Valiant 46 Masthead Ketch (project boat)
East Coast, United Kingdom
Valiant 46 masthead ketch professionally built by Petticrows for first owner in 1977 to a design by Alan Hill and originally built and certified to Lloyds +100A1. White painted ferro-cement hull with teak deck and rubbing strake all round. 'Tek-dek' on aft deck. Ferro/iron long keel with iron ballast. Whitlock hydraulic wheel steering to keel-hung rudder. Self draining cockpit. The interior has been professionally re-fitted with ash woodwork and new upholstery between 2000 and 2005. There is lots of expensive kit onboard. This boat is not a marina queen with a huge cockpit, loads of berths and not much storage space; it is a sleek, fast, go-anywhere cruiser ideal for a couple who may have one or two young children and want a boat with the storage capacity to enable cruising far from the beaten track. With the addition of solar/wind power generation, electric propulsion, induction cooking and a water catchment system this boat would be almost autonomous.
The vessel was extensively cruised by her first owner. On completion she was sailed to Portugal, Spain, the Canaries and the West Indies, then to Florida via the Bahamas. For the most part, she was kept on the East Coast of America, cruising the ICW, Chesapeake and Florida areas in summer, with winters spent in the Bahamas. In the summer of 1997, she returned to the UK via Beaufort NC, Bermuda, the Azores and Falmouth. The owner and his wife performed the outward passage, while the return passage was single-handed.
LOD: 46 ft 7 in
Beam: 12 ft 6 in
LWL: 33 ft 0 in
Draft: 5 ft 9 in
Displacement: 14750 kg
Ballast: 4500 kg
4/5 berths in 2 cabins with approx. 6'4" max. headroom (6' in galley/saloon area, one hatch overhead.). Owners stateroom is forward with raised double berth and storage lockers, one of which contains the generator controls and Eberspächer wet/dry central heating unit. One hatch overhead. Heads to starboard in own compartment with newish Jabsco marine toilet, wash basin, shower with shower curtain rail and heated towel rail.
· Large forepeak containing the diesel generator and storage for sails and equipment. One hatch overhead.
· Large galley area to port with Leuven 230VAC upright refrigerator
· Combi microwave, stainless steel sink with hot and cold running water, wine rack and ample storage in high/low-level cupboards
· Removable pipe cot can be fitted to provide the fifth berth.
Deck and fittings
· Pilothouse design with large yacht-laid teak foredeck with 3 hatches providing access to/from the saloon, stateroom and forepeak
· CQR-type anchor with approx 150' chain
· Simpson Lawrence Sea Tiger SL555 manual anchor windlass
· Stainless steel pulpit, pushpit and stanchions
· 2 stainless steel Samson posts
· 3 ventilators
· Sestrel Major compass on mizzen mast
· JRC 1500 MkII radar at chart table
· Leitz MX420 GPS system at chart table
· NKE gyropilot-autopilot system at chart table
· NKE remote wireless control for autopilot with MOB facility
· NKE compass/wind/log/speed/depth on binnacle
· NKE fluxgate compass
· Brass clock, barometer and tide clock
· Deck lights on main and mizzen spreaders
· Deck-level navigation lights
· Aries windvane autopilot
· Mains 230 volt shore power and Victron 2500VA 230VAC inverter / 12V-120 Amp battery charger
· An almost unused (35 hour) Mariner 7.5 kVA diesel generator in enclosure installed in forepeak, seawater cooled
· Large sealed and ventilated battery box under pilothouse double bunk sized to house up to six 170Ah Thin Plate Pure Lead 12V AGM batteries to provide 1000Ah capacity
· Single 75Ah generator starting battery housed under stateroom double bunk
· Generator controls in stateroom locker
· Mains power sockets on 13 amp ring main wiring in cable trays fed from a consumer unit containing MCBs and RCBs
· 12 V electrical box containing fuses and shunt for Victron inverter. 12 V Interior lighting throughout
· The DC switching is in place but needs to be reorganised with a new panel in place of two existing doors
Rigging & Sails
Masthead rigged ketch. Sailspar white aluminium deck stepped double spreader mainmast with running backstays. Traveller on bridge deck. Sailspar white aluminium single spreader mizzen mast with running backstays. White aluminium booms with main boom capable of being rigged for slab or roller reefing. Twin aluminium spinnaker poles stowed on mainmast. Stainless steel standing rigging (new 2005/6). Terylene running rigging (new 2005/6).
