Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-01-2012, 08:39   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
StarBoard vs Marine Plywood ?

One of my winter projects is to make my lazarette space neater and more usable. I'll be building a "floor" to transform the curves, humps, and lumps of stringers and hull into storage space. I also expect to build some shelves on top of this floor in various locations.

I plan to make the floor out of removable sections to preserve access to the hull beneath, and cut holes or slots in the floors to provide ventilation. The question is which material to use, in particular choosing between marine plywood and StarBoard?

The plus side for plywood is that I know its strength and have a good sense of what thickness to use across the various spans involved (up to 18" or so). I'd use 3/4" if I want it really stiff, or 1/2" or 5/8" if I feel I can tolerate more flex. The down side is that I'd want to epoxy seal it, then Awlgrip it for a maintainable, white finish to match other finishes in the boat. That's a lot of work, and it's work I hate.

I really like the idea of StarBoard since it requires no finishing and is not subject to rot. But I don't have a good sense of what thickness to use for the spans involved. Although I won't be living on top of these spans, I need to be able to crawl around over them without damage or feeling like I'm about to damage them.

I'd love to hear from others who have experience with this stuff. Would you use like-size StarBoard in place of plywood? A size thicker? A size thinner? Or do something completely different?
__________________

__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 08:48   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,062
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

Starboard is not as stiff as plywood. For "gut feel", think of its qualities as similar to cutting boards made from plastic. Its likely to sag if you place heavy weight on it long term. You can add supports beneath by screwing on vertical stiffeners of Starboard where needed.
__________________

__________________
SailFastTri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 08:52   #3
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
One of my winter projects is to make my lazarette space neater and more usable. I'll be building a "floor" to transform the curves, humps, and lumps of stringers and hull into storage space. I also expect to build some shelves on top of this floor in various locations.

I plan to make the floor out of removable sections to preserve access to the hull beneath, and cut holes or slots in the floors to provide ventilation. The question is which material to use, in particular choosing between marine plywood and StarBoard?

The plus side for plywood is that I know its strength and have a good sense of what thickness to use across the various spans involved (up to 18" or so). I'd use 3/4" if I want it really stiff, or 1/2" or 5/8" if I feel I can tolerate more flex. The down side is that I'd want to epoxy seal it, then Awlgrip it for a maintainable, white finish to match other finishes in the boat. That's a lot of work, and it's work I hate.

I really like the idea of StarBoard since it requires no finishing and is not subject to rot. But I don't have a good sense of what thickness to use for the spans involved. Although I won't be living on top of these spans, I need to be able to crawl around over them without damage or feeling like I'm about to damage them.

I'd love to hear from others who have experience with this stuff. Would you use like-size StarBoard in place of plywood? A size thicker? A size thinner? Or do something completely different?

Starboard is very strong for its relative thickness (it comes in various thicknesses) but is expensive compared to plywood. However, you won't have to awlgrip it or anything, which is really, really good, because NOTHING sticks to awlgrip. Don't imagine screwing and gluing. The glue won't stick. Because of that, it can be very hard to work with for someone like me with limited carpentry skills.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 08:57   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Lancerbye's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ladysmith,BC, Vancouver Island , Canada
Boat: Lancer 44 Motorsailer
Posts: 1,758
Images: 32
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

There is going to be a big price difference between Starboard and marine plywood. Starboard is expensive and is not normally used for floor boards, however if you have lots of cash to spare 3/4 in Starboard would work.
__________________
The basis of accomplishment is in never quitting
Mengzi Meng-tse
Lancerbye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 09:50   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 793
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

Wow, thanks for the quick replies. I just did a quick pricing check and it looks like StarBoard is between 3x and 5x the cost of marine plywood for the raw material. Based on a swag at the quantity of material for my project, I'd guess the material cost difference to be $500 to $750. For that $500 to $750 extra for StarBard, as soon as I build everything I'm done. With plywood, I still have lots of work to do. From the limited experience I have Awlgripping both raw fiberglass and raw wood, I'd need a coat of Interprotect or similar as a base/primer coat, followed by at least 3 coats of Awlgrip, probably more. The Awlgrip goes on very thin and tends to be very thin around corners and on verticals, requiring lots of thin coats to get good coverage. Deciding this part is very specific to an individual's skills, likes, dislikes, and what things they are willing to pay for rather than do themselves. To not have to finish a pile of floor boards, shelves, etc. over the course of about 5 days, is worth every penny of $500-$750 for me. But that's just me.

The structural part is what I need to sort out. I have a piece of 1/2 starboard left over from another project, and I think I'll try temporarily fitting it across one of the spans, and resume other work in the area and just see how it holds up. The StarBoard is very different (much stronger) than the plastic wood trim commonly used on houses now. The house stuff is very droopy and would not work for this.

But as I write this, I wonder about making the floor sections out of plastic decking material? The boat has lots of teak floor grates, and maybe I could do something similar made from decking material? I'll have to think some more about that.
__________________
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 09:56   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

Half-inch starboard is VERY STRONG. I doubt you'll need thicker material for your project.

But, hey, you can test it. Put the piece you have on the floor, put books or something else strong under each end, and jump on it!

