Boat Building in "Steel"
Steel as a building material for small boats, that is, boats under 100’, has been in use for many years.
The Dutch have led the field when it comes to constructing small boats from steel.
In these days of rising prices, steel has remained the bargain boatbuilding material. After undertaking many detailed cost comparisons, I am convinced that steel is most economical for building boats between 30’ and 70’. As this covers the size range most desired by the cruising yachtsmen, any intending builder would do well to have a good look at steel before making a final decision on which material to select for his vessel.
Most building techniques require the building of some type of shelter. Steel doesn't. It is nicer to have a large shed with a cement floor but it's not necessary, unlike other boatbuilding materials which all require some form of shelter.
The old objections that steel yachts were heavy and required considerable maintenance were also overcome thirty years ago.On the question of weight, this is not a problem with a cruising boat. With the modern techniques in both building and maintenance, lighter weight material can be used. The maintenance problem itself is overcome by the use of modern coating materials.
Steel is the strongest of all boatbuilding materials and as one travels to more remote areas where strength, self-sufficiency, and confidence in one's vessel becomes more and more important steel becomes the material of choice.