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Thread: Pressure treated planking

  1. #1
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    Default Pressure treated planking

    While on vacation and without easy access to the forum, I posted this question on Facebook. Now that I'm back to my computer I thought I would post it here as well for a wider audience. I did search the forum regarding this particular question but did not find anything specific to what I'm asking. Additionally, I understand some may not approve of or like this building technique, but never the less, it is the method (or some incarnation of laminated planking) I plan to use. I would like to stay true to the designers recommendations and vision, particularly as homage to his recent death. my question is about materials and I'm not worried about the unpleasantness of working with pressure treated lumber or its toxicity. I'll use appropriate PPE as best I can, but after all the things I've in one way or another ingested working in the emergency services and remodeling old houses, I'm pretty sure the damage is done:

    -------------------------------------------------


    In the building of our 41' Diesel Duck full displacement trawler at the Sea Dreamer Project, my intent is to build a composite hull as described by George in his book. Composite being a layer of 1Ē traditional planking (loosely defined traditional as visual aesthetics are not important because it will only be visible from inside the boat) covered by two layers of 3/8Ē plywood, followed by glassing with Totalboat epoxy.
    I can buy white oak in my area up to 12í long, green, pretty easily from area, small sawmills for a $1 a BF. I can also buy pressure treated, southern yellow pine 5/4, 5.5Ē wide in lengths up to 20í for around $1.80 a BF from the big box stores or various commercial lumber suppliers.


    Iíve built a few PT decks in my time so I know itís soaking wet and shrinks quite a bit as it dries. So letís say I plank the hull for the first layer with the stuff after it air dries for a year or so?


    The 16í and 20í stuff at Home Depot is the premium grade and pretty clear stuff. Iím on the east coast so I know itís all plantation grown SYP. SYP is a decent boat wood with good strength according to my research. Would seem to be a good fit for a wet bilge and this particular application with two layers of ply covering it from the outside.


    I would not traditionally plank a boat with it as I donít think it would caulk or paint well. It is also not my intent to build a boat "for the ages", she'll be our cruising home for 20 or 30 years and then I don't really care what happens. Resale value is not a concern and "pretty" is low on the priority list as well. Our goal is to build a ruggedly, comfortable, sea worthy cruising home.

    I truly respect the classic builders on this forum and the aforementioned paragraph is in no way meant to insult anyone. I admire the beautiful boats that the skilled craftsman of this forum are building and refurbishing. While I would love to build some of the boats I see here, I don't think that will ever happen. In addition to not having the skills now, I don't think I have the time to learn them and then turn around and build something in time to be our cruising home. This type of wooden boat building is the choice I have made to get us out on the water.


    The 1st layer of PT planking Iím describing will not be caulked, itís purely for adding mass and strength to the hull, helping us get to our final hull thickness of 1.5 inches. I'm not concerned about VG or quarter sawn planking stock for the same reason, this is just the first layer of a composite lamination that will be formed with adhesive and fasteners into a monolithic skin.

    The designer recommends spraying lots of preservative on the timbers anyway, so wouldn't this just kill two birds with one stone or is there a particular reason PT lumber is not regularly used in boat building? Or should I just use the widely available white oak and use that for my first layer?


    What say you?
    A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I'm not a boatbuilder, so I won't speak to the wood suitability, but I know I wouldn't want PT anywhere near a living/walking barefoot space. Nasty stuff.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I hadn't heard that George Buehler had died--sad news. I admire the attitude of his ideas and inspirations as expressed in his writing, if not all the details of his designs. But he certainly had a big hand in getting me thinking about sailing and building boats in the first place.

    Good luck with your Duck!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I would be concerned about gluing the plywood to it. Voids make rot. It will also warp and twist massively as it dries. The poison is only in the outer layer anyway, so if you have to plane them down you lose it, and it goes all over your shop. The wood is also all sapwood, and while better than non-treated sapwood, it really isn't that long lasting.

    I think this is not the place for treated lumber.

    On the other hand, making up backbone and sawn framing timbers, and then taking the whole lot down to be treated before assembly, might make sense. I know you're already past that point though.

    You need to either caulk the carvel layer or glue it to the plywood or you will not get much strength from it. I suppose you could bed the plywood thoroughly and then heavily fasten it to each plank and get the same effect. What does the design specify?

