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captainsharp

Windboat Tradewind

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Im the owner of Rafiki that is a windboat tradewind. I saw a picture of her on a thread on this sight about broads boats away from home so Ive joined the network.

I bought her in 2007 when she was in windsor. At the time I was looking for the a floating digs and pretty much bought the first boat I saw and liked. She had been on the thames for a few years before I bought her. 

When I bought her she was in a very reasonable condition. I had no idea about concrete hulls. I didn't really know about boats in general but she had an authentic period feel that I found very attractive. She had all the period features including the original cooker. 

Since I bought her Ive fallen in love with her. Ive spent a fortune keeping her in a reasonable condition. The woodwork obviously needs constant attention and Ive done full revarnishing every 5 years,

Interestingly the hull is amazing. If anyone wants to know how the seacrete has lasted after over 50 I can vouch its incredible. I stripped the hull a few years ago. I started with extreme caution not wanting to damage the hull. But in the end I could chip away at the paint but the hull would never show any marks. After 50 the hull is a solid as the day she was set.

Ive now have Rafiki in bristol harbour.

Last summer we hired on a boat on the broads and went to Woxham and I wandered into the windboat sheds and spoke to a few of the guys, trying to find out more about Rafiki. I've learned lots but I'd like to know a lot more. 

If any one has more information about Rafiki, archives or any anicidotes Id love to hear them . Her original number was T395.

 

 

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Welcome aboard the NBN , I’m sure someone in the know will be along soon to furnish you with more history of your beautiful boat .

in the meanwhile any further photos of Rafiki and other waterways would be much appreciated 

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She looks like a cracking boat and is a credit to you. Yes, more pictures please!

 

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Hi there and welcome. It was me who posted the photo of your boat on the thread https://forum.norfolkbroadsnetwork.com/topic/12724-boats-far-from-home/?tab=comments#comment-193993. I work in Bristol not far from your boat and its one of several ex-Broads craft in the city that make me feel nearer to the Broads than I really am. I always walk at lunch time and I walk in view of your boat from time to time. 

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Heres a few more pictures of Rafiki in recent years... The first two are on the Thames. The last one is on the Avon and Kennet when I moved her to Bristol. 114 locks in six days. Quite a trip.

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I met Donald Hagenbach a couple of times in the sixties I had hoped to join Windboats but my academic prowess was not up to his requirements. Being the mid to late sixties I think he was just starting with Seacrete  he used to say you could run it flat out at a quay heading without serious damage. There are many Seacrete hull sold for DIY finishing laying around  the world also many 30 to 40 footers still sailing the oceans.

I must say I always loved the Tradewinds  I remember Rafiki when she was new she lived in Horning I seem to remember. I had a 1930s Windboat Springsong but that was from the Graham Bunn days. In case you didn't know Donald Hagenbach bought the yard from Graham Bunn. Sorry to ramble on but I have a soft  spot for all things Windboat.

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Concrete boats are fine.... so long as you don’t hit another one is what an old broadsman told me once. He also went on to say that they were repairable easy and quick following a mishap ‘Magic’ had at the haven bridge. Half a day for a lad from the original builder. I think the windboats seacrete hulls were exceptionally good, I notice the aft cockpit one that was sunk in the old porter n Hayley marina has gone now, sure won’t have come to harm underwater. I think some of the diy ones probably gave the certified builds a bad reputation, I suspect the one that beached at happisburgh and broke up would have remained in one piece if a ton or ten of jara groyne hadn’t stood in its gunnels way. Ferro can be both cheap and long lasting, worth a punt for sure.

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3 hours ago, springsong said:

I met Donald Hagenbach a couple of times in the sixties I had hoped to join Windboats but my academic prowess was not up to his requirements. Being the mid to late sixties I think he was just starting with Seacrete  he used to say you could run it flat out at a quay heading without serious damage. There are many Seacrete hull sold for DIY finishing laying around  the world also many 30 to 40 footers still sailing the oceans.

I must say I always loved the Tradewinds  I remember Rafiki when she was new she lived in Horning I seem to remember. I had a 1930s Windboat Springsong but that was from the Graham Bunn days. In case you didn't know Donald Hagenbach bought the yard from Graham Bunn. Sorry to ramble on but I have a soft  spot for all things Windboat.

Not rambling at all, very interesting to know some history. I did wonder how Windboats went from building in timber to Seacreat. Now of course, it`s GRP building Oyster yachts.

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My folks had one of the South Wind aft cockpit jobbies for around 15 years, when they bought it the chap selling it to them(broker) said that Seacrete was different and far superior to other types of ferrocement and that the name 'Seacrete' was a hint to it containing some kind of secret ingredient that made it so.

Now whether that was true or not I have no idea but she was certainly a hefty old lump for a 26 footer, the cement was solid but some of the exposed steel bits n bobs that supported the floors n what have you had started to get a bit crusty.

There was a fairly rough one on ebay recently that sold for around 700 quid, thats a lot of boat for the money!

