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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Builders Group
      Has anyone built a canoe using Balsa wood?     



05/24/2019 06:55AM
Probably going to finally build a canoe this year and I am wondering if Balsa wood would be feasible for reduced weight. My thinking is that the actual strength comes from the sandwiching of the wood between layers of 4oz fiberglass, so would the strength if the wood really make a difference in the overall strength of the boat?
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05/24/2019 07:13AM
distinguished member (432)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
05/24/2019 08:24AM
Yes interesting !

I tend to abuse my strippers a lot more ! But used as a Beach toy, I'm sure it would be OK !

Build one and let us know !


05/24/2019 10:14AM
Apparently its very hard to find balsa wood in lengths longer than 3 feet...
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05/24/2019 09:21PM
4oz. is like laminating with wet Nylon stockings in my opinion. I'm not to sure how much weight would be saved given the amount of glass you'd need to get good hull strength. Balsa core is a common material as you probably know, used in power boat bottoms. When they get wet (damage) they rot fast. Cedar being rot resistant, gets dis-colored, but doesn't melt like Balsa. I fear there would be alot of work for little return.
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05/29/2019 12:08AM
My last boat if I remember was something like 15 lbs with just the cedar shell for a big 19 ft boat. I’m not sure how much you’ll save with balsa. Maybe a few lbs but as said previously- most of the weight is epoxy and the hardwood gunnels/ hardware.
05/29/2019 02:23PM
Thanks for the thoughts! Probably will stick to cedar.
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