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Scott Fratcher

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Metal boat maintenance-A do it yourself guide

By Captain Scott Fratcher

A do-it-yourself guide to metal boat repair and maintenance.

Steel boat repair? Steel boat project? Thinking of buying a steel boat? Want to assess the condition of a steel boat before purchase? This is the book for you! Packed with information, photos, tips and hard won knowledge you'll save the price of the book on your first day!

Click here to Order Now!

Be sure to view the free report based on Metal boat repair -"How to check for Marine corrosion" found here.

Topic covered include-

  • The right equipment to purchase
  • assess a steel boat project
  • survey a steel boat
  • imported welding machines vs. US made
  • metal boat corrosion,
  • metal preparation,
  • ammatuer steel boat building projects
  • interior rust,
  • painting,
  • extending the life of a steel boat,
  • ultra-sonic metal thickness gauge use,
  • changing hull plate
  • alternative methods of repairing metal boats.

All presented in Scott’s easy to understand language, giving you the tools to maintain your metal boat.

Over 200 hundreds step by step photo descriptions to show clearly how to make permanent, inexpensive repairs.

Don't miss the free report "Technician Engine Analysis-What every engine owner needs to know" found here.


I'm devouring your book Metal Boat repair and maintenance that I recently purchased. We have a metal Roberts 53 pilot house ketch that we've been living aboard for the past three years. Your book is the first really enlightening book on the subject ...
Kind regards,

... sifting our way through the new learning curve of sailboats and mountains of knowledge i have come across your pdf for maintenance. It would have to be my most valuable purchase to date......thankyou.
Kind regards, Syd


Table of contents for Metal Boat Repair

Table of Contents

Forward 7
Real Experience 8
Rescue a steel boat 14
Picking the boat to rescue 14
The boat not to pick 15
Pinholes 17
Movable Feast 17
Why repair this boat? 18
Surveying the hull 22
How long should a boat and paint system last? 22
Ultrasonic Metal thickness gauge 24
Picking a work location 25
Metal boat corrosion 26
Stray current (Electrolysis or Impressed current) vs. Galvanic Action 26
Induced Current 27
Testing for induced current 28
Cavitation 29
Crevice corrosion 30
Erosion Corrosion 30
Electrolyte corrosion 31
How much zinc is enough? 33
Weld on Zinc vs. bolt on zinc 35
Zinc block placement 37
Zinc bloc damage 39
Galvanic action examples 43
Aluminum pipe 49
Diluted phosphoric acid 51
Wood over metal 56
Mysteries 58
Performing a Corrosion survey on a metal hull 61
Performing a Corrosion survey on a metal hull 61
Tools needed 61
Locating stray current 61
An overall inspection of our project 62
Buying a steel boat 63
The answer 63
The first rust hole 63
Electrolysis hole in keel 64
Stern patch 64
Doubler plate 64
Second skin 69
Five year plan 70
Deck Leaks 70
The Five Year Plan 73
Making a metal boat last 100 years 74
Store the boat in fresh water 75
Keep the salt water out 75
Wash off the salt after a sail 75
Fix interior rust sooner than later 76
Search out ever dissimilar metal and study the effects 76
Keep the hull zincs new and test voltages with silver half cell 77
Search out any mill scale and eliminate it 77
Don’t grind 78
Remove rust and apply Amerseal primer at first sign of rust 78
Expect to spend a good two weeks to a month a year on hull maintenance 78
Build an easily removable interior 79
Perform regular corrosion surveys 79
Prepping the boat to begin restoration 80
Sandblasting 80
Soda Blasting 80
Water Blasting 81
Scraping 81
Scable Gun 81
Chipping Hammer 82
Air Chipping Hammer 82
Use of air chipping hammer 82
Grinding 83
Grinding tactics 83
Big Reach 83
Back Rest 83
Cup Brush 84
Flop disk 84
A typical prep and paint system 86
Painting 86
Paint type 86
Ameron Paint types 87
Paint world consolidation 87
Military surplus paint 88
Rubber paint 88
Aluminum Paints 89
Red lead 89
Zinc paint 90
Oil based paint 90
The most expensive paint? 91
Things have gotten better 91
Rust progression 91
Steel- How clean is clean enough 92
Applying the paint 92
Spray 92
Pressure pot 92
Gravity Feed HVLP 93
Ventura effect spray guns 93
Airless spray 93
Roll 93
Over Spray 94
Phosphoric acid treatment or not? 94
The acid test 94
How to rebuild a scable gun 95
How to rebuild an air hammer 98
How to remove a weld on zinc block when it was welded from the ends 99
Welding and cutting gear 99
Case Study#1 Cargo Ship 104
Tricky water line stripe 109
Case study #2-Photo essay of the strip, paint, test and repair of yacht Whatever
Quick grinding 115
Ultrasonic metal thickness gauge use 117
Grid the bottom 117
Verifying the ultrasonic gauge is working 119
Base line test for ultrasonic thickness test 120
Test #2 120
Test#3 121
Ultrasonic gauge reading through paint? 122
Ultronosonic gauge limitations 123
Measuring hull thickness behind a rib or stringer 123
Alternative methods of checking hull thickness 124
Tone tapping 124
Rinse the acid 124
First coat of paint 125
Test the hull thickness 126
Attach a ground to the hull 127
Regular patch 128
Marking the waterline 129
Mixing Amerseal 129
Rolling on the paint 129
Apply first coat of paint 132
Rub rails 133
A rusty hawse pipe 136
Bonding coat 137
Fill coat 137
Sand the fill 138
Fill pro and cons 138
Un-approved fill 139
Burned paint 140
Fixing interior rust 141
Grease in paint area 146
Mill scale 146
Anchor repair 148
Chain locker 148
How to change plate 151
Alaska bush method of plate change 153
A (more) proper plate change 154
How to add a through hull 158
How to repair a rusted away stringer 162
Patch or replace the port plate 162
Time between paint coats 165
Primer surface smoothness 165
Painting the new steel work 166
Welding a foamed hull 167
Bottom paint 169
Making bottom paint stick 169
Secret bottom paint additives 170
Painting the hardstand squares 171
After thoughts and tricks learned after the job 173
After the haul 173
Care for your neighbors 173
Cheap methods of boat cover 173
Scaffolding 174
Rolling stairs as work platform 175
Welding the engine shut? 177
Vinegar clean up 178
Live aboard in haul out? 180
What’s wrong with this photo? 181
Pulling you’re your gloves 181
Protect our body and health 183
Fresh air supply 184
Alternative methods of repairing steel 185
Thicker Steel? 185
Transducer failures 186
Cement 187
Tip-Removing poured cement 189
Fiberglass over the bottom 189
Wood 189
Emergency steel repairs 190
Chipped through the hull 190
Sharpened bolt repair 190
Splash zone 191
Spray Foam 191
Wet Patch 192
Welding under water and in a puddle and the rain 192
Appendix, notes, observations and final thoughts 194
Amerseal 194
Amerlock 2 194
When does a steel boat leak? 194
Paint thickness 194
Steel boats should look like a steel boat 195
PPG Ameron product data sheets 195
Index 196
Appendix-PPG paint tech manuals

If you like this book you might also like "How to repair a steel boat without sandblasting"

Book updated April 2009.

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   © Team Yachtwork 2007