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Old 04-02-2011, 10:21   #1
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Ferro Cement Hulls ?

Ok, fell in love with a 42ft boat. Then found out its has a ferro cement hull. We know nothing (other than the opinions that are battled in blogs and other forums) about this mysterious material. So if anyone has ever owned, or built or had to repair a ferro cement boat... please give me your funny, horror, or pleasant stories. We are confused to whether it is bad or good ???
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:29   #2
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1st question is...
Was it professionally built to Lloyds 100A standards... and by whom.
There's some beautiful ferro's around and they'll last forever.. well.. a long time
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:56   #3
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Right now all I know is that it's a Bruce Bingham designed boat and is classed as a 'Brigantine', launched on July 24th 1982 after a 10 year build at Bonney's Boatworks - Vallejo, California.

LOA: 42'
LOD: 32' 6"
LWL: 26' 3"
Draft: 5' 3"
Disp.: 20,000lbs
Sail Area: 1,011 sq ft
Power: Isuzu 40HP diesel
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:26   #4
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if the ferro is solid and not flaking, ok. no cracking no muss no uglies-- go for it--- if has uglies-- oops-- and get a good surveyor. some ar egood , some ar ebad--kinda like atomic 4 engines. the good are good and the bad....look like hell a long time.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:30   #5
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Just did a search and biggest Bingham I could find was the Flicka 35... but it was a quickie
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:35   #6
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Here is an excellent resource on ferrocement boats

The World of Ferroboats
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:05   #7
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Hi Mate,
The problem with ferro is not so much the matrial itself, as the fact the a lot of them were home built to a low standard. This has given them a bad name. The plus side is that there is a low demand for them so if you find a good well built one you can get a lot of boat for your money.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:15   #8
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There is one in the yard right now. From a distance it doesn't look too bad but the yard people working on it claim its a nightmare. No shaft log, just a hole in the hull for the prop shaft which is out of alignment with the engine by about 6 in. I'm told they plan on using some sort of flexible connector sort of like a CV joint if I followed. To seal the shaft they are looking at attaching rings to the shaft inside and out and then packing the space in between with grease.

In theory I guess they can be pretty nice but even the nice ones are gonna get tarred with the same brush. I wouldn't count on much in resale and insurance might not be an option either.

Rich
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:32   #9
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First time I found out about FC boats was when I was at college and one of the part time lecturers was extolling its virtues. He was/is a very experienced long distance sailor and designed north sea support vessels for his real job, so knew what he was talking about.
FC boats can be very well put together, and properly built by professional or DIY builders (they are well suited to DIY building).
I've worked on a few very well put together FC boats and have generally been impressed with them.

I must add, that I've seen some real disasters but fortunately they never reached the water.

A thorough survey by someone familiar with the build method is essential though.
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Old 04-02-2011, 13:10   #10
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"after a 10 year build"
I would consider that to mean it was built by several amateurs not one professional, and there were problems causing the extensive delay.
You'll find few surveyors familiar with ferro. Few insurers who want to know about it. Few yards who can repair it if repairs are needed. And little resale market--which can mean you can buy it cheap, or get stuck with it. Or both.
But a ten year build...to me that says worry about why. Even if you can get a professional surveyor and they're impressed with it.
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Old 04-02-2011, 13:46   #11
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IMO The assumption of how the boat was built over a 10 year period is not warranted. It did not take 10 years just to build the hull and that is what is in question here.

I have seen this boat many times and always admire it when visiting Tidewater Yachts in Portsmouth, I made a special trip to get information for Kiper, this information is publicly available on a for sale sign on the boat.

This particular boat is unique, a lot of time was spent in the details, the amount of brightwork and the condition of the brightwork is superb and there are weather covers for all of it and if the owner hadn't have divulged the fact that the hull is ferro-cement you would swear that it was fiberglass it is so fair. I am not surprised it took 10 years to build a lot a care was spent in the details.

Ferro-cement has over the years had a bad rap mainly due to bad material control and a lack of understanding in the mix and application of the material. This application for cement needs a lot more care to exclude impurities in the mix and more care in the curing process than laying a driveway or building a wall.

I beleive from the information I was privvy to on this boat, that this current owner is the original owner and the person that commissioned the build, for how this boat looks after 30 years, I cannot believe that the boat was poorly constructed.

I agree that a surveyor is required, not just any surveyor, one that knows ferro boats. He will need good credentiasl and be able to demonstrate his prior history of ferro boat surveys. This will be very important as insurance is going to be a big issue due to the general predujice that exists for ferro boats.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"after a 10 year build"
I would consider that to mean it was built by several amateurs not one professional, and there were problems causing the extensive delay.
You'll find few surveyors familiar with ferro. Few insurers who want to know about it. Few yards who can repair it if repairs are needed. And little resale market--which can mean you can buy it cheap, or get stuck with it. Or both.
But a ten year build...to me that says worry about why. Even if you can get a professional surveyor and they're impressed with it.
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Old 04-02-2011, 14:16   #12
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here's one on Craig's List:

36 ft Sailboat - Ready to Go!
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Old 04-02-2011, 14:25   #13
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here's one on Craig's List:

36 ft Sailboat - Ready to Go!

Good grief that's cheap. At that price you could walk away if it sank and you wouldn't need to worry about insurance. The photos make her look quite good as well. Good spot Steve.

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Old 04-02-2011, 14:35   #14
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Quote:
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here's one on Craig's List:

36 ft Sailboat - Ready to Go!
Lot of boat for the money but I keep hearing the ferro bashers about low resale prices on ferros, low buying price -low selling price?
Greg
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Old 04-02-2011, 14:53   #15
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Thank you for all your info ... especially Mr. Furborough who knows exactly which boat Im referring too. We will deff have an exp. survey done, someone with the knowledge. The boat was built by this man (and his father) that is selling it. They are boat builders by profession. Like I said, we just arent sure we want to buy a boat that we may have a headache repairing later on. (more than the usual boat headaches) We do 90percent of the repairs on our current boat. Wood, fiberglass, ect .... but ferro .... well we dont know a thing. Some people say "best **** EVER...lol. Some say... "walk away and dont look at ferro." Sigh.... I guess we will have to actually talk to more sailors that have had ferro boats. We met one yest down here in Key West... but they just bought it.
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