· Harken headsail furling system. Removable inner forestay. 4 Gibb sheet winches in cockpit. Single Harken 53 self-tailing genoa sheet winch at aft end of cockpit for easier single-handed sailing. Lewmar 42 self-tailing and Gibb halyard winches on main mast. 2 halyard winches on mizzen mast.
o Mainsail - Cheong Lee - 1977 - Dacron - Fair - 390 sq.ft.
o Mizzen - Cheong Lee - 1977 - Dacron - Fair - 150 sq.ft.
o Furling genoa - 2006 - Dolphin - laminated with foam luff and U/V leach - v good
o Genoa - Cheong Lee - 1977 - Dacron - Poor - 578 sq.ft.
o Working jib - Cheong Lee - 1977 - Dacron - Good - 187 sq.ft.
o Storm jib - Cheong Lee - 1977 - Dacron - Good - 97 sq.ft.
o Yankee - Cheong Lee - 1977 - Dacron - Moderate - 386 sq.ft
o Running staysail - Cranfield - 1981 - Dacron - Fair - 500 sq.ft.
o Mizzen staysail - Cheong Lee - 1981 - Dacron - Good
Revs, volts, temperature and oil pressure gauges for Ford 4 cylinder diesel engine
· Manual bilge pump
· 2 electric bilge pumps
· Block and tackle system for MOB
Tanks and Equipment
· Diesel tanks: (plastic, new 2005) 2 x 215 litres and 45 litre day tank total capacity 475 litres with gauge
· Water tanks: (plastic, new 2005) 2 x 192 litres and 93 litre pressure tank total capacity 477 litres, with gauge
· Black water tank: (plastic, new 2005) under saloon floor with light showing when full and electric and manual discharge
· Grey water tank (plastic, new 2005) under saloon floor with light showing when full and electric and manual discharge
· Eberspächer central heating to radiators and blown hot-air heating
· Calorifier: (new 2005/6) heated by Eberspächer unit or 230 volt immersion heater (and indirectly-cooled engine if fitted)
Install replacement propulsion system (existing Ford 2711E 4-cyl 4-litre engine is defunct and has been partially removed but the block and gearbox are still in place to keep the driveshaft in place). Used, marinised, Ford 27xx engines are commercially available immediately as drop-in replacements. Of course a smaller engine/gearbox could be fitted with some modification to the mountings. In this case changing to a smaller propeller may be advisable. Electric propulsion could be cheaper but would need some engineering work to install, as well as a dedicated battery bank.
Note that the original 80hp engine was installed to enable the boat to reach hull speed, about 8kt. However, the resistance to motion a displacement hull experiences increases exponentially to water speed, and so powering anywhere near hull speed is very wasteful of energy, and therefore fuel. Cruising at a lower speed is much more efficient and in fact half of hull speed can be achieved with less than 5hp, so this boat’s 7.5kW generator would enable a diesel electric drive to be installed to deliver huge powering range at a reasonable cruising speed.
· Cockpit floor, rear and part of sides to be rebuilt in marine ply and reinforced accordingly
· Lazarette hatches and small after deck to be rebuilt
· Saloon seating to be built (there is a choice of two drop-leaf saloon tables available and loads of reclaimed upholstery that can be used for the seating)
· Rebed all stanchions
· Remount binnacle and reconnect hydraulic lines (and pump if autopilot is recommissioned)
· Rearrange electrical switchboard and install new battery bank
· Refurbish/replace running rigging
· Test standing rigging and replace as necessary
· Make minor repairs to interior woodwork and revarnish interior as needed
· Paint overhead throughout and fit new hinges to companionway doors
· Paint topsides
· Paint masts and booms
· Modify engine box which is too large/high at the moment, and restricts headroom in the pilothouse. Ideally it should be removed altogether, and going to electric drive would make this possible.
