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Date Posted: - Friday - 01/ 2/09 - 2:32pm
Author: Kathy Campbell SHADOW M32-#3
Subject: marine plywood

A quick question? As far as decks go, what ply is best? Douglas Fir plywood or Cumarru plywood? I hope the spelling is right. Oh! Yes, Shadow and I are still on terrafirma (on the hard). The land locked sailorgirl, Kath ps I wish you all lot's of sea miles on your Mariners 2009

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Replies:

[> Ply types -- Steve M-32 #59, - Friday - 01/ 2/09 - 7:57pm

Your best bet is BS-1088 grade ply. It is usually a mahogany but can be some other woods. It is a ply standard that calls for no voids throughout the panel and glue rated for 20yr immersion. I'm not aware of any Doug Fir ply that is made to that standard and I'm not familiar with Cumarru. The wood in this particluar case is less important than what standard it is made to. Also take care as to the weight of the panels. When I was looking there was a significant difference between two different BS-1088 panels. One was a Mahogany (lighter and the one I bought) vs the other (which I can't remember now). I hope this helps. My boat is still on the hard also and I'm faced with rebuilding my boat shed which collapsed under a recent and extremely heavy (for us) snowfall.


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[> [> ply identity -- Kathy Campbell SHADOW M32-#3, - Tuesday - 01/ 6/09 - 1:01pm

With all this information from all of you, I feel like a can pick out the best grade of wood for my repairs on Shadow. You can't know how much this will help. Yours truly, Kathy


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[> plywood -- Kathy Campbell SHADOW M32-#3, - Sunday - 01/ 4/09 - 12:55pm

Thanks Steve. My mistake about the wood cumarru. I've heard cumarru is a similar wood to teak and much cheaper. The plywood I meant is joubert okoume plywood. Sorry to hear about your boat shed. The weather is pretty crazy. Last winter the devil winds-Santanas or as us locals call them Santa Anas-took out two barn roofs on this property. I'm still burning up the wood in my wood stove. It's time to get the boat back together and get off the land. Yours truly, Kathy


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[> [> Okume -- Gitano, - Monday - 01/ 5/09 - 12:00pm

I prefer Okume, which is marine grade certified by Lloyd's of London. It looks like Mahogony, is beutiful when varnished, or painted, and tools well. I believe Randall Reeves could also attest, as I think he also used Okume for his cockpit rebuild. Here in the SF Bay Area we purchase Okume from HandLoggers in Point Richmond. http://www.handloggerslumber.com/marine.shtml
http://www.marineryachts.com/projects/murre/murre_cockpit.html


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[> [> Okume -- Randall, - Monday - 01/ 5/09 - 12:57pm

I used marine Okume for the deck job and for most of the cockpit.

If memory serves, it is touted as being more rot resistant than some other woods used in marine ply. Don't know if this is true, but the Lloyds of London seal (attesting to the high quality of the glue) and the evident high quality of the laminate makes me feel it was a good choice.

It's pretty soft, along the order of Doug Fir, and if left in the sun it will oxidize quickly (become covered with small black spots). This freaked me out when we laid the deck, but the discoloration sanded off with ease during the glass prep stage.

It is whopping expensive. When I purchased it locally a year or so ago I recall it was $120 a sheet.

Good Luck, Kathy.

RR


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[> [> Ply types -- Steve M-32 #59, - Monday - 01/ 5/09 - 9:29pm

To clarify a bit more. Okume is one type of African Mahogany. It is the usual face of BS-1088 ply. The Lloyds certification you are referring to is the guarantee that it meets that standard. I have also seen BS-1088 in Apitong which is much heavier than the Okume ply. You can buy Okume ply in non-marine grade sheets which is why you need to know the grade of ply you are buying. There is also a BS-6323 grade which is a little less quality than the BS-1088 (allows some voids I think). Fir marine ply is below both of these in quality and personally I wouldn't use it. My boatbuilding instructors used point out that compared to the labor involved the material cost is a very small portion of a boat project and it usually pays to use the best.


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[> [> [> plywood grades -- Kathy Campbell SHADOW M32-#3, - Tuesday - 01/ 6/09 - 1:32pm

All this information on how to pick out the right grade of plywood is just what I need. It would be easy to be sold an inferior grade. Now I'll know exactly what to purchase. Thanks for the help. Yours truly, Kathy


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[> [> [> [> Cockpit & deck plywood -- Lyle Harris, - Tuesday - 01/13/09 - 12:34pm

Hi Kathy,
It appears that we're doing the same work at the same time (M31 #42, Starlight). I also appreciate the recommendations provided here. 1088 Okume is $160 per panel in Seattle, which amazes me. Rationally, that's only 66.7 cups of coffee at Starbucks, so I'll probably go for it. The marine grade fir ply is $80 per sheet (only 33.3 cups of coffee), and I may use some of this in places where I'd have an epoxied, painted surface. I think it's still bomb-proof, even if it's slightly less bomb-proof as the Okume 1088...


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[> [> [> [> [> Ply voids -- Steve M-32, - Tuesday - 01/13/09 - 11:18pm

The problem with the cheaper grades is voids in the inner ply's. A void will allow the board to flex and crack when it is stepped on which will in turn allow the glass to crack which allows water into the ply and if water gets into a void it is the perfect environment for rot to develop. You don't need that many sheets of ply. Given all the labor that goes into a rebuild of one of our boats I think it's the wrong place to try and save money.


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[> [> [> [> [> [> Marine plywood -- Dan, - Thursday - 01/15/09 - 12:22am

Don't confuse building grades of fir ply with marine grade. Marine grade fir ply has no voids. That being said , I think the imports, okoume(also known as gabon) and meranti are better. They have more laminations and are probably more rot resistant. Check out Noah's-
http://www.noahsboatbuilding.com/noahusa/items.asp?cc=33&bc=

I'm getting ready to do my decks and cabin also.
Dan


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