Sheathing a plywood hull

by Alan Woolnough
(Cape Town)

I am about to start building a 16 foot plywood sailboat.

Most people suggest sheathing the hull in fiberglass but many also say that it will delaminate in time.

What preparation and primers should I use to ensure that it doesn't delaminate?

Comments for Sheathing a plywood hull

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Feb 07, 2013
Epoxy sheathing
by: Alan Woolnough

Thanks for the advice.

It's nice to know that there is a forum like this that is really helpful.


Feb 04, 2013
sheathing a plywood hull
by: paul oman

First of all you need to use epoxy resin and not polyester resin, which will disbond in a few years.

I personally like to 'prime' the surface first with a solvent thinned epoxy which will have a very tiny bit of penetration thanks to the solvents.

Depending upon your plywood, you might also want to use a more flexible brand of epoxy

progressive epoxy polymers inc

Jan 16, 2013
Amine Blush
by: Mike

Hi Alan,
One of the main reasons for de-lamination is forgetting to clean off any ‘amine blush’ from the epoxy before applying another coat of anything.

And then just simple maintenance, if the fibreglass layer is damaged patch it up before the wood becomes saturated.

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