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Old 08-01-2008, 11:29   #31
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Lots of advantages. But also some disadvantages. Much like any material. There are always advantages and disadvantages. FC has to be looked upon as a unique material to build with. It is just as different as GRP vs Steel.
So what are the unique advantages?? Well assuming the boat was built correctly from the beginning, the main advantage is that the FC breaths to a certain extent. So you do not have issues with condensation. You have no issues with rust. Any area that does rust is not usually structural. It is a simple and easy to fix problem of the netting being a little too close to the plaster surface. If the boat was indeed biult correctly, this can be quite common. One big mistake made was to put on too much plaster to deeply cover the netting. Thus very quickly making the hull over weight. It is simple to treat and coat any area with rust seeping. The misnomer of the core rusting within the cement is usually incorrect. FC has one unique property that makes it different to all other materials. It has a process of reverse Osmosis. This enables the core structure to remain very safe. It is most likely that major damage exposing salt water to the steel armature with cause the exposed steel to rust. But only exposed steel will. Anything still tightly encapsualted within the cement remains protected. As we all know, seeping rust tends to look worse than it really is. Of course, exposure over a great deal of time is going to result in the damage becoming worse as well.
Other advantages are ease of repair. Not so noisy. Better insulation. Special paint systems not required. No internal rust issues. The list goes on. There are also advantages with steel as well though.
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Old 19-01-2008, 10:15   #32
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In addition to Colin Brookes excellent "Ferro-Cement Boats," if you are planning to build a FC, Bruce Bingham's "ferro-cement, design techniques and application" is worthwhile. It's an older book, first printed in the mid 70s. It goes into more detail on building and fitting out while Brookes book deals more with surveying, buying and repair of ferros. They compliment each other and both of mine are showing wear! I purchased a set of plans for my Samson from Brooks and they get used a lot also.

Wheels, you are dead on about not saving money by building from scratch rather than buying and fixing up. Did you build your boat? Some people do build them in 10 years but I'd guess they have a team helping.

Brooks shows some examples of really badly built ferros in his book and on his site. BUT, I bought an Ibold Endurance from a local marina (later sold it to my brother) and there was what looked like the worst ever ferro boat in the yard. Nothing fair on it. Got into an argument with a guy in the yard and he ended up being right--it was a homebuilt glass boat, not a ferro! There were a couple of ferro Samsons built in Minneapolis years ago and both went down the Mississippi and sank in the Carribean. For some reason they had built the hulls and keels separately and they grounded and detached in a storm. Another Samson and two Ibolds built in the same area about the same time are still going strong, but the two that sank probably made the news more than the two that sank.

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Old 19-01-2008, 12:35   #33
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Quote:
Did you build your boat?
No mine was proffesionaly built (what ever that means in reality) and was fitted out by a reputable and long established boatbuilding name in NZ called Miller & Tunnage of Dunedin. Probably the oldest or at least close to the oldest Boatbuilding firms in NZ, established in 1922. They still build traditional wooden craft today, but have also branched into the Aluminium and Fibreglass materials as well.
Samson had some some wondeful designs in FC. I love the traditional Clipper bows in both Hartley and Samson designs. Sadly mine had a more "modern" bow, but the rest of the boat makes up for the loss.
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Old 19-01-2008, 14:59   #34
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A major FC advantage over steel is that if for some reason a FC boat is left in the water for a period of many years without a haulout (neglected) no damage should occur to a well constructed Ferro hull (this is what some marina pontoons are made of --Unpainted )whereas a steel hull of 5mm or less thickness will rapidly fail once rust sets in..... could be from water sitting in the bilge as well....
I do not propose you neglect any boat however, as an annual haulout is cheap insurance
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Old 19-01-2008, 17:02   #35
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AuzzieM that is certanly the case with my ferro boat. It sat neglected on a swing mooring for years. It in fact became a major comorants nest. Although it was covered in muck and looked like a complete write off, the hull was still fine. (Apart from the 4 holes in the transom where some gear was stolen) A steel boat should also be ok as long as it has a good paint system. BUT the loss of annode material will become a problem. This could also be said of a ferro boat.
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Old 13-05-2009, 23:53   #36
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Fuel tanks leaking on my Ferro Cement boat... my fix, your thoughts?????

