Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

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meb46
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:18 pm

Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by meb46 »

Hello All,

New to the forum, and have a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone can answer.

A quick background on myself... I'm a New Zealander, living in Singapore and running shipyards in Singapore and Vietnam. Although I am relatively familiar with Aluminium and Steel vessel builds, I have always been keen to build a wooden powerboat, such as a 20' Barrelback. Have spent the last 6 months immersing myself in research and reading on the Barrelback, and similar boats, and I'm getting close to making a decision.

My questions are really to do with limitations I have in Singapore and Vietnam in terms of wood supply. The region has a huge supply of wood, but not of the usual recommendations posted on the forum or recommended by Glen-L. this obviously contributes significantly to a cost base, and hence I'm keen for peoples feedback on locally sourced wood.

From a quick scour of local vendors, it seems the following are the most common types of wood:

1. Balau
2. Chengal
3. Meranti

and at a push I could find

4. Nyatoh
5. Teak
6. Merbau
7. Keruing
8. Ironwood

Before I resort in researching an becoming an expert on types of woods and their attributes, has anyone got a quick and easy answer to what is suitable for a Barrelback Build? Frames, Stringers, Decking etc?

Thanks in advance...
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Roberta
Posts: 7874
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:23 pm
Location: East Troy, Wisconsin

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by Roberta »

Welcome Aboard. I like Meranti, which is typically called dark red Philippine Mahogany.

Roberta
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".
hoodman
Posts: 3075
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Lafayette, IN

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by hoodman »

meb46 wrote:has anyone got a quick and easy answer
This made me laugh. Mainly because every time I thought I had a quick and easy answer with something on my boat it turned out to be not too simple in the end. However, I have used some meranti plywood in my boat and it is gorgeous. I would suggest doing a little more research into whether or not the solid wood version is suitable. As you can see at this link from Wood Magazine: https://www.woodmagazine.com/materials- ... -2/meranti "Meranti has little durability in outdoor projects." That being said, I wouldn't take everything from a woodworking magazine as gospel. If you can locate anyone in your area that builds wooden boats you could ask them what they use or would recommend. I'm sure there's something available locally that's suitable.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25139
hoodman
Posts: 3075
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:48 am
Location: Lafayette, IN

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by hoodman »

A conflicting account from a different source:
https://www.mcilvain.com/yesterdays-phi ... s-meranti/
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25139
meb46
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:18 pm

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by meb46 »

Thanks for the feedback, have been researching Meranti a little further based on your comments, and will hopefully weed out what's the most suitable locally available.

Will keep you posted on what I find...
rana391
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:30 am

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by rana391 »

I am also located in s.e. Asia.

I have been researching timber species here also with great confusion.

Even know which timber you want you have to rely on the reseller to know which timber he is selling.

Almost all wood is sold as Teak when you ask for Teak.

Another popular timber for boat building is Takien but there is also some superstition associated with its useage.

Marine Ply is also made from unobtainium here. Many poor quality domestic plys are stamped BS1088.

Cheers
Baka88
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2021 5:58 pm

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by Baka88 »

meb46 wrote: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:28 pm I'm a New Zealander, living in Singapore
Are you still in Singapore?
mickfly
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:19 am

Re: Asia Wood suitable for Boat Building

Post by mickfly »

I also found conflicting information on meranti as an outdoor or marine source. Seems like some variation is allowed as the plans for my Key Largo called for either Douglas Fir, white oak, or mahogany for frames. I eventually used all three in different aspects of the build (saplele instead of mahogany) and they are very different in density, strength, and workability. I used Douglas Fir for my frames.

Most builders coat all internal elements (frames, longitudinals, keel) with epoxy and I also added bilge paint to the bottom members. Considering that meranti is used for marine plywood, suggests it would be suitable; however, I would do some research to make sure strength/brittleness are not issues. Likely not and keel is laminated and motor stringers strengthened with plywood laminations. The epoxy encapsulation/paint provide an extra layer of protection in the marine environment.

I assume you have access to marine plywood? I know builders who have simply used external plywood in their builds and even those who have used Baltic birch for seats and interior elements, relying on the epoxy encapsulation or paint or epoxy and glass for protection. Non-marine ply was not an option for me, even though the cost of marine plywood often required that I buy a small batch...use it up..and make another trip to the lumber yard.
Completed builds:
Guillemot kayak (16 ft, 2001)
Pygmy Double Kayak (20 ft, 2003)
Skin-on-frame kayak (17 ft, 2011)
Glen-L 15 (15 ft, 2008)
Glen-L Key Largo, Hankinson Design (20 ft, 2021)
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