It may seem counter-intuitive to use plywood in moist or wet conditions, but wood has a long history of use in aquatic applications (like boats!). Here at Capitol City Lumber, our marine-grade plywood may look like ordinary hardwood plywood, but it has a few key differences that play a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity of the wood. Let’s delve into some of the details that make marine plywood a smart option, especially in coastal areas and greater moisture applications.

What Is Marine Grade Plywood?

Marine plywood is a more dense version of normal plywood with thinner layers that have virtually zero space between them to prevent trapped moisture. These layers are then adhered together with waterproof glue. Although the wood is constructed to be resistant to moisture, Marine grade plywood is not treated and still needs to be sealed with a marine grade sealer or fiberglass to further protect it from direct exposure to moisture.

Advantages of Marine Grade Plywood

The main advantage of marine plywood is increased longevity in moist applications. When properly sealed, it can last two or three times as long as normally constructed plywood. This means less time spent reconstructing and a lot less money spent on supplies to replace the wood later on.

Common Applications

In everyday situations, the increase in cost to get marine grade plywood is hard to justify, and rightfully so- there are few reasons to use it in permanently dry conditions. However, the thin sheets make marine grade plywood a popular and practical choice for boat building and furniture construction. If someone lived in a costal area like, for instance, Wilmington, North Carolina Its resistance to moisture and the absence of voids make it an excellent choice for everyday applications. This wood excels ensuring that your projects stand the test of time, but it’s up to the builder to identify when and how to use it.

Understanding the Types

1. Baltic Birch Marine Plywood

One of Capitol City Lumber’s offerings is the Baltic Birch Marine Plywood, where each ply is a solid sheet – no voids, no gaps. Crafted with Baltic Birch plys all the way through, a wood species renowned for its durability, this plywood is the go-to choice for building boats and boat parts. Applying waterproof glue ensures a strong and lasting bond, making it a good quality and virtually void-free option for marine projects. Whether you’re constructing furniture or engaged in home improvement, this plywood is an excellent choice, providing a durable foundation with a strong protective finish.

Graphic of Baltic Birch Marine Plywood for sale at Capitol City Lumber Company in Raleigh

2. Okoume or Aquatek Meranti

Crafted from the Okoume tree, known for its uniform texture and elegant grain, this plywood showcases craftsmanship at its finest. Our Okoume or Aquatek Meranti plywood comes in 4’ x 8’ two-sided marine grade panels. Rated A/B grade, it’s available in ½ and ¾ inch thicknesses. Priced competitively at $179 for ¾ inch, this plywood boasts a balance of quality and affordability.

What is Okoume Plywood?

Pronounced oh-kuh-mey, Okoume is an African hardwood found in the Congo, Gabon, and Africa’s equatorial Guinea. Often called Okoume Mahogany, it offers a pinkish-brown or pale-red hue, bringing both strength and sophistication to your projects. Not pressure-treated, it relies on its core composition of pine, poplar, or hardwood for strength.

Ideal for marine applications and woodworking, Okoume plywood is lightweight and versatile. While it lacks inherent pressure treatment, it compensates with a durable core. Seal it with marine primer and varnish for enhanced durability, especially in marine settings where exposure to the elements is inevitable.

What is Aquatek Meranti?

Adding unparalleled quality to our marine-grade plywood selection, Aquatek Meranti surpasses standard options with its exceptional machining properties, impeccable nailing and screw-holding capabilities, and superior durability. Crafted for boat building excellence, this multi-ply marine plywood features face and inner plies constructed from whole-piece, color-matched Meranti or Keruing veneers. The WBP (phenolic) waterproof and boil-proof glue ensures a resilient bond, while its “Durable” rating guarantees longevity in marine environments. Whether for boat construction or woodworking projects, Aquatek Meranti stands as a testament to quality and reliability, offering a sound investment for projects demanding resilience.

3. Hechthout Okoume

The Hechthout Okoume earns its distinction with an AA grade and meticulous construction. Hechthout® Okoume Marine Plywood, heralded as one of the finest marine-grade plywoods, boasts exceptional weather and water resistance, making it a trusted choice for construction and boatbuilding over the decades. Featuring an A-grade surface on both sides and A-grade plys through all layers, it provides a clear face and a solid, void-free foundation, ensuring the highest quality. Available in 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ thicknesses, this plywood is not only extremely smooth but also versatile – ready to take on stain, veneer, paint, or fiberglass beautifully. Whether you need full 4×8 sheets, partial redi-cut sheets in stock at our location, or a convenient online purchase, Hechthout Okoume Marine Plywood is your assurance of top-notch quality for marine projects.

Where Can I Buy Marine Plywood?

The best place to buy marine grade plywood is our local lumber yard, Capitol City Lumber in Raleigh, North Carolina. understands the unique requirements of marine projects. Our marine grade plywood, constructed with waterproof glue for enhanced durability, stands as a testament to our commitment to quality. In comparison to regular plywood, our marine plywood is virtually void-free, making it the smart option for any marine application.

Need Marine Plywood? Give Us a Call.

Our marine plywood is a cut above the rest. Choose the smart option, choose reliability – choose marine grade plywood from Capitol City Lumber. Ready to elevate your marine projects with the best plywood on the market? Explore the marine plywood options offered by Capitol City Lumber today. Contact us at 919.832.6492 or contact us online to request a quote.