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Old 25-06-2008, 03:45   #196
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Sorry Alan, but lets do the test.I`ll even supply the hammer! And your welcome to import your best and strongest friend to have a go at my steel hull! The proof is in the action
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Old 25-06-2008, 03:56   #197
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Ah screw this, rather than quote and paraphrase endlessly for no result, try assisting somebody`s genuine question about whether a ferro yacht represents good buying! I assume from the fact that that they are even considering ferro yacht in the first place that they are not in the market for a brand new benetau or bavaria. Just another example of blind faith and optimism disguised as actual rounded and well considered advice. Keep your ferro boats, keep your opinions, but the last time I wandered around my local boatyard, and up and down the finger jetties at my marina I could barely find a single UNBIASED party who actually favoured them. Good luck bouncing off the reef! I`m outta here, feel free to delete me as a member!
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Old 25-06-2008, 04:16   #198
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I am sorry to have to also say "are you trying to troll?" With the internet (and in life) try and get your information from people who have real life experience. As an owner (current ) of a ferro boat and a builder of a steel boat (current) as well as a moderator (new) on the metal boat society forum Welcome to the Metal Boat Society I can assure you that you have a "knockers" point of view. My ferro boat was through no fault of its own, or its passed owner...he died, was left to look after itself for an extended period of time . It was vandalised and had areas of broken hull where items where hastily removed. The boat remained intact , afloat, and reliable. The repairs where way easier than any other material that boats are currently made of. She has since given me a great deal of joy for many years spending large amounts of time with NO hull maintenance on a swing mooring. The steel work has rusted, the timber has rotted, and the fiberglass has delaminated. The hull is still intact. I say again this is a 40 year old boat. To quote "others" is fine if you provide where the quote comes from AND they are ferro owners. I am pleased that you have a steel boat. I hope you understand the maintenance involved , particulaly if it has a paint system that is of an older type or poorly applied. If you find that you have difficulty's , in this area let the MBS know ! If you wish more information on ferro hulls by all means ask questions.....and I did say ask !!!!
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Old 25-06-2008, 04:24   #199
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I am sad to see the post just before my last...I was typing. Obviously not interested. The fact that he wandered the local boat yard and sort opinions ...?....says it all to me......I have had many such opinions. I have been standing beside my boat and people have given me their opinions ....about my wooden boat !! Come back and talk or perhaps be happy in your preconceived ideas. I had many about steel boats too, boy has that changed.....

