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Old 29-03-2007, 20:48   #16
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The reality is that ferro boats have a very very low resale value. whether that is justified on not is questionable.
Some owner built boats are very good and some are very very bad.

I had a friend of mine buy one because it was so incredibily cheap. He sailed it around the world, no problems a wonderful boat.
When they returned his wife got pregnant and they bought a house and tried to sell the boat. He couldn't even get an offer, I think he ended up selling for the cost of the fittings.

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Old 29-03-2007, 21:12   #17
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It is also, in my opinion, a rather widely held misapprehension that FC boats are "cheap" to build. Firstly, you need to bear in mind that the cost of the basic hull & deck are a pretty small percentage of the total cost (less than 20% as a rough stab in the dark). So, if, for the sake of argument, we say that ferro is 20% cheaper than fibreglass, you are actually only saving 20% of 20% i.e. 4%... not such a big deal.

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Old 29-03-2007, 22:35   #18
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bigwhyte]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[/quote]

If there was even a little bit of value to
FC , every commercial boat would be FC ,
'cause they MUST use the fastest , lowest cost
method , cause it only has to last a short
while , for our consumer law .
Steel is also cheaper , but the opposite
in repairability .

FiberGlass is far more expensive , but has
no "sudden" surprizes .

The winner is FG , if there's no insulation
in the hull .
Insulation always gets added
later , for easier maintainance ...
FG can be used with wood , in a totally
diff way .
Wood can be tied at the bow with FG .
It is far stronger , less maintainance than screws .
FG over wood has some problems , but it
is tempting to "shape" then use shape as the
mold for FG .
Yamaha did alum' long ago .
Alum wont rust in your lawn furniture , but it
will on the ocean ..

W/O FG , we would be paying double , to sail..

KC7CC .need to crew a cruiser in TX .
62 Y.O. , W.M. , non-Liberal ,
165lbs , good nite vision , E.E. , engine mech' ,
inventor , Ham , No drink/smoke. Smoked for 30 years
it dont bother me . werty swissinfo org
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Old 29-03-2007, 23:42   #19
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Is there available a free source for this kind of insurance (or other kinds of marine safety/loss/damage) statistical data?
The one to ask is Gord. He posted this point quite sometime back. A search may bring it to the surface. I will take a look and see if I can find it.

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Old 29-03-2007, 23:44   #20
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It is interesting to follow the replies to this thread. I have made the assumption that the original question was about the merits of buying a already built ferro cement boat. The branching into the topic "if it was built today....." may have the effect of giving negative conatations that are not a part of the original question. To the subject at hand "the lowest impact resistence of any material"........compared to carvel planked wood !!!Not on my reefs . Lowest re- sale PURCHASE PRICE.....least liability in case of loss. Least amount of discrepency between purchase and sale.Heavy ?? some are...some are not....Design weight has a greater effect on final weight than the material. A heavy built boat is just that. For the record my ferro boat is roughly half a ton lighter than its nearest fiberglass cousin and one and a half tons lighter than its wooden counter parts. As the saying goes...."it aint nessesarily so.......30 foot three quarter 3.5 tons.............................................. ..........As for a couple of other statements...steel is not cheaper than ferro..have one building the other........aluminium garden furniture will oxidise or be prone to electrolisis in exactly the same way that a boat will. So will steel except that the surface oxidation of alluminium is an excellent barrier coat. This is the reason why the hulls on alluminium boats are often not a search for Ovni boats. Nothing like a good old debate on ferro cement to stir the pot ; ) : ) .
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Old 30-03-2007, 00:26   #21
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Originally Posted by Kapena
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.
I think there are a number of issues here. To state that they are slow boats because they are heavy is somewhat misleading. Generally boats designed for construction in ferro-cement are of the displacement type, as it tends to be suitable for the construction materials. And yes, displacement designs are not high speed racers. However if a boat is constructed properly with ferro, it should not be any heavier for a given strength per se than other building materials. A part of the strength in ferro-cement hulls is that they do give and flex, especially the bigger hulls, which a lot of detracters seem to be unaware of.
There was a time when it was popular for home builders to build in ferro-cement. One of the reasons was because it was purported to be cheap and the other was because it was supposed to be simple enough for the home builder to do themselves.
Because of this assumption of simplicity a number of boats were not built well. many were built too heavily and others were built with beach sand which caused serious structural problems.
A well built ferro-cement hull will be good for at least 75 years, if looked after and there are considerably older ferro boats in existance. It is hard to find another building material as long lasting.
I am the owner of a ferro boat that is 30 years old. I think that is a good age to buy in ferro, as by that time it will either still be in good condition (demonstrating that it was built properly in the first place), or the defects will be painfully obvious. It would be very difficult to hide exploding ballast. I bought a ferro boat for a liveaboard because you get a lot of boat for a little price. The flip side is that they are VERY difficult to sell, hence the cheap price to buy. In my case I will be stripping out most of the gear for my next boat, which will cover the cost of the existing one, so resale isn't an issue for me. My next boat will be built in sheathed strip construction, which is the strongest for a given weight, or lightest for a given strength in a home built hull, though I would be surprised if it was as long lived as ferro.
Another problem with some ferro boats was that they were plastered by the builders, who were not nessecerily plasters by trade. Plastering a boats hull is not an amateur sport and should be done by a professional.

