US made marine plywood.

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US made marine plywood.

Postby rixter66 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:16 am

Hello all, new to the forum. I am in the process of researching an 8m RIB kit in which the hull is plywood with a epoxy-fiberglass coat. I was wondering if anyone has used a US made marine grade plywood that compares to the BS1088. There is a local comapny here in Oregon that makes a marine plywood, but when I asked if it was up to the BS1088 standard, the salesman had no idea what that was. He said their product was 100% Douglas fir with no voids and waterproof adhesive. The entire structure will be encapsulated with epoxy-fiberglass, so I don't know if the checking issue with Fir applies.
Any input would be appreciated.

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Re: US made marine plywood.

Postby TiredParent » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:15 am

From Wikipedia:

"In materials, the BS 1088 specification is a marine plywood specification that applies to plywood produced with untreated tropical hardwood veneers that have a set level of resistance to fungal attack. The plies are bonded with WBP glue. Although the initials BS are for "British Standard", the finished product does not have to be "British made". The standard is associated with Lloyd's of London since it performs testing of products to this standard."

I don't think the standard would apply to the Oregon product, since it is made from Fir (not a tropical hardwood). I'd be more concerned with the glue, and it sounds like he's got that covered.

Not sure of the checking issue, sine I'm just starting work on my first build (8ball), and haven't any experience with the effects of water on encapsulated plywood.

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Re: US made marine plywood.

Postby Nova SS » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:42 am

there is really nothing special about the glues in marine plywood. It is by and large the same glue used in plain old exterior grade ply you can buy at any of the local lumber yards. The big advantage to marine ply over exterior grade is the lack of voids and the number of plys(maine will have more plys). More often then not marine grade ply will be lighter too. The real issue with fir marine grade ply is that it will check over time. If the ply is coated inside and out with fiberglass this is not an issue otherwise checking will occur.

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Re: US made marine plywood.

Postby rixter66 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:50 pm

I spoke with the sales rep from Eagle Plywood here in Oregon. I was told the glue used was the same as that in the BS1088, and the only major difference was the makeup of the plywood which was 100% Douglas fir. The standard used here in the US was PS107, but I couldn't find any literature on that standard. From what I have read on other threads in the forum, this should suffice for a boat that will be totally encapsulated in epoxy-fiberglass. Any more input would be helpful.

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Re: US made marine plywood.

Postby bobmorton » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:11 pm

Thanks Mike and Nova for the information.

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Re: US made marine plywood.

Postby galamb » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:26 pm

The APA is the North American association that set's the "voluntary" standards for plywood over here.

The BS numbers are "British Standards" that are recognized by Lloyds. There are a couple of other European systems and a Russian system as well, but these others rely on the addition of the BS designation to indicate "suitable for marine use" - so you should see a Russian or European grade plus the BS number on an imported panel in the form of two different stamps if it's being sold as an "imported marine panel" (most panels from South America/Asia use the European rating system as well - so a combination of letter grades and BS numbers).

When looking for "domestic" marine plywood, you should generally be looking for APA stamps/ratings of A/A Mar (marine) grade or A/B Mar or B/B Mar (there is no valid marine grade domestic panel graded lower than a "B" - so if someone is selling an A/C marine panel, they are trying to pull one over on you) all of which would be close to the BS 1088 or (old) BS 6566 standards which often get tossed around when discussing wooden boats. But to save an arguement, the British Standards have more to do with the construction and durability requirements of the panel than simply the veneer quality on the faces - such that you will often see BB/BB "mahogany" panels with either BS1088 (meets all standards) or BS6566 rating (generally meets the standard but has some flaws within an allowable percentage). Over here if the panel fails to meet the marine guidelines in any respect, it's simply regraded as an exterior panel.

For a domestic panel to be rated as an A/A A/B or B/B, both face veneers must meet the "A" or "B" quality guidelines (or one A face and one B face for the A/B), inner plys can be nothing lower than B grade and all the plys must be either Douglas Fir or Western Larch that was grown in either the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana or Wyoming or the provinces of Alberta or British Columbia.

Even if the panel otherwise meets the quality standards (and there's a pile more than I indicate above), if the wood did not come from one of the recognized states or provinces, then it can not be rated as a "marine" (mar) panel - it would simply be an A/A or A/B Ext (exterior) - although once rated as Ext the interior plys can also fall to C grade.

So while an Ext panel "could" be identical to a Mar panel in terms of construction, glue, process etc (although not likely - mills don't make money by making a product vastly superior to the standard), the marine panel will always be the "finest" quality (not that, that means a whole lot anymore, but it is the best domestic panel on the market).

Yes, Plywood is "real" wood :)

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Re: US made marine plywood.

Postby sschefer » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:17 pm

Sounds like the Fir ply your finding in Oregon is Roseburg's Super Ply. Best stuff money can buy. Two things tell the story.. One, it's Fir and not Pine and two, it's made with water proof resin glue.

I redid the decks on a boat I restored with it when I found it at Home Depot for 15.00 a sheet on clearance. They had no idea what it was, it was delivered by mistake. They were expecting 3/4" Pine Exterior. Normal price was around 100.00 a sheet at that time.
Steve Schefer
Santa Rosa, Ca.

New Years Resoluiton - Never leave something for someone else to do when I should be doing it myself.

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