Making plywood water resistant

by Hamza


I am in Peshawar, Pakistan- I am building a boat out of plywood- we do not have marine grade plywood, can it be made water resistant by coating it with fiber-glass or do we have any other methods too.

Looking forward to your earliest possible reply


Comments for Making plywood water resistant

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Construction Ply
by: Bob

Hi Hamza,
I believe construction grade ply uses a waterproof glue though the timber is of course much inferior to marine grade ply and would ned to be treated with epoxy/fibreglass also.

Will keep you updated
by: Anonymous

Thanks Mike for all your help, will keep you posted on the development- Its the only activity that keeps us occupied positively amongst all the bomb blasts and collateral damages.

I hope conditions will get normal by the time we finish our projects.


A hovercraft!!!
by: Mike

Hi Hamza,

A hovercraft, wow and a canoe you are going to be busy.

Pay particular attention to sealing the edges of the plywood once it is cut to size.

And I hope you will keep us updated on your progress.

Happy boat building,


Thanks Mike
by: Anonymous

Dear Mike,

Thanks a lot, I am planing to build a hovercraft and a canoe, both are them require marine grade plywood which is not available in my country- importing it out of question so have to rely on what is available which is non waterproof commercial plywood.



Boat building plywood
by: Mike

Hello Hamza,

Yes, lower grades of Plywood can be sealed with epoxy resin.

In fact when using plywood and epoxy was first introduced, it was suggested that even the lowest grades of ply could successfully be used.

The problem with using lower grades is that if the epoxy or epoxy and fibreglass, coating is damaged and water is allowed to get in, then the lower grade plywood will deteriorate more quickly.

Another problem is that the epoxy/fibreglass coating will be less flexible than the plywood.

This means that if the plywood on your boat is prone to flexing then you could find that the fibreglass coating will begin to delaminate from the wood.

So, if you have to use a lower grade, you will have to be careful to avoid damage to the surface.

And if it does become damaged, dry it out and touch it up or patch it straight away before water is allowed to penetrate beyond the surface ply.

All I can say is to use the best quality you can.

What type of boat were you planning to build?

A small boat which isn’t kept in the water will clearly be easier to maintain than a larger one.

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