Kaholo Build Question

Hi Folks,

I'm going to build a Kaholo from plans and I see the materials list on the site call for 3 sheets of 3mm Okoume.  I don't have the plans yet, so I'm not sure where the 3mm is used (I assume the deck).  For those of you who have built this, can I subsitute 4mm?

7 replies:

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RE: Kaholo Build Question

the entire hull/deck is 3mm Okoume marine plywood.  I doubt 4mm would work = heavy and most likely would not assume the curves when doing the stitch & glue set up.

RE: Kaholo Build Question

Thanks, the bending was my concern.  I didn't even think about the extra weight.


I just finished my Kaholo from plans.  I've built several boats and this was one do the most fun..     Great design.  I built mine of cheap luan' 2.8 mm which is  not recommended.  If you ca afford a quality marine ply do not use luan door skin.  However, my sup turned out great and looks beautiful.  I don't know if you just love building things or want a  high quality board. For the shear clams I used some very old clear fir from old floor joists.      For the deck, bottom and sides I used the 2.8 mm luan door skin which  is very low quality and does not bend evenly.  However, with extra stitches and patience it is very fair/smooth.  The next one I build I will use better plywood.  In your search for marine grade plywood you will find that the Okuma is the best.  You will also find that there are slightly lesser quality marine ply that is satisfactory.  

Spending $900 on materials was out of my budget.  Rather that watch tv I like to make things and using the cheaper ply was as fun as ever and I have a good looking board.  Call or email me and I'll send you some photos.  Charlie [email protected] 310-809-0661

RE: Kaholo Build Question

$900 ??? wow, stuff must be expensive on the west coats. Marine grade 3mm Okoume here (coastal Carolina) costs about $36 a sheet. But building with door skin is fine - much better than vegging in front of the TV.

RE: Kaholo Build Question

I used 4mm okume for deck, bottom and sides .... it went together beautifully. It is the use of the epoxy that dictates most of the weight.

RE: Kaholo Build Question

The 3mm is used for all of the skins of the boat - deck, sides, bottom, etc. I think going 4mm would be a bad idea for 3 reasons:

1) weight. 

2) flexibility, especially when stitching up the front half of the hull

3) dimensions - you'd need to account for the extra 1mm in sizing all your parts

Im guessing you're looking at 4mm because it's more readily available? I know where I live (Seattle) nobody within reasonable driving distance stocked 3mm but a few places had 4mm. Eventually I found a supplier in state who had 3mm and delivered at a pretty nominal cost. 

RE: Kaholo Build Question

PS.   Whomever thought it would be $900 for materials....you might as well just buy the kit if that is the case.   

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