steel hull project.

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by spaceboy, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. spaceboy
    Joined: May 2013
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    spaceboy Junior Member

    Hi all,
    Could any builders out there advise on best way of verifying weld quality on this steel hull. Professionally built in 1991, don't know plate thickness, close spaced frames with no stringers, 35,000kg displacement, a big boat. Designed as a Marconi Ketch, with a really ugly boomkin platform, ( Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ) .Could she be changed to a gaff schooner? obviously with a NA's input.
    Regards, Space',
     

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  2. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    This article discusses the ABCs of non-destructive testing (NDT) of welds:

    http://www.ndt.net/article/0698/hayes/hayes.htm

    You should contact a surveyor specializing in small boat welded construction for further advice. Usually, a visual inspection of the welds can help identify which areas may need more sophisticated testing.

    In addition to the welding, the plating can be gaged ultrasonically to determine what thickness you currently have and whether there are areas which may have wastage which might require renewal.
     
  3. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    How Big???? Looks around 70 feet? I hope those 'windows' had deadlights
    Get a 'pro' in to check the welds and all other structure - and the entire boat.
     
  4. spaceboy
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    spaceboy Junior Member

    Thanks for the comments NSA, a structural survey would be undertaken if I was to take on the project, at the very least, as I have doubts about the welding in places. JSL, she is 57ft on deck, and there are no deadlights on those windows, I would like to modify them or fill in.
    There are a few issues to address, but I think it might be a good alternative to a new build.
     
  5. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    If you want to know something about the welds, you should do some close ups of the welds. Especially suspicious areas.
    In the first photo, those welds look to be too 'rounded' or humped up too much. They look like they didn't get hot enough and I would wonder about how far they penetrated.
    But then, the boat is 24 years old and it's not bleeding rust all over, so that's a plus, but maybe they painted it just before you came along. What's the history of it? Was it used much, for what and where?

    It's a little difficult to to examine a weld after the fact and all covered in paint, but you might get a good welder to come look at it. Experience like that can probably tell you something.

    http://www.weldguru.com/weld-quality-testing.html

     
  6. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    As stated above, there are welding nondestructive testing that helps determine their condition: X-ray, dye penetrant, ultrasonic (for the thickness of the plates). All this will be much more reliable than visual inspection. However, weldings appearance is bad which suggests that there may be substantial hidden defects.
    You should also find out if the shell plating are properly welded to the frames.
    A zinc anode on the propeller blade ?, curious.
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I'm thinking that's a sticker, an anode would put it way out of balance. The donut on the end of the prop/shaft looks suspiciously anodic though.
     
  8. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Yeah, sure you're right. An anode will unbalance the propeller, producing huge vibration.
    It is curious that no sacrificial anodes are seen in the hull/rudder.
    Everything you see in the pictures leads to doubt the quality of this building.
     
  9. spaceboy
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    spaceboy Junior Member

    Thanks Tansl & Samsam for the comments, a bit more about the boat, the hull was built at a professional yard, a Buchanan design, the deck is on, with alu' coach house, centre cockpit, pilot house not done, interior bulkheads fitted, all tanks in, insulation done, except for engine room, which had engine and all machinery & systems fitted before it was painted properly. Has been letting in rain for some time, bilges full of water, lots of surface corrosion in engine room due condensation, engine possibly siezed, plus lot of the gear corroded. Never been in the water so no zincs fitted. the prop is an SPW variprop. I do think the welds look doubtful. The small plate welds look like bad mig welding, and the weld above looks undercut or ground back excessively. The insulation needs to be removed to check inside, the engine room needs emptying to check that. All that said, the welds could be redone where needed. It could be easier than starting from scratch.
     
  10. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Hi,
    Telling sentence..in red.. you "could" buy in to many years of "hard labour"... rework is much tougher than new.

    All the best from Jeff.
     
  11. spaceboy
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    spaceboy Junior Member

    Thanks Jeff,
    Yes, think I should get a survey done.
     
  12. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Whoa!..built in 91 and never been in the water. Sounds like a drama could be lurking in it's story.

    Well, you wouldn't be out of line to offer them a scrap value price. Or, depending on the particulars, maybe you could get them to pay you to take it off their hands.
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A professionally built 57' yacht, that's not completed? Really. I'd imagine any yard doing a project like this would find a way to resell the project or would have cut it up for yard space and scrap recovery long before now. To me it looks like an older BR design and who knows who built it or how well.
     
  14. spaceboy
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    spaceboy Junior Member

    It's definitely a Buchanan design, the yard built the hull only, decks and the rest done by the owner elsewhere, he died in 2011, so family are disposing of it. As it stands it's probably worth less than the cost of moving it. But could I build a boat to that stage for that cost, probably not.
     

  15. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Hi Spaceboy,

    maybe you cant build at that size for the cost but can you finish it?
    I'm very encouraging of any maritime enterprise.... but... & seeing as you're about space there's plenty designs that might end up more space efficient & berthing efficient & cost efficient than that poor abandoned enterprise.. essentially some one else dream that wasn't achieved within their lifetime.

    One of the best pieces of knowledge passed to myself was that the "view" from any boat in the same anchorage was essentially the same, sometimes the actual best from a 200 buck canoe.... so find a 30-50 foot complete boat & enjoy/maintain/entertain/sail that's affordable.

    Essentially that boat was anothers folly, all power to them for aspiring to create a large cruising platform but many are in love with the idea rather than the realities of maintaining for maximum utilisation of their time on earth, take an Oprah "reality check" & consider that a 35-40' yacht might suit your purpose.... & go have fun with friends & family.... that particular vessel is a rock solid steel prison that will entrap your remaining life for many a long year...
    Unless you're a massively cashed up tech/whatever looking to bury a fortune in time & $$$

    Regards from Jeff.
     
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