I think that an older ferro boat can be good value for money because they are so cheap, but a new one would be expensive for what you get, due to the low resale value offsetting the cheaper hull constrution, which as has already been mentioned is a small portion of the total cost.
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Old 30-03-2007, 00:35   #22
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Originally Posted by bigwhyte
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
Jim,It dosen't matter what the boat is made of as long as"THE WORD"Is,She's in great condition and ya can have her for $10.btw,If ya get a good FC,GRP,Wooden,steel or alum boat ya get a good one,If ya don't,you should realize what I'm getting at by this point.Not all FC's were built bad and not all steel,glass,wood and alum boats built good.If FC's are so cheap to buy then it would make sense to get a thorough survey.Any sailor on this forum would agree that a well built boat, is,just that.Regardless of prefference.May you get a great deal.Mudnut.
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Old 22-12-2012, 17:34   #23
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

My 37 year old gaff rigged ferro cement Flicka "Wren" that I bought in Baltamore MD and sailed single handed to Rockport TX, down and across the ICW, last year is a great blue water boat. I sold her to a guy in Rockport the week after arrivel who was going to continue the voyage to Belize. I now regret selling her. She was built by Ryan Marine, a professional boat yard and was sound as could be. I ran aground several times on that 90 day voyage, once on the rocks and she sustained no dammage! If they are built correctly, they are great boats, in my limited opinion!
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Old 22-12-2012, 17:39   #24
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

Oh, I forgot to mention, you cannot get any kind of insurance for FC here in the USA. I couldn't go into several marienas because of that!
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Old 22-12-2012, 17:54   #25
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

Check around with ferro owners on insurance. I was told of several that would insure. I just used State Farm and they covered both liability and hull. I'm covered for Great Lakes and I know they do Florida, but at a higher rate. Blue water, I don't know.
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Old 22-12-2012, 18:50   #26
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

There is an Endurance 35 at a local marina here on Lake Superior that has been there for ay least 30 years and has been in the water in a slip every season so i assume it has insurance. You Ferro owners need to start an online support group so you can share info on things like insurance, obviously some boats out there have it. It could also be a site with classifieds for buying and selling. Just about every brand of old boat has such a website and they are invaluable for keeping long out of production boats (cars and just about everything else) going. It would be a lot like this forum but you keep all the naysayers out.
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Old 22-12-2012, 20:52   #27
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

I've had my 32 Samson ferrocement cutter insured with State Farm since 1985. I was refused by one Southern California company that wrote, "Any other boat hit by a FC would be damaged beyond repair, and if the FC were damaged it would be too expensive to repair."
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Old 22-12-2012, 22:49   #28
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

The best advice I have for someone looking into Ferrocement boats (I'm an owner since1985.) is to buy Colin Brookes' recent book: Ferro Cement Boats. He's been in the business since the 70s.
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Old 28-12-2012, 14:56   #29
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

Steve - good to read a post from a long-time owner. As a prospective owner myself, could I ask you for a brief outline of the maintenance you have done on the hull over the years, please? What is the condition of the hull and structure now after a good length of life? Have you had any damage and repairs?
I like double enders and Colin Archer type designs, so the C-mist, C-farer, Benford 35' Mercedes and Hartley Norsk designs all have me drooling. Is yours gaff?
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Old 28-12-2012, 15:06   #30
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Re: ferro cement ? need advice

This might interest you. Remote repairs of a fero boat.

Shipwreck Or Shangri-La? - Peter Lickfold - Google Books

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