Caledonia yawl project: shopping for Sitka spruce

Sitka spruce is the preferred wood for spars, due to its excellent strength to weight ratio. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer people and industries seeking out the wood. This means that even a place like Vancouver in close proximity to the forests that are home to the wood with legendary properties, it is hard to come by.

I’d almost resigned myself to the second choice of using good vertical grain Douglas fir for the spars. It is a bit heavier but just as strong.

Until this weekend when I found a small lot of 20′ beams for sale in Maple ridge.


These are very nice quarter sawn pieces from good sized trees.


But they are 6″x12″ so I’ll have them mill it into smaller pieces that I can handle on the table saw and prepare for the birsamouth construction for the main mast. The other spars will be made of two pieces laminated together to reduce the chance of warping.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.