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Hello all, not a ship builder yet. But wouldnt mind being one. Sadly a very restrictive $ budget and severe limit of display space prevents me from considering it for the moment.

   Now for my Question. I have read in a couple of non-naval connected books about a group of cargo ships with concrete for hulls. These were supposedly used during the latter stages of WW 1 for the basic idea as torpedo proof. Hence why i posted here. The descriptions i have are of "common shape to a steel hulled ship. Steam propulsion most likely by coal.the top speed referred to was a maximum of 8-9 knots at full power. After the war I've read that these ships were of little interest to commercial companies and private owners after the war. They were supposedly scuttled in shallow waters near chesepeake bay to become a series of islands. The reference also includes that in the 60's or 70's the remains were in an area that had become overgrown wetlands and salt marshes.

    I have scoured the internet for years trying to find any reference to these "concrete" ships to verify wether this was fact or fiction. The idea is sound. The evidence i can put forward for my argument is this. In WW2 the allies built, floated, and used the floating concrete harbours during the post "operation overlord" phases. They were called Mulberries as im sure you know. This and that Churchill had proposed the construction of the picrete aircraft carriers to be used as cross atlantic cargo protection. I know the picrete carrier was never built but a small scale prototype was started, built, and floated in hudson bay in 1942. Ive seen film evidence of this. Now has anyone ever heard of these ships ? Are they real or fiction ? If real does anyone know of blueprints/plans/photos/names ?  If they were real has anyone ever modeled them ? Last if they are real can they be seen via google earth satellite imagry or overhead photo's. Has anyone ever seen them if they are real ? Just trying to solve a mystery that has plagued me for a long time. All help is welcome. Thank you in advance.

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malpaso    561

I had a colleague years ago who sailed a concrete hulled yacht.  This was in the 80s, I think it was oldish then (60s?).  He said it wasn't that unusual, but then GRP hulls took off.  It certainly had classic lines in his photos of the boat.

He did say he sometimes had difficulties getting crew on a concrete boat. Possibly this had something more to do with the Cap'n Bligh air he adopted (note - this was sailing in the North Sea, not the sun-soaked Solent):

- Would you like to come sailing this weekend?

- No I can't swim (the first excuse EVERYBODY could come up with in a hurry)

- Well unless you're an Olympic swimmer and we're less than a mile from shore, you'd probably die of hypothermia first anyway!

 

Cheers

Will

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Black Knight    3,597

Didn't know they were built in WW1 but I know Harland & Wolff built hundreds during WW2

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Black Knight    3,597

Weren't a number of the 'Liberty' supply ships built of concrete in WW2?

Until recently the remains of three small concrete supply ships of WW2 era lay in an old boat-yard adjoining Queen's Island, Belfast, where H&W were located. These remains were supposed to have been incomplete ships left there when the need for these ships was no more.

AFAIK they were broken up and became hard-core when Belfast City Airport did some construction work

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louiex2    330

McCloskey built 24 concrete Liberty ships in Tampa, Florida starting in 1943.  Here's a link to ConcreteShips.org http://www.concreteships.org/ships/ww2/  that should help with your research.

 

Lou in Utah

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stevehnz    2,872

Interesting link. Concrete or not, I don't think I'd have liked to have been towing 1500 tons of concrete barge & coal on 120hp. The hulk in your photo looks like its good for another century easy. :)

Steve.

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