Buying a ferro-cement boat

Buying a ferro-cement boat

Loosely connected with the previous (24) regarding surveyors, and without disclosing any names (these comments are based on some recent approaches made to me in the USA). I thought I would give prospective ferroboat purchasers the benefit of some further time saving points to look for...before getting involved in the costs of actually engaging the services of a surveyor. Case 1/...an approach a few months back by a USA gov't agency regarding the certification of a 90ft ferro schooner for charter work. The vessel had two previous acceptable survey reports from so called 'certified surveyors'. Without needing to cast my eye on the vessel, I was able to condemn it as structurally unsound after just a few questions....q..'who built it'..a..'unknown'..q..'who designed it'..a 'an unknown amateur'..q..'do you have any of the original drawings and specs'..a..'yes'..q..'what is the lay-up of the armature'..a..'four layers of mesh over pipe frames'..q..'what 4 in and 4 out'..a..'no four layers total'..q..'that's not enough for a 32ft hull let alone a 90ft one, it is not structurally safe and will collapse under it's own weight when hauled out, is it on the hard now'..a..'yes'..q..'are there large cracks running fore and aft in the area between the turn of the bilge and the keel'..a..'yes, and there is water dripping out of them'..q..'are there cracks in the areas where the masts are stepped in the keel'..a..'yes'........it is collapsing under it's own weight and the masts are pushing their way out through the bottom ! Case 2/...I am considering driving over to look at a 50ft ferroboat that is being offered for sale, it sounds good (again in the USA and a long drive for the prospective buyer). Is it worth you coming to survey her for me, I have had some quotes from several qualified surveyors, but their prices vary enormously?..q..'I can travel to the USA and survey the boat for about the same as the middle group of charges you have been given, who designed the boat'..a..'the yard that built it is no longer in existance but it must be good because it was designed by Colvin and he is well known in the States. One thing that does bother me is that the owners are not keen to haul the boat out for inspection, and the engine is only 40hp. Isn't that a bit small for a 50ft boat.......Colvin is a well recognised designer, but not to my knowledge in ferro-cement, and with the added feature that it has been fitted with an obviously underpowered engine, I suspect it is an amateur adaption to ferro-cement of a Colvin design !

Colin Brookes....colb@xtra.co.nz

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The information and comments given on this 'World Of Ferroboats', website are based on first-hand experience gained by the contributors over many years of use, designing, surveying, building and repairing ferro-cement boats.