3.1 Site
3.2 Workshop structure andlayout
3.3 Services
3.4 Equipment
3.5 Tools (loose)
3.6 Launching systems

3.1 Site

It is essential that proper care be exercised in choosing asite, as this will have an ultimate bearing on the cost of the vessels andproductivity. There are therefore various considerations to take into accountprior to site acquisition:

A. Budget allocated: Is it sufficient for outrightpurchase or for rent? How are these costs to be viewed, eg as an investment,recoverable on overheads, etc.

B. Vessels: Type, quantity, and size of vessels to beconstructed at any one time.

C. Fitting out: Whether completion or part completion, hullsonly, or a combination of these is envisaged.

D. Size of site: Allowing for construction, machinery,material storage, offices, transport and/or launching, consideration ofproduction expansion at a later date.

E. Location: To river, sea or lake.

F. Moving: Launching and/or transport facilities.

G. Amenities available: Electricity, water, etc.

H. Availability of materials: Local and/or distant.

J. Access: Road, rail, river, sea, air.

K. Product marketing: Area of access, range of product neededto fulfil required volume of sales.

L. Classification Society: Surveyor easilyavailable.

3.2 Workshop structure andlayout

Whilst it is natural to pay considerable attention to thespecifics of ferrocement construction it is, at the same time, essential to havea building of the right type taking into account the prevailing local climaticconditions. Although various types of lightweight or temporary structure can beused in hotter climates, they are usually a short term measure and if one is tobuild a vessel to classification standard, the requirements for the control ofmaterial storage, workshop conditions, and general layout of the various stagesof construction, are fairly stringent. It would, therefore, be preferential togive the building structure and layout due thought (ref. Fig. No. 4 and5).

Figure 4. A typical ferrocementboatyard - FIRST FLOOR LEVEL


Figure 4. A typical ferrocementboatyard - GROUND LEVEL

Figure 5. A typical ferrocementboatyard

The following are items to consider:


A reinforced concrete floor, incorporating suitable drains toremove excess curing water (if this method of curing is to be utilized). Thefloor should be designed to withstand the local loads applied when jacking andmoving the size of vessel to be constructed. It is advisable at this stage toincorporate suitably located dead-men in the floor, to facilitate easy movementof the boats around the workshop.

Building framework

The building framework should ideally be designed to allow forthe use of hanging tie rods to support the boat's reinforcement both prior toand during casting and curing, if this method of construction is adopted. Aswell as indifferent use whilst lifting engines, deck equipment, etc.

Building height

The height of the eaves of the building should be sufficientfor ease of working on the sizes of vessels to be built. This may vary from theferrocement workshop to the fitting out workshop if composite construction isenvisaged. Also, free air ventilation in hot climates must be allowed for whilstbeing able to nullify the affect of wind or draughts during the casting stage.In cold climates extractor fans for removal of welding fumes, etc. will berequired.

Roof trusses

In the ferrocement workshop, it is convenient if the trussesare designed so that adjustable longitudinal RSJ's may be located to suithanging tie rods for the construction phase of the hulls.

Building cladding

Suitable cladding and construction materials, and insulationto offset the effects of heat or cold, should be incorporated in the building.This may be one of the requisites of a classification society.

Material storage

Suitable covered storage for materials should be allowed for,including the proper racking and storage of steel, mesh, cement and sand, aswell as following manufacturers' recommendations regarding storage and treatmentof materials to be held in stock.


Adequate access should be provided for receiving materials andfor allowing free movement of personnel around the working areas (fire andsafety precautions).


Adequate access and space for moving the craft to water,whether by slipway, road, or other means, should be allowed for.

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Machinery and equipment

Due consideration should be paid to space for machinery andequipment required not only during the ferrocement phase of construction, butalso for fitting out where a variety of different materials may be consideredfor use including perhaps timber, steel and fibreglass.

Covered space

Sufficient covered space including adequate structures foroffices, toilet facilities, lofting and frame making, should be taken intoaccount.

3.3 Services


Although ferrocement craft can be constructed withoutelectricity, it will normally be a requirement to have sufficient poweravailable for the use of welders, grinders, drills, lights, vibrating equipment,as well as for machinery required for fitting out, including in-houseengineering. This may mean, dependent on equipment, 3-phase as well as singlephase electricity supply being available in 120/240/440 volts asapplicable.


Good clean and potable quality water should beavailable.


If possible in hot climates, a local supply of ice made frompotable quality water would be advantageous in the casting process.


Availability of gas for use in oxyacetyleneequipment.


Some items of service and/or equipment may be hired, rented,or leased if outright purchase is not appropriate.

