We love Ferro cement but beware !

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by manta.bay, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. manta.bay
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    manta.bay New Member

    We have owned a ferro cement boat and have been completely satisfied with it's build and construction, the fact that a ferro boat can be very difficult to insure must however be taken into account if considering this type of build.

    please go to http://www.lostyacht.org for more information and pictures on the total destruction of a ferro boat.
     
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  2. Brent Swain
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    Brent Swain Member

    ferro

    While I've never heard of a ferro yacht having structural problems at sea , even in the worst conditions, they have very little impact resistance when they hit a solid object. I found this out the hard way when mine went aground in Fiji in very moderate consdiotions in a lagoon with a two foot chop in 15 knots of wind. It broke up like a watermelon dropped on a sidewalk , in conditions that would never have even damaged a metal boat
    They can be bought so cheaply that they are best considered disposables . If you get a year or two of living aboard and a bit of cruising , from that moment on they owe you nothing and you are money ahead of where you'd be if you never owned one .
    As long as they don't hit anything , they don't deteriorate in any way as long as they are built properly.
    Brent
     
  3. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    They is good enough to compete in several Sydney/Hobart races "Helsal" also known as the "Flying Footpath" did quite well... In the 70's lots were built to cruise the Pacific. Solid and comfortable for long range cruising. best if more than 40 ft LWL...

    Brent, "While I've never heard of a ferro yacht having structural problems at sea , even in the worst conditions, they have very little impact resistance when they hit a solid object." is not a sound argument. I have seen severe damage to a large coral ******-head from a ferro yacht which suffered spilt coffee & not much else. Made according to design species, quite robust. If you happen to hit something REALLY hard then drive it onto a nearby beach, attack the offending area with cold chisel & heavy hanners to clear the "wounded area" then reslurry/replaster... As I was told. At one stage I was interested in building one but married first wife instead :D:D:D
     
  4. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    masalai,

    Where is the original Helsal now?
     
  5. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    No idea, after doing a couple of Sidarbs, I was overseas & haven't heard since. Try Aussy ships registration, must have been to do the race I guess?
     
  6. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I dunno where Helsal is either but have a vague recolection of her running aground in FNQland but not sure if she made it off, maybee the nameboard survives, also talked to a fellow shipwright that was employed to rebuild the fitout after the first S-H, apparrently the timber fitout was somewhat stiffer than the jellyfish like hull & kinda popped off . Back in the 80's I did a fitout on a 43'er- sampson, a few years later the owner sold it out for parts-rigs, bronze ports,engine, winches & stern gear etc plus sold the hull & fit out as a "dumb" houseboat & got about double the money of any real offer he'd received for an up running cruising yacht! All the best from Jeff. PS: where is she is probly a good question for Sailing Anarchy.
     
  7. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    waikikin,

    Quite understandable, I was one of the shippys working on the original Helsal, worked on the nav station and the big mainsheet traveller with other fellas, it was owned then by Dr. Toni Fisher, one of life's real gentlemen. Always paid me on time and a bit more as well.
     
  8. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    I have asked "The Coastal Passage" by email to see if anyone has any knowledge on Helsal, Would be nice to know.... Will keep in touch
    Brian
     
  9. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Did a search on Sailing Anarchy, last known to be in the Philipines based in Manila after competing in a South China Sea race & used for day trips-whatever, later was holed 10' x 4' & patched & later thought to have sunk in disrepair, not "gospel" but similar storys from different posts. Regards from Jeff.
     
  10. masalai
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    masalai masalai

  11. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    when i was up in Fiji in early 80 I saw and met folks in ferro who were too scared to move
    i met two couples who came back to NZ and built in steel
    Sayer was perhaps the best builder of ferro in the world, his boats were perfectly fair
     
  12. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    I would never have bought someone else's build - unless I was also in the build team, and knew first hand the quality of the work.... All too easily hidden, then again, that applies to all boats:D
     
  13. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    On Sydney Harbour, the old Navy Ordinance barges were all ferro, over one hundred years old when I left there 20 years ago, still in perfect condition.

    There was also a beautiful black schooner hanging around between Sydney and Pittwater that was beautifully built in ferro, looked like glass.

    The unfortunate thing about ferro is that so many crappy ones were built because they were cheap. The reputation of ferro boats is 0%. That is not to say that a good one could not be built, just that most are worthless, and for good reason.

    Another piont worth considering, many were also built from poor designs, were overbuilt, sailed like pigs, looked like pigs, behaved like pigs, and they still smell. It is no dearer to build to a good design than to a bad design, so why do people keep on building to such horrible designs.

    Many of the ferro boats built in Sydney were designed by Lenny Hedges, most were modified by their owners, who, of course, knew better than the designer, and the results speak for themselves.

    If considering a serious long range cruiser, look no further than steel. Oh and by the way, boilermakers are the best boat builders!

    And sand blast to Sweedish Standard 2 1/2, which basically is very bright white steel, use modern epoxy protective coatings and she will last for decades. Follow the Altex Devoe range of products, they are protective coating specifically formulated over many years for the offshore oil industries and can be relied upon for good results if you do what they say.
     
  14. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    i absolutely disaggree with "boilermakers are best" in fact none of todays so called boilermakers could make a boiler, boilermaking is an Aussie term for fabricator,
    Some can be trained to use wheels and stretching machines, but a boilermaker is not a trained boatbuilder
    A trained boatbuilde of metal, will plate a round bilge so fairly the plates will not need dogging and will lay over the frames
    I have found that skilled wooden boatbuilders easily make the transition to alloy
    i have found that many engineering shops who start boatbuilding make a bloody mess
    i have also found that someone skilled and with no experience can often make a nice job
    What I dont like is all that nice work covered with bog and paint!! If you see the nose cone in my gallery you will see what i mean:))
    Lubs I often agree with you but !! not zakkly this time
     

  15. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    if you can find me some "boilermakers" who can do thsi, then I will give them work, But so far, in my trips around marinas here I only saw one decent metel job and that was by Grag Brown In fact I was going to make a gallery of worlds worst boats:)) and they a re all here in Oz
     

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