trying to build a ferrocement Barge- need help

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by asres19, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. asres19
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Location: juba south sudan

    asres19 Junior Member

    :)new boy on the block-
    Friends,Hi- i am excited to be connected with all of you- and am looking forward to contribuite as well as benefit from your collective experiences and knowledge.
    I am trying to build a ferrocement cargo boat of 500 tons for use on the river, --would appreciate any and all help- for starters is any one there who can provide plans , know how, contacts with suppliers of books, CDs, materials- etc. Any and i mean any info or offers will be greatly appreciated. I would like to get the Barge working in a few months. Thanks -asres19
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    You don't really think a 500 ton vessel, even built in ferro can be finished in a few months do you? If indeed you plan on such a huge project, you should hire a firm familiar with projects of this scale. It's not something you can read up on and be remotely ready, to handle in a week or two. The wisest choice would be to hire an NA or designer that can also oversee the project, which might include selecting and working with the builder, coordinating vendors, material deliveries, labor, etc.

    With recent political gains in your country, you should be able to convince a firm, though still a challenging and daunting project. Lastly, this wouldn't be a inexpensive undertaking. Vessels over a million pounds, generally aren't cheap or easy to make. I question the desire for a ferro build, as it's not the best material for a craft of this scale, nor likely the most cost effective. There's a simple reason steel is the preferred building material in 99% of vessels this size.
     
  3. asres19
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    asres19 Junior Member

    Thank you PAR for your response- I appreciate your reply and am inclined to accept it.
    My first thought was a ferrocement build for reasons of ease of transport and availabilty of the basic materials- but have not ruled out the use of metal-. I know there are firms out there who will provide kits- however the ones I have seen so far are much smaller vehicles- I am looking for firms that provide kits for barges of the size i am thinkinf of.
    However much I want to be a part of this- I full well understand that thisis undertaking that I cannot- would not take without expert help and involvement.
    Therefore any contacts and consultants and mentors would be be appreciated. tks again asres19
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There aren't any "kits" for 500 ton vessels, not even barges. It would be possible to have a firm CNC a kit of sorts, though this would be quite an expense for just a barge. Barges are relatively inexpensive, why not just purchase one?
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    During WWII the US military built many ferro barges for Mississippi river transport.

    Ive seen the plans and scantlings for these on the internet.

    I cant remember how I came across the plans.

    Do some googling ....WWII ferro cement Mississippi barge
     
  6. asres19
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    asres19 Junior Member

    Thankyou PAR,MICHAEL- My querry should have een- what is the bigest fero cement boats that should be attempted. There are many complelling reasons why this avenue should be explored- i ask you to indulge me with some consultation before I give up. Some smaller vessels would also be adequate- so where to begin. i need some basic information of how to begin exploring thhis idea and where to get/buy/borrow knowhow- whwether I can go somewhere to learn the complexities first hand etc
    What PAR suggested are all sober and practical avenues and I will probably go that route anyway- but I would like for my own reasons find out whatis possible along the ferrocement route. asres19 ps thank you for taking the time.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The kit for a ferrocement barge will be: a load of portland cement, a load of sand, rebar, chicken wire and mason's wire. The water is supplied locally. It is, apparently, a simple method. However, it requires knowledge of the techniques and good plasterers. Also, it is ideally done in one shot. That is, you start and don't stop until the plastering is done. You will find that the ships or barges built in WWII were not of ferrocement out of choice, but because there was no steel available.
     
  8. asres19
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    asres19 Junior Member

    Thanks gonzo- mayno kits- but designs and other details would be wonderful to get.
    For example - what attracted me to the idea is the fact that it seems so doable and if the above quoted exotic materials is all you need andif people fought a war with this idea perhaps in my case and for the short term it will do. Now does any one know how I could get the US Navy films that were made on this subject. Does anyone make ferrocement boats in this day and age? What is size is considered practical>? What Country uses this technology now? Can I hire people with this know how for the duration of the build? etc. If i have to scale down I shall- my first idea was that i could build -with help- a 500 ton vessel- now i am learning that this may not be suchh a good idea- so at what point will it become practical or doable? tks again asres19
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A 500 ton vessel, will likely be in the 150" (46 m) by 30" (6 m) and drafting at least several feet (2.5+ m). This is a large, difficult to maneuver craft.

    Ferro isn't practical without skilled plasters to do the layup, in one shot. This simply means a team (a couple of dozen) of highly skilled persons, all knowing how she's supposed to be shaped and finished, all working against the clock, to get the whole hull shell plastered, with a special mixture of concrete, before it kicks off. Hell that would be difficult to do in this country, let alone yours. It would also not likely be cheaper then steel. Lastly, it would be fairly simple to find sufficient welders for a steel builders.
     

  10. peter radclyffe
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    peter radclyffe Senior Member

    it may be cheaper for you to buy an old ship, towed from india or somewhere and cut the top off and use the steel to make the barge deck and hatches etc
     
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