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post #1 of 5 Old 02-14-2005 Thread Starter
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plywood-epoxy construction

I am considering a custom 35'' sailboat constructed from plywood-epoxy. I would appreciate some insight about this type of construction. I plan to live aboard and sail from the great lakes south to the Florida keys and beyond. The boat has a shallow draft and the living space is adequate for my needs. I really want to know more about the construction and what to look for.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-14-2005
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plywood-epoxy construction

This would be a good place to start I think you will find allot of stuff on boats. Dont let the Kayak thing throw you off.
http://www.seekayak.com/Reference_Resources/Kayak_Building/Materials_and_Tools/
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-15-2005
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plywood-epoxy construction

I think that you need to provide more detail because there are a number of contruction approaches that could loosely be called "plywood-epoxy" and they vary quite widely in their quality, and durability. Epoxy saturated cold molded plywood, in which individual veneers are laid up to create a hull that is in effect a single sheet of plywood can produce one of the strongest (for its weight), low maintenance, and most durable boat building techniques that there is. At the other extreme is a boat built from sheet plywood that is sealed with unreinforced epoxy resin, which is a pretty inexpensive way to build a boat but which is not all that strong or durable. There is an extremely wide range of variations in between.

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post #4 of 5 Old 02-15-2005
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plywood-epoxy construction

You might find it worthwhile as well looking at or even joining the Wooden Boat Forum: http://woodenboat-ubb.com/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi.

Or try: http://www.messing-about.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=6dd7286a3b5106dfcf0ab5569645 7e4e

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post #5 of 5 Old 02-23-2005
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plywood-epoxy construction

I highly recommend you follow the suggestions of the previous posters and research every web site and wooden boat organization you can.

I was originally going to go exactly that route: laminated and epoxied plywood over traditionally fashioned and fastened oak framework. I was willing to accept hard chines to maintain the great strength of the plywood and ease construction. Then I discovered something very important that changed my mind.

First, when you accurately list and outline all the materials and equipment you need for a 35 foot boat, you will find that the cost of the hull and deck amount to about 1/3 of the total price. Secondly, going to the traditional ''cost savings'' methods of plywood or ferrocement construction, you only save about 1/3 the cost of the hull and deck. So, logically, the truth is, after all is said and done, you may save only 1/9 the real cost of the boat and end up with three things: a boat no-one else will buy, a boat that is very vulnerable to catastrophic failure, and a boat that performs poorly.

If it is still your wish to go that route, then I wish you all good fortune and happy sailing.

But . . . .

Let me suggest a possible alternative . . . .

I am down here in central Florida. The land of whup-ass hurricane damage, if you remember. Down here in boat storage yards everywhere, are MANY boats in the size range you''re looking for, and they are some forlorn-looking sad-sack little bunnies, just waiting for someone just like you to low-ball the owner and truck your near future dream away. While they look like the end to some, they are the beginning to others.
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