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Old 02-01-2009, 15:28   #46
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Building specifications usually call for 2" of concrete cover over the reinforcing steel in beams and columns. This cover is primarily for fireproofing. It has nothing to do with waterproofing which is specified in an entirely separate division. The reinforcing steel is sized by the structural engineer. A typical rebar size would be a #4 or 4=eights in diameter = 1/2". Welded wire fabric is also used in floor slabs. It should be noted that the reinforcing steel in parking garages is epoxy coated to resist salt corrosion. I suppose a ferro armiture could also be epoxy coated and that would go a long way toward preventing rust-related issues.

Ferro is essentially the same except the mix is much lighter and the reinforcing steel is of a much lighter gage. It is primarily a plaster mix containing sand, portland cement and a bit of lime for plasticity. A building concret mix contains these and also crushed stone aggrigate. It is very hard to get a gelcoat quality finish on ferro because the sand aggregate tends to be very close to the surfact of the plastered finish.

It is true there is no one perfect hull material. But there does seem to be something Darwinian about the emergence of GRP. If you can find a copy, read through "Heard of Glass", a book on the history of GRP through the 50's and 60's. GRP remains the industry standard. Fiberglass boats require about the same hours of maintenance as do wood boats. The real bennifit is the maintenance can be put off for an extended time. With a lot of soap and water & rubbing compount you can bring it back. Wood and ferro, not so much.

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Old 02-01-2009, 15:37   #47
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Ill add my two cents i dont own a ferro but at my club [small boat club of south australia] we have plenty some have finishes like glass some like the surface of the moon for my money if you get the boat surveyed you should be ok and our local car break down club RAA will insure it if it passes survey as stated a ferro boat is alot cheaper to buy and has poor resale but if your going crusing who cares enjoy it now because you dont know whats around the corner

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Old 02-01-2009, 17:56   #48
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No matter how easily my fiberglass boat is to repair I have come to the conclusion that I wish not to enter into a ramming contest with a ferro boat... and I will genrally continue to give them a wide birth...
"Go simple, go large!".

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Old 02-01-2009, 22:19   #49
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Look for a boat made with Seacrete, it's water proof. Also about longevity ----- how many WW2 era merchant marine concrete ships still going strong, a lot. Concrete gets harder with age as well. I can see a 53' Ferro Schooner from my boat, it sailed here from France. Gaff rigged home built and beautiful. Gentleman built it and is sailing the world. Built the whole thing for under 30 grand. Oh yeah, if you hit a reef probably won't get holed and can sail to repair facility.
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Old 02-01-2009, 22:27   #50
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ferro's great

If you read all my threads I never knocked any hull material just tried to defend the bias against ferro .This is not being myopic(single-sighted).The preferred material today is glass,but as my thread describing the aftermath of hurricane Luis over St Maarten in'05.,indicated a mountain of salvaged wrecks was made by the cartel of salvage-operators on the edge of the lagoon.It comprised hundreds of boats, 98% glass.A good point was made in a previous thread re make your dreams come true.If resale value is the main issue you will probably never be a true cruiser,but enjoy your boat in the marina.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:04   #51
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The structure of a properly built ferro boat is STEEL. 10ml rebar with all cross sections wired or better welded together. Half inch galvanized wire mesh then goes on the inside and out. When all of this steel is tied together, I know from experience that it is very strong. Then comes the plaster which must be done in one shot. If the hull is then sealed with epoxy, you will have a very strong, low maintinence hull that will outlast all of us and our children. If you have an impact strong enough to break the plaster, repairing it is very easy since the steel armature (structure) will not be damaged. Decks should be intrigal with the hull, therefore no hull-deck seem and low maintinence decks. Maintinence issue's come from the house's which are built of wood. My hull is so fair that poeple are very surprised to find it is ferro, and yes it was built professionally. I could see a comeback in ferro building, with composite reinforcement that is stronger than steel and imperviouse to rust. If concrete is such a bad choice to put on the water, than how come million doller fishing lodges, and new float homes are beong put on new concrete barges? And also all many new docks? Could it be that they are low maintinence and last a very long time? The photo's and story are a good example of what to stay away from. It surprises me how some people preach the "facts" on ferro boats when its obvious they have little or no experience with them.
If you want to know the whole story, there are those of us here that own, maintain, refit, live-aboard and sail on ferro boats that will be happy to tell our experiences, although we have likely already said it on previous threads.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:12   #52
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Boat in Marina---OUCH!!! Older boat and doing refit and spend some time in marina doing things like rewiring AC and DC systems including panels, new thru hulls etc. and the bias against Ferro is just that Bias. Bottom Line do your research and make your own decision and don't listen to all of us Experts!!
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:54   #53
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Saw one once that was hit by lightning. Charge passed from mast to chain plates to rod matrix to chicken wire mesh becoming a better and better resistance element. Moisture in concrete vaporized from heat and blew the plaster off.
But then again, I have seen lightning blow bronze thruhulls out of wooden boats!!!
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:09   #54
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I'd like to see some WWII concrete ships still in service. They were not even build like ferro today. As far as serviving impact not a question ferro beats GRP. But the requirement of maintenance would be my concern.

