Wood Glue for Boatbuilding

There are many types of glue on the market and they are all advertised as having amazing properties.

So which one should you use when boat building?

Well there is no need to stick to one type for everything.

For the hull and any structural components clearly you will need the best.

And if you are building with plywood you will have to use epoxy to make those fillets etc.

But for anything else consider,

  • Where the joint is situated?
  • How exposed to the elements will it be?
  • How easy will it be to repair if the joint should fail?
  • Will it need to fill any gaps?
  • And will any health hazards be acceptable?


This is the adhesive which, is used to make marine grade plywood marine grade, simply because it is the best waterproof wood to wood adhesive.

It is rarely advertised, for the DIY market because the manufacturers sell enough to industry.

However it can be bought in small quantities.

This is a high exposure resistant and waterproof adhesive.

Resorcinol has two components.

It is comprised of a liquid resin and a hardener which can be either powder or liquid.

Joints are strongest on closely meeting faces where, clamping pressure is high.

Excellent for laminating as it will not creep once the initial set has occurred.

However, it does leave a dark colored line along the joint.

There are two main grades one of which can only be used in warm temperatures.

Back to Top of Page


Gorilla Wood Adhesive 8 fl. oz

from: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

There are several strong waterproof Polyurethane Adhesives on the market now.

They have excellent wood to wood performance and are also effective on other materials.

The adhesive requires moisture to cure, so very dry wood may need to be moistened first.

Excess glue is easily sanded, will not become brittle with age (according to the manufacturers) or expand or contract in the joint (See Gorilla and other PU glues by Ken).

These adhesives are used straight from the bottle, so no mixing and less waste

Back to Top of Page


Looking for Wood Adhesive ?

105B Epoxy Resin, 0.98 Gallon

from: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

For plywood building, epoxy with its strength and gap-filling properties is the way to go.

However for other wood gluing applications it has perhaps been over hyped by the advertisers.

It is certainly waterproof and is excellent for sealing end grain.

However it does set hard and therefore can be brittle.

Once set cleaning off any excess is difficult.

It can deteriorate with prolonged exposure to UV light.

And there are the health risks, associated with the chemicals in the hardeners to consider.

More on Epoxy Resin.

Back to Top of Page

Urea Formaldehyde.

These adhesives are rated water resistant not waterproof.

However the better grades such as Aerolite 306 are excellent easy to use adhesives for non-exposed applications.

They have moderate gap filling ability good durability and are creep resistant.

However, low grade formulas may become brittle with age.

Back to Top of Page


Titebond III, Gallon

from: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

These are not generally recommended for use in a marine environment.

There are some exterior versions which are described as being 'waterproof'.

I should be wary of using them on a boat and certainly not outside the cabin unless the wood is properly sealed to control the moisture level.

However Titebond insist that their 'Titebond III' is as least as good as epoxy.

Back to Top of Page

Hot Melt Glue.

Pro 100 Hot Gun

from: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

This is definitely not something to be considered for building the boat.

However a hot glue gun because it is convenient and the glue sets quickly is a super way to make templates.

Using small strips of thin plywood a template, of that awkward curve can be quickly stuck together with the gun.

Back to Top of Page


These are not for use on boats.

However they could, at a push be used to glue small pieces together, but only on interiors.

It does become brittle and has poor shock and solvent resistance.

It will yellow and degrade with exposure to UV light.

This is just a quick easy comment box for Your thoughts on this Page.

For more detailed comments, questions, tips, etc. select any of the Your Pages in the top menu.

Widget is loading comments...

Related Posts


The Bismark 
I am currently building a model of the Bismarck. But they recommend using a water based glue. I can only glue one piece at a time and have to leave …

What Glue to Use??? 
I have been a life-long user of Resorcinol glue. Now that I have run out of it, I find it is impossible to find now, it is removed off the market. …

I have used Cascamite over a number of years building sailing dinghies and to the best of my knowledge have not had any failures.

Gorilla and other PU glues 
Hi, guys, I have discovered a couple of failings with the foaming type PU glues such as Gorilla and Lumberjack. It seems that these glues are not …

I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk.
However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts.
And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.