gold medal design for Olympic send off


  Cumaru Deck at Jonathan Beach Club

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  When Civic Entertainment needed a set for NBC's Olympic Send Off, MadeFirst of Nashville, Tennessee was the company for the job. Owner, Jonathan Hammel's team, renowned for expert quality and craftsmanship, created a design utilizing the appearance of a deck for a stage placed on the beach in Santa Monica, California. When asked what makes MadeFirst different, Hammel responds, "Its our innovation, attention to detail and dedication to our clients that makes us the right partner for creative endeavors".

 In preparation for Rio Olympics 2016, MadeFirst's design helped kick off NBC's first ever Olympic Social Opening Ceremony hosted by Ryan Seacrest in Santa Monica. The custom stage made of Brazilian Cumaru decking provided by Overseas Hardwoods Company was used to keep the Rio theme. The Cumaru stage provided the exotic Brazilian look with the rich tones of Cumaru contrasting with the sand at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica, California. At first glance one might think they were in Rio

 MadeFirst has an extensive list of projects throughout the US. With exquisite use of wood, metal, foam and/or plastic, this innovative company utilizes state of the art design and equipment to provide clients with breathtaking results. By staying firmly rooted in its philosophy, MadeFirst's will surely continue to achieve a highly acclaimed status and awards for its designs.


 

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Plantation Teak Vs. Burmese Teak

When one lists the attributes of Teak, it almost seems too good to be true. Teak naturally resists rot, insects, and decay; doesn’t corrode when in contact with steel; has a beautiful, tight grain and weathers to a regal silver; is naturally non-skid; and is highly stable and easy to mill. It’s even been nicknamed “The King of Hardwoods.”

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Burmese Teak is selectively harvested from well-managed forests in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and these trees supply some of the most stable, durable lumber in the world. Decades ago, there was a time when many countries refused to source from Myanmar due to political and humanitarian issues. During that time, Teak plantations in other countries began to crop up, and as demand for Teak increased “plantation Teak” (Tectona grandis) was grown in areas as widely varying as Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Mexico.

Unfortunately, the soil chemistry in these non-native locations is different enough from Myanmar’s soil that plantation Teak is inferior. The high silica content in Myanmar’s soil contributes to the water- and weather-resistance of the wood, so the soil chemistry and climate variations in other parts of the world result in a much less consistent color and grain. The color of plantation Teak is less lustrous and is slightly lighter in tone. As an interesting side note, the high silica content of the soil in Myanmar also contributes to the species’ non-skid texture.

Aside from soil chemistry, plantation Teak differs in another major way. Burmese Teak is extremely stable and durable. Plantation Teak, on the other hand, is more rapidly grown and harvested. This fast growth and harvest rate results in a lesser quality and may affect the denisty of the wood. Boards from plantation Teak are more likely to crack and warp as a result of the fast growth. These plantation trees have a larger percentage of lower branches, which, despite pruning, causes pin knots which create greater defects and slope of grain issues resulting in less stability. Plantation Teak requires more maintenance to make up for these deficiencies.

Because responsible harvesting practices are so important to us at OHC, we vet all of our sourcing mills/partners to ensure that harvesting, processing, manufacturing, and shipping meets and exceeds local, state, federal, and international regulations. We’ve toured mills across Myanmar to find the right suppliers to produce well manufacrtured Burmese Teak with the best quality, grain, and size selction for 

Thanks to Half A CenTury of importing international hardwoods, we have the knowledge and skills to source only the highest quality, responsibly sourced, 100% Burmese Mountain Teak available.

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How To Finish A Hardwood Deck

Finishing (applying a protective coating or stain) a hardwood deck is different than a softwood deck, like cedar or treated pine. For instance, hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, and Garapa are much more dense, making it difficult for finishes to penetrate the wood. Even when using the proper UV-inhibiting hardwood oil, the finishing material essentially stays on the surface. Tropical hardwoods age well even without a finish. While the color of the hardwood will change over time the integrity of the hardwood won’t be compromised like softwoods, which can splinter or crack excessively if left unprotected.

Hardwood decking will oxidize when exposed to sunlight, developing a handsome, silver/gray patina. Hardwoods gray from the outside in, so if a project has been unfinished for a longer time, the thicker the gray surface will be. Luckily, if a homeowner tires of the silvery-gray color of aged wood, it is possible to bring back the original color.

