okoume plywood ecology

-- Last Updated: Dec-21-04 1:17 PM EST --

i am concerned about using exotic wood for boatbuilding. i just read that most okoume plywood comes from rainforests in west africa (Gabon). is okoume and the rainforests it comes from becoming endangered? can someone direct me to current info about the ecological implications of using okoume plywood? i'd like to start another boat soon. what boatbuilding woods and plywoods are the most renewable/ environmentally friendly?
druid treehugger

Can of worms
I Googled and found this site:


Okoume was listed, but either the link was bad or they gave no info pro or con.

maybe some of the stitch & glue gurus here could weigh in on this topic.



– Last Updated: Dec-21-04 4:23 PM EST –

Companies such as World Panel claim to do business with only environmentally friendly countries.


I guess you have to take it on faith that they stick to that policy.

Tough to remain completely green. Plastics, epoxy, polyester, vinylester, are all petroleum based.

With all due respect…
If you own a car, use electricity etc. you (like me) are trashing the environment. This is a small amount of wood you are talking about, and plywood makes the most eficient use of wood posible. The venires are shaved off, so there is no loss to the kerf of a saw (saw dust.) The wood grows old and dies and falls and rots. Wouldn’t you like to have a little fun with it on the way?

I think it’s a farmed wood.
my understanding is that it’s a farmed wood,think of it this way,it’s a non-essential product as we’re using it,as opposed to the necessary oil that will be coming out of west Africa in the next 15yrs. West Africa should be going through a bigger boom/bust cycle than Saudi Arabia and the middle east. Call Harbor Sales and see what they say.

A PDF about it:

– Last Updated: Dec-21-04 6:31 PM EST –


The Google toolbar makes me feel so smart ;)

Here is a great resource: Vaclav
Vaclav provides an extraordinry website filled with great stuff. He presents some information regarding building with plywood…that you might find of interest.




I agree with JEM
I read your post and looked over the various sites regarding the deforestation problem. I’m at a loss. About the best I can offer is that: as a S&G owner I’m happy enough with what I have that I won’t be wanting another boat in the near future. I wonder if the strip build boats run the same fenceline?

Shelmarine claims…
…that their Okoume plywood is manufactured from plantation grown trees. Much, if not most of the Okoume that comes to the US is from Shelmarine.

CLC website
CLC claims their okoume is plantation grown.

The quote below is theirs:

Most stitch-and-glue boats should be built from marine grade mahogany plywood. There are several types of mahogany plywood that may be used, but okoume, a plantation grown African mahogany, is the most economical and the most common. Other species, such as khaya and sapele are also suitable, if a little heavier