Woods to use on 16' La Chatte Catamaran

by Peter Lawry
(Charlestown, NH)

I am building a 16' catamaran and need advice on materials to use.

The plans call for plywood construction.

I will be using okume plywood.

The plans call to use sitka spruce or mahogany for most of the solid wood parts.

What type of mahogany is best to use?

Sitka spruce also seems very expensive.

Are there woods that I can substitute for mahogany and sitka spruce? bald cypress? ash? doug fir?

I would like to use cypress for the interior framing, bulkheads, cleats, and ribbands for both hulls.

Is cypress a good choice, or is there another wood commonly found in New England that I could use?

Thanks for your help!

Comments for Woods to use on 16' La Chatte Catamaran

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Port Orford Cedar
by: Mike

Port Orford Cedar should be perfect for project; light, strong, straight grain, good rot resistance.

It’s always worth using a timber that you can get locally so you aren’t paying extra transport costs.

And also so you can go back and get a bit more, if needs be.

16' Catamaran
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the help.

I can get cypress relatively inexpensively compared to sitka spruce.

I was also looking into port orford cedar.

I want to find the best wood (resistance to rot, strong, and light) for the best price.

I want to use light, strong woods for the interior framing of the hulls, and then mahogany for the exterior seating area and other visible parts on the boat.

I am not opposed to paying a good price for wood, but do not want to if i can find a wood with similar properties for a better price.

I will be encapsulating the entire boat with PoxyShield so the cypress will not have opportunity to absorb water.

Thanks again for your comments!

New England Boat Building Lumber
by: Anonymous

Yea, Cypress should be ok, it's got good rot resistance, easy to work and moderately easy to bend. It will need sealing so it won?t soak up too much water.

Is it easily sourced locally?

I would imagine that the mahogany is used more for its looks?

You could use Iroko, much cheaper but looks similar but it can be a pain to work.

Ash has a good strength to weight ratio, easy to bend and work, it stains easily but that might not be a problem if it's painted or epoxied.

Some other local timbers you might want to consider, White Cedar, White Oak and Black Locust.

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