Rubber wood for fishing canoe construction

IRG/WP 05-40319

L Edwin, S N Thomas, B Meenakumari

The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is cultivated for its latex and the wood comes as a by-product from the rubber plantations. The highly perishable nature makes it unsuitable for boat building. The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Cochin conducted laboratory and field studies with chemical preservative treated rubber wood and found that the durability of the wood increased considerably. The preservatives used were Copper-chrome-Arsenic (CCA) and creosote. Three canoes were made of treated rubber wood and are being operated successfully for the past 30 months in the backwaters as well as in the sea by gillnet fishermen. As a logical sequel to this, canoes were constructed out of rubber wood treated with CCA alone and sheathed with fiberglass making them more durable. Three such canoes were made and are given for experimental fishing. Performance monitoring shows that these canoes are free from biodeterioration and physical damage.

Keywords: Rubber wood, fishing canoe, marine borers, performance, CCA, creosote, India

Conference: 05-04-24/28 Bangalore, India

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