Plywood for woodduck

I am about to start my second woodduck. The first one is from a kit and it's underway. For this second one I got the plans and am building from scratch. 

I am thinking of using 2 plywoods for the hull.  The bottom panels will be a 3mm Sapele and the upper panels would be a 4mm okoume.   I'll try to keep the seam on the outside smooth and the 1mm lip on the inside.  Does anyone see any problem with this - has anyone ever done this before?  Suggestions?

This weekend I am going to cut out the panels.  Some instructions say to draw the lines in pinpricks or use a fabric spur and some instructions say to glue the paper to the plywood and cut/sand down to the line.  The glue-the-paper-to-the-wood method appeals to me.  Does anyone have a recommendation. 

Thanks to eveyone for your help.



5 replies:

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RE: Plywood for woodduck

I have no recommendations for the plywood questions, but I did make a Wood Duck from plans.  I used blue tracing paper (a long roll, purchased at an art store, if you do a Google search on Saral Transfer Paper roll you can find what I used).  I taped the plans to the plywood in a few spots, moving the long roll of tracing paper under the plans as needed to get each pattern traced.  The roll held up for all the tracing I needed for the entire boat. The blue showed up pretty well on the Okume; you might want a lighter color for Sapele (I think it came in yellow also).

I also used the One Ocean Kayaks method of making mirror pieces so you only need to trace half the matching pieces, and cut two exact replicas at once (hull bottom and upper panels, sides of deck panels):

I cut slightly wide of the traced lines with a jigsaw and used a block plane (or sandpaper on inside curves) to get back to the exact traced lines. 

(P.S.  I do have one comment on the plywood question - I personally really like the way Sapele looks, so I would use it for the deck if I had a choice instead of hiding it on the bottom of the hull.  But it's obviously a matter of personal preference) 

Have fun with your builds!

RE: Plywood for woodduck

Call CLC tech support for advice about the wood. I think you may get into trouble doing what you're proposing, but they can tell you for sure.

I'm concerned because sapele is brittle and splintery compared to okoume and the bottom panels have some pretty severe twist. CLC should be able to tell you if it's within the realm of possibility for sapele and and special tricks that you may need.


RE: Plywood for woodduck

My daughter and I built a Ganymede with an okuome hull and sapele deck. We used the same transfer paper technique as KathyD. You can see photos and narrative at

We found that although the sapele is thinner, it is notably stiffer than the 4mm okuome. I agree with Lazlo that it would be a bear to twist it as required for the Wood Duck hull. It is also heavier and twice the cost.


RE: Plywood for woodduck

If my memory is correct, for my Duck kit I ordered, I was given Sapele for the deck and okoume for the hull.



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