I've used starboard in several lockers in my boat to replace rotted and rotting marine plywood. It's very easy to work with and lasts forever.

Just don't try to glue anything to it, as was said before. Screw it in place if you have to. Drills easily. Use a countersink.

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:02   #7
Registered User
 
Duke 48's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Western KY
Boat: Morgan 321, BELIEVE
Posts: 203
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

Not sure how much surface area you have to cover (sq. ft.), but, if you decide to go with plywood, have you considered a coating of epoxy on the plywood before it is installed and painted? This will extend the life of the wood even if it is occasionally exposed to water.
__________________
Duke 48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:07   #8
Registered User
 
Tbrad's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Englewood, Ohio/Oak Harbor, Wa
Boat: catalina 27 & Windrose 20 Hunter 34
Posts: 202
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

The hatch boards on my Windrose are starboard. Have had them for many years. They are still in as good a shape as new. Even after being pitched around the cockpit indiscriminately. Still straight and never required anything in the way of maintenance.
__________________
Tbrad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:16   #9
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

twistedtree,

A lot of boater are using Azek sheets because you can bond it with PVC glue.
Cuts, sand, drills and routers just like wood.

Bimini
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:22   #10
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

I would not use either but take a honeycomb core and some glass and laminate it with epoxy. If you have some working space, formica or other smooth surface and wax/mold-release it's also quick and easy. The weight savings vs 3/4" Starboard are such that it will be noticeable I think. The laminate will also be stiffer than the other options.

I would use 1/2" starboard for small shelves.

cheers,
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:32   #11
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

I am somewhat ignorant of what "Starboard" actually is, but is it fundamentally different from HDPE plastic, i.e. "cutting boards"?

I ask because I can easily obtain that stuff relatively cheaply in many thicknesses from an industrial plastics place, along with EPDM and other plastics very useful on a boat.

That said, I have sealed up a lot of marine plywood with 1:1 epoxy over the years, and I can't say it's let me down in any way.
__________________
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:33   #12
Registered User
 
Sand crab's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
Posts: 3,157
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

For walking surfaces the manufacturer recommends 16" to 18" support spacing for 3/4 Starboard which is the same as 1/2" ply. However most home builders use 3/4 ply or OSB for floors for the stiffness.
http://www.kingplastic.com/wp-conten...orkingwith.pdf
https://www.kingplastic.com/products...ing-starboard/
However this stuff is about twice as heavy as regular fir ply. 120 lbs vs 60 lbs. These guys make a FG panel that is lighter than ply.
Coosa Composites, LLC - Manufacture of high-density, fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane foam panels
I'm not making a recommendation. Just showing the data.
__________________
We don't need no stinking badges.
Sand crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:37   #13
Registered User
 
cburger's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Nyack, NY
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 1,548
Images: 1
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

In the lazzarette you want a very durable finish otherwise the equipment stored will continuely damage the finish as the gear bounces around. An option would be to use plywood as the substrate, then prime all exposed wood in a mixture of 50 percent acetone to 50 percent polyester resin, then a layer of 5oz finish cloth laminated over the plywood, then spray with gelcoat, sand and polish. If done correctly it will look like it was part of the origional boat and will provide a very long lasting durable result.

I have attached a couple of pics of this process that was done on a customers Nordic Tug shower stall.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Apply Fiberglass.jpg
Views:	376
Size:	430.6 KB
ID:	36014   Click image for larger version

Name:	Final Fair III.jpg
Views:	363
Size:	405.2 KB
ID:	36015  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Finished Gel Coat.jpg
Views:	410
Size:	364.0 KB
ID:	36016  
__________________
"All men are created equal, some are just more equal than others"
cburger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:37   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,970
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

Starboard is great stuff but very expensive and not nearly as stiff in span as plywood. I agree - think "cutting board". If you use enough supports it will be fine. Unlike plywood, cut edges look great with no extra work. This alone might be a big enough time saving for the cost difference

Another advantage for your lazarette application is that it cleans easily. You can use aggressive and abrasive cleaners.

One middle ground I've used is to use blocks of starboard as standoffs in the wet bilge and against the hull where there's a chance of continuous water contact but otherwise use wood treated with a quick coat of CPES epoxy and bilge paint.

CPES™-Wood based epoxy products to repair and resist wood rot.

Carl
__________________
CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-01-2012, 10:38   #15
Registered User
 
Sand crab's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
Posts: 3,157
Re: StarBoard vs Marine Plywood?

King makes a different product for cutting boards
King CuttingBoard® | King Plastic Corporation
__________________

__________________
We don't need no stinking badges.
Sand crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
marine, plywood

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CNG / Natural Gas Distributor List way-happy Provisioning: Food & Drink 12 24-07-2015 15:25
Marine SSB Radios Used for Ham Radio Capt.Don Marine Electronics 48 16-01-2014 08:52
Yet Another HAM vs Marine SSB Question GeoPowers Marine Electronics 8 02-11-2011 23:18
Vendor Space Still Available: Florida Marine Flea Market and Seafood Festival LarryBu Commercial Posts 0 22-08-2011 08:03
Rebuilding Mast Step Area: Douglas Fir vs Marine Plywood arjand Construction, Maintenance & Refit 28 14-07-2011 16:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:14.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.