ps to the old wise ones who where happy to relate their real life experiences ...quietly and truthfully, with no barrow to push, on all manner of boating subjects........a sincere thankyou.
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Old 25-06-2008, 04:29   #200
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If moisture gets through the plaster, the evedence will be apparent quickly in the form of rust stains, likely from the wire mesh just under the plaster. The fix is easy, just grind it out and fill & fair with epoxy. If the build was done poorly, allowing moisture to get at the armature, expansion from the corrosion would crack the plaster, and the evidence would be clear early in the vessels life. As for taking a hammer to my hull, I have done that, and was surprised at how strong it was. If the plaster was not done right, wrong sand, not enough powder in the mix etc. the results could be very different. Granted enough blows with a 5 lb hammer will crack and crumble through the plaster. Fortunatly ther arre not alot of hammers or other steel objects floating around out there. I can tell you that there are alot of tree's and parts of tree's bobing around in my home waters that could punch a hole in a glass or wood hull, but would be pressed to do more then scuff the paint on my hull.
As for rocks, they will tear apart any boat.
Repairs are very easy and cheap on a ferro boat. I will post pictures ( when I get a chance to scan them in) of a large repair I did with no prior experience. With epoxies such as Z-spar you can also seal a breach in the water.
Steel is a great material for a boat and yes it will withstand the hammer. Steel boats rusts from the inside though. So vigilance is required to keep moisture from hiding in any nooks or crannys. Even if the decks are well sealed, condensation is another concern so hopfully its well epoxied. I would think that welding a patch could be a bit more involved as one would have to consider the heat transfer to the inside coatings and whatever tanks or furnishings were on the inside. I've seen what someone with access to a welder and limited experience can do, and I would highly recommend hiring an experienced welder.
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Old 25-06-2008, 04:53   #201
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I guess this "debate " will continue on. The "versus" argument is really not that important. All boat materials have their pros and cons. The skill level of the owner in a particular material or no skill level at all is more important. If you are not a fixit type then make your choices accordingly. It would be naive of a steel boat owner to suggest that this material is easier to fix than ferro. I have done both and a lot of both. Ferro has a lower impact resistance than a metal boat. I personally would not like to test that principle. Running aground is not a lot of fun regardless. The concept that "just because I have a steel boat I will be all right" is pure fantasy. I find this a dangerous attitude that may lull people into owning steel boats. I would rather they maintained paranoid navigation, understanding that running up onto something may not end your boat but may end your life. The final debate is cost....It is WAY cheaper to maintain a ferro hull than steel. Because people perpetrate the ferro myth you can still get a bargain. I have seen the rattiest ferro boats out there, only last weekend I saw a brilliant example. As ugly as an uncharted rock, and as slab like as a box of VB. Fact is these people have cruised the eastern seaboard of Australia for many years. They have been DOING IT while other people talk. Next time I see them I will be having a chat about safe anchorages and weather......
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Old 25-06-2008, 07:37   #202
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Ok one last time before I wander off in slack jawed astonishment. And where to start? At no time did I proclaim that steel is the indestructable `wonder material` when it comes impact resistance, I only made the point that it is more forgiving to the `oopses` that come with learning the ways of cruising yacht handling. Indeed, running aground will most likely cause damage to any type of construction. I only offered advice that ferro is not for the novice/first time cruising yacht purchaser. I emplore you all to go back and read the originators post. While you are there, try hard to remember your first real boat purchase, and think about what advice you would like to have had. Its all too easy to get lost in facts and figures and text book engineering, but in the real world how many ferro boats were built by marine engineers? Yes, numbers in a forum post are impressive, but think of the `real world` implications to your no doubt well intended advice. I can picture someone with a wad of very hard earned cash looking for sound unbiased advice on a fairly big financial decision, copping a headful of `ideal world`, `IF the boat was built like this`, facts. For those who live in a world where the sky is always blue, the seas never more than 3 feet, and winds a steady 15-20knots, consider this. What if your advice is taken? What if the proud owner buys one of the many badly built ferro yachts on the market? What if it`s unevenly plastered, and develops terminal cracking 6 months after it`s purchased?
Here are some FACTS for you....
The number of posts in this thread - 202 (inclusive)
The number of members who have offered thier `learned` services in assisting a safe purchase of a ferro yacht to the originator - 0 (so far)
The number of people here who will be there to assist should the purchase of a ferro yacht turn sour - 0 (my prediction)
The total number of yachts I had professionally surveyed before buying - 15 (at last count)
The number of these which were ferro - 5
The number of these which were found to be unsound in construction or in need of major repair - 3
I don`t need to be a marine engineer to deduce that a 60% failure rate is unacceptable when shelling ten`s of thousands on a potentially life threatening, and at the least expensive purchase of any kind. And by the way I DID read on the subject, and books written by well respected authors like Halsey Herreshoff, and the late Bob Miller (Ben Lexcen), among others. I also believe that in boats, as in life, an ounce of experience is worth a pound of knowledge. To that end I also asked questions to real people with real experience, probably to the point of annoyance, before I arrived at my `unlearned` and `misguided` opinions. I know that there are good ferro yachts out there, but one has to know what to look for, and this is a mine field not suited to the first time buyer (again, in my novice opinion). And for those who wish to debate the merits of the hammer test, pick a tool, any tool:- An axe? A pneumatic flux chipper? Anything that will simulate a `real world` localised impact. Call me a knocker, call me a troller, call me a barrow pusher, but as I said I`m not out to destroy the rep of ferro boats, I`m just trying to offer advice which will not potentially cost someone else time, money, or even thier lives. Put yourselves in the shoes of a first timer, and get your heads out of the clouds, and those bloody `perfect world` text books, for the sake of your fellow cruisers. I`m done with this, I need to go fix the surface rust on my hull. Oh well, at least it`s on my hull and not INSIDE it!
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Old 25-06-2008, 08:53   #203
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Hopefully with cooler heads now.

