Advice on repairing this ferro?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by PacificJim, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    My ferro had a layer of fibreglass over the whole engine bay to prevent that problem so i have not seen it .
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I can't open the photos.
     
  3. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    I got directed to a lotto site. He should be able to load photos to this site . I do with my phone.
     
  4. Boat Design Net Moderator
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    Boat Design Net Moderator Moderator

    I was able to open the zip file PacificJim posted and I've added some jpeg files from his zip file to his post #12 itself now to hopefully make it easier.
     
  5. PacificJim
    Joined: Mar 2016
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    PacificJim Junior Member

    (Thank you mod'!)

    ...Anyone have recommendations for figuring out how good the framework might still be? We can bore a few holes... Patch them up with epoxy a quick cement mix (per usual repairing of ferro)...

    From what I've been learning, we could be looking at replacing corroded framework rebar and "chickenwire" with new, dry, treated stuff wired/welded to good old stuff, and new cement in those areas... OR a simple chip-n-replace if the framework is still good. And we'd be looking at the price of rebar n wire and cement mostly if we do the work ourselves. .

    And there's no real way to tell except using holes/boring if that darker stained cement is still structurally "sound" -it could be fine, but if we chip into it to be certain we will have a HECK of a time fixing it back up as nothing will stick to the oil/diesel soaked areas around it... So a potential test hole might mean replacing a 5x5' patch or more ..?!

    Sound about right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  6. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    Just chip the damaged areas back to clean steel as advised. The rest of the boat should be fine if there is nothing visible on the outside. Have you looked on cruisers forum . There are some good ferro posts on there.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The only non-destructive way of testing that I know of is x-ray. However, that assumes there is access to the inside for the plates. A chip hammer or an air-chisel are way cheaper.
     
  8. Chuck Losness
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    Chuck Losness Senior Member

    It sounds like you love this boat but love can be blind. From looking at the pic's and your descriptions of the condition of the hull, I won't touch this boat with a ten foot pole even if you are getting the boat for free. You will never know if the concrete is good where it is soaked with diesel. There are so many boats out there for sale at very reasonable prices that it makes no sense to take on this kind of project. Do you really want to trust your life to a boat where the integrity of the hull is suspect? I wouldn't. Don't want to rain on your parade but you really should step back and think about this.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Some successes have been seen with ultrasound and radar (GPR), though you need to be an expert to read the findings and it's a hit or miss thing at best. Ultrasound seems the least costly and will quickly point out areas of the armature that have swollen up from corrosion, where questionable spots can be physically examined further, with exploratory holes or grinding.

    This still fails to address the usual concerns of a ferro build. If done right, it's a viably hull shell material, if a bit heavy. There were some companies that actually did do it right, but there seems a lot more that didn't, which is partly why it has such a bad reputation with many, especially insurance companies.

    If you own this boat, media blast the hull shell, removing all the paint and undercoatings, so you can inspect the shell. If it was all plastered in one shot, it will be obvious and this is how it gets done properly. If it wasn't, then you'll have continuous issues at the starting and stopping points in the plastering process. Sometimes (maybe 50/50) you can save these areas with epoxy, but this is a crap shoot and you'll only find out after she's all painted up and re-splashed. Another issue is the actual armature. Was it done properly, right size and type of wire, laid in the appropriate density/directions, etc.? An x-ray of the keel, keel root, hull bottom and topsides are the only good way to discern this and it's not cheap, though often necessary for an insurance company to sign off, unless the builder was a known and established ferro manufacture. These spot x-rays will offer a designer or engineer enough information to make an educated guess, to the appropriate scantlings, for a vessel of its class. Having plans in hand to check against, is helpful too. This is key, as the armature is the real basis for the hull shell and where manufactures seemed to skimp, on labor and materials. Lastly would be core samples, from the same areas of the hull shell to confirm, what has been surmised from other inspections.

    I'm inclined to agree inasmuch, as if you haven't a lot of experience with this hull shell type larger yacht repairs in general, etc., you'd be best advised to run away or take your lose and move on. The market is glutted with really cheap offerings of some very well regarded craft. I know of two 65' boats within 15 miles of me that can be had for a dance. One powerboat needs some rudder and engine work, but otherwise is in excellent shape, while the other sailboat needs an new inventory and some modest standing rigging upgrades. Both can be had for less than 30k (USD) and with an additional 30k could be brought to nearly showroom condition and still sold at a bargain rate of 100k, leaving you with a quick 40k profit, for your troubles, if you'd just like to flip them. If you intend to keep them, how many 65' yachts can you get for this kind of money. Simply put, this is the current market, if you look around.
     
  10. PacificJim
    Joined: Mar 2016
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    PacificJim Junior Member

    Big Risks!

    I do love it- it's a beautiful 40x14 double ended Collin Archer deep-draft design- looks like it can handle almost anything (if treated well). I can see the potential of it, of what it once was and could be if there's a way to fix that starboard side and the engine room cement. It could be a boat like "Hannah"

    ... but maybe the layup was just not done well enough. It was in one go, from what I can see so far- nothing yet to indicate otherwise.


