Why Do Wooden Ships Sink? They’re Made of Wood. Wood floats?

Archimedes’ principle states that “the upward buoyant force that exerts on a body immerses in a fluid whether or partially submerges is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces”.

This factor is the reason why wood tends to float on water. However, there comes the exciting part, why do wooden ships sink? They are made of wood, aren’t they?

We have a growing number of people who are interested and are working in marine insurance or international trade industries daily and are interested in such aspects of the world of water.

But there are frequent causes of a maritime executive who does not have a technical background or any experience on the seas. So we are going to take an in-depth look into the matter through this article.  And, try to solve all your worries.

Archimedes’ Theory

While relaxing in a bathing pool, Archimedes discovered “the principle of buoyancy”. Entering the pool, he pointed out that the water spilt over the sides, which made him feel lighter.

Archimedes came up with the hypothesis that the amount of water that spilt over is the amount of volume of the space that his body settled in. That’s when he concluded, “An object in fluid experiences an upward force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object”.

So as we know that upward force is equal to the weight of the supplant fluid, an object must supersede a higher weight of fluid than its own to float in water — all in all, an object with lower density than the fluid floats. And, an object with a higher frequency than the liquid sinks.

The Density Of The Ship

Ships are usually made of materials that have a much higher frequency than the water because the mass of the boat is the total weight of the vessel, which includes the bunkers, cargo, stores, crew etc. divided by surface volume of the hull.

By which we can conclude that the hull has a surface volume that is large enough to provide the whole ship with a density that is much lesser than that of the water, which makes the boat float in the water. Ships are usually designed in a way so that they could achieve such a property.

Why Are Ships Made Of Woods?

Firstly wood is the most commonly used material, so it’s readily available everywhere in the world. The main properties that make wood suitable for making ships are that it is durable, and it gives you the creative freedom to bend it into any shapes.

Weight per unit volume of wood is low, which also makes wood a proper choice for building ships. Wood helps to make lighter vessels that help carry heavyweight as compared to a metal vessel of the same shape. Wood is also natural to work on and also the easiest to repair.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Wood Used, And Why?

Throughout the time many different kinds of wood have been used, every woods had their phases. Some stayed for a very long time, while other depended affordability. Let’s look at those types of woods in a more detailed manner.

The History Of Wood Being Used In Ship Making

Building wooden ships or boats have been an ancient tradition. We can’t expect anything too we are exotic when here to talk about wooden ships. Vikings didn’t have mahogany or teak anywhere near them, but a colossal forest is what they had with different and good crafting materials.

Oak isn’t cheap, but it has been in use for centuries since the beginning of time. It was so precious and expensive once centuries ago that it was only used for the king’s navy. We have also heard in the tales of histories about England taking over the seas for a while. They used a massive amount of oak forests to build their ships.

Plywood, The Most Common Wood Used In Ship

When it comes to making a ship, plywood is the ideal material. It comes in all proportions higher than most planks, and can also be cut and bend into any creative forms.

Repairing plywood is secure as well. But yet it is not the best choice to build a ship with, firstly it’s not long-lasting and also the glue that the plywood bonds with can stop it from breathing and which makes the moisture in the wood finds its way to the centre and produce rot before it dries up.

Plywood is suitable for making small boats maybe, but not ideal for building big ships.

Teak And Mahogany Being A More Exotic Options

Before plywood, the wooden species that were used are cedar, cypress or teak for making planks because they had a high resistance to rotting. Oak was usually used for frames inside the plank, because of its exceptional ability to bend it into creative shapes.

The most excellent wooden materials that could be used for making ships are teak and mahogany. But they grow in rain forests, and we are at a stage in our world were cutting them off is just cruel and inhumane. We are already losing lots of our heritage. So using them regularly for building ships is not a good idea.

Why Wood Floats?

The ratio of weight compared to volume is what decides if an object floats or sinks. It usually sinks if an object which has a specific amount weighs more than equal than the volume of water.

Water fails to hold it up. On the other hand, it floats if an object which has a particular capacity weighs less than the equal volume of water. Water succeeds to support the weight of that object.

Also, if we talk about density, we all know the ratio between weight and volume is called frequency. Less dense objects tend to float on the water where more dense objects sink.

Why Do Wooden Ships Float?

There are many factors that are working together for making the ship float and not sink, to understand all those factors better we are about to go deep into the study of woods.

The History Of Wood Being Used In Ship Making

Building wooden ships or boats have been an ancient tradition. We can’t expect anything too exotic when we are here to talk about wooden ships. Vikings didn’t have mahogany or teak anywhere near them, but a colossal forest is what they had with different and good crafting materials.

Oak isn’t cheap, but it has been in use for centuries since the beginning of time. It was so precious and expensive once centuries ago that it was only used for the king’s navy. We have also heard in the tales of histories about England taking over the seas for a while. They used a massive amount of oak forests to build their ships.

Tropical Zone

There are past stories about a European ship that was fully loaded, sinking as soon as they reached the tropical zone. The cargo that is loaded and meant for cold and salty seas tend to sink as quickly as they enter the warmer and less salty Seas. Water usually floats on cold, brackish waters because they have more density than the freshwater.

