Is yours a concrete, sorry, 'Ferro' boat...?! Do you work with
Tell us about it!
Do you own a concrete boat?
Did you build her yourself? How long have you had her? We'd love to hear all about it.
Perhaps you work with concrete boats? We'd love to hear all about your work and have some hints and tips on concrete boat maintenance.
What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages of a concrete yacht? Tell us, or
better still, show us your photographs too!
is a very sad sight we saw , in June 2000, in Simpson Bay Lagoon in Sint
of hurricanes every year for the last five years.
Can anyone tell us, is this an entirely normal degree of disintegration, under the
circumstances, or was the boats' hull faulty in the first place. We found
it quite an alarming sight. The concrete is entirely missing from the
steels, the framework being entirely visible, as though picked clean by
some flock of vultures. Did the concrete drop out under impact or disintegrate through contact
with the water? Perhaps someone with experience of concrete hulls will
be able to suggest how the hull got this way...
If anyone has photographs of a concrete boat being built we would
be fascinated to see them as, doubtless, would other readers...in the
meantime, for those who are wondering what a 'ferro' boat is, Captain
Quite-Right has a few words to say...
"This method of boat building requires layers of welded
wire mesh to be wired to the intersections of steel rods and tubes
following the skeletal outline of the intended hull. After forming a close meshed
construction, in the shape of the vessels' hull, the complete framework is rendered
with a semi-liquid mortar mix that is waterproof.
This operation is crucial, in that
the framework has to be rendered simultaneously from both outside the hull and inside. The best composition of mortar is said to contain
pozzolano, the same volcanic ash that was used by the Romans for its adhesive
qualities; fine sand and cement and, when cured: Hey Presto! You have a vessel. Like baking an
elaborate cake but on the grand scale.
Although concrete ships were introduced in the First World War, the Ferrocement
vessel is far removed from these, and employs a far more refined lay-up.
This technique was first introduced in Italy, by Professor Luigi Nervi, who successfully used it to make the spring-diving boards for the Olympic Games of
1943. He then expanded his activities into the field of buildings. Such was the confidence placed in this medium, that the roofs of Sydney Opera House are constructed of
Although maligned by some, this technique has been used to build tens of thousands of Ferrocement
boats; harbour launches and other craft to over 100 feet in
length. The wooden sampans of China have virtually disappeared, mass-produced Ferrocement
equivalents being preferred."
Perhaps you are a 'Ferro' enthusiast? We'd love to hear all about it, and
If you haven't already been there, you may enjoy our Tough Stuff
pages, another part of the Technical section.