The new gangplank needs to be wider than the old one, prettier than the old one, and not be to heavy.
To achieve this, we decided to use mahogany and cypress. Both woods are very rot resistant and cypress is very light for its strength. Mahogany gives the plank a lot of strength and looks gorgeous as an accent piece.
My original plan was to use 2x2 and 2x4 planks of white oak and mahogany to build a laminated gangplank using bronze screws and wood glue. I went to World of Hardwoods (www.worldofhardwoods.com) and talked to Bryan who quickly pointed out how much work that would entail. He suggested the use of cypress and mahogany and biscuiting them together. I have never worked with biscuits and have been rather busy building my oars and working in my dental practice so I decided to have Bryan glue the planks up for me.
After a few weeks, the wood had arrived and was ready for me to pick up. I loaded it into my car and brought it back to the boat to begin assembly. Instead of varnishing, I have been applying tongue oil to the plank to protect the wood and keep it oiled. There were a few small check lines on the plank, so I was sure to oil the wood quickly so that it would slow the rate of contraction.