Timber for marine and fresh water construction

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Timber has a variety of potential applications with regards to marine and freshwater construction, with timber groynes and piers being commonplace along much of the English coast, and beyond.

This publication describes the use of timber for marine and fresh water construction properties. It indicates how timber can provide a solution to many of the problems confronting dock, harbour and river board engineers and others, concerned with water construction. With a knowledge of the hazards to which timber may be exposed, and careful selection of the species with the most appropriate properties for the job, a satisfactory and long lasting structure can be obtained at relatively low cost.

Timber for marine and fresh water construction covers a variety of different timber species and for which applications they are suitable.

The principal structural functions covered in this document are: erosion protection, coastal and river, construction of wharfs, jetties, docks and dock gates, and the construction or marinas.


  • Properties of timber as a constructional material
  • Utilisation of timber
  • Marinas and yacht havens
  • Joint construction
  • Environmental hazards
  • Sustainable timbers
    • Softwoods
    • Suitable timber - hardwoods
    • Other suitable timbers (hardwoods)
  • Table of properties and working characteristics of suitable timbers
    • Softwoods
    • Hardwoods
  • Table of the main uses, sizes and availability of suitable timbers
    • Softwoods
    • Hardwoods