Q&A: What About Ferro-Cement Boats?

Question [edited for brevity]: I was perusing the boats for sale on the web and came across a number of ferro-cement hulled boats and I was wondering what you thought of that material in general for use in a cruising boat. Is it ever a good idea or is it a matter of manufacturer and current condition? Since I haven’t heard of any companies using it these days I thought it might be an indication that it was an experiment that didn’t show a lot of promise.

Answer: We have no experience with ferro-cement boats, other than hearing that they do not handle abrasion well. But we do know Mick and Bee who have been sailing their gaff-rigged ferro-cement sailboat Hannah for many years, though we’ve never asked them for their thoughts on ferro-cement.

Does anyone out there have personal first-hand experience with ferro-cement boats, or good and qualified engineering information (no hearsay, please)? If so, please leave a comment.

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Phyllis has sailed over 40,000 offshore miles with John on their McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, most of it in the high latitudes, and has crossed the Atlantic three times. As a woman who came to sailing as an adult, she brings a fresh perspective to cruising, which has helped her communicate what they do in an approachable way, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 18 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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