How to Waterproof Wood for a Boat? – Guide for Waterproofing Plywood

If you are someone who owns a boat you probably know how important it is to waterproof the plywood of the boat. The plywood that is used in the making of the boat is generally marine plywood which can sustain in water. However, it is necessary to waterproof it so that it is not damaged by being in constant contact with water. The plywood might be damaged if it is not waterproofed correctly. Apart from water UV rays also damage the plywood, and hence it becomes vital to waterproof it. To make the entire process of waterproofing easy, I am going to list the procedure step-by-step along with some tips and tricks in this article.

What all you will need for waterproofing plywood boat?

It is essential to keep things handy that you are going to need for the waterproofing process before you start it. The list of the required items is given below:

  • Sandpaper
  • A clean cloth
  • A sealant
  • A paintbrush or foam brush

How to Waterproof Wood for a Boat?

As mentioned above the boat is made up of marine plywood which is different from ordinary plywood. It can have up to 10 layers of thickness whereas regular plywood only has 3-5 layers. Although marine plywood can survive the marine environment waterproofing, it will help in increasing its longevity. There are many ways to waterproof the boat, but I would recommend using a wooden sealant for waterproofing the plywood for the boat. There are many branded sealants available in the market that are made for especially waterproofing the boat. You can select one of your choices

wood boat

1.Use a Sandpaper for prepping the surface for sealing

This step is similar to the step in painting the boat. It is always recommended to sand the surface down before starting to apply any paint, wax or a seal. Start sanding the surface area of the boat with the help of sandpaper. I would recommend using 80-grit sandpaper. Go over all the surfaces and make sure the surface is ready to apply a seal.

2.Clean the area thoroughly

Once you are done sanding the plywood, you can clean it with a cloth or even wash it for making sure that there are no debris or strains on the boat. In case you hose it down for washing take a cloth and let it dry before you start applying a seal.

3.Start sealing the plywood with the help of a brush or sprayer

After the surface is dry and is free from any past finishes, it is now time to apply the coat of seal onto the surface. You can dip a paintbrush in the seal and start applying a thin coating of it on the boat. Make sure that use the seal around all the corners and edges thoroughly, once you have applied one layer of seal wait for it to dry.

4.Add more layers of sealant

The drying time taken by any sealant is somewhere between 4 to 10 hours. Once the first layer of the seal dries entirely it is now the time to add more layers of the seal. The layers of coating of the seal depending on the layers of wood in the plywood. If there are more layers of wood, then the layers of the seal should also be more to waterproof it thoroughly. Before applying the second coating of the sealant, and the area down so that the next layer of coating adheres to the surface properly.

You can add three to four layers of sealant on the surface but make sure to let the previous coating dry and also to sand the surface before applying another coat of seal.

So these are the steps to waterproof your boat hassle free. Also, make sure that you apply the seals upside down also as that area is in the maximum contact with water. Let the layers of seal dry completely before taking it out.

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