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Types of Finishes / Coatings

Since the hardwood is essentially impenetrable by typical coatings, a hardwood penetrating oil is recommended. UV rays from the sun are responsible for oxidation on the hardwood's surface, so a UV-inhibiting hardwood oil is best, such as Ipe Oil or Penofin Hardwood Oil. It’s worth reminding that oxidation and UV rays doesn’t damage hardwoods in the short term, but regularly applying a UV-inhibiting oil can increase the life of your project by years. UV-inhibiting oils will also help to maintain the natural color and minimize the graying from the sun.

Required Prepping

Fortunately, prep work is minimal to finish a hardwood deck. If your deck is less than two years old, or if it’s older but has been properly finished in the last couple of years, a simple power washing could do the trick. If that isn’t enough, apply a hardwood deck cleaner and brightener; you can also try some soap and water. It’s essential to apply the oil to a clean, dry surface. One exception is a brand new hardwood deck, which can sometimes have a mill glaze: a compressing of cell walls caused by process of machining the lumber to size. In some cases, you can sand the boards first to remove the glaze or us a prep to open the cells. Consult the manufacturer of the product you as using for best results.

If the deck has had several years of exposure to the sun and has completely grayed, you’ll may need to sand the boards to remove the oxidized surface, then follow the same instructions for finishing.

Finish Application

To stain a cedar or treated pine deck, one applies the stain with a roller or squeegee, letting the stain soak into the boards, then allows the stain to dry. Hardwood finishes, as you may have guessed, require a different application. Since the hardwoods are so dense, even penetrating oils don’t completely penetrate, resulting in a sticky and unsightly surface.

After a good washing, and making sure your deck is dry, apply the hardwood oil with a brush, wait ten to fifteen minutes, and then rub in as much oil as possible and remove any excess oil from the surface. If you’re finishing a large project, work in sections so you don’t have to walk on the finished surface. Depending on the heat and humidity of your location, the surface should be completely dry in a day or two.

Hardwood Maintenance

Maintenance of your deck depends on your location and your desired appearance for your project. If you live in an extremely hot, sunny climate, your deck might require an annual refinishing to maintain the natural color. However, if you live in a more temperate location or the project is partially shaded then your deck may only need to be refinished once every few years. The beauty of choosing a hardwood deck is that when it doesn’t look as new as you’d like, you can simply refinish!

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The Evolution Of Trailer Flooring

OHC has been supplying the transportation industry since 1967, and is the largest North American supplier of Apitong/Keruing. Over the past 50 years OHC has been providing revolutionary products that have changed the way trailer owners look at platform/flatbed trailer flooring. Here’s a timeline showing how trailer flooring has changed throughout the years.

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Domestic Hardwoods

During the 1960’s domestic hardwood lumber like Oak, Beech, Hickory and Maple was utilized extensively throughout the trailer flooring industry. In fact, these species are still acceptable for use on US Military trailers. Eventually, concerns arose from using domestic lumber from temperate forests.

Drawbacks to Domestic Hardwoods

  • Domestic lumber has knots, shake, wane other defects.
  • Higher-grade lumber sells for a premium, much of which is used in furniture and high-end products.
  • In order to obtain adequate vehicular grade flooring, domestic lumber must be defected (processed with trimming and ripping to remove unwanted defects within the lumber). This typically results in short length pieces averaging 5’-9’ in length.
  • Domestic hardwoods have limited enduring quality in exterior applications such as trailer flooring. To obtain greater durability, pressure treating lumber is necessary.
  • Domestic lumber is available in random widths 4” and wider. Unfortunately, a 6” board can range from 5-7/8”to 6-7/8” requiring each board to be pre-sized before machining process can be done.

Introduction of International Hardwoods

During the ‘60’s and ‘70’s OHC started importing Keruing (also known as Apitong) and manufacturing flooring in 8’-20’ length and various thickness. Primarily found in Malaysia and Indonesia, this hardwood is a superior choice for this application thanks to its excellent strength/weight ratio as well as its naturally occurring resin which helps the wood self heal when damaged. The longer lengths created a more enduring floor for the industry by eliminating multiple short component pieces. This was vital in the economics of installation and the reduction of interior board ends. Interior board ends are the cause for the majority of maintenance on a trailer floor since most deterioration begins at the board ends. There is also limited area on cross-member for screwing the ends of board on, causing break out and curling at board ends due to minimal holding capacity.

Benefits of Apitong/Keruing Hardwoods

  • Available in random lengths from 8’-20’.
  • Virtually free of defects.
  • Contains Damar resin. This resin assists in the enduring quality of the species.
  • Mechanical properties are such that it carries a load further than most domestic species.
  • High abrasion resistance.
  • Commercially available.

Custom Apitong/Keruing Flooring Kits

In the early 80’s OHC assisted trailer manufacturers in the design of trailer flooring. This gave way to OHC’s Cut-to-Length Custom fit floors. In a custom fit kit, the most economical utilization of raw material is machined to fit perfectly into the floor, maintaining suitable spacing of board ends to distribute and manage the weaker or inferior areas of the floor – interior board ends. This solution still centered on having to screw boards onto the 2-1/4” flange of a cross-member. The degradation and break out of board ends and curling up continued to exist.

Road Load Tested® Trailer Flooring

As OHC continued to work with fleet owners to address flooring problems, they recognized almost every problem centered on interior board ends. So, in the late 80’s OHC created a revolutionary solution called Road Load Tested® trailer flooring (RLT®). RLT® Trailer Flooring eliminates board ends and board end screws altogether in a patented process that delivers full  trailer-length planks. Every single lineal foot OHC processes goes through a machine stress rating process to assure it meets and exceeds the Truck Trailer Manufacturer Association’s (TTMA) recommended load ratings. Like all of OHC’s trailer flooring, RLT® Trailer Flooring is made with 100% Aptiong/Keruing hardwood.

These full trailer-length planks eliminate over 50 interior board ends and 100 screw holes that can create damage-prone areas in conventional trailer flooring.

Benefits of Road Load Tested® Trailer Flooring

  • Full trailer-length with no interior board ends.
  • The only proof load tested (machine stress rated) flooring available on market. This tests flooring to assure it meets and exceeds Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association’s recommended load ratings.
  • Reduces the number of screws needed to secure flooring.
  • Increases personnel safety. Personnel walking on trailer must be cautious around interior boards.
  • Reduces cargo  damage caused by curled up board ends.
  • Provides a stronger trailer floor by creating a Continuous Beam Effect.
  • Provides a more durable trailer by eliminating potential for deterioration at board ends.
  • Reduces maintenance costs.
  • Reduces downtime due to floor maintenance.

OHC works with trailer manufacturers to create and design a specified floor kit for their particular needs and to fit each manufacturer’s exact specifications. Our RLT® Flooring is manufactured for Just In Time (JIT) deliveries to meet the changing demands of our customers. This reduces carrying costs for the manufacturer and potential damage due to extra handling.

OHC’s innovative Road Load Tested® Trailer Flooring brings excellence by saving money, saving time, making a stronger and more durable trailer floor system, and reducing safety and maintenance hazards. It’s no wonder the majority of trailers on the road today use RLT® flooring!

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Featured Project: Spring Hill College

Located atop a scenic hill in Mobile, Alabama, Spring Hill College has enjoyed a long reputation for excellence in the Jesuit tradition.

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In fact, Spring HIll College is the state’s oldest institution of higher learning, founded in 1830 by Mobile’s first Catholic bishop. Spring Hill is also the first Catholic college in the Southeast, the third oldest Jesuit college and the fifth oldest Catholic college in the United States. Besides these historic accomplishments, it’s currently ranked by Forbes.com as one of America’s Best Colleges. Additionally, Spring Hill College was one of the first Southern colleges to integrate racially, and was even mentioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who praises Spring Hill in his 1963 Letter From Birmingham Jail.

A college with such a notable history and strong presence deserves to have a beautiful campus. Two of the buildings on campus, the Arlene Mitchell Theater and the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center, prominently feature Meranti wood from OHC. Meranti was chosen primarily for its beauty and as an essential component of the campus’ tropical colonial architecture, which combines red tropical hardwoods with white stucco and other white elements.

Meranti is an excellent species for the balmy, tropical location, as this species of wood naturally resists damp conditions.

Students and other patrons of the Arlene Mitchell Theater enter through a set of large, handsome Meranti doors and transoms, immediately stepping into an inviting lobby lined with Tongue And Groove Meranti panelling stretching from floor to ceiling. The dramatic entry is appropriate to the drama that takes place inside the theater. Tongue And Groove panelling, which is a ¼” or ⅛” bevel on two of the edges of the face of the board, enhances the appearance of the wood by calling attention to the length of the board and the height of the wall. This technique is purely aesthetic, and is machined in-house by OHC.

The lobby of the Arthur R. Outlaw Recreation Center also features beautiful Meranti elements. A large trophy case lined with Tongue And Groove Meranti panelling contains the many athletic awards earned by Spring Hill College students over the years. The awards deserve to shine in a beautiful home, and the warm, rich Meranti handsomely contains them. The railings and bannisters in the Rec Center are also crafted from Meranti. They’re beautiful, and are durable enough to withstand the large numbers of students and community members who attend games, classes, and other events in the building.

OHC is proud to have supplied high-quality Meranti to Spring Hill College, a university with an esteemed history and a longstanding place in the Mobile community.

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A Day In The Life Of A Tropical Hardwood Buyer

Gregory Robinson grew up in Mobile, AL, as a part of a family with a long history in lumber, but he never could have predicted that one day he’d spend his days immersed in Brazilian culture, traveling up and down Amazonian tributaries, and conducting business transactions in Portuguese.

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When he first began his work as a hardwoods buyer back in 2002, Gregory spent 160 days in Brazil learning the culture. He didn’t speak Portuguese, but quickly realized it was critical to learn it as quickly as possible. He attended an intensive language school for two weeks, and has developed his language skills over the years. Now, Gregory only travels to Brazil a few times a year for inspecting and purchasing of product.

When travelling to Brazil, trips are typically about two weeks. While abroad, Gregory hits the ground running, breakfasting with a business contact at 7am, and ending the day with a 9pm dinner with another supplier. In between he typically visits multiple mills in pursuit of the very best lumber. A trip could consist of four to five cities or towns, and eight to ten mills per town. He’s gone to extreme lengths to reach a town, once hiring a tiny plane to fly him out, or riding on a boat for three to four hours. Gregory has travelled the partially-unpaved Rodovia Transamazônica (Trans-Amazonian Highway), which has no bridges even on the most treacherous sections, once crossed a river in a canoe, and spent the coldest night of his life on a barge with an out-of-control air conditioner.

Besides the sometimes adventurous aspect of his work, Gregory has also built relationships over the years with mill owners and employees, eating meals in their homes. He’s even received help in expanding his Portuguese vocabulary to learn the most effective words for a situation (hint: some of them have four letters).

Gregory has learned that culturally, Brazilians might have the intent to follow through on a business deal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. He estimates that in the first two years on the job, only about 20% of the orders he placed were filled, and came to realize that a transaction isn’t a sure thing until the lumber is on the ship. There have been a few cultural barriers to overcome, but now, he says, these relationships have enabled him to know which mill partners are truthful, legal, and reputable, and which ones need to be avoided.

“It’s critical,” he says, “to build professional and personal relationships and really know our suppliers in order to buy the very best lumber possible. Anyone who doesn’t truly know their suppliers is really rolling the dice.”

While in Brazil, Gregory blends high-tech and low-tech tools. He uses GPS to find remote locations, and WhatsApp (a messaging app) to communicate with suppliers, but he also relies on the common humanity of shared experiences to bridge cultural divides, such as sharing a meal in someone’s home, or showing off family photos. All of these methods and skills ensure that OHC sources the highest quality, most beautiful Brazilian lumber products for their customers.

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Deck Design Trends

Decks have changed greatly over the years, from the dull platforms of the past to the multi-level, highly-personalized extensions of indoor living space. With the addition of pergolas and other shade-giving features, as well as built-in fire pits, decks can now be utilized for most of the year, allowing homeowners to maximize their outdoor space as a part of everyday life.

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Here’s a look at some deck trends that have contributed to bringing home life into the outdoors:

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Larger Decks

Since 1973 the average home size has increased by more than 1000 square feet. It makes sense that homeowners would also desire an increased deck size. A typical deck in years past might have been 200 square feet, but current average deck square footage is 300-400 square feet. Building larger decks makes room for all of the “extras” that homeowners want, such as pergolas, privacy walls, built-ins, and storage and planters for both beauty and function.

 

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Multi-Level Decks

Typical decks in years past were simple rectangles with rails and stairs. Today’s decks are often multi-storied structures, built to accommodate sloping terrain, maximize a pleasing view, or create different zones for multiple functions. Multi-level decks allow interaction between different zones, connecting people rather than separating, as multi-story decks tend to do. With multi-level decks (compared to single-level or multi-story decks), it’s possible to have a lounge area connected to an outdoor kitchen, or an open viewing area connected to a covered area for protection from the elements.

 

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Two-Toned Wood

Many homeowners today choose to add interest to their deck by selecting two finishes or even two species of wood. It’s becoming more common to combine a lighter-toned wood with a darker-toned wood. This combination has been seen both by pairing built-in furniture in light tones with a deck in darker tones, and also by integrating the different colored boards in the same deck, with, for instance, dark floor decking and light-colored borders or railings.

 

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Hidden Fasteners

Until recently it was fairly standard to see a line of screws on a deck, but thankfully hidden fasteners are gaining traction. Some, like the Pro Plug System, go through the top of the board and have a wooden plug placed on top, and other types, such as Camo Fasteners, are mounted to the side or underneath. Aside from aesthetic concerns, hidden fasteners also provide increased safety and durability. Hidden fasteners won’t stand out from the board after exposure to the elements causes the wood to contract. Less fasteners exposed mean less stubbed toes and a cleaner look.

 

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Lighting

Lighting has always been important, but homeowners and designers realize now what impact it can have on the look and feel of a deck. Gone are the days of tiki torches roped to the railing; they’ve been replaced by permanent solutions that call attention to special details and highlight the different zones of the deck. Low-voltage lighting can be wired into the deck’s steps, increasing both safety and beauty.

Outdoor Kitchens

When homeowners dream about using their deck, the most frequently pictured scene is one of burgers grilling while family and friends relax nearby. Modern decks take that to a new level by creating an entire outdoor kitchen featuring elements such as cabinets, countertops, a refrigerator, sink, kegerator, and of course, a first-class grill.

 

These emerging deck trends open up the outdoors to be more than a deck. They enable the deck to be an outdoor living room, outdoor kitchen, outdoor dining room...really almost any indoor area can now be reimagined as an outdoor space!

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Featured Project: New Orleans Ipe Deck

Sometimes the only thing that works to beat the heat on a balmy summer day in New Orleans is to retire to the porch with iced tea in hand.

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For one homeowner, David, spending time on the 10-year-old deck wasn’t the ideal situation he hoped it would be. Although his home was lovely and featured a beautiful, refreshing swimming pool, the composite deck left something to be desired. It hadn’t aged well and didn’t have the warm, organic feel of real wood underfoot. He decided to pull up the composite decking and try no-seam vinyl decking instead.

Still unhappy with the look and feel, a fortuitous meeting with OHC President Lee Robinson, Jr, introduced David to Ipe wood. After researching Ipe and considering the humid, tropical climate in New Orleans, David decided to make some changes and re-cap the hand rails with Ipe.

The wood’s natural weather- and rot-resistance would make it a natural choice for the location, and its good looks would elevate the entire backyard and pool area.

As construction began, things looked so great that David placed another order for more wood to completely redo the deck. In fact, he fell so in love with the Ipe (and the customer service he experienced with OHC) that he ended up going back two times to add more lumber! David can now be found drinking his morning cup of coffee on the deck, taking an afternoon dip in the pool, or simply relaxing outside any time of day.

The contrast of the white balusters and posts with the rich, warm tones of the Ipe rail cap and decking plus the landscaping and pool creates a true oasis.

David and his partner entertain frequently and have hosted numerous gatherings in the two months since the deck’s completion, sharing their new deck with friends and family. In fact, David was recently selected by Afar Magazine, an experiential travel publication, to be one of five homes open to the public to show how real New Orleanians live.

The spacious deck and surrounding area ensures the tour guests will be introduced to Southern hospitality with New Orleans’ particular flair.

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Spring Boat Commissioning Checklist

Flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising, and you’re starting to imagine yourself out on the water with the wind in your hair and a light spray of water across your face. The only thing between you and your dreams is commissioning your boat for spring!

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Here are some important areas to check to get your boat ready for the season:

Engine

This is a great place to start, as it will take the most time and create the biggest mess. If you didn’t change the oil before winterizing your boat, do so now. This will eliminate water and acid buildup, as well as preventing corrosion, poor fuel economy, and engine failure. While you’re changing the oil, replace the oil filter as well. Flush the cooling system and replace antifreeze with a 50/50 ratio of water to coolant. Replace seawater pump impellers on main engines and generators. Check all fluids and even lights. Install fresh spark plugs. Reconnect fuel lines and tighten or replace hose clamps if needed. Replace the batteries and perform an engine test.

