Staying Afloat in Wooden Boats: Noah's Arks

By Bill Esler | Posted: 04/06/2013 11:01AM


  A wood construction mini-boom, building replicas of Noah's Ark, that appeared during the global downturn may be no coincidence.

When people are feeling beleagured they may turn to ancient precedents of the ultimate surivivors: those aboard Noah's Ark.

In Dordrecht, Netherlands, carpenter and construction firm owner Johan Huibers last year completed a 3,000 ton ark built of Swedish pine reinforced with steel, at a cost of $1.3 million. The 450 foot long vessel (inset photo) actually floats, and can hold 1,500 people. 

An ark in Hong Kong features meeting rooms and a hotel atop. (See the video below.)

Another ark project is in Kentucky, the Ark Encounter. That project is still in the design and fund raising phase, and will invest $24.5 million on the big boat and surrounding theme park.

Construction firm Troyer Group of Mishawaka, IN has the contract, and $10 million has been raised, allowing ground to be broken in Williamstown, KY.

The latest ark project is in San Antonio, TX built by the Cornerstone Church. The congregation spent $5 million after a fundraising effort, and the ark - constructed of alder - opened its doors last month. While it can't float, the 28,000 square foot building can accommodate 850 children. It's intended to educate them in the Bible. One amenity it includes that was unavilable to Noah's contingent: restrooms with running water.


About the Author

Bill Esler, Woodworking Network, WMS

Bill Esler

Bill Esler, Editorial Director, Woodworking Network Bill is responsible for overall content at Woodworking Network magazine, and related newsletters. Bill also manages event programs for Woodworking Network Live conferences at the Woodworking Machinery & Supplies Expo in Toronto and Cabinets & Closets Expo. He developing audience engagement programs using custom digital printing, live lead-generating events, custom websites, and custom digital and print content. Read Bill Esler's woodworking blogs. He can be reached at or follow him on Google+.

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