View Full Version : Appropriateness of different woods

10-09-2000, 10:16 AM
Can anyone tell me the use value of different woods in boat building ?

What would make someone choose teak/mahogany/larch/oak/iroko etc.. ?

Is it mostly a question of availability or do they have different characteristics in different waters ?

Are some more resistant to rot than others and do they have different expansion/contraction characteristics etc.. etc..

Art Read
10-09-2000, 01:28 PM
Wow... That's a tall order. Best advice I can think of is to visit the local library or peruse WoodenBoat's book store for a few basic boatbuilding books. Most include a discusion of appropriate woods for various purposes. Someone else here will probably point you to the Forestry Dept.'s Web page which has everything you never knew you needed to know about wood in it. Not a simple topic. Take a look at the "For sale" ads in WoodenBoat magazine though, and you'll probably notice that the finest boats seem to list a lot of the same species for the same purposes. (ie. White Oak for keel and frames, Ceder for planking, Teak for laid decking, Mahogony for trimwork, spruce for spars, etc.) These are just a few of the many "acceptable and practical" options. Most important is not to cut corners and "save money" with inappropriate lumber. (ie. "Home Depot"...)

[This message has been edited by Art Read (edited 10-09-2000).]

10-10-2000, 02:44 PM
I think Art is right: The library is where to start. If you can find "Understanding Wood" by Bruce Hoadley youŽll have enough to read for the next few months. If your hunger persists, try "Physical and Related Properties of 145 Woods" by Jan F. Rijsdijk and Peter B. Laming, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in Holland. Good luck!