This has a long history in the home boat building market, traditionally for the larger moored boats for cruising. Construction is usually by building the hull framing and progressively wrapping it in the shell plating. Hull shapes are usually single or multi-chine, with plating pulled into place around the framing, to avoid the requirement for extensive rolling of plate, and the plate stretching required for most round bilge shapes. Round bilge shapes can be generated with restricted plate rolling and stretching, but often at the expense of more welded joints.

Plate thickness can be down to 3 mm, but welding, local strength and corrosion resistance can be issues with thin plating.   Thicknesses up to around 9 mm can be accommodated without major issues in the pulling of plating into the hull shapes. Welding, except for thinner plating, is reasonably straight forward, and has rarely been an issue for home building projects.

Steel construction is usually applicable where hull weight is not a significant constraint on the operation and performance of the boat. Relative ease of construction, robustness of the material, the construction process and of through life support are often attractive factors. Steel boats can usually be built in the open.

Corrosion protection of the completed hull is an issue; frequently addressed by gritblasting of the fabricated hull and application of modern coatings.

Work Boat 1st Pelican Point Sea Scouts


Case Study – Refit and Reconfiguration

Yacht DIOMEDEA is the subject of a major refit and reconfiguration, at early stages with her present owner. The stern has been extended to give a step-up transom, and the interior is having substantial rebuilding, following an on board fire arising from exterior hull welding without proper access and monitoring.

DIOMEDEA is a38 ft (extended to 40 ft) Boro Albatross steel ketch. Follow the current early stages of this major project by the current owner on the blog site.

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