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Old 21-07-2012, 20:31   #61
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

Hi Bill,
If you want to find out more information about the yacht still Wilf O'Kell may be able to help. You can contact him through me if you like? I will give you my number and give you his if you phone me, 0410831538 or My email Ngairini*at*hotmail*dot*com. Of course this post is old, I have not been on here for a long time so this may be null and void now for you but anyways just letting you know Cheers, Ngairini
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Old 15-12-2012, 11:24   #62
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

I have just joined the site as I am considering purchasing a ferro boat that I saw twelve years ago. I run a boatyard down in Cornwall UK and Have over the last year looked in depth at the pros and cons of ferro. May I say that we lifted a ferro boat out last year that had been built locally and to be fair to a pretty good standard. The boat had never been lifted out in eighteen years and as a result never antifouled or painted . I can honestly state that of all the other boat building materials I have never seen one that could have matched this hull for durability and zero external maintanance. And yes the hurried construction of the Mullberry docks for the D day landings are still visible and partially submerged but then again they were designed to be as valves were opened to scuttle them onto the seabed. We also have a dumb barge down here that is being converted into floating office space. She was once a ferro fuel barge and again surveyed before being fitted out and cam up with a very healthy report. I am a Steel boat guy at heart and built a sixty footer with a round bilge all on my own as I could not afford the Oyster I had based her on, and the more I delvethe happier I feel about a ferro hull that has been sensibly put together.
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Old 15-12-2012, 16:40   #63
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement hulls

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Originally Posted by smallyachts View Post
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.
Our experience with a Ferro Boat has been nothing but good.... sure we heard all the naysayers let us know about no insurance , no re-sale value, sinks like a stone yada yada yada, get your hands on a book called "Blue Water" written by Bob & Nancy Griffth, documents their hair-raising travels including wrecking on a reef and having the guts to build yet another Ferro exactly like their first to continue their voyage. Their are many Well built FC yachts out there that will get you cruising sooner, find a surveyor that knows FC....Colin Brookes.m.SNAME. is a good start, Let us know how she looks
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Old 16-12-2012, 14:21   #64
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

In the Bahamas in the mid 1980's a steel 75 foot sailboat went aground in heavy weather and pounded on the reef for three full days. Pounded so long and hard that the keel dug a hole in the reef tapping the keel so the boat could not be towed out. A huge tug came on scene and put down anchors tied heavy lines to the mast head and winched the mast flat on the water, keel out of the hole it had created and the towed the boat off the reef the boat floated and sailed a couple weeks later. Two years later a ferro boat went aground in almost the same spot and was no more that a reef within and hour of grounding. All boat building materials have built in problems, wood, rot, leaks, fastenings...fiberglass blisters, deck leaks, poor cores, aluminum, electrolysis and low paint adhesion, steel. There is no perfect material for boat building pick the material with the problems you can best deal with. I sail a steel boat and corrosion is there but is far less maintenance than teak decks, blisters, varnishing, varnishing, varnishing as I did with may last boat a 40 wooden ketch. Ferro has lots wrong with it....the worst problem that you will have with it is selling the boat when all the problems hit you...nobody wants them and those that will accept them want them dirt cheep.
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Old 16-12-2012, 19:12   #65
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

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Originally Posted by minisailor View Post
In the Bahamas in the mid 1980's a steel 75 foot sailboat went aground in heavy weather and pounded on the reef for three full days. Pounded so long and hard that the keel dug a hole in the reef tapping the keel so the boat could not be towed out. A huge tug came on scene and put down anchors tied heavy lines to the mast head and winched the mast flat on the water, keel out of the hole it had created and the towed the boat off the reef the boat floated and sailed a couple weeks later.
That was not a steel boat mate...It was the Starship Enterprise with it's forceshield working 100%
Quote:
Two years later a ferro boat went aground in almost the same spot and was no more that a reef within and hour of grounding.
As I have no plans on putting a FC boat, or any other boat, up on a reef, I'll take your word for it, although “all” the pictures I've seen of wrecked FC boats contradict your statement. Pictures like this FC boat, hurricane damaged and laying on a reef off Tonga...For 3 years.
Quote:
All boat building materials have built in problems, wood, rot, leaks, fastenings...fiberglass blisters, deck leaks, poor cores, aluminum, electrolysis and low paint adhesion, steel. There is no perfect material for boat building pick the material with the problems you can best deal with. I sail a steel boat and corrosion is there but is far less maintenance than teak decks, blisters, varnishing, varnishing, varnishing as I did with may last boat a 40 wooden ketch.
That's for-sure mate, so don't buy a woodie, plastic, alloy or a steelie...Buy a ???
Quote:
Ferro has lots wrong with it....the worst problem that you will have with it is selling the boat when all the problems hit you...nobody wants them and those that will accept them want them dirt cheep.
Once again mate...That is not “my” findings. See This Ad for a 1971 asking $59,000. Most sellers in this neck of the woods, AU and NZ, are asking similar prices as glass boats for their FC boats and, of the six owners I know personally who own FC boats, none of those FC boats are for sale but the owner/builders have only owned them for 40 years plus . They are sailed daily or in some cases, weekly so...Where are all those problems you mention. Perhaps the FC boats I talk about, (btw, all six are owner backyard built...Back in the 60's and early 70's) are not yet old enough for those problems you talk about to show-up, remind me please, what were those problems I must tell my FC boat owner/builder mates to keep an eye out for the problems for when they do surface...sometime in the future.