    Go visit your local sawmill (or backwoods guy with a band mill) and see what logs he will saw up for you. Its almost certainly better than anything from a big box store, and will not be any more expensive.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    A good friend of mine planked up his 24 foot yacht with CCA treated hoop pine (Australia) 50 years ago and has had no problems. Copper nail and rove fastened.

    BUT.... it wasn't cheap Big Box Store pine, it was first quality from a reputable merchant which he then sent to a pressure treatment works to have pressure impregnated to his specs.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I won't question the designer but I do have to ask this: what goes between the layers? Epoxy? Roofing tar? Something else? What wood species do the plans specify?
    White oak is not the best choice for epoxy glueing and the chemicals used with pressure treated wood could also weaken the bond (tests would be required). If using epoxy I would probably use douglas fir or larch (tamarack, hackmatack). If on the other hand roofing tar is used then white oak is ok. It will eat galvanized fasteners but even so you get your 20 years out of it.

    If I would question the designer I would ask why the solid wood at all. If 1 inch ply won't take the required bends then 2 layers of 1/2 inch probably will. Since you already glue on 2 layers of ply, what's a glueline more after all.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I think that PT SYP or oak will be unstable and will be a mess in no time. 3 layers of 1/2 ply will get you your 3/4 inch and will be much more stable.

    Epoxy will not adhere well to most wood preservatives. Your glass will be peeling pretty soon if you try that, so just glass over the raw ply.

    If you're not going with the BS 1088 ply use the stuff designed for sign making, it's far better quality than everything else.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Scott,
    I think this idea is a total waste of your money and time. The reason boats are built in a certain manner is that the methods and materials have been developed over a period of about 10,000 years. Once in a while a new idea comes along that is an improvement, this isn't one of them. Save yourself a lot of time, money and maybe your life; buy a used boat in good condition.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I haven't built such a boat, nor seen one I think.
    I would frame the boat in oak, skin it in ply, and use something else for ceiling. At the lumberyard or box store I would look for cedar decking for the interior.
    Good luck, let us know what you decide.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Go visit your local sawmill (or backwoods guy with a band mill) and see what logs he will saw up for you. Its almost certainly better than anything from a big box store, and will not be any more expensive.
    ^^^ This is solid advice. The lumber will be better and usually cheaper.

    You mention you have a large supply of white oak, if the weight isn't an issue , in my mind it's not even a close call using that vs lumber yard materials.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    The construction just does not make any sense to me.
    Is it supposed to be fast or cheap to build?
    What goes between the 3 layers of wood ? I can visualize a gallon per sheet of ply to bed / bond them , wether it’s epoxy, polyester, or tar. Without vacuum bagging it’s very difficult to get close fits with panels. Maybe the plan calls for a goo soaked cloth? I dunno .
    What plywood is called for?
    I don’t much like oak or big box syp. The wolmanizing is not the part that bothers me, but the low quality fast growth part. When you say “ premium quality” ...I’ll bet the wood has about 5 rings per inch.
    IF I were to follow Mr Buelhers recipe, I’d find a mill and use middle of the road quality cedar of any flavor before oak or ptsyp.
    But , as I mentioned on Facebook, I would strip plank her with inch and a half squares and 2 layers of dynel. It’s the fastest way to build, easy for an amateur, proven .(yes, I’m a fan of strip planking. My own boat is 35 yo, built on the cheap, but almost like new ).
    The idea of disposing of a boat after 20 or 30 years, ... respect for the designer collides with this .
    Bruce

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    George is no longer here to speak for his method, but its clear in his book. Plywood as a finished material is expensive compared to usual lumber, but quality lumber in the size needed to carvel plank a boat if this size is apparently hard to get hold off, and expensive. George had the idea to skin the inside with a cheaper grade of lumber, fastened to frames only, and then skinned with 2 or 3 layers of ply (depending on the design). He had talked about tar on the "inside" layers and maybe using epoxy on the final ply skin. He calculated that it was strong enough, but less costly than single carvel. Getting an inch or so of inside planking from cheaper pine/fir is far cheaper than trying to build up the same thickness in plywood......or so it goes. Not my logic, but more or less what the book says. I think i would be more likely to strip plank the inside layer with some heavy bitumastic paint between the strips, but on a boat this size, thats a whole lot of work, which is why George does not talk about that.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    If these layers are not bonded together to act in unison layering of materials will not achieve the high strength required.

