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  #11  
Old 12-06-2007
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BS,

First, I will not pretend to be a FC expert. With that on the table:

I would stick with a more traditional material... even considering wood over cement. I agree with the bad reputations they have received. I have heard concerns about getting a surveyor that knows how to survey them. I have heard (as was mentioned before) concerns about insurance. I have heard that some are truly junk.

I HAVE ALSO HEARD... that there are some great deals to be had on them and a good one is a really good one. But with no survey (which seems unlikely anyways) I think your money would be better invested in fiberglass. You will put a lot of capital and time into a boat. Best to get one you can get rid of should you wish.

Just my opinions... and a LOT of hear-say I have collected on them over the years.

- CD
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  #12  
Old 12-06-2007
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Nay. Sometimes even a free boat costs too much. And what's with that line "needs someone to finish." Just how much is not done? Plus, some of the interior work looks like crap to me. Save your money on this one and keep lookoking. It's a real soft market out there.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2007
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OK... no one has said anything that I haven't already thought of myself. Yes the 'no sea trial, no survey' thing was a huge red flag to me too but when you offer a 32' bluewater boat for 9k I kind of understand why they say that. To keep the tire kickers off the dock.

My question and concern was not as much about this boat specifically but about Ferrocement construction in general.

What is ferro cement anyway? Does it crack and/or crumble on impact with a submerged object? Or running aground?

And yes I know you have to give them away... this guy is giving his away. 9k for a 32' boat? And I could probably steal it for 7k Maybe (or there abouts). Then I sail it for a few years and sell it for a steal too. I'm not trying to flip it for a buck just have a decent boat to take me around the oceans for a couple years.

Still... yay or nay?
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2007
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Well said CD, I'll probably steer clear of this one... but it is very tempting!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
BS,

First, I will not pretend to be a FC expert. With that on the table:

I would stick with a more traditional material... even considering wood over cement. I agree with the bad reputations they have received. I have heard concerns about getting a surveyor that knows how to survey them. I have heard (as was mentioned before) concerns about insurance. I have heard that some are truly junk.

I HAVE ALSO HEARD... that there are some great deals to be had on them and a good one is a really good one. But with no survey (which seems unlikely anyways) I think your money would be better invested in fiberglass. You will put a lot of capital and time into a boat. Best to get one you can get rid of should you wish.

Just my opinions... and a LOT of hear-say I have collected on them over the years.

- CD
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Old 12-06-2007
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Quote:
Full keel skag hung rudder
Bit of a spelling error. In Australian parlance a Skag is pretty much what a Ho is in the US... I suppose it seems reasonable that one could hold her breath long enough to hang on to the rudder for you as you sail.




Sorry.


I would stay away from ferro boats in 99.9% of cases. There are a very VERY few european boat builders that seriously explored and refined the use of ferro cement for yachts. Their products are not shoddy and not cheap either. For a boat that tells you it was built in some mexican yard with variable humidities and doubtful quality control....No thanks. Not even if it were given to me for free.

Sasha

Last edited by Sasha_V; 12-06-2007 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 12-06-2007
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Make a low ball offer

Try a low ball offer. Pick a price you wouldn't care if it were junk and offer that. He can't be getting too many offers, and it is a rather pretty boat in the pictures. Normally I would say stay away from ferro-cement, but if you can get it at the right price, who knows?
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Old 12-06-2007
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It might be suitable for blue water if that's the color of the pool you're going to park it in. $9.000 for what could be a three-room apartment isn't a bad deal, but you'd want to make sure it was well insulated to keep the A/C costs down, and you'd want to check the zoning laws about ancillary apartments before you hired a crane to move it. Demolition on the thing is probably a hefty sum (dumps charge by the ton...) and the work to take it apart would add to that, so maybe a few thou just to dump it. They don't want to waste time on it, so they make a take it of leave it deal. This is not your dream boat.
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2007
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If you find a well-made Ferro-cement boat, then you have found a very good vessel. They are out there and they are very strong, durable craft. As they age they get stronger, not weaker.

A while ago - in the 70's - there was a big ferro-cement craze, as people found out that it was possible to build a hull for very few dollars. An awful lot very bad boats were started, some were finished, and some of those were launched and are still sailing. They are basically mortar over a steel mesh frame. In a lot of cases the inner steel has deteriorated. In other cases the plastering compound was not mixed properly and bonds are weak. Some other boats wre not cured at the correct temperature, or for long enough beore being painted and sealed.

If you are seriously considering a Ferro boat, then you need to do some exploring and research. This is a good starting point :
http://www.ferrocement.org/
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Old 12-06-2007
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Umm... the "no survey/no sea trial" part of the ad is a huge warning flag. Ferrocement boats, properly constructed, can be very good boats. Unfortunately, many ferrocement boats weren't made in anything close to the proper way, and the insurance industry and financing industry have strong reservations about giving insurance coverage or financing on them for those reasons.

Ferrocement was a fairly low-cost way to make a very sturdy boat. Many used pipe instead of solid rod for parts of the framing, and that is a serious problem, since the pipe would allow condensation to collect inside it, and then corrode from the inside out... weakening the frame and construction of the ferrocement boat from deep inside, where it would be very difficult to detect.

The idea of ferrocement construction was to bind many (eight or more usually) layers of steel mesh together very tightly. Then cement was forced into the mesh and over the mesh to form the hull. If the mesh was not bound tightly enough together or the cement not packed in properly, you would get either areas of fairly thick cement layup or voids in the cement layup—either of which would seriously weaken it. In theory, the construction was much like that of fiberglass boats... you had the steel mesh acting as the fibers, and the cement acting as the resin, and like a fiberglass boat, the strongest layups had the highest concentration of mesh and relatively low concentrations of "resin".

Another area where the construction techniques often fell short was in the "curing" phase of the ferrocement boat. The hull, once plastered with cement, needed to be kept wet, to allow the cement to harden with maximum strength. If they failed to do this... it would visually appear the same, but the strength of the hull would be vastly lower that it could have been. On one boat I know of the hull had a few spots that were apparently "missed" it the wetting out process and that is where large cracks developed in the boat.

I've seen some really beautifully constructed ferrocement boats... which were hard to tell as ferrocement boats. These are pretty far and few between. One of the sailing magazines had a good article recently on ferro-cement construction which you might want to read. If I can find the article, I'll post the name and date of the magazine.
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  #20  
Old 12-07-2007
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There have been some quite wonderful ferro boats. One even pulled off line honours in the Sydney - Hobart some years back. If professionally built in a yard that knows what they are doing, OK, but semi professional or home built ? Not in a million years. The inherent problem with ferro is that the strength is in the steel not the ferro and the ferro is easily pierced. It's already been noted that unless fully professionally built they are impossible to insure but that is surely a major negative also.

As for no survey, you have got to be kidding. It's amazing what you can hide with a nice new coat of paint, at least until it starts coming off, in sheets. I can understand at that price the owner not wanting to naff around with test sails but no survey ? No way. Ten grand is still ten grand. Can you afford to piss that up aganst the wall ? Worth thousands more ? Only if someone else thinks so.

Ye olde Wombate just keeps remembering "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is".

Oh and by the way, Tahiti's sail like your average footpath so it's probably apt that the thing is concrete. That's more the reason they don't want you to have a test sail plus of course you'd find out just how slowly a 12hp motor will propel a great big lump of rock. Get yourself a barge pole and keep your distance.

Oh yes, and as for "sail it for a few years" that's after spending a few years rebuilding the interior. Of course a queen size bed is a most important attribute, not to mention the flat screen TV, front opening fridge and the fake leopard skin bed covers. Sorry but the only thing a Tahiti is good for is crossing oceans but this one does not have the feel of an ocean goer. More a somewhat squalid houseboat than anything else.
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