Wood Does Not Mainly Sink, They Float

Commonly the wood that is used for making a ship does not have the property to sink in water. If large forces of waves end up breaking the boat somehow, the rest of the scattered pieces of planks floats, those wooden objects would float and get to some distant shore at some point.

But in a ship it’s only possible that woods are attached with other metal parts to create benches, engines etc. those are mainly the parts that sinks into the water pulling along all the objects that are associated with the heavy metals.

That’s why sailors can hold onto these wooden planks and take support for rescuing themselves by floating.

Centre Part Of The Vessel

We are all clear about the issue that ships are denser than water, right?

Ships are made in such a tricky way that the centre part of the vessel has space inside, which makes the boat float as the making of the ship lets it supersede more water than its weight — reasons why it ends up floating in the first place. Sinking occurs when water enters these hollow spaces and increases the importance of the ship.

How Are Wooden Ships Built?

A berth is somewhere a wooden ship is basically built, the timbers and planking are shaped and cut around them and then put back together on the berth to form the ship’s hull. To discover better forms of full, replicas of wooden shells were created by iron vessels and steel.

Later moderately iron became more effectively useful on its own, so rather than being just a replacement for timber, metal was starting to deliberately being used. The vessel is launched by a gathered area rather than a ship construction site. Which is known as the berth or the slipway.

For increasing the space to build prefabricated sheds, in many shipyards, the amount of berths has been reduced. More ships can be produced and contracted by low cost only if there is an increase in the ease of fabrication, reasons why berths are reduced.

Displacement Tonnage

The volume of water it displaces when it is floating is called the ship’s displacement; it measures in cubic meters.

The weight of the water that displaces when the ship is floating. Having its all stores on board and fuel tank full is called its displacement tonnage. It’s measured in metric tons.

By that, we can figure out that the displacement tonnage is the weight of the ship since when a ship is floating, it supersedes its weight in water.


We hope this article helped you to solve your confusion and help you understand the whole thing better. If you are interested in purchasing a wooden boat or even building one for yourself, we hope you will take all the factors into consideration and also be careful while choosing the right materials for you.

How To Build A Boat Out Of Plywood?

Building a boat is no easy task. It is summer, and you feel like plunging into an adventure with a self-made boat. However, there are a few obstacles that you need to overcome. To extensively indulge with every nooks and cranny of the building boat process, you may require insurmountable knowledge and a scheme.

For those of you who are novices, plywood automatically becomes your first option among all the materials available. The valid reason being plywood tends to be very cost-effective and holds increased stability and strength.

Moreover, due to plywood’s inherent ability to being resistant to excessive impact further makes it a better choice.

There are many factors that loom over the building of a boat. This article will help you guide through all the essential aspects to turn your dreams into reality.

Essential Factors to Consider

We are all aware that building a boat using plywood is not only an inexpensive alternative but also a lightweight option. However, few elements need discussion before fabricating perfection.

Water Body

First and foremost, ensure where you will be sailing like Popeye, the sailor man. Different types and sizes of the boat allow you to understand the mechanism; however, all of them are intended to safely and smoothly maneuver you through the water bodies.

Chiefly, there are two types of water qualities you will encounter. Firstly there is freshwater, and then there is saltwater.

Both of the water types require minimal maintenance when it comes to boating. Saltwater boats demand a little more nurturing than freshwater boats.

If you are an avid sailor for both water bodies, you can always opt for building a saltwater boat and use it in freshwater since saltwater boats are capable of withstanding harsher conditions compared to freshwater.


If you prefer to download the free programs available on the internet, go ahead. A good idea helps you design and construct not only an ideal boat but also aids in saving money and time in the future. This particular factor is considered to be one of the hardest decisions since there is a range of designs accessible to you.

Furthermore, if you are someone who has zero faith in free plans, then you can pay a professional to design a high-profile boat that you can make without any effort. Some of you may hold the idea that the less you pay for something, the inferior standard it will eventually be, mainly when there are expensive choices available.

Quality Materials

Building a boat out of scratch may seem like a good idea at first, considering how profitable it sounds. However, the core materials utilized in hull and deck construction must be of top-notch quality for various reasons.

The selection of equipment is directly proportional to the performance and efficiency of the boat. Improved sustainability must be ensured before assembling your boat.

For instance, if you are thinking of painting your boat, make sure you get excellent quality paint instead of the cheap ones. The quality of the colour must be superior since longevity is a huge factor.

Retaining gloss, smoothness, and finesse can only be achieved through the right variety. Plus, surface adhesion is an additional benefit of good quality paint.

Marine Grade Plywood

When you are talking about exceptional grade plywood, the only term that comes to mind is marine plywood. It is manufactured by the superior standard, resistant to tropical water hardwood as well as top-grade veneers. If you are worried about any flaws, these materials take care of it. Prolonged exposure to water may cause harm to your boat. However, marine plywood is both moisture and waterproof.

Marine plywood includes fir, meranti and Okoume. This type of plywood consists of layers that have no breaks, and will not de-laminate. Moreover, boats are prone to fungus infestation, however with marine plywood you no longer have to worry about fungal issues. Both affordability and versatility are ensured with this specific type of plywood.