My Hartly Southseas 38 has leaky fuel tanks, this has produced several pocket of grinning thru at her keel and one spot at the hull outside the tank.

The tanks have been drained some time ago and luckily they were built with complete access via 100 + ss screws per tank.

My hull is epoxy/fibrglass coated inside and outside . She was built very well using volcanic ash & is in overall very good shape and properly built.

The builder did make a mistake of building the tanks integral and we now know know that epoxy is not 100% fuel proof.

In the pics you can see that the epoxy coating and filler have separated from the plaster in a 8-10 inch area where she was blocked improperly by the boatyard,... and sat for 6 years
A 4 x4" plywood block, very off centered, on a 14 inch wide keel.

Of coarse this is only half of the problem,.. the weakened bond from the diesel prompted the separation.

I have cut away the epoxy/glass at 3 of the grinning areas and found the plaster to be unharmed yet definately stained with diesel.

I don't believe the plaster in these grinning areas on my hull have weakened the plaster as the leaks were addressed fairly quick, tanks were emptied, the hull was built of good materials and appears to be more cosmetic than structural,....but,...... ?????
It has weaken the epoxy bond of the layer on the outside as would be expected.


My fix,.... is to mark around all the grinning area on the outside of the hull plus 6 inches then remove the epoxy'glass in those areas via sanding disc.

Next go to the inside of the fuel tanks and remove a good portion of the epoxy/glass from inside via sanding disk.

Then use a heavy duty water based degreaser which is not damaging to cement or steel (not sure which one yet) and fill the tanks with it.

Then allow the degreaser too run thru and degrease / neutralize the diesel which is in the plaster.

Allow her hull to dry thoroughly.....

At this point I was thinking of using a very fast evaporating solvent like brake parts cleaner or possibly starting fluid to remove the last bits of diesel.
But now I am not sure this is a good idea since we now know that petro products can weaken the plaster... Thoughts on this????

I use it all the time on my cement shop floor but...?????

Next, go back and coat the bare plaster areas with West Systems S1 penetrating epoxy (thinned out 105 epoxy) to really sink in and grab the plaster.

Then set the new glass/cloth in with the West Systems 105 and fair her out.

I will probably use the same tanks only this time with quality made fuel bladders installed inside and check on them occasionally via the access ports.

Any thoughts on my fix for this issue would be appreciated.

Anyone know of any other NZ or UK sites that are ferro oriented.
aside from Colin Brookes' ferroboats.com/org

This is a common problem on earlier ferro boats and I'm sure others have dealt with this also.
I would like to get as many opinions as possible because......

I'm off to work on her in a few days and would like a full game plan.

Thanks much,..kevin
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Old 15-05-2009, 06:05   #37
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Sea water and diesel not good...

I don't have any hard evidence to back this up but my memory is that Hartley stated categorically that diesel and sea water are never to mix as the integrity of the cement is compromised.

I would strongly recommend that you get competent advice on this, possibly from the holder of the license to sell Hartley's plans.
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Old 15-05-2009, 06:50   #38
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Our Schooner "Talisman of Cowes" was built by a professional Ferro boat builder known as "Mick the Brick" for his Ferro Boat Building exploits.
Built in 1977 Talisman has just about finnished going "off". She is beutifully fair and so very strong. We are in the process of having her re-registered as a british vessel and have to have a full condition survey. As a part of this we are having a stability booklet produced along with full systems and build survey, it all looks very good and the surveyos is very impressed with her. She is not particularly heavy, she floats to her lines, it is difficult to tell what her build medium is when she is freshly painted.
Ferro is an excellent material for a one off, easy to produce and relativly cheap, easy to repair and in a material that has experties all over the world.
The only other build method I would consider is cold mouldind / Cedar strip, but having owned Talisman for 5 years I would not swop.
Regards to you all
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Old 15-05-2009, 07:28   #39
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1. If FC were such a great building material, why is it that none of the reputable boat builders have taken it up? You'd think they would have...

