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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Any thoughts on a 1970 "Seasmoke" 40' Sloop?

Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Remember the ads he used to run in PY in the 80s??
Yeah - they were great fun. I notice their descendents here sometimes - "The end of the world is nigh - buy a good sailboat so you can sail away from it all".

Spending weeks onboard Stormstrutter with him on one leg of his Pacific circles would have been an experience!

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I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Any thoughts on a 1970 "Seasmoke" 40' Sloop?

Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Bill, I think you'll find that ferro boats here are not generally up to the standards found in Oz and Europe. There they were largely built by pro's while here they were largely built by hippies & dreamers.

I knew John Sampson and Chris Deiner, his foreman when they were in their heyday in production in Richmond. John was an interesting eccentric and a hell of a promoter but he had some screwy ideas about boatbuilding. For Example, there is a C-Quin for sale here that they built. It's one of the better ferro boats around but it floats a FOOT or more below its lines. Chris told me that John wanted to eliminate all the areas that could trap water in the hull. He had read about how they would sometimes fill these areas with pitch in old wooden boats so he decided to imitate them, but with CEMENT. You can imagine how much weight it would take to sink a 44' boat a foot or more - Tons!

That was done by the main promoter and one of the better builders of ferro boats here. The ones I've seen from Oz & Europe were to a much higher standard - perhaps only because they were the ones that had successfully made it here.

There are a few well built ones here - I know of a C-Breeze on the island that is very nice and I've seen an Endurance 35 that was indistinguishable from glass but they are the rare exceptions here. Even the better built ones tend to have kinks in the sheer and/or other very basic flaws.
G'day SJB,

Good to see there are others on here who remember the 60's I never met Mr Sampson but I did meet a few FC boat builders in the 60's, back then I was living and working in Greece...All happy days
You could be right about FC boats built in the States, I've never seen one but all five local FC boats are nice boats. They are nice looking boats and all were built by there owners...None were yard built. All five of those FC boats have sailed round the world and back to Oz again but none of those boats are for sale
There is a 1979 Samson C-Breeze for sale in NZ but you won't buy it for a few thousand bucks, like the Seasmoke can be had for, by the way, I honestly believe Michael should go check-out the Seasmoke for himself before people on fourms, who know nothing about FC boats, put him off buying. I'm not referring to anyone in particular but you know there are so many armchair experts on everything on forums
Michael could give the Seasmoke a going-over before contacting Hartley to get the address of a recommended surveyor in his neck of the woods.
Well built local, AU FC boats, can still be found here in AU or/and NZ. Here are a few I would not mind owning:
This AU 38' Samson Eagle is a nice FC boat.
This NZ Herreschoff Neria Ketch 36ft is another nice FC boat.
And yet another NZ Herreschoff 36'er.
I also like this AU 47' Wilf Okell Ketch (Wilf Okell is a FC boat designer in AU from way back, Wilf is to FC as Jim Brown is to Tri's ) If I go after this Ketch, I could avoid the import hassels. The owner states she is Pro built but I have my doubts, something about her stern just dosen't look to be a Pro job of plastering, or, perhaps I'm being to fussy Whatever, she's a long way from my home so getting to check her out is a three/four day job. I know I will never buy any boat here in AU or NZ for what you will pay for a similar boat in the States, and I still believe Michael should go check the Samson Seasmoke for himself. For a few thousand bucks, what has he got to loose...It cost nothing to enquire further on the Seasmoke.

Cheers SJB,


Last edited by BillAU; 06-22-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012
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Re: Any thoughts on a 1970 "Seasmoke" 40' Sloop?

I had written this long post (oops, this one turned out too long as well)_ about my experience with ferro cement, but I lost it - I guess it was so long that I had to re-log on, and I lost it in the process - lucky for you guys.

Anyway, I had a 32' Sampson designed gaff-rigged cutter built by a wonderful guy, Jean Claude (most people called him JC), on his home island of Mauritius. She was built in 1979, and except for work on the standing, and running rigging - because JC made a stop in Tortola, and found his new home - got married and had a beautiful child, and the boat sat in the mangroves, somewhat neglected - but otherwise, she was in great shape.

I bought her, "Bonne Esperance" for $6000, and sailed her hard for nearly 2 years, made some minor improvements, and sold her for $12,500 right after Hurricane Marilyn - I wasn't planning on selling her, although I knew I wanted a boat that was a little more....nimble, but he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

I have nothing but positive things to say about ferro cement - because my experience was so good, and because she was built very well by the guy I bought it from. Tough as nails, and with the wooden mast, long bow sprit that was rusting, sending some rust streaks down her sides, she was often admired - I think because it made people think of either a pirate ship, or Popeye, I'm not sure which. Frequently, people would get off their beautiful "million dollar yachts" (anything that was new, shiny, and big), and dingy on over to talk about my boat.

I got slammed a bunch of times in anchorages, mostly in Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, because back then, there were no mooring balls. One time a Beneteau 501 slammed so hard that it cracked their fiberglass, and crunched a stanchion, but "Bonne Esperance" received nary a scratch.

I think the advice from many of the posters, that surely know more than I, to get someone that knows FC boats to look her over. The only thing I can think of which could be bad, is if the steel meshing that's used to build these boats, if that got wet, rusty, that would be a bad thing (duh, right?).

Good luck, and smooth sailing
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Old 06-25-2012
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Re: Any thoughts on a 1970 "Seasmoke" 40' Sloop?

Michael, I advise you to buy Colin Brookes book, Ferro Cement Boats, Offered for sale from: Hartley boat building books and instructional CD's

In his book (3rd Edition) Mr Brookes states in Chapter 4, Quote:

It is NOT normally the amateur constructed boat that is the problem factor but the amateur DESIGNED boat that is the root cause of most adverse FC boat stigma.
End Quote.

Like I stated above, you should buy Mr Brookes book, reading the book will help you no-end to what, and what not, to look for in buying a FC boat. (I am in no-way affiliated or associated with Hartley Boats, Colin Brookes or I just know Colin Brookes book is, imho, a great book and should be owned by everyone who is thinking of buying or owns a FV boat. I own a copy )

The following quote is from:

Quote: One of the great advantages of a ferroboat hull is....if it was built reasonably well in the first place, almost any damage is repairable. End Quote.

To get a better idea of what other FC boat sellers are asking and getting for their boats, you should check: 12.html

Were I in your position, I would be asking the seller,
Who built the Seasmoke
Is there a build certificate for the Seasmoke
(If the Seasmoke was Pro built, the yard should have issued a build certificate for the boat)
Did the builder stick to the plans while building

The plans for the seasmoke would also be handy to have


Last edited by BillAU; 06-25-2012 at 12:11 AM.
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