Re: bamboo strips?

Posted by Alan Speakman on Oct 30, 2006

Hi Mark, Charlie, Garth, Craig, et al...

As with many things in life, what started as a simple question (in this case from Mark) devolved into chaos... With a little luck I can end this thread here. (At last check, I didn't see any CLC bamboo products, and I thinks it's a little unfair to clutter their forum with this question...)

Mark and Charlie: Yes, a canoe/kayak can physically be built using bamboo strips. Garth was the first to point out the site that shows such a craft. To confirm that this as legit, I contacted Brent Bateman of the Sanghalei Canoe & Kayak Co. Ltd.: His respose is between the asterisks...

*************************************** Hello Alan Speakman ...

I would like to refer you to my website ... all the canoes shown feature bamboo as the main choice of wood for the hulls. The bamboo is highlighted with other woods, such as "mai dang" which is a Thai dark red, dense wood, "mai yang", which is a Philippine mahogany type of wood, and "mai taahn", which is the wood from the trunk of the sugar palm. The gunwales and keels are teak, and the seat frames are "mai ta-tiang", which is a Thai favorite boat-building wood, similar to teak.

The building technique is the "stip-built" method, which means that thin, narrow wood strips are used to form the hull, the strips then sandwiched on both sides by clear fiberglass fabric and epoxy resin.

It is entirely feasible to build the entire boat with bamboo ... but this would not be recommended.

We must search hard to find bamboo that is suitable for this kind of construction ... the thickness of the trunk wall must be at least 12 mm in order for us to be able to make finished strips that are 6 mm thick and 18 mm wide, the bamboo must be straight and with a minimum taper, plus we need at least 5 meters in length in order to have the strips cover the full length of the canoe, without joints.

I have found that my best source is in Nan Province, in northern Thailand, and the Thai call the variety "Mai Pai Throng" (Straight Bamboo).

I am of course curious as to what this is all about.

I hope to hear from you again soon.

Brent Bateman Sanghalei Canoe & Kayak Co. Ltd.


For further milling info, I'd suggest all interested persons contact Mr. Bateman, or check one of my previous posts in this thread concerning ecodesignz...

In short, SURE it can be done! (Craig has built a dozen of the strip canoes, and has been kind enough to volunteer to test scarf a strip or two... Though unless anyone protests too loudly, I pray that we just let this thread rest and move on.)

Phew! I think I'll just stick with CLC kits!


In Response to: bamboo strips? by mark lander on Sep 1, 2006


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