By the way, the boat I buy will be with me the rest of my life so selling is not on the agenda but I must do my best to buy the right-for-me boat this time
As you say mate...There is no perfect medium for boat building but...In three years of investigating boats for sale, I think FC comes pretty close...Well close enough for me mate Now lets find the perfect for me set-up FC boat...At the low give-away price you talk about mate...Preferably in AU or NZ


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Old 16-12-2012, 19:34   #66
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

If it's been sailing for 20 years and when you drag it out of the water, it looks sound, it should continue to sail for another 20 years if it is correctly maintained.

As with every boat, if it surveys well and inspires confidence, then there is no reason to avoid it.

I have had ferro, timber, glass and steel. Every one a good boat, every one different from a maintenance perspective, every one blue water veterans.

But then again....I didn't prang any one of them.
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Old 16-12-2012, 19:47   #67
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

dear god it makes me sad for ever responding to this request.
hopefully the op will find value in some of the responses.
I'm loosing faith in the average village idiot to achieve objectivity.
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Old 17-12-2012, 05:03   #68
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

BillAu
Looked at your ad for the 1971 Fero boat, good looking but it proves my point if were glass it would be $100,000.00 plus.
My boat is steel, designed by your fellow country man Graham Radford. You can see pictures of the boat on his web site Google Graham Radford yacht design. Steel is not the best material for boat building but it is strong strong strong. There is no perfect material pick the material with the problems you can work with.

Once again mate...That is not “my” findings. See This Ad for a 1971 asking $59,000. Most sellers in this neck of the woods, AU and NZ, are asking similar prices as glass boats for their FC boats and, of the six owners I know personally who own FC boats, none of those FC boats are for sale but the owner/builders have only owned them for 40 years plus . They are sailed daily or in some cases, weekly so...Where are all those problems you mention. Perhaps the FC boats I talk about, (btw, all six are owner backyard built...Back in the 60's and early 70's) are not yet old enough for those problems you talk about to show-up, remind me please, what were those problems I must tell my FC boat owner/builder mates to keep an eye out for the problems for when they do surface...sometime in the future.

By the way, the boat I buy will be with me the rest of my life so selling is not on the agenda but I must do my best to buy the right-for-me boat this time
As you say mate...There is no perfect medium for boat building but...In three years of investigating boats for sale, I think FC comes pretty close...Well close enough for me mate Now lets find the perfect for me set-up FC boat...At the low give-away price you talk about mate...Preferably in AU or NZ


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Old 18-12-2012, 17:22   #69
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

I hear you minisailor, I find boat prices are all over the place at present and boats in general are not selling as quickly as they use to...Even at a low asking price. I have had my boat, a 1984 plastic Careel 22SC, listed for sale for almost a year now but have only received two or three tire-kicker enquiries. On the other hand, another 1984 Careel 22SC, in another state of Australia, sold for more than double the price I'm asking for my boat, and my boat has a new motor, new wiring, new LED lighting throughout, new CB control board, new porta-potti, new radio and 2 new sealed batteries. On top of that, I'm throwing in a new solar panel, new wiring and through-hull connectors for the solar panel wiring, panel controller and a few other new items but so-far, I've had no offers and no serious enquiries.
I do not need the money so I'll be dammed if I'll let my boat go for a song, I would rather donate my boat to the local sea-scouts. That's life and boats I guess.
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Old 18-12-2012, 21:18   #70
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

One thing about ferro is this, if you buy it you will be a long time selling it.
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Old 19-12-2012, 03:22   #71
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If you buy it you won't want to sell it I have had mine a good few months now and absolutely am in love with ferro. I accidentally rammed her up against the furling wharf just recently. The poor fuelling wharf!!! Only took off a little paint and that's it. Rides and sails magically
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:12   #72
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

My wife and I built a 38' ferro yacht in 1973. Our first blue water vessel. By the hand of fate, we still have Banyandah today, she's 40 years old, or in nautical terms, has 150,000 N miles under her keel, from north of Japan to the frozen south, raised a family while doing that. Ferro, if properly constructed is the best live aboarrd material bar none. I know, I am now a small ship's captain and engineer and used to fix this wonderful adventuring things. They are quiet inside. They don't rust when you nick their paint. And you can always open the head door on a 30 degree port tack.