3.4 Equipment

The minimum desirable equipment and tools required forferrocement construction will obviously vary, according to the type of fittingout work that is to be undertaken and what variety of materials are to be used,as well as to what fabrication items may be subcontracted. However, a workablelist assuming a certain amount of woodwork and steel fabrication is undertakenwithin the premises, would be as follows:

Equipment (fixed)

- winch (hand or powered to suit vessel size to bemoved)

- up and over hacksaw with 150 mm capacity

- lathe (general purpose with 1 m throat)

- band saw (32 mm blade capacity)

- circular saw (400 mm blade minimum)

- planer/thicknesser (400 mm blade minimum)

- extraction equipment/ventilation

(i) shavings
(ii) fumes
- launching railway and trolley (dependent onsystem)
Equipment (loose)

All loose equipment listed can be classed as essential forhull fabrication.

- vibrator/hammer and non-vibratory drills 10 mmand 13 mm

- angle grinders 110 mm and 180 mm

- 20 mm stand drill complete with bits

- arc welding sets 190 amp (adjustable range with 10 mcables)

- oxyacetylene cutting equipment including 20 m hoses, gaugesand wheeled trolley

- plaster or pan type mixer (3-5 ft3/2.3-3.8m3 capacity) (3-5 HP motors)

- 2 HP and/or 440V electric vibrators with 6 m cables and 25mm pencil ends

- a set of 200 mm test sand sieves Nos. 7, 14, 25, 52, 100 andtray

- 6 cube moulds or cylinders with 600 mm x 16 mm squaretamping bar to suit BS or equivalent local standard

- slump test cone to BS or local standard

- 2 no. movable galvanised iron water tanks (1200 x 900 x600)

- jacks (hydraulic or screw) 25 tonnes - height closed 300mm

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- small hydraulically operated press (which can be removedfrom its frame and used in general bending duties)

- extending ladders (8 ms), usually 2 stage

- wire rope to suit winch and size of craft

- blocks and tackle

- free standing scaffolding trestles

- scaffold planks

- bending equipment

(a) pipe,
(b) rod
- steam curing equipment (if required)

- wheel barrows

- 15 litre heavy duty rubber buckets

- single sheave blocks for bucket lift

- assorted rope

Equipment - cost to be amortized over a number ofboats
- keel jigs

- tie bars

- frame making platform

- hull setting up RSJ

- hardboard or plywood sheets, paint and fastenings forlofting

- patterns, straight edges and spline material

- miscellaneous wood or similar trestle for framemaking

- frame spacers, rod spacers

- hull master frame and stem supports

- curing equipment including 100 g hessian or gunnycloth

- hoses, spray, nozzles, taps

3.5 Tools (loose)

This list will cover the general requirements to complete aboat, some of which may or may not be expected to be supplied by theworkforce:

- hacksaws and blades (generally 18 teeth x 300mm)

- chipping hammers (welders type)

- claw hammers (1 kg)

- plastic/hide hammers (1 kg)

- lump hammers (1-2 kg)

- sledge hammers

- tape rules (3-4 m and 30 m)

- plumbobs

- spirit levels (300 mm - 900 mm)

- bevel adjustable (225 mm)

- square (300 mm)

- adjustable square (225 mm)

- screw drivers (various sizes)

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- hand planes (various sizes)

- hand saws (various sizes)

- wood chisels (various sizes)

- cold chisels (12-25 mm)

- hand drill

- HSS twist drills (1.6 mm - 13 mm)

- G-cramps (100, 150 and 200 mm)

- sash cramps (1-1.6 m - carpenters wrench)

- engineers vices (150 mm)

- woodworkers vices

- electric drill chucks and keys (10-13 mm)

- round and flat files

- round and flat rasps

- wire brushes (3 row)

- hand held and flip front welding masks

- spare filter and clear lenses for welding helmets

- ambidextrous welding gloves/gauntlets

- spare 10 m welding lead and electrode holder

- spare 5 m earth lead and clamp

- end cutters (200 mm)

- ratchet handles for end cutters

- bolt croppers - tungsten jaws (600 mm)

- vice grips 225 mm pipe and flat jaw (mole grip)

- shears RH and LH - 280 mm (Gilbow, Draper)

- shears RH and LH (spring operated typical MS 260Japanese)

- rivet mason trowels - 10 no. (280 x 115 mm)

- pointing trowels (115-130 mm)

- gauging trowels (115-130 mm)

- wooden floats - various sizes (typically 280 x115)

- wooden hawks (typically 300 x 300)

