Okoume Wood Uses

What Is Okoume Wood Uses for?

Okoume wood comes from a tree called Aucouma klaineana. It is native to west-central Africa, specifically in Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.

This species has many different names, but the most commonly known is Okoume or Gaboon.

Okoume wood uses can be variant but are mainly for exterior needs.

Okoume Wood Uses for Marine Application

This kind of wood is often sold in the form of plywood and veneer. That’s why Okoume wood uses can be found more on marine applications.

Although it is not necessarily water-resistant, it is still a popular option for marine-grade plywood. Here are some examples.


One of the benefits of Okoume wood in boat-making is its lameness properties. It allows the plywood to be easily folded, which eases the process of making boats. Furthermore, this wood has good durability, perfect for marine uses.

Kayaks and Canoes

The Okoume logs have been traditionally used for making canoes. Its strength and lightness make it an excellent material for this boat. The same thing goes for other kinds of a vessel like kayaks.


Hatch is a small door/opening you can find in a ship, airplane, or spaceship. This part is always exposed to moisture over time. Hence, Okoume marine plywood is the best choice to handle the issue.


Besides hatches, this wood is also applicable as deck components where moisture resistance and weight are required. The plywood may hold for several decades, but it will need regular maintenance for a longer span.

Other Okoume Wood Uses

Though it is mainly used for marine application, that does not limit Okoume wood uses for other aspects. It has a wide range of uses for different purposes like musical instruments, furniture, etc.


Usually, mahogany would be the first preference in making guitar because of its classic warmer tone. Okoume has that similar tone too, which makes it perfect for replacement material.

Not to mention, the wood is softer, which can be used as a laminite. That will give additional rigidity to the guitar.

Indoor Use

Okoume wood has such an attractive appearance. Its heartwood has a pinkish-brown color and uniform texture.

The grain is slightly wavy.

Those factors make this wood suitable for household furniture. You can also use Okoume plywood to reface your kitchen cabinets.

Outdoor Use

The use of Okoume veneer and plywood has been well-known to make window and door frames. With its good durability and attractive look, you can also apply it to cladding like Southern Europe.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Okume Wood

Using Okoume wood will offer some great advantages.

a. Durability

Its durability is better than any other plywood. It is so strong that you could use it for exterior, interior, or even marine uses.

b. Easy to Cut

Although it is a hardwood, Okoume plywood can be easily cut into various shapes and sizes. In the boat-making process, there are a lot of parts that require curved structures. Okoume will be very helpful in that factor.

c. Availability

Okoume wood is available in different kinds of sizes and thicknesses. Other solid wood will need to be appropriately cut to meet the requirement. In contrast, it can simply choose many sizes of Okoume plywood for that purpose.

d. Cost-Effective

Okoume wood is sold as veneer and plywood; Okoume comes at a moderate price even as an imported hardwood. It also does not require high maintenance that could cost more money.

Besides the benefits, there are some disadvantages you want to look out for.

a. Not Rot-Resistance

Okoume has a poor rate of rot resistance. It could easily expose to fungus or termites. Hence, it needs to be maintained and sealed correctly. Otherwise, it will rot within a few months.

b. Not Easy to Recognise

For some people with no knowledge of wood, Okoume might be mistaken for other kinds of wood. So, we recommend buying the material only from trusted manufacturers to avoid scams.

c. Easily Bend

In its longer form, Okoume plywood can bend easily. That’s why solid wood is necessary to support large pieces.

Those are all the information we can share about Okoume wood uses. To conclude, it is often used as marine-grade plywood. But, it is also usable for other applications.

Source : https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/33213/9766796