Canvas and Vinyl

Check all vinyl and canvas items, including bimini top, seats, and covers for tears, dirt, and mildew. Repair any tears or holes and clean with an appropriate cleaner.

Hull

Inspect the hull for blisters or cracks, as well as chalky residue. Repair any blisters or cracks. The gelcoat on the exterior repels water and keeps the outer surface looking smooth. If you discover a chalky residue, it likely means oxidation is present. If only light oxidation is discovered (the finish will look mostly shiny with a few dull patches), then an oxidation removal compound may be applied and will restore the shine. For more severe oxidation, buffing and/or sanding will be required and professional intervention may be necessary. Once the gelcoat is restored, keep it cleaned and polished throughout the boating season using proper cleaning agents and polishes. Clean the rest of the exterior using a marine-safe cleaner. Apply a fresh coat of wax to the hull.

Brightwork

The metal and wood components, known as brightwork, bring beauty and personality to your boat. These parts need to be cared for to prevent pitting and degradation. To care for the metal, use a specialized metal polisher. For Teak or Meranti, it’s best to lightly sand and then apply stain and varnish. Four coats of varnish are the minimum for UV protection, but eight to twelve coats offer superior protection and less maintenance over time.

Electronics & Interior

Test all electronics, including radio, GPS, depth finder, compass, and any other marine electronics. This way you won’t be caught off guard on the water if you discover an electronic component isn’t working properly. Clean the interior thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. Dirt and debris invite moisture and moisture brings rot.

Boat Trailer

An often-neglected part of boating, you will increase the life of your boat trailer with a little care taken every year. Prevent rust by keeping it painted, repairing dings and nicks, and rinsing off salt water with fresh water. Check the winch straps and chains for wear, and lubricate winch if necessary. Check the bearings, light bulbs, tire pressure, and the license plate. Getting a ticket for an expired license plate is not the way to start off boating season!

Safety Gear

It can be easy to overlook this important component, but it’s essential to have all signaling devices, hand pumps, life preservers, first aid supplies, and fire extinguishers in good, working condition. Check expiration dates on anything with time-sensitive components.

Taking the time to adequately prepare for boating season will pay off in the long run with fewer repairs and hassles, ultimately giving you more time to enjoy your boat.

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Is Ipe Fire Proof?

Ipe, an exotic hardwood from Brazil, is known for its many desirable qualities. It’s dense, durable, naturally resists rot and pests and its beauty is unparalleled.

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Some have even claimed it’s fireproof. But is there data to support this claim or is it simply hyperbole?

The most commonly accepted test for flame rating is the Standard Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, also known as the ASTM E-84.The ASTM E-84 test measures how far and fast flames spread across the surface of the test sample by installing a 20”x25’ sample of the material as the ceiling of a test chamber, and exposing the material to a gas flame. The resulting flame spread rating (FSR) is expressed as a number on a scale where cement board is 0 and red oak is 100. This scale is then divided into three classes (Class A, 0-25 FSR; Class B, 26-75 FSR; and Class C, 76-200 FSR). Generally, inorganic materials such as brick or tile are Class A-rated and most whole wood products are Class B or C.  

Several years ago other lumber suppliers tested Ipe under the ASTM E-84 test. At the time, the metrics used to test fire spread were far less stringent than they are today, and Ipe was given a Class A rating, the same rating given to both concrete and steel. Is it conceivable that a wood product could have the same fire spread rating as concrete and steel? In a word: no. With today’s stricter metrics, Ipe is generally given no more than a class B rating. In order to receive a Class A rating each bundle of lumber would have to be tested, which is costly and inefficient.

However, Ipe is the wood with the best flame spread resistance, better than any other decking option.

Reinforcing this claim, in 2007 the United States Forest Products Laboratory released a report entitled “Cone Calorimeter Tests of Wood-Based Decking Materials” which show that the density of untreated Ipe outperforms other traditional decking materials such as pine, cedar, and redwood. It’s a superb choice for deck building anywhere, but particularly in a wildfire sensitive area. Additionally, it’s also often used for rooftop decking in densely packed urban areas as a measure of fire protection.

In summary, although it can not support claims to be fireproof, Ipe does provide a greater flame spread resistance than other decking options.

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