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Old 11-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #1
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Ferro Cement Boat

I am looking at a boat designed By Steve Seaton the boat is in Bellingham on Craigs list.

It is 54 ft built by Featherstone Marine out of florida 1971 anyone know about them or Ferro Cement boats.

SDhttp://www.discoverycoastyachts.com/.../54seaton.html


-- Edited by skipperdude on Monday 28th of November 2011 02:06:46 PM
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

Years ago my next door neighbor had a 54' ferro cement sail boat that he had built in his Chicago backyard and then sailed down the rivers, etc. ending up in Clear Lake Texas. It had a nearly new 85 hp Lehman, Cruise Air, 8 kw Westerbeke and very modern navigation gear. The masts were aluminum and the sails were first class.

After a few years in the Texas humidity the armiture (metal re bar skeleton) that the cement was slathered on began to rust*causing*large cracks and rusty streaks to form on the outlside of the hull.

Then he began trying to sell it. I forget how much he said that he had in the boat but the offers (very few)*made him want to cry.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #3
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

eye catching is one word for it. If its lasted 40 years its probably good stuff.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

My thought also.

*Doc. It says the armiture is of stainless. I don't see any signs of rust . But a fresh paint job could cover that.*

SD
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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Ferro Cement Boat

Specs say stainless steel armature. Topsides look quite fair although its hard to tell for sure from the pics. Interesting looking boat. Would love to see more pics, particularly of the engine room.

*

OOps. Skipperdude just beat me to the post.


-- Edited by dwhatty on Monday 28th of November 2011 02:31:24 PM
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #6
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

It is very cool looking. But, there is stainless and there is stainless...just sayin'
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Ferro Cement Boat

Hey FF,

*What do you know about the company that built the boat.

Featherstone Marine. supposedly in Florida

What about the engine. I have the Detroit 671's are leakers.

SD*


-- Edited by skipperdude on Monday 28th of November 2011 03:00:14 PM
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:22 PM   #8
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

I've been fortunate to be able to visit a couple Seaton design boats at TrawlerFests.* They are nice, salty looking boats for sure.* I love the look.*

The ones I was on aren't long on the yachty, luxury features though.* The fit and finish and roominess are more utilitarian than yacht like.* They weren't bad by any stretch, but the interiors were not the hand made, custom furniture finish you see on many boats.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:28 PM   #9
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

In the construction industry, which I know very well. SS is not recommended for re-bar because it can corrode too. After 20 years, I'd question any ferro cement hul, but 40 years, why go there? Especially since you can buy well made vessels for not too much right now if you shop carefully.

*
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:02 PM   #10
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

Even if the structure is very good, the resale market is just about non-existent for Ferro cement boats. Steve Seaton designs excellent boats. The problem is not in the design, its the construction (justified or not).
In the 70's, many were singing the praise of the beautiful boats that any amateur can make in their driveway. Consequently, many crudely built homemade tubs were launched. Ferro got a HORRIBLE reputation.
Some real boat builders made fine boats but they are all suspect because of the many bad ones.
If I were you I'd happily sail your current rig (nice boat) or keep lookin - you can do better!
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:14 PM   #11
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

There might also be an issue when trying to insure it.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #12
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

OK I calculated the. the pro's and con's based on the responses.

She is a no go. Thanks for the input.

Like Jack said I'll Keep running the current boat and keep looking.

I've got time. I'm looking at cashing out in 5 years.*

This forum is perfect for what I'm trying to do.

Keep those cards and letters coming Kids.

Sd
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:53 AM   #13
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

"What do you know about the company that built the boat.

Featherstone Marine. supposedly in Florida"

Nothing , but I would avoid EVERY concrete boat as there is no way to examine the hull , and most are 18-20 lbs per sq ft of hull area.

Heavy equals big fuel burn and mucho draft

"What about the engine. I have the Detroit 671's are leakers."

Detroit engines usually leak from crap mechanics attempting to fix them.

Unquestionably the DD sealants were crap, but most folks use OTS commercial sealing gop, and not have leaks.

The engine in my boat is a post WWII engine that lived in the "can" in a war depot till almost 2000.

So few hours that it still does not leak, as its near new.

Interesting , that is uses a factory bypass filter , no full flow oil filter installed.

The oil stays amazingly clear (not instantly black after an oil change and 5 min run), takes 50 hours to start to go brown.

Fero cement , houseboat , or run like heck!
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:54 AM   #14
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Ferro Cement Boat

Brick boats were a very popular amateur build back in the 70's and some were good and some were bad.
Usually after about 10/15 years the good/bad became apparent.Usually with concrete cancer.
With that Seaton being a 71 model it is probably a good un but insurance will allways be a problem and looking at the USA market there are a lot of nice Defever 49s around and newer for that kind of money


-- Edited by Tidahapah on Tuesday 29th of November 2011 05:56:57 AM
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:38 AM   #15
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

Interesting comments............

