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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Ferro cement
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-28-2008 09:02 PM
sailingdog Bfilling-

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.
02-28-2008 01:57 PM
bfilling Those who have not owned one should take in mind just that.
02-28-2008 01:53 PM
bfilling 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.
Respectfully,
Blaine 1
Quote:
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.


Sasha
08-18-2004 01:25 PM
cadutch
Ferro cement

Hi Maple Leaf owners...

Check out Maple_Leaf_All at Yahoo groups.

http://groups.yahoo.com
07-14-2004 03:43 AM
Jeff_H
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.

Jeff
07-13-2004 06:42 AM
ISLANDCHIEF60
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.
07-11-2004 12:43 PM
dshearn
Ferro cement

Thanks for the info ISLANDCHIEF. I have kinda moved away from the FC boats for a couple of reasons. It seems you can buy a bad boat made of anything. the Survyers in my area have little knowledge of FC ..... sure they will do them but they tend to blink funny any get all nondiscript when pressed on differnt points. It seems to come down to there same testing for fiberglass. I myself am quite new to boating and rely greatly on word of mouth and name brand recognition. And or course I am way to ignorant on teh subject of FC. I am also starting to look more at racer/crusieing boats. SO for a number or reasons i am moveing away from the FC boats. But i do appricate your time and thank you for responding.
07-10-2004 08:31 PM
Jeff_H
Ferro cement

There is a huge difference in the relative weight issue between ferro-cement and otehr materials when you are talking about a 60 foot boat vs a 50 or smaller footer. Properly built, ferro cement is a perfectly reasonable material for a 60 or so footer. It still is a comparatively expensive material to maintain over its life cycle if maintained on an equivillent basis to the more common boat building materials.

Just for the record, while blistering does occur in fiberglass boats built during a narrow period of time, it is not a universal problem within the better built boats of the recent past.

By the way, what year did your boat take a third in the Transpac and how many boats were in its class?

Respectfully,
Jeff
07-10-2004 03:39 PM
ISLANDCHIEF60
Ferro cement

Well dshearn, I have to dis agree with some of what jeff and sasha have to say. I for one live and sail on a Ferro-Cement boat. I love my boat. However I have one that was built correctly. Mine is a Stan Huntingford Mapel leaf 60. There were two of these models built. The sister ship is in St. Tohmas called New Horizons and is chartered. I`m in the northwest and cruise the area also the boat has also been in the Trans-Pac race taking third in its class. Not bad for a Rock. Its a shoal draft with a drop center board. The boat is also as fare as any fiberglass boat thats poped out of a mold. As far as maintenance goes. I don`t have the blister problems that glass boats have or rot issues that wood boats have nor corrosion problems that steal boats have. Weight?? It comes in at 58,000lbs (dry). No more than any other 60ftr. Speed?? Well it will sail 10 kts with moderate wind all day long and has been logged @ 18 kts in heavy weather with reasonable comfort down below. I`ve never had the bobbing effect that was described. On one outing I was with two other boat boats, a 58ftr and a 63ftr and they didn`t fare that well when the winds started to kick up. I also had to reduce more sail than normal for them to stay close. So the point of all this? It dosen`t matter what the boat is made of as long as its built well. There is a web site that will give you tons of info on Ferro Boat " The World Of Ferro-Cement Boats". Don`t loose interest on a Ferro-Cement boats. It true that they are less money. However you will pay good money for one thats built right. Don`t let these guys fool you into thinking that all Ferro-Cement boats are trash. Every type of construction has boats that are built well and poorly. They key to it all is education on your part. If you know what to look for, you can get one of the best boats around. Ferro_Cement boats have been around for quite some time. As a matter of fact. In New Zealand, Austrailia and in Europe they are still building them. So They way I see it if they are still in construction then they can`t be as bad as what is led to believe. The biggest problem with this type of boat wasn`t the boat itself it was the builder and marketing. The salesmen tells Joe Shmoe that he can build this nice boat in his back yard with ease. Joe says great and soon discovers its not easy at all and gets fustrated with the results. Soon starts the bad mouthing and it snowballs from there. If you find a properly built Ferro-Cement boat and you don`t plan on re selling any time soon then I would stongly consider it. I`m taking mine around the world and I feel perfectly safe in it. I don`t woory about logs or shipping containers or even whales. My boat was built with intergrated tanks with removeable deck lids. So in the event I was ever holed then all I would loose is some fresh water. It also has a colision bulkhead. The boat was truely design with the ocean in mind. If I sound like I`m proud of my boat, I am! However if I had an equaly built boat in any other construction I still would be. I think I found a dimond in the ruff. Ruff being Media Histeria. There is nothing wrong with having a Ferro-Cement boat. The trick is finding a good one. I would also look over seas for one. Good luck with you search.
Chuck
06-29-2004 01:13 AM
dshearn
Ferro cement

i allready own a 33 cal i am prefectly happy with that has some surprisling good speed to it. But i was kinda shocked when this big old 50 footboat was priced what i consider pretty darn low. I am pretty close to makeing a liveabord for finacial reasons , so i just assumed that this 50 footer would be a great boat to do it on. Corse that was last week and i knew nothing about Ferrocement boats. This one looks like a production boat not something some one made in there back yard. But who wants to make that kind of purchase when there is ZERO upside to it. Even assumeing i lived on it for the next 30 years untill i retire i would still more likely then not have to buy a diffrent boat if i wanted to go cruseing. Soooo i just dont see it happening now unless he wanted to give it to me for the price of its engine
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