Lumber and Materials


Here, a recent storm blew the steel roofing sheets off of one pile, so I’m taking the opportunity to move some of the 19 foot planking boards into the shop for the next strake. I’m also re-stacking the rest into more manageable piles.

Building a 22 ton wooden boat requires a lot of wood! More than 35 tons have been brought in so far. One of the most back-breaking tasks is storage of and moving the boards, which all must be stickered and covered for aging. Air drying requires one year per inch of thickness. After that, each board is likely to be moved several more times before it even gets into the shop. Murphy’s Law says the next board needed will be near the bottom of the pile!

Lion will be built mostly of white oak obtained here in northwest New Jersey. Exceptions will be white pine from Lubec, Maine for decking, red pine from NJ for spars (see Spars/Rigging), and local hardwoods (ash, poplar, yellow birch, cherry and walnut) for the interior joiner work. White ash will be used for most of the deck beams. Although white ash is not considered as durable as white oak, it will be used because it was provided free by Mother Nature during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. I’m lucky the ash didn’t become an unwanted part of the house!

Castner’s Sawmill, located nearby, provided the majority of the beautiful white oak. The first lumber was gathered in 2004 in the form of white oak logs delivered to my yard by logger Joe Hull. From them, all of the backbone timbers (keel, stem, sternpost and deadwood) were milled by the late sawyer (and engineer, and all-around great person) Dick Plog.

As of March 2018, about 5400 board feet have gone into Lion’s backbone, frames, deck beams, clamp and planking (through the third strake below the sheer strake). Except for about a thousand black locust trunnels, and 20 white ash deck beams, all of it has been white oak. The lumber has been (or will be) air dried, covered and stacked with spacers (stickers) for circulation, for at least one year per inch of thickness (that’s seven years for the backbone timbers!)

Fastenings are galvanized steel. Most bolts have been fabricated from plain steel rod, then galvanized at Nicholas Galvanizing in Jersey City. Black locust trunnels were used to fasten all the frame futtochs together. (Trunnels are basically dowels driven into tightly fitted holes, wedged on the ends.)

Much of the paint, preservatives and bedding compounds will be formulated right in my shop.

(NOTE: For latest work on the boat, check the Deck page.)


Most photos are captioned to explain the process. Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through the galleries:



Paint, etc

Comments on either the website or the boat will be greatly appreciated. You can contact me (Mike Danesi) at