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Old 09-09-2009, 08:00   #331
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I spent quite a lot of time looking into the viability of ferro. The only reason I would not consider it now is because I'm no longer interested in monos.

I have seen a steel catamaran, so the concept of a ferro cat is not entirely unbelievable -stupid , but so was the steel cat!
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:39   #332
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YES.

Take a look at our pre-purchase pictures of Taku Tori: Pre-Purchase Virginia - TAKU TORI - The adventures of Bill & Sandy aboard S/V TAKU TORI. A 58ft Yacht.- powered by SmugMug

A quick word on "impact resistance". For all those people out there that focus on a lack of impact resistance compared with steel, alloy and fiberglass: Learn to navigate before you head out to sea!

We are in Apia, Western Samoa right now and from the marina I can see a steel fishing trawler that went up on the reef three days ago. The boat is made of steel and built like a tank, but it's bottom has been torn open from waves pounding and it's now so far up on the reef recovery is out of the question. Would it matter if it were made of Ferro, Fiberglass or egg shells? None. The skipper thought he would go around a ship at anchor, but he found out the hard way ship was on the reef as well.

However, in all my years of sailing and on just about every type of construction material, I found that it's only a piece of paper that keeps you afloat and above the danger. It's called a Chart. If you navigate using Braille expect to lose your boat, it's that simple.
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Old 11-09-2009, 23:12   #333
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the only reason I would not consider one is the fact insurance is so hard and without you cant get into a marina in australia.
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:18   #334
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Third party insurance is sufficient for marinas , is a lot cheaper, and much easier to get.
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Old 21-09-2009, 09:22   #335
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Amature buiders ahve been building FC boats for many years and most of them are still afloat.
I think personally, that FC boat designs and plans came along at the request of home builders.
The intial financial outlay, unlike with most other boats, start off at a rate that is/was within most sailor wanabe's budget.
You buy the r'bar and build a frame.
Next you buy the mesh and build the armature
Next, you contract (if you could afford it) a professional, or you complete the concrete part and then leave it to cure.
Next you start with the interior....all at a very affordable pace.
The only problem, .....you have to know what you are doing.
I helped a few FC boat builders, years ago in South Africa (where they were a big favourate) and also saw all kinds of builders... some boats did not make it, but others are still sailing after 30-40 years, without any visible deterioration.
I personally opted for steel....which I knew more about.
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Old 12-11-2009, 13:09   #336
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I own a hartly 45 ketch
great boat bit slow in light air great in the heavy stuff
fiji auckland at 6.5 knots average on rumb line would have done better bit first 24 hours spent recovering from goodbye party
buying ferro allowed me to get a well found boat very cheap
mine was built to mot standard in 1980
more ferro boats out there doing it per no built then any other must say some thing!
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Old 23-11-2009, 01:33   #337
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Insurance for FC yachts

Could anyone please let me know if they if it is possible to get third party liability insurance for ferro yachts in Australia and if so where from.

Thanks

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Old 14-12-2009, 03:04   #338
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Taku Tori has arrived in Australia

Hello All,

After many many months, 100's of sunsets and nearly 15,000 miles, Taku Tori has arrived safely in Queensland, Australia.

Our last leg was to be from Lautoka, Fiji to Bundaberg, Queensland, however the weather gods had other plans. We left Fiji with 25 knots on a beam reach and were making around 9.5 knots. Over the next few days the wind got stronger and stronger.

After 5 days at sea we were now in 55 knots and some rather big seas, but still maintaining around 7 knots under 100% fore-triangle and double reefed main. The boat seemed to be handling the conditions well, or certainly a lot better than us at least. Each wave exploded when it hit the hull and the noise was incredible, not to mention the resulting spray that was driven like bullets by the wind and wave velocity.

It's in conditions like these, when the night is pitch-black and you can't see the water nor the sky, and you're hundreds of miles from land, that you start wondering if the boat will take it and why are you out here? Then you focus your mind back through all the preparations and maintenance you've done and that helps relieve the stress of the storm.

As we rounded the bottom of New Caledonia and with just over 700 miles left to Bundaberg, still in 50+ knots of wind, 5 slugs tore out of the mast at the top of the mainsail and the autopilot started making grinding noises. With the prospect of potentially having to handsteer 700 miles to Australia we turned back to Noumea for repairs. A week later we left Noumea in 20 kts and within a day it had dropped to 5 knots. For the next 5 days we motored 24 hrs a day, all the way to Australia.

We arrived in Bundaberg with just over a quarter of a tank of fuel remaining. Elated beyond believe that we had sailed more than halfway around the world and very proud to the point we wept as we entered harbor. We had done it, as just husband and wife team on a very big boat, where at the outset, the knockers had told us it would be impossible.

Taku Tori is in just as good of condition now, if not better, than when we left the United States in early 2008. Our best 24 hr run was 180 miles and our worst was 100 miles. What a boat!!!

Does ferrocement construction make a good cruising boat?
...I think the answer is obvious.


