Buying a Ferro Cement Boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-22-2007 Thread Starter
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Buying a Ferro Cement Boat

Hey I am looking at buying this ferro. I know that if a ferro boat isn't made by a good builder it can be down right dangerous, so what do you think of this one?

If you know of a better forum for posting about ferro-cement boats please point me in the right direction. Thanks.
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40' ferrocement cutter sail boat - 1973 King & Choie


This sailboat was professionally built in 1973 in Korea. She was then sailed to Japan and on to California. I purchased it from the original owner who lived aboard for over 14 years. She has been dry docked for 4 years and is aching to get back in the water again.

Things that need to be done before she can go around the world:
- Electric wiring is old and should be replaced. I have looked into this and it isn't a big job.
- Sails are very old, and while they might be serviceable for small sails around the sound, they will need to be replaced.
- The boat needs to be transported to a dock. The nearest dock is 6 miles away, in Port Townsend. The estimated price from a marine transporter was $900.
- An engine part was rusted and needs to be cleaned out at a machine shop. The engine, replaced in 1998, will work like a charm after this. Engine has less than 500 hours on it.

Some minor cosmetic work is needed on the interior.

The hull is in great condition, professionally built and after 35 years of curing is no longer plagued by any of the problems ferro cement boats have gotten a bad reputation for. The hull has been stripped and repainted with anti-fouling below the water line and a beautiful green above.


I've owned this boat for a year and have spent many weekends working on her (about 500 man hours in the past year). She is close to being sailable, but I'm worn out, now lacking funds to keep this project going. I'm looking for a good owner for this boat. She is currently on the original owner's property. She needs to be moved as soon as possible, as the previous owner has plans for the space she is occupying on his property.




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post #2 of 11 Old 07-22-2007
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Condition is not the only concern

There is a very nice ferro-cement 40' in our club that has been for sale for a couple of years for a good price. It is owned by an older couple (he is close to 80 I think) who keep very good care of the boat. Several people have wanted to buy the boat but backed off because they could not get insurance coverage. It is a shame because it is a lot of boat for the money.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-22-2007
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I've considered ferrocement boats in the past, and insurance is an issue, mainly because most surveyors won't or can't give a good hull survey. That boat appears to be in good shape, but I've seen it on craigslist before and as I recall he's asking too much for it; somewhere around 20K and the engine needs machine shop work? I don't know...
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-22-2007
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I have heard it said that that only one in ten ferros are worth owing, but that one will likely outlive the owner and will be the best boat bargain going. I looked briefly at them for world cruising as a couple of authors I like have had them. But in the end I realized that the skill of the builders of ferros in the '70s and '80s was too dodgy and irregular to risk not only my boat kitty, but my safety.

Good luck, but the fact is that I see more ferros being jackhammered into rubble these days than I've ever seen on the water.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-22-2007
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Try here for info and links to ferro owners and builders:
http://cruisingresources.com/Ferrocement_Construction
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-22-2007
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Don't fall in love with the first boat you find.

Here are some 1970s 40 foot boats recently from eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1973-...QQcmdZViewItem Didn't sell at $6500

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/40-Al...QQcmdZViewItem Sold for $10K

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Morga...QQcmdZViewItem Sold for $12.6K

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1986-...QQcmdZViewItem Didn't sell at $12K

If beam is 12 feet or under you can get a boat trucked to you for about $3 per mile. (Wider costs more.)

There are lots of projects out there. Don't pay too much for yours.

A fiberglass boat as a few advantages over ferrocement. They're much lighter, so they're more fun to sail. They're lighter so you use smaller sails, rigging, winches, etc., for a given size of boat. Surveyors can inspect them so insurance companies can write you a policy. And, when you're done with it, there's a much bigger pool of potential buyers out there.

Have fun,

Tim
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-22-2007
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Not many surveyors have a good background in ferrocement construction, and many can not adequately survey a ferro boat. Insurance is a problem, especially with the home-built ones. Also, maintenance is higher from what I have seen...and any moisture ingress into the hull will cause the steel wire or mesh to corrode, which causes it to expand, and damage the surrounding cement.

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-23-2007
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Personally - I like the good ones a lot, but there are unique issues associated with owning one. Insurance, survey, repair, finishing, grounding...

If you get lucky and find a sound hull, you will get the strongest, most durable craft around. Determining whether or not it's a sound hull is so expensive that you can probably find something comparable in GRP for the same outlay.

Re-sale will be a big problem. If there was a decent market for them - Hartley and Samson would still be building them.

http://www.ferrocement.org/
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-22-2007
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Hello,
I am the owner of the boat mentioned at the start of this thread. PM me should you wish further details. Edited/Cam
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-22-2007
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It has been writen in a lot of cruising articals that when entering a distant exotic location the writer was surprised by the large number of ferro boats . Insurance is not a big issue as many cruisers do not have full insurance. Good luck and enjoy your ferro boat.

Simon
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