2. Since they haven't, all FCs (maybe an exception here and there) are the result of some budget conscious do-it-yourself project.

There are enough risk exposures on the open sea even when sailing boats built by people who do it for a living. Why in the world would you want to ratchet that up by sailing around in a one-off built by someone whose credentials are basically unverifiable?

It's not the material per se that is the problem, it is the baggage that goes along with it.

I personally would not opt for an FC for these reasons.
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Old 16-05-2009, 00:18   #40
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because there's no money in it

Quote:
Originally Posted by NDSinBKK View Post
1. If FC were such a great building material, why is it that none of the reputable boat builders have taken it up? You'd think they would have...

2. Since they haven't, all FCs (maybe an exception here and there) are the result of some budget conscious do-it-yourself project.

There are enough risk exposures on the open sea even when sailing boats built by people who do it for a living. Why in the world would you want to ratchet that up by sailing around in a one-off built by someone whose credentials are basically unverifiable?

It's not the material per se that is the problem, it is the baggage that goes along with it.

I personally would not opt for an FC for these reasons.
Sorry, but I think you are way off.

I would much rather bet on the odds of a carefully homebuilt boat that a person spent thousands of hours creating to live aboard VS relying on a production model dependent on quantity produced for profit to exist.

Depends if you are capable of thinking outside the box that has been set in front of you.

A well built boat is a well built boat, glass, wood, steel , aluminum or cement.
The reason no one produces ferro boats commercially is because of the cost of labor. period...
Ferros have sailed hundreds of thousands of miles safely and documented ocean passages that are humbling to anyone...

If a person is smart,(not a fox network, consumer nimrod),
has the time, and sticks to the plans or is at least is aware of alteration implications,
.. a homebuilt boat of wood, cement , steel or aluminum is a winner,..... way less boring than a pro built blah, blah and with 400% more character, alot more attention to detail and oogles of smart stuff that commercial guys cant profit off of and don't/won't sell.

All boats have issues, wood rots, steel rusts, fiberglass osmosis, aluminum oxidizes and cement,.. will it gets harder.

When it gets down to it,... the fellow driving the 09 Hummer pays xxx and works for xxx to get money to buy xxx to be happy.
...vs...
the fellow with the 84 Nissan lives life, is happy,....and works IF he wants...
...two different mindsets.

As Colin Brookes said, you know why ferro boats are risky to insure ?.. Because owners actually set off and go places,.... vs hanging @ the dock.

Do have ,will go!...... kev
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Old 16-05-2009, 00:58   #41
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Sorry, but I think you are way off.

I may be, but you have not convinced me otherwise.

I would much rather bet on the odds of a carefully homebuilt boat that a person spent thousands of hours creating to live aboard VS relying on a production model dependent on quantity produced for profit to exist.

Given that choice, so would I. However most of the FC boats I've seen in a lot of marinas looked a lot more like back-yard built boats than they did a solid for-profit production boat or the rare product of a true, competent, meticulous artisan. Most of the ones I've seen looked like they were built by somebody on a budget.


Depends if you are capable of thinking outside the box that has been set in front of you.

No box, no Fox TV, no nimrod factors are intrinsic to my perspective, it's just different from yours.

If a person is smart,(not a fox network, consumer nimrod),
has the time, and sticks to the plans or is at least is aware of alteration implications,
.. a homebuilt boat of wood, cement , steel or aluminum is a winner,..... way less boring than a pro built blah, blah and with 400% more character, alot more attention to detail and oogles of smart stuff that commercial guys cant profit off of and don't/won't sell.

That's a lot of "ifs", which are not easily verifiable by some looking to buy one. That's kind of my point..

When it gets down to it,... the fellow driving the 09 Hummer pays xxx and works for xxx to get money to buy xxx to be happy.
...vs...
the fellow with the 84 Nissan lives life, is happy,....and works IF he wants...
...two different mindsets.