Epoxy Resin

Those of you, who are rookies, must be quite unsure about the epoxy resin and its mechanism. It is the building blocks of making a boat. The manufacture of this material occurs through the chemical reaction of two or more industrial compounds.

Epoxy resin is fundamentally shaped by reacting bisphenol with epichlorohydrin. Ensuring the best quality epoxy resin available holds the highest priority.

There are a lot of resins available in the market; however, epoxy resin is the best among all for various reasons. Epoxy resin makes the boat water-resistant by enabling it to absorb moisture, to withstand the harshness of aqua.

Moreover, this resin has a more exceptional surface adhesion and can hold out against wear and tear. Along with durability and a strong façade, it offers a lightweight structure for you.

Fiberglass Cloth

Fiberglass is considered to be of low maintenance since it can withstand abrasion and makes the cleaning process much more manageable. Moreover, coating a boat with fiberglass may seem like a hard task.

However, the process is as simple as possible. Most builders can mould fiberglass with clean lines. The clean lines ensure the boat glides through the water effectively and efficiently.

Fiberglass also helps cancel the noise of water splashing onto your boat. It provides you with a smooth and quiet continuous motion as you cruise around the place.

Some boats tend to be structurally damaged with more prolonged exposure to water, but a coating with fiberglass lets you keep the boat in the water for several months.

Boat Building Process

Since you are well aware of the essential aspects and ingredients involved in making a boat, you are ready to indulge in a significant process. The construction incorporates a technique of boat building named stitch and glue method. There are a few steps to get the boat you desire finally.


Plywood comes in 8 feet panels only. If more extended panels were to be found, you would most likely have a much easier job. However, it does not take a lot of effort to attach sheets to achieve a longer one. This entire process is known as scarfing.

If you already hold a plan, then this gets significantly easier for you. First of all, make sure you cut two plywood panels into a pointy and knife-like manner. Both of the similar pieces are then glued together using epoxy resin. Remember, plywood generally has a good side. Flip it before you start cutting.

Before you put the glue in and after cutting the edges equally, you must sharpen the sheets properly. The sharpening procedure includes a belt sander, and the aftermath consists of a smooth and even plane from top to bottom. However make sure, the panels remain straight and parallel.

You must provide a good sanding to your plywood either by a grit paper or through a sheet sander. The sanding process results in a polished surface for the glue to hold on.

During the gluing task, mix the epoxy resin with powder and lay it out evenly. To cure the epoxy, position the wax paper properly on top of the joint, and secure the joint with weight to hold the scarf firmly.


Since you already own a plan for your boat, the first of many obstacles has been overcome. The next step follows you to estimate and sketch several parts of your plywood attentively. The plan provides you with every angle and measurement required.

Before you assemble the boat, all these marks, measurements and reference points must be incorporated in the plywood using small nails, pointers or even markers. This process helps you determine the arrangement of many vital aspects, including the centerline, the placement of seats, the position of the centreboard.

The following step involves you fragmenting the parts into the actual ordeal. You can use various saws to cut the plywood in perfect shape including jigsaw, circular saw, and Sawall. Remember to cut out the parts in a slightly large manner since you have to further sand the plywood for refinement.

However, if you are worried about making errors while cutting, then throw your worries to the wind. The epoxy resin allows you the freedom to make minor errors, as epoxy can fill the mistakes.

To further ensure complete accuracy, make sure by laying out your plywood properly and inspect by comparing all the measurements and markings.

The subsequent step requires you to drill your plywood in numerous places. Although before the drilling procedure, ensure the diameter of your wire at first since the width of drilling will be slightly larger than the wire.

Your plan will guide you through the drilling process, which tells you where to drill and where not to drill.


You have many options of material when it comes to wires, including copper and steel. However, remain extra cautious with water since corrosion can appear any time with these wires. Stitching or wiring allows you to assemble your boat and take pride in your creation.

Before you start stitching, decide on what length your wire must be for you to be comfortable with it. As you have already drilled the holes, you only need to slide the cables inside the holes. After insertion, bring the wires and put the ends opposite to each other and twist it firmly.

Since you already have a plan, you stitch and assemble your boat according to it. Adjust the panels and start the wiring action with finesse. After you are done with your stitching procedure, you open the folded sides and erect your design while making sure the alignment and accuracy remain optimal.


After ensuring the stitching method according to your plan and adjusting the plywood to the right position, you dive in with the epoxy glue. A minimal gap is required to make sure the glue settles in nice and slow.

Before smearing the glue, measure the boat side by side or diagonally. Both parties must be of the same length.

Also make sure the boat is level from the front, plus the back. This factor will inhibit your boat from deformation. Once you make sure of the alignment and its uniformity, then apply the epoxy glue throughout the boat to ensure perfect semblance.

Powder-like substances such as silica or fibers are added to it, to make the glue more concentrated. The thickness enables te the glue to not have the water-like consistency.

It should be the right amount of thick to apply the glue-like butter. However, it may take some time to adjust the thickness but do not worry; it is not a tough task.

