Bamboo boats

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by DavidMJordan, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. DavidMJordan
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    DavidMJordan New Member

    Bamboo is obviously an excellent material for boat-building and is used for rafts in Asia but does anuyone know of it's use in more complex designs.
     

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  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Unfortunately it is by no means even a good material, let alone excellent. Cheap it is, thats all.

    We have had that topic several times here, a Forum search might enlighten you.

    Regards
    Richard

    Oh yes, and welcome here!
     
  3. DavidMJordan
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    DavidMJordan New Member

    I've seen the threads about bamboo but I'm intrigued by it's raft- building properties. Each length has ten or more watertight compartments which makes it virtually unsinkable. Does it split in salt water? Degrade in other ways?
     
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Well for rafts it is not the worst choice of course. But you referred to modern techniques!

    It does not split in salt water, but it deteriorates pretty fast when it is used in logs. When split and processed it lasts longer.
    The content of mould, spores and bacteria is horrendously high in the log, that makes it a bad choice.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  5. dbstormchild
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    dbstormchild New Member

  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

    What preservatives were used? Exposed to the elements without it would last about a year.
     
  7. tsmitherman
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    tsmitherman New Member

    I read a post on another forum from a man who built a strip-planked canoe from bamboo. (I was considering doing this myself). When the canoe was fully stripped, but not yet covered in glass, he dropped it from the sawhorses onto the concrete floor (distance of about 4 feet) and the whole thing shattered into an irreparable mess! :eek:
     
  8. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

    Bamboo splits too easily, doesn't hold a screw well. Been there, had some, over it. It is good for decorative accents only in my book.
     
  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

    Welcome, tsmitherman. :)
     
  10. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Boric acid process preservation. Selecting right species and age are important and some can hold up long term.

    http://www.networkearth.org/naturalbuilding/bamboo.html

    Porta

     
  11. Harry Josey
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    Harry Josey Junior Member

    I don't know if this counts but I once built a 3m tri from bagasse(sugar cane residue). The 3mm bagasse fibreboard was sandwiched between 1 ounce CSM(polyester resin) for the main hull, and the outriggers were simply wrapped in 1oz CSM. The spars were made from PVC pipe with a wooden insert. The sail from plastic sacking. I threw it together in a couple of weeks to use on my annual trip to the coast. It was great fun but too small for more than one person. After a couple of years I scrapped it but the main hull lay arounnd in the garden for a couple more years. Then one of my sons friends borrowed it to go fishing. He never returned it, but I heard that he used it for about 3 years before it was finally broken up. It didn't live in the water but it was never under cover while I owned it. I never did get around to painting it.
     
  12. KJL38
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    KJL38 Junior Member

  13. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Reconstructing the bamboo plant fiber into laminates or sheets could make it useful, but as noted it has little rot resistance and it is not as strong as conventional wood. By the time you process it into usable lumber or sheet goods it would not cost any less. IT is not that useful a building materials except for short term structures, like using it for scaffolding or temp huts like they use in much of Asia.
     
  14. muskymania
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    muskymania Junior Member

    I can't really comment on the building capabilities of bamboo, but as far as it getting moldy bamboo is terrible. I had some chopped up in my yard and it started getting really moldy after just a few weeks. It also does split really easily, I would hate to hit anything in a bamboo boat.
     

  15. Alex.A
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    The china voyage. Tim Severin "sailed" from Asia, almost to America. Will give good idea of bamboos abilities.
     
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