· Antifoul hull before launching
A personal view on investing in a ferro-cement boat
This boat is an opportunity for someone with more time than money and who wants a largish boat capable of cruising anywhere in the world in comfort and safety and who is prepared, and capable of, to do some work. This aft-cockpit pilothouse ketch has a flush deck large enough to stow two 10ft hard dinghies and is great for relaxing and entertaining. All the essential plumbing/electrical systems are already installed. Mains power is available from shore hookup, the diesel generator or batteries via the Victron inverter. The hull was professionally constructed in ferro-cement to Lloyds +100A1 standard in 1977. The chainplates are inboard and anchored on a heavy ferro beam shelf running most of the length of the boat, not on the bulkheads. The main teak deck and substantial teak rubbing strake are in good condition having been protected by a Coelan coating for many years. The engine is dead but drop-in replacements are available commercially. The hydraulic gearbox (in situ) is believed to be working. However, the boat is a good candidate for a diesel-electric drive conversion as there is a practically new 7.5 kVA diesel generator already installed and plenty of under-floor space for extra batteries. The size of the boat allows for substantial solar power to be installed. Central heating is provided by diesel-fired Eberspächer hot air/water unit.
Note that potential buyers must be confident in their woodworking capabilities as part of the cockpit and all the saloon seating needs to be built/rebuilt (upholstery is available for adaptation). The plumbing/tanks/electrics are all there but the navigation systems are dated and although still working will need inspection and testing. The steering is hydraulic from a destroyer-type wheel with the facility to be driven by an NKE autopilot with the capability to hold a course or steer to waypoints.
One question I know is crucial: hasn't ferro-cement hull construction got a bad reputation? Yes, it has, mainly due to the large number of amateur-built efforts back in the seventies that were never finished, or being badly built and overweight (and sinking, for one reason or another) with the result that insurers are wary of the method, but more on that aspect below. Only the good ones are still afloat today.
No material is ideal for constructing a hull. Of the common methods steel is the strongest but needs continual mechanical and chemical maintenance to keep rust and galvanic corrosion under control. Aluminium is lighter than steel but is easily dented and fire resistance is poor, and great care is needed to avoid galvanic corrosion. It is also difficult to get paint to stick, hence the fashion for bare aluminium hulls, plus there is the problem of repair in far-off destinations where the specialist skills needed may not be available. Wood is probably the most aesthetically pleasing but carvel construction is prone to leaks and is the weakest construction method, needing regular maintenance to avoid rot, worm and nail sickness problems, and again, insurers are not admirers. Laminated wood is light and strong but expensive and longevity depends on the quality of the glue used, and can be difficult to repair. Fire resistance of wood is not good. Solid GRP is strong but expensive as it needs to be thick and may suffer from osmosis blisters due to voids being created when laying up. Cored GRP is lighter but also can suffer from osmosis but the most serious drawback is the danger of water getting into the wood or foam core and degrading it, in the worst cases leading to a constructive hull loss. Fire resistance of GRP boats is poor.
So how does a ferro-cement hull compare? Well, it does not rust like steel, has no wood or foam core to degrade and is not subject to galvanic action. The keel is always of the encapsulated type so there are no worries about it falling off. A ferro boat is quiet on passage. Fire resistance is good. The hull surface smoothness depends very much on how good the plastering crew were and it will not be as good as a moulded GRP hull. The biggest disadvantage is that it can be difficult to get paint to stick, which means regular touching up is required. The crucial advantage in my view is that, being unpopular, ferro boats are inexpensive so it would not be a financial disaster if the boat was lost due to the owner's fault, or just through bad luck.
An expensive boat must be insured comprehensively and that is expensive in itself, while insurers impose strictures upon the owner if trans-oceanic voyages are undertaken, such as having a certain number of experienced crew on passage and staying outside hurricane prone areas during the season. Coverage for single-handed sailing is not entertained. In contrast, with an inexpensive boat we can put our faith in good ground tackle and sail uninsured for the large part with only third-party insurance bought locally when needed, such as when staying short-term in marinas. However, if the boat is on the large side then with the right systems this should not be a frequent event and we can even sail single-handed, going where and when we please without worrying about having to contact underwriters and what they might say, or demand.
So, all-in-all I think a professionally built ferro-cement boat is an excellent choice for someone who wants a large but inexpensive vessel, and the fit-out is often really special. In the case of this boat, the workmanship of the deck beams alone is something only a very wealthy person could afford to be incorporated into a new build yacht.
|Fit Out:||Teak and ash woodwork|
|Length over all:||46' 7"|
|Length at waterline:||33'|
|Maximum draft:||5' 9"|
|Hull material:||Ferro Cememt|
|Keel type:||Full Keel|
|Fuel capacity:||475 Litres|
|Water capacity:||477 Litres|
|Holding tank capacity:||80 Litres|
Note: Indicated location is approximate general area only.