    I don't understand why anyone would want a substandard hull to venture about in the sea. You would be much better off financially both monitarly, time and in seawothyness to buy an unfinished steel, glass or wooden hull for cheap and finish the project then messing about in a unproven design. A used boat with a sound hull would be a better choice. The hull is a fraction of the total cost of a boat. Why put that money into a clunker?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    He's building New
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Using PT lumber just seems unnecessarily problematic. If the inner skin is going to be plqnked rather than sheet goods why not just choose some long clear stock of justj about anything? Find a local mill and see what they are cutting. Its gotta be better than PT.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    Using PT lumber just seems unnecessarily problematic. If the inner skin is going to be plqnked rather than sheet goods why not just choose some long clear stock of justj about anything? Find a local mill and see what they are cutting. Its gotta be better than PT.
    Not that I would use it, but I think PT Lumber formulations have changed and they're no longer as poisonous as everybody thinks they are, but I've been wrong about other things.. lmao it's a 40 foot plus boat so I hope whatever Scott uses it has some longevity to it!
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 04-05-2018 at 11:47 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Home Depot eh?

    I've built a few docks, there are, throughout the south, specialty lumber companies that custom pressure treat lumber just for marine (dock) use. More expensive than home despot, but the lumber itself will be higher quality, and the pressure treating process itself will be a higher quality (contain more nasty chemicals) than you will find at any big box store.

    My experience has been that air drying, pressure treated lumber before its use, tends to make the lumber harder and probably more resistant to bending than untreated lumber. There is no doubt as to its rot resistance abilities, its good stuff for docks at least, if done right. BTW the reason for pressure treated yellow pine is that modern plantation grown yellow pine has none of the superior rot resistance characteristics of old growth yellow pine.

    One last point, you might seek out some old posts from Andreas Joirdhal Rhule. He works in the pressure treating industry, is a woodenboat fanatic, and has posted here at length about the successful use of pressure treated lumber in boat building. Specificall with regards to United States Navy minesweepers built post WWII. To be honest, his postings on large laminations are more interesting.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    He's building New
    I understand that he want to build new. 41' is probably not the best choice for a beginner.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    As a few others above have pointed out, there's a reason that traditional construction methods are favored and harebrained DIY alternatives aren't. I'd bet money that your approach will likely cost you far, far more in the end than buying a decent used boat and fixing it up. Remember, the hull is only somewhere between a fourth and a fifth of a boat's total cost. If you don't want to take, or don't have, the time to learn the skills necessary to accomplish a workman-like result using traditional boatbuilding skills, you aren't really in any position to build a boat for the purpose you contemplate, regardless of the techniques used. Sometimes the truth has a way of dashing pleasant fantasies. The lifestyle you contemplate isn't anywhere near the one you imagine. A live-aboard cruiser on a wooden boat who lacks the boatbuilding skills you wish to avoid learning will soon come to grief unless they have huge amounts of money to pay professional yards to do the work necessary, even if, in fact, they can find such a yard wherever the repairs need to be done when they need doing. The techniques you propose are better left for "science fair projects" demonstrating "the effects of fungal decay in the marine environment."
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 04-06-2018 at 07:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Not that I would use it, but I think PT Lumber formulations have changed and they're no longer as poisonous as everybody thinks they are, but I've been wrong about other things.. lmao it's a 40 foot plus boat so I hope whatever Scott uses it has some longevity to it!
    Putting all issues with toxicity aside, the simple fact is that PT lumber tends to be crap; sapwood, fast growth pulpwood thats not really good enough to sell as premium stock. As has been noted, it is soppy wet and when it dries it warps, twists, cups, splits and is generaly a PIA to work with. Its not boat lumber, its just not.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    jesus christ bob
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Seems a question worth asking. . .
    - - PT SYP is Souther Yellow Pine which is (1) a very mixed bag of pines ( i.e. long leaf, short leaf // wide and close spaced growth rings ) (2) traditionally used and respected in the SE and Gulf for work boats.
    - - You could do some research and maybe legwork and come up with a mill and/or treatment facility to buy from instead of big box with I agree is the worst. I am near the heart of SYP land and Lowes up the street sells crap I can most often barely use. I go to a regional building supply house near the house that carries a better grade of PT SYP and I have often seen the the dock builders use an even better grade that is also more thoroughly treated.
    - - Eastern South Carolina and Georgia would be the place to look for marine construction outfits and then find out where they source their PT SYP. If you get serious about it PM me and I might scare up an initial contact for you.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Hi Scott,

