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What makes Marine Plywood different from Regular Plywood?

What Makes Marine Plywood Different From Regular Plywood?

Marine Plywood

Marine-grade plywood is a good-quality, hardwood plywood made with waterproof glue. It tends to be lightweight, strong, and virtually free of defects. These qualities are what make this plywood a popular choice for building boats and boat parts. It’s also a smart option for durable outdoor furniture projects in coastal areas, especially after it receives a strong protective finish.

LBI carries Meranti, Okoume and Douglas Fir plywoods in several sizes and thicknesses.

Marine plywood is also a main component in stitch-and-glue boat building. This technique uses marine plywood and epoxy. Plywood panels are held together with wire stitching while the seams are “glued” with epoxy and fiberglass tape.  Once everything is cured, the stitching is removed and the outside of the boat may then be treated. It can be laminated with fiberglass cloth or layered with more plywood, depending on how thick one would like the the hull.

LBI’s 1102/2105 Epoxy with hardener kits are ideal for this type of construction.  We also carry the non water absorbing fillers needed to make a thicker glue and several different weights of cloth.

Meranti Plywood:

  • Tough stable water proof panel.
  • Equal or nearly equal laminations.
  • Made with water and boil proof (WBP) glue.
  • Face veneers are one piece
  • Grain is fairly even and straight.
  • Harder, rot resistant and makes a stiffer panel. 
  • Good structural plywood for bottoms and larger boats.
  • May also use for decks, freezers, signs, exterior structures, cabinets and other construction

Okoume Plywood:

  • A fast-growing tropical hardwood.
  • Has clear, beautifully-figured grain.
  • Low density yields ultra-lightweight hulls.
  • Essential for home built kayaks and small craft.
  • Used for building racing boats.
  • May be used for building furniture or on cabinets because of its appearance.
  • Must be sealed to keep moisture out.

Douglas Fir Marine Plywood

  • For boats that won’t be varnished.
  • Quality is uniformly good.
  • Widely available domestically grown marine-grade plywood.
  • A heavier weight wood.
  • Should be sealed in fiberglass or epoxy.
  • Used for heavy boats that need to be strong and rot-resistant.
  • Used for lapstrakes and hull planking.

Other thicknesses of plywood may be available, please call to inquire about pricing and availability. 

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