WHY WOODEN BOATS?
To give you a superior product.
Wood has been recognised as the choice boat building material since antiquity but is held back in the modern market by many outdated stigmatisms. So many negative stigmatisms. I'd love to have a page titled "wooden boat myths" but the extent of the list makes this impractical and I've got boats to build so I'll stick to telling you why wood is the perfect match for your small boat.
GREAT FOR SMALL BOATS
All building products have their limitations so there are some truths regarding people's predisposition to wooden boats; marine borers and dry rot. National Dinghies takes these threats very seriously.
To avoid marine borers Mountain Boats focuses its products toward the trailer and car topper types as these do not live on the water 24-7. Marine borers take 2-4 weeks of constant hull submersion to get interested and several months to do actual damage. This presumes the critters get past the high-quality paints used on your hull.
Dry rot is almost completely eliminated by design, modern technology and strict quality control. To that end we take dry rot personally as part of our guarantee of workmanship; if you've taken the simple steps recommended with your purchase (mostly regarding ventilation) and you still experience dry rot please get in contact with us immediately.
National Dinghies strives to operate in an environmentally conscious manner which is a big influence in choosing to manufacture with wood. There are many ways to measure environmental footprint but they all agree that wooden boats have the smallest footprint compared to any other boat building medium in use today.
Did we mention that wood typically floats on water? Lightness is one of the most important features of a small boat and wood can make the lightest boats. This means less boat to throw on top of your car at the end of the day or squeezing more boat onto your trailer without having to upgrade to a big 4x4.
Surprising to most people is just how strong wood is. The surprise is not expected because its strength is optimal in only one direction, along the grain. By arranging wood veneers with the grain in a changing direction the final product has strength without the directional limitation.
The strength to density ratio of wood makes it very easy to maintain a light build that can handle a fair handful of power. Further to this, wood's excellent fatigue properties mean that you wont have to worry about welds weeping within a couple of years.
Another point that most people find surprising, wood as a base material is one of the cheaper hull materials which means more bang for your buck. Flip this coin whichever way you want but reduced material costs enable Mountain Boats to give you function without compromise. We pride ourselves on being able to hit a price point while including luxurious bits of stainless steel that other brands would consider as optional extras.
DURABLE AND EASY TO FIX
If you didn't attend high school workshop classes this might not be true for you but working with wood is easy enough. I strongly recommend that you avoid running into things in the first place but if you do find yourself needing some patchwork your local hardware will be able to sort you out without feeling like you own a B.O.A.T.
On top of this, we use only the best sealant and paint systems to ensure the wood is appropriately marinised. The development of epoxy and tough-as-nails paints are the major pieces of technology that enables us to build wooden boats like never before.
Can you please wrap my boat up in some fiber glass because it makes me feel good?
Nope, we don't really "do" fiberglass.
We did not make the decision to pursue wooden boats lightly but we did so because the advantages are many and the weakness is easily mitigated against. Fiberglass became trendy as a boat building material in the middle of the last century because its inert properties were superior to any paint at the time. We all loved it, we wrapped things up in it and we got so excited about it we tried to get rid of the wood.
We tried. Some of the industry leaders even tried integrating fiberglass with 5 layers of Kevlar on the transom only to fail and return to the strength of wood. Some claim victory but their real story is just heavy (or expensive) for not much more benefit; not ideal for your little tinny.
As detailed above, wood already has the required characteristics to perform in the marine environment and perfectly matched to small craft. We use only the highest quality finishes to provide the same benefit of fiberglass without the weight.
If you do intend to drag your dinghy extensively then we are happy to provide you the option of wear surfaces or a Dynel sheathing. These options work very well but at the end of the day, why are you dragging your dinghy? Were you expecting to be carrying some kind of heavy old fiberglass bathtub?
As a side note National Dinghies is looking into the inclusion of Kevlar as part of the wood-composite mix on it's larger trailer boats.