You can get plywood in many different qualities and versions. The price differs a lot depending on what you choose. The different plywood grades are normally designate in accordance with the surfaces and the core.
The most superior plywood for boat building is of course marine plywood. For a large variety of applications it is excellent but for some applications it might be overkill to use marine plywood.
For most backyard and home build boats it is fully acceptable to use exterior grade plywood. It is always recommended to prime the plywood with epoxy resin in order to make the plywood moister resistant.
I have for many of my own boats used cheap Brazilian plywood in grade B/C and it has worked fine without any problems. Below you can see the different grades for plywood. The B/C grade means that one side is B-grade and the other is C-grade.
Beside the grades it’s also possible to get plywood with a specified surface veneers. This means that you can have the plywood with whatever you prefer, mahogany, birch, teak, ash, beech etc on top. One thing though, this won’t make your plywood cheaper buying with some special veneers on top 🙂
And there is still more to plywood than this… In the last part of this series I will give you a overview about the different grades you can typically find in your lumberyard.
Happy boat building,
Morten Olesen, Naval Architect