A Custom 35ft Ferrocement Finisterre Ketch for Sale
By Owner, Rupert Allan 

'Sandpiper' my ferrocement Finisterre Ketch is a custom-built, Samson adaptation of the famous Sparkman & Stephens ocean racer 'Finisterre', incorporating Annapolis racer-cruiser innovation and traditional Skipjack lines.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' sailing 2'Sandpiper' under full sail

Built by a NASA engineer at Middle River, Maryland, in 1972, her 12-tonne displacement puts her 5 tonnes lighter than the original wooden hull she was based on. Her strength comes well-tested by extensive cruising, and she has been carefully maintained with five haulouts over the past fifteen years.

Presently docked in New Bern, North Carolina, 'Sandpiper' is fitted-out for liveaboard life in the tropics.

Having never left Chesapeake before 2005, she was campaigned to the Caribbean Islands in 2010-15, and has been found to be ideally suited as a live-aboard cruiser, with good headroom (6' throughout), and airy living quarters.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' V-berth portDouble berth in the forecabin on the port side

Her 4ft shoal draft with the (5') centreboard up (9' when down) allows her to explore local creeks, rivers and inlets unavailable to other boats.

We have upgraded the systems for blue-water cruising, and have lived aboard along the US east coast and north west Caribbean destinations. 'Sandpiper' has been lovingly maintained and upgraded throughout our nineteen years of ownership - we have worked on her regularly and have recently finished a comprehensive refit with many upgrades (AIS, Power Bank, etc).

Most of all, we want her to be loved, so we are looking for the right price for the right owner's budget.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' navigation aft berthNavigation station at the foot of the companionway on the starboard side


Her accommodations are simple. Aft, there’s a navigation station to starboard and an aft pipe-berth.

The galley is to port with a Force 10 safety-rated propane stove, large ice box/fridge, and plenty of space and storage.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' saloon table down 1Seating around the saloon table

Her main saloon includes port and starboard settees with a table, and pilot/pullman berths port and starboard, and further storage outboard to port and starboard. The head is abaft, to starboard.

The forepeak has a double berth to port, and storage for storm rodes, drogue and chain.

There’s additional storage forward for anchor rodes, etc and further storage (under the cockpit) contains tools and spares, snorkel and fishing gear, as well as comfortable access to transmission, fuel tanks and steering.

Underfloor Engine is easily accessible from front, rear and top.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' saloon port berthPilot berth in the saloon, on the port side


Length Overall: 38'0"

Length on Deck: 35'0"

Beam: 11'3"

Draft: 3'11" (9'0" with centreboard down)

Displacement: Net 12 T

Ferro 'Sandpiper' bow pulpitWide side decks give good access to the bow

Ferrocement Hull & Decks

Hull and decks are ferrocement. Marine plywood bulkheads are bolted to ferrocement web frames that are integral to the hull. Fiberglass covered marine plywood cabin and cockpit are bolted to the decks.

  • Armature 0.225" spring steel rods run longitudinally on 2" centers
  • 0.25" high carbon steel rods run girth-wise on 3" centers
  • 1/4" square mesh, 2 layers inboard, 1 layer outboard
  • Web Frames rod and mesh tack welded to armature
  • Engine Bed - ¼" steel plate self-contained custom bed, integral stringers lag-bolted to oak posts welded and glassed to armature.
  • Portland Cement with pozzolan.
Ferro 'Sandpiper' cockpitWheel steering


  • Cabin and Cockpit 3/4" marine plywood covered with fiberglass cloth
  • Keel-mounted skeg rudder, with lower cutless-style shoe (¼" 316). 316 stainless steel rudder jaws to 2.5" rudder-post, with nylon upper bearing, stern-post sleeved in fibreglass inside galvanized tube
  • Drop-Keel Centreboard 5'0" - fibreglass on ply with lead and stainless steel structure
  • Bow pulpit in 316
  • Mast 43'0" aluminum, deck-stepped, Metalmast Marine
  • Chainplates 316 SS 1/4" bar stock
  • Standing Rigging 9/32" SS wire rope with 1/2" SS turnbuckles
  • 2" teak platform and 2 bow rollers integrated (rebuilt 2019)
Ferro 'Sandpiper' sailing'Sandpiper' on a broad reach

On Deck

  • Plath/Simpson Lawrence bronze windlass.
  • Spare mast-mounted Lewmar halyard winches
  • Barlow self-tailing sheet winches in cockpit.
Ferro 'Sandpiper' stern'Sandpiper's stern

Sails & Engines

  • 6 sails - working jib, storm jib, 120 Genoa, drifter, main (2 reefs), mizzen (2 reefs), mizzen staysail
  • Yanmar 3HM35F
  • Protected Shaft and Propeller: PYI dripless seal on 1¼" 322 stainless shaft, refitted with new donut in 2022.
  • Mercury 5hp outboard and West Marine Dinghy
  • (Unfitted) Profurl roller headsail furling
Ferro 'Sandpiper' head starboard aftThe head is on the portside, aft

Tanks & Sanitation

  • Diesel - Two fuel tanks holding 40 gallons fuel in total. Three jerry cans with 15 extra gallons.
  • Propane: Two Aluminium 20lb tanks, with cutoff sensor.
  • Three water bladders with capacity for 420 litres of water. (extra water storage in jerry cans)
  • Holding tank 10 gallons, plastic
  • Jabsco manual head
Ferro 'Sandpiper' navstationThe navigation station

Communications & Navigation

  • Self-steering Navico/Raymarine WP5000 Wheel Pilot
  • (Unfitted) Hasler windvane
  • Depth/Speed - Raymarine st60 Seatalk with repeater
  • GPS Garmin 210 plotter
  • SSB radio ICOM 600 with AT150 Tuner
  • Radar: Autohelm/Raymarine ST50
  • ACR Beacon
  • Standard Horizon GX2150 VHF with AIS
  • Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF/GPS
Ferro 'Sandpiper' galleyThe Force 10 two-burner stove with grill and oven


  • Force 10 stove in galley two burner with grill and oven.
  • Force 10 stainless propane grill/barbecue on deck/pushpit.
  • Large capacity well-insulated ice chest (with 5 amp 12v Cold Machine Refrigeration)
Ferro 'Sandpiper' hullThe bow

Ground tackle

Heavy-duty ground tackle (45lb CQR, 35lb Danforth and a Mud/Maxx Anchor,) 200ft ⅜ chain, 200ft of rode, Parachute Drogue/Sea Anchor, and 600ft of storm rode.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' mooringTwo 75watt solar panels on stern gantry


  • 2010 rewire, LED lights throughout (excepting halogen spreader light)
  • 300w AirBreeze Wind generator
  • 150w Solar panels
  • 80amp alternator
  • 110v 30A shore power system with breakers/outlets
  • 600 house battery Amp hours
  • 100 a/h starting battery
  • 2 Kw Inverter
  • Solar charge controller
  • Guest ChargePro 5/5 battery charger
  • Propane isolator system

Asking Price and Contacting the Owner

Most of all, we want her to be loved, so we are looking for the right price for the right owner's budget.

Ferro 'Sandpiper' THUMBAsking $38,000 but open to offers...

I'm asking $38,000 for 'Sandpiper', my Ferrocement Finisterre Ketch liveaboard cruising yacht.

If you need more information or would like to be 'Sandpiper's new owner, please contact me, Rupert Allan, here...

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