Best material for first wooden sailboat build?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Jenzoow, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Jenzoow
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    Jenzoow New Member

    Hi all!

    I'm planning to build my first boat. A small sailboat to start and build experience! I found some plans on the internet but the plans don't specify which type of wood I should use!

    Can you guys help me out in selecting the best wood?

  2. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    No such thing as best.
    With more details we can help you find suitable woods.
  3. Jenzoow
    Joined: Feb 2013
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    Location: Antwerp - Belgium

    Jenzoow New Member

  4. Milehog
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Milehog Clever Quip

    My standard comment on free plans is beware. There are some good ones but many are outdated, incomplete, use expensive or unavailable materials, assume certain levels of experience and lead to expensive mistakes. I speak from experience.
  5. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Milehog is correct. Beware of plans such as the ones you have posted. It looks like a nice little boat but the instructions and details will be outdated.

    For such a boat I would use 9mm ply for the bottom and 6mm for the sides. Do use high quality material. The ply should be BS1088 standard. Okumee or Meranti will make a lighter boat than Fir ply and it will keep its finish better than fir.

    Best advice is to find a similar plan that is more modern, even if you have to pay a small amount for the plans. In most cases you will save money (and aggravation) even after paying for the plans. Free plans are too often worth only what they cost.
  6. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    those plans are perfectly good as a place to start. he will want a larger nicer boat later after gaining experiance, that is where he should spend more money on plans and materials.

    Anything and everything as far as wood has been used to build boats. Plans like that are usually designed for fir plywood. I would suggest any reasonably clear and reasonably rot resistant plywood will serve you fine. Fir usually meets this, mahogany is also good, you should just check to see what is available locally. Make sure it is has an extirior rating so it will have water proof glue. marine ply is best of course but also costly. for your first build usually some better quality exterior grade available from a local lumber supplier will serve your purposes.

    go build it and have fun with it, do not try for "perfection" on this build, you will not get it on a first build. That will come on your next build using more costly materials and more modern plans.
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  8. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Look at other plans on the Svenson's site and see what woods are recommended in those plans for the same boat parts and go from there.

    William D. Jackson plans are good ones.

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    BreezeBaby is a well known design. She's a novice boat and not a difficult build. Page 119 has a complete BOM and the plywood called for should be the best you can get, if you plan on keeping this boat for a while. If not then use big box stock, though this will limit it's life span considerably and will be more difficult to finish.

    Consider Hydrotech (BS-1088) or Aquatech (BS-6566) as alternatives to the good stuff and not much more then quality APA plywood grades. You can save about 20% of the plywood weight if you elect to use an Okoume BS-1088 sheet, but the cost of this is often prohibitive for a first build. Avoid birch if you can, just too heavy.

    This boat is awfully heavy for what it is. A small boy can get one to plane, but with any kind of load, they just plow along. Make every effort to built light, so you can get some performance out of her. This would be a fine candidate for a tape seam conversion and she'd perform much better as a result too.
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