Oh dear no. I live in South Australia
, and I'm shopping for a boat on the east coast of Australia
, mostly Sydney
Not that many yachties (or yachts) in SA so the price
is quite high for anything big enough to be comfortable on for more than a few days.
I'm looking at a couple of ferros, both in Sydney
and now one on ebay in Melbourne (that's Victoria not Florida). There is simply not much about in our price
range here. I could probably make a buck by buying
something in Sydney, sailing it to Adelaide and putting it on the market, but really I just want to save some money
on the initial purchase
of something rather bigger/better than I can get here (SA). I'm also eying off a wooden Daydream in Sydney as a fall back. I've now decided against the Roberts 29 as it needs an engine rebuild
. If it was local I'd probably still consider it, I can rebuild
myself given the time, but not if it's on the dark side of the moon. So I'm waiting for more info on the two ferros in Sydney and watching the one on ebay. The ebay boat is only half the distance to ferry
home, so that's also a selling point but the Len Hedges Cape 32 is a centre cockpit
job which I quite like and it looks good so far.
Couple of other 'possibles' and we are still looking around, so nothing is set in (dare I say it) concrete...
At the risk of starting yet another love/hate ferroboat thread, I've done quite a bit of research
on ferros and thet simple truth seems to be that if they are still floating after thirty plus years, it's reasonable to assume that the hull
was properly constructed. Preservation of the hull
is largely a question of keeping the water
away from the hull material, which is equally applicable to wood and steel
hulls and even to GRP. Repairs
are relatively simple and even rust showing through is not the kiss of death, that too is fixable, largely a question of time and patience and the right techniques, not necessarily a boatload of money
Downsides, and there are some. Nearly impossible to get a ferroboat insured in Oz. This is stupid prejudice by insurers, nothing more. It's now almost as difficult to get WOODEN boats insured in Oz in fact. If it's not under 20 years old and built of GRP you will have to shop around, get expensive surveys etc etc. I believe third party property damage is achievable for ferros here. I'm in a country town so 'marinas' are a non issue realistically. I'll try and get a slot at the local fishing
boat jetty where the rest of the local yachties tie up or a mooring
at a small place about thirty miles away where their local yacht club moor their bigger boats. (I'm a member
of that club).
I've discussed ferro
in detail with a civil engineer
(retired) who has considerable experience with reinforced concrete. He's not a yachtie or even a boatie. He found it surprising that people would drive over bridges made of steel
reinforced concrete that have had their support structures in seawater for fifty years without a qualm but if you build a floating structure from the same material there is an expectation that it will suddenly disintegrate if looked at harshly.
His primary area of concern was how the cement was applied and cured, as he considered that was absolutely critical to the process. Done properly, well, he considered it would be a very strong hull that would probably grow in strength over time, provided the armature was protected from external corrosive elements. In short, keep the hull sealed and painted. That done, he saw no reason why it should not last a very long time indeed. He also considered that any boat made of ferro
which is still on the air side of the air/water interface after thirty years was unlikely to have serious structural issues if it was kept adequately sealed.
Having read some of the arguments for/against in the forums
, I have seen similar (professional) opinions several times and it surprises me that many seem to discard them. I found him quite convincing.
The resale value is lower, yes. Again this is an insurance/prejudice issue largely. Upside is to me that I can buy a bigger boat for less money. I don't really care about the resale value, chances are this boat will become a family
possession and will doubtless outlast me. I'm also faintly amused by people who consider a yacht (any kind) as an 'investment'. This implies it will keep it's value or appreciate. Call me cynical, but a yacht, or indeed any boat, is to some degree a hole in the water
you put money in and watch it disappear. So you are paying to use it. This applies to any boat and I could argue that hull mainenance and repair on a good ferro hull is less expensive than on a steel hull
and having seen first hand the effects of large scale osmosis
on a glass hull, definitely less than to fix that. Bottom line is that a yacht is not an investment. Period. You will never ever get back what you paid for it and what you spent on it while you owned it. The resale value of a ferro is less than for another type of hull but then it would have cost you less to start with.
Ok, that's my position. I've kicked around yachts a bit when I was younger and been up and down the east coast a few times as crew on various boats of various hull types so I'm not a complete novice
I've been involved in marine rescue
here and learned a lot from that.
I look forward to learning
a lot more over the years left to me.