We love Ferro cement but beware !

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

  1. cadmus
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    cadmus da boom hit'um 1ce 2often

    http://www.lostyacht.org? other stories

    the original post on this thread read:
    I really wanted to see/read this website but it looks long gone. Anyone know of an archive? the poster is not taking email through boatdesign.net.

    Also, Brent Swain, or anyone else, I would love to hear more about your loss and whatever advice came from it.

    hoping to learn from your stories,
  2. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member


    She was tied to a mooring off Beachcomber Island in Fiji. I was ashore. A NE blew up about 15 knots. The 1 1/2 inch poly line gave out and she blew onto the north side of the reef. Lesson number one. Use chain or wire rope to tie to moorings. Put a long backup line in case the main one breaks. The hull break started where the ballast ended in the keel. Lesson two. Run the bottom part of the ballast the full length of the bottom of the keel. The ballast was scrap rebar.
    Had she been steel ,she would't have even been slightly dammaged in those conditions. Lesson three. Stick to steel for offshore cruising, unless your cement boat is so cheap as to be disposable. Being on a main shipping route , it only cost me $250 to ship two big boxes of salvaged gear home, along with the mast.This saved me a lot of time and expense building my next boat.
    lesson four. If shipping it home is even a remote possibility, when shipwrecked ,take everything off , every screw , bolt , nut and washer. Your next boat will need everything you can salvage , and it's cost will largely be made up of such tiny things, expense and time wise.
    You will regret absolutely everything you leave behind, especially when you have to buy it again.
  3. safffff
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    safffff Junior Member

    I would suggest a good fixer upper. One will never get one's money out of building new, but if that is no concern go for it, it just gives me opportunity in the future

    I love ferro, I love the ignorance of many about a GOOD built ferro boat. You know why, it's just like used 150,000 mile cars well taken care. People have ignorant preconceived ideas and it drives the price way way down. I have seen many beautiful 150k cars go another 150k yet their owners paid 1/3 as much for them as a used 60k car. Where else can a man by a well made boat 50ft+ for under $20k that with a little bucks and elbow grease has a boat that performs(maybe not speed racing), at least as good and has less maintenance, equivalent to a $500k boat. LOL Please you guys just keep spreading the rumor how bad a choice ferro boats :p . In San Fransisco I saw a 52 ft sail boat with twin collapsing masts and the hull was professionally built and put in steam tent and slowly cured for 30 days, it needed interior work and a rebuilt dog house, it had a new engine too, it went for $8000. I went and saw a Samson company built ferro sail boat 50ft+ that needed upper doghouse wood work and some interior work still going for 14k, included 2 sets of sails one set almost brand new. I'm looking for a ferro trawler style 50ft+ if you know of one. Thank you.

  4. cadmus
    Joined: Mar 2009
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    cadmus da boom hit'um 1ce 2often

    My firends and family debate back and forth on this topic. Lets pretend all the arguments against ferro are true, they aren't, but lets say they were. One might be willing to live with all those problems IF the boat is cheaper. My brother and i found a great deal. Met the builder who has done many boats and is flown all over the world to do repairs, had compression tests and xrays done. Felt confident in the boat and fell in love with it. Just as safff is saying it was 30% of the cost of a fiberglass boat.

    What we learned is you can't insure them. We looked all over and the insurance costs were orders of magnitude higher than a similar fiberglass or metal haul boat especially if looking for international insurance. Had to pull out of the sale.

    Ferro folks claim it is because lots of hippies in the 70's figured they could make a boat on the cheap with ferro, did a crappy job, and sank alot of insured boats (maybe on purpose). brought insurance costs up and reputation down.

    Don't know... but that boat is surely making someone happy.
  5. safffff
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    safffff Junior Member

    A boat I looked at is ferro and is presently insured, also some insurance firms in England will insure them. In fact one said that every ferro boat they have insured has not have been paid out for damages once a professional survey is done and a good history..

    Try this, although I have not check it lately. just bookmarked yrs ago


    They even insure submarines

    ORM Insurance Services
    Offshore Risk Management provides Better Boat Insurance for any boat, anywhere, anytime*

  6. safffff
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    safffff Junior Member

    cadmus is that the best epoxy repair resin known to man as your signature photo, JB Weld slow cure?
  7. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    You saw, you saw and you saw a lot of thing. But you now only one thing, the Wellmer crap, but perhaps you are wellmer.
    I don't beleive you Safffff or other name you want to use, mostly Safffffffwelmerffffffffffffffffff will be more accurate.
  8. safffff
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: California

    safffff Junior Member

    <removed - let's keep the threads polite and away from the jabs. Thanks>
  9. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Fully concur saffffi,

    he is sick! But within a few hours he will be cured, thats nature.

    But you are <removed - let's keep the threads polite and away from the jabs. Thanks> And within the next thousand years that will not be cured, thats nature too!.......:D
  10. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Fully concur also Saffffffffffff
    Sick of you and Welmer (same people anyway)
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Folks that have entertained this silly thread should take this into consideration: It's much more likely, your advise is being used to smuggle drugs or people into the USA, under the noses (literally) of the USCG, then being utilized by someone sincerely interested in a submersible yacht. Think about how your "wisdom" can be employed on what appears to be a seemly innocuous request(s).
  12. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Like everything else, the devil is in the details. Who and how was boat built.
    If I was building a ferro boat today, there are many epoxied coat steel reinforcement and even composites, and concrete with anti-corrosion additives. Insurance could be major issue. Friend of mine has a huge old steel barge, covered in concrete and filled with foam. It doesn't sink, draws 8 feet of water and basically indestructible. Anybody want to buy concrete island 80 x 40 ..lol
  13. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: North of Cuba

    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Watch out, USCG sonar might shatter the hull.
  14. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    Ok, i keep reading that you cant insure a ferro boat,maybe its true,maybe not,i dont know, ive not tried it recently BUT,how about just liability insurance??,that should be possible,no? That would satisfy any marina and cover any damage you may do to someone elses boat (assuming your at fault of course). If ferro boats are as cheap as to buy as is always claimed i personally wouldnt be worried about full coverage. As far as the cost to buy one goes i see a lot more glass boats going ridiculously cheap than i see cheap comparable ferro ones,(This is because there are a lot more glass boats of course) but my point is when i see ferro boats for sale the asking prices seem comparable to similar glass boats,of course boats dont sell for the asking price but that holds true regardless of material.

  15. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    As a (retired) engineer, I don't see any fundamental reason why ferro-concrete can't be used to make an adequate boat. If it can make an adequate parking garage supporting hundreds of cars across huge spans, withstand rapidly moving heavy loads travelling across bridges, and support skyscrapers hundreds of feet tall, why not a boat?

    Just like the garage, bridge and skyscraper, it has to be done right.

    FC's a structural material as is wood, aluminum, steel and fiberglass . Each has its little foibles. Wood rots and is a material with no quality control over it's manufacturing phase (i.e., while it's growing). Aluminum is relatively expensive but has great characteristics, titanium is more so in every category. Steel rusts.

    Of all these materials only the metals are created under total quality control from start to finish. That is of no help if welding or riveting is poorly done and the metal is inadequately protected from the environment.

    Ferro-concrete is a bit like fiberglass, since the material is created at the job site and if it is done wrong it might not show up until it's too late. Like FG it can be built with a minimum of structural joints which is an advantage. Unlike FG, it is not the right choice for a lighweight boat!
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