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Old 29-03-2007, 01:09   #1
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ferro cement ? need advice

im in the market for a live aboard and all the boats that are in my price range seem to be made of cement . what is the good word ??????? thanks
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Old 29-03-2007, 01:45   #2
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Hi bigwhyte. Well, there is no other material out there that creates such a Polerized view. Personly I love FC.
However, this topic has been heavily discussed here in the past with some fantastic discussion. Do a search and see what comes up. If your questions are still not answered or it raises other questions, feel free to ask away.
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Old 29-03-2007, 01:46   #3
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....Hi big whyte......it would be well worth while doing a search on ferro boats first .Heaps of info to absorb. Bottom line is because of the past history of ferro boats leading to a prejudice (mostly " l was told by a friend of mine that......" ) in the sailing world, you can get a lot of boat for the price. This is starting to change as people are relising that if the boat has been on the water for 30 years and looks in good condition then it probably is. The wonderfull myth that ferro boats suddenly blow to pieces as the armeture (read steel work) rust, expand and then crack the boat in half has helped keep the price down. My boat is 40 years old and has a hull thickness 3/8ths inch (Not a mis print). Amongst the older cruising boats you would be supprised just how many of them there are getting around the world. They are often of an age that we associate with the veneration of older timber vessels. The simple fact is that a ferro boat is as easy to look after as a fiberglass boat, and WAY easier to repair if damaged. Yes l am an owner, but l think its about time that the experts ie..THE OWNERS where listened to on this subject and where given more sway than the other experts. There are quite a few owners on this forum who l am sure would like to give you their opinion, l would love to put down a few thousand words but unfortunately l have my sons school interviews and l am already late !! l will be back : )
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Old 29-03-2007, 01:48   #4
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hey one minute apart and you got in first ...Hi wheels !!
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Old 29-03-2007, 01:51   #5
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Try this site here for some good research...................._/)

http://www.ferrocement.org/forum0.html
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Old 29-03-2007, 02:03   #6
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To live aboard...probably a good choice for the price. My limited experience with one was in 1992 when I was suppose to be part of a delivery crew on a F/C built in South Africa, going from Santa Cruz, Ca. to Hawaii. The Skipper wanted the boat hulled for inspection and I am glad he did. There was a small piece of cement missing from the bottom, but not all the way through to the inside. When the yard tried to clean it with a needle gun, as prep for the repair, football size hunks fell off! Aparrently the boat had just finished a to weather sail for a few thousand miles and had pounded quite bad. As for being easier to repair than F/G...I find that a stretch.
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Old 29-03-2007, 12:39   #7
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WOW thanks so so so much site is fantastic !!!!!!
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Old 29-03-2007, 13:14   #8
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Celestialsailor, there is no way on earth pounding at sea could do that damage. It was damaged in some other more physical way first and most likely sailed across like that.
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Old 29-03-2007, 15:34   #9
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Alan Wheeler...Maybe so...I do not pretend to be a Structural Engineer when it comes to F/C. It could have fallen off yard stands, been hit by a ship or had a difficult Lunar landing for all I know. But the result would be the same miles out at sea if the hull had a coming apart party. It's not like I said that a Ferro boat was one rock looking for another. I mearly stated that for a liveaboard, it is a good choice since F/C vessels go for a low price.
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Old 29-03-2007, 15:54   #10
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I am not going to weigh into the FC debate because I have no particular knowledge in the matter, nor any particular axe to grind. One thing that you should bear in mind, however, is that Ferro boats are notoriously hard to insure. This is a reflection of the prejudice (justified or not) that ferro boats are a risky business. As has been pointed out by others, there are plenty of solid, well built ferro boats that seem to suggest otherwise, neverhteless, Insurance companies seem to be loth to take the risk.
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Old 29-03-2007, 18:34   #11
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They are also reluctant to cover anything that is not fiberglass !! They place restrictions on distance, crew, and anything else that may cause a claim. Its what they do !!......As for cleaning a ferro boat with a needle gun ??! why would you do that ? Every body has horror stories, its always interesting that the stories about other types of materials are not brought out at the same time. Seems to me a couple of keels have fallen off of late...........
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Old 29-03-2007, 20:56   #12
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I was thinking the same with the needle gun. Yikes!!.
In have to agree about Insurance though. It is really hard. Somewhere in the past, there must have been a lot of claims put in to insurance companies in regards to FC, that have put them off. Yet today, statistics show(apparently) that out of all the FC boats insured, they have least claims against them compared to boats made from any other material.
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Old 29-03-2007, 21:21   #13
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I know next to nothing about ferro, The only one I have been on was probably the most beautiful boat I have ever seen, inside and out. Owner built by a fellow in B.C. I know that says nothing about the structure, but almost 30 years later I still remember how beautiful she was and hopefully still is.
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Old 29-03-2007, 21:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
statistics show(apparently)
Hi Alan et al.

Is there available a free source for this kind of insurance (or other kinds of marine safety/loss/damage) statistical data?

I suppose that insurance companies keep that sort of information to themselves, but it would definitely be interesting.
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Old 29-03-2007, 21:40   #15
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They have the least claims because there just isn't many of them. FRP would lead by default. Boat building statistics for the US lists FC under "other" materials. Not even a bump in the percentage scale.

Ferro is cheaper but you have to ask why hardly anyone is building with it. Structurally very strong to compression forces, and the fibers, which makes it ferro, give it tension strength. Unfortunately it has the lowest impact resistance. Also means a slow boat as it's heavy. Cost seems to be the only factor in it's favor (keep in mind that the hull is only 1/3 of the boat costs) and brings up the old maxim that you get what you pay for.
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