After gluing your boat correctly, make sure it is positioned correctly. Let the epoxy cure, which assists in the hardening process. When the process completes, and the epoxy settles in, your boat will be in a fixed and firm position. Meanwhile, you can pull out the wires.

You will be required to fillet your boat once you are done with the previous task. A fillet is thickened epoxy, which increases surface area and provides surface adhesion. Not only does it offer strength to the joints but it also hides any mistake that may have been made during the assembly.

Fiberglass and Paint

As we have already mentioned before, fiberglass cloth is a crucial aspect of building a boat. After putting the fillet, you can immediately jump to fiber-glassing the boat.

The fabric is placed in the boat; make sure not to pin down the material since it will stick to the fillet. You will be required to spread some epoxy consistently across the boat without putting pressure on the fillets.

Make sure the viscosity of epoxy remains constant at all places. Remember the wetness of the cloth does not matter; however, if the resin coagulates, quickly spread it around before it settles in.

The motion must be fast as well as tender to achieve absolute perfection in your work. Do not worry if the fabric lifts; just maintain your movement.

After you are done settling the fiberglass cloth, you will most certainly opt for varnishing and painting. Make sure to use top quality paint to acquire supreme results.

As for varnishing, remember to remove the marks since it will not cover up while you varnish. The drilled holes must be filled with epoxy resin to keep the boat waterproof.


Finally, you are done assembling your boat made out of plywood. Through patience and impeccable refinement, all of you will be able to do the task. It does not take much effort, making a boat is as simple as it sounds. Now you may paddle your way through the water.

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How To Learn To Drive A Pontoon Boat?

Pontoon boats are said to be one of the most relaxing and yet the most leisurely ride. So using it for any water sports or fishing is the wisest choice. There is a saying that if you know how to drive a car, learning how to drive a pontoon boat would be a piece of cake because it’s way easier.

Also, if you are worried about the safety issues, informing you is our duty that photon boats rarely sink and are very safe to drive. Let me assure you that we’re here to guide you through your worries and help you learn to drive a pontoon boat through this article, so bear with us.

Leaving the Dock and Taking off

Down below is a list of some of the factors that you must keep in mind before you leave the dock. Continue reading to know more.

Safety Factors

To drive a pontoon boat, the first factor you must make sure is all the passengers are wearing life jackets. Safety comes first. It is also a law in most states that you cannot enter the water or the boat without a life jacket on.

There are specialized jackets meant for children for their appropriate age groups. Cushions are also provided on the ship, that you can throw in the water if there is a tragic occurrence happening. Better to be safe than sorry.

Now when our side secures the passengers’ lives, let’s work on the boat’s life. Checking the fuel tank of the boat is one of the most critical tasks as it’s going to make sure we have a safe journey. The fuel tank must be full, and there should be enough gas to complete the trip.

Next, you have to check if the radio system is working well, in case of emergencies we can use the radio to contact the boat rental crew for help. For additional safety measures, have your cellphone fully charged so that you could use it in case of sudden emergencies.

Starting the Engine

Any loose or heavy items left on the boat’s deck, such as fishing rods, water sports equipment, any extra life jackets, wakeboards or coolers. Make sure to tie them down with bungee cords or push them against the railing or lounger of the boat, to avoid any injuries. After we are done taking all the safety measures, now you are good to go to finally start your ride.

Start the engine and keep it idle for 1-5 minutes, pontoon boats need time to warm up. And warming up duration differs from boat to boat. So it’s better to ask the boat rental crew for the manufacturer’s directions.

Next step would be trimming the motor. It is to make sure the boat is not too deep in the water; instead, it sits in the right depth. The throttle should have a “trim” button. We want a gentle take off from the dock, for that, we must make sure that the switch is set at a higher number, so the motor is ideally in the water.

In case you want to be more careful, you could ask for the manufacturer’s directions. Remember never to leave the motor trimmed up that could damage the engine and also cause hazard while taking off. We have to make sure the motor is touching the water while we pull out of the dock.

Taking off from the Dock

We are now ready to take off, and for that, we would need a little help from one of the crew members on the dock. We have to kindly ask a crew member to untie the dock ropes, while your task is to put the throttle in reverse.

Before reversing make sure to have all your passengers seated and have their life jackets on. Now when you start to take off from the dock, you must handle the pontoon’s throttle smoothly.

Make sure not to use too much force. The outboard motor must touch the water while you reverse back the throttle. Also, it shouldn’t be trimmed up, that would end up damaging the engine.

Check behind to make sure there aren’t any obstacles like any boats or swimmers on the way. If you have a clear pathway, we have to slip out the ship by making little and controlled bursts on the throttle.

Now you have to start turning the steering wheel. It’s recommended to point the bow in the direction you are likely to travel. Also make sure to have your bow facing the wind, so that will let the boat have a smooth navigation.

As now you are in hold of your boat and are traveling into your respected direction, it’s time to shift into “forward” mode and push the throttle forward. If you are comfortable enough, you can gently increase the speed.

But do not go overboard with the rate, you don’t want to lose control and put yourself at risk. Having a comfortable enough speed is a wise decision.

Driving in Open Water

Here are some factors that you should be aware of before driving in the open waters. Read to know more.

