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Old 12-04-2012, 20:04   #1
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54' Ferro Ketch

I am looking at a 54' Ferro Cement Ketch to sail around the world. As there seems to be many trilions of years experience by the posters on here I am looking for opinions. I have very little sailing experience but am taking the ISPA courses to Yacht Master ticket along with coastal each winter for the next 2 winters. I also will be looking for a couple of experienced crew when we head west.
questions are
Is 54' to big a boat?
Is ferro a suitable hull material for around the world cruises?
Is ketch rig the best, worst or somewhere in between?
Thanks for your input. Tony
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Old 12-04-2012, 20:15   #2
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Ive seen some ferro boats I would sail anywhere!! But Ive seen a great big bunch of ferro boats I would not sail across lake Ponchatrain !! ya have to be carefull theres some fine bilt english and Canadian ferros but theres a bunch of home made death traps out there !! just take a good sailor with ya to look at any boats with ya !! just my 2 cents
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Old 12-04-2012, 20:20   #3
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Thanks for the reply. I intend having a survey done. What is your opinion on size and rigging?
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Old 12-04-2012, 20:25   #4
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

54 foot is great till you got to pay visitor rates at the marina,thats 150 euro a night plus in some parts of the med.
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Old 12-04-2012, 21:33   #5
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Quote:
Is 54' too big a boat?
Without knowing your requirements it's hard to say. As a gross generalization, for long distance cruising, we could consider the following length range :-
26'-34' - singlehander
33' - 44' - couple
43' - 47' - 4 crew
46' - 60' 8 - 10 crew.
Off course there would be many exceptions but this should give you some idea.
Quote:
Is ferro a suitable hull material for around the world cruises?
I built a small 32' ferro some 40 odd years ago, but times have changed and my opinion is "no". There is too much potential for hidden structural damage. I would consider ferro for live aboard or limited coastal cruising.
Quote:
Is ketch rig the best, worst or somewhere in between?
Every rig type has it's enthusiasts. However the mast size and rigging stresses are the same on each mast, so the mast and rigging on a ketch may cost double that of a sloop.

My suggestion would be to hang back from buying. Do your courses and see if you can crew on a few cruising boats.

Don't rely on having crew. My observation is that wife and family are the only reliable ones.

Having too big a boat will kill your dreams faster than anything else short of a terminal illness.
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Old 12-04-2012, 21:48   #6
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

A few years back, a friend bought a 42 foot ferro sloop, designed and built by John Perry in the late 1970s. It had hit rocks after breaking anchor near Melbourne.

As with all ferro, the hole was easily patched; the rest of the hull & deck was in perfect order. He then added some electronics and then sailed it, mainly single-handed, from Melbourne to Scotland.

The boat is now resting on the hard while the skipper is back in Melbourne earning some more fun tokens. In a few months time, he'll fly back to resume is circumnavigation.

He is a Scot, ergo quite mad (), but he proves that some posters here are just too timid...

Note though that his is a 42 footer; any bigger then you'd be even madder
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Old 12-04-2012, 21:58   #7
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

54 is a lot of boat unless 10+ is bowsprit 38 to 42 is about the right size and wont break the bank to maintain. Ferro is ok if you get a good one. the only saving is in the initial purchase price and even if you look after it you will take a hit when on selling. better so get an older glass boat like a Formosa or CT, solid boats with much of the old faults fixed.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:33   #8
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Here on Cruisers Forum there is a thread called (Surveying 101). Search it out and print the info for study before you make a decision to hire a surveyor. You may spot deal breakers right away that will be obvious, or it may look good enough to justify hiring a surveyor. What ever you do ,dont use a surveyor that the broker or seller recommends. I made that mistake on my first boat. If you study Surveying 101, you will know enough to interview surveyors before YOU CHOOSE one. For a new person looking for a boat to buy, I think that thread (Surveying 101) is the most valuable one on this forum. And Yes! 54 foot is a hell of a lot of boat to start out with. I hope this helps.____Grant.
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Old 13-04-2012, 11:25   #9
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Thanks Grant, Your info was great. Now all I gotta do is find surveying 101. I am not very good with computers and have not been able to find it. A little more help would be appreciated. Tony
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Old 13-04-2012, 14:16   #10
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

G'day, Tony. Where are you presently located? New Zealand?
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Old 13-04-2012, 14:54   #11
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

No I'm in Canada The prairies actualy.
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Old 13-04-2012, 15:46   #12
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

G'day. You had me fooled with that userid. All the best with the search. Do your research carefully. Cheers.
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Old 13-04-2012, 17:09   #13
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Of course ferro boats are suitable for sailing around the world, there have simply been so many that have done so it would be ridiculous to argue otherwise, BUT, there are just so many old glass boats of the same age as most ferro boats on the market in north america that are available for no more money that they would probably be a better choice if only because they were production built vs homebuilt and they all seem to have owners groups where you can find out more about the boat than the builder knew and you have many more choices than with ferro. I built a ferro boat 40 yrs ago and still think its a fine material, no better or worse than most other material. I always keep seeing the same thing regurgitated over and over that the prices of ferro boats are really cheap but i just dont see it, the only place i ever see any quantity of ferro boats for sale is Ferroboats and the asking prices seem aboat the same as most glass boats of the same age and condition. Pieces of crap of any material sell for very little, good boats fetch decent prices. I would have to agree with those who have counselled that 54ft is probably too large unless you have a gaggle of kids, if you look for something in the 35 to 40ft range(on deck) you will find so many cheap fiberglass boats it will be hard to choose, old glass boats are just not worth much, and dont worry about resale value, you wont take much of a hit selling,someone else has aready taken the loss, you can buy a $10-20000, 35 - 40 sailboat any day of the week and sure,when you start dumping money into it to upgrade you will take a hit when you sell but not like the guy with the new boat. Good luck in your search, it sounds like you are going about it in a good way.

Steve.
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Old 13-04-2012, 17:23   #14
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Tony, your computer skills are matched by mine. I went to search and could not find it. I made the mistake of saying Surveying 101. It is actually titled Marine Surveying 101. Rather than going to search, when you first get to Cruisers Forum look across the top and 2nd from left it will say forums. Click on that and then click on monohull, then scroll down and you will find Marine Surveying 101. If that doesnt work for you maybe someone that is not in the computer dark ages like I am ,can chime in and help. Again I say 54 foot of boat is an awful lot to start out with. Good Luck with it all. ____Grant.
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Old 13-04-2012, 17:36   #15
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Re: 54' Ferro Ketch

Thanks Grant, I have listened to what the experienced have told me and have now found a 41' fibreglass that so far appears to fit the bill. Thanks to you all. Tony
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