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  Where to get "Marine Grade Plywood"?

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Author Topic:   Where to get "Marine Grade Plywood"?
SuburbanBoy posted 04-09-2001 06:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for SuburbanBoy   Send Email to SuburbanBoy  
Need to make a couple of plywood parts soon. I want to mount my motor controls on a wider piece than is currently installed in my boat. The piece will end up about 15"x30". I am unable to locate a local supplier for Marine Grade Plywood. I did find some aircraft grade (7 ply, with birch for surface laminate), but no marine. Suggestions welcome, hopefully web based or mail order.
tarbaby posted 04-09-2001 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for tarbaby  Send Email to tarbaby     
What thickness do you need? I have most every thing you could need, let me know and I could send you some. Or, buy from Beaufort veneer in Beaufort NC.
triblet posted 04-09-2001 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Try a hardwood specialty lumberyard. You
may have to buy a whole 4x8.

Or use Starboard/Seaboard. It's easy to


SuburbanBoy posted 04-09-2001 11:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
What is Starboard/Seaboard, and where can I find it? I have read forum entries where others have referenced this material. Is it a marine grade press board, or a plastic? The piece I will need will be 12"x14.25"x0.75" (WxHxThickness). The top of this board will mount to the underside of the side rail, and the bottom will be mounted to the inside of the RH side board. The motor control will be mounted to this new board. The present control mount board is only 8"x14.25"x0.75". It is also stained and varnished. Nothing wrong, just a little too narrow for the new motor control set.
Thanks for the advise.
andygere posted 04-10-2001 03:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Try Chesapeake Light Craft at

The okoume plywood is a plantation grown mahogany with zero voids in between plys. I built a kayak from this material and the quality is outstanding. These guys are also a good source for epoxy. I used the MAS epoxy to build my kayak with great results. The big advantage over West System is MAS does not produce amine blush. Click on to see the results.

Chesapeake posted 05-04-2001 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Andygere: I saw this as I was looking through some past threads. The kayak is unbelievable. I am in awe.

Bob (Chesapeake)

Paint Legend posted 05-04-2001 05:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Paint Legend  Send Email to Paint Legend     
I agree, I am just finishing a 18' CLC Kayak and had such a positive experience with the MAS Epoxy that I have switched from West and Epiglass.


whalernut posted 05-07-2001 07:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Try Boulter Plywood Corp. they have every type of Marine plywood imaginable! Good luck-Jack.
andygere posted 05-08-2001 01:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Have you paddled your CLC 18 yet? Post some pics when you have a chance, I'd love to see it.


Duncan posted 05-11-2001 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Duncan  Send Email to Duncan     
Cheap way out...yes "duncan" is a Scottish name and aye, I'm a tightwad!!
I just built a center console from "AC" Douglas Fir plywood.
If your application is paint grade and one where the plywood is not sitting directly in water, AC fir, primed and painted with 2-3 coats (all sides and edges) of "topside" colored poly is fine. I "faired" the plywood with BONDO (autobody filler) before finishing. Can still see some grain but only if you look closely...but hey it's paid for!
JohnT posted 05-18-2001 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnT  Send Email to JohnT     
Regarding A/C exterior grade fir plywood, I built a dinghy out of it that turned out very well.

If you want a smooth finish to hide the grain, I would think that unthickened epoxy, painted on and later sanded, would give you a perfectly smooth surface to paint. I haven't tried it, but you might look into it. What do you think, Andy?

Unless you're going to finish it bright, or put compound curves in it, I see little reason to use expensive okume plywood for this application, when good quality A/C exterior fir plywood would do the job and look as good at a fraction of the cost. Be picky when you're purchasing the plywood, though. The crap they had a Lowe's wasn't worth looking at (voids, "dutchmen" and many many knots on C side). Don't accept any plywood with "Dutchmen" (not to impugn anyone from Holland, that's just what I've heard those football-shaped patches called - dunno why) on the "A" side - they'll pop out after a while. A few knots are OK on the "C" side, but try to keep them small or repair them prior to building. Avoid voids as much as possible, and fill them as best you can if you find any after you've cut into the wood. It sounds like more trouble than it is, and for this cheapskate, it was well worth it for my application (a Bolger/Payson "Instant Boat" design called Tortoise).

I went to a local lumberyard for my wood and found better quality than Lowe's at a similar price.

Good luck!

Chesapeake posted 05-18-2001 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Unfortunately, rolling out unthickened epoxy does not take the grain wave out of fir ply. I build a storage pilot seat for my Nauset several years ago. 5 coats of epoxy and Awl-grip applied on top after very vigorous sanding. Bottom line... it looks like gelcoat with grain.

Rebuilt the console this year and used mahagany marine ply and the same epoxy and awl-grip additions. Incredible difference... no grain whatsoever and unless you knew better, you'd swear it was fiberglass and gelcoat.

JohnT posted 05-19-2001 01:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for JohnT  Send Email to JohnT     
Thanks for setting me straight on this matter. Sounds like the okoume may be the way to go after all. There are some great discussions of various kinds of plywood in the following books: Payson, The New Instant Boats, Kulczycki, The Kayak Shop or The New Kayak Shop.

According to Payson, both AC exterior and Marine ply use the same adhesives, so the laminations in the ply should hold as well for one as the other.

I would also think that Lauan exterior grade plywood could be considered for a motor control mounting plate. It's available locally most anywhere.

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