As someone inferred, if it lights your fire, go for it.
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Old 19-01-2009, 01:34   #55
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Originally Posted by TimoVilla View Post
Hello again,
My boat is one off, a professional designer planned a serie of 4 ferro boats 1997-1979, where of one quite identical with my, one with same measures but sloop and with centre cocpit and the fourth one was a smaller sloop. Which is by the way for sale as the designer/skipper is getting old. Try to find a picture of it if i can.
Here's a few pitctures of my boat, one where she is just coming out from carpenter's workshop at 1978, and one where she's in the air 2005 after being 5 years in the sea in row, around the year, in Helsinki ( lat 60N), where the sea can get some 10-50 cm thick ice. A few more pics can be found in my postings.
The measures of my boat are, loa 16m, hull lenght 14,6, beam 3,5 m, draught 2m and displacement 22 ton. She sails very well too , have made 11 knots as max speed, and some 30 to 20 from wind. 48ft and 22 ton is about the heavy side, and she's not a racer but made for cruising and liveaboard.
On the other hand, there was a fiberclass sloop of 46ft with 18 ton as displacement in our club as well, built in UK for world around voyage (sailed 1994-1997).

When buying a boat, of any material, take a good inspection, ask for drawings and instructions for hull, deck, rigging, engine, electricity etc, and take a test sail if possible.

best regards,
timo v

First of all, what an absolutely gorgeous boat you have. Secondly, I came on the forum today specifically to see if I can find any stories of Ferro boats who have had contact with ice. We are contemplating a trip to Norway and maybe Iceland and wanted to see how these boats cope in this situation. I'd be really interested in hearing about your experiences there.
We love our ferro boat- its strong, stable and we feel safe in her- which has to be a major factor when choosing a boat. It's interesting how most people who have owned/ sailed a well-built ferro boat are strict converts who would happily have another one, while most of the anti-ferro crowd have never set foot on one in their life. Before we bought one, I thought just like they did- in fact, we nearly ended our relationship over it- but now I would have to be seriously pressed to buy anything else. Perhaps we should have a sail day and take the doubters out to experience what they're missing!
People who say things can't be done should stop getting in the way of the people doing them.....
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Old 19-01-2009, 11:07   #56
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Hi Martin, Thought it would be easier to reply to your email in the thread.
First things first, there are absolutely no 'perfect' boats. Every single one has flaws and problems which either need changing or you just have to live with. The trick is to find a boat with good balance of assets for whatever you want to do with her.
We have spent 5 years working on Miss Moneypenny to iron out her issues (as we saw them). If you visit our website, you can see what we've done.

Things we would change if we had a magic wand are:
- Side decks a little too narrow (but we have a high coachroof to cling onto!)
- I'd put outside steering in place but its too much hassle for the few times we might need it
- I'd have another 2 inches of headroom in the cabin.
- More storage space!

None of these dislikes really relate to Ferro, mainly because we love it. It is by far the easiest substance to maintain- no worries about osmosis or corrosion. We are a bilge keeler and we love having the ability to sit on a beach and dry out. We antifoul every couple of years and that keeps things good below- one thing we will do at some point is get her reskimmed so she is lovely and smooth on the hull. We also know that we have hit a lot of debris in the ocean on our travels and are not convinced fibreglass could have withstood the impact- things such as floating trees and a basking shark.
We generally sail at 4/5 knots. No, it's not the fastest boat on the planet (36ft and 15 tonnes) but we dont push it. We reef early and enjoy pottering about. There's just the two of us sailing and our sail trim generally needs great improvement! We are also a liveaboard so the boat is even heavier then normal. But one thing I love about the weight is that she doesn't heel as much as some others and she has a lovely motion in big seas.
The only advice I would offer when looking for a ferro boat is to make sure it was built by a reputable builder. Ideally see her in and out of the water before purchase and take a test sail. All other things to look for are fairly similar for all boats and you need to assess what you want to use the boat for in order to work out your needs.
People who say things can't be done should stop getting in the way of the people doing them.....
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Old 21-01-2009, 23:31   #57
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Thanks for everyones comments and thoughts. No one to date has stated a good reason (for me) not to buy a ferro yacht, as ALL hull types have there good and bad points. If I had the money I would buy a new yacht about every five years. This may solve the problem of hull problems.
I shall keep looking to find the yacht that suits my need. My choise may not be anyone elses choise.
I liken buying a yacht like buying a car, some people like brand A some brand B. But at the end of the day if they both get you to where you want to go safely and in comfort everyone is happy, no problems!
It seems that it just comes to bragging ( mines bigger, faster, better). Who cares?
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Old 21-01-2009, 23:51   #58
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" No one to date has stated a good reason (for me) not to buy a ferro yacht".

