Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
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Many of the early American small craft were planked with different sub species of White Pine or White Cedar but the interesting aspect of this is that these old growth trees have almost no parallel to what you can get your hands on now. When the boat builders of those days chose vertical grain softwoods to build a boat, the qualities such as strength and durability were, I believe, very different from what can be expected from these same species today if you can even get them. I found some very old vertical grain Red Cedar to build my Guideboat which made a very pretty boat but my first choice was White Cedar. There seems to be nothing of reasonable quality to be had in long lengths.
This is VERY true. There's a big difference in both the look and mechanical properties of old growth vs. new growth woods. It's why so much wood is salvaged from old factories today for use in restoring historic homes. Old growth wood is a completely different animal.
But to get back to Jedneck's original question, a 21 footer isn't a liveaboard cruiser so the interior isn't going to see the same kind of use. If you can get white cedar inexpensively I'd say go for it.
95 Catalina 30 Island Time
“The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau