Has The Price Of Wood Changed Our Passion?

Thats alotta wood!

No doubt many of us have already experienced the sticker shot at the lumber yard, or big box store of the price of wood. A 20 buck piece of plywood is now around 60 bucks. Triple the cost. Teak is now around $30 a linear ft. 30 Bucks. A 6 ft board.. 180 bucks!!!!!!!!! I have yet to price mahogany planks. But ooooffffff! Like everything these days, sticker shock is a common ailment.

looks like gold? Feels like Gold?

The confusing part for me, is why? Shipping? I dont get how Covid could cause price crap with plywood. And here is the bigger question. Does this affect our boats? I am sure it affects the cost of a new bottom. If you spent in the past around 3K for the lumber on a new bottom, is it now 9K? And since some of this is inflation, does the labor go up? It should. So a lets say 1,500 a ft bottom quote is it now $3K? $4K? a foot?

Holy Crap! Now the cost of a house to build!

Can you even get the lumber needed? Part of the inventory I purchased at the Railway is literally tons and miles of lumber.  Juniper, Oak, Pine, and people are coming by all the time to buy it. I don’t want to sell it, because the boaters we take care of will need it. I am not a Lumber yard. And I can’t imagine the cost of replacing some of it. So it can sit and wait.

Piles of scrap wood!

As seen on the interneter!

One of my favorite meams!


So today the comment, peanut gallery, armchair quarterback, is wide open as always, AND FREE!

34 replies
  1. Jim G
    Jim G says:

    My lucky day. Just found in this barn not 1 but 2 sheets of OSB Plywood!

    Matt. Being an old Porsche guy. I thought you might like this one.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    That pile of scrap wood isn’t scrap any more. We built a new house two years ago. I hate to think of what it would have cost to build that house today!

  3. Andy in Middletown
    Andy in Middletown says:

    Matt, plywood was/is affected by the three largest US resin plants going offline over the last year + demand due to house building and home projects. Covid is a contributing factor as well, but not the primary culprit. The largest plant went off line after being hit by a hurricane, the two others shut down all the sudden with the Texas ice storms, greatly affecting US resin making capacity. What happens to a resin plant when it shuts down all the sudden due to ice storms? The product hardens in the plant piping and the whole place needs rebuilt. 1 pipe at a time. That’s the issue with plywood (glue for the plys), vinyl windows, etc. Anything that has resin in it has been affected. Most construction industry analysts now believe the materials pricing is a bubble that will Lilley pop between the 3rd quarter of this year and the first quarter of next. Will prices go back to pre-pandemic levels? Not likely, but they should recede from their elevated state. Most believe they have too, the current materials pricing inflation is unsustainable as you are indicating in regards to boat materials. Trust me, I’m an architect. Ha.

    • Jeffrey in Boise
      Jeffrey in Boise says:

      Architect here in the Northwest. Andy is spot on, structural engineered products (laminated wood beams, I-joist and laminated structural beams, even plastic plumbing products) and now folks are putting projects on hold which I’m afraid may never be completed due to budgets. It’s going to take a while for the construction industry to recover and certainly won’t be where we were a couple years ago…

  4. Bill
    Bill says:

    the lumber isn’t worth any more a box of Wheaties is worth any more the problem is this constant printing of money is making our money worth less and less. when the lawmakers took us off the gold standard and the dollar is backed by nothing it was the beginning of the end for the value of the dollar. went from gold certificate to silver certificate meaning you were supposed to be able to trade your dollar for gold and then silver now its a federal reserve note backed by nothing. when they need more they just print some more. how can it have any value its just a piece of paper

    • Steve in the woods
      Steve in the woods says:

      Cash is, and will always be KING! We were in Austin last weekend for youngest’s graduation. Every restaurant and bar got real excited when we paid by green, instead of the valuable plastic. Yesterday, when leaving the meat market, he asked if by plastic or check. I replied, cash; great he said you get discount!

      • Bill
        Bill says:

        cash might be king at the meat market or a auction but on big purchases they like credit so they can make the interest. I bought a new Ford truck a couple years ago and the price was one thousand less if you financed it. so I did and paid it off after two months and saved a grand.. the bank pays half a percent on the money you deposit and charges someone with a credit cart whatever they can get away with 18 percent or so. the big boys love credit

        • Steve in the woods
          Steve in the woods says:

          Not at an auction. Bought a car at Mecum in Houston and had to pay full TTL + their 10%. Everyone knows what I paid….guess can sell at loss and take it off my taxes. If i do not work, then I do not support the deadbeats; including DC.

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Economics 101: Supply / Demand. Add in greed and gouging and you have our current condition.

    Probably makes our boats worth less since it will cost more to fix and maintain, but then again a 16″ Hydro just auctioned at almost 50K so, what do I know?

  6. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    I am wondering if this price bubble will encourage the large group of restorers contemplating retirement to suddenly close their doors. Fortunately, most of the wood work on Happy Ours is now complete. The chrome is all back and just waiting for the upholstery to be finished!

      • Jerome
        Jerome says:

        I went to my local lumber yard yesterday for a few 2 + 4 + 8 for a small project. They were a little short on stock because of the building boom in our area. They ended up costing $10.00 each OUCH. You built at the right time Greg

        • Mike D
          Mike D says:

          I paid $14 for a 2″x 4″x 8′ yesterday and when I questioned the cashier she said I’m lucky because it was $14.50 the day before. It must be hard to bid on construction projects with changing prices like that.

  7. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    “Passion knows no price.”
    I stand in a cold shower and tear up thousand dollar bills on an hourly basis. Material costs are secondary. Finding capable help that knows the difference between a flat head and Phillips screwdriver? Priceless.
    We own an old marina……Matt owns an old marine railway.
    Preservationists or just plain stupid?
    I believe our wives would say the jury is still sequestered……….