Really??? Try going back to the beginning and reading again. I think there was plenty of reasons and they made real good sense to me. Of course in the end, you're the one that needs to be happy with your choice.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 22-01-2009, 01:43   #59
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did you know that they build oil rigs using concrete? the deepest on that im aware of was the Ecofisk field in Norwegian waters,it was a mile long between supports and sat in 1000 feet of water,it took everything that the North sea could throw at it,including a 106ft wave,the wave did move the rig 6 inches but it still stood.

The problems that i can see with ferro cement is if its been a DIY job,it must be done in one pour or you get Lamination.I did a diving course in the late 80,s as an inspection diver,one of the subjects that was covered was concrete,as a material the problem was salt water ingress,it was not difficult to test on bare concrete and i assume the same would apply to ferro cement,testing for spalling and water ingress involved squirting some red stuff on and giving any suspect areas a light tap with a tool.

for an emergency repair,speed crete would be an option,i have used speed crete underwater very usefull if you need to plug a hole in a hurry,there are also epoxy based substances that could be applied underwater,the crete is much easier to use,it goes off in about a minute underwater,not so much a long term fix but a patch to get you out of the poo.

I saw a concrete submarine in Phucket Thailand away back in 1985,the guy wo was building it was a german, his intention was to take tourists.

One other aspect of a ferrocement hull that would be an advantage is that if confronted by pirates you could run them down as their bullets bounce off your hull

ever tried painting underwater? well thats another story
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Old 24-01-2009, 03:42   #60
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I Dont come by here very much, anymore...its a bit of a bad pub. But I have been asked to by some old timers who have left because they cant stand the crap...

The ferro debate is a sad one.

Thems who have the boats....and thems who have....? Degrees in concrette theory...but no boat...practicle expeirence in high rise....but no boat...what about some one who has praticle theory in MARINE APPLICATION OF CONCRETTE ???

...We have just had a whole jetty system torn down and rebuilt. The Old jetty was timber piles and some sections..steel...

They have just been replaced with FLOATING PONTOONS....ENTIRLY MADE OF CONCRETTE....F(*&^% fancy that !!!

I have talked to the engineers...they have NO "SKIN"......They are concrete full stop.

They have REO in them++++ NO the engineers state>>>> THEY ARE NOT GOING TO ABSORB WATER AND BLOW THE STEEL REO TO PIECES.!!!!!

That does not happen..

GOT IT !!!!

All new marinas use CONCRETTE FLOATING jetties....WITH NO and I say it again NO outer "paint".....what is it with you trolls ???

To the person who kindly contacted one of the ex participants of this site,
I would say to you. Do your home work. A freshly painted boat hides a multitude of sins. Wood?steel?Plastic?.....BUDGET.

Dont be fooled into buying somthing you cant afford. Dont be fooled into buying somthing that is crap. THIS is the most important thing. You can buy a crap wooden boat far more easily..... IN Fact I would stongly recomend that you DONT buy a wooden boat.

That is from personal expireience.

The funny thing is...and I have lots of people who email me, you can buy a cheap ferro boat.....that has been around for a long time....and a "given up" steel project hull"......for a very small price......

But is always easier to be "special"....anwsering these questions and say the right thing when you either::: no longer sail...but want to play on the internet.

Or perhaps have never been envolved in the marine field, but want to put your two bobs worth...

DONT trust .....the internet is a very dishonest place. LOOK very carefully at all sites. If they are comercial for profit they need traffic. This by it own virtue means that you will get crap. The more crap the more post the more the operators make money. BY ......Gord....VIRTUE it means for a less than healthy education.


To the person who sparked this...there is a number of people who are happy to give an opinion....but not here

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