Ferro Basics -

Stages of hull construction (details follow)

Very few rules be set in concrete here - methods and opinions differ wildly

Pipe a or heavy rods are bent to that shape of each rib

All ribs are hung at their respective stations

Steel rods are strung and welded along the bottom and top of the ribs to lay the keel and establish the cap rail along the edge of the deck.

A number of 3/16" rods are stretched around the ribs as a temporary guide to judge the lines of the hull.

This is the last chance to make changes to the shape of the hull.

At this point the additional steel is added to keel for strength around the keel.  The deck is outlined, ribbed and gusseted  in steel.  The fiddle head, engine mounts, transom, scuppers are added.  

3/16" cold rolled steel is welded on  every 2-3" horizontally from the cap rail to the keel.

Much thought and work goes into insuring all aspects of the final completed boat are accounted for by the armature built up to this point.   All hard mounts, plumbing, rigging and anchor points should be accounted for.

Hardware cloth (steel mesh) is stretched over the exterior and interior tied on every three inches.  This works like fiberglass to provide a strength bearing binder to the concrete (resin).  Everything is steel up to this point, the shape can, and most, be worked until it is perfect.  Prior to plastering the armature should be so tight that it will nearly ring like a bell when hit.

Plastering day - All work leads up to this 30 hour day.  The wire skeleton must be right, the shop cleared of everything not related to plastering and enough tools assembled for a large crew.  Scaffolding is made ready to reach every part of the boat.   Everybody has to come on site fed and ready to start.  Once the mixer is started only two breaks are available until the whole boat is floated and trawled to final finished.  The number of workers drops off near the end but it is a big day.


Enlisting labor and thought in leu of money produces results that defy the lazy mans replication. You could do it too   (copyright 2010, Ken Adkison.)