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Old 15-08-2008, 23:36   #271
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If a bad one is neglected and it is still going to be around for decades is it in fact a bad one. What does this suggest about the good ones, will be around forever even if neglected

Apply the same neglect to timber then they would all be bad even the good ones.
So is it good to be bad or bad to be good, I'm getting confused.

Mike
what I am refering to is the number that sit in back yards,behind ware houses, back of boat yards etc exposed to the weather that have been there for a number of years and will be for a number to come they are never going to be finished , there are also a number that sit in marinas that were so badly designed (often by the home builder using unsuitable designs) and or built that they are unsea worthy, it is no real the materal, it is the use of, steel can have simlar issues
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Old 16-08-2008, 17:36   #272
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no not any more to much work, if you want to get one make it your self, I have plans for an 55' samson
um look down here
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Old 19-08-2008, 07:44   #273
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Hi all,

I've been reading this thread about the pros and cons of Ferro-cement and I wanted to add my two cents worth and share my experience with you.

Firstly, let me tell you about my experience. I have owned 3 ferro-cement boats, numerous fiberglass production boats, a timber boat and a steel boat. I have refitted a 44ft ferro-cement yacht and built a 50ft steel yacht from plans.

Our current boat is a 55ft ferro-cement, Caribbean 55. Professionally made in NZ, hull number 9 of 27 built. According to the NZ ships registrar, "Taku Tori" was built for an English stockbroker. After his death, the boat was sold to Horn Marine in the British Virgin Islands, who had already purchased a sister ship "Whyhalla" (hull number 5) and used the boats for crewed charters, throughout the Caribbean. Taku Tori spent many years in charter service, until bare boat chartering became the trend. Horn Marine sold both boats, Whyhalla went to somewhere in the Med, Taku Tori was sold to a private party, in the United States. Taku Tori was used to haul drugs between Sth America and Miami, and in the mid 80's was impounded, in Norfolk Virginia by the US Coastguard. The boat sat at Norfolk for a couple of years and was basically a fender for other boats to tie against. In 1984, Taku Tori was sold at public auction to the owner of a local engineering company, who subsequently refitted the interior and overhauled the mechanicals. The hull was repainted, but required no repairs whatsoever, despite lack of maintenance and neglect.

We purchased Taku Tori last year and have upgraded all of the electrics, rigging, sails and most other sundry items. When we hauled the boat, the hull was in perfect condition. You can see some pictures of the boat out of the water here:

TAKU TORI - The adventures of Bill, Sandy & Sarah aboard S/V TAKU TORI- powered by SmugMug

Taku Tori is heavy displacement at 93,500 lbs loaded, but the displacement adds considerably to the comfort factor. We have had Taku Tori out in some very rough weather and there was never a question as to whether the boat could handle the conditions.

My first ferro-cement boat was amateur built, part-time and over a long period of time. It was not constructed well and I found several cracks around the Garboard area, turn of the bilge. We repaired it, but because the boat had pipe-frame construction, we never trusted what might be happening inside the frames. Subsequently, we sold the boat.

From my experience, every material has its problems. Ultimate strength, quoting figures is pointless if the method of construction is improper. I once had a friend who was building a catamaran, using cedar strip plank/West System construction. After the planking, he layered Kevlar and eGlass over the hull and on the inside. His designer told him that the hull would be so strong that it was almost bulletproof! Therefore, when he had a cut out a section for a port light, I said lets put it to the test. We shot a .22 cal rifle at it and it went straight through it: So much for being bulletproof. Next, we hit it with a hammer; the hammer destroyed the sample within a few blows. Was the boat a success? Yes, he finished it and later sold it for over $500K. The fact is it did not matter that a bullet would go through the hull or a hammer could smash the cedar planking. The boat was strong enough to survive the sea. In all my years of boating, all over the world, I've never seen a boat that was designed to be put on a reef. I don't even think the US Navy has one of those yet.

With Taku Tori I was more particular about construction methods and the quality of the finish work on the inside of the hull.

We are in the process of sailing Taku Tori to Australia and although our adventure only began 6 mths ago, Taku Tori has already shown us how good a well made ferro-cement boat can be.

Taku Tori is now 37 years old and there is not one speck of rust anywhere on the hull, inside or out. The boat is regularly mistaken for a fiberglass production boat.

I have absolutely now regrets in buying this ferro-cement boat and Iím certain that with normal maintenance, it will outlast me.

Great forum and fair winds!







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Old 20-08-2008, 20:05   #274
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Boris
Sorry I was just having a whimsical moment, second childhood I suppose.

I agree there are many of what you describe but there are also many floating examples that stay floating despite the neglect and can be made seaworthy with a little effort. As you say bad design should not degrade the reputation of a material but unfortunately for ferro this is what has happened. I think it stems from it being seen to be quite easy to tie some bar and mesh to a frame and render it that people jumped in without being fully aware of the possible difficulties. If people had percieved glass and resin to be as easy that material would probably be ostracised today as well. I think we are seeing the same effect now with catamaran design and construction which perpetuates the cat alienation
It has been said many times before that if a ferro boat is of a reasonable design and is still floating 30 years later it is most likely going to be arround for a lot longer. I was very enthusiastic about ferro when I was young , life got in the way. At that time there were examples of 100 year old craft still in service.

I just find it a little sad that people tend to welcome and perpetuate negativity without concete, pun intended, information.

