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Plating thicknesses and ‘mixed’ materials used
The durability of various materials on boats and as usual a request for shared experience please
Saturday,20 October, 2012
5:41 am
Shropshire Union
Forum Posts: 22
Member Since:
Friday,27 January, 2012
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As potential buyers now with considerable ‘untried’ knowledge based upon others opinions (very useful) and various publications, I was wondering about the declared  various depths of plated steel and the ‘ideal’ combination for lengevity, safety, insurance and others opinions.


We have seen steel boats with plating declarations of 12,10, 8 and 6mm for the base, whilst all manner of combinations are also there for the sides and top. Just wondered in general what experienced owners would recommend? We can understand that a 12mm would be heavier overall than a thinner plate but what advantage/disadvantage would that bring other than wear would/could be more serious?   


Is it better to have a heavier boat in  terms of how she cuts through the water?

Also we have noticed a lot of ‘bargains’ where the superstructure is made of wood or GRP, we have been staying clear of plastic tops because of  this, but are we wrong to write them off because of this in your opinion?


All very exciting this journey towards choosing a boat to live on, enjoying it all and Paul, cannot wait for your new budgetary offering, we should pool together and get you a gong from the palace, brilliant idea my friend ;o)


Many thanks All



Now living our life on our Nb Bunbury, well and truly slowed down and very happy.

Tuesday,20 November, 2012
11:23 am
Forum Posts: 110
Member Since:
Tuesday,3 July, 2012
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Hi Ainslo and readers, I am in a similar place looking to purchase a second hand boat and while it makes sense to have the thickest hull you can and it’s stronger for a cabin but some boats do look like very good value for money with lesser hulls and grp or wooden tops. Can it be worth while even if at some point sooner the hull would need replating. Any opinions would be of interest. 

Many thanks


Tuesday,20 November, 2012
2:53 pm
Continuous Cruiser
Forum Posts: 968
Member Since:
Thursday,12 January, 2012
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10/8/6 is considered the norm. The steel gets thinner as you go to make sure the boat isn’t too top heavy. Boats built with 12mm base plates usually then have less ballast so they sit in the water at the same level as others. The bottoms of narrowboats often drag along the bottom when it gets shallow so some wear does occur but it is fairly minimal. A thicker baseplate will obviously last longer.

Having said that, I don’t I knoiw how long it would take before a 10mm bottom would need overplating. You often hear about 20 year old Springers being done but they were only 6mm thick in the first place.

If you’re buying a secondhand boat a good surveyor will check the steel thickness ultrasonically to see if any repairs are needed.



Living retirement in the slow lane.

20 years hiring, 6 years of shared ownership and a Continuous Cruiser since 2007 but still learning!

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