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Wood types for Riva Florida

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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Wood types for Riva Florida

Postby Crimaud » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:44 pm

Hi, I am looking to start the restoration of a Riva Florida (481) and I would be interested to know what type of wood I need to source for the structure and the top. Am I correct in thinking that the hull frame is made in iroko? I read from other posts on the forum that the top was in Kaya, but also Sapele. Is it different for each type of Riva or each year? Thanks for the help. Cedric
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Re: Wood types for Riva Florida

Postby Crimaud » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:42 pm

Hi, after further inspection and a visit to the local carpenter, it appears that the beams are in walnut and some secondary structural pieces are in pine. The ribs seem to be in iroko, together with some of the structure to support the interior planking. I am thinking of replacing with iroko where possible. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks for the help.
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Re: Wood types for Riva Florida

Postby Don Ayers » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:44 am

Different words are used to describe the same woods.

In the US we call the main structure wood Mahogany. There are different types of mahogany and it seems Riva used both Sipo and Sapele for frames. These are both African Mahogany's.

On the deck frames and many other supporting pieces they used what we call Vertical Grain Douglas Fir and Spruce. Looks like pine but is not as yellow in color and is stronger.

For the outer planks of the hull sides the words Grand Bassam are used to describe the Mahogany.

For the decks we call the wood Kaya with inlay strips of Spruce (not American Maple)

Kaya is a lighter colored wood that with age and time in the sun tends to get lighter rather than turn dark.

This can all be confusing because of people in different countries calling the same types of wood by different names.

For example, I have no idea what Iroko is but if I saw a really good picture of it I would recognize what we call it here in the States.

For the restoration of my own boat (AR 266 of 1959) I did extensive study of the original wood. We also have a service in the USA that allows us to send wood samples into a Government Lab and they will analyze it and return a verdict as to what exactly it is.

My boat was determined to be Sapele on the sides and Kaya on the deck with Spruce inlay.

The major problem with all this is finding wood in very long length to do the hull sides. It takes getting to or finding the wood before it gets cut into shorter pieces for the lumber yards.

I hope this helps and I will attach some pictures.

Getting the right wood for a Riva is the most important thing you can do for your restoration.

One last thought. Study very carefully the original wood still on your boat. Take samples of it or send samples to the wood suppliers for them to match up.
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Don Ayers
1959 Ariston 266
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Don Ayers
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Re: Wood types for Riva Florida

Postby xylon103 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:23 am

Hi Don,

Iroko is the same as Garbun or Kambala and is also an african woodtyp.

Here in Germany it is quit easy to find the wood and also in rearly long blocks.

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Re: Wood types for Riva Florida

Postby Crimaud » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:31 pm

Thanks a lot for all this information.
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Re: Wood types for Riva Florida

Postby mcharry » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:49 pm

You can find the wood types in the VIVARIVA #34. There is a list of all kind of wood for all models. It is a copyright side from Piero Gibellini so I dont know if it is ok to posted it.
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