Wooden yachts

Wooden yacht

In recent years wooden yachts began to gain popularity again.

Wood is the oldest shipbuilding material which retains its popularity, despite the emergence of many new materials. Moreover, in recent years, wooden yachts began to gain popularity again.

 

Advantages of wooden yachts

In the 50th years of XX century was created a cult of fiberglass in the construction of yachts, which is only now starting to give up their positions. The German shipbuilders, who were always able to create quality wooden yachts, consider that it is hardly possible to construct the yacht of other material, except wood which would have such good ratio of displacement to length on waterlines and such durability. Rather easy yacht can be constructed of aluminum alloys but very few people will claim that the metal yacht will be able to serve more than 50 years, i.e. to be more durable than the good wooden yacht. Modern plastic hulls of yachts are much heavier, than wooden, and, besides, their builders don’t give any guarantee on the same service life.
Lightweight plastic body of a three layer construction (“sandwich”) though could compete with wooden hulls of the facilitated design, but do not have the same strength and durability.
Of course, in comparison with construction of yachts from plastic construction of the wooden yacht more labor-consuming, and not a secret that high-quality completely glued wooden yacht about 20% more expensive than the good yacht from fiberglass. But in recent years a growing number of buyers are willing to pay for the construction of a wooden boat that along with high durability and favorable ratio of length and displacement have other advantages, such as the effect of good isolation from the noise of the sea.

 

Wood as a construction material in the yacht building

Undoubtedly, the wood is a natural composite high-tech material. Despite the fact that it was invented by a few hundred million years ago by the nature, humanity has not yet has created a material similar to him in the set of properties, and in fact the wood is one of the strongest materials known to humanity.
Being stronger, than steel on stretching and bending, wood simply more strong and more rigidly than steel (if to take for comparison the same weight of each of the materials), and can absorb more energy before destruction at critical operating conditions, than the highest quality steel. Construction built from a healthy, high-quality, dry wood with straight grain, is lighter and stronger than the same construction created from other materials, including high-tech composites based on Kevlar or carbon (although the best carbon composites have higher strength at the same weight, but too expensive).
Secret of wood is in its internal structure. It consists of regularly spaced and extending in one direction tubules of cellulose. These tubules as a structural element are half of the weight of the wood. They are created from long chains of high-molecular polymer, and separate cells are connected in fibers about 1 mm long. They strong keep together thanks to a lignin, a complex organic polymer, and this composite works in many cases like modern laminates. Lignin takes a quarter to a third of the weight of the wood. It is interesting to know that most of the wood pulp is in a crystallized state. This makes it surprisingly water resistant, because the crystal does not absorb water.
At water absorption wood isn’t exposed to erosion thanks to resistant elastic structure of cells. The danger of rotting of wood can be reduced to a minimum a right choice of breed and use of the corresponding preliminary processing (preservation) and modern paint and varnish coverings.
Lack of natural wood as a shipbuilding material is different strengths along and across the grain. However, thanks to the invention of plywood and multilayered glued structures it is eliminated not only this, but also other natural lack of wood: its deformation depending on humidity. As at construction of modern wooden yachts wood is cut on laths and subjected to strong drying, later in details there can be tension owing to wood swelling. Action of this tension, however, can be eliminated if work is performed by qualified specialists.
Modern methods of construction of wooden yachts with use of the formed plywood or a diagonal glued covering have as little to do with traditional methods of construction of wooden hulls, as a design of the modern plastic hull with a design of the native boats made like wicker baskets and covered with clay.
The modern hull of the wooden yacht constructed with use of glues on resorcinol resin is close on the qualities to the plastic hull.
Wood is really environmentally friendly material. The wooden yacht possesses an excellent natural noise isolation and thermal insulation, the hull effectively extinguishes vibrations. To live in the wooden yacht is a sheer pleasure. This is living, natural thing constructed by human hands.

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