My wife and I are looking at buying our first boat and the three materials on the list are GRP, Metal (not just steel), FC. Wood is nice but a heck of a lot of work considering the amount of things in the sea that like to eat it (Though a FC or Metal sheathed wooden boat might work).

A lot depends on budget as it does with all folks and we have some things going on that may change that for the better or worse depending on a few items.

I would buy FC and we are looking at professional built hulls with some definite interest. Why, you may ask? Well let's see i have worked in construction within the US Military and have built with more than a few structures using both cement and concrete. They are both very strong materials and last a long time with proper care (which is not a whole lot really). There is a bridge in Rome that was built buy the Romans using Cement that is still in use today and cars drive over it daily. So life span is not a problem. From what i see the biggest problem is making sure you got all the through hulls done when the boat was built and that the base rodding/mesh was dry and properly coated when the FC was applied. The basic hardening of cement is 14 to 21 days, but it takes a good bit longer for it to reach full hardness (years in fact). Now Cement is very different from concrete and I would never think of building a boat from that material for many reasons.

One of the reasons Metal and FC are so high on our list is safety as we have children and will be sailing with them. The Metal will be a custom build if we can afford it as there are some wonderful copper nickel alloys that have been used in ship building and take 30+ years to lose .1mm of hull thickness and can be cleaned very easily (pot scrubby anyone). The only problem is the alloy is a bit more than steel in cost and absolutely requires MIG welding for best results and specialized welding wire (not on the cheap side of things).

Steel while it is a very good material and with proper PMCS will last a long time. It is a high maintenance material.

Now the ugly. I have been looking through the UK/EU for companies that will insure FC and have found the same answer everywhere, Full Survey less than a year old and the surveyor has to sign off that to their know the underlying mesh is intact. Though I have been told if you can prove professionally done you can get away with a Survey and the original register documents if they are Loyd's level. So there goes a few issues there.

If we have a hull built for us it will be either FC or CuNi alloy. Fc being the more likely and we have been told that having it professionally done and documented will make getting the required insurance (we want to cruise in the Med' and know the requirements to do so).

So for us the cost of hull material depends more on quality of build (have seen more than my share of rotting GRP while living in Michigan) than on public opinion (being that a well maintained boat can be passed down as part of an inheritance). Yes, we will probably live to the age that we can't sail any more but what the heck do you think kids and grand kids are for anyways.

Being that I have seen with my own eyes sailboats made from FC that where made before I was born (turn 41 tomorrow) and the hull is in mint condition (wish I was), we have no problem with owning that type of investment. Now, if you are buying a boat with the intentions of selling it onwards, than due to the image of FC I could see and argument. Other wise it is a very strong material that will last a very long time with not that much in the way of maintenance. The big problem with FC is the same on land as it is with a boat. you want to get it right the first time as going back and doing additional drilling and extra work is going to cost in the materials to do it right. Only in reality you want that with any boat.

So choose what you want in handling, versus space.... ....the list is long and we each bring different demands to it. Good luck but my vote is a good FC is as good if not better than any other material.

