Boat Building Materials

Boat Building Materials

Boat Building Materials

There are many different materials that can be used to build a boat. I have already talked about plywood as one method, however you can also use aluminum, fiberglass, wooden planks and even steel as an option to when building your boat.

When creating a boat out of plywood make sure you choose marine grade as this type has more water resistant qualities. You will still have to cover the boat with epoxy to seal the wood. It is also a good idea to do this both inside and out side the boat as water does tend to go everywhere.

There is also a very good reason that many professional boat builders use plywood in their construction. This is because plywood is actually stronger that steel…

Amazing but when you consider it on a weight basis it is. You have to remember that plywood is numerous different thin sheets of wood glued together. Each sheet is glued with its grain at right angles for greater strength. There are usually an odd number of plies, as the symmetry makes the board less prone to warping. As plywood is lighter, stronger and cheaper than steel it really does become a great contender for the amateur boat builder.

Some of the properties of plywood are:

  • resistance to cracking
  • resistance to shrinkage
  • resistance to twisting/warping
  • a general high degree of strength
  • can be manufactured in sheets far wider than the trees from which it was made.

Fiberglass over rigid foam is another material regularly used for boat building, however is reserved more for professionals who intend to create multiple units at once.

This type of construction is lighter than plywood as the strength and weight mainly comes from the fiberglass coating and not the bulky interior. There are a lot of boat builders who have also used a plywood base and used a fibreglass coating. This is instead of a resin finish. There are goods reasons for this such as more durability and added strength.

When deciding on the final material to use for your boats construction, the most important thing to consider is how the boat wil actually be used. This includes where you will be mainly boating, the weather conditions and the surface. Rougher waters will require a stronger design and build method, while on a calm surface, like a lake, a lighter body and material could easily be used.

Obviously you might not want a boat constructed with a foam shell on large open water. And you wouldn’t need a boat constructed out of steel on smaller lakes. Yes there are many decisions you need to make when building a boat.

When you start out by designing your boat using any of the 3D boat design software that is on the market you should receive some hints and tips and maybe even already created plans. This will help you immensely with the building process, especially if you are a novice.

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