Good Wood

I took a half day off work today because I had something special being delivered to my house. As is usually the case with this blog, as soon as I write down something I am going to do in the future, fate comes along and wrecks my plans. This time it was my trip to Vero Beach to pick up my Okoume plywood for the decks and sides. I had planned on having Boat Builders Central puzzle joint the ends and have them ready for pickup on Friday and I would get a cool night in Vero to goof off but it was not to be. I went from having time enough for an easy weekend away to just enough time for a day trip to Triton Lumber in Homassassa. I called Triton up the day before I was to head out looking for some 6mm, 9mm, and 12mm ply (enough to finish the job) but unfortunately they didn’t have enough. The counterman was nice enough to give me the phone number of his supplier World Panel Products and suggested I call them direct.

Chase from World Panel Products was super helpful. They carry several different styles of marine ply including okoume, sapele, meranti, cherry, teak, and on and on. Turns out they can ship to your door and the total cost is lower than anywhere else I could find. I ordered five more sheets of 9mm, two sheets of 6mm, and one more sheet of 12mm. The shipping company called me Friday and set up a delivery appointment for Monday.

The pallet arrived about two this afternoon. The had palletized, banded, card-boarded, and wrapped it so there was no way it could get damaged in transit. It was packed so well it took me quite a while to dig down to the plywood. Once I did I was super happy with my purchase. Now that I have proper okoume I wish I had never used the A/B marine fir. The okoume is so much easier to work with and the quality of the ply is way above the fir. Oh well, the next boat will have all premium ply.

That’s it for now, next time I will tell you about my monstrosity of a scarfing sled, and how a block plane works so much better.




It has been a weird start to the year which has caused a lack of progress on Idle Hands. When I last posted I had the stringers beveled and was ready to pick up some more plywood to plank the sides. After careful consideration, Cheryl and I decided that premium okoume plywood would be the best for the hull. Okoume plywood is more flexible, stronger, and easier to work than marine fir, and with the severe twist in the planks we figured that was the way to go.  The problem with using premium ply is you have to pay a premium price. We have no local suppliers but a short internet search led to these three:

Chesapeake Light Craft

These guys are responsible for  introducing me to home built boats. I try to use them as much as I can. They maintain a wide selection of marine lumber and ply and will ship them to your door. They also cut finger joints into full sheets so you can have 4′ x 20′ sheets of plywood. Perfect for what I was doing. The problem with that is the cost of shipping, -over $200 dollars putting the total cost around $888. Time to look elsewhere.

Triton Lumber and Marine

These guys are closer to me, about three hours away. I called them and they have all of the ply and lumber that you could want but there is no jointing on the plywood. The price is pretty good though and the folks are nice.

Boat Builder Central

These guys are out of Vero Beach, about five hours away from me. There store caters to the home builder with a wide selection of boat plans and all of the supplies you need to finish your project. They also puzzle joint the plywood so you can make nice long pieces without having to scarf the panels together. Plus they are at Vero Beach. I decided to go with them.

During the time I was making a decision on a supplier things at work got weird. Work has been much slower than usual and, right around the time of my last post, there was a layoff. Fortunately I wasn’t affected but it still made me very uncomfortable. I decided not to plop down a bunch of money on plywood just yet. Over the next month and a half I used the time to upgrade the Idle Hands Workshop by building some new cabinets and storage that I had been putting off.

Idle Hands shelf

January is gone and things at work are still slow but I am tired of waiting. Next week I am headed out to Vero to pick up my planking supplies and will report back as to the quality of Boat Builders Central and the Vero area. Currently in the shop I am making plank templates out of 1/4″ luan to use with the router. I will post that progress later this weekend.