We only use the highest quality materials when manufacturing our pirogues.
Cypress Planks and Boards
We use cypress in the manufacture of everything but the bottom of our pirogues. Cypress was used as the primary wood to build pirogues because of its ease of machining and abundant supply to the locals. Aside from that it is resistant to rot, and extremely light for its strength. Everything on the boat but the bottom is made from cypress.
Douglas Fir Marine Grade Plywood
We only use BS 6566 marine grade plywood. This plywood can be boiled in water and will not delaminate. It does not warp like pressure treated plywood. It has zero voids in the interior/exterior laminates as well as opposing grain laminates for strength both laterally and longitudinally. Cypress bottoms would only give strength along the length of the boat but not the width. Because of our plywood’s superb strength, we can use thinner wood for the bottom to reduce weight as well. Additionally, Douglas fir is also as rot resistant as cypress and 18% harder, which means the bottom will withstand more abuse. There is no replacement for quality marine grade plywood.
100% Waterproof / Boil Proof Glue
The adhesive we use fell out of favor with manufacturers of wooden boats long ago even though it has superior waterproofing and adhesive properties. This was primarily due to the fact that it has up to a week long cure time, and requires perfectly machined surfaces with tolerances between 0.002-0.007" as well as 25-250psi clamping force. To pass the ANSI Type 1 test of waterproof glues, the glued object is boiled 4 hours, then baked 20. It goes through this process numerous times until an attempt to break the glue line is made while the wood is still wet. If the wood breaks before the glue, then the glue passes the test.
Fortunately for us, we are willing and able to take the necessary time to allow the glue to cure, as well as manufacture near perfect seams for the glue to adhere. The advantage this adhesive has over others is that it is also water tight, where urethane glue like gorilla glue forms micro bubbles when it expands that allows water to seep through the glue line. Most other glues weaken with age but this glue is completely durable. In our experience, we have 20 year old cypress pirogues that are as strong as the day they were built and still do not leak.
As a general rule of thumb, water based glues do not withstand long exposure to water because the water was once part of the adhesives chemical makeup and the glue has the potential to reabsorb water. For this reason, over long periods of time water will eventually saturate the glue and weaken it. Fortunately for us, the glue we use is totally impervious to water as well as resistant to most chemicals. Flexible adhesives such as urethane glues also known as silicone or rubber cement do not work well for this application either because these adhesives do not saturate the wood very well. The failure point for these glues will be at the interface between the glue and wood. In an ideal situation, the ahesive will soak into the wood. Our adhesive will saturate the wood making the bond stronger than the wood itself. Our tests proved that when gluing a joint, the wood will break before the glue line will even when the point of maximum force is directly over the glue line. Unfortunately we can not give out the name of the glue as we beleive it gives us a competitive advantage. We reveal the type of glue used in our book Cypress Pirogue Plans found on amazon.com.
Copyright © 2015 Porets' Pirogues