View Full Version : Building the Lumberyard Skiff

02-04-2010, 09:38 PM
I am jumping in to wooden boats with the WB Lumberyard Skiff. I am building it with the 84 year old Episcopal minister who married my wife and me. He was in the Navy in WWII and has had a love of boats since that time. He has also been a furniture maker his whole life, so I have his skill, experience and hopefully the Lord on my side.

First challenge was to find the space to build it, but the in-law's garage will do fine. They spend the winter in FL so I have until early May to get it done.

Second challenge has been finding the lumber (odd since I live in the 3rd most forested state in the Union - I guess we have the wrong trees), although I think I have the majority of that solved with local suppliers. Only issue - I may be using cypress for the bottom planking instead of cedar. Anyone see any problem with that?

This will be a freshwater boat, used in local Corp of Engineer lakes, and will be trailered.

Any input is appreciated.

Bob Smalser
02-04-2010, 10:22 PM
Only issue - I may be using cypress for the bottom planking instead of cedar. Anyone see any problem with that?

No. Cypress will work fine.

I checked woodfinder.com for boatbuilding wood in the vicinity of your zip code, and unfortunately didn't find any suppliers within 100 miles. You might call your local arborists and ask if there are any local mills they sell logs to. There should be White Oak, Eastern Red Cedar and Sassafras locally.

jerry bark
02-05-2010, 07:50 AM
I agree with Bob to start asking around for a local mill. make a friend at one and you will be set. I have a local amish family that owns a mill near me. the biggest problem I have with them is I can never fit a $50 load of wood into my truck.


02-06-2010, 08:55 AM
Thanks for the replies. Turns out the supplier that is getting me the white oak also sells aromatic cedar - Eastern Red Cedar, so I may go with that rather than the cypress. Should save some weight.

Bob Smalser
02-06-2010, 09:14 AM
Should save some weight.

Actually, they weigh the same. The cypress will be softer, with fewer knots and easier to bend and work. The cedar will wear very well, but you'll have to insure all the knots are sound....otherwise you'll have to drill them out and plug them. And remember all the sapwood should be ripped away and used for something besides a boat.

So I wouldn't commit myself before getting to see what the supplier's wood looks like.

brett price
02-08-2010, 10:07 PM
I used sassafras in my lumberyard skiff. I built it in summersville wv. You can pick up 1x6 sassafras for less than a dollar a board foot in dixie wv at elswick lumber. About 30 minutes from charleston. All there woods air dried and they have cheap white oak, wild cherry, paulownia, black walnut, and all sorts of random woods.

good luck there a fun build and work pretty well with 7'6 oars.

02-09-2010, 07:16 PM
Brett - thanks. Good to find another source from a fellow West Virginian. Muth Lumber in Ironton Ohio also has white oak and eastern red cedar.