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Old 09-23-2015, 11:59 AM   #1
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Ferro Cement hulls

I was wondering...

I occasionally hear about Ferro Cement boats, but have never actually seen one. Do they really exist except in a backyard bosat builders imagination? Has any professional outfit ever made one?

Is this a material to consider for a ocean going boat?

It is interesting reading about the technology though...
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:08 PM   #2
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I was wondering...

I occasionally hear about Ferro Cement boats, but have never actually seen one. Do they really exist except in a backyard bosat builders imagination? Has any professional outfit ever made one?
Is this a material to consider for a ocean going boat?
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Ferrocement Boats
Concrete Ships: The Powell River Floating Breakwater
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #3
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Ferro Cement hulls

There are about five of them in the area. Most of them Samson hulls. All from the 70's. Two of them are live aboard. One up in Lund is a trawler.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:11 PM   #4
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The concrete ships are not ferrocement.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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The concrete ships are not ferrocement.
Granted.
Just another interesting piece of history.
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Old 09-23-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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I've seen one of the very first Kadey-Krogen that Art Kadey built and lived in way back when in Coconut Grove. It is currently laid up in Marathon Florida and undergoing a resurrection of sorts. Interesting book. and under going a resurrection of sorts. Interesting boat.

Yeah they exist. That's the only trawler I've seen with a ferrocement hull though.
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:07 PM   #7
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I remember a guy building a ferrocement boat in his backyard in Orlando Florida back in the 70's and 80's. We used to drive by the guys house and you could see the boat in the back yard. I heard he did finish the boat and launched it. Have no idea about the boat specifications or if the boat was a good build or not. But the guy did it.

I have read some references to ferrocement boats on Cruising Forum.

Later,
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:45 PM   #8
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I believe Refugio's boat is Ferro-cement. Hopefully he will check in with comments.


Yachtworld has six pages in search for Ferro-cement.

ferro cement Boats For Sale
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:45 PM   #9
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I've been on 2, both sailboats. One was a 50' Samson hull and the other was a build from NZ. I was on the NZ boat 4 or 5 times before I was told it was ferro cement. The hull was as true as any high end FG boat as was the interior finish. Talking to the builder/owner, when it was built, it was done continuously. The last I heard the boat was in England.
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:52 PM   #10
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A quick look on Yachtworld came up with many FC sailboats, including a number of Samson builds, and at least one trawler.

There was a mid fifty foot FC trawler type for sale somewhere in the southern area of Vancouver Island within the last two years that apparently was well done, according to a friend who gave it a good look. It was a Seaton design.

Anyway, here is the YW listing:

1973 Port McNiel Shipyard Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
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A quick look on Yachtworld came up with many FC sailboats, including a number of Samson builds, and at least one trawler.

There was a mid fifty foot FC trawler type for sale somewhere in the southern area of Vancouver Island within the last two years that apparently was well done, according to a friend who gave it a good look. It was a Seaton design.

Anyway, here is the YW listing:

1973 Port McNiel Shipyard Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Yep, I did a search and found only two ferro cement power boats with diesel engines for sale un the USA.

That one was one of them.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #12
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In the early 70's, that's all the boating mags would write about, kind of like pod drives now. You see them now and then laying in the backs of boatyards, huge, gray, and without windows and ports.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:22 PM   #13
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In the early 70's, that's all the boating mags would write about, kind of like pod drives now. You see them now and then laying in the backs of boatyards, huge, gray, and without windows and ports.
You are so correct! I have several boat building books from the 70s and ferro cement was defintiely the rage then! I've seen several unfinished hulls but have only viewed one (a sailboat) on the water and that was many years ago.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:37 PM   #14
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I've known a couple sailboats and 4 or 5 commercial trollers over the years.
A lot depends on the builder (this is new?) as to quality.
They did the job and seemed to last.

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Old 09-23-2015, 04:40 PM   #15
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We've had three or four of them on our dock over the years. All were sailboats. One was a 70' ketch that for years was lived on by its owners and was used in dinner cruise and island charter work. The interior of that boat was gorgeous.

Another was a very nice double-ended sloop of about 40' in length that the owner lived on for a number of years. He eventually had to move to California in search of work. I don't know what became of the boat.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:53 PM   #16
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I know of at least 3 that cruised the south pacific for years. Those were gorgeous sailboats. The hulls were fair enough that you really could mistake them for fibreglass. OTOH, I recall several built by lesser craftsmen that wouldn't hold fairing compound or paint, so looked as though their next stop would be the landfill.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:15 PM   #17
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Had a friend that built one back in the 80's it was a 65' schooner and absolutely gorgeous. Ships carpenters spent 2 years on the interior. She was fast and classic....
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:19 PM   #18
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IIRC ferro was the rage at the time because it was a cheap way to build a hull. Thing is, building the hull is probably only 20-25% of the total boat cost. As the owners, or particularly the builders, of the beautiful ferro boats mentioned above will tell you.

One result was that back yards had these things half finished in them. Half finished usually because time and cost of build exceeded initial expectations. They were invariably sailboats, typically large (because its cheap to build from a materials perspective, we can make it large!).

Ferro is not alone there though! Many home builds are finished by someone other than the person who started the build. So back yards had semi-abandoned monsters in them that were difficult and expensive to move. By the mid 80's house rental contracts here in SE Queensland often had a clause prohibiting building a ferro in the backyard.

A couple of cons are: firstly insurance. It can be very difficult to find an underwriter who will accept it. Whilst you may not care, you do need insurance to stay in most marinas. Secondly, hitting something like a dock hard can result in very difficult effective (versus cosmetic) repairs. Salt water working its way along the armature (and rusting it) in such cases is likely a key reason the insurer's balk.
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:27 PM   #19
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I think this is FC.
I don't remember when I first saw it but it has been there for a long time.
I walk by it every day and although I have never heard or seen anyone, I think things have changed over time.

Roche Point may know more.
Damn...sideways again, what am I doing wrong?
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:40 PM   #20
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[QUOTE=Insequent;372996]IIRC ferro was the rage at the time because it was a cheap way to build a hull. Thing is, building the hull is probably only 20-25% of the total boat cost. As the owners, or particularly the builders, of the beautiful ferro boats mentioned above will tell you.


Absolutely agree - luckily not from personal experience. Ferro boats were all the rage - soooo cheap to build - BUT - the things that aren`t cheap are all the bits that go in and on the hull - engine, mast, rigging sails etc etc etc this is where the back yarders hit the wall financially.
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