Is Poplar Strong Enough?

by Bob
(Cape Cod)

I am building an optimist dinghy with my grandson.

I have materials for the boom, but I am wondering about the mast and sprit.

I can get a 2 inch poplar pole and a 1 inch poplar pole.

Would these be strong enough for the mast and sprit respectively?

Thanks for any advice. Bob

Comments for Is Poplar Strong Enough?

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 04, 2012
Optimist Mast and Sprit
by: Mike

Sorry Bob but I must agree with Ben, Poplar is not particularly durable, it’s not really suitable for use outdoors.

It also has low shock resistance and bending strength, so definitely not suitable for the sprit.

It is also a fairly soft ‘hardwood’ with a low density so I suspect it would wear quickly where the sprit and mast rub.

Better to use a spruce such as Sitka or scots pine.

However, much as I personally would prefer a wooden mast and sprit, it might be worth your while having a check to see what second hand rigs are for sale.

A lot of kids start off with a basic rig, then get the racing bug and want a hot racing rig, so they put their old rig up for sale.

You might find that when you cost out the price of timber, sail cloth, fittings and your time that it is cheaper to purchase one of these basic rigs.









Aug 04, 2012
Poplar
by: Ben

I'd say no.

Poplar is rot susceptible.









Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Your Questions and Answers.

Want to add more photos?

If you are having problems uploading Photos or would like to add more click on this link for the Upload Form.

You can upload as many as you like and there is no need to resize them.

You might like these

  • Boats and Bits, Free Advertising.

    The Boats and Bits Exchange is a FREE advertising space for anyone wishing to sell, buy or exchange Wooden Boats, Boat Bits or other items of Chandlery.

  • Project Boats by Proud Wooden Boat Lovers.

    A showcase for Wooden Project Boats that enthusiasts are working on building and restoring.

  • Readers Tips for Your Wood Boat.

    Readers Tips advice on how to maintain and improve your Wooden Boat and save time and money

  • Wooden Boat Women

    Wooden Boat Women, come on girls, you can do it just as well as the guys, show off your skills, your boats and encourage other environmentally friendly female boat builders.

Recent Articles

  1. Scorpio

    Sep 21, 19 12:01 PM

    Holman & Pie Northwind 1964 Strip planked hull on oak beams with mahogany superstructure & laid decking She's currently located in Ibiza in San Antonio.

  2. SMALL BOATS, BIG DREAMS

    Sep 17, 19 03:32 AM

    Reedville hosts the best little boat show in September. Photos by Eric Eichenmuller


    Reedville hosts the best little boat show in September.

    Read more by Ann Eichenmuller at Chesapeake Bay Magazine

    Read More

  3. We absolutely need this brand-new 1930s wooden speedboat from Fitzke Boatworks

    Sep 17, 19 03:32 AM

    This mahogany and oak wonder looks like it came straight out of the 1930s, but it was built in 2019. Fitzke Boatworks


    The boat is called Bugbite, is based on plans from a 1930s boating magazine and is staggeringly pretty.

    Read more by Kyle Hyatt at Cnet.com

    Read More