Ferro-cement. yay or Nay? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2007
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Ferro-cement. yay or Nay?

As most of you know I'm in the process of shopping for a boat and this one just came on the market and it is a design that I love at a price that is unbeleivelable but it's made out of ferro-cement.

Just when I think I've decided on one...I find another one that I want... arghhh!

I have absolutely zero experience with ferro boats except for one that was moored at my last marina. It was faired smooth and seemed VERY solid and unless the owner told me I never would have known it was cement, it seemed like fiberglass.

My concern is their collision resistance. Hitting something mid-ocean has always been one of my greatest fears of passage making and it seems to me that a ferro-cement boat mayt have a tendancy to crack and crumble like a cinder block if struck hard. Am I off base here or is ferro-cement a decent building material?

BTW: it's 32' Tahiti Cutter


http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...id=115&rid=125
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Old 12-06-2007
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Construction aside, I would never buy a boat where they would not let me do a survey on it.
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Old 12-06-2007
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I think the material's durability is dependent on the skill of the builder. If the cement was mixed properly and there are no voids and the reinforcing steel was properly seated and sealed so it doesn't corrode....etc. In other words, its no different than any other material when it comes to quality. Ferro seems to have gotten a bad rap because of the many backyard builders who didn't do a good job back in the day. Surveyors can look at a wooden boat and find rot, and they have been very clever in discovering ways to find hidden flaws in fiberglass boats (moisture meters, infrared imaging); maybe they have similar tricks for ferro boats.

I hear that one of the biggest problems for the prospective ferro boat owner is obtaining insurance. Make sure you nail that down before you get too invested in this boat.
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Old 12-06-2007
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Nay. I think that your concerns are legitamate. Besides you will have to give it away. I knew a guy that built a boat out of ferrocement. Put $400K into it, three years later he dumped it for $150K
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Old 12-06-2007
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Just saw the "no survey" restriction in the Yachworld ad. That ought to set some alarm bells off in your head. Ask yourself, what possible reason could this seller have for prohibiting a survey? Sorry to burst your boatstruck bubble, but the only reason is that he is afraid the surveyor will find something that he doesn't want you know about. Unless you have a need for a 20,000lb. doorstop, I would pass on this bargain.
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Old 12-06-2007
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The no survey/no seatrial is a great big STOP sign to me too. What are they hiding?

That aside, this is going to be a slow boat to wherever, and the interior really needs a rework to be practical. The problem with most ferro boats were the builders, there was a craze for a while when people thought they could build a 40' boat for a couple of grand, which was the cost of the hull actually, and didn't realize the real cost of finishing a boat regardless of the build material. As a result there were lots of abandoned projects left for the landfill eventually.

This boat looks alright in the pics, but there are too many red flags IMO.

A 32 foot boat for $9k.... you usually get what you pay for.
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Old 12-06-2007
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All the different tile I saw in the pictures makes me think she was redone with scraps. It would be interesting to take a look at her, but take a real good look at her. It could be fun to have a peek. Don't get your hopes up though.
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Old 12-06-2007
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Heretic-says: I kind of like the interior. Hanking a jib on that bow spirit, even in calm conditions, would be pretty interesting. But - at $9K - buy it, even if it's a complete disaster area, sell off seats on the boat-to-be-sunk to divers... never met one that didn't want to go down with the boat I've also always wanted to put an old worn out sailboat in a trailer park slot.

(please note: i'm a half wit no ferro-cement knowledge but I'm in for $300 if you buy it and decide to sink it)
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Old 12-06-2007
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Also agreeing with the previous posters, but I would add that I think the lava lamp is very cool. Find out if it comes with the boat!
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Old 12-06-2007
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what the heck, for 9k and a blue water boat. it seems to float. if you like it, go with it. you could probably insure it for liability only. looks like a nice design. just remember, someone will buy it. who's to say if it'll be a headache or not. all boats are headaches in one way or another. i see people lose more than that playing one hand of blackjack. it's definitely "Popeye" looking. good luck whatever you choose.
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