recycled wood for a sail boat?

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Dave Brown, May 23, 2019.

  1. Dave Brown
    Joined: May 2019
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    Location: Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Dave Brown Junior Member

    Hi all I have been thinking of building a sail boat from recycled wood (Pallets & recycled building timbers & am seeking any advice on what would be the best way to go about this crazy idea?
    thanks in advance for your thoughts & for taking the time to read this thread!
    Dave.
     
  2. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 747
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Welcome.

    Search this forum under some key words like PALLET DESIGN STRUCTURAL.
    There have been some interesting pallet designs.
    Not great opportunity but it's possible.
    Keep it short.

    Not much reading really, it's a pretty short thread.
     
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    How big is the boat that you are thinking of building?
    Do you have a particular design in mind?
    Once you build it, what sort of sailing do you want to do with it?
    Be aware that the cost of building a hull, even from quality materials, is only a small proportion of the final cost.
    And the cost of the hull built with recycled pallets will be an even smaller proportion.
    And this will drive down enormously the value of the boat come the time that you want to sell it. Especially when compared to if you had built the hull out of 'quality' timber.
    On second thoughts, the cost of the hull might not be less - if you are using 4' lengths of board from pallets, you will need an awful lot of epoxy to glue it all together with...…

    I shall also go and have a look now for Bluebell's suggestion.
     
  4. Dave Brown
    Joined: May 2019
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    Location: Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Dave Brown Junior Member

    nothing too large perhaps just a 8-10 footer?....just for laffs & experience!
     
  5. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Ah ok, that should be much more 'do-able' than (say) a small sailing cruiser 20 - 25'.
    Although you will still have lots of joints if you are using timber from pallets.
    Are you going to design it yourself, or do you have a particular designer or boat plan in mind?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  6. Dave Brown
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    Location: Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Dave Brown Junior Member

    Ive a fair idea in mind but am taking inspiration from all over the WWW & from many designers
     
  7. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    There are a few Utubes and net sources for building boats from "reclaimed" or "recycled" wood.

    They all pretty much boil down to "There is no such thing as free". What you trade for the materials being cheap or free is time. The time you take cleaning up, sorting out, piecing together, and fixing the wood to be good enough to build with. For some that is a worthwhile trade. But for most its not, even if they don't realize it until after they've started.
     
  8. Dave Brown
    Joined: May 2019
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    Location: Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Dave Brown Junior Member

    I thought of that too & I am only doing it to see if it can be done !
     
  9. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Yes, 8 - 10 feet would be the limit in my opinion.
    Even then, the above comments still apply.
    The bottom line is it's a bad idea but you won't be talked out of it and that's okay.
    Build something, go sailing, good luck, learn.

    EDIT: I can't believe I left out the most important point,
    have fun!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You can finger joint board end to end. A finger joint shaper cutter is the easy way of doing it.
     
  11. Dave Brown
    Joined: May 2019
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    Location: Northern Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

    Dave Brown Junior Member

    I'm just in it for fun and craft experience but I'm not going to cry if it don't work either!
     
  12. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Pallet wood is junk wood in most cases. It works for pallets but the thought of using it for a boat is......................(sigh) not advisable. Yes you could do it just for S&Gs but the labor content will be out of proportion to the money saved by using trash wood. Building a boat is a labor of love and should not be compromised by some kind of fun and games.

    Do spring for some decent lumber and or sheathing and build a boat that will not be the object of ridicule. With that I cheerfully concede that you could do it ....but why would you compromise a structure that could possibly lead to a drowning episode?
     
  13. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Of course if you can score some reclaimed old stand hardwood beams as stock to cut then that is a different story.
     
  14. Steve Clark
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Narragansett Bay RI

    Steve Clark Charged Particle

    With modern glues, you can strip up almost anything. In construction, they call this Oriented Strand Beams, and it really looks like crap wood ripped into 1/8” strips and pounded together in a big press of some sort.
    As a stunt, there isn’t anything that says you can’t do the same for parts of a boat. You could even be pretty elegant about it and build something with lots of curves because you are going to be laminating thin strips and why not?
    You just need a good saw, lots of clamps and a ton of glue. And a thick skin.
    SHC
     

  15. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    'Cause that is literally what it is. LOL

    Again, you're trading money for time.

    I can't easily get marine ply here (150 miles inland) but I can get ~1/8" veneer. I've been tempted to use that technique to build up laminate beams, "un-tortured plywood", and even cold mold for sundry projects, boat and non-boaty. But fiberglass always wins at the end of the day because of the time thing.
     
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