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Old 01-04-2011, 04:12   #31
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

I have never heard of a slam on ferrocement boats from either a current or previous owner.

The only negative comments I have ever heard came from folks who had no actual exerience (as in owning one).

Yes, the self reliance craze that went on back in the late 60's and early 70's certainly did create a lot of ferro monsters, but 99% of them never made it to the water.

But then again, I have seen a lot of FRP, wood and steel boats that never made it to the water either.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:56   #32
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

It's obvious that people that invested in a ferro hull boat would be so defensive about their value. Truth is a ferro boat will sell for about 50% of what a comparable steel or glass boat will and virtually no one still makes them. Listen to the market.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:25   #33
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Yes, that may be so. But then again, they are usually purchased at less than half of a comparable frp hull, so what is the issue?
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:31   #34
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

Redhead;

With respect, here is how I view your situation. You did as much research online as possible, but without first hand knowledge, bought a steel boat. It turned out to need much more work than you expected. Now, you want to go sailing sooner, so you are again looking at other boats.

With the ferro boat, I see that you are repeating the same cycle. Could it turn out in your favor? yes. But what if it does not? Imagine that you now have two boats in need of major refits. What will that do to your cruising plans?

Consider an alternative - buy a smaller boat that is in good shape, and more easily assessed as to it's conditions. If things do pop up, and they will, the cost to correct will be less. Go sailing.

Chris
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Old 01-04-2011, 15:11   #35
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

I'm with witzgall. Yes there are rabid defenders of every type style or construction of anything that floats, or once floated. I once thought of buying a wooden boat, I built one when I was younger. If properly maintained a wooden boat can be kept floating for a century, (regular painting bottom work, varnish, replacing rotted, or soft planks, etc). Those who own them soon get used to the work involved. Steel also has a fair amount of overhead, offset by an arguably stronger, and more crash resistant hull. SO does ferro cement. Is it a good material, ...sure. But if you want something that floats without any issues go plastic. When most modern production boats are made of ferro cement, and plastic is only used for dinghies I'll change my recomendation. The OP already stated the Hull had damage. Would any of you gaurantee that hull will give him no long term problems???
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Old 01-04-2011, 16:41   #36
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

The boatyard I'm at right now regularly crushes up and disposes of boats whose owners have abandoned them, and i have to tell you it's pretty amazing to watch how easily a backhoe grinds up a plastic boat, scrapes up the little pieces, and packs them up in a dumpster.
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Old 01-04-2011, 17:36   #37
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

I'm sure well-built ferro boats are fine. But you can't get insurance. For me, that's a deal breaker. I'm not rich enough to self-insure.
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Old 01-04-2011, 19:31   #38
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Sell up, cash up, buy newish plastic...

Ferro may be good (I built one...) but what you're looking at is that you haven't been able to do the maintenance/upgrades on a steel boat.

The ferro boat is going to be similar. It's will almost certainly need a lot of work.

So your imperative is to buy a boat with minimum maintenance. That's near new plastic. No alternative.

So, my suggestion is to sell the Roberts for whatever you can get, cash up and work hard to a serious kitty together, and buy a plastic boat in the best possible condition. One that clearly does not need immediate maintenance, and for those with fair skin, one with serious sun protection.

I'd be looking at ex charter boats in the BVI if I were in your place, others may have better ideas...
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Old 01-04-2011, 19:37   #39
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
But if you want something that floats without any issues go plastic. Would any of you gaurantee that hull will give him no long term problems???

Would you guarantee that plastic gives no long term problems?
Gimme a break.
Is this the joke thread?
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Old 29-07-2011, 14:27   #40
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

Hello 'Redhead',

X- Amityville, Suffolk County, LI here.

Did you visit the 55' ferro schooner in FL ? If so, what is youe opinion ? Did you buy this vessel built by St. John Fabricators ? If not, why not ?

Many thanks !

John
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:04   #41
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

just another thought you may wish to consider...how bad is your existing boat? apart from the work needed, do you like it?

i have just stripped out my steelie too...at first i was really scared...rust here and there...and i was terrified to look in the bilge. guess what, i did a little scraping and then sprayed phosphoric acid everywhere and then found out things weren't so bad. remember that rust is about 10 times as thick as the healthy steel it once was, so if you get rid of the rust you may be surprised at how much metal is still there. especially so if it is a good boat built a while ago. did it live in salt water all its life? maybe it spent time in fresh water, and if so, corrosion that looks bad might not be as severe as you'd think.

as for remedies, it is possible to buy a compressor and a pot blaster for not a lot of money, get some iron silicate and start blasting it yourself. close up the boat, get a good mask or respirator, and start. you may be surprised at what comes off, and you could be left with some nice fresh steel, with no rust. paint it with some decent epoxy and you could be good for another 30 years. maybe drill some limber holes so that water doesn't collect. after that it is a insulate and re-fit job which is not too huge an undertaking unless you are after a luxurious finish.

but before you do all this, get yourself an ultrasonic metal measurer. then map your hull and find out for sure what the thickness is over the entire hull. if you are reading less than 3mm then it may be a case to re-weld. if the hull is thin everywhere then get rid.

as for surveys...it all depends on the quality of the surveyor...and there are some guys out there who talk a big story but in fact they know very little at all...i know of people who have bought steel boats after a supposedly good survey and then discovered the boat was paper thin. a good surveyor with tell you the truth about a boat.

sure there are some good people out there, but experience is teaching me that the best way forward is to take the trouble to learn about the stuff yourself. it will save you a lot of money.

i would recommend "metal boat repair and maintenance - your ultimate do-it-yourself guide" by scott fracher and "steel away - a guidebook to the world of steel sailboats" by LeCain W. Smith and Sheila Moir if you want to understand how to fix your boat yourself so that you don't have to do it again in a few years.

if you like your boat and if there is plenty of steel left then you can blast the inside yourself and paint it with epoxy so that it will last another 30 years or more...then take your time to install your interior as you like.

as for wiring, i started to unravel the mess that various owners had installed over the years and then ended up ripping it all out. wiring is not difficult. why pay $10k when with a little effort you can do it yourself, and you will know what's where and how it all works.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:26   #42
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

Being raised around boats I often was arround ferro boats as a youngster and never really thought about it untill recently. I've seen quite a few of them floating at a dock, interior rotted or gutted.

But in this lies my biggest observation of them. The hull was usually sound and smooth, and from what I know now in quite good shape. What failed on those vessels then? The owners ran out of time/money for upkeep, the boat sat neglected, and the fibreglass and wood deck failed, compromising the interior and the mechanical and electrical systems.

When neglected, it was the fibreglass that failed. The ferro remains viable, and many of those floating derelicts would make good vessels again if only gutted and restored.

My conclusions:
Fibreglass must require significantly more maintanance than ferro.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:19   #43
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

Hey Landcruiser...welcome to the forum.
Transitions between the fiberglass and the ferro can easily be done poorly.
Also the thickness/number of laminates on a home built may not be adequate.
I would think these would contribute to the failures you've seen.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:26   #44
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

I'd have to agree with you James. I've never owned a ferro boat, only two fibreglass, one has been in the family since 1977 with no real issues. I really do appreciate glass boats, I'm learning to respect ferro's. My strong suspicion is that ferro far outlives glass tho... I have a friend who's job it is to develop all sorts of new and interesting concrete products... I'll have to ask him what he thinks about the whole thing
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:47   #45
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

I visited Shanghai last fall and was surprised at the number of Ferro boats I found there...from small sampans to whakin big ass barges.
Loads of these little guys.
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