Fred Epstein’s Story in Newsletter #32 (Have a Species that Excites You…tell us why?!) elicited this response from David Shipway on Cortes Island.
“I’m also a boat builder and big fan of Black Locust. When I was living in Ruskin in the 70’s, I discovered that the municipality had cut down a large locust to build a sidewalk. A friend and I leapt to the rescue before it was turned into firewood, and Alaska-milled the tree into many 2″ slabs, some of which I still have. The rest of the wood went into steamed frames for a 42′ schooner on Gabriola, built by Nikos Darokakis. Most of the deck and hatches were also made of locust. He has since sailed the boat back to Greece, where it bakes in the hot Mediterranean sun, but the locust is still holding up remarkably well. Yes, someone with some good bottom land should plant a huge grove of Robinia, it would be worth a fortune in 50 years, after the oil that makes polyester and epoxy resins run out!”