Where can I find quality marine ply

Discussion in 'Materials' started by gschloms, May 22, 2011.

  1. gschloms
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    gschloms Gustav

    I have plans to cold mold a Francis 26 using 3mm marine ply. I obviously want to purchase the best ply available (for the hull itself), but so far the only decent ply I can find is from Robbins timber in the UK. The price for one sheet of "Super Elite" ply is almost GBP 95.00 ($153.00), which is incredibly expensive. This ply is also 4mm thick, 1mm more than I should use.

    Can anyone recommend a U.S supplier that can ship me an equivalent quality ply 3mm (1/8th) thick, hopefully at a price that won't leave me bankrupt.
  2. Crag Cay
    Joined: May 2006
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    Firstly, why cold mold with strips of plywood? I always think it's perverse that a manufacturer should stick strips of veneer together to make a solid sheet and then you come along and saw it up to make strips of veneer. Why not just use veneers? Have you costed these from Robbins? They have the advantage of all the wood fibres being orientated in a useful direction, unlike strips of ply.

    Secondly, be absolutely convinced that this is a project you want to see through to fruition. Be under no illusion that this is an insane way to get yourself a Francis 26. If you are drawn to the project because you have decided that you want this to dominate your life for the next umpteen years and are happy to spend a fortune building something that will never be worth a fraction of what you have spent, then go a head.

    If however you just want a Francis 26, then buy one in brokerage for mid £20K.
    Or spend £25k on something better.
    2 people like this.
  3. gschloms
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    gschloms Gustav

    sucker for punishment

    Hello Crag.

    I do agree this will take a considerable amount of time. I have heard about the divorces, and I've seen the unfinished boats for sale. I have worked this out quite carefully though. I have attended a wooden boat building college in the UK, and I'm now halfway through my Westlawn diploma. My plan was to hire qualified help (at least two chaps) for the first 6 months, which should see the hull and hopefully a little more completed.

    The reasons for choosing ply were firstly to comply with the designers spec, and secondly its predictable weight and strength characteristics.

    Robbins Timber must have a huge markup on their ply. I would then still have to import it and pay duties on that too. If you know where I can source similar quality ply at respectable prices I'd be happy to hear from you.

    Thanks - Gustav
  4. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    I hate to burst your bubble but there no reasonable price for good quality marine plywood. It's all horribly expensive. Good luck.
  5. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Importing from the US doesnt seem an efficient way to go.

    You could contact Joubert in France ( just over the border ) for quality marine ply http://www.joubert-group.com/contact.php

    Saint-Jean d’Angély

    Rue Lafaurie
    17416 St-Jean d'Angely Cedex
    Tél. +33 (0)5 46 32 20 37
    Fax +33 (0)5 46 32 26 15

    I pay $AU90 ($60 pounds) for 4mm Joubert Ply shipped to Australia, so you should be able to do a lot better.

    Take a trailer on the ferry and come back with a boatload.
  6. gschloms
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    gschloms Gustav

    Excellent, thank you!

    Now this is the information I was looking for. Their ply looks excellent. I've tried so many google searches, and never came up with this company. I'll email for specs on the material i need.
  7. wrbowcal
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    wrbowcal Junior Member

    It is ridiculously expensive so much so I cant use it on my project,$265.00 CDN for 3/4" a sheet.I try to make up for it by soaking fir plywood with resin on a slow cure first, sand after and lots of fiberglass and gelcoat.
  8. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    I tried to EDIT my original post, but it failed t update ( this has been happening a lot lately).

    I meant to add that I have never seen Joubert advertise less than 4mm ply
  9. Boat Design Net Moderator
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    Boat Design Net Moderator Moderator

    When you have a moment, please PM me with the browser, exact browser version and OS you're running so I can see if I can reproduce and resolve this. Thanks in advance.
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Plywood molding is a logical method and takes advantage of the pre-layered veneers, even if they too have to be applied in strips. On a not so distant build, I used the Ashcroft method, a double layer of 3 mm plywood. This was considerably faster then 3, 4 or 5 separate layers of veneer, each having to be applied only after the previous layer had been completed (or nearly so). It also permitted me to use a mold with much greater spacing then possible with a typical veneer mold, saving setup costs and effort. Lastly on this point, because I elected to use the Ashcroft method instead of a opposing diagonal molding technique, I could apply both layers at the same time, substantially reducing planking time and effort.

    As to the sources of marine grade plywood in Europe, my contacts are fairly old and probably not reliable, but this said any reputable lumber dealer, can order your plywood needs from their suppliers and place it on the next shipment out of their plant to your lumber supplier. I've done this many times, with exotic woods from all over the world, plywood is no different. If you can manage to make friends with these people, you'll also have the advantage of their purchasing power and quantity price breaks.
  11. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Hi Mr Moderator

    I tried to attach my browser info image FYI in a PM message, but there is no upload facility.

    So II put this entry in the orginal thread.

    It seemed to start happening when I installed the latest version.

    Also, I was getting strange things happening to the cursor when typing into the message after editing - it wouldnt click into the middle of a line or at the end.



    Attached Files:

  12. Sand crab
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Sand crab Junior Member

    How big

    I was just wondering if ply in the rest of the world is 4'X8' as it is here in the US. And what do you metricons call it over there. BOB
  13. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Not quite, Sand Crab. I can attest that the Okoume I get from Europe is larger than 4x8, but just a tad larger... (measurements are not at the top of my head right now)
  14. Aharon
    Joined: May 2011
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    Aharon Junior Member

    gschloms, I am expecting a reply from this supplier in India:
    Contact Details
    Rakhee Aluminium
    Mr. C. Mangalchand ( Proprietor )
    No. 71, Newpet, M. G. Road
    Hosur, Tamil Nadu - 635 109, India
    Email : rakheeagh@gmail.com
    Telephone : +(91)-(4344)-242173
    Mobile : +(91)-9487122288

    I only got to them after typing "aviation marine-grade plywood" (I used it in airmodels in the past). They produce it is as thin as 3mm.
    My idea is to cover a birdsmouth mast with two opposite layers of 3mm thick plywood cut in stripes, glued to the finished mast as an helicoid.
    I will keep you posted after they reply to me (I wrote them just two days ago).

  15. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    In Australia, we often get smaller sizes.

    8' = 2.43 metres (243cm)
    4' = 1.21 metres (121cm)

    some sheets (MDF, particle board and ply) come in 2400 x 1200 sizes.

    Joubert are better - they supply in 2500 x 1220 - which is more than 8 x 4, which many cnc machines cant fully use.

    It can be a nusiance if you planned for the extra length
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