When considering whether or not you need marine grade plywood for your next project, you’ll want to keep in mind the types of projects which people typically complete using this plywood grade (see Part 1). The first thing that would come to mind when you think of marine-grade plywood would be boat building. But is marine-grade plywood only necessary for boat building? You may be surprised at the answer to this logical question.
Marine-Grade Plywood is the Ideal Choice for Boat Building
Some of the qualities that make marine grade plywood so perfect for boat building is its ability to bend, resistance to water, and the overall look of the boards. A water resistance standard of BS 1088 or above is necessary for boat building if you want your boat to stand the test of time. There also needs to be a high level of consistency in the face of plywood that is used in marine applications. This is important because these surfaces will need to be overlaid with either fiberglass or a decking veneer. With many boat constructions, the weight of the plywood will be high on the list of important considerations.
Marine-Grade or Exterior Grade May Work for Exterior Structures, Depending on Their Location
You may be well aware that marine-grade plywood is best for boat building. But what about exterior building projects? Though they aren’t subjected to quite as unforgiving of conditions as marine structures, exterior structures still have to endure plenty of adverse weather conditions. Where these structures are going to be located can make a big difference in determining whether you should use exterior grade or marine grade plywood for your project.
If you’re building a house or commercial building that is going to be right near the seaside, you may want to incorporate some marine grade plywood into the structure, but it’s not as crucial as it is for boat building. That’s because it won’t require the same degree of water resistance. For example, except in extreme circumstances, the structure won’t be submerged into the water the way a boat would. Because of this environmental distinction, you could get by with allowing some voids in the plywood you use for the exterior structure as opposed to what you would use for a boat that will frequently be submerged in water.
You also don’t need to worry as much about the look of the plywood when using it to build an exterior structure, because in this application the plywood will usually get covered up with either composite materials or exterior softwoods or hardwoods. If you do opt for marine grade plywood for a seaside structure, which is recommended, you may be able to get away with a lower quality marine grade product than you would want to use for building a boat.
Normally, when it comes to marine grade plywood, the better the quality, the higher the price. That’s why it’s so critical to discover the different factors that play into determining which product will give you optimal performance at the best price. Rather than approaching a lumber dealer and simply asking for marine-grade plywood, let them know exactly what type of application you have in mind. Then they’ll be able to help you choose a product that will meet your needs without unnecessarily increasing your budget. If you choose an experienced, honest plywood dealer, they’ll be able to assist you in selecting the ideal product for your project.