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Is there a difference in the types of plywood for yachts?

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Is there a difference in the types of plywood for yachts?

Okoume Plywood
Okoume Plywood

So many challenges in yacht modification are solved by using plywood. It is reasonably cheap and when installed in a manner that wood rot is not going to have an impact, it performs well.

The majority of plywood coming to the Caribbean from the US is Douglas Fir. This wood type has some very positive characteristics being long grain and a high resistance to tearing. It does, however, dry out and become vulnerable to rot.

If you like this, you’ll love:

Okoume Plywood
Okoume Plywood

In Europe the common wood for boat building is Okoume (or Okoume or Gabon) which comes from Africa. The Okoume has a short grain but is easier to finish and does not swell like the Douglas Fir does. It is also said to be less vulnerable to dry rot but that is only relative. It has the distinctive advantage that it does not “swell” like Douglas Fir and turn a faired surface into a set of swells.

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With the price of US lumber having soared in recent months, the cost of Okoume which is usually much more, has become relatively more affordable.

Please send in Questions for the Experts to answer in a future issue to editor@allatsea.net 

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