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Old 22-05-2013, 10:58   #31
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

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Originally Posted by zooplax View Post
Out of curiosity: How many steel, wooden or GRP yachts are you aware of that have been stranded on beaches and suffered major damage? can it not happen to all boats.. not only ferro ones..
A reasonable question!

Of the various hull materials, steel or aluminium would stand the best chance of surviving a stranding... no question there!

Glass boats have varying degrees of success. I remember that in the Cabo debacle in 1983 a number of glass boats were destroyed, but an Olsen 40 (a well built glass ULDB racer/cruiser) was relaunched and sailed away. I suspect that luck plays a big part in this issue as well as quality of design and construction.

Timber (carvel planked timber that is) again has a range of durability. Some are built like tanks with heavy planking and lots of beefy ribs, and they can survive a lot of abuse. A friends boat (Kalalau) was set adrift in a flood on the Burnett river in Qld. Fetched up some hundred metres inland on a mangrove island downstream from Bundaberg. When the water went away she was bodily dragged on her side back into the water. Only damage was scratches and a bent pulpit. Quite impressive! Others have stove in planks, broken ribs and otherwise broken up.

If you wish to plan for surviving stranding, a metal boat seems a likely choice. Some of us have other parameters which drive our decisions on building materials and hence choose differently.

But again, the reason that I gave those examples was to illustrate the difficulty in determining the structural integrity of ferro when the boat is already completed, not to categorically demean ferro.

Cheers,

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Old 22-05-2013, 11:19   #32
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

Thanks for that.

I really was edging towards steel but then the more I read about steel the more it worried me.. rotting from the inside out in areas that could be impossible to find without a full refit!!.. Scary stuff, maybe the coral reef wont penetrate it but what if I put my foot through it!!. (exaggerated comparison i know..)

GRP sounds the best but not cheap to buy and not within my budget :-( and you get nothing near what you get with a ferro for the same price.

Starting to think its easy enough for some to worry too much and not get out of a marina ever, which defeats my object.

Yes 30k is a lot of money but its not when you look at alot of boats available in Europe and sadly for a european to sail around europe one needs a european CE marked yacht...

Anyone?
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Old 22-05-2013, 11:53   #33
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

I'll start with I've never owned a Ferro boat. However there are a few examples of them at the boatyard where I store over winter... The ones there are yard queens and not fit for launching. Again, they could all be home builds or just plain bad professional builds. They haven't been able to sell and at least two are owned by the marina.

Having owned a Formosa 34 that I was able to get for dirt cheap, I have something to say when it comes to frugally purchasing boats. The Formosa I spent $2000 dollars on and a few more to ship it home. In the end that was WAY too much to pay for it... I ended up junking it out and stripping what I wanted and left it to the yard.

On the other hand I bought a $1500 boat that had been abandoned for a couple of years built by a good company from a great designer, and was able to clean it up and put it in the water...

I'm surprised no one has said it yet, so I will. I don't know your budget and what you have saved, but maybe you need to adjust your expectations for your boat, or your sailing plans. Are you really going to be able to buy this boat and have enough money to maintain, fix, slip, and store it? Then still have enough to be able to go cruise? Maybe a better choice would be to move down the size of boat and go. Plenty of people out there circumnavigating on 29-35'ft boats every year. Plenty of boats in that size range for you spending budget.

Plus the plans of being a charter/ diver boat... The places you cruise usually tend to reserve business licenses for those that are citizens of that nation. I know not everywhere but some. Also more insurance is required for vessels used for commercial purposes, which might be very hard if not impossible to get for a Ferro boat. Stricter standards of safety and construction also apply.
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Old 22-05-2013, 12:02   #34
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

Budget 30k purchase..
Funds to cruise with to begin lets say 20k hope to make some money along the way and run a business at home too

Not a lot of boats out there for under 30k to be honest, ones that do not need another 30k spent on them. This ferro is in seaworthy condition and loaded with equipment.

Thats why this is making it a difficult choice, still do not want to put 30k at the bottom of the sea if i can help it...
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Old 22-05-2013, 12:30   #35
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

If you like the boat and it checks out, then go for it. Nothing wrong with a well built ferro.
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Old 22-05-2013, 13:59   #36
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

I've owned a Samson C-Mist 32 since 1985. If yours has been afloat almost that long and has been around the world, it probably is not about to fall apart now. As for the "heavy and slow" part, most ferro boats are built to heavy displacement designs. Therefore they come with their own set of characteristics, some we like, some we don't. Personal preferences come in: one says "heavy and slow"; another says "more comfortable in a seaway.". I suggest getting a copy of Colin Brookes' book, Ferro Cement Boats.
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Old 22-05-2013, 18:46   #37
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

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Originally Posted by zooplax View Post
Thanks for that, everyone who owns one seems to be happy with them, and as you say due dilligence is the key.

