In June of 1994 I ventured deep into the countryside of Maryland's Eastern Shore, in search of clear marine lumber for CLC boat kits.  On Rt. 544 I found Schauber's Lumber, a truly old-fashioned sawmill with a giant open-air saw and several acres of drying timber. I found stacks and stacks of clear, air-dried ash and white oak, which soon became rubrails for Cape Charles and Severn and Patuxent kayak kits.  It was no free lunch:  the minimum purchase was a truckload, and the timber was rough-sawn and flitch-edged.  It was a big cash outlay followed by a lot of hours of milling on heavy equipment.

Schauber's appears to be there still, but that sort of yard isn't what most do-it-yourself boatbuilders need or want.  In fact, finding clear timber suitable for boatbuilding gets harder every single year.  As a teenager in the 1980's, I could find marine plywood of all kinds and everything from teak to mahogany at several lumberyards near my suburban Delaware neighborhood.  But those days are long gone.

High Quality Marine Lumber at Chesapeake Light Craft

CLC has been selling marine plywood through the mail since 1995, using the same packaging and shipping techniques we've used for 30,000 boat kits.  Now we're giving the same attention to non-plywood timber.  There's urgent need for small quantities of carefully-selected, premium-grade boatbuilding lumber all over the US.

You can order the same superior marine grade lumber we use in our boat kits (and display models).  You'll be drawing from the same stacks we use for our own kits and projects.  You can order it in any quantity---no order too small---and in a wide choice of species.  Your order will be hand-picked by our boatbuilders.  We have worked very hard to keep the prices low, and we have sorted out how to ship small or large quantities.

For larger orders, or lengths over eight feet, we have arranged to have the lumber shipped directly from the sawmill.  (You can browse a much larger selection of marine lumber for orders shipping direct from the mill.)  Most shipments under eight feet will ship affordably via UPS.  Please allow a couple of weeks for your order, as lumber doesn't grow---and isn't stocked---in convenient multiples of 8 feet.  We may have to mill the timber to your specs, and/or wait for those sizes to come in.  

Our stock marine lumber is kiln-dried, but you'll need to store it carefully once it arrives.  Never put lumber on the ground or on a concrete floor;  the side exposed to air will shrink while the side against the ground or floor will swell, and you'll get twist.  Try to store planks on end against a wall, or on a shelf off the floor.

As always, let us know if you have any questions. - John C. Harris

Our Marine Plywood selection is over here.

Lumber and plywood orders do not quailify for free shipping & require a shipping quote.

Sitka Spruce - Marine Lumber

Sitka Spruce - Marine Lumber

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) is famous for very high strength, thanks to its long, straight grain.  It is still widely used for building aircraft.  In boatbuilding it is most likely to be seen in spars of all kinds.  Sitka spruce...

from $59.00

Western Red Cedar - Marine Lumber

Western Red Cedar - Marine Lumber

Western red cedar (thuja plicata) has many desirable characteristics for boatbuilding including very light weight and a deep reddish hue beneath varnish. An entire cottage industry exists in building strip-planked kayaks, canoes, and small craft...

from $39.00

Alaskan Yellow Cedar - Marine Lumber

Alaskan Yellow Cedar - Marine Lumber

Actually not a cedar;  this is Nootka cypress (callitropsis nootkatensis).  This wood is incredible. We have never seen a wood that has such nice creamy texture and tight grain.  We use it for light-colored accents in strip-planked...

from $34.80

Mahogany - Marine Lumber

Mahogany - Marine Lumber

True mahogany (Swietenia Macrophylla), also known as Honduran mahogany or big-leaf mahogany, has been valued for centuries for its beauty, durability and resistance to decay. Ever-increasing demand put a lot of strain on the mahogany forests of...

from $1.30

PocketShip Timber Package

PocketShip Timber Package

PocketShip's base kit doesn't include the solid timber required for stringers, floorboards, spars, and other sundries.  The instruction manual walks builders through selecting and milling this timber as needed.  From the photos we're...

from $1606.38

Cypress Sheer Clamps and Stringer Material - Marine Lumber

Cypress Sheer Clamps and Stringer Material - Marine Lumber

If you're building a CLC boat (or any other boat) from plans, here are packages of ready-to-go sheer clamps, that can also be used for chine logs, and stringers. We have cut scarf joints in the material, ready to glue to length.  Packages...

from $59.00

Rail Stock - Marine Lumber

Rail Stock - Marine Lumber

If you're building a CLC boat (or any other boat) from plans, here are packages of ready-to-go rubrails, inwales, and so on.  These are intended to be both structural and varnish-grade for appearance. We have cut scarf joints in the...

from $59.00

Marine Lumber Project Pack

Marine Lumber Project Pack

From the same supply of high quality marine lumber that we sell by the lineal foot, we've bundled our end cuts into these handy, easy-to-ship project packs.  Boards will be 1-2 feet in length and come in a variety of thicknesses and...

from $25.00

Western Red Cedar Strips without Bead & Cove

Western Red Cedar Strips without Bead & Cove

Most strip-kayak and strip-canoe builders use beads and coves, a sort of tongue-and-groove system milled into the strips, for tight fits and rapid assembly.  But not every strip design benefits from that feature.  Decorative accent...

from $38.00

Cypress - Marine Lumber

Cypress - Marine Lumber

Cypress is our favorite boatbuilding wood.  Taxodium distichum grows in swamps of the US Southeast.  Possessed of a warm, buttery color, it's easy to work, strong, and extremely rot-resistant.  In spite of the natural oils that make...

from $0.75

Timber Mast & Spar Blanks

Timber Mast & Spar Blanks

Our mast blanks are clear laminated douglas fir, boom, yard and sprit blanks are sitca spruce or cypress, scarfed for ease of assembly.  These spars are strong, stable, relatively light, and resistant to warping.  Just glue the scarf...

from $90.00

Marine Plywood Project Pack

Marine Plywood Project Pack

Off-cuts of Okoume marine plywood are great for repairs or for adding a personal touch to your boat.  They're also perfect for the hobbyist in need of a high quality plywood on small projects.  Each Project Pack will contain 16lbs...

$35.00