ferro-cement

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by tdw, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. LindsayG
    Joined: Jul 2008
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: New Zealand

    LindsayG Junior Member

    Very nice looking boat Andy.Who designed her ??

    Any interior shots ??

    Wasnt Ferro Cement Marine Services run by Colin Brookes of Harley & Brookes now residing in New Zealand ??

    Anyway very nice boat ,how does she sail ??
     
  2. Bruce46
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 81
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 49
    Location: Stuart, Fla.

    Bruce46 Junior Member

    Back in the 60's I was very involved with the design and building and design of ferro cement boats and we came to the conculsion that ferrocement is a viable material for boat building, however, by the time you put the proper materials and man hours into the construction there is no cost advantage over more accepted methods.
     
  3. Andy
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 267
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Edinburgh

    Andy Senior Member

    No interior shots at the moment, but here she is after new paint and varnish. She is very beamy for her length, so lots of interior space (altho a little tight on headroom, especially up for'd). She's also very powerful and stable under sail, particularly as the wind comes up on a beam or broad reach. No problems keeping up with modern cruisers of the same length here. She doesn't point too well at the moment, but this year I'm going to play around with the rig (read try to get rid of some forestay sag) and the sails, whilst serviceable, could do with being replaced soon. Short tacking upwind (esp into waves) is her weak point, the beamy hull gets stopped quite easily. But flat water she goes well, even to windward. Point her onto a fetch and put the kettle on and she will reel off the miles with very little effort, often steering herself (the cutter rig helps with achieving balance). Had a hairy reach (40 knots wind, full sail) back up the Clyde from Arran at the end of 2 seasons ago in company with a friend's Bowman 40, and there wasn't much in it in spite of his 7 foot waterline advantage - he was broaching from time to time whilst we were under complete control. Nice.

    Here's a link to last summer's blog: http://goodshipmaragay.blogspot.com/
     

    Attached Files:

  4. BillAU
    Joined: Jun 2010
    Posts: 41
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Australia

    BillAU Junior Member

    That is a real nice FC yacht you have Andy, had the FC yacht I looked at in Sydney looked even a little like yours, I would have bought her in a flash, unfortunatly the FC yacht I looked at...Looked to be ready to be used as a reef, she was full of rust and, in my humble opinion, to far gone.
    Your FC yacht shows that a good, well cared for FC boat, can look every bit as good as a FG boat.
     
  5. chappy1
    Joined: Mar 2011
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Maine

    chappy1 New Member

    Good afternoon all,
    Iam new here, and not sure how to do this,
    So if I am in the wronge section please forgive me.
    I have a question,
    I was recently given a ferro-hull, to rebuild, but i am completely lost.
    I know nothing about the boat other than it was abandonned and the marina has taken ownership and wants it gone asap.

    It needs some hefty repairs, My question is where do i find anyone who knows how to do repairs on this kind of hull?
    And is this type of boat really worth the time and money?
    Any help is greatly apreciated.
    Thank you all kindly
     
  6. LindsayG
    Joined: Jul 2008
    Posts: 5
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: New Zealand

    LindsayG Junior Member

    Photos will help to identify the designer and survey the neglect chappy1.
     
  7. truecougarblue
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 26
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 32
    Location: cali

    truecougarblue Junior Member

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/50-F...280992643756?pt=Sailboats&hash=item416c777aac

    I went to see the hull linked above for sale here in Socal. I noted exposed mesh on the interior of the hull and interior bulkheads as well as on superstructure surfaces above the deck line. There were small cracks (4-6 inches) on the exterior around the portholes.

    My amateur survey says this hull is not worth the effort, even if plans came with it, which they don't.

    Just posting for informational purposes really but I'd be happy to hear comments on how right or wrong I am in my assessment.
     
  8. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 5,852
    Likes: 289, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1749
    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Epoxy the outside and you have a great little studio for the backyard. It will be a real talking point for the neighborhood.

    Shame about the transport costs though.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Very often with ferro builds, you just don't know how well it was "plastered" and by your description, she was damaged or not well plastered. This can lead to further issues and a host of insurance headaches, particularly in the USA.

    I think your assessment is right on the money, unless you can get some x-rays of the hull shell to determine the extent of the damage, the condition and arrangement of the steel armature, voids and cracks in the plaster, etc. As mentioned earlier in this thread, this one of the major concerns with ferro builds, the inability to fully examine, access and inspect the structure, which must include the armature.
     