Keeping the Motor Trimmed Downward

Now let’s look at the factors we need to learn after we are out of the dock and on the open water. When you are on the open horizon, it’s time to adjust the throttle into a downward position.

That will trim the engine downward, letting the motor be more in-depth into the water. Hence it will help keep the engine to stay into the water as you speed up.

One hand must always remain in the steering wheel while the other must remain on the throttle. This factor will help you keep a balance to maintain both the trim and the steer of your boat.

Look 30m Ahead of You at All Times

While driving, always makes sure to scan the surroundings for any hazards or obstacles on the way. Just like how when we drive a car, we tend to use the side and rear-view mirrors to check if nothings on our way, riding the pontoon boat is just the same.

The primarily recommended distance to look over is 30m which is 100feat ahead of you. It will help to ensure you not to hit any boats or swimmers or animals on the way. Before making any turns, make sure to double-check the surroundings. 

Maintain Balance

While you are moving in the water, make sure to maintain equal weights on all sides. Which means have people standing and sitting in both the front and back of the boat. This process will reduce the chances of risk of flood on the boat.

But it’s not just passengers, if you have heavy equipment or luggage with you, make sure to have them placed in an equal manner. When the boat is in idle state, balancing the weight is not much an issue.

Cruise at 4500 RPM and Plan Your Turns

Pontoon boats do not have brakes, so it’s all about maintaining the speed. These kind of ships aren’t prevalent for high rates.

They should be kept at 4500 RPM in open waters. To store your fuel, you can also sail at a lower speed of around 3000-3500 RPM. Turning a pontoon boat can be challenging; they need to be planned before making a move.

As if you take an unplanned sharp turn, the rears can fly into sideways, and passengers could get hurt. So plan out your steps and then gently make the turns with your comfortable speed.

Turn Boat Downwind at Medium Speed

Turning your boat while it’s windy can be tricky, always make sure to have your boat at medium speed while making the turns. Keeping it on low or high speed would cause the risk of boat sliding.

Also, it’s preferable if you position the bow of the boat downwind. Which is standing away from the direction of the wind. That will help you have a smooth turn in windy weather.

Warn Your Passengers While Making Sharp Turns

Sometimes driving a pontoon boat, you might need to make a sharp turn. While such cases, make sure to warn the passengers before making a sharp turn.

It can be dangerous, and passengers who are not cautious at those times might be injured. Yelling “Sharp turn coming on your way!” might be the right warning style.

Docking the Pontoon

While docking the pontoon there are several factors that you should be aware of, and out of those factors here is a list of the important ones.

Slow down When You See the Dock

You have survived the journey and made it to the final step of learning. Now you are coming back to the land again. We are about to learn how to park your boat back in the dock slip.

When you see the dock or the marina, shift your throttle and reduce the speed. There are speed limits on every dock, so make sure to maintain the speed rules while coming near the harbor. 

Accelerate Downwind and Shift to Neutral

Do not ever approach the dock at a higher speed. The danger hazard is high while doing that. Make sure to reduce your acceleration and shift to neutral before approaching the dock. You must have a slow, steady motion so that you have enough power to have your pontoon boat back into the slip.

Center of the Bow Must Point in the Middle of the Slip

Now we have to turn the wheel. So, the tip of the bow is looking at the middle of the dock. Have your mind focused and draw an imaginary line in an arc from the tip of the bow to the middle of the dock.

Make sure to have your boat into that imaginary line on yours at all times, if it drifts out on either side, gently move the steering wheel to keep it on the track instead.

Shift “forward” to Make a Turn

As you make the turn, you have to gently shift the throttle into “forward” so that you can easily park into the slip. Let momentum be your friend while doing the work here. Do not worry if this part doesn’t go the way you planned. It would be too much to ask for a first-timer. 

Shift “reverse” to Make Small Adjustments

Now we have to shift again to “reverse” to make sure of minor adjustments, we do that to get perfect parking.

Sometimes if you might end up parking slightly bent in the slip, all you have to do is shift into “reverse” and turn the wheel while making small adjustments.

And suppose you are at an angle, you have to use little reverse movements to centre yourself up. In case it’s windy, or you are running on current, you must adjust and balance the power appropriately as required.

Ask a Crew Member to Help Adjust the Ropes on the Dock

When you are ready and in a position to park your pontoon, ask one of your crew members to hop out of the boat, help grab and get hold of the ropes for you.

Instruct the crew member to drag the boat using the ropes until it’s on the straight position in the dock slip. Without further ado, let’s learn the last and final step. Now all you are left to do is tie the pontoon up on the dock.

For making sure you have safely tied the boat, you may use a bowline knot or a cheat hitch. They are said to be safer than regular ropes.


I hope this article will help you think you have already ridden a pontoon boat on your imaginations, just while reading it. Remember to take appropriate safety measures, keep your eyes and ears open that’s the first rule of being a good captain, obey and maintain the standards.

Just keep all of the instructions in mind, and you would be great at driving a pontoon boat in no time. And then, it’s time that you look through the top pontoon boat brands and choose your preferred one for a healing journey.

