problem areas or generally? If it was in a clean section(almost all the hull) I think it would be easy enough as I weld in bulkheads. There is the galvanized coating to weld through unless I grind it back. I don't know if 6011 might dig to deep. I am thinking the hull will need the bulkeads and compartments to stabilizre the hull before it ever goes sailing. That keel is quite a serious piece of steel and I don't want it tearing the bottom of the hull out!. Apparently it did not in the past but that was many years ago. I think I need to reinforce the bilges spreading the load up the sides.

    Now you can see the pics and hull shape I am hoping we can approach the ideal freeboard extension amount question as that determines the methodology. Once that decision is made scantlings for the new plate and gunwales can be decided upon. This is the point where I need your help. Thanks again for trying to follow all this.
    Hudson
     

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  5. thomas simonsen
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    thomas simonsen New Member

    we sailed together tonga to new zealand

    Hey hudson ill keep this short i found you by searching for hudson porter westsail 28 and this forum showed up. My email is tsimonsen@ca.rr.com. Send me a email and i will respond. Sorry to members for the unrelated post. thomas
     
  6. newindustar
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    newindustar Junior Member

    Tom, amazing 22 years later! I'll mail you.
     
  7. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

    Is this thread still active???
     
  8. newindustar
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    newindustar Junior Member

    Im still here and the project is still active although winter has the hull full of snow. Still would appreciate feedback.
     
  9. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

    Careful what you wish for there are some interesting characters on these threads who will give you more than you ask for. There are a few of us converting. I have a fiberglass hull and I have just started gutting it out and doing up the drawings and calculations. I just acquired my SS keel bolts and I am busy scrounging up any gear I think I might not be able to make. Seriously John
     
  10. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Howdy
    Did a conversion in 1969 and was involved in several others. The thin metal just is not intended to be immersed, but kept on davits, and they in general don't work well for the immense amount of labor and fiddling to get any kind of boat out of them.
     
  11. newindustar
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    newindustar Junior Member

    What happened to my project is that construction plans halted because I was not sure if I needed to add freeboard. A member graciously offered to put the measurements in to Rhino or another modeling software. We spent some months back and forth with me supplying measurements and pics for him. We finally got him all he needed but I never heard from him since last fall and now winter is in full swing so I don't know if that is a dead effort. I have to try and contact him to see what to expect. Otherwise I back at the beginning of the title on this post "1928 steel lifeboat sailboat conversion and freeboard". I still won't know where to go with the freeboard issue.

    I can handle the welding as long as it is in a sound area of plate. The only real corrosion is a few inches of the bilge plate alongside the keelson. The keelson is solid so I'll be able to join new plate to that and to the food part of the existing plate. Just need a few long strips fore n aft. She is sound otherwise.

    I am in Minnesota and my plan is for a freshwater river gunkholer and lake sailer, possibly an open sailboat. This means trailerable. For these reasons I don't know that I would have to worry about the immesion issue. I was hoping to get a weight estimate from the software modeling effort.

    I envision a very simple tiller boat in phases the first being an open motor launch, basically the original boat. Second phase would be an open motor/day sailer. Lastly would be an open or partially decked over motor/day sailer with watertight compartments. What I an not planning is any full cabin sailboat. If you read above this boat was fully converted in the past and my efforts have been to strip all that rot away. The hull was really to shallow to make a viable cabin. The one it had before I gutted it I was not able to sit up in properly. What I have now is original hull, sailboat designed rudder and keel, and prop tube,shaft/propellor, 2 cylinder air-colled Onan motor and a 27 foot mast section. Aside from raising the freeboard putting in beams and compartments and such and rigging and engine I plan to keep it just about that simple. This is not a years-long, bluewater project, been there done that.
     
  12. Scunthorp
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    Scunthorp Hull Tech

    Sounds cool man post some pics when you get the chance John...
     
  13. seasailor55
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    seasailor55 Senior Member

    Greetings Hudson,

    I am an AWS QC-1 Certified Welding Inspector and a sailor, have worked in the construction and metal fabrication industry for years, and would like to suggest that unless you're anticipating welding lots of 1/2" plate, a wirefeed welder, preferably one that uses fluxcore wire, thus eliminating the required inert gas, would make things a lot easier on your thin plate hull. You can pick one up for a few hundred dollars new, or check the local pawn shops for a used one. It's a lot quicker and more user friendly than stick rod welding, especially on thinner gauge metal.

    You'll need to, as mentioned, wire brush or grind the galvanized coating away before welding, then re-coat any bare metal, including welds (Demetcoat or some other galvanized brush or spray coating would work). Heat and wire speed settings will depend on the thickness of the hull, and the welding machine. I share the earlier mentioned concern regarding the ductility of the decades old metal, and its thickness or rather lack thereof under the stresses of a sailing rig. I have an old article regarding converting surplus navy metal whaleboats, (which are similar to your lifeboat) and some of the cautions are: 1) keep the rig fairly low and conservative. 2) don't expect any sort of headroom in a cabin. 3) don't install a centerboard. I'm certainly not trying to discourage you, (I'm in the process of rebuilding a 46 year old racing sailboat myself) just offering some advice. Your hull has very pretty lines. Good luck!
     
  14. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Above is the knowledge of a pro.
    I must agree with 1, 2 and 3.
    Plus I will add, don't expect too much of the finished product and be ready to do a great deal of labor for what will never be more than a mediocre boat.
     

  15. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Freeboard means windage and windage is like leaving the parking brake engaged while driving, it slows you down and robs large amounts of power. I have sailed a 22' open steel lifeboat with its stock lug rig quite well with a ton of stone laid on brushwood in very gusty San Francisco bay conditions of 25-30 kts and never felt the least nervous about stability. The hull has full ends and this greatly strengthens the immersing/emerging wedges of displacement that stability relies on, in other words, these boats are stiff as hell when ballasted.
    It was designed to take at least 30 people aboard, in a raging storm strong enough to sink the parent ship, remember? Adding f/b gives room inside but quickly cuts into any sailing ability beyond boring and dull.
     
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