The way to know good ferro from bad, is to tap the hull with a hammer, all over. A solid ping means sound, a thud means trouble. Visually look for any slight raised areas, sometimes they look like a quarter raised just a titch, that is rod or mesh corrosion but may be just a local thing and easily fixed. The biggest trouble spots are the embedded flat bars at chines and deck level. Those heavy steel sections once they start to rust keep offending. But the ultimate bad hull will have voids, especially near the frames, that evidually trap sea `water and start big time corrosion. Other trouble spots are where salt water sits on both sides of the hull: At the top of the ballast, in the chain locker if its a wet one. behind a frame below a deck hatch that probably drips. Wherever saltwater sits inside, there can be corrosion. Hope that helps. Check out our website for photos of Banyandah being built, and rebuilt 20 years later. Cheers and good luck to all,
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Old 07-01-2013, 15:15   #73
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

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Originally Posted by banyandah View Post
My wife and I built a 38' ferro yacht in 1973. Our first blue water vessel. By the hand of fate, we still have Banyandah today, she's 40 years old, or in nautical terms, has 150,000 N miles under her keel, from north of Japan to the frozen south, raised a family while doing that. Ferro, if properly constructed is the best live aboarrd material bar none. I know, I am now a small ship's captain and engineer and used to fix this wonderful adventuring things. They are quiet inside. They don't rust when you nick their paint. And you can always open the head door on a 30 degree port tack.

The way to know good ferro from bad, is to tap the hull with a hammer, all over. A solid ping means sound, a thud means trouble. Visually look for any slight raised areas, sometimes they look like a quarter raised just a titch, that is rod or mesh corrosion but may be just a local thing and easily fixed. The biggest trouble spots are the embedded flat bars at chines and deck level. Those heavy steel sections once they start to rust keep offending. But the ultimate bad hull will have voids, especially near the frames, that evidually trap sea `water and start big time corrosion. Other trouble spots are where salt water sits on both sides of the hull: At the top of the ballast, in the chain locker if its a wet one. behind a frame below a deck hatch that probably drips. Wherever saltwater sits inside, there can be corrosion. Hope that helps. Check out our website for photos of Banyandah being built, and rebuilt 20 years later. Cheers and good luck to all,
I Have been Chasing the exact area you speak of (embedded flat bars just under wood cap raildo you have any advice for a long term repair.The rust is contained to the exterior of topsides at the top of bulwark just under caprail. The caprail is solid so hopefully shouldn't have to be removed

Cheers, Stonefloat
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Old 07-01-2013, 16:21   #74
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Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

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The caprail is solid so hopefully shouldn't have to be removed
From your photo, if the cap rail is attached through a ferro upstart that contains the flat bar, the cap rail will have to come off. Your rust problem is more than minor. It looks like that section needs to be rebuilt by crushing, smashing or cutting away the affected area. If extensive, I would consider replacing the FB, re-meshing then either epoxy mix, or cement.

On some ferro, the gunwale was formed with a timber batten along the top to scree to and make a clean square top. That top often had no cement sealing it, and timber toe rails were attached to it that eventually allow seawater to enter the hidden bare area.

I have two small areas that cause minor rust stains that must be dug out every 3 or 4 years, ground clean, rebogged and painted. To do more would evolve destroying good ferro to replace the rusted steel. I have found once steel rusts, it's hard to stop it from re-offending.

If you like, post a few more photos. If you can, describe how that section was built. Are there frame rods extending up that hold the FB? You'd want to preserve those I think.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-01-2013, 22:54   #75
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Talking Re: Feedback on Ferro Cement Hulls

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Originally Posted by banyandah View Post
From your photo, if the cap rail is attached through a ferro upstart that contains the flat bar, the cap rail will have to come off. Your rust problem is more than minor. It looks like that section needs to be rebuilt by crushing, smashing or cutting away the affected area. If extensive, I would consider replacing the FB, re-meshing then either epoxy mix, or cement.

On some ferro, the gunwale was formed with a timber batten along the top to scree to and make a clean square top. That top often had no cement sealing it, and timber toe rails were attached to it that eventually allow seawater to enter the hidden bare area.

I have two small areas that cause minor rust stains that must be dug out every 3 or 4 years, ground clean, rebogged and painted. To do more would evolve destroying good ferro to replace the rusted steel. I have found once steel rusts, it's hard to stop it from re-offending.

If you like, post a few more photos. If you can, describe how that section was built. Are there frame rods extending up that hold the FB? You'd want to preserve those I think.

Hope that helps.
Yes that explains a lot thank you, the ferro carrys up to top of bulwark incorporating rod tied to flat bar at the top under wood cap. the area in the photo is the most extensive their are a few more small areas also . I recently did some small excavation and used a rust converter on areas affected then filled with a fairing compound . The rust streaks have returned quickly. I think I'm going to try a more agressive approach with air hammer then use epoxy mortar to fill . Is it ok to use epoxy mortar mix in a cold joint ?.... Thanks for all advice CF rocks...(pardon pun)
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