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AA marine fir plywood

Posted by Sandy 
AA marine fir plywood
September 05, 2019 12:02PM
About 15 years ago the plywood industry changed the definition of AA Marine Fir plywood. Overnight it had fewer plies and boat builders gave up on it in disgust. Most builders use Meranti Hydrotech now, or even more expensive Sepele products.

Two things:

A) Don Tyson just built a Buffalo Boat with off the shelf construction plywood. I can tell it will be a fine boat.

B) You can still get AA Marine Fir. It's better than what Don used. It just isn't as good as it used to be.

My local lumber yard told me I could have AA Marine Fir for about 40 bucks a sheet, but the cost of shipping would probably double that. The salesman then told me he could probably get a few sheets in for no extra shipping at all.............if I was willing to wait until their next big plywood order. He'd ask his wholesaler to put a few sheets of AA Marine Fir on top of the next truckload. "We don't buy that much plywood anymore," he said. It's all wafer board these days. We get a plywood shipment in about once a month."

So I ordered 6 sheets of 1/4" inch and waited a month. I've been using it for plugs, where a plug is like a boat shaped concrete form, and not the actual boat. Anyway, after seeing Don's boat I realize you could make a fine Stitch and Glue style boat with a Plascore bottom and AA Marine Fir for side panels and seats.

If you want to make a traditional framed boat where no fiberglass is involved you should probably stick with Meranti Hydrotech, or better. But for a ribless stitch and glue boat AA Marine Fir is a viable alternative, especially when matched with a Plascore bottom.
Re: AA marine fir plywood
September 05, 2019 01:32PM
Interesting info for someone about to source materials.....thanks Sandy
Re: AA marine fir plywood
September 06, 2019 11:26AM
Just to be clear. I had a different motive in mind when I built with pine ply. From previous experience I knew it would work to a poor but cost effective standard and it would suffice for me to see if Drift boating was for me in my arthritic state. As I suspected it works well as I can sit nice and straight and comfy. Now I won't mind taking time on the next build and making an nicer model out of the proper materials.
Sandy's advise is sound and I am not advocating the use of Plytanium Sheathing. it just worked for my little experiment and I have a nice little boat out of the experiment.
Re: AA marine fir plywood
September 11, 2019 06:06PM

I just had to share this. I had heard that people were using the 1/4" Birch Purebond Plywood for Driftboat sides. I was skeptical and I had trouble trusting that rumor. Recently I had a call from the fellow that is selling Don Hill Boat Plans and he mentioned it in passing, he said something like he had heard of good results. I am interested in wether anyone has tried using this Purebond Birch as it is only $29/sheet. I hope a number of you will comment on this. I did allot of reading of research papers going way back (boring) and I selected the one above for easy and comprehensive reading.
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