History suggests that the Vikings were onto something when they used wood to build boats that could cross the oceans. With wood's built-in buoyancy and an impressive strength-to-density ratio wood makes a solid, safe and lightweight vessel. Mountain Boats is bringing this into the modern context starting with the flagship 8' Pram and building the portfolio form there.
We strive to operate in an environmentally conscious manner, which influences our material choice. By building with wood, we reduce our environmental footprint, particularly compared to other modern building materials.
Most woods naturally float on water. Since weight is one of the most important features of a small boat, wood suits this purpose best. This also means less weight to carry around on your car or trailer.
Wood also has an optimal density to strength ratio, meaning it can be strong while being light. By arranging the wood veneers with the grain in a changing direction, the final product has strength without a directional limitation. And because wood has an excellent fatigure property, you won't have to worry about it weeping for years.
Wood is one of the cheaper hull materials avalaiable, which means you get more bang for your buck. This enables us to give you function without compromise; we're able to hit a price point without reducing the quality of the final product.
Durable & Repairable
A wooden boat can be easily fixed with some tools and materials from your local hardware shop - in fact, working with wood is pretty easy! Because we only use the beast sealant and paint systems - along with the development of expoy and tough-as-nails paints, we're able to build boats like never before.
Great for Small Boats
Since small boats don't sit in the water 24/7 like larger vessels, dry rot and marine borers are not threats like they would be for larger ships. We even cover dry rot as a guarantee of our workmanship; if you still experience dryrot despite following our care instructions, please get in contact with us immediately.
Benefits of engineered wood
Engineered wood is the process of optimising the characteristics of wood to maximise performance. Which characteristics? Well, that is where the fun starts as there are many species of wood with different characteristics offering different benefits.
The basic characteristics are density, strength, natural resistance to weathering and crush resistance. With careful manipulation of the different species of wood we produce hulls that performs as well as any other modern material; some might say that wood is the original carbon fibre. I mean, more accurately it would be a cellulose-lignin composite but lignin is a carbon based fibre.
The strength comes from the grain of the wood; along its length wood has excellent mechanical characteristics. This is the crux of the engineering design process as directing the grain of the wood in line with the expected forces makes a mechanically sound product.
Where strength is desired in multiple directions slices of wood are laid with the grain alternating direction on each layer. Where strength is desired in one direction strips of wood thin enough to quality control for natural defects are laminated together.
There is a loose correlation between strength of the wood and its density with stronger woods tending to be denser. This is the next engineering optimisation as sometimes you want things to be light, strong, or both.
Throw in some consideration of which species will last the weather and wear and you’ve got a modern engineered wood boat. The prevalence of using wood for building traditional boats was a choice to get the best performance for the materials on hand. We are taking this to the next level by using modern material science and industrial technologies.
The future is here which brings us to the elephant in the room, sustainability. Responsibly sourced wood is a sustainable building product that co-exists with nature not on top of it.