    I've been watching all your videos on youtube. For the rest of you who have not, Scott's already build the backbone, frames, and last one I saw, was cutting the rabbets in the keel. Bob Cleek, Scott actually is a very competent wood worker, and from the skills exhibited, I believe he could have handled a more complicated hull design than George B's simple single chine.. but anyhow..

    SCOTT.. Your statement in the first video was that you were planning on a useful life of 20 years, and for that reason, using big box lumber was going to be fine. I have at least one of Georges' books and he does say specifically, to buy the best lumber you can afford. Reckoning both those statements, it seems somebody has you worried about a short lifespan and rot. If George says 1" (non pressure treated) planking glued to plywood works.. then I would not screw with it and do what the designer says.

    My experience with PT lumber is the surfaces are softened by the wolmanizing process have less structural integrity than the board pre treatment. That reason alone would be enough for me to not even consider it.. but the BIGGER reason is anyone using your boat will be subjected to the pesticides slowly outgassing/migrating over the years.

    George was unconventional, so his building techniques followed suit.. but they are tested. I would not wander off the plan at this point.
    Last edited by BrianM; 04-05-2018 at 03:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Big Box stores carry no lumber which should be used on a boat. Don't bother looking.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I'll say it again...3 layers of 1/2" ply will be much more stable.

    It will go on faster too.

    Bed the layers in thickened epoxy and nail the layers together on 6" centers in both directions with copper nails.


    Check out ALL of the nails shown here...

    https://www.mazenails.com/nails/1/7/.../roof-flashing

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I love maze nails. They are amazing.
    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    I have driven a 6.5l Dodge with diesel Cummins and it was glorious....

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    "but the BIGGER reason is anyone using your boat will be subjected to the pesticides slowly outgassing/migrating over the years." BrianM
    This would be the biggest thing - plus you'd have to look at the stuff for the life of the boat...or cover it with something. A decent looking inner layer could be left lightly finished & you're done.
    Second biggest thing are questions about the PT/ply bond.
    Third biggest thing is building for only a 20 year life span.
    I don't like the idea at all considering all the reasonable alternatives. Moe

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Also worth noting that you are planning on planking the boat 3 times. That is a ton of work. If you're going to carvel plank it anyway, why not just do it right, and only have that layer? Much less work.

    The wood required for carvel planking is really not mysterious or difficult to acquire. Its not in the big box store, or in most lumberyards, but it is out there on the hoof.

    You don't need old growth, just some cedar or decent pine that is free of sapwood and not too full of big knots.


    People building wood boats for a 20 year lifespan is one of the reasons many marinas are refusing to even accept wooden boats anymore. When somebody buys it from your estate for cheap, they will have all kinds of dreams that will end a year later when they realize the whole boat is rotting and can't be fixed. Then their story gets around and we all look bad.

    At least with normal carvel planking, it will last half a century at least and then can be replaced piecemeal as necessary.

    Plywood works well, cold molding works well, carvel works well,.... strange combinations built with home depot lumber do not work well.... And I really don't think you would save time or money over a more conventional method.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    A live-aboard cruiser on a wooden boat who lacks the boatbuilding skills you wish to avoid learning will soon come to grief unless they have huge amounts of money to pay professional yards to do the work done, if, in fact, they can find such a yard wherever the repairs need to be done in the world. The techniques you propose are better left for "science fair projects" demonstrating "the effects of fungal decay in the marine environment."
    The guy is building a boat from scratch, and you are suggesting he is not willing to learn anything! There is nothing new about multi laminate skinned hulls, and the single plank carvel is not the be all and end all in woodenboats. You could do a lot worse than educate yourself on some of the succesfull alternatives that have a history of working. One of the greatest wooden boats, the Fram, was a multi-laminate, and she too eventually rotted out.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Double planked hulls of the past used grade "A" lumber. Nobody in their right mind would use lumber from 20 year old yellow pine grown in the south to speed the growth.

