Re: plywood question

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Aug 28, 2005

Dave, it just beats the heck out of me why a hue and cry is forever raised about the plywood's desperate need to be waterproof. Like you, I also 'believe that any unprotected (ply)wood (may be expected to) delaminate under water if unprotected.' Yup, yup, yup.

If the wood looks like it'll do the job, then it probably will, is my opinion. Luaun, for instance, definitely makes a fine kayak -- I've seen a few; the real downside is that it's a relative PITA to work with, doesn't bend as readily, isn't standardized worth a hoot, and ain't always pretty like okoume.

Remember, them ol' Cajuns build pirogues literally by the thousands using the crappiest construction-grade plywood you ever saw, and heck, they don't even know what epoxy is half the time! On top of that, they don't even take care of their boats the way we do -- they just slop a little more house paint on 'em now and then, maybe even get a little mud off before. And what you're proposing is several magnitudes of order above this still successful approach.

Only a small fraction of home boat builders feel confident - or adventurous - enough to do a little shadetree engineering of their own, and this is probably as it should be. But still, building boats is hardly a rocket surgery kinda thing...

Cheers, Kurt

In Response to: Re: plywood question by Dave S on Aug 28, 2005