Hydrotek BS 1088

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by billywilly, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. billywilly

    billywilly I Love microskiff.com!

    I'm sure this has been covered here previously, but I just need some honest, pratical info to help decide which plywood to buy.

    Anyone here with experience using Hydrotek BS 1088 and how does it compare with Okoume BS 1088 (highest quality/most expensive)?

    How does it compare in quality/durability etc to Meranti BS6566.

    A supplier here stated that it meets the same BS1088 and is top quality. I'm suspicious as it is so much cheaper than Okoume (almost half the cost)

    In reality, I'm asking for input on the Meranti BS6566 vs Hydrotek BS 1088 as these two are cheaper and within my budget.

    Is Hydrotek BS 1088 a safe, stable and durable medium to use.

    The plywood will be used on a 15'8 skiff with 1/4" (6mm) sides and 3/8" (9mm) bottom and decking.

    I am also researching outside this forum but wanted any additional experience someone may have had with these marine plywoods.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Just another brand name marine plywood, manufactured to British Standard 1088.


    If I can build a hull from homey depot cheapo plywood which has held up to 2 years hard use
    you ought to be golden working with a true marine plywood in any brand.

  3. Swamp

    Swamp I Love microskiff.com!

    I'm assuming you will be using stitch and glue epoxy composite construction.

    I warn you, asking which plywood is best is like asking which boat is best.  Lots of opinions, many of them "strong".  The boat building forums are full of arguments.  Use what you have access to and what you can afford.  A lot of boats have been built out of plywood not designed for boats, you just really have to stay on top of maintenance and keep them dry.  It's like using carbon steel in salt water, you can but you are going to spend time on maintaining it.  I've seen pics of boats built out of plywood that I'm not sure I'd build a chair out of that are still going strong and I've seen boats that are falling apart.

    Like Brett said BS 1088 is a standard.  Difference between Okume mahogany and Meranti mahogany is the Okume is lighter and more flexible.  In a small boat I think the weight issue is negligible as far as the hull is concerned.  The only reason that I would use Okume is if I had really tight curves to make or was trying to save weight on a larger hull.  I have heard of people fighting their hull with Meranti, Hydrotek, cheapo Ply, but usually only when trying for really tight curves.  That said if you have patience and make your curves in stages (tighten, wait, tighten), or scarf your panels, you can make it work just fine.  Many people have.

    The difference between Meranti BS 1088 and BS 6566 for the boat builder is there may be some voids in the BS 6566.  Depending on the bundle of wood it could be perfect though.  Given the choice I would use BS 1088 for the hull and then use BS 6566 for decks and such.  It just depends on your budget, and how much of your labor you are willing to risk.  If you are going for a yacht finish and fitting, I'd use the highest quality materials I could.  It also depends on the hull, a planing hull takes more stress than a displacement hull.  If I was just doing a proof of concept that doesn't have to last forever, I'd use the cheapest I could get away with and then destroy the boat when I was done.  I'm hoping to start on a 12' planing hull sometime soon (ish) and I may choose between sandply and 6566.  I'd rather use the 6566, but it will depend on my budget at the time, sandply would be 1/2 to 1/3 of the cost of 6566.

  4. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

    Here is some information on the question you asked.


    I have been building boats for a long time and used many of the plywoods mentioned. I prefer BS1088 in meranti to all others mentioned. Some of my boats have been in service as commercial fishing boats since 1973. I know of none of them that spend any time indoors. I would consider the type of use these boats receive as very hard use. Meranti and okoume are species of wood and Hydrotek and Joubert are suppliers.

    Best regards,
  5. WhiteDog70810

    WhiteDog70810 Mostly Harmless

    I ended up going with the okuome 1088 instead of the meranti simply because I could get the okuome locally at almost the same cost as having the meranti shipped in. The panels are appreciably lighter, but I don't know how much real world benefit that will end up giving me. I also ran into people telling me 6566 was just as good as 1088. 90% of the time, that is probably correct, but I stuck with the higher grade anyway. I am an over-engineer at heart.