Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

Hey gang.  Been out of touch for a bit, but now I rebit by the build bug and plan to build TWO SW 17s mid May and conduct sea trials mid-late June.  

I want to buy the plans and manual (cause I'm a cheapskate) and do this my self and try to save some $$ since I need two boats or the new missus will be bummin (I don't want a tandem).

I've been slavin away on the Tube and found a lot of good videos with a bunch of interesting techniques.  One that I LOVE is to butt joint and glass tape the ply panels together THEN cut the pieces, I plan to try that and avoid having to cut finger joints or skarfs and save a couple days or so of glue up time on individual pieces.  And with a TWO boat project I'm gonna stack the panels and cut all at one time with one set of plans.


Noob Q's:

1 - How many sheets of plywood will I need for ONE SW 17 footer?  I'm guessing enough to make a 17' panel, so two +a foot or so?

2 - How much West epoxy and hardener for ONE boat?  Oh yeah and flour and thickener?

3 - FG?  I want to go with 4 oz in & out.  Think it'll do the job?  I want to glass the entire interior as well.  Maybe its over kill, but I just want the whole thing encased in glass.  Or go with 6oz outside and 4 oz in?


Thanks in advance guys and yes, I will keep my progress updated throughout the build.

10 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

Buy the book first; it will answer all your questions. Mine is packed for a move but as I recall, it takes more like four sheets of plywood for the SW 17.

Butt joints are much easier than scarfing and plenty strong enough. You will find it easier to join the panels after cutting, though. Staple them together while laying out the patterns. See how my daughter and I did it for her Ganymede at

You are smart to cut multiple panels together. also cut mirror image parts of each boat together. Be careful to get the best side of the plywood out.

Four ounce cloth is easier to cut and handle. Put two layers on the bottom and extra pieces at each end. Six ounce cloth absorbs a lot of epoxy, which only adds weight.

Keep us posted - Wes

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

If you go to the boat you are building on this web site there is a tab for a materials list for plan builders which will give you the complete run down on type and amount of ply, epoxy, glass, etc. for one boat. Good luck and " sanding is fun - sanding is fun."

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

This book, twofoot?  

quote   Kayaks You Can Build

By Ted Moores and Greg Rössel. Hardbound, 256 pages, 2004. Step-by-step instructions show you how to assemble the most popular plywood kayak kits available today [including our Mill Creek 13]. end quote

I think I'll do that, but I'm on the wrong side of "The Pond" atm so it won't help me now.  Maybe its available as an ebook, I'll poke around for one.

Assume the easier part is due to the long wiggly bits being hard to maneuver?  I expect to have extra hands available for that phase of the build, but I'll def keep that in mind as I get closer to making saw dust.

Thanks for the nudge there Cat.  4 sheets!  Whodda thunk it?  The parts list is just the ticket.

Thanks for the replies, really appreciate it.  The more I read and watch vids and ponder things and run the build through the ole mkI processer the better I tend to do things hands on.

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

No, the CLC instruction book for the Shearwater. I apparently remembered wrong on the plywood, and forgot that CLC lists the materials on its website.


RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

Ah, ok.  Well that'll hafta wait til mid May when I get home then.  I'll be ordering the plans & manual soon along with a few other things I'm gonna need for the project.

The Parts list doesn't say how much epoxy, etc. is in the kit though.  Only that it's an econo. epoxy kit.  Can I get a little light shed on that?  I'll be buying West systems epoxy at my local marine supply so would like to lnow how much to save an extra drive.

And another noob Q.

For the plans builders.  Do the patterns get mucked up during the cut out.  I hope to save them and reuse another time.


RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

  First the economy epoxy kit:


  About multiple builds from plans, the plans will come with permission to build one boat. You need to contact CLC for more permissions, they are very easy to work with.


  I used one set to build two Wood Ducks, used spray adhesive to attach the paper patterns to luan plywood, cut the patterns and then used them to mark the okume. Worked very well. Leave the paper attached, the notes come in handy.

  HTH, Bob.


RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

I just tape the patterns to the plywood and use carbon paper to trace them onto the wood. -Wes

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

Thanks for the kit link Bob, I really suck at searching for info sometimes.

Good point about the multi builds.  I be sure to clear it with John ahead of time or buy an extra set of plans.  However they wanna work it.

Like the glue it to the main pattern idea too.  Was thinking the same thing as I may want to build another couple as a wedding/anniversary gift to my Bro and SIL.  And yes, will clear it with HQ first.

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

If you click on the individual items on the list it will give the details of that item. Economy kit #2 has 1.5 gal resin, .75 gal. slow harnener, gal. of wood flour and quart of cel-o-fil.

RE: Getting ready - How much plywood will I need?

Thanks CB.  I'll figure this search thing out sooner or later.  I actually found the links earlier and started checking things out.

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.