Actually I think all boats should be built of wood. This way when they are neglected they will have the decency to rot away and free up some slips for those who actively use their vessels. Ferro and fiberglass should be outlawed

Mike
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Old 21-08-2008, 00:44   #275
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TT, beautiful boat. I would love to see more photo's of her, especially inside.
Pipe frame or "truss" was a good method of building. Most likely that boat will still be going strong. In fact, when you cut into her to repair the cracks, did you find any rust??? Most of the time the cracks are not significant and most often than not, the steel work inside is quite good looking. However in your case, I would think the builder plastering in more than one shot had probably ruined the hull. That can cause serious cracks. But once again, if they are serious, it will be very evident.
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Old 21-08-2008, 17:12   #276
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Thanks Alan. Here's 5 pages of pictures of Taku Tori and some of the upgrades we've made.
http://taku-tori.smugmug.com/gallery...3_7jBpi#P-1-24

Pipe frames can pose a problem if water gets inside the frame. Once water gets inside the frame, it will corrode the frame from the inside out and then start traveling along the mesh. This is what happened with my first FC boat. The hull stated cracking where the mesh had disappeared. For boats with pipe frames, I would recommend installing a steel keel shoe to the bottom of the keel to protect against exposure in the case of a hard grounding. I also filled the remaining frames with epoxy. Truss frame boats typically don't have this problem, as trusses are constructed using bar stock.

I remember many years ago there was a FC boat in Broome, Western Australia that a couple had purchased and were preparing for a trip north to Indonesia. When the boat was on the hardstand, observers noted longitudinal cracks around the turn of the bilge. The couple opened the cracks and filled with epoxy (which is NOT the way to make a repair on FC) and repainted the hull. The couple set sail with two other boats traveling north and three days later ran into a storm. They were heard on the radio saying that the seas were huge, but they were OK. Then suddenly all transmissions stopped and they were never heard of again. An inquiry determined that internal corrosion with the hull membrane and the hull repair had failed and the boat sank without warning. I think this story was in Cruising World or one of the other popular mags.
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Old 22-08-2008, 05:33   #277
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Did they find the boat ?
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Old 22-08-2008, 06:07   #278
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Did they find the boat ?
No. The boat sank.
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Old 22-08-2008, 17:43   #279
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hhm so how did they know what happened ?
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Old 22-08-2008, 18:19   #280
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Coops, it was specualtion in the end. I sort of remember some details (vaguely).
Wx conditions in the general area were analysed and found to significan; last communications with the boat confirmed this; the structual condition of the hull was possibily suspect; IIRC the crew not really that experienced.
This was pre GPS, pre high tech days, long time lag before vessel was officially missing and potential search was very large. No wreckage found, no trace of crew. Only the Indian Ocean knows what actually happened
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Old 23-08-2008, 01:42   #281
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Corrosion and pipe frames...

From memory it was quite common to use water pipe in some of the ferro boats. I don't think that anyone was really expecting them to last all that long, let alone 40+ years.

I seem to remember that Richard Hartley suggested 3/4" gal pipe for the keelson (running from the stem fitting to the transom) and the transom framing. Properly sealed it would last for a long time, but probably not forever.

It's hard to think of what might indicate a problem. Unexpected or inconsistent cracking comes to mind, or deep holes. Certainly it would be very unwise to test any boat in that sort of condition.

There should have been sufficient reinforcing and cement round any water pipe to ensure that corrosion did not compromise the whole structure.

It is possible that current designers would not recomend water pipe.
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Old 23-08-2008, 18:40   #282
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Hi Boracay,

Yes, waterpipe framing was popular in early ferro boat construction, mainly because it was easy to bend with a cheap hydraulic pipe bender. However, most frames started at the bottom of the keel and relied on the mortar to seal the end. I found this out the hard way on my first boat, on which I found 2 frames corroded. Water had gotten into the frames and over time corroded thru and ate the mesh in a floor. One night the bilge pump started pumping every 15 minutes, then every 10 minutes. We ran around the boat looking at every thru-hull and found nothing leaking. Next we started pulling lockers & furniture apart trying to find a hole in the boat, but to no avail. Finally, I saw where the water was coming from, it was from a limber hole in a floor. You can imagine my thoughts and amazement. Anyway, I was a little perplexed how to stop the leak, then I remembered an old trick I'd used on a planked boat I'd owned a few years earlier. We jumped in the dinghy and went ashore to an old saw mill that was nearby and grabbed half a dozen buckets of sawdust. Pushing a bucket of sawdust down under the boat with a long boat hook and then tipping it upright. The sawdust floats up and gets sucked into the hole and then swells. Anyway it worked to slow the leak to pumping every 30 mins. The following day we had the boat hauled, and that's when the work began in earnest.

I think I still have some photos of the repairs if you're interested?
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Old 23-08-2008, 23:16   #283
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It's always nice to know...

I'm a visual type of person so if you can find those photos they would be nice to see.
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Old 23-08-2008, 23:25   #284
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I looked at all 116 photos. Great photos, awesome boat. Man I love looking at boats.
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Old 26-08-2008, 08:45   #285
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CONCRETE FLOATS!

Hi all,

This thread is still growing and growing! Its cool there is so much interest in ferro boats- if you listened to the media you'd think no-one ever wanted them anymore!
We have finally got our act together and put our websites up (yes, we have two- its a long story!) If anyone would like to see the process of buying a completely derelict ferro hull and restoring it, check out www.concretefloats.com. (Although I warn you our boat is nowhere near as nice as TAKU TORI- now that is a gorgeous boat! )

The sites are still in need of tweaking, but hopefully some ferro owners will find it helpful- or at the very least amusing!!
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