Seppo is one of our first Customers and he received his first Vendia boatplanks in January this year. Since then he has been busy, as you can see in these pictures. Not with fishing, the rivers up north are still covered with a thick layer of ice, but with building 4 riverboats that follow the old tradition of boatbuilders up north. Wood is still the best material for these boats, the different forces a boat has to endure in the rapids of the salmon rivers generate high tensions and forces to the hull. The supply with good boatbuilding wood in the north has become very difficult, so Seppo was very happy to hear that Vendia is back. Before this winter Seppo had build 5 boats, one from birch plywood and four from Vendia. Now there is four more.
This is what Seppo says about working with Vendia:
"I made my first boat from birch
plywood. All the following ones are made from Vendia. Vendia became
available at that time in 2016 - at least to my knowledge - so that's
why I wanted to try it.
For me, the main reason was the look
- the Crown Cut pattern is really pretty, and it comes out well especially
on river boats where the width of the individual planks is large. On
my model, which has a second board in the bow all the way to the
batten (so at its widest it's a little under 400 mm), the pattern
comes out nicely. Of course, the other boards are wide too - I use
300 and 325 mm boards, with the visible part of the board being
250-300 mm wide.
Another reason - and a significant one - is the
thickness of the surface veneer and the neutral colour of the used glue. In
the continuation joints, a thick surface veneer forgives a lot -
meaning the joint is easy and secure. There is room for sanding. A
birch veneer that has been made by turning and the surface veneer
still sanded thin is at greater risk of surface veneer bursting.
Similarly, birch marine plywood has already been glued at the factory
from different veneer sheets, the seams of which will show up as a
very dark (dark brown) raw veneer. They cannot be sanded out of
The third reason is the absorption of the impregnant:
in thick veneer, the impregnant is absorbed more deeply - than in
thinly sanded birch - so I would think it would prevent rotting much better.
In birch plywood, the impregnation apparently doesn't get beyond the
first layer of glue, so the protection is weaker.
Vendia is probably a bit lighter
than birch plywood - at least that's what the finished boat looks
As for workability, Vendia is easy to work with -
easier than birch. Of course, the finished narrow dimension
of the boards makes initial processing easier compared to a
3000x1500mm sheet of plywood. On the other hand, someone may argue that
you can save on the total surface area of a large board if you can
cut the necessary pieces with a small amount of labour.
Of course, the Vendia then has a limitation in width if
you need it: since I haven't had a 400mm wide board with a warp
pattern so far, I've had to make a long sideways strake for the bow
section on all boats. This is because of my own boat model. That's
how I ordered the materials now, so I made a side bridge for all but
the last three boats. On the last one I tried to see if I could get
the 400mm width enough, and I did - although I had to make 2
longitudinal extensions. Making a longitudinal extension is of course
easier in terms of compression as you don't have to fiddle around to
get the compression in the middle of the wide board with normal
wooden clamps - so no need for different planks and clamping
The bending and positioning on the Vendia
is good. Perhaps this is highlighted by the fact that there are fewer
transverse veneers - birch has almost the same amount of longitudinal
and transverse, so bending may therefore be tighter.
of that Crown Cut pattern I've often encountered questions and admirers on the river due to the fact that the boat is made of whole boards, and
such wide boards have been used. I have had to show the edge of the
"plywood" to make them understand that it is a composite
material. They have praised both the material and the boat as pretty
- this adds to the joy of reaching the shores. It is an important part of the charm
of salmon fishing.
live in Oulu, but I'm originally from Kittilä at the foot of Levi.
I'm still a country boy, and I enjoy fishing and hunting a lot - and
nature is important to me anyway. Salmon fishing has brought me more
into boats - in the past I was often on the river catching grayling -
mainly from the shore, but having lived on the shore I have always
had some kind of boat. Fibreglass - easy to maintain as it
is, is just not really suitable for salmon fishing."
Here you can find Seppo`s own photo gallery that gives you a good insight into his boatbuilding process. You can also follow Seppo on his facebook account.