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Old 13-04-2021, 19:59   #1
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Hi From Perth WA

Hello everyone. I'll say upfront that I'm here because I'm a dreamer more than an achiever, and I seem to be following something of a tradition among males in my family of becoming interested in matters nautical as a substitute for a midlife crisis. Dunno why we do. Escape fantasies, probably.

Having said that, I do have a reasonably practical background, having spent a couple of decades as a professional engineer. I've made "stuff" as a pastime since I was a kid and, as such, my main interest in boats is from the technical standpoint of design, construction and materials.

So far my own efforts have been limited to a couple of small plywood rowing skiffs completed successfully. Next I'd like to move on to a small keelboat (I have the plans for Bolger's Oldshoe and Micro), followed by a proper small cruiser of some kind.

I'm currently attempting to learn everything I can about ferrocement construction, not so much because I actually want to build a FC boat (I don't think I do) but because I've always been interested in the black sheep of the world. This interest is what led me here, as this forum seems to give FC construction its fairest internet hearing.

Anyhow, I'll shut up now and get back to ploughing through a 70+ page thread on FC, which is proving fascinating, even if the discussion gets a little robust in places.
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Old 13-04-2021, 21:03   #2
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Re: Hi From Perth WA

Welcome Pat. Hmmm ferro cement boats are certainly the black sheep in the family. I owned and sailed one for nearly 20 years, and did repairs on a few of them.
Just to ensure you do not become too black...... the only good thing with concrete boats is (in my opinion) that they are cheap, OK, maybe the second positive is that many of them (but NOT all) are very comfortable to sail, nice motion due to high displacement. Note, I didn't use the word 'fast'.

The hull is only a very small fraction of the total cost of a boat, don't know but could be only 20-30%. Every other part is the same as a similar sized other boat!! And possible even dearer with concrete due to large displacement ie rigging need to be stronger on a 10 mt 10 ton concrete boat compared with same size GRP boat ie S&S 34, you may need a bigger engine, bigger fueltanks etc.

Having said that, there are some very nice and well maintained FC boats around. I particular like the Sampson (?Samson) range, ie Sea-Deuce, Sea Strutter and the like, they sail like a dream.

If you want go to left or right of centre, there are a few more options for you:
- cat-ketch, like Tanton
- NIS boats (not all of them are cat-ketch)
- schooners, just one example here Nigel Irens 50' schooner
- boat with aerorig, hmmm as an engineer you might this fascinating
- boat with an A rig (never seen one ion WA though) see photo attached
- even a gaf rigger is way out of centre these days
- could moulded built boats
- strip planked boats with boat sides glassed/epoxied
- old fashioned Herreshoff designs
- old fashioned Colvin designs ie Gazelle
- and what about a Wharram cat?
- hehehe, and the list could go on and on.......
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Wishing you all sunny skies above, clear water below, gentle winds behind and a safe port ahead,
and when coming this way check,_Australia
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Old 13-04-2021, 21:22   #3
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Re: Hi From Perth WA

My personal experience & humble opinions-feel free to ignore both
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Old 13-04-2021, 23:09   #4
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Re: Hi From Perth WA

Google "Maylands boatyard" it is an amateur boat building yard on the Swan River at Maylands where folks building or refitting their boats can rent work space. Generally lots of boats in various states of repair or build and owners willing to discuss boats.
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Old 14-04-2021, 01:34   #5
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Re: Hi From Perth WA

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pat.
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Old 14-04-2021, 08:43   #6
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Re: Hi From Perth WA

I've been living and sailing aboard our 1981 FC ketch for almost 7 years now. She's slow (5-7 kts motoring or sailing) but she is sea kindly and we're pretty happy. I can tell you that building method is everything in FC. Their bad reputation comes from too many backyard builders not understanding the material and taking shortcuts. Click image for larger version

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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts...
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Old 15-04-2021, 10:59   #7
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pirate Re: Hi From Perth WA

Welcome to CF Pat..
Spent a couple of months on the out shirts of Perth in Midlands at a mates while we got his ply Van de Stadt ready for a trip to Pt Huon in Tassie.
Nice place, really liked Freemantle, great Cafe culture where I was taken.

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"I Love You.. ". Murray Roman.
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Old 15-04-2021, 19:17   #8
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Re: Hi From Perth WA

Thanks for the replies and welcomes everyone.

As I mentioned, I've always had an interest in the "unusual" ways of doing things. Many years ago I rendered myself something of an eccentric pariah in the motorcycle world by building my own sidecar outfit, teaching myself to drive it (and, I have to confess, that's probably responsible for the white bits in my beard) and thoroughly enjoying it, warts and all. How this translates to an interest in boats is a desire to learn about alternative ways of doing things, and low or, perhaps more accurately, appropriate-tech solutions, even if, ultimately, I wouldn't necessarily adopt them.

Hank, thanks for the suggestions. I think I've looked at most of those, off and on, over the past few years, particularly the lower tech/older designs, including the Wharrams, which I quite like in principle, but which are a little coffin-like in their accommodations in any size I could reasonably hope to build, buy or handle solo (I'm an antisocial git, and MrsB, for various reasons, would not be a participant in any nautical ventures). I have, however, looked at numerous ads for H28s with the thought that they embody very well what I would consider a "proper" yacht . And, of course, tending towards the odd, I spend a lot of time with Bolger's Boats With an Open Mind and 103 Sailing Rigs - Straight Talk.

Raymond, I discovered Maylands boatyard while trundling around the web looking at local boating resources, although I haven't visited in person as yet. It looks to be the nearest thing the Perth area has to the boatyards I remember from the UK (yep, I'm a (ex) Pom). I spent many enjoyable Saturday mornings visiting my dad's boat (a rather tired Bill O'Brien Bobcat 26 named Carbonnel) on Bristol docks, and was always particularly struck by the pervading atmosphere of cheerful busyness that surrounds any large group of people indulging in an activity they love.Which, admittedly, was slightly countered by the depressing aspect of the odd huge, and apparently perpetual, restoration project which, in spite of considerable effort of multiple generations, continued to resemble a pile of dry rot, threadbare tarpaulins and blue plastic rope, for a decade or more .

Boatman61, glad you liked our little city. It's only real downside is that it's an awfully long way to go to find anything different. Oh, and the increasingly ridiculous summer climate, although that would probably be a bit less of an issue if I could afford to live closer to the coast.
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