Wood – The Natural Wonder Material & CO2 Eater

Wood – The Natural Wonder Material & CO2 Eater

Why Wood?

Building a vessel from wood was a no-brainer for us. It's the material we know and love from our work at Devon Wooden Boats and doesn't create large amounts of CO2. But why use wood in a modern racing dinghy?

  • It's a fantastic green material
  • It's not highly toxic like polyester resins are[1]
  • It doesn't emit styrene, an ozone depleting gas, like typical GRP manufacture does
  • Has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than glass reinforced plastic
  • It is NOT a heavy, clunky material. Our #DASH12 is a comparable weight to similar GRP dinghies.
  • If you do suffer a very heavy impact, it's fairly easy to repair in most cases

The green credentials speak for themselves.

Plywood, for example, takes approximately 718 grams of CO2 per kg to produce BUT 1188 grams of CO2 per kg is sequestered by growing the wood giving plywood a negative carbon footprint![2]

Compare this with just one of the main components of GRP, styrene, which produces a collosal 3300 grams of CO2 per kg of product of which 2500 grams comes directly from fossil fuel! [2]

These figures are cast into insignificance when compared to the production of carbon fibre with an eye-watering 24kg to 31kg of CO2 per kg of product[3].

We'll stick with wood with minimal amounts of epoxy glass reinforcement thanks.

There are also non-petrochemical plywoods and glues currently in development and production. As soon as they have Lloyds Register approval for marine use, we will use them!

On June 12th 2019, the UK government also announced that the UK is to have net zero carbon emmisions by 2050. We are streets ahead of the curve on this one.

[1] - WHO - Air Quality Guidelines - Second Edition (2000) - Chapter 5.12-Styrene - link

[2] - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland - Carbon footprint for building products (2013) pages 45 & 81 - link

[3] - Waste & Emissions: Carbon fiber - Nick Cunningham (2018) - link


We are committed to reducing the plastic in our oceans one boat at a time!