Re: [BCC Forum Post] Jeremy and Nica: Exterior wood selection


Iroko (African Teak) sells for about $7 per board foot and has similar
properties to teak. IDUNA’s walestrakes and bulwarks are Iroko.

Another wood to consider is edge grain (vertical grain) Douglas fir - about
$5 per board foot. IDUNA’s bowsprit and bumpkin are made from this wood.
If you can find it, Long Leaf Yellow pine is an excellent boat building
material - about 7$ per board foot for resawn material.

Ipe (trade name) would also be a good choice for handrails. This a South
American hardwood that is being used for outdoor decking - hard as nails and
stout tough but difficult to work because of its hardness - wear a dust mask
when working - dust may cause breathing problems and dermatitis.




I have a few pieces of exterior trim to replace and I’m interested in
exploring all options in wood selection. There were days where I would
have considered it sacrilege to use anything but teak or mahogany to
finish a proper yacht, but those days are past me now. I’m now driven by
simple utility. Are there other species that provide good resistance to
rot, suitable hardness/ding resistance, reasonable aesthetics, and better

I need to make new handrails for the cabin top; and I’d like to add the
brow trim to the cabin (Calypso never had this trim). These new pieces
will be varnished and need to fit in with the existing trim. I’ll stain
if necessary. Calypso’s hatches are teak and the cockpit coamings
mahogany; the boom gallows and rudder cheeks are ash. the
mast/boom/sprit/boomkin are spruce (I think).


Black Locust is tough, rot-resistant and good-looking – color is a
light yellowish tan and fits in pretty well with varnished teak.
Though not found in your average lumber yard it is available from
specialty suppliers, for example Used to be used
a lot for marine applications but today you have to hunt it down or
find a local yard to saw some, which is what I did years ago when
clearing trees for our house. Around Maryland it mostly gets used for
fenceposts or firewood and logs can be found pretty-much for the

(Itchen – BCC 73)

On 4/26/05, BCC Forums wrote: