Brent Swain 26' Steel Yacht

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Alex D, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Alex D
    Joined: Jun 2020
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Sydney

    Alex D New Member

    Hi folks,

    I'm new to this group and hoping to gain some advice on the Brent Swain 26' Steel Twin Keel boat before making it my home and placing all my life possessions on it.

    I was blown away when I first learnt of this type of boat, I had never heard of a twin keel before but I was very excited to hear that it will allow me to access more shallow water and yet still allow my boat to self-right if it unexpectedly gets caught up in a big storm/ swell.

    I am adamant that I want to buy a boat that is made of metal because its the strongest material, i plan to sail close to dive sights and I cannot bare the thought of my boat containing everything I have sinking to the bottom of the water. One day I plan to sail to polar regions too, steel will be needed for that. Speed is a low priority for me, I'm happy to sacrifice a few knots for the peace-of-mind.

    I also love the sound of the enclosed wheelhouse so I can stay sheltered from the weather and reduce the risk of falling overboard while sailing.

    I also hear that the design provides less rocking/ more stability. This is music to my ears. I want to sail to hard-to-reach spots around the whole world and I want to do it as comfortably as I can afford (I can't afford a catamaran).

    Although a newly qualified day-skipper, I'm still quite new to sailing. I once helped as a deck-hand on 39' ketch from Tahiti to Tonga; although there were only a couple of days of rough seas, I still wasn't a big fan of rocking around so much on the boat.

    I've found a BS26' boat that has been made to the highest standard I can hope for by a seasoned boat builder who built this boat as his intended retirement vessel but had unfortunately reached a state of poor health.

    I've been trying to do a little research into Brent Swains boats. I've found some chatgroups discussing his 36' design but nothing on his 26' design. BS seems to have a lot of praisers as well as a few very vocal and upset critics. All I care about is whether his design will allow me to sail in deep blue water, big swell, torrid weather and if I get turned upside-down, will i roll back upright again?

    Please pardon my ignorance but I have a few questions I'd like advice on before I put everything I have into one of these boats.

    1. Will the steel hull bounce off anything? Or could it potentially puncture?

    2. Will foam against the inside of the hull help keep the boat afload incase it punctures? Does foam affect the quality of the air in the confined space of a boat?

    3. If the boat turns upside down, will it 100% deffinately right itself? What if the wheelhouse is not air tight?

    4. If the boat turns upside down, will the weight of the boat burst the windows?

    5. How often do boats really turn upside down? What are the odds of it happening. Aside from avoiding seriously bad weather and huge swell, what else can be down to minimise capsize risk?

    6. Can I register this boat in Australia. Will its qualify as compliant?

    Thank you for your help.

    Alex
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 1,303
    Likes: 374, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Alex!
    Brent is / has been a fairly controversial poster on this Forum in the past - do a search for (some of) his posts.

    The most important thing you need to worry about is the overall condition of the boat - she might look beautiful from the outside, but she might be rusting away merrily from the inside.
    Do you have any photos of her that you can share with us?

    Edit - is this the boat that you are keen on purchasing?
    1995 Brent Swain 26 steel twin keels sailboat for sale in Outside United States https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/62972
    The advert mentions that she is on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia.

    Here is another (partially completed) sister ship for sale in Australia (altho' it also mentions that she has just been sold) -
    2019 Swain 26 Steel Twin Keel Yacht - BTW5090675 - BOATTRADER https://www.boattrader.com.au/boats-for-sale/2019-swain-26-steel-twin-keel-yacht/BTW5090675

    Re your questions -

    1. Will the steel hull bounce off anything? Or could it potentially puncture?

    A 'little' 26' steel hull should be relatively very strong (what is the shell thickness supposed to be?) and the odds of it bouncing off 'most' things should be fairly good generally.

    2. Will foam against the inside of the hull help keep the boat afloat in case it punctures? Does foam affect the quality of the air in the confined space of a boat?

    You would need to have a LOT of foam to have positive buoyancy. Don't even think about going there. Instead, concentrate on sailing the boat sensibly and carefully, and try to avoid hitting reefs.

    3. If the boat turns upside down, will it 100% definately right itself? What if the wheelhouse is not air tight?

    Brent would have to provide a stability curve for the boat (assuming that he has one) in order to better answer this.
    If the wheelhouse is not air tight, then there is a good possibility that she will flood, and then she might not recover. If it is 100% airtight (unlikely, unless you can seal off your vents in heavy weather) then the wave that capsizes her (assuming that she goes over 180 degrees, ie it is not just a knockdown), should help her to do a 360 degree roll - she will have momentum when she reaches 180 degrees, and the odds of her just suddenly stopping at 180 degrees (assuming that everything is pretty airtight, or water tight rather) should be fairly slight.

    4. If the boat turns upside down, will the weight of the boat burst the windows?

    It all depends on how strong / thick they are, and the conditions you experience - Brent might be a good person to ask about this.

    5. How often do boats really turn upside down? What are the odds of it happening. Aside from avoiding seriously bad weather and huge swell, what else can be down to minimise capsize risk?

    Not often. Very small odds of something catastrophic happening on a well found boat that is sailed sensibly, especially if you take heed of good weather routing advice. You should be much safer generally on a well found boat at sea than commuting in your car on the highway at 70 mph every day.

    6. Can I register this boat in Australia. Will its qualify as compliant?

    Mr Efficiency on this Forum would be the person to ask about this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  3. Alex D
    Joined: Jun 2020
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Sydney

    Alex D New Member

  4. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    Alex,
    You seem overly obsessed with the idea of crashing the boat or turning turtle!
    While that is always a possibility, chances of catastrophic incidents can be minimized by a skilled, sensible and seasoned captain.
    The vessel you are looking at may be capable of handling some bad weather, but it will kick your ***!
    Only 22ā€™ of waterline and about 8ā€™ beam means it will find and respond to every bump and hollow on the waters surface, a very taxing feature even on short trips, never mind long open ocean journeys. This is a small boat.
    Twin keels are somewhat of an anomaly on cruising sailboats, and are more commonly found in shallow water craft.
    Iā€™d urge you to seek more experience and knowledge about long range cruising and studying of various designs and their merits before committing to this boat.
    Good luck!
     
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  5. RAraujo
    Joined: Apr 2010
    Posts: 125
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    Location: Singapore

    RAraujo Senior Member - Naval Architect

    It doesn't seem properly done especially those pillars unloading directly on the bottom plating (but there are other things that can also be seen from the photo)... I would not take it...
    1583623417_swain26-09.jpg .
     
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  6. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 849
    Likes: 329, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    I would stay well away from this boat. Actually she is not a boat at all, she is a hulk. "Almost all the welding has been completed" means the hull is not completed. The ballast is not in, etc. At this stage the "boat" is not even 10% of a boat.
     
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