Re: plywood question

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Sep 11, 2005

You're welcome. In the S&G technique, fiberglass primarily serves to strengthen the connections between the plywood panels, as plywood is quite strong all by itself.

But in our specific case, it also bolsters the integrity of the plywood considerably since we use pretty thin stock; and we use thin plywood in order to get the flex required to bend our panels into a boat shape. Light weight is a happy by-product of the S&G technique as we practice it here.

If you believe your plywood is strong enough to handle the job without fiberglass sheathing (thicker than 4mm okoume), then your limitation becomes the amount of flex in it. Can you make it bend the way it's gonna have to in order to stitch up properly?

In theory, you could build a CLC kayak out of 1/4" plywood and use no fiberglass at all. Of course, there'd be other problems... perhaps you need taped seams since shaping a chine log to fit the oblique angles might be a little tedious, for instance, and this assumes you actually presuaded the plywood to bend correctly in the first place.

Cheers, Kurt

In Response to: Re: plywood question by Alvin John on Sep 10, 2005