Okoume misery

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by messabout, May 27, 2006.

  1. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    I bought some 6mm and 9mm bs1088 okoume from a nearby supplier. Before buying, sight unseen, I asked questions. I was assured that 6mm was 5 ply construction and 9mm was 7 ply. After delivery I discovered that both the 6mm and the 9mm was only three ply. It had labels with a logo that said Okuply and also a mark that said Europly, along with the Marine plywood, bs1088 designation.

    Comments please ! I am not confident in this material. I think that it does have the stiffness associated with that of plywood with more plies. Does anyone have any experience with plywood of this particular construction ?

    I am not a Newbie at boat building but have not done a build in several years. Thus; I am not sure about what is available out there. Am I right to regard this stuff as suitable for carpet underlayment but not boat building ? 6mm cost was about $50/ sheet. I suspect that I may have been swindled and the BS part of the bs1088 designation might be just BS.
  2. Hunter25
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Orlando

    Hunter25 Senior Member

    Veneer count gives plywood it's strength. You got taken, return it the supplier and ask for details on the manufacture. I'm sure Lloyds would be happy to find a manufacture that is falsely placing a BS 1088 stamp on inferior stuff. This will not be the first time a mis-marked panel, which interestingly enough is always said to be better, more expensive, has floated out of a supplier. The western rim countries are real bad about this and all products coming from there should be checked closely.
  3. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    I agree, 5 ply is much more stable than 3 ply.
    You could also ask for a small sample (so you don't ruin the sheets you probably will return), and then try to boil it.

    I have used cheap plywood for interiors, okoume with spruce core, but minimum 5 ply and always tested it with boiling or two weeks in water.

    If it's not BS1088, I think 50USD per sheet is too expensive.
    On the other side, it's a bit cheap (for small quantities) if it was 5 ply and BS :)
  4. messabout
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Thanks for the input gentlemen. My supplier will be hearing from me immediately.

  5. messabout
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Reading my own original post, I note that I left out a key word. I do NOT think the 3 ply is as stiff as 5 ply. It seems that I can think faster than my fingers can type. Neither is very fast.

    Hunter25: You are in Orlando, I'm not far away. Do you have a source for respectable okoume somewhere closer than Boulter, Condon, etc... ? The bogus ply came from an outfit in Clearwater called Quality Plywood Specialties. They have all manner of sheet goods like MDO, Melamine overlay, and a substatial variety of difficult to find dimensional stock. Cherry, Bubinga, mahogany, etc, They've been around for quite a while and seemed legitimate enough in the beginning. The Romans are said to have coined a phrase that still applies....Caveat emptor.

    Raggi-Thor: Yes, the miserable stuff I have bought has a light colored core that resembles spruce. Moreover the panels are not square, and the edge cuts appear to have been done with a coarse toothed band saw and the surface plies are not sanded as well as the Bruynzeel that I used to buy.
  6. duluthboats
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    One thing to remember is that Lloyds is no longer certifying marine plywood. The standard is still there but nobody inspects it. I had a link at one time to the Lloyds standard but have lost it, I am fairly certain that 6mm is at least 5 ply. At least I have never seen marine ply less than 5 plies and I have used a bunch of 6mm, mostly maranti. The thing to worry about is the inner ply’s the same as the outer and is it free of voids. I have tested cheap exterior plywood and found it would check and warp but not delaminate. Thin plies of all the same material are important especially if you are going to trap it between layers of glass and resin, because you want something very stable that will resist expanding and contracting which will cause delamination between the wood and the glass. Be weary of anyone who tells you it is Lloyds certified and if they say it meets the Lloyds standards then ask who inspected it.

    Gary :D
  7. Oyster
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Oyster Senior Member

    Check this link out. Been there, done that, fortunately, it wasn't in my hull. But the sad thing was and is, its in a 22 foot Grey Seal, built with no expense spared. . Top of line, [supposely] and junk with a different colored label. You should remember the Joubert Okoume BS1088 Marine Plywood.

  8. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    We use 3 ply 4mm and 3mm, but that's for cold moulding or radius chines, so it's 3 layers of it.

    A large french company (Rougier) makes a decent quality plywood of okume in Gaboon. It's not to Lloyds or BS but to some French and Dutch standards, CTBX n0 49 and Komo Norm n0 32762 D Triplex.. Maybe it's not that important what standard is being used, but some kind of warranty from the producer is worth a lot. Here's their certificate:
  9. lwolstenholme
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Boulder, CO

    lwolstenholme New Member


    I'm assuming the picture of the Joubert above is a 9mm thick panel. Both 5-ply and 7-ply are allowed in the BS1088 grading rules.

    7-ply is standard production from Joubert
    9-ply is the "Super Marine" construction from Joubert

    Both panels are Lloyds of London certified. Yes, Lloyds of London does still certify marine plywood manufacturers.
    I have a copy of the Lloyds certification if anyone is interested.
  10. JR-Shine
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Vero Beach, FL

    JR-Shine SHINE

    We have 2 untis of Joubert 9mm one has 5 ply and the other 7. Both meet the standard technically. BTW, we are in Vero Beach, less than 2 hours from Orlando.


  11. VKRUE
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Central Illinois

    VKRUE Just another boat lover



    I'm no professional but, I did purchase my plywood from Boulter while making repairs to my boat and while the wood was expensive, ( $50.00 ) per sheet, I found that it was as advertised. That is to say, I ordered two pieces of 4' x 4' x 3/8" okume with 7 plies (as discribed by the sales person) and I recieved exactly what I ordered. I am very sastified with the condition of the sheets upon delivery (very well packaged) and the quality of the wood and it's plies was exceptional. I would highly recomend Boulter to anyone looking for quality marine grade wood for their project.

    Best wishes :)
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