Michael
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Old 25-06-2008, 13:48   #204
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I only offered advice that ferro is not for the novice/first time cruising yacht purchaser.
But you have no advice to give. You have a completely incorrect view. You would do well to stop trying to argue points on a subject you have absolutely no idea about and actually listen and maybe you will learn something.
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try hard to remember your first real boat purchase, and think about what advice you would like to have had.
I do remember and my advice has only strengthened in that an FC hull is probably the bet choice of boat for a newbie. My first "big boat" was and still is FC. It has only grown on me to support the fact that FC is probably the best medium for a newbie.
1. they are cheap so a newbie has no big investment to lose if it does go wrong. Oh yes, I am not saying an FC can not sink. But nor can any other material on the water if it goes wrong enough.
2. It is the easiest and cheapest material to fix and the most amaturerish owner can easily repair.
3. It requires the least maintenance of any material out there.
4. If that newbie becomes an oldbie and finally does want to step up to something else, he is not going to lose as much on his original investment. By the way, here FC boats sell for the same as what they were usually bought for. Mine has actualy increased in "book" value. It has to actually sell to know if it is realized value. But seeing as I have had an offer of 40% above what I have paid for it, then IO am confident I at least won't lose money when I finally come to sell. How many can say that with any other boat, especially steel.
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but in the real world how many ferro boats were built by marine engineers?
Actually quite a large number and it would be true to say that it is these boats and any other FC boat that was built in a professional manner that still exist today.
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your no doubt well intended advice.
At least several of us here actually have professional well informed advice. You do not. You have nothing more than ill informed opinions, at quite clearly now, non from actual experience.
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I`m done with this, I need to go
You have said that at least three times now and maybe it was four. Would you like me to help you with that? because if you continue to troll and continue to maintain your tunnel visioned rant that is so incorrect that it is worse than what you say, you intend to help newbies wasting their hard earned cash? Come on, get a grip and get a life.
You can either choose to listen and learn from some very experience members on this board or continue to post rubbish information and if you continue to troll, you will be helped on the way out the door.
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Old 25-06-2008, 17:00   #205
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Cooler heads indeed. one day, I understand your approach, and even your opinions. Unfortunately, I have to say, having owned a 40' Samson, that was very well built over 20 years before I owned it, and in excellent shape, even after years of neglect, and more years of cruising Mexico, that I think you are falling into the rumor, rather than the fact. FC is only as good as the builder. As is steel, fiberglass, aluminum, wood, and anything else that anyone has tried to build a boat out of. It is more about the care taken in building and designing the boat.
I would encourage you to step back, and take what has been posted here as another view point to consider, rather than a challenge to the information you already have.
I do take exception to one statement you made.
Quote:
The number of posts in this thread - 202 (inclusive)
The number of members who have offered their `learned` services in assisting a safe purchase of a ferro yacht to the originator - 0 (so far)
I feel the majority of the contributors to this thread have the intent of providing useful, and experience based information that would definitely be helpful to someone considering the purchase of an FC boat.
I would ask you not to take the statements here as personal criticisms, but as an effort to persuade you to approach this as an opportunity to discuss your views objectively, rather than to state your information is more accurate than that of others. If you choose to disagree with the information you find here, that does not make you wrong, or the other member wrong. You need to present your point, and let the audience decide.
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Old 25-06-2008, 17:09   #206
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Well said Kai Nui.
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Old 26-06-2008, 01:52   #207
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I have friends that spent 25 happy years circumnavigating, they covered most parts of the globe, their boat was a ferro copy of Guzwells treasure called "Argyll" they loved that boat so much that when they sold it and found they couldn't swallow the anchor wanted to buy it back only to find the new owner had fallen in love with it and selling it back was out of the question. They had some hull damage during an Atlantic crossing (hitting an unidentified object) that caused the area of the hull to weep a little. They were able to effect a repair quite easily once they were able to dry the boat out when they arrived in the UK. A well built ferro yacht can have the same integrity as a wooden or glass hull and in some cases be superior.
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Old 26-06-2008, 02:50   #208
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A well built ferro yacht can have the same integrity as a wooden or glass hull and in some cases be superior.
It is actually well beyond that of wood or glass. It is not as strong as steel or Aluminium, but very close. FC should actually be considered steel to a point. It is a steel armature and the combination of the two products is what makes it so strong. However, where the confusion often comes in is that FC is the weakest material when compared on a strength per pound basis.
There is also confusion in what is meant by strength. There is impact and structural. FC is extrmemly strong as a structure, because it has such a great ability to absorb stresses through the structure. That is where it has the greatest strength. Impact, as in a small diameter object punching through a panel, is the weaker of the strengths. Steel being a lot stronger in that realm. I am not sure about Aluminium, but imagine it would be up there with steel. So when "strength" is used as a term, it really is more complex than simply saying it is or isn't as strong as whatever.
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Old 26-06-2008, 03:15   #209
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Ok, I stand corrected! I am wrong. My apologies to all who read my previous posts. To marleman, I sincerely wish you the very best in your purchase of whichever boat you decide. The many experienced professionals and marine surveyors I have consulted have misled me, and my opinion is clearly biased.
To Alan Wheeler, thankyou for pointing out the erroneous snippets of my lengthy posts. If you feel my posts are damaging to this forum you are quite welcome to delete me as a member, I believe I have also stated that previously, as did I repeatedly state that GOOD ferro yachts are in existance, but I guess you forgot to quote me on that. No harm, no foul

