Renewable Resources for Shipyard Infrastructure


By Lynx Guimond


As we complete our infrastructure, we are proud to announce that the wood used for every one of the buildings has been sourced locally, from plantation, trimmings or otherwise unusable offcuts.

Pria unloads locally sourced bamboo, which will be used for the roof elements of our shipbuilding hangar.

Several types of species have been employed, used for different purposes depending on their specific qualities; crooked but massive hardwoods for vertical support posts, (such as tubu and guachipelin) to long and strait soft wood such as Cipres. Practically all of the wood was donated (Thanks to our supporters!) lowering the cost of these buildings substantially.

Species such as tubu and guachipelin are planted as wind-breakers and are known for their strength and durability; local farmers say that when you ‘plant’ a tubu fence post, you have at least 30 years before having to give it any attention.

‘Living’ fences are often seen in the countryside, by simply planting a green trimming (during the right time of the year: rainy season) and more times than not the fence post sprouts and grows into a tree, requiring little to no maintenance for generations. We have begun applying these basic principles to some of our outdoor structures, as an ecological experiment with no added cost or time to our establishment.

Melle, Bourton + Luke unloading curved trunks of tubu, sourced from Monteverde. This wood is way heavier than you might expect!

Other admirable qualities include the fact that these trees grow very quickly, and if you leave a stump waist height (or more) be sure that it will sprout and continue to grow in no time. Of all the tubu and guachipelin used in our buildings (over 50%), all original ‘host’ trees continue to flourish, a prime example of a renewable resource; leading us to develop a quick and efficient building system with this material.

Another type of lumber (used in the fabrication of our ship’s hanger) is plantation teak. Teak plantations are common here, ever since the growing global demand prompted Costa Rica to begin producing several decades ago. As the trees grow, the plantation needs to be ‘thinned’ every few years to ensure a viable and healthy production; resulting in a vast quantity of long strait poles that are too small of a diameter to process into exportation lumber. This by-product is locally available at very competitive prices.

This team of adorable oxen hauled the plantation teak trees out of the dry forest. Trained to listen to voice command, they were an impressive team. It took five people to lift one of these heavy hardwoods.

Sailors of TIMBERCOAST's cargo schooner AVONTUUR, Marv + Lilly peel the bark off of plantation teak trees, which will be used to construct the shipbuillding hangar.



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