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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 11-01-2008
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Epoxy mahogany core

Found a nice boat at about the right price but not familiar with this epoxy, mahogany core method of construction, where does it stand problem wise, towards the solid fibreglass end or the home built ferro/cement end? If there are problems specific to this type of construction, what might they be?
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It would help if you could give a little more information of exactly what type of construction we are talking about. Also, who built the boat? There can be a big difference between a wooden boat built by a novice vs a professional boatbuilder.

Epoxy mahogany core sounds to me like it is probably a cold molded boat. If so it may be a finely build boat. Cold molded boats, if built and maintained properly, often can be of a quality to match or even excede that of fiberglass boats. And, they are soooo pretty. Alternatively, "epoxy mahogany core" may refer to a sheathed strip type of construction, a fiberglass over hardwood plywood construction, or any of a hadful of other methods.

Before buying a boat like this, you will need to find out more about its construction (exactly what method, who built it...). You will NEED a good surveyor who is experienced in wooden boats. Also, know that wooden boats require extra maintenence and some specialized skills to maintain. While the reward can be enormous, if you don't have the time or knowledge to maintain one, a fiberglass boat might suit you better.

The main problem with this type of construction is rot. The wood is covered in a epoxy and fiberglass (or more often dynel) to form a water resistant/ abrasian resistant skin. If this outer skin is compromised, water can get in leading to rot. Depending on the extent of damage, this can be very costly and complicated to repair.

Last edited by BlueWaterMD; 11-01-2008 at 08:53 AM.
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epoxy mahogany core

Don't have much in the way of info but built to a Van de Stadt design by a Turkish boatyard. It sound like, providing the inner and outer skins are not compromised, there shouldn't be much of a problem. Not yet at the stage of sending in a surveyor just need to know what I'm talking about.
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Old 11-02-2008
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Though pretty, mahogany would be a heavy material to use for the entire core in an epoxy sandwich construction. There are many lighter woods that could be used without compromising hull strength in a composite hull. Cedar and or fir come to mind. They'd have had to import any of these materials from quite far away into Turkey, making them expensive. How thick is it? Turkish boats don't seem to turn up a lot outside of Turkey. It may be a good idea to ask lots of questions and to be careful.
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Old 11-04-2008
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If it is fiberglass sandwich, mahogany core might be an intersting alternative to Balso core, probably a little less rot prone if water enters the laminate.

Balsa is used as it is so light, I am not sure what the advantage the builder would be considering with a mahogany core.
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Old 11-04-2008
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I'm not sure I'd want a mahogany core wooden boat... mahogany is pretty heavy... and not an ideal core material IMHO. Even if the boat is cold-molded, why would you make a cold-molded boat out of such a heavy wood??? A mahogany boat isn't going to have some of the benefits of a cold-molded boat—mainly the lightness for the strength.

Most of the boat builders I know want to minimize weight and will use cedar, balsa or some other very light wood for the basic building material. IIRC, cedar isn't all that uncommon a wood in that part of the world—since there are both Turkish and Cyprus cedar trees.
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Old 11-04-2008
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This sounds like an encapsulated wooden boat rather than a cold molded design or a glass boat using a thin mahogony core.
As such...I would stay FAR away as this is a very problematic construction method and guaranteed to separate and allow moisture and rot to occur over time.
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