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post #11 of 16 Old 07-13-2004
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Ferro cement

No problem dshearn. Which ever boat you decide on I`m sure will be a good one for you. Just remember. There are no bad boats, only bad builders. Good morning Jeff. The boat ran in the early 80`s. There was a write up about the boat in the fishermans news about the boat being built. There was a short blurp about the race but no mention of how many boats or how long it took. Are you from Annapolis? I use to live in Solamons Island. The Tiki Bar was great in the summer. Not to mention blue crabs on a daily basis.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-14-2004
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Ferro cement

Thank you for the information on the Transpac Race. Yes, I live and work in, and sail out of Annapolis. I don''t go down to Solomon''s Island much anymore but I am planning on taking a few weeks and poke around the lower Bay later in the Season.

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post #13 of 16 Old 08-18-2004
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Ferro cement

Hi Maple Leaf owners...

Check out Maple_Leaf_All at Yahoo groups.

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post #14 of 16 Old 02-28-2008
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I have a 41' ferro high sided cutter that is exceptionally well built, performs aswell as any boat with like sail area. I have been through 8-10s for several days, hard and soft aground. Id hate to say but you have applied the misconseption to all ferro boats. I am sure some there are some with hippie made concrete anchors that have sunk in the past 20 years. Although mine has 1/4 inch steel grate 2 inch center aswell as 1/8 inch steel grate with inch center and five layers of poultry wire within its 3/4 inch hull. It is also in good unrusted shape. How do I know? Because I have drilled several holes while mounting a hard bemini and wind turbine. I think each boat should be judged by the quality of the craftsmanship. The boat is a little slow in near slack winds. I have gone through two days of 8-12 foot waves in a good storm. The boat was a true performer. It can definately handle double what this sailor can take. If any of you see a good buy on a ferrocement boat. take a look at the craftsmanship. You may find a real pearl.
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Originally Posted by Sasha_V View Post
This topic is going to attract a few opinions (what in yachting doesn''t) so I will throw in my 2c worth (adjusted for currency conversion and inflation + GST).

Cement boats have exactly ONE virtue to offer. They are cheap. Cheaper to build then either GRP or cold molded timber or alloy.
Of course int he modern world, the hull is only one part of the overall investment that equals "yacht"...and that means that quite frequently, cement boats represent a dollar value that can never be recouped. Because the spars, blocks, sails, electrics, electronics, winches, engine, etc etc etc are just like those found on a "real" boat...only bolted to a hull that a majority of sailing folks will never trust beyond staying afloat at the dock.

Cement boats suffer from a couple fo issues that give them a bad rep (some of which may not be justified). Many of these boats were "home built" as there was a huge fad for them soem years ago. Quality control is thus a bit...errr...patchy, at beast. They have lumps and bumps and irregular thickness in the hull. The mix is variable, so some areas are more brittle then others (and cement boats are ALL more brittle then GRP or wood).

Some mixes of cement are not as water proof as they ought to be and suffer capillery leeching. A lovely state in which you are living on board a seive nd trying to throw the water back overboard faster then it comes in. your major ally in this battle is PAINT. If this thought comforts you, then go for it.

Also linked to the above point is the reinforcment of the cement. It is chickenwire.
This means that in a grounding, and inpacts or whatever, lots of little concrete hexagons fly from your hull, and leave behind chickenwire to hold back the sea.
My favourite worst case scenario though, comes form the possibility of lightning strike! Imagine all of the chicken wire reinforcing suddenly going incandescently hot and blowing off the cement that surrounds it. Up the creek without a paddle does not begin to describe the situation!

So what are cement boats good for...well, you can buy a 40 foot cement boat for the same price as a 26foot GRP boat an use it as a live-aboard in oone of the nicest marinas you want to live in and that is it. Your "floating" concrete apartment by the water. Just don''t try sailing it too much or in too hard a weather.

Oh yeah, cement is kind of heavy too...so you will have a boat that weighs about the same as a steel hull...but with absolutely none of the advantages. (even your compass will have devation issues like a steel boat, because of the mesh in the hull).

Anyway...that is my opinion on the matter. I am more then sure that there will be cement boat officianados along any moment to defend their point of view.

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post #15 of 16 Old 02-28-2008
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Those who have not owned one should take in mind just that.
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-28-2008
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Welcome to sailnet... any reason for double posting above??? Also, ferrocement boats have justly earned their reputation, since the majority were home-built and most were of generally poor quality. Some were built using pipe instead of rod for the heavier members and that leads to condensation and corrosion that is hard to detect before it is too late. They're also fairly heavy and slow, and most were made heavier than necessary, due to poor construction techniques, making them far less stable than they should be, since they have a higher center of gravity than they were designed to have.

I would recommend you read this post, which will help you get the most out of your time on sailnet.


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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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