    Eventually water is going to get behind the epoxy glass layers that are protecting all the laminated lumber in the hull. It always does. There will be lots of rot eventually.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    jesus christ bob
    Why string the guy along? A quick, clean head shot is always the most humane. Nobody needs another Blind Faith or Flyin' Hawaiian, do we?

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianM View Post
    Hi Scott,

    I've been watching all your videos on youtube. For the rest of you who have not, Scott's already build the backbone, frames, and last one I saw, was cutting the rabbets in the keel. Bob Cleek, Scott actually is a very competent wood worker, and from the skills exhibited, I believe he could have handled a more complicated hull design than George B's simple single chine.. but anyhow.
    Well then, he damn well ought to know better! There's no reason why he shouldn't follow the instructions as Bueler wrote them in Wooden Boatbuilding for Dummies. He says he doesn't want to spend the time learning boatbuilding skills. That's not a particularly steep learning curve for a competent woodworker. I'm not sure exactly what he thinks he doesn't have the time to learn. One sharp plane is worth a thousand gallons of epoxy.

    He asks if he can laminate a hull skin with PTF and then sheath that in Home Depot plywood and 'glass and epoxy resin to build the hull of his 41' trawler he expects will take he and his family cruising offshore. The answer to that question isn't, "Well, maybe..." or "Let's discuss that..." The answer is simply "No." Not, "Well, let us know how it turns out." or "I guess it depends on how you pressure treat it." but just "no." There are some absolutes in this world that just aren't open to discussion. I think we do people a disservice entertaining the folly that almost exclusively results from trying to build a boat the lazy and/or cheap way. Just take a look at that "WoodenBoat" FaceBook page. I couldn't believe it, and it seems it's spilling over into the real WoodenBoat forum. It's truly amazing the sort of stuff people post in there in response to questions posed by people who don't have a chance in hell of knowing whether what they are being told is accurate or not. If the rest of the nation gets the same quality of information from FaceBook as is being posted on the WoodenBoat Facebook page, no wonder the Russians had such an easy time of electing a President!
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 04-06-2018 at 08:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by skaraborgcraft View Post
    The guy is building a boat from scratch, and you are suggesting he is not willing to learn anything! There is nothing new about multi laminate skinned hulls, and the single plank carvel is not the be all and end all in woodenboats. You could do a lot worse than educate yourself on some of the succesfull alternatives that have a history of working. One of the greatest wooden boats, the Fram, was a multi-laminate, and she too eventually rotted out.
    I'm very well acquainted with the fact that, like cats, there is more than one way to skin a wooden boat. I'm very familiar, not only with all the alternatives that have a history of working, but also of many, if not most, of those that don't work. I have educated myself and, I assure you, I've also done a lot worse in my day.

    It might help if you read the OP more carefully:

    "...I admire the beautiful boats that the skilled craftsman of this forum are building and refurbishing. While I would love to build some of the boats I see here, I don't think that will ever happen. In addition to not having the skills now, I don't think I have the time to learn them and then turn around and build something in time to be our cruising home. This type of wooden boat building is the choice I have made to get us out on the water."

    Oh yea, and BTW, Fram, designed to withstand being ice-bound, was planked with multiple layers (not laminated, actually) of greenheart, which, I assure you, they didn't pick out of the pile at the Home Depot in Oslo.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Pressure-treated lumber is not recommended by the manufacturers for use inside a dwelling because of its toxicity, only for exterior use such as for decks. Common sense would suggest its use for boatbuilding likewise would be a health hazard. The chemicals the wood is treated with attacks fasteners and make it unsuitable for use in a boat.

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    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    There's a whole nother way to look at this, pressure treated wood is designed to deal with a lot of contact with water. Ideally the interior of a vessel should have little contact to water, especially as she is to be of a composite construction. So if possible it seems reasonable to save the .80 cents and go with a less toxic wood, and instead invest the.80 to keep the interior dry.
    Nicholas

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