design by Jay Benford
In the early
'70's, when it was socially acceptable to be designing in
ferro-cement, we did quite a number of designs in that medium.
The ones done under our supervision, with our techniques and
methodology, turned out quite well, usually with such a fine
finish on them they often were taken for nicely built wood
Then, within a few years, the results of Samson
Marine's marketing caught up with even the good ones, ruining
the resale value for one and all. They'd claimed that anyone
could build in the medium and do it quickly and cheaply.
Unfortunately, the results looked like they'd been taken
literally. Crude finish work and detailing abounded. They were
difficult to sell for even the cost of their materials. The
boating community at large assumed that anything that was
built of ferro-cement must, by definition, be one of those
crudely built boats and didn't want to be associated with
We'd always done designs in other materials.
These other materials are what we're working in today. We
still sell the occasional ferro-cement plan (almost always
overseas), but I won't do it without raising my concerns about
the resale situation.
This 12' Keelboat
was designed while we were heavily involved in doing
ferro-cement designs and was part of an ongoing materials
testing and design evolution program. Samson claimed that
building a boat under 30' was not practical, but we'd already
done a 17' Catboat. The data we'd gotten from the test lab
work proved correct in the success of this boat too.
12' Keelboat in ferro-cement
by Jay Benford.
Living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, we had no
concerns about draft. We thought we'd try out a small keelboat
that would be a good performer. The shell thickness was well
under ¼" and she was quite flexible without the gunwale
Today, I think something like this
ought to be cold-molded, and the structural detailing of the
Peapod might work well for her. Living on the shores of
the Chesapeake now, I appreciate more of the virtues of
shallow draft, and would think about a centerboard or
|Length datum waterline
|Displacement, to DWL
||125 sq. ft.
|Sail area-displacement ratio
Note: The displacement numbers
are calculated to the arbitrarily chosen DWL.
calculated ratios of displacement-length and sail
area-displacement will vary widely depending on the
loading of the vessel.