Cooler heads INDEED.

P.S. I wish you all many nautical miles of safe passage, like my `maiden` voyage delivering my own yacht across Bass Strait in tricky conditions (30-40knot winds, gusting higher, and 20 foot seas no more than 60 feet apart, while close reaching under 50% jib alone, still managing an average of over 6 knots, with one crew member violently seasick, and a 40year veteran of the `Strait` seriously considering retirement afterward due to the fact that we were steering using emergency tiller alone as the conditions broke our chain and sprocket wheeljust out of the Tamar river). But I guess I still have a lot of `cruising` to do before I even consider myself learned. Still I learned a lot about the value of human life in those 34 hours from Launceston to Hastings.
Oh and did I mention the partially submerged shipping container which came within 40-50 feet of us in the dead of a dimly moonlit night? Quote me on that, since all is absolutely true and after the shipping container incident I almost had enough time to be thankful for not being in a ferro.

Cheers
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Old 26-06-2008, 03:50   #210
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GOOD ferro yachts are in existance, but I guess you forgot to quote me on that.
OK, sorry I missed not replying to that.
Yes there are many fine FC examples.
But there are some tin cans out there as well, but that does not make all steel boats bad. But that is how you seem to want to grade FC. Look, if you would read some of the info here in the Forum and maybe care to ask some questions of some very experienced people here, you may learn a lot more about FC. There pros and cons to all materials. What suits who is very much down to the individual. I have have three trades behind me. One of them is engineering and so I am very familiar with steel. It is strong and it is a great material to build with and there are some fantastic steel boats out there. But I bought FC and it suits our requirements and we love it. Simply put, there was no way on earth we could have afforded to buy a Steel boat of size and standard as to which we bought. Go to the Gallery and see some photos of my boat.
There is certainly a lot of bad and simply wrong info out there about FC. And maybe one or two bad boats stil exist. But you do have to understand the history to gain an understanding of the boats that made the name so bad. These bad boats were built in the 70's and maybe a few in the 80's. They were chosen as a boat to build because back then, it really was the easiest, fastest and certainly the cheapest material for a owner/builder to build. But major mistakes were made, mainly because of lack of understanding and most importantly because many thought the Hull was the boat. But in reality, the Hull is just the start and most ran out of money to finish, or due to lack of funds from the beginning, tried to cut corners. Then there were the few builders that thought they new better and changed designs without asking the Designer or any Naval Architect. The extreme ease of building with FC meant that many boats that never were designed for FC topsides indeed had them built with and the things floated like a drunk hippo. The Horror Stories go on and on and this is where many of the stories you have probably been told come from.
However there is one important point that changes all this. Time! It has been 30yrs now and those boats don't exist anymore. One of the main reasons why it is so hard to gain Insurance of FC hulls is because many of those horro story boats were purposely sunk and insurance claimed. I know of several such situations where that has happened and one of them, the entire boat was stripped of all the rigging and components and then sunk and it was sunk not to far from my boating playground.

I do have one question of you though. What is your boat and what method did you use to build it???
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