Have you seen the Green Flash?
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Old 14-12-2009, 04:33   #339
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Ferro-cement Disaster

Hi y'all - A lot of discussion on the viability of ferro-cement. Let me just give a short personnal experience. I restore sailboats. I've done at least 50 large ones top to bottom. The only losing experience was a 50 foot "beautiful" professionally built ferro-cement cruiser from the UK. Turns out the most destructive factor, often overlooked - especially in this forum is eloctrolysis. There were a few tiny cracks, barely visible, that I figured to chip out and fair with epoxy. Well I chipped, and chipped until first, a 3' by 6" thick piece of the beautiful keel fell on the boatyard tarmac. Then I tried chipping at a small crack topside, ended up going right through without finding any steel armature. It was completely corroded away to powder. No mesh, no strength, probably a large portion of the boat. I determined it was caused by poor AC wiring, and electrolysis while at a marina, plugged in. Bottom line is the boat was a total loss, only good for salvage.
The advice I give is - It is hard or next to impossible to survey the condition of the steel armature imbedded in the cement. That beatiful ferro-cement boat may be a gem, or it may be worthless. I don't consider them any more when looking to buy a boat - just to be safe. These days there are plenty of good deals on fiberglass boats.
Final word, sorry to all you who own fine seaworthy cement boats. I know they exist, and hope I haven't offended you.
Happy sailing, Ken
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Old 14-12-2009, 05:48   #340
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.............
The advice I give is - It is hard or next to impossible to survey the condition of the steel armature imbedded in the cement. That beatiful ferro-cement boat may be a gem, or it may be worthless. ............
Happy sailing, Ken
I have always understood that having sections of the hull x-rayed gave a good indication of the amount of steel remaining remaining in the armature - but perhaps I am misinformed .
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Old 14-12-2009, 06:05   #341
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Electrolisis

Hi Ken,

I'm sure you have offended anyone and on the contrary you have brought valuable information to the forum.

From my personal experience you are correct and a ferro boat like any other boat should have anodes in place and working. Taku Tori has a number of anodes that we change about once a year, and in between times, when we're in a marina berth we hang a large anode on a cable attached to the handrails over the side. I think you'll find that most professionally made FC boats will have anodes, or their owners have already fitted them.

As with all other types of boats, the buying process is a learning curve.

Bad wiring can cause problems, but so can your neighbors fiberglass or steel boat when their power supply lead dangles in the water. A bungee strap can save a lot of headaches.

I did pick up on another point you made: " I've done at least 50 large ones top to bottom." ...with that in mind, I think it's time you became a sailor, rather than a boat builder. You must be around a 100 years old by now.
Take a rest
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Old 16-12-2009, 11:26   #342
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ferro boats

aloha there will always be debates about ferro boats but I believe any vessel built to high standard has a good chance of being an able vessel.. I have built two ferro boats , one in the 70's sailed it for 25000 miles with no problem. the other in he eighties and sailed it throughout the pacific for 13 years until meeting up with a cyclone inthe south pacific.. all that time I had complete confidence in the hull structure.. professional built hull may or may not be the best quality, who knows except the persons who built it? look at all the other types and they all have their faults and nothing lasts forever, least of all us .. so I say go with what you are comfortable with and get out sailing.. presently we are sailing with a 60 year old wood schooner , with a million fasteners ..soon to add a thousand more....we loved our cement boats and woudnt hesitate to build another except I,m getting too old...happy sailing...derrick
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Old 17-12-2009, 15:41   #343
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The Mother of all Threads

Well done to everybody else out there who has read all of this thread. I think it is purposefully this long - anybody who was not really seriously considering buying a ferro cement boat would have given up around page 12 or so. I wonder if that chap who posed the first question 5 years ago is still following it. Hell - I think the guy deserves recognition of the cult he has started.

Anyway, thanks to all who have posted here, for and against. I have just put down the deposit on a Samson C Ferro. I am going into this with no experience of FC's, and if anybody in the world is interested in knowing how the purchase/preparation/sailing/living onboard turns out, I will post it. Possibly on another thread though as this one is getting a bit long?

As if the whole sailing deal is not enough adventure, buying a FC yacht making it even more spicier, I thought I would take my wife 2 children along. I'm starting in California without ever having visited the USA before too, so would be very happy to here from anybody in the area whom I could stay in touch with for this little escapade...

James (james@lifedit.co.uk)
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Old 17-12-2009, 19:53   #344
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Greymarauder - If you are going to be sailing in the USA waters - and - using marinas or boatyards you will need at least 3rd party (liability) insurance. Make sure the boat you are planing to buy is insured and can be insured otherwise you will find your "options" very limited especially if the boat needs to be hauled for repairs.
- - What is the draft of the boat? Normally all the FC's sailboats I have seen are rather deep draft - more than 6-8 feet (2m to 2.5m) - that could severely limit your access to a lot of the east coast and gulf coast of the USA.
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Old 18-12-2009, 10:25   #345
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Thanks for the advice Osirissail. We are still undecided about our first years cruising ground, and any advice is very welcome. Ultimately we are aiming to end up in the Caribbean, but we are considering either further north (I have heard the NW coast of the states is very good for cruising) or heading down to mexico, and then towards Panama. The boat does indeed have 2m of draught - but I have found insurers. If you think that it may be a problem for cruising in the area, maybe wew ill look to go further afield from the outset?
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