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Old 22-10-2011, 18:54   #571
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

"I would not consider there being a difference between a static barge and an ocean cursing sailboat (though both are homes) a contradiction.
Though some people take what is said in forums as fact (as well as what they say as the only possible answer), the whole beauty of the thing (and a loose definition of a forum) is to allow peoples opinions to be voiced openly with the hope that people, including those voicing, will learn from what is said."


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Old 22-10-2011, 21:16   #572
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Great posts all. This is the Philippines, any regulation can be complied with by an appropriate payment to the local official in charge. No worries.

No offense intended, but I shudder at the thought of glass over plywood left in sea water for long periods of times, no hauling, I just shudder. Not to mention what would happen if you had the misfortune to come up hard on the coral. No offense, but no thanks. For maintenance purposes alone, low cost of construction, etc. I'll do this with Ferrocement.

The free form Oasis idea is great, I'll think about that. My original idea was just a rectangular barge with a nippa hut built on top of it. A nippa hut is a bamboo structure, using bamboo poles for structural support and woven bamboo mats for the walls. Very light, very airy, cheap to build.

I'm in the process of building a spread sheet to check the weights. Using 3" thick ferro material backed up with some re-bar and mesh. I think it will end up fairly light and the barge form support a great deal of weight. I realize that is a bit thick by boat standards, but I'm wanting something that will hold up over time and weight is not a big consideration. It will be permanently moored in a sheltered bay, so no real worries about waves even when the rare typhoon blows through here. Weather comes from the East in these parts and I'm on the West side of the island, so the blow has to cross the mountains which takes a good bit of the bite out of it.

One concern I have is getting the mud in place. No gunite here. All plastering is done strictly by hand, but the local guys are very, very good. I've seen them produce walls that look like sheet rock. Of course, plastering a wall and doing a hull are not the same. They would have to be cautioned to really work the mud all the way through the metal support structure. Doable I think. What do you who have done think?

Wondering if laying a coat of zinc rich primer on the steel prior to plastering might be a good idea? Ideas there?

For reference purposes, which of the many Ferro books out there would you folks recommend?

Much Thanks,

Thomas
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Old 22-10-2011, 21:25   #573
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Oh almost forgot. For insurance I intend to have a very good mooring/anchoring system. Nothing beats galvanized HT chain in large sizes to secure a boat and make it safe! That's what I think anyways!
Thomas
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Old 22-10-2011, 21:28   #574
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

3 inches thick is extreme overkill and may be counter productive, all that extra weight has to hang off something, thickness alone doesn't give strength. The rebar core will do that, the concrete is just the sealer. You wont need to prepaint the rebar, concrete seals it better than almost anything else. There is a chemical reaction between the concrete and steel that protects it. Read as much as you can about FC boat construction and follow the best recommended practice. When it was popular the techniques were refined to state of the art by guys like Ev Sayers etc.
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Old 22-10-2011, 21:46   #575
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

The three inches was to accommodate the steel, not the concrete! LOL

I will read all I can once I figure out which ones to read!

Thanks,

Thomas
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Old 22-10-2011, 22:21   #576
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

laying up is the key process and must be done within 24hrs and usually needs 3 teams of plasterers. expensive in oz, ideal and cheap in philippines. good thinking!
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Old 22-10-2011, 22:25   #577
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

ps have u thought of using glass fibre instead of concrete? ii have not heard of this but i guess it would work as the product is very strong - and lighter than steel.

ops the best concrete mix is th one on my yacht, cement mixed with epoxy RESIN, not water. more expensive, but much superior and lighter, i think this cd mix v well with glass fibre matting
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Old 22-10-2011, 23:06   #578
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Concrete cures by chemical action, which is why it will cure underwater. So if you use resin in lieu of water, what initiates the chemical reaction to start the curing process in the concrete? What am I not understanding here?

On the bright side, there is a huge concrete plant about 40km from me, so there is a lot available. However I notice the locals using limestone as an aggregate in the local concrete and as sand, which somehow seems wrong to me.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 22-10-2011, 23:16   #579
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Marleman,
Your initial search for a simple answer didn't seem to get covered. My answer would sound like this:

Ferro cement is a very strong and capable material. it doesnt absorb deisel, bilge or damp smell. its easy to clean spills with Simple Green and keep the hull fresh. All other boating freinds and aquaintences worship there glass and wood boats and even steel...but in the end they all say, 'but your ferro cement boat will survive any collision. This may be so but i hope to never test it. Oh, that being said, how many steel and glass boats have you read about that sank after it hit a reef or rocky shore...yup, thats right...a BUNCH!!! In fact, my good freind just lost his 40' steel sloop from a reef turf war.