Can I ask (sorry to drag you into the forum)
* What weight is your boat by the way?, does 14.5m and 23 tonnes sound a lot to you?
* What survey did you carry out when you purchased yours (or did you build it yourself?)
* Engine installed is a 85hp one would this be large enough for the weight?

So far ferro as a material sounds quite good to me as long as it is in good condition without any cracks and the maintenance needed sounds great compared to a Steel boat I looked at a while ago.

Any updates much appreciated.
23 tonnes does sound a lot but you have to ask where they got that figure from too. I was told mine was 15T but turned out at 12T loaded.

I just inspected it myself in and out of the water. The build quality that I saw and the reputation the boat had amongst the cruisers I talked to was really good. I have had a heap of problems but none relating to it being ferro. One thing though is a lot of people do buy them because they are cheap so expect to find a lot of cheap DIY stuff and fixes on board ( well in my case anyway) I knew and accepted that I was just buying the hull and most systems would need replacing. I have spent the same amount as the purchase price refitting new engines, Batteries, solar , electrical etc etc.

I had a 20hp in mine that was probably only putting outhalf that which was fine on a flat day but wouldnt punch into a swell or strong wind so am now in the process of installing a new Nanni 30hp. Hard to say if 85hp will be enough but as someone else said, if its worked for it for this long you cant go too far wrong.
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Old 22-05-2013, 18:49   #38
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

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G'Day Mattyb,

Well, I think I might qualify as a "serious long term cruiser" and as you suggest I have met quite a few ferro cruisers over the years. Some have been decent boats, well finished, well maintained and successful. Others have failed on one or more of those descriptors. Two that we knew personally have been stranded on a beach. One was totally destroyed within an hour (Maxwells Demon in Coffs Harbour with a fair amount of surge running), the other suffered major damage (Oceanus, Sea of Cortez under calm conditions). Both of these boats had appeared to be sound examples of ferro construction prior to their strandings. The point is that it is very hard to determine the quality of construction after the fact... ask any surveyor!

And Matty, the sailing performance of your C-shell may amaze you, but I doubt if it would amaze many others...

Cheers,

Jim
And thats why I generally dont get involved in these threads.

I had an S&S 34 previously which was an amazing sailing boat. The Ferro doesnt hld a candle to it. But it is still an amazing sailor FOR ME for what it is :-) I am happy with 6 knots in 12 knots of wind and I dont waorry about light wind performance for what i am doing. To each his own :-)
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Old 22-05-2013, 18:58   #39
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

Just for fun heres a few pics of a oops moment with a cyclone bearing down on us. Didnt hit luckily.
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Old 22-05-2013, 20:52   #40
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

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G'Day Mattyb,...And Matty, the sailing performance of your C-shell may amaze you, but I doubt if it would amaze many others...

Cheers,

Jim
To the OP, I suggest that you don't listen to comments like that quoted above; it's just front bar talk.

The fact is that a well built ferro hull from a good designer like Hartley or Samson or other less know designers like Australia's John Perry can be as slick and seaworthy as a well built hull in any material.

The notion that one material is better than another ought to be put to bed forever. Each has its potential vulnerabilities but, if well maintained, all will last a very long time.

What needs to be especially refuted with ferro cement boats, though, is that they are heavy and slow - as the floating footpath front bar chat goes. Ferro designs are usually on the bigger side - 12 metre upwards - and are no heavier than steel boats of the same size.

And anyway, weight is just one factor among many which determine the speed performance and seaworthiness of a boat.

But ferros can also be built much smaller and also be very good performers. There was a fellow named Freeman, a Kiwi I think, who built a ferro in Vancouver in the late-1970s and sailed it around the world. It was only about 32 feet in length and, at last check, still holds the record for the fastest circumnavigation in that length category.

To the OP, though, and as I posted earlier, 23 tonnes for a 14 metre is far too heavy and suggests poor building practice and/or poor design. Maybe call in a crane and have it lifted and weighed; if that weight is confirmed, I'd look elsewhere.

And anyway, I'd stick to a proven designer when buying a ferro, and then check the build quality.
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Old 22-05-2013, 21:35   #41
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

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The fact is that a well built ferro hull from a good designer like Hartley or Samson or other less know designers like Australia's John Perry can be as slick and seaworthy as a well built hull in any material.
Or even Herreshoff. I buddy-boated with a three-masted Herreshoff Marco Polo once, built of ferrocement, and had a hell of a time keeping up with him. I could outpoint him easy to weather, but on a reach that 51' LOA left me wanting a lot more waterline.
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Old 22-05-2013, 22:32   #42
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

I know you didn't start this thread to get "ferro - pros and cons" advice, but like others, I can't resist.

Don't do it.

