Fairing Over Steel

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by sloop2, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. sloop2
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: east coast

    sloop2 Junior Member

    I would like to know what the potential drawbacks of fairing over steel plate...? I have read many previous posts that referred to the practice as 'dreaded' and understand that in an existing hull that has fairing (in any quantity) may be hiding plating problems. I have been looking at purchasing a 52' cutter that was professionally built. The pictures from the build in 1990 show a very fair hull without any fairing (prior to finishing). As presented today, the hull has fairing compound applied to topsides to the point that you wouldn't know it was a steel hull. In some cases I suspect that the fairing may be 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Is this a vessel that I should run away from on that criteria alone? Any thoughts on this as it may relate to protection or corrosion of the steel over time?
  2. alaskatrawler

    alaskatrawler Previous Member

    The drawback to fairing any hull is if you strike an object you can and most likely will fracture the compound allowing water to get between the fairing compound and the hull material. This makes it neccesary to repair the fracture quickly. Fairing compounds are usually an epoxy so are pretty strong.
    The plus of having a fair hull is the vessel looks much nicer which will benefit resale value.
    On my vessel Balto it took 6 months to fair the hull and cabin it was alot of work but the result enhanced the looks of the vessel substanially. Fairing is an expensive time consuming process which I imagine one would not do to hide a hull with problems besides 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of compound in places on a 52 foot steel vessel is not an excessive amount. I have heard that sailing vessels that are faired sail better than those that are not.
  3. Wynand N
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    Location: South Africa

    Wynand N Retired Steelboatbuilder

    some food for thought......http://www.steelboatbuilder.com/paint2.html
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