Lets see, how do I know how hard FC is, because I have sawed it. You can't burn it, melt or smash it. It takes a roto-hammer to drill a hole in it, then a cement skill saw to cut a straight line in it, then a metal saw to cut the metal web structure. I have cut a piece on 3 sides and out of frusteration tried to use a hammer to chip and bend the piece off the boat ( I was increasing headroom for a throughway into an aft cabin, 3" x 15".) it didn't work, i had to go to the hardware store and get more saw blades and CUT it out.

My opinions aren't biased, I studied my boat for 4 months before i purchased it because i saw a good boat that i could manage. Everyone I consulted said stay away from FC.

If your going to live aboard and do some local cruising then the wieght and strength argument is kinda pointless, the characteristics of warmth, freshness, dryness and roominess are important. Another thing I like very much about mine is that is IS homemade and not crammed to the gills with systems and hoses. I can access nearly all my hull space below the waterline cuz its a simple arangement.

My final .02, you can't beat the value of a FC boat if you buy a good one that you like. It can be insured and mine is. I bought mine for $3500.00 and insured it for $25,000. I've seen wood boats, glass boats, steel boats and ferro boats that I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole. But i like mine and would have a tough time replacing it.
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Old 23-10-2011, 00:40   #580
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Don't forget the beach...

I do like James' idea of the artificial island, Though I'd add a ramp so that the dinghy (I'm thinking 14' tinny/15 Hp 2 stroke here) could be run straight up and out of the water, possibly even onto its own trolley.

When I built my ferro yacht the ferro was only supposed to be 3/4" thick. I mostly got it right, though some of the deck was a bit over in places. It was meant to be thin as it would flex, rather than crack. I'm not saying I tested it but...

I built using chicken wire and hard drawn rod using the two shot method. Any of the better books on ferro should show how it's done, though with lots of labour I'd go for the one shot method. I understand many moved on to galvanised weldmesh after I built (the square mesh nests better giving a higher density of reinforcing and a fairer hull).

I'd be thinking that with a 3" thick hull it may not be launchable, would be difficult to move, and floatability may be questionable...
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Old 23-10-2011, 03:31   #581
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Actually, the 3" thick hull and deck will only take 12" to float the barge! Weight would not be a problem. About the gasoline and diesel comment: I like most of what you said Borealis, but I really have to disagree with you on the diesel comment. If you've ever been around a filling station you know spilled fuel get's soaked up by the concrete big time and then degrades the concrete in short order! You do not ever want to make fuel tanks our of ferrocement. I once looked at a ferro boat that had integral diesel tanks and the fuel had weeped all the way through to the exterior of the hull taking the paint with it! It was an unsightly mess and the State was about to come down on the owner for contaminating the harbor. It was just a mess. The rest of the boat looked great, but the ferro tank idea was a major looser. I'm told you can coat the tank and that might do the trick, but I was also told all things considered it's best to chip out the tanks and replace them with steel or aluminum ones. Based on what I say, I'd say that's probably a very good idea. Other than that, I would tend to agree with you.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 23-10-2011, 03:34   #582
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Oh and to launch I would just place dollies under the hull and pull it out on the reef at low tide. The near 6' tide fall here would float her off the dollies just fine. Most days the waters here are very calm, so there would be minimal bouncing as she began to float.

Regards,

Thomas
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Old 23-10-2011, 05:34   #583
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

I belong to the Yahoo Group "freesailboats" and this one was posted yesterday. I have to say it seems one of the butt-ugliest boats I've ever seen, but you never know what it might be turned into with a bit of elbow grease. . . .

FREE 56ft project ketch

FREE 56 ft ferrocement ketch. Boat was abandoned and left on our property. Used for many years as a liveaboard vessel. Structurally sound. Large project but what a great opportunity! Would make a great liveaboard. Will supply abandoned vessel title. You can view pictures of its current condition here:

FerroKetch pictures by ArekMS - Photobucket

Serious inquiries only! If you are interested - here is the only catch: you have to remove (tow away) the vessel from it's current dock on transfer of title - no exceptions!
You will need to make necessary arrangements yourself. Please email all questions.
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Old 23-10-2011, 05:47   #584
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Damn, and here I sit 10,000 miles away from there!

Thomas
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Old 23-10-2011, 08:14   #585
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Re: Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yachts66 View Post
For reference purposes, which of the many Ferro books out there would you folks recommend?

Much Thanks,
Thomas
G'day Thomas, sound good to me mate so good luck with your plans for your FC floating home
One book I can recommend is, "Ferro-Cement Boats", by "Colin Brookes". It covers everything to do with FC boats, including their history, design, buying, surveying, building, repair and maintenance ferro sheathing. I'm sure you would find it most usefull for your project.

Bill
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