Wood for boat building

Hello, I have built a boat using commercial plywood and coated it with one layer of epoxy, I still have not finished the coats but my question is will the commercial plywood hold up after coating it with fiberglass and west system epoxy?

I’m planning on using it a couple of times and I only realized I should have used marine grade plywood instead after building it.

Comments for Wood for boat building

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Aug 04, 2022
by: LR

The paint is necessary. UV, or something, will degrade exposed fiberglass and epoxy over time, but not if it's painted.

Aug 04, 2022
epoxy and fiberglass is pretty durable
by: Anonymous

I haven't kept them in the water, but I have two plywood boats covered with very light fiberglass and Raka epoxy.
The plywood has held up very well, except for places where I didn't fix mechanical damage right away.
They've been outside for years.
For areas that will drag over the ground or be walked on, you might want something a bit heavier, but otherwise the 3/4 ounce glass seems fine.
I used what I think was house paint.
Some of it was latex, which sticks fine.
If you do use latex, let it dry THOROUGHLY, or you will find paint colored water dripping off.
In this case, onto the car the boat was on top of!

Sep 03, 2021
Wood for Boat Building
by: Anonymous

Once upon a time I've built a boat out of cardboard covered with a few layers of fiberglass - it worked.

I've also seen designs with balsa wood or foam core.

If you go with the fiberglass construction the core provides only support for the fiberglass to keep the shape.

You will have to address the strength issues in this case though...

Sep 03, 2021
Wood for Boat Building
by: Anonymous

As long as the water does not get between the layers of the plywood you are OK. That's what separates the marine grade plywood from the regular construction. The marine grade uses the water-resistant glue and it won't separate subjected to water flood.

If you cover your plywood with fiberglass it doesn't matter what wood you use - fiberglass protects plywood from the water.

Going with the plywood just covered with epoxy (without fiberglass) might be tricky - epoxy does not penetrate too deep in the wood. However, if you have a good coat of epoxy, followed by a primer and a few layers of paint - it should be fine. Just watch for the surface damage when boating - fix chips ASAP. It is only the prolonged effect of the water on the open wood that eventually start causing problems.

In any case - any boat is better than no boat.

Apr 16, 2021
by: Bill

Once upon a time ‘they’ (advertisers) used to ‘suggest’ that you could build a boat from any old rubbish as long as it was coated with epoxy.

The reality is that marine grade plywood will be much more durable.

But as you have gotten this far you might as well carry on and finish her.

Just be careful to coat all plywood edges etc and keep on top of maintenance, any scratches or damage to the epoxy coating should be repaired as soon as possible.

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