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What Are The Differences Between a Wood and a Metal Lathe?

One of the essential machine in the manufacturing industry is said to be the lathe machine. But what is a lathe machine?

It is an ancient tool that is used for cutting or shaping woods and metals. It is one of those tools that are used worldwide, reasons why it’s also commonly known as the mother of the tool room.

Wood Lathe

The wood lathe is said to be the oldest form of woodworking lathe in the lathe world. All the other modernized lathes that you usually see nowadays on the market can be obtained from the traditional wooden lathe.

The wood lathe has an adaptable horizontal rail which is called the tool rest. The tool rest is where the piece of wood is placed. And, the operator is supposed to put all their design tools on the surface.

The most common shaping tool that is used by the wood lathe is metal; metal can make the rough veneer. So sandpaper can be applied onto the wood after reshaping to have a smooth finishing. This factor is not completely mandatory, but this additional information might help you in the long run.

Wood lathes can be of few varieties. The difference between the tradition lathe and the wood lathe is that they do not have the horizontal rail. Since there is no rail, the objects could be placed anywhere at one point, and it can be of any size too.

Metal Lathe

A metal lathe is a huge deal nowadays in the modern world, starting from automotive companies to any manufacturing industries. The metal lathe might seem to be very similar to a wood lathe.

However, computer-controlled systems are used to fit the tool-post and tool positioning. Lead screws are used to make the tool-posts maneuver.

Cooling fluids are most of the time necessary while using a metal lathe considering metal can become exceptionally hot in the course of cutting and shaping.

Threads for bolts, crankshafts or other heavy metal objects, can be produced using these metal lathes. Whereas for industrial and practical grounds, metal lathes are a great option. The execution of metal lathes can be a bit stimulating considering tools are put into the main to be ‘turned’ or cut or shaped.

The pitch of the lead screw usually controls the thread pitch of a few of the cuts, and this might create provocation while working with metric and American based threading system.

There is a gear named the transposing gear which can help to understand the use of 127-tooth gear better. The only drawback is that this could be often known as the voluntary equipment and could raise the overall cost of a metal lathe.

Difference between Wood and Metal Lathe

Today we are about to talk about the two kinds of lathe machines that are widely used through the world these days. One is the wood lathes which are also known as the traditional wood lathes commonly used for cutting, polishing, shaping or sanding any wooden objects.

On the other hand, there are modern metal lathes which is widely used for cleaning or cutting metal objects. Let’s not worry just yet because we will be talking further about the two kinds of lathes in this article so that you would be able to figure out your perfect purchase.

How to Use

Wood lathes operate in a manual manner, which means it needs more physical strength in case of using it with hands, also while preparing the materials would need supervision at all times. It is said to be easier to use them than the metal lathe.

On the other hand, a metal lathe is programmed by computer, so it’s said to be more accurate for using.


Wood lathe confirms the quality of bending easily without breaking when it comes to designs. It is also said to have a primary mechanism, which makes operating much less complicated.

But in the case of a metal lathe, proper training is required for operating. Although it offers an extended amount of accuracy since it flawlessly makes the designs.

Also, while dealing with the hardest materials, metal lathe is a better choice.

Shaping and Cutting

Wood lathe might not be suitable for cutting hard metal objects, but they can be used to shape and polish metals. They are commonly used while processing tables, rails, baseball bats etc.

However, the metal lathe is mainly used to make parts of machines, because they can handle dealing with durable hard metal and wooden objects.


The wood lathe is less accurate than a metal lathe, however wood lathe rotates faster than the metal lathe due to the variety of the size and works its suppose to manage. So keeping that in mind, metal lathe becomes more precise than a wood lathe.  

Safety Hazards

Wood lathes are likely to cause most hazards, due to defects from timber. The airborne dust might cause eye damage, and while the spindle is on rotation mode, there is a risk of entanglement.

The hazards on metal lathes are just as similar, the flying objects could cause eye damage, and entanglement could be an issue in rotating movable parts. One additional risk that metal lathes have is the exposure to loud noise which could cause ear damage.


Wood lathes come on preferable shapes, for example, if you are asking the lathe for your home requirements or small business use, there are small table-cloth version of the lathe available for you.


Wood lathes are usually available and more affordable than metal lathes. People frequently buy them for use at home. Metal lathe, however, is very expensive and is only recommended for industrial and practical applications. Also, it requires proper training, so using it for domestic purposes is not endorsed.


Wood lathes are very transportable, which means when you have bought it for some specific purchase and your work is done; you could use it from one workshop to another without any hazard or chaos. They are commonly used for simple projects, such as interior decor, jewelry items, etc.

Lathes with heavyweight or arrangements always stay back in the workshop or factories after the work is completed. These are the lathes that require a motional position. That’s the case for a metal lathe.


Wood Lathe: It is more affordable Easier to use than the metal lathe Simple mechanism, so less likely to break down Adaptable to creative deigns

Metal Lathe: Designed for accuracy and control. The cuts and notches are done for perfectly and precisely than it is done in the wood lathe Strong enough to handle hard materials Even on small items, the work can be done precisely


Wood Lathe: Less precise Requires physical strength skills to operate Take time to learn how to use

Metal Lathe: A large number of electrical components which creates hazards when it needs maintenance or repairing Requires time to learn to program Offers minimal adaptability in terms of designs

What Is the Difference between CNC and Conventional Lathe?