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There's an interesting article from 1971 about Windboats at:
 
 
 
 
 www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/840223.pdf
 
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4 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Not rambling at all, very interesting to know some history. I did wonder how Windboats went from building in timber to Seacreat. Now of course, it`s GRP building Oyster yachts.

Windboats haven't built oysters for a few years now, they do Gunfleet, Hardys and Trustys now.

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1 hour ago, Bernard said:

Windboats haven't built oysters for a few years now, they do Gunfleet, Hardys and Trustys now.

Thanks for that, i did`nt know. I often walked past there boat shed when they had Oysters in build, and they even walked me round a couple. No space in the shed for anything else as they were so big, i often wondered how they got them out with shallow Norfolk rivers, and narrow Norfolk lanes. Obviously they did though.

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Didn't Windboats buy Hardy Marine ? When they were building Oyster yachts they were usually launched at Foxes in Ipswich having been brought by road.

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Yes, they bought Hardys after the unfortunate death of Mark Funnell, still launch all their boats at foxes in Ipswich, have a full order book at the moment!

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Some of you may be interested in this document from 1971

 

840223.pdf

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Sorry does not appear to work, will try again.

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Shows just how seriously ferro was being taken.Screenshot_20190113-054614.thumb.png.331fb0a55c995ded86bb3d1fa880b048.pngScreenshot_20190113-054639.thumb.png.ab6b9564d854d05a25ee1e806061e260.pngScreenshot_20190113-054645.thumb.png.fb4eeadc6db29546172b5ac848edc44c.pngScreenshot_20190113-054649.thumb.png.c98dd9fd33155ca423b4f8aeb860d896.pngScreenshot_20190113-054653.thumb.png.58a4e4abf79694acd9e016822df78ab7.pngScreenshot_20190113-054657.thumb.png.f6cf06b5a9d1a848102349a3009b2d6b.pngScreenshot_20190113-054700.thumb.png.ea1fe6e362eeacfb456846ef8b7f3d18.pngScreenshot_20190113-054704.thumb.png.11e96ed9e1781000964fb12b69899d42.pngScreenshot_20190113-054707.thumb.png.2c2457e9173178cac739e2b7f573bd04.pngScreenshot_20190113-054710.thumb.png.5b489ad42f8a8d2f037be619607e96bc.pngScreenshot_20190113-054714.thumb.png.f799d66418fb098cf646a6a63992127f.pngScreenshot_20190113-054717.thumb.png.99f26e2d238e90fed8c866fd06af3d45.pngScreenshot_20190113-054722.thumb.png.463aa5432e1535c4f5f4b63c378c3cb3.pngScreenshot_20190113-054726.thumb.png.4f4fa7091ddab1e63cb82be83a7739c6.pngScreenshot_20190113-054729.thumb.png.38e35afb9c9c245f1f09338699ba2334.png

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It does make you wonder why so many yards still use GRP when seacrete or ferro cement as it used to be known, is so reliable and durable. I`ve heard that weight disadvantage was a major factor why more boats were not built using this material, is that correct?. I know many years ago, my father went to Windboats with a couple of friends to see the manufacturing of a ferro hull and asking how strong it was. The guy at the yard picked up a sledge hammer, and swung it full pelt at the hull. There was no damage whatsoever. With this in mind, surely building a hire fleet out of seacrete would be the most logical thing. The fact that they have`nt does also ask the question, "why have`nt they?".

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Captainshark,  See what discussions develope on this forum from an interesting original posting. Keep them coming.

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Yes, welcome CaptainSharp from me too, and welcome to Bernard too. I would imagine that if there was a good reason for Seacrete not being used more, Clive (Ricko) will know.

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When Windboats hire fleet was bought by Jenners in 1967, we operated the Tradewinds from Hearts Cruisers, as well as the 26ft aft cockpit ones. The Tradewinds were very nice, comfortable boats, which hired well.

The problem we found with Seacrete is that you can't fix to it. You can't screw into it and as far as I know, you can't glass on to it. All you can do is bolt right through it. This must have made them difficult boats to fit out inside. As for drilling, anyone who has tried to drill a hole in a concrete lintel or roof beam in a house, will know how difficult that is!

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Great for DIY where labour is your own.

Vastly labour intensive for industrial production. It is not the plastering but getting the frame set up and wired and it has to be absolutely spot on. On the subject of DIY, there used to be a lot in San Francisco full of ferro hulls.

It was hardly any more expensive to produce a 50ft over a 25 ft but then came the realisation that the fit out was not double a 25ft more like 8 times and the dreamers walked away.

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3 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

Vastly labour intensive for industrial production. It is not the plastering but getting the frame set up and wired and it has to be absolutely spot on.

I'm glad you said that, as this is what I have heard. Apparently they make a plug to the shape of the boat, much like a GRP boat and then form the steel wire mesh reinforcement around it. This is then released from the plug and concrete is slapped on much like plastering, both inside and out.

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I also heard that hire'ers keep't crashing the boats and causing many claims from third parties because they where to heavy for the engines to stop them quickly enough, and hitting other boats no damage to them but you don't want to be hit by a experienced helm with one.John

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