Last time I checked Nissans were not built in someone's back yard. You are comparing the equivalent of an old O'Day to a new Swan. I can imagine happiness with either one, but they are both different specimens of production boats.

As Colin Brookes said, you know why ferro boats are risky to insure ?.. Because owners actually set off and go places,.... vs hanging @ the dock.

I'm not an insurance agent so I don't have the numbers to merit an opinion, but my non-FC boat has come 3/4 of the way around the world (not by me, I regret to say) and is currently on anchor in Langkawi getting ready for a two-week run to Pattaya, Thailand. For me that is more like "going places" than it is hanging at the dock.

Do have ,will go!...... kev

Me too: Sail well and safely, have fun, and we can continue the conversation over beer on either of our boats in some distant place. Best regards.
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Old 16-05-2009, 01:56   #42
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Ferro Boats - reasons to build not build on a commercial basis

1, Ferro is cheap to build as a one off.
2, Ferro is expensive to build as a series.
3, Ferro boats are all hand build so each is unique, makes fitting out expensive as you cannot have a stock pattern for bulkheads, floors surfaces ect.
4, Ferro is labour intensive for commercial builds, the plastering day/s can take 10 or very experienced plasterers, these guys will have little to do untill the next hull is ready.
5, The Samson experience of the seventies shook a lot of peoples faith, people who should know better.
6, The buying public have now been subjected to 30 years of GRP marketing and have little or no idea what else boats can be made of. If you were running a commercial boat building business would you want a large ready to purchase market or a small heighly knowledgeable market that you would need to sell into?
The big commercial boys know thier markets and they all want the economies of scale.
Why dont the big commercial yacht buildes build in Ferro? Not enough profit for to much hard work.

Enjoy your choice - what ever it may be.

Simon
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Old 16-05-2009, 18:03   #43
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Point 4 - plastering

I would only partly disagree with Simes on point 4. Ferro boats are plastered by the same people who do cement rendering. Same technique.
They do need to be fully briefed unless they have already done a few boats. The designer should cover this.

The real reason to build a ferro boat (at least for the much younger me) is that you have no money, a fair bit of time and want something nice.

I agree that it is not a commercial product for the western world.
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Old 16-05-2009, 21:05   #44
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Every time i read one of these threads on ferro boats i never cease to be amazed at the ignorance of people who know nothing about the medium, only what they have read.In the early 1970s while i was an apprentice boatbuilder building cold molded and composite boats by day i built a ferro boat in the evenings and weekends for myself because it was what i could afford and it could be largely built under a crude shelter.It was a fun time as a lot of us builders helped one another out as laborors on plastering day,so we got to see a lot of different boats under construction,some not so good some magnificent regardless of the medium. With the passage of time and being involved in the building and more importantly the repair of many boats in wood,steel and many glass boats from many of the large US builders i have to say i am pretty dissapointed by the general low quality below the surface and would have to agree that an owner built boat in any material, including ferro, that has stood the test of time should not be discounted. Another thing i often read is that Ferro is hard to survey because you cant see whats in the skin, i fail to see how its any different with a glass boat, without destructive testing you dont know what the layup is even if the builder is still around and can say what it is meant to be i have learned not to believe,production builders take a lot of shortcuts, if you have ever seen a laminating crew at work many times you would be horrified,remember,most production glass hulls are not built by boatbuilders,they are built by laminators,many times there is not a single boatbuilder in the bussiness as the plugs and tooling are jobbed out.So as others have said before,if a ferro boat has been around for a few decades and is still in good condition with good attention to details where you can see i wouldnt worry too much about what you cant see.
Steve.
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Old 17-05-2009, 00:30   #45
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The????s

Ok so everyone has an opinion about ferros, good bad,neutral... bias or not.

How about my plan of attack on fixing the fuel leak issue, I'm loaded with tools, supplies and heading out to the coast on monday or tueday and would love to hear other opinions,... 4-6 eyes are better than 2...kev

sorry for getting snippy earlier,,,,no harm intended!
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