Houseboat Building or Repair - What plywood, exterior or marine grade?
(St. Paul, MN)
Houseboat Building or Deck Repairs
Use Exterior or Marine Grade plywood?
When it comes to houseboat building or a deck repair, what plywood do we use, interior, exterior, or marine grade plywood's?
Last September we purchased a 1969 34 foot Nautaline. It is what you would call a "fixer upper"! But we are looking at it as a fun project for this summer.
The question I have is I know it is recommended to use marine plywood, but I have read that a lot of people use a good exterior grade plywood and with the proper sealant, this works just as well, and alot cheaper !!
With all the other work that needs to be done on her, I want to do a good job, but I also have to be budget oriented.
We plan on keeping her for only a few years and then going to a larger boat, so I want to be able to get back the money I put in.
What are your thoughts on this, and do you have any helpful hints on making this as pain free as possible? Do you know of any books that cover this type of project?
Thanks Don. Reply - Answer
Well Don, welcome to the houseboat forums, and congratulations on buying a houseboat.
Now you happen to have the "million dollar" question. That's like asking what's better, the sunrise or sunset? We will get many opinions on which is best.
Now morally, I would suggest to use marine grade since it is a very different quality and construction grade of plywood. As the name implies it is for marine boating use.
I also understand you're dilemma of wanting to stay within a budget, and only wanting to keep the houseboat for a few years, then upgrading.
On a personal note, I have done some rebuilding and deck repairs on different boats, and have always used marine
grade plywood. It hurts to pay more for the wood, yet you have to take into account your time.
When it would come to sell the boat, I always explained this to the prospective buyers so they would understand why the selling price was higher. The job was done right the first time, and didn't have to be redone later.
You mention if I could recommend any plywood boat building repair books.
You will find explanation and information there on the different material, plans, and details.
Now back to using exterior grade plywood, you can use it, and use fiberglass epoxy to seal it up completely on all sides and surfaces. You just have to understand that exterior grade wood has many gaps and voids, especially when you cut it to size and shape. I also know of many people who use the lower priced exterior material.
Either way, I am sure that this post will stir up many different opinions, that I also am looking forward to hearing and reading them.
If you want to get some good instructional videos on doing fiberglass painting work and repairs, you will find some more information on our Houseboat video DVD page.Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their repair or houseboat building plywood grade techniques or experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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