The Improved One Sheet Plywood Boat with fiberglass seams. How to build a plywood boat despite just about everything going wrong… The perfect DIY project!
What started out as our EPIC Plywood Boat video featuring the Ford F150 Limited that Ford loaned us for the weekend instead became a story of perseverance despite record low temperatures, huge thunderstorms, and really cheap duct tape.
Plywood Boat with fiberglass: A Lesson
The idea here was to improve upon our original plywood boat, which has been a very popular video on our site and YouTube. The original boat used strips of wood and caulk for the seams, which added weight and wasn’t always exactly waterproof. I also wanted to use a new thinner plywood I found at the store that is sustainably harvested. Thinner plywood and lighter seams would mean a lighter boat.
I have a good friend who uses fiberglass a lot, and he gave me some fiberglass tape, which was perfect for the boat seams. I had read online about how to dryfit a plywood boat using duct tape to hold it all together while you added fiberglass to the seams.
This all sounded great in theory, in practice is was another story. Things I’ve learned about working with fiberglass:
- It smells real bad, use a high quality vapor mask, don’t cheap out on this.
- It does not work well in cold temperatures
- It sticks to itself and your gloves.
- Its not easy to use from the get go.
- You need someone to help when applying fiberglass
- Don’t buy cheap duct tape.
Despite applying the fiberglass in the garage with the doors open, the smell was quite strong, get a good mask. And if the temperature plunges, consider choosing another day to start this project. Also pick up some good quality nitrile gloves, you will use quite a few of them.
We all make mistakes
What this video is more about is to plan and persevere. What can go wrong will, and it was a weekend of everything going south quickly. In the end we triumphed. How do you push through to get stuff done? Let us know below.
A big thank you to Mike Levine and Scotty Monty of Ford Motor for the truck!
Original boat design based on Deek Diedricksen’s boat.