  8. Rick
    Rick says:

    So is Panther more valuable as a restored boat or parted out for the value of the lumber?

  9. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Yea this all sucks. The “Bottom” line is, this is just like when gas goes up. We bitch about it but we bite the bullet and pay. Might be a good time to buy a boat that is restored, rather than have one restored or do it yourself. It could be cheaper. Knowing what to look for is the key.

  10. Chug-A-Lug
    Chug-A-Lug says:

    The last time I added onto the house,hurricane Andrew was going through Florida.Chip board up north got to 30 bucks for the crap that had black all over it(the only stuff I could find)Being half done with project,I added more to construction loan and plodded on.In hindsight,I wish I burned the whole house down.Would have saved money that way.

  11. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I dismantled a customer’s dock attached to the north side of his boathouse so we could build a narrower dock allowing him to get a 3rd boat completely under a Sunsetter Sun Shade. The pressure treated planks were longitudinal 2×6’s, and 8’s that were 8′ to 14′ long that I carefully removed to salvage and had a Brinks truck pick them up. Just kidding, drove 240 miles round trip to get my trailer and drag it all home. Hope its worth it. Better sell them now before the market crashes like the stock I once had in WorldCom.

  12. briant
    briant says:

    To answer Steve’s house question….we started a new house construction the first of March, 2800 sq ft., done in a few weeks.

    Had we started framing that same house today, a mere three months later, the lumber costs alone would add $45K to the same project.

    Oh yeah, that bs is surely sustainable.

    A new bottom for our 18 ft at $1500 a foot would be $27K. At $4000 a foot the boat would be on the burn pile as there would be no way in hell that I would shell out $72K.

  13. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    And have you been to the range lately? Ammo prices are sky high IF you can find any.. I mostly shoot vintage WW2 but at nearly a buck a round it can get pricey.
    I was wanting to add lean-to sheds to the sides of my boat barn to store some of my projects but was floored when I priced the lumber… I do go to the scrap pile now to see what I have got, before I go to the lumber yard..

  14. David Hughes
    David Hughes says:

    Chalk it up to the Clown show in Washington that is promulgating MMT (“Modern Monetary Theory”).

    What value is a dollar when a wheel barrow full of them won’t buy a loaf of bread?

  15. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    my two pieces teak might worth enough to pay off my home mortgage. this is scrap rippings glued together in the 1950s that my father saved and never utilized ! back then he was making teak-fir glued laminated aircraft carrier decking

  16. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Was just reading about this last week. Loggers say they’ve reduced cutting, because mills aren’t buying the timber. Mills say they aren’t buying as much, because they can’t find workers to process timber into lumber. Seems many mills were shut down due to Covid & haven’t been able to hire people so they can restart. Too many people got accustomed to living off the taxpayers on those sweet Covid handouts & now don’t want to go back to work!

  17. briant
    briant says:

    “Sweet Covid handouts”

    Ha, that’s a good one. Yep I’d trade in a decent job any day so I could squat at home making a cool $300 a week watching crap on Netflix.

    The problems are vast and far more complicated and blaming a temporary assistance program is insane.

    • Kelly Wittenauer
      Kelly Wittenauer says:

      Not just the extra $300, but also stimulus payments. And waived requirements to be looking for a job, in order to stay on unemployment and other assistance programs.

      And people weren’t quitting their jobs. They were laid off or let go, when Covid shutdowns closed businesses. And chose not to look for other work. Now things are reopening & there are help wanted signs everywhere. Yet unemployment remains high.

      My husband works in the plastics industry, making things like the clear plastic that appeared between clerks & the public everywhere last year. So they were declared an essential business. Demand for the products rose & they needed to hire. It’s hot & dirty, but simple manufacturing work. Medical benefits, 2 weeks paid vacation, holidays including 2 floating & $19/hr. to start. With opportunities to increase that. Yet there’ve been few takers. Those that have come, & stayed, left other jobs for this one. They didn’t come for a job, they came for a better job.

      Government has made it too easy for the lazy to live off the taxpayers.

  18. Dave M Wrzesinski
    Dave M Wrzesinski says:

    First of all nice picture for the story. That is the 1961 Continental we won best of show restored at the Port Huron show in 2018. We just received our new price book from L&L Johnson in Charlotte Michigan. According to the price book prices on Okoume, Sapele, and Hydrotek plywood have not changed from the fall book. Also prices on African Mahogany, Genuine Mahogany, and Dark Red Meranti have not changed. We received the price book on Monday of this week 5/24/2021
    Do not know why but hope it stays.

  19. Dick Hansen
    Dick Hansen says:

    In spite of the tripling cost of lumber, the major cost of the skilled labor required is the main factor. The price of a new bottom doesn’t triple because of the cost of the wood.

  20. Rick
    Rick says:

    After seeing the price of lumber for some raised garden beds I instead picked up some free pallets and spent the time to dismantle and rip to the sizes I needed. All heat treated cypress at the right cost. Now what to do with a couple of coffee cans of old bent nails. Capstone boat parts?

  21. Waldo
    Waldo says:

    Very interesting comments, here in Baton Rouge we got a lot of feedback about plant fire in Lake Charles that completely burned during one of the hurricanes. No resin no plywood, plastic laminates, fiberglass boats will be out of site. For wood my contacts say big boys like Georgia Pacific and Weyerhaeuser are setting prices along with 3 others. I am a timber grower and owners, loggers and mills with no workers get no more than we did back in 1980,s. Look at profits last year per quarter and first quarter this year, 9 million then, 865 million now. I hope when things turn around that they suffer. Just another day in Paradise.

    Happy Boating

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