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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 10-11-2008
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what up with the plywood?

I looked at a boat today with plywood partitions under the sole of the cabin and under the cockpit. These partitions (bulkheads?) were tabbed in but not covered in fiberglass. The area inder the cockpit is basically a bilge, so this plywood is wet all the time, causing the tabbing to delaminate. The plywood is wet but not rotten. Is this typical construction? This is the second boat of this make/model (1973 DS 20) that is built this way.

Eric
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Old 10-11-2008
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It is more common than people would like to believe BUT look how long it lasted


It is a massive problem on power boats even some of the better ones
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Probably built cheap as day sailors, designed to be hauled up and stored in racks overnight and cheap enough for camp classes.
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Old 10-11-2008
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To fix, let it dry out for a couple months, cut the tabbing and retab? Then coat the plywood with epoxy?

Eric
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a few words, the first coat Penetrating Epoxy, than build it up with regular epoxy
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Old 10-11-2008
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Boy...wet all the time?..Plywood just does not belong in this environment no matter what you do to it...sorry but sounds like a major design flaw to me..

Bay-liner boats has a horrible reputation just for this reason. I have owned 3 of them and all suffer from ply delamination and rot.
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agreed power boats are worse

first power boat I owned had the 'bilge' under the sole with a small well for draining aft. when I repowered the old enging slipped off the hoist and came crashing down onto the sole and messed up the ply. First plan was to just repair the damage by inserting a section large enough to catch the stringers, but as soon as I started cutting I found mold and crap, found that everything in there was plywood, and nothing was sealed in any way, roughly half the stringers were tabbed in, the rest were screwed to those,or the 'backbone' and the sole was just screwed to the stringers and caulked at the perimeter. Everything was soft enough that you could delaminate it with your fingernails.
Boat at the time was about 6 years old.
I ended up spnding a month on that boat making everything from the sole down out of marine ply, and encapsulating it and tabbing everything together on the subassembly. Totally changed the behavior of the boat, and reduced maintenance a bit because a lot of things that used to work loose and get wobbly stayed solid, seats, engine cover and so on, figure the 'loose' floor system allowed everything to shift and wobble, when I redid it it acted as a single unit.

My Ariel has a couple 'open' pywood panels under the cockpit, and an unsealed area above the bilge, but I'm willing to leave it sit, as at 43 the plywood still looks as good as new.

Ken.
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Yeah I agree with most everyone else, figure out some way to seal it and go sailing!
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Do something to fix it.
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