A conventional lathe is a two-axis machine, where the controlling depends upon your choice of RPM, the feed gears.

Whereas the CNC is said to be a 2-4 axis that basically operates by a “computer numerical control”, where every axis is said to have a call screw with servo motor and encoder which helps to position the machine within.

Conventional lathe requires physical presence as you have to change and load all the tools by hand with the help of either a basic tool-post or a device called quick-change.

On the other hand, if we talk about the metal lathe, every tool present in the computerized tool changer should be programmed in a way that it is in contact with each tool.

To increase the axis count, a CNC lathe might also have a milling tool option, while some of the conventional lathes come with a digital readout system that is very accurate and also may use a dial indicator to measure the axis’ absolute activity.

Which Lathe Should You Choose?

Both lathes come with several benefits that could be suitable for respective purposes. If you are new in lathing, you would probably want the basic and straightforward kind, and wood lathe is one to be recommended as it’s also easier to use.

However, if you have your discrete choice and need, you should focus on which lathe will help make your work easier and smoother, without any hazard.

People who are good with computer controlling programs, using metal lathes should be a piece of cake. Also, it’s more practical to use, as while you put your lathe on work you don’t have to stick to it and supervise it at all times.

Instead, you can have your other job done, which is not possible in wood lathes, considering you have to supervise it at all times. But wood lathes helps you work on your skills and techniques. Just as I said before, both has its drawback and benefits, all you have to figure out is which one you think suits your choice and habits.

Lathe work is said to be one of the oldest art form, which is still practiced the same way it was done thousands of years ago. Not much has changed on the practicing and crafting since the beginning of lathe machines.

Also, it’s believed that when something comes near to perfection not much can be done to rectify it, and lathe machines have stuck with us for more than three thousand years now and still appreciated just the same.


Overall hopefully, this article will assist you in finding your preferable and affordable lathe. Whatever your reason might be, could be for entertainment purpose or workplace. We hope with the help of this article; you would be able to find your desirable lathe and join the world of the lathing art.

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How Do Bulkheads Prevent a From Boat Sinking?

What is a bulkhead? A bulkhead is an upright partition that separates two chambers. In Old Norse, the word bulky would mean “cargo”. Sometimes near the 15th century, some of the sailors and builder in Europe discovered that the walls within the boat could avert cargo from shifting during the passage.

Any vertical dashboard was called a “head”. So walls that were placed abeam in the boat’s hull were known as “bulkheads”. Now except for the hull, every vertical dashboard or walls are called bulkheads.

The Purpose of Bulkheads

Bulkheads increase the constructional rigidity of the boat. It separates the useful areas into the rooms and makes watertight compartments which can accommodate water in a case of emergencies, such as a hull breach or other setback. Some of the bulkheads are fire-resistant.

They also carry out some of the other functions as well, like they act as systematic members in the ship and give the power to withstand various kinds of transmitting to the boat by the sea, for example, sheer load, twisting load etc. 

The minimum amount of bulkheads that a ship must have is 3, which are known as aft bulkhead, forward collision bulkhead and engine room bulkhead.

However, they can always be more than three, depending on the blueprint of the ship and the characteristic of floodable length and compartment qualities.

Requirements of Bulkheads

Down below are two compulsory requirements that a bulkhead must meet in order to be worth the purchase.

Fire Resistance

To reinstate the fire resistance ratings which could be at risk if the openings in fire-resistance-rated bulkheads and decks are not fire-stopped. Leaving them not sealed could create a significant hazard.

Prevention of Damage from EMI and EMP

Bulkheads and decks of ships are always fully kept electrically grounded so that an action could be taken at all cost. When it encounters danger or threat against destruction from EMI and EMP due to the nuclear or electromagnetic bomb explosion near the ship, which could ultimately damage the whole electrical system of the vessel.

In case there is a fire hazard, the cables are plugged out, and fire-stop rubbers are fitted inside with some copper shields.

The Types of Bulkhead

The strength of watertight bulkheads is one of the most significant factors that make sure of the safety of the damaged ship. Some other factors need to be paid attention too as well, in case of designing them.

Watertight bulkheads are designed in a vertical way against the wall to avoid the entry of the water in the compartment and stop the possible flooding that can happen in the hull. We are about to now look at the types of Bulkhead that can be present on a ship.

After peak Bulkhead

The forward borderline of the aft peak.

Collision Bulkhead

The top-level main oblique watertight Bulkhead, which in such a way that it keeps water away from the forward hold in times of bow collision damage.

Corrugated Bulkhead

Bulkhead with wrinkled plating which replaces the need plans of connected stiffeners.

Engine Room Bulkhead

A crosswise bulkhead which is either directly in the direction of one is travelling or aft of the engine room.

Portable Bulked

It is a Bulkhead that removes at any time. The construction is entirely made of steel which can join two separate compartments.

Strength Bulked

The Bulkhead that puts up with the power of a ship.

