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Old 11-28-2009
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Something rot-resistant like red cedar or cypress might work well to provide structural support without being as heavy as a hardwood. Try looking for outdoor decking materials. Pine or "hem-fir" studs would be a rot magnet in my book. Red or White Oak would work, and might allow smaller sections to be used, but they're not actually that rot-resistant. Oak keel parts were frequently painted before being put together in order to forestall rot. If you can't find cedar decking boards, (and even if you can) painting all faces prior to assembly would probably be a good idea.
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