Why wood

The material of the future is older than man

Why wood?

Because it is better than other building materials.

Wood is absolutely is the most natural and sustainable material available on the planet. From cradle to grave. From its production to its disposal at the end of its use cycle. And, above all, it is the material that guarantees the best quality of life on board. Wood stays alive, breathes, adapts and … continues to smell good for a very long time.

“Wood communicates warmth, naturalness, kindness. If you caress him, he reciprocates with caresses. And when it begins to show its flaws and cracks, you understand that it is not a dead object, but a being that lives and transforms”, writes the aphorist Fabrizio Caramagna.
The reasons that led Nabys to choose this son of the earth as the main element for its constructions concern all aspects of a boat’s life.

Essences and Materials

Red Cedar of Canada. It is among the woods with the lowest specific weight. Stable on site, tender and excellent to work with. It has a medium-high resistance among the various essences, especially to bending, and is among the best for its ability to resist putrescence. It is not suitable for holding nails and screws, but excellent for gluing.

Specific weight from 370/470 kg to m³, therefore light and very suitable for naval use. Its characteristics make it suitable for the realization of light hulls built with the strip planking technique.

Douglas. Also of American origin, softwood, stable. Resistant to bending. Heavier than cedar, it is suitable both as hull lining and for structural reinforcement elements: longitudinal sleepers, beams, etc..

Iroko. Hardwood, of African origin. Very stable on site, it has the consistency, appearance and characteristics of durability and workability comparable to teak, but better availability. It is appreciated in similar functional and aesthetic uses, such as treads and external coatings.

Okoumé plywood. Marine plywood panels are obtained from okoumé, wood from Gabon, through industrial manufacturing processes. Due to its standardization, mechanical and handling characteristics, certified marine plywood is an excellent material chosen for the construction of corner boats.

Environmentally responsible

The end of life of plastic products is one of main concerns of the nautical sector (in addition to the macro problem of all “plastic” waste). What to do with thousands of fiberglass shells once they can no longer be used as boats?

We still don’t know. While it is clear that, as far as a Nab is concerned, the hull disposal, in the unlikely event that you decide to get rid of it in many decades, is extremely simple once the systems have been removed, having to deal exclusively with wood.

Shipwrights and digital technologies

NAB 10
NAB 12.50

Other materials

Flax is known as a vegetable fiber with which to obtain fabrics to make garments. It is actually an excellent natural alternative to fiberglass. Flax fibers are green by nature and being a 100% renewable raw material, they are also perfectly recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. In addition, they are both exceptionally durable and very light at the same time.

Flax fibers have specific mechanical properties comparable to glass fibers. Composites made from flax fibers and thermoplastic, thermosetting and biodegradable matrices have shown excellent mechanical properties.

Carbon fiber is stiffer by weight than flax, but flax has much higher damping than glass or carbon fiber. A vibration in a structure made of carbon or glass fiber reinforced polymers takes much longer to dampen than in a structure made of flax reinforced polymers. So, add damping to a structure made of carbon-fiber reinforced material.

Flax fiber is characterized by high stiffness and vibration absorption and low density (1.4 p (g/cm³)) compared to glass fiber (2.54 p (g/cm³)) and other composite fibers. As thermal and acoustic insulation, it offers many ecological advantages and its impact on the environment is limited.

The carbon footprint, the carbon footprint of flax – the energy used and consequently the CO2 emitted to produce the raw material – is much lower than that of carbon and fiberglass. Moreover, it does not interfere with the food supply, but complements it, because flax is typically used as a mobile crop. If your field needs to rest for a year, plant flax. Finally, there is no need for water to extract the fibers to be used.

To give monolithic solidity to the product and to make a Nab perfectly resistant to the aggressive marine environment (limiting its maintenance to that required by any fiberglass boat), we use epoxy resin combined with flax fiber. Epoxy, as this polymer is also called, has greater rigidity and lightness compared to polyester or vinylester resins normally used in standard industrial construction.