Aluminum Boats

Real World Impact Test

We have written a lot about hull construction materials and impact resistance. In this post I relate a true story about when construction strength and impact resistance were dramatically tested right before my eyes.

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One Tough Old Aluminum Boat

It is amazing how often people look surprised, and even mildly alarmed, when I tell them that we own an aluminum boat. The next tentative question(s) is almost always about electrolysis and the general longevity of the material.

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It’s Painting Time Again

As the old saying goes, you pay for your pleasures, and that’s certainly true when it comes round to the annual re-fit. The many little jobs that were just too awkward afloat, added to the big ones like antifouling, can all back up and lead to a formidable worklist.

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To continue our series on different ways to get out voyaging, here is a link to an interesting site about the build of a near sister ship to Hamish & Kate Laird’s Seal, one of the most interesting aluminum boats we have ever seen.

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We were out walking on the foreshore here in Nova Scotia a few days ago and came across this remnant of what I’m guessing was a commercial wharf. Clearly it had been in the water for quite a while before it fetched up here in a winter blow.

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France: The Source For Aluminum Sailboats

The summer of 2009 was a good one in Scotland, at least compared with the rest of the UK and Ireland. But as is generally the case, once the weather breaks, that’s it, the summer is over, and it’s time to make tracks. We had set off from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull early [...]

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Question: I have this notion of building a modern expedition (aluminum) fast cruiser that would include many of your ideas/opinions, not necessarily because they are your opinions but because you and I have reached many of the same conclusions. In considering a project, the thought has become, not to build ONE, but to build a [...]

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We have been using various formulas of zinc-based antifouling paint (copper is out for Morgan’s Cloud since she is aluminum) from E-Paint for 12 years with varying results. For the last three years we have been using their ablative ZO product with generally good results. However, there are a few things to know: E-Paint ZO [...]

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Question: We are hoping to draw on your experience with teak deck replacement on our steel sailboat…Despite our initial plan of just stemming the leaks for the short term until we sailed somewhere fun, they are just too bad and the deck has to go next spring/summer. While going through the process of finding someone [...]

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Question: When you were installing your Treadmaster, did you grind back to clean metal and glue it down, or did you, as I was advised, paint with epoxy first? Answer: Our boat was already covered in epoxy putty, which still had a good bond, so we glued to that with West System epoxy. If I [...]

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Question: Where do your main problems with the paint on Morgan’s Cloud lie: with the paint becoming chipped from wear and tear, or from inadequate preparation, or from salt water working under the paint edge? Answer: All of the above, but any inadequate preparation will result in a bubble sooner or later and it is [...]

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Question: You say you would not paint aluminum. Ok, it is hideously expensive (I have been quoted £10,000 just for materials), it is difficult to key, and we have been advised to sand blast and paint the same day (tricky!). So, if you were to start all over again with a newly built boat, what [...]

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