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69172RE: [bolger] Re: Plywood question

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  • John Trussell
    Jan 9, 2013

      For smaller boats (say up to 5 or six sheets of plywood), the difference in cost between marine plywood and big box store plywood is manageable and the quality difference is substantial. Okoume is soft and not very rot resistant. Meranti is heavier, stiffer, and has a more open (and harder to fill) grain. Sapele is the gold standard and priced accordingly. For bigger boats (with 3/8s or ½ inch planking), I like Olympic brand MDO which is used for signs


      It is always interesting to price the various components of a boat. The hull will include planking, natural wood, fasteners, glue/coating, primer, and paint. If it is a sail boat, add the blades (rudder and board), spars and rudder, sails, line, and hardware. Then there are things like a trailer, PFD’s, an anchor/rode, and a compass. Add a motor and things get more expensive. Add it all up and the increased cost of good plywood becomes less significant.


      Of course if you really are counting pennies, a used fiberglass boat is the cheapest way to go. But then you give up the satisfaction of building a boat!



      From: bolger@yahoogroups.com [mailto: bolger@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of dnjost
      Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2013 4:39 PM
      To: bolger@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [bolger] Re: Plywood question



      I haven't posted here for a while, but would add that my Workskiff 18 is built out of a marine grade fir, but encapsulated inside and out with epoxy set in glass. (I will also admit to treating it with antifreeze prior to glassing). so far, 5 years later it is still in like new condition. I would not want to put my blood and sweat into a project and then have it delaminate. You could purchase a chunk and put it through the boil/dry cycle a few times. That saved me a bundle over the years when dealing with various grades of exterior plywood.

      Having said that, in these smaller boats I think it is worth the leap to Joubert Merenti, or an okoume ply. The Merenti is seems worth the piece of mind to know that your boat won't delaminate in the middle of a pond on a cold winter's day, and that in itself seems worth the extra $80 bucks.

      My last build was not a Bolger boat, but I did use BS1088 Okoume for the Michalak Vireo. It was beautiful, and came in very light at 56 pounds with only the bottom glassed. It is subject to denting, but handles well. the merenti splinters more when cutting but provides a harder surface. Better for where glass won't be used.

      Ok group. FIRE AT IT!

      Happy building,
      David Jost, Boston , MA

      --- In bolger@yahoogroups.com, "steven_dantonio" wrote:

      > Hello,
      > I'm just about ready to start on a Mayfly 14 and was shopping around for
      plywood. Has anyone used Georgia-Pacific's "Dry-Ply plywood". It looks like it's treated so I'm a bit hesitant unless I can find out some good information regarding it's gluing properties.
      > Thanks,
      > Steven

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