- sand measuring box (305 x 305 x 280 mm = 45 kg)

- cement measuring box (305 x 305 x 225 mm = 27 kg)

- thermometer

- hygrometer

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- sand sieves - 900 x No. 7 mesh size

- pulley sets complete with nylon line (typically Haltrack No.1134)

- spare line for pulley sets (100 ms)

- masonry drill bits (6,8,11,13,16,20 and 25 mm)

- 8 mm x 12 mm clear PVC pipe - water level

- adjustable spanners (200-400 mm)

- set of metric double ended spanners (imperial ifrequired)

- set of metric ring spanners (imperial if required)

- metric socket set (imperial if required)

- discs for angle grinders (metal and stone)

- goggles and spare lenses for oxyacetyleneequipment

- gas cutting tips (typically)

- paint brushes (assorted size and quality)

- 3-core cable to suit plug boxes

- plugs and sockets for plug boxes

- insulation tape

- portable electric lamps

- First Aid box complete to suit regulationsapplying

1. Assortment of loosetools

3.6 Launching systems

Moving a boat from 'A' to 'B' may seem common sense to theaverage boatbuilder, but systems vary considerably around the world, mainly dueto the cost factor. However, this section will take a general look atlaunching/moving boats and the various considerations to take into account forthe uninitiated.

A launching system will, out of necessity, be derived from thefollowing criteria:

1. Cost
2. Site location
3. Machinery/Facilities
4. Craft type
5. Manpower
6. Safety
Cost effectiveness
- number of craft to be moved per year
- type and size and weight of craft to be moved
- distance to be moved
- type of ground to be covered
- complexity of system required
- type of equipment available for use
Site location
- the locality of the site and workshops inrelation to water will provide the key to the complexity and type of equipmentto be used

- the locality will also determine the type of terrain to becovered - eg hardstanding, concrete, sand, earth, gravel, etc.


Some machinery or equipment may well be available for hire andconsidered to be a better means of reducing capital outlay.

- crane
- lorry
- tractors
- capstan
- winch
- wheels/bogies/crawlers/rollers/greasy ways
- slipway system
- cradles
- railway sleepers or similar
- block and tackle/shackles/single/double sheaveblocks
Craft type

This may vary if repairs/renewal work is to beundertaken.

- fishing boats
- motor cruisers
- inland waterway ferries
- river craft
- barges
- yachts
2. Cradle located under ahull


Type of system to be used may depend on:

- training
- skilled or unskilled availability
- sub contract labour
- safety of movement of craft so as to minimizedamage from mishandling by creating stress points on the craft

- safety of personnel by ensuring a safe workingenvironment

- equipment safety checks prior to use

Any systems used will need to take account of the six pointslisted. No one point necessarily exceeds the others in order ofimportance.

Usually the first job to contend with will be moving the craftfrom inside the workshop into the open. This may initially be movement of hullsonly, on completion of the ferrocement work, for either preparation fordelivery, or for continuing the fitting out process.

A cradle mounted on wheels or crawlers on a sound floor willbe adequate for the lighter hulls such as yachts. For heavier craft, a cradlemounted on a railway system, rollers or crawlers, may be a bettersolution.

3. Moving a hull in theworkshop

On soft ground or sand, a greasy way or rollers with theweight suitably distributed on heavy planks, railway sleepers or similar, wouldbe required. The motive force can either be a simple capstan employingsufficient labour, or winch (manual or mechanical), or perhaps a tractor whichwould be more practical for the lighter craft unless it has a facility for fixedanchorage and considerable mechanical advantage through reduction by employingone, two, or three sheave blocks.

Once outside the workshop, depending on the distance to the(slipway) water, a crane could be used to good effect. It is much more likelythough that the process already described will be continued.

Obviously there are many different ways of tackling alaunching. The ideal method is to have an adjacent slipway and hardstanding.This allows the use of hand or mechanical means of launch, plus the benefit ofusing a crane if available, in addition to keeping the operation to a safestandard and using a minimum of labour.

A concrete apron from the workshop with a winch and dead-menis also a very useful requisite. A cradle should be made to suit the craft andboth set on a launching trolley whether run on wheels or a railway system. Anymeans of launching can be used in reverse and, therefore, renewal maintenancework can be carried out, helping to offset the original outlay required for thesystem.

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The size and cost of a launching method is proportional to thesize, weight and number of vessels to be handled.

There are many boatyards today using unsophisticated means oflaunching to save costs, but it could prove to be false economy if a vessel isdamaged as a result; or if any injury is incurred by a member of the workforcethrough risks taken in the use of an inappropriate launching system.


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