I wrote a letter today to CAN-PLY an organization that heads up standards for all the plywood manufacturers in the US and Canada. So from there I went to the modern version of that company and found the US representative for their association and wrote a letter about their R&D program and the way they let boat builders down when we helped them become giant companies so here is a copy of the letter I wrote to that companies Rep with a cc (carbon copy) to Duckworks Magazine. Please believe me when I say I am not asking but begging that you spend some R&D money to bring out a new less expensive sheet product that is designed for the home boat builder.
Thank you for your time and I apologies for my rantings but we have been and still are a good market that has been ignored for some time. Who knows if it could help but if we got a grass roots effort going and you readers would email this person we could make the plywood industry that we helped build give us some new less expensive marine grade sheet products if they knew we would buy them in mass quantities.
The same type boat like the fisherman’s launch by Bolger, a little longer with a smaller 150 hp motor would go the same speed and cost less than one-third the cost to build and out fit from plywood and buy the motor with all the steering and motor controls. A juried contest of films celebrating the heritage, spirit of adventure, and ingenuity of boats and waterborne pursuits. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, hosts a tribute to the hand-crafted wooden boats that made Louisiana’s maritime history and culture unique. I read the history of these plans and the PMBC and found out that they sold plans from William and John Atkin, John Garden and other Naval Architects for only $1.00 to promote the use of plywood for home boat builders.
I have people from Canada, Mexico and the USA write me trying to find inexpensive good plywood for boat building that is made in the Americas today. It would also hold more people and could be used to ski or fish but at a much lower starting cost.
250 Laurie McGowan considered three different hull shapes when developing the concept for a home-buildable sit-on-top fishing kayak.
Hundreds of boats will line the banks of the Tchefuncte River as over 30,000 attendees enjoy wooden boats, music, activities, and cajun cuisine.


They actually started the home boat building craze just after WW2 and finally stopped supporting the home boat builders in the middle 1970’s. I have columns that deal with new tools for the boat building industry and mainly homemade boats.
Unlike a few decades ago when your organization was called PMBC and you catered to the home boat building market you now seem to have left us out in the cold like a step child. I have done the boil testing and marine plywood from the Americas when you can find it is very sub par and as expensive as imported plywood. Sure, the housing industry will always use more plywood but that doe not mean we don’t need any.
The last plastic boat show I went to I stepped onto a 35 foot cabin cruiser that cost twice the amount of my house I bought in Klamath falls and it had to be put in a marina because it was 10 feet wide. The Wooden Boat Festival funds the dynamic educational programs of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum and restoration of the Tchefuncte River Lighthouse.
You would be very surprised at the number of boat building projects that are completed each year in Canada the United States and South America by homebuilders. Believe me when I say there is a market and if you came out with a good, less expensive marine glue panel, I would announce it and sing its praises in every boat building shop around the world!
In the last five years I have seen an increase of home boat builders like when plywood first came on the market. If they get thousands of emails from boat builders and high school shops, they just might build some new plywood products for us.
This is a market virtually ignored lately by the Can-Ply marketers and no new products for this application have been made in nearly 40 years. You folks once sold boat-building plans by now famous marine architects like Edwin Monk, William and John Atkin and other famous naval architects.


There are many things that could be done with new marine grade plywood such as epoxy bonding or UHMW overlays on one side for boats that work from a beach. I think that if they created a good inexpensive plywood with a rot resistant chemical used in the production and some good glue we could have a new boat-building era for home boats. I think we need to have an email campaign from all you readers as well as this writer and all the boat-building magazines together.
In fact, every year we find less suitable products for our use and the different sized sheets of plywood once available have disappeared.
Now sub divisions and custom homes have taken all the wood away from the boats that supported plywood in the early days. What type of people can afford to buy that type of boat and then let it sit in a marina for months on end without going out in it? We have a big voice if we join together and after all, we helped build the plywood market in its infancy. Oversized sheets that I could buy in 1985 are no longer available and the quality of once good plywood now is filled with inferior wood and there is no end to the amount of hidden voids inside the sheets of plywood sold by the companies you represent. Finally, a special inexpensive marine plywood that would be treated with rot inhibitors made especially for fiberglass epoxy overlay. I know the price of wood has gone up but you could use this specialty market as much as boat builders could use the product. The surprising thing is that in California, Florida, and other shore states there are millions of these boats docked and sitting.



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