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Hi All,

Im wondering if any of you who are/have built in the tropics have encountered the wood eating bug named "buc-buc" ?

see link: http://gotouring.com/razzledazzle/tiki/tiki.html

Wondering what steps (if any) can be taken prior to building to ensure that this problem doesn't occur?

Many thanks,
Josh :o)

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That's too bad that the folks at the link you posted weren't able to deal with the bugs. Pretty sad story they posted there.

I'm building in the tropics and I use pentachlorophenol on all my wood. It kills everything. Just today I was moving some wood around out from the back of my shed that I treated with pcp 7 years ago, and it's fine - no fungus, no bugs. Some untreated wood (cedar from chiapas) next to it was infested, and there was a healthy patch of some fungus growing on some other untreated scrap.

Some woods have natural insecticides in them, but those natural insecticides seem more able to impede the organisms living in the same locality as which the wood grows. This varies greatly across wood types.

A plethora of bugs exisist in northern latitudes that eat wood as well - please don't assume that the problem is localized to the tropics. Wood is organic, and decomposers live everywhere. Regardless of where you're building, if you don't treat the wood, some organizm is probably going to eat it well within your lifetime, no matter how short it may be.

Since many wood preservative mixtures that are sold contain sealants, it would seem prudent to reopen the wood pores in order for the epoxy to get a good saturation bond. This means that you have to, at a minimum, sand and handle poisoned wood. Put on a good mask with the right filters, wear the gloves, wear the suit.
Then break for lunch! haha

Aside from pentachlorophenol, there are many chemicals that you can find in your area. As for the possible guilt, depression, and personal side effects? It's a bucket of worms, that's for sure.
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your reply! Nice to see that there is a way to take care of this problem.. The conscience issue though is another one to think about... But then, so is building a boat in the first place from wood (sourced from who knows where?) and those ghastly chemical epoxies... Arrgggghhh????? What to do? I really want that boat! :o)

Maybe if i promise to plant some trees and start a colony wood eating bugs somewhere else I can ease the guilt?

Josh
Where do you plan to build Josh?

I'm in the Yucatan in Mexico. We get our lumber from cattle ranches that want more land for the cattle, so they cut down the trees. Usually they just burn the wood, so I'm glad we can at least put it to good use. We still pay for the good stuff, but it's dirt cheap.

We get our ply from Chile.

I guess people everywhere have trees that they don't want. If you cut them down, you can get your wood for free sometimes. Takes a while to cure and you have to mill it and treat it though. Chainsaw and a lot of planer blades :)

That is a good idea you have about planting a few trees I think. I've planted a few orange trees, but unfortunately they keep dying.

lmao about the bug colony
My place is fantastic. It's a recycling wood farm. All the hard wood for my boat comes from here (NJ US, they have too many trees ...). We have the mill to cut, a table planner. Oak, mahogany, hickory from tree services for free or very cheap as I paid Dave my farmer for the cutting work. Fantastic. I would strongly suggest any builder to find a connection for the hardwood. This is not cheap if you have to buy it. And you need a lot of it!!!
Hi Tom,

Ill be building in Bali, Indonesia. I think they get a lot of their timber from the remaining rain forests on neighboring islands which is a little of my concern. But i will find a way to do it as guilt free as possible..

Funnily enough, Im actually in Chile at the moment (lucky to have been far enough away from the damage of the earthquake) and they do have loads of ply from plantation forests, although I think the cost to ship it to Bali will go over my budget!

But anyway, Im still agonizing over which design to choose! :o)

Tom said:
Where do you plan to build Josh?

I'm in the Yucatan in Mexico. We get our lumber from cattle ranches that want more land for the cattle, so they cut down the trees. Usually they just burn the wood, so I'm glad we can at least put it to good use. We still pay for the good stuff, but it's dirt cheap.

We get our ply from Chile.

I guess people everywhere have trees that they don't want. If you cut them down, you can get your wood for free sometimes. Takes a while to cure and you have to mill it and treat it though. Chainsaw and a lot of planer blades :)

That is a good idea you have about planting a few trees I think. I've planted a few orange trees, but unfortunately they keep dying.

lmao about the bug colony
Hi Joshua,

I'm living in Brazil, last five years at Rio de Janeiro, so I'm on the Capricornio Tropic line. And as a proffessional boatbuilder I had meet bugs insects on some boats, incuding Wharram boats, I had work.

Last year, I had meet this on starboard hull of my own boat T21' "Polinesio". I did many treatment, but once the boat is finished and all parts enclosed with epoxi is very dificult to kill them by chemicals products. Maybe the only way is to heat the hull by microwave or infrared.
I did build a new hull and assembly again. Now every thing is ok. But it sadden me for long time.

Now I'm building another boat for me, a Wharram style 35', using wood treated with CCA inside autoclave. This treatment give a warranty of 25 years. Enclosed with epoxi this material is potencialy forever.

Best winds,

Tarcisio.
www.polinesio.net
www.veleiro.net/polinesio

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