The two biggest hurdles with Ferro boats are insurance and peoples perseption.* There are insurance companies that will insure them,but it's easier to get liability only ( no hull loss ) insurance.

Peoples opinion of ferro boats comes from all the ****ty boats that were built in the late 60's and early 70's.* My opinion changed somewhat after we lived in New Zealand and saw many examples of good ferro boats.

Most were overbuilt and weighed too much... backyard builders thought if a little was good more must be better... not so.* folks that don't know better think that they will crumble if they hit something and are not reparable.. not so. They get named as "Concrete Boats" but in fact they are plaster...

The Seaton boat appears to be a good example of a ferro boat, solid armature, very fair... but that is looking at pretty small pics.* It appears to have wood or metal bullworks.*

My opinion changed in the last 20 years of ferro boats... I know of two excellent examples... one I ended up owning for nine years.. and traveled in safety and comfort for thousands of miles.************************* She was 50' X 15'3", weighed 60000 lbs and used 2.3 gallons per hr. @ 7.9kts... not too bad

Would I own one again...... I am not sure... for us it worked... most it doesnt...** We were always asked what she was made of... most thought she was steel... some thought wood but she was too fair... others assumed glass.* I always told everyone she was FRP... fiber renforced plaster!... I didnt want to have to listen to the Oh... comments and look at their raised brows!

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:13 AM   #16
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

There are all sorts of concrete "boats" made today for*dock and house boat uses. A good thick layer - 8" minimum -**of concrete imbedding the rebar is the secret with joints properly sealed and designed. Concrete tanks, pools and basements in wet areas are also perfectly acceptable uses. Nuclear containment structures are other examples of last forever (excepting tsunamis)**concrete "boats." I*have seen 2000 year old Roman pools and cisterns in Spain that still hold water and do not leak much -* they knew how to build and compact very good foundations.

But a 3" hull re-inforced with chicken wire will not stand the design criteria analysis for boat use under continual flexing.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:10 PM   #17
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

We owned a ferrocement yacht in the 80s. It was built by Cooksons, who now build top-end racing yachts and America's Cup boats here in NZ.

*The hull was*so fair, it looked like GRP and it*was very thin with a dense non-stainless armature. Stainless doesn't provide a good key for the plaster -* slight rust*on the steel*is desirable - and it will corrode very quickly in the presence of moisture and the absence of air.

The boat was damaged in a storm when the marina was*wrecked and a pile punched through the hull at the stern just above the waterline (fortunately). We completed the repair using expocrete (epoxy concrete) and it was a relatively*easy job which looked as good as new.

After we sold her, she hit a rock in the Marlborough Sounds and sank. She's now an artificial reef. There have been many ferro boat built here in NZ as the materials*were cheap and owners discounted the enormous hours of labour. Professional ones were generally well-designed and built but many amateur ones were shockers.

The boating world has moved on and no-one wants them anymore.

*
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:04 PM   #18
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

Being a Master Builder Mason and concrete professional in construction practices; for decades*having personally worked in the Mud Trades hand installing or having my crews install nearly every imaginable type of Mud material, product or additive (professional masons call concrete, mortar, and plaster Mud... simply due to workable consistency).* The following are the truest of trade-slang and personally experienced statements.


*


*There are two types of cured concrete, plaster, and mortar:


-****** That that has cracked and that that is going to crack*


*


There are two types of embedded metal reinforcement material:


-****** That that has corroded and that that is going to corrode


*


In like kind to others on your thread... and although that boat looks real nice... I advise against purchase.


*


*
*
*
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:16 AM   #19
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RE: Ferro Cement Boat

Quote:
sunchaser wrote:
But a 3" hull re-inforced with chicken wire will not stand the design criteria analysis for boat use under continual flexing.
*This statement, was the kind I would of made before I learned more about ferro boats....

Mine had a monel armature... and the hull thickness was 1" thick... yes only 1"... and not a crack in over 40 yrs.

One of the keys to a good one was a steam cure ( this was pricy and most backyard builders skipped this )

More and more surviving ferro boats appear to be the good ones .. or worth saving.. not necessarly the clunkers that predominated the market in the 80/90's.

I believe there were so many bad ones that we are predisposed to think they all are crap.

If a really good one ( construction and design/looks ) can be had for well less than a comparable glass boat it might be a option......

I bought mine for the cost of her machinery only... I got the complete hull and interior for free.* I had her for nine years and ended up trading her for a boat worth twice what I had paid nine years prior.* The new owner has upgraded her and pampered her... for me it was a HUGE Win!

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywood8118 View Post
*

Mine had a monel armature... and the hull thickness was 1" thick... yes only 1"... and not a crack in over 40 yrs.

HOLLYWOOD
I've found one:

1973 55' Port McNiel Trawler Custom Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

43 years old. What do you think?
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