Originally Posted by allanpeda
So the take away from this thread is that some people love their ferrocement boats, but by and in large part fiberglass
composite is a more forgiving material with a proven track record
Fiberglass boats are not as proven as Ferrocement. There are ferro cement boats still being used today that pre date fiberglass
by almost a century. The oldest ferro cement boat in use today is in denmark
and was built in the late 1800's. If anything was proven, Ferro beats fiberglass hands down. The breakwater at Powell River is 4 WWII escort ships that are half sunk to act as a breakwater. If they were pumped out and re-fit with new mechanicals etc.. they would be as good (or better) than new.
Being a shipwright, I see all kinds of blisters
on fiberglass boats from the mid 70's on.. When they started to get chincy on the resin. The "only use enough" concept
started to kick in when it started to get pricey because of the "oil shortage" and it's become worse since with the cored hulls and get'em as light as possible etc.. I understand that concept
and I really don't WANT to be tangling with rocks etc.. but sometimes you don't have a choice... the safety
factor is very high witrh F/C. Older F/G boats will do well too, but I wonder how long a newer balsa cored hull
unit will truly last. about 1/2 of the F/G models with a cored deck
I have seen 30 years & older need the deck core
replaced, if not the hull core
as well because it is saturated too. If the decks have teak
screwed down on top - expect to have to do the core in 25 - 30 years from new.
I remember Beneteau
owners in the mid 80's having boats less than a year old protesting outside the Vancouver, BC dealership because Beneteau
wouldn't do anything about the blistering problem on these "new" yachts. They were all so badly chicken poxed that the gelcoat
had to be scraped, glass fibers dried out and re-coated. That's a big job to have done to a brand new fiberglass boat.
at sea... Stay floating and away from rocks is the best strategy but sometimes there is no option - rocks can and do get in the way from time to time.... I have literally bounced Stone age off rocks (only once) with damage being limited to my ego. There was no choice in this instance, I judged the tide wrong and the current
pulled me through... I just know that a GRP hull wouldn't have taken the impact and we'd have suffered a catastrophic loss that day. As it turned out there was 15 minutes of checking to make sure everything was ok.. and we carried on with our day. We went back later at low tide to see the rock we hit and turns out there was more damage to the rock than there was to our boat.
There are MANY more fiberglass boats out there than ferro. Why? It's easier to build. Does that make them better? No. Does it make them lighter? not necessarily - Ferro boats after about 35 feet are very similar in tonnage to their GRP counterparts. And larger ones - 50' plus can be lighter.
Bonus about GRP is they USUALLY have a very fair hull and people really like pretty. Some F/C hulls are fair but most are scallopped and must be faired further. It doesn't hurt the integrity or the sailing characteristics (unless you are racing) just not as pretty or as smooth. Paint
it, go sailing and carry on with your day.
One thing I always wonder about is that every bridge you drive across has ferro cement footings. those footings are down at the bottom of the river, ocean or lake. Covered in water
24/7. You trust them every day of your life. yet when the same material is shaped into a water
tight floating palace, there is some specualtion as to it's integrity.
well if you look at the constrruction of F/C you will see that it is a steel
boat where the plaster is used basically, to keep the water out. It is the ARMATURE that is the strength and integrity of the vessel. Certainly doesn't hurt that liquid rock is being used to "plug the holes" so to speak..
Repair? Keep a bag or 2 of shotcrete on board and your all set for emergencies. And when you do get to a yard a more intense repair can be done with readily available materials. Try finding some fiberglass resin on an outlying island in Tonga
. Won't happen.
So from a previous fiberglass boat owner's point of view (I have had fiberglass, steel, aluminium and wood boats) to a very happy Ferro cement boat owner I would say that your "Fiberglass is a more proven tack record" statement is without merit. People opt for GRP because they don't necessarily know any better and it is the most readily available style of boat. And it is a great material for a boat. IF it is built properly.
But that goes for anything. IF it is built properly, there are no problems.
GRP is petro chemical. i.e. OIL
.... so ferro is a greener product right from the start by only using steel and plaster.
As far as insurance
- In Vancouver BC, Dolphin Insurance
DOES insure F/C boats - but only for cruising in Pacific Northwest
waters (Graveyard of the Pacific).
Enjoy your day sailing
S/V Stone Age
On our way to Belize
Stone Age Journey to Belize