Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
Group Forum: BWCA.com Builders Group
Has anyone built a canoe using Balsa wood?
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?
Who I am precedes what I do, not the other way around.
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.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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.