Some wooden boats have been in the water for over 40 years and still float, thanks to the ingenuity of a 20th century door maker who loved to sail. Cornelius Bruynzeel lived in The Netherlands during the Second World War, where he owned a door making and lumber supply business that was facing financial difficulties due to the war. Not one to be outsmarted by economic downturns, Bruynzeel looked for another market to sell his lumber. This is where his sailing hobby started to bring in revenue.
Bruynzeel was originally looking for a way to waterproof exterior doors because breaking into this niche would have given him the revenue he needed to stay afloat. He constructed a durable 3-ply laminated panel using a synthetic resin glue that he developed personally, and then he shared this creation with a fellow sailor. This sailor just so happened to be a naval architect, and realizing that the wood would be perfect for use on the water, he suggested that Bruynzeel attempt building sailing vessels instead of exterior doors. Thus, Okoume Plywood was born.
The wood Bruynzeel ended up using was Okoume because of it beauty and odd characteristics. Originating in Africa, this wood is known for its amazing strength-to-weight ratio. This lightweight wood is durable and strong, and when used in high-quality plywood construction, Okoume is air and watertight. This expanded its uses into aircraft and sea-worthy vessels.
J. Gibson McIlvain is an exotic and domestic wholesale lumber supplier that carries a large stock of Okoume Plywood. McIlvain’s enormous inventory and unbeatable expertise has made them a leader in the lumber industry for over 200 years. For more information and to see McIlvain’s full line of products and services, visit them online today.
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