  10. JohnDolora
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: ENGLAND

    JohnDolora Junior Member

    Ferro yacht

    Can you please let me have the names of those ferro yacht insurers, I'm having difficulty in finding any who will insure for the Med. Thanks
     
  11. Andy
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 267
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Edinburgh

    Andy Senior Member

    Unfortunatley the same goes for almost any material - can you really see inside GRP to check that the laminate is not resin starved, or delaminating from the inside out? Or can you see the condition of the nails or screws holding the planks at the intersection between plank and frame? I recently helped 2 friends with different projects (carvel and GRP) with these exact things. On the wood boat the screw heads looked fine, but were waisted at the plank/frame interface, and we had to remove a lot of them to find out where the damage extents were. On the GRP boat, a coat of flexible paint was hiding the fact that the GRP was cracked all over the place - the first inkling we had of this was that the hull was flexing more than seemed appropriate, but hadn't cracked the paint (yet). We also discovered areas of dry laminate which the usual percussion test didn't pick up. If GRP was easier to examine then raceboat designers wouldn't be using X-ray to examine boats on a regular basis (even Cheminees Poujoulat was examined this way prior to breaking in half).

    If you are going to repair a ferro boat, you need to bash out plaster until you get to clean mesh with no cracks in the concrete surrounding it, but it should be fine from there on. Thankfully most of the bad ones have been 'found out', but there may still be one or 2 lurking and waiting for someone to trip up on...(again, there are plenty of GRP, steel and wood boats which fit this description too). Just IMHO.
     
  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 473, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Actually Andy, yes, you can check the condition of laminate, it's thickness, general condition, signs of delamination, etc. Yes, you can check the condition of fasteners and this is common requirement for fastened boats.

    The general value of ferro, world wide is a sure indication of it's place in the market. Sure there are good ones and bad ones, just like any material, but as a very general rule, you'll find insurers and sailors will walk quickly, if not run from a ferro build and they're easily justified, given the statistics surrounding them. In fact, see if you can get a repaired ferro build insured in the USA, just to get an idea of their value. The only insurance you can get is a "declared" policy, which is simply an agreement you make with an insurer, as to the perceived value of the boat, much like you get on a kit car. This agreed figure might get you a replacement, but they'll never approve a serious repair. They'll just total you out and sell the boat for parts and scrap. Try that on a Hatteras.
     
  13. Andy
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 267
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Edinburgh

    Andy Senior Member

    I wasn't disputing that you can't check these things - I was however saying that to be *sure* with GRP you have to X-ray. Yes there can be surface signs, but you also get surface signs with ferro if there are substantial problems lurking. Also how do you inspect fastenings at hidden interfaces without withdrawing them, or again using X-ray? The ones we withdrew looked great all the way to the interface, which was badly corroded. Indeed we ended up replacing them all as there was very little rhyme nor reason as to why some were waisted and others not. Certainly there were whole sections of planking ready to pop, and very little evidence in the way of paint cracking or otherwise in the areas concerned (which makes me think that someone else had painted over the evidence).

    The attitude towards ferro boats by insurers in the UK is a bit different. There is at least one other insurer with a scheme specifically for ferro boats, and my boat was insured previously with yet another underwriter. The common denominator is that they have to have a survey. My boat has been repaired after falling off a small rock ledge on a falling tide. All was done under the supervision of a surveyor, not a problem for the insurers. The same would be true for any boat here which had sustained significant damage in this way. As a point of note, the mesh was found to be in excellent condition at the time by the surveyor (who did his masters thesis in ferro-construction).

    I wouldn't recommend building a new boat this way, but there are plenty of good ones around still, and the low value the market has (rightly or wrongly) ascribed to them make the good ones very good value.

    It's always funny reading people's opinions on ferro, especially when they have never owned one or claim statistics (not getting at you here, it's epidemic). Many people see ferro boats every day and don't even realise they are ferro, it's just the crappy ones which stand out. I'd wager that the percentage of boats lost due to hull failure of one sort or another is much higher with traditionally built wooden boats than any other material, including ferro. My boat is also sitting next to an early 90's GRP Bavaria, which has had it's keel pan replaced. Turns out it was sailing around with a laminate which was more air than laminate, and yet no surveyor had found it until the owner reported that the keel was wobbling around in a seaway...and this is just one of many boats built around this time by many of the biggest builders in the world which have undiagnosed problems of this and other sorts.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,146
    Likes: 33, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 155
    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Andy, the first kind of boat I ever dreamed of building would have been ferrocement. I may dream of shallow draft coastal cruisers these days -- in between helping take care of my handicapped sister and ailing grandmother -- but running away on a nice FC sailboat ... well, I won't DO it ... but I may dream about it....
     

  15. Andy
    Joined: Aug 2003
    Posts: 267
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Edinburgh

    Andy Senior Member

    I never dreamed of owning one - it just happened that the boat sort of fell into my life and she happened to be ferro. I'm more of a racing man anyways, so this boat really has been anathema to my usual interests. Had she been wood I would not have done it (unless she was cold-molded) - memories of my grandpa working tirelessly on his folkboat followed by many hours helping friends with their wooden boats meant that I was wary of taking on a boat with anything other than a sound, low-maintenance hull, something I wouldn't have gotten in a wood boat for the same money.

    If I was building a boat now, it would definitely be cold-moulded wood/epoxy for a cruiser. That's still a dream for me! ;) . As it is my insurance is around £300 per year too, not bad. I don't know the situation in the States but it isn't difficult owning a good ferro boat in the UK.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.