Sunday, February 21, 2010

a smart and elegant solution... Bamboo!

Over and over again I see a lot of misinformation about wood and it's place on boats. Especially in the area of its supposed need for Herculean efforts to maintain it... It just ain't so!

I won't go into the whole wood vs other materials but I will say before you subscribe to some of the idiocy floating around you really should read "The Gougeon Brothers On Boat Construction" and take note of the various testing data where wood is concerned... a lot of it developed through testing for NASA projects that the Gougeon brothers were involved with... The bottom line is wood rocks.

One wood that I'd like to get very up-close-and-personal with is Bamboo as it has physical properties you'd have to get involved with a carbon composite to approach and it would seem used in a composite situation (like for instance a spar) you would have an amazing strength-to-weight ratio with the bonus of minimal upkeep and extended longevity. Throw in the fact that bamboo is a very sustainable material and earth friendly... what's not to love? I think Michael Schacht said it best "I Have Seen the Future and it is Tubular"

Sadly for me, the new mast for "So It Goes" will not be a bamboo composite as I just can't seem to source the materials needed (in spite of the deluge of bamboo flooring and chopping blocks) but I am very much looking at various bamboo composite scenarios for the next "Loose Moose"! If any readers have information on bamboo in a processed lumber form I'm all ears!

In the meantime... How about a bamboo spinnaker pole?