Swash Bulkhead

When the ship rolls and pitches bulkhead that is contoured in-tank lessens the outpouring of the fluid and also lowers the dynamic impact of the liquid on the adjacent structure.

Why the Boat Sinks?

As we all know, boats are commonly made to float on top of the water. However, accidents are unavoidable, and you know how there is a saying that you can never predict the unknown.

Also, aren’t we all already aware of all the mishaps that can happen when a boat or ship sinks? There are lots of things that can go wrong when your boat decides to be a submarine.

Winning over water is inescapable, enormous, massive waves always break the sides of the ship and also create small leaks at times. These are the most common boat defects that can be found.

Water always finds its way to the lowest part of the ship, which is known as the bilge area, where the bottom curves will see the sides. The water that stores there are also known as the bilge.

That’s why boats always have bilge pumps in store so that when the water reaches a certain level, it can guide the water back to the sea. Let’s look at some of the main factors that might be the reason behind a boat sink.

Low Transom

A flat vertical surface which forms the stern end of a boat is known as the transom. The motors are mounted onto the transom when it comes to the outboard boats. Sometimes in inboard vessel cases, the names of the boats are written on them.

The whole plan of designing the position of the transom is that it would not touch the water. Flaws in designs could leave it too low at times. Not maintaining proper weight distribution can also lower it, so that waves could reach the transom and flood the deck.

Not storing all the heavy gears in the stern would prevent this from happening. Distribute the weight of the heavy equipment like coolers, fishing equipment, bait etc. evenly so that the height does not get affected by it. Also, do not anchor from the stern side that might even bring the transom down. 

Missing Drain Plugs

Boats usually sink due to absent drain plugs. The entire ship sits higher on the water than it did when it was at rest while the ship is moving forward, which also makes the front more elevated than the rear.

There is a drain that is placed at the rear of the boat. This factor allows the water from the sea or waves that have entered the boat to exit. When you are moving forward on a boat, and when it tilts up, that’s the time when water flows towards the drain and back into the sea.

The chaos occurs when the captain of the ship forgets to watertight the drain to stop while the boat is at rest. The boat sinks lower and starts to take on in water through the drain when it is at steady state.

To prevent such cases, we could carry extra drain and also keeping them near the ignition is a better choice.

Cooling System Leaks

The engines of the boat are always water-cooled, for a 300 horsepower engine they pump about 30 gallons of water through the process. Sinking can occur if liquid gets collected in the bilge, which might happen due to hose bursts or the hose is not tight enough.

Double-check the hoses and cooling systems before you start to sail, replace if anything seems fishy or at fault. 

Navigation Error

This error means when your boat would directly hit an object. It could be anything like rocks, logs, ices etc. anything huge enough to damage your boat’s hull or body. All you have to do to prevent such a mishap is always being careful.

And, keeping your eyes forward for any obstacles. Slow down at times if you need and watch your moves and turns, and sail cautiously.

How to Survive a Boat Sink?

Staying calm is the first rule during the boat sink. Do not panic, which can create much greater chaos than the whole situation itself. Everybody which includes the captain and the passengers need to work together to take actions and gather all the flotation devices immediately and also have the life raft prepared. Use the radio for help, and you must give your exact location coordinates. Emergency items should be put together as soon as the raft is ready.

Emergency items should be prepared beforehand like:

  • Flashlights
  • Freshwater
  • Food rations
  • Sunscreen
  • Radio
  • Matches
  • First aid kit
  • Batteries

Keeping everyone calm and working together can keep the boat above water for a while, and also maybe you would be able to reach the life raft safely without any harm. Follow the captain’s direction.

How Does Bulkhead Prevent Boats from Sinking?

Bulkheads do not prevent the boat from sinking, but yes, watertight compartments can. And watertight compartments are a part of Bulkhead.  The weight of the boat needs to be much less than the weight of the water that has been displaced, to prevent the boat from sinking.

When a boat is large enough, Bulkhead becomes a part of the boat either if you create your watertight compartments with bulkheads or not. Bulkheads become an active part of the boat.

Bulkheads need to be in a position that the watertight compartments are enormous enough to come up with significant flotation and also the bulkheads need to be watertight plugged, with accessible hatches and doors on the other side.

Positioning the Bulkhead for small boats such as under 60ft is the tricky case. Because if it’s not placed in the right position, huge collision or mishaps can occur when the Bulkhead comes near the hull.

If this ever happens, it ruins the whole chance of bulkheads ever preventing the boat for sinking and also destroys the entire ability of water-tightness from both the sides of the Bulkhead.

On the other hand, when it comes to larger boats, designing the watertight bulkheads can lower the chance of sinking the boat. We all have seen the movie Titanic, haven’t we?

There is a myth which believes that the ship missed out to put watertight tops on the waterproof compartment on their designs, so now we all know why Rose and Jack didn’t have a happy ending. Double-checking every single detail is very important when it comes to building or even sailing a boat.


Now, as we have gone through all the points that could cause a ship to sink. And, also looked at the necessities of a bulkhead with the help of this article. I hope you will have a safe sail on the water and remember always to be ready to take safety measures as soon as possible.

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