adhering plywood to fiberglass - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2009
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adhering plywood to fiberglass

I have a '75 Islander 28. The ply has delamenated due to leakage @ the ports. We have removed all the ply from inside & have cut new ply to replace with. I can't seem to get an answer on what type of adhesive to use. The ply is teak veneer & will be applied to fiberglass. Any answers?
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Old 10-08-2009
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West System would be my choice. Easy to use, found everywhere, waterproof, tough as nails. Great general use epoxy for boats.

Bill
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Is the plywood exterior? West System has worked well for me, soak it well. Your might want to add a little filler to make sure all gaps all filled.
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Old 10-08-2009
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There are several possible routes on this. First, how much do you want to spend on a '75 Islander 28? The original material delaminated due to leakage at the ports. Have you fixed the leaking ports? It is also notoriously difficult to stick plywood to fiberglass. The fiberglass keeps moisture in the wood from drying out helping to promote rot, and the plywood swells and shrinks as the moisture comes and goes, and the bond ends up breaking. Plywood is often glued and screwed to fiberglass in order to keep the wood in place when the glue joint fails. With this in mind, one possible route could be to use panel or tile adhesive, spread with a notched trowel, and some screws for good measure. Even if it doesn't last long, it's cheap, and would be easily fixed if necessary. A longer-lasting bond would be likely with epoxy. You probably would want to thicken it up a touch so it doesn't drip all over everywhere and need to be sanded off other unintended surfaces. Getting the pieces in the exact right places and holding them until the epoxy sets will be like juggling twelve plates on sticks. When the bond lets go, it will likely fail in one place, but not another. This will make replacing the plywood an intriguing exercise. How good are you at scarfing interior joinery... in place? Ripping out the sections that are still stuck (to avoid having to cut scarfs) may damage the fiberglass underlaying it. To make it less likely that the plywood swells and shrinks due to moisture, breaking the glue bond, you can encapsulate it in epoxy first. This gets expensive. You have to do every side of every piece, especially any endgrain. Two coats (perhaps three on the ends) should do it. Make sure you're working in a low humidity space, and that the plywood is nice and dry too. Moisture outgassing from the plywood can cause haze in the epoxy which has to be sanded out. Sanding epoxy is not fun. Don't ask why I know this. When your pieces are all encapsulated, you can use epoxy (thickened) to glue them in place. If you trim anything for a better fit, don't forget to re-encapsulate where you cut. So, there you have three options. There are probably lots of others. Among them would be 3m5200, 3m 4200, sikaflex... you get the idea. Good luck.
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The existing 1/4" ply appeared to have been oil stained on the interior face.The ports are being replaced,thats the rub.The interior trim rings will be cut to match the hull thickness,including said ply. Would a one part urathene glue (i.e. Gorilla) be a feasible?
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When you said you took ALL the plywood out of the boat, anyone reading your post was right to assume you meant ALL the plywood. Like the bulkheads.

If all you're talking about is some quarter inch paneling, that's another matter entirely. By the way, some clarity would have been useful.

You're still probably going to be well served with epoxy, as it will give a tough, waterproof bond without needing a lot of clamping.

You could use something like a one part glue, but you'd probably have trouble exerting enough clamping pressure. Also, you can rely on epoxy giving you a good bond to both fiberglass and wood. It's not hard to work with.
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I'd seal the surface to be glued with straight epoxy and before it's totally set use thickened epoxy to attach to cabin side. Best to dry fit it first and plan how to hold it there until the epoxy sets - overnite. If you're lucky there will be a few places where you can use screws into something other than the fibreglass cabin side. Where you have to apply pressure to get it to stay cut scraps of wood long enough to brace it to something else in the cabin. Good luck.
Brian
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