Ferro Cement Yacht

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by JohnDolora, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. bpw
    Joined: May 2012
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    bpw Senior Member

    All true, but if you can find a good one these days they can be a lot of good boat for very little money. Ours is so fair no one ever guesses that it is made of cement.

    You would have to be crazy to build a new one these days though, so many better materials available to the home builder. And Ferro-cement is way too heavy to take advantage of modern design.

  2. rayman
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: brisbane

    rayman Senior Member

    BPW, those Atkin designs converted to ferro build very well. INGA looks a very comfy boat.
    I worked on the building of"Awhannee" she was as rough as guts but that didn't stop her sailing.
    Nancy hauled freight out of N.Z. around the islands in "Edna" which she lost in the Cook Islands. It was only about 5 years ago when she took Awhanee out and scuttled her off her property in the H.I.
    If Nancy is still with us she will be well into her 90's now.
  3. handsondeck
    Joined: Nov 2014
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    Location: lake superior

    handsondeck Junior Member

    BPW and Rayman,
    Just had to jump in here. Long before I owned a sailboat I was reading Woodenboat Magazine. One of if not the first books I ever bought was Blue Water. To this day Bob and Nancy Griffiths contribution to being on the ready, preparing for serious cruising, I think is one of the best ever. What an influence and inspiration, first to their children and then to the rest of the cruising world. Here, Here.
    Rayman, What an experience to be part of the build of Awanee. In the day, oh by the way, I'm just a wisker from turning 67, I thought Ferro Cement, seemed strange at the time, not anymore and hasn't for a long time. Funny you should mention Atkin, Been looking at a few of his designs wondering if I have enough time on this planet to actually build a mid 30's length sailboat. In reality it takes a lot longer for the most part, than one thinks it will.
    Maid of Kent, Charlie Whitholtz's Departure, Brewer's 32' Tern are a few I've been looking at. All V-Bottom hard chine designed for the home builder in mind.
    This day in age would not the carcass for a cement boat be the most costly part of the hull. For deck framing and bulkheads do you use the anchor bolt method when you are trawling your cement? Is it not also true that when it comes time to trawl on the cement does it not have to be done all in one application? Sorry for all the questions, just curious as hell. I think if I'm not mistaken ferro cement style of building originated in the southern hemisphere.
    BPW, Inga is a sweet looking boat. Beautiful hull. Where are you cruising these days. What part of the world do you consider home?
    Me and my most significant other live in North central Minn. A little Hobby farm on the Mississippi river. Our body of water is lake superior. Our season of course is over. We have a 30 by 60 heated shop and am seriously considering attempting a build of some design. Do either one of you have any thoughts on that? Oh by the way right now we have an Alberg 30. It is in the shop and is going to get a repaint and inspection for the winter. Rewire the mast etc. etc. Thank-you both for reading. My name is Clyde. Sticks up and water out. fair winds
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Ferrocement was invented in France mid 1800's. A boat was the first ferrocement structure in the world.
  5. bpw
    Joined: May 2012
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    bpw Senior Member

    We left San Francisco (home) and have have been in South America the last few years. Boat is currently in Uraguy after spending a bunch of time in Tierra Del Fuego. That picture was taken off Chiloe Island in Chile.

    While Inga has been a good little boat for us, it would be insane to build new and not take advantage of the last 70 years of development in boat design. We just bought an aluminum fin keel boat that will be our next cruising boat after a complete, down to a bare hull, rebuild. We wanted a metal boat since we like going very remote places with ice, but if not for that we had seriously been considering building one of Dudley Dix's Didi designs. Modern boat design really is way better than the traditional type, safer, faster, and much easier to sail.
  6. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Self fairing is one of the selling points of what, iirc, they call "wire plank".

    Likewise the method of construction where the wire is pressed into the cement within a female mold, which dealt with insuring a fair plaster.

    More generally, though, I understand what you are saying. It may not require great skill to build a fair armature but it would require great deal of care, upping labor and time. Naturally skill would reduce that but FC wasn't commonly billed as a high-skill construction method. As with any unfair framing, that would project through to the skin, requiring extra time spent plastering or using some fairing material (and weight) to make up for it.

  7. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Tad Boat Designer

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