Mahogany Kayak?

Submitted byRalph Merriman onSat, 02/23/2019 - 19:29

Hi All:

I was wondering if anyone out there has made a mahogany stripper.  I have made a number of strip kayaks, all from WRC.  I have several nice mahogany planks sitting in my garage and I have been wondering if I should try making a strip kayak, with the strips 1/8 thick.  

Has anyone made this work, or am I dooming myself to endless frustration?  






Sun, 02/24/2019 - 08:26

Years back a woman arrived at the kayak gathering at Newfound Lake with a mahogany kayak. It was built with 1/4" strips, bulkheads etc. It weighed mid 40's lbs. I would like to add, she was a first time builder and did a beautiful job.


Sun, 02/24/2019 - 12:17

There are several woods that are commonly called 'mahogany' - they differ quite a bit in density.

Are your planks Honduras mahogany, African mahogany, Cuban mahogany (Cedro), Sapele, or Luan ?

Or another 'mahogany'?

BTW, if the planks are older and vertical grain, you may find that you could sell them to a guitar builder and get lots of money for whatever boat project you fancied!

Ralph Merriman

Sun, 02/24/2019 - 12:40

In reply to by JohnAbercrombie

I wish I knew what variety my wood is.   I bought it from Edensaw in Port Townsend about ten years back.   Memory fails, and I'm not good enough with woods to know by looking. 

I guess I will cut some strips and play around with them before taking the plunge. 

Ralph, you can build a stripper with any wood your heart desires. Most of the traditional decisions made with strip building have to do with weight. The ease of workability does come in but essentially its about weight. Years back I had a friend who was disassembling a deck made of mahogany. I took so much wood that some went in the wood burning stove. It was good quality - perhaps Honduras? Not the Luan crap. I never used it for strip building however for no reason other than cedar and redwood were easily available.