    However, that engine room and the now beginning to show aviary wire on the starboard side is just.... I look at it and think about HOW MUCH WORK it will take to:
    (a) replace the engine room concrete, and possibly some other areas of the hull, including welding some new rebar at least into that 3x3' patch.
    (b) fix the swelling wire on the starboard side -it will take someone WEEKS to grind back and figure out if it's even WORTH moving forward on, or scraping the hull as having lived it's useful safe life...
    (c) Replace the aft deck -this is a fairly easy job but then more time and money. Especially with boats out there for the $10k we'd spend in repairs that only need things like a new mainsail and paint and some stays replaced or somethings.

    No. I wouldn't trust my life on this one with that engine room.

    If I could find someone who could do the work, I'd offer the owner the price of what we could sell off what we could salvage off it if things went bad, and offer that before we seal the deal, we get someone to begin work on the engine room -demo the cement back there and let's REALLY see what's going on. Then IF everything is as they say, and it can be repaired well (and it's not a crumbling rust bucket once some hammers hit it), then we'd purchase it and WE'D finish paying for the repairs to get it worthy again for cruising. If it WASN'T as hoped, we walk away, only out the few hundred (the cost of any other attempt at deducing the condition of the hull and a survey) and knowing for certain it wasn't worth more of our time.

    Then they'd also know if it was worth paying even yard fees for or salvage what they can and scrap it also.

    Being that they're asking around $9k currently, if it could be gotten for 1/2 that and the repairs done for another $4-$6k with finishing, we'd consider it. But I'd have to have all that dark cement removed and someone who knows how to do it. So far I don't know where to find someone who could do the job.


    I think that's the only way I'd get into it. I guess we'd see how much they want to part with the boat, and if it's actually worth fixing. I've looked over the rest of it, and besides the aft decks, mild steel fuel tanks and that old leaky engine, it's in decent enough condition for the price- IF that hull isn't garbage.

    If I could just find a good 36-42' wide-beam flush-deck Collin-Archer style ketch, with good bones and all basics in decent shape, we'd jump on it in a heart beat. Everything we're finding has either deck rot, no interior, no rigging or masts or missing almost everything from some project someone can't do anymore. Or it's $30k-$40k USD -twice what we have all total for even living and food for the next two years.

    Any input on band-aiding beginning to show aviary wire, if all else is good on a ferro boat?
    If the engine room demo revealed all was as said and good, outside what is anticipated, and we could sail the boat to Asia (where people work on these things all the time and rely on them for their livelihood), and get the rest of the hull work done over there.. If the armature IS good, and minimal rust, how long you think one could stagger it along -a year, maybe two -with a good epoxy sealer????
    ... my guess is that aviary wire on the starboard side has been slowly rusting for 10+ years, and it will take a few more before chunks begin to come off, as it spreads to the layers of aviary wire below it.

    We are still looking at other boats constantly, but I have this one on my back burner... Yeah I love it. AND it's a HUGE, RISKY project to get involved in.

    Thanks for the help so far!
     
  11. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I just realized the manuals I posted about above are ****** up, where the third manual pdf just repeats manual #2 contents.

    Here is manual #3, which has the repair section, which is not very long or involved, so I'll just paste it....

    http://www.boatdesign.net/ferro/ferro-3.pdf

    It doesn't seem complicated at all. The repairs were required on the hull (1 of 10 hulls built) because it was dropped 6' onto it's side while turning. And also
    These were all built in Freeport.
     
  12. PacificJim
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    PacificJim Junior Member

    Thanks SamSam

    I actually downloaded the whole PDF book via some google link a few months ago and read the whole thing, including the resources and paper they published at the time for their project.

    It does sound like not very complicated work.
     
  13. rayman
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    rayman Senior Member

    Pacific Jim, you are being fed a whole lot of drivel and hot air here, I hope you can ignore it. First up can you post a pic of the boat full broadside on so I may identify it.
    What make is the engine and is it a proper marinised machine or just something pulled out of a car or truck and dropped in.Where are your oil leaks coming from?
    As to the fine finish on one side and rough on the other, two plastering gangs, each trying to be the fastest
    Get a small hammer,I use a little 7oz. ball pein hammer, then go around all over the hull sounding for voids, just tap lightly, solid will ring with a ding, voids will go dull thunk, tap all around and mark area with chalk. I will tell you what to do later.
    Can you lift the engine out of the way?? you need to get a lot of detergent (dishwashing-industrial grade) and preferably power wash the bilges and the bleeding area's outside. There will be a lot of swabbing and many buckets of shizen to dump.
    can you put up a pic of the engine installation?? If you read this then I will help you with the scabs on the outside. regards ray
     
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  14. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I would use a wet-dry vac, inside and out, to suck up the shizen and possibly draw stuff out of the ferro itself.

    Also, in this photo, it looks like plasterers lath was used and not chicken wire. It's expanded metal and not woven wire.

    [​IMG]

    I have a block house that was in poor shape with stucco falling off, bad mortar joints etc. I chipped, pried and wire brushed off all the loose stuff and then power washed it. All the bare areas I then brushed on a bubblegum colored bonding agent. Some areas where the paint looked debatable I covered also. I also added some to the new stucco mix.That was like 25 years ago and nothing has ever fallen off or given any trouble. It's not a boat but it's a similar process. Bonding agent is great stuff.

    I learned about 3/4 of the way through the job that the correct sand made a vast improvement to the stucco mix as far as stickability and the ease of troweling it on and the final appearance. Sift what ever sand you use to get the best results.
     

  15. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Lath is not recommended for ferrocement. However, it may work, but the thickness probably had to be increased.
     
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