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Anyone know about Mahogany?
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Thread: Anyone know about Mahogany?

  1. #1

    Anyone know about Mahogany?

    So I occasionally borrow a small Boston Whaler and I recently refinished the wood in it. It was built in the 70s and the owner says the wood is mahogany. The center bench seat is pretty nice looking and it is a large board. I'm just wondering if anyone knows exactly what kind of mahogany (if at all) this is.

    The hull wont last forever, so at some point this board could be used for a knife or kitchen related purpose. Anyone know what it would cost to get a comparable piece? Thanks a lot.







  2. #2
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    I'm far from sure, but to my eye I'd guess it's actually Sapelle - an African wood often mistaken for mahogany or used as a substitute. (Some call it and one or two other species as African Mahogany). The curl and ribbon striping that's in the grain of yours can be found in a lot of sapele boards. If you want that look, there are great boards to be found at relatively reasonable prices.

    If your pics are actually a mahogany - figuring out which without sanding it a little is tough. They all darken a bit with age and sun (and you have both) so you can't rely much on the surface color to tell. And grain pattern can vary from tree to tree with lots of exceptions. Going purely on grain - Cuban Mahogany (also called Spanish) has more of that contrasting ribbons of grain and pores like your board but it's endangered. Even in the 70s it was likely too rare to find used fitting out a boat. Honduran Mahogany (sometimes called True Mahogany), the most common South American option, usually has tighter grain and less of that color irregularity. Same is true for what's called Philippine Mahogany.

    Best guess - sapelle or a similar african tree (khaya maybe) that are often labeled as Mahogany for western sales. Far from certain though.

  3. #3
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    Wow, nice answer.

  4. #4
    Still Plays With Blocks
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    Sapelle is a good selection. Khaya is also another possibility. Both come from Africa and are members of the mahogany family. Another possibility is Andiroba (spelling?) which comes from South America. Could be Genuine Mahogany depending on the age of the boat but that is unlikely given how scarce it is getting. Whatever species it sure looks good with the ribbons and curls present.

  5. #5
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    Looks a lot like the mahogany in my BoardSMITH knife block.

  6. #6
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    well, Gentleman these are all good guesses but, according to Boston Whaler they use Philippine Mahogany. All else fails go to the source.lol
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by sachem allison View Post
    well, Gentleman these are all good guesses but, according to Boston Whaler they use Philippine Mahogany. All else fails go to the source.lol
    Haha yea I guess that would have been a good place to start, although I wonder if they have had a consistent supplier since the 70's. An interesting side note is that the grain of some other wood in the boat is a significantly different than the one pictured above.


    Thanks everyone for the answers, I really appreciate the info. This wood has held up really well for being out in the sun and salt for years and will definitely get repurposed if that opportunity every arrises.

  8. #8
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    My apartment smells of rich mahogany.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sachem allison View Post
    well, Gentleman these are all good guesses but, according to Boston Whaler they use Philippine Mahogany. All else fails go to the source.lol
    Watching the series "Sherlock" while reading this, I can only say...

    Well played sir.
    Chewie's the man.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothcipt View Post
    Watching the series "Sherlock" while reading this, I can only say...

    Well played sir.
    Agreed. But I think the "plot thickens".... Did a google search for Sapelle and boston whalers (i'm stuck on the original theory and don't want to let go ) Quick search and was hit with a ton of results. From one of the first " Made from a combination of solid mahogany and ribbon sapele (Identical to the original equipment)." .... Looks like there were both aftermarket kits and hybrids that contained either or both sapele and Philippine Mahogany. maybe original too.

    Leads me to propose the answer here may be "D. All of the above." ... ????


    The internet...if you look hard enough you can find a way for any answer to fit

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