The reason is that on an older, cheaper boat -- "a lot of boat for the money" -- the hull is basically free anyway (in fact it very easily becomes a liability). You should have plenty of choice of boats in that price range and that size with normal plastic hulls.

Plastic hulls are much better suited to purpose -- much lighter, and they are inert -- they don't rust, rot, corrode, or otherwise deteriorate. Some osmosis bubbling, it it happens, usually happens only once (and will be long gone by now in the case of a boat from the '80's), and in any case is a minor, simple problem compared to the problems you can have with ferro, wood, steel, etc.

A ferro boat is much more likely to become entirely unsellable and a liability -- keep that in mind. A plastic boat will have 100x more potential buyers and so is much easier to keep in positive value condition.

Whatever the hull material, boats of that age need very thorough surveys and realistic calculations of what is needed to make them seaworthy and reliable -- especially for intense service like a circumnavigation. Very often, very cheap boats are actually not cheap at all, once you figure that in. Old components which have been unused for some time often just fall apart when you try to put the boat into some kind of normal service. By the time you, for example, sort out propulsion, steering, rigging, sails on a boat of that size and age, you will usually have spent more than the boat is worth afterwards. Especially in case of something which hardly anyone wants, namely a ferro boat.


This is just one sailor's opinion -- of course you will have to make up your own mind.
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Old 23-05-2013, 04:44   #43
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I know you didn't start this thread to get "ferro - pros and cons" advice, but like others, I can't resist.

Don't do it.

The reason is that on an older, cheaper boat -- "a lot of boat for the money" -- the hull is basically free anyway (in fact it very easily becomes a liability). You should have plenty of choice of boats in that price range and that size with normal plastic hulls.

Plastic hulls are much better suited to purpose -- much lighter, and they are inert -- they don't rust, rot, corrode, or otherwise deteriorate. Some osmosis bubbling, it it happens, usually happens only once (and will be long gone by now in the case of a boat from the '80's), and in any case is a minor, simple problem compared to the problems you can have with ferro, wood, steel, etc.

A ferro boat is much more likely to become entirely unsellable and a liability -- keep that in mind. A plastic boat will have 100x more potential buyers and so is much easier to keep in positive value condition.

Whatever the hull material, boats of that age need very thorough surveys and realistic calculations of what is needed to make them seaworthy and reliable -- especially for intense service like a circumnavigation. Very often, very cheap boats are actually not cheap at all, once you figure that in. Old components which have been unused for some time often just fall apart when you try to put the boat into some kind of normal service. By the time you, for example, sort out propulsion, steering, rigging, sails on a boat of that size and age, you will usually have spent more than the boat is worth afterwards. Especially in case of something which hardly anyone wants, namely a ferro boat.

This is just one sailor's opinion -- of course you will have to make up your own mind.
+ 1 I'm with Dockhead on this one. So that's 2 sailors opinions.
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Old 23-05-2013, 09:03   #44
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

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To the OP, I suggest that you don't listen to comments like that quoted above; it's just front bar talk.
.....


What needs to be especially refuted with ferro cement boats, though, is that they are heavy and slow - as the floating footpath front bar chat goes. Ferro designs are usually on the bigger side - 12 metre upwards - and are no heavier than steel boats of the same size.
'''''

Hmmm...

Re the first quote above: I don't hang out in bars much, mate, but to describe the sailing qualities of a C- Shell as "amazing" is a stretcher. That term implies something extraordinary in its abilities, and I fail to see that it applies accurately in this case.


Re the second quote: Seems to me that Borocay has just mentioned that his slightly smaller steel boat is some EIGHT TONNES lighter than the subject ferro boat. This boat is indeed heavier that normal steel construction of its size.

Once again, while I am not personally a fan of ferro boats, nothing that I have posted was a categorical condemnation of the genre. The boat in question (as you later yourself point out) is so heavy as to both cast suspicion on its construction and to its sailing characteristics.

Finally, yes, ferro boats can be made to perform well compared to conventional construction. The "original" Jon Sayer designed and built successful ferro race boats in New Zealand years ago. It is interesting, at least to me, that his son, also confusingly named Jon Sayer, designs and builds ULDB race boats in Australia, none of which are ferro.

Blanket defense of ferro designs is equally non-productive as blanket condemnation. To help the OP one needs to provide some discussion of both sides of the issue. If you should carefully re-read my posts I think that you would find that philosophy followed... at least that was my intention.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-05-2013, 13:34   #45
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Re: Looking at buying Ferro Boat - Any pointers?

Let me point out another option here. The other parameter yo can change is boat size. It's amazing how many people think they need a 46 ft. vessel. My HR 35 cost (initially) less than you're talking about. I have seen late 60's-mid 70's F/G 40 footers go for less too and sail away condition. Of course that is on the Left coast of the US.
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