Tuesday September 20, 2022

Exotic wood in boatbuilding

Tropical wood is widely present in shipbuilding. These woods are resistant, aesthetic and their uses are diverse. In ancient times, teak from the west coast of India was used for the construction of sailboats, mainly in the Persian Gulf. Swietenia macrophylla is another species used by the Spanish navy during the conquest of the Americas. The life of a ship was once estimated at around thirty years. On the other hand, experience during the wars has shown that the average duration of wooden boats did not exceed eight years. Teak wood can extend the life of a sailboat to 40 years. The choice of timbers for shipbuilding depends on the location of the pieces as well as the workload they have to cope with. We can thus distinguish the frames of the sailboats - frames and ribs, belt of greenhouses, deck, planking, vaigres, the exterior joinery, the deckhouse. Here are some wood species that tolerate immersion: TEAK, VERMELHO, GARAPA, BASRALOCUS, BILINGA, MOABI, IPE, LOURO VERMELHO, MAÇARANDUBA, MAKORE. There are a large number of exotic wood species used in the navy, ACAJOU D'AFRIQUE, AFRORMOSIA, ANGELIM VERMELHO, BALAU RED, BALSA, BASRALOCUS, BETE, BILINGA, BOSSE, CEDRO, FREIJO, GARAPA, IPE, IROKO, JATOBA, LAUAN RED, MAKORE, MENGKULANG, MERANTI DARK RED, MERBAU, MOABI, MOVINGUI, NIANGON, NIOVE, OKOUME, AFRICAN PADOUK, PIQUIARANA, SAPELLI, SIPO, SUCUPIRA PRETA, TIAMA, TOLA, WENGE.



Junk Sail

The Junk is a traditional Asian boat with three-quarters Chinese sail. Its hull is compartmentalized and its sails full batten with floating and sliding tack. The junk is the typical rig of these Chinese sailboats but also known in Vietnam, Japan and throughout Asia.

The rig consists of one or more battened sails. The fabric is made from leaves of the lacryma coix. The sail is at the side of the mast and protrudes forward. Consequently, the battens are heavy and run over the entire length of the sail. They form panels that make this Chinese sail well recognizable. The battens are made of bamboo from south-east Asia. They stiffen the sail, loyalize its shape and allow to reef easily. The orientation of the sail is maintained by a lines network connected to a main line, but each batten has its own line. This system of reinforcements allows the sail never to be overly busy. This type of boats contributed to the development of Chinese sailmakers and the trade in Asia but were also used as war vessels.


Vikings Sails

Vikings boats have dominated the northern seas for many centuries. Terrifying ships, often destined for plunder and war. Thus fleets of VIII century gradually become armadas going up to more than 200 sailing ships towards the end of XI century.

The materials used for the construction were oak wood, pine for the mast or ash for the plating. The Vikings used iron for rivets, anchors and deck fittings.

The ship has a single mast equipped with a square sail, fixed in its middle to the mast. The Viking sails are in woven linen and wool. Their various colors and stripes make it possible to identify the rank of boat owner and his clan. The mast can stand and fall to benefit from favorable winds or to maneuver with the ream. This type of sails even allows to go up to the wind. At deep sea, the Vikings usually used sails. They used the oars on rivers or lakes.