Rehabbing an old drift boat - how to fix the exterior?

I just bought an older drift boat.  3/8" plywood, covered inside and out with fiberglass and epoxy.  I need to cut out and patch some soft spots on the sides, and cover some holes, and fix quite a few imperfections.  I am still recovering from all the work my last drift boat required as far as needing A LOT of faring and sanding to get it in decent enough shape to prime and paint.  It crossed my mind that laminating 1/8"(?) plywood to the existing hull might minimize (not eliminate) some of the faring and sanding required to get the current boat ready to finish.  Also, it would allow me to use a natural finish, which is appealing.  I also started looking into strip planking it -- would using plywood strips be an acceptable alternative to more expensive real wood strips?  If I go down the strip plan route, would I epoxy each strip to the existing plywood prior to covering in fiberglass and epoxy?  I wonder about being able to keep up (time wise) with laying strips if I mix epoxy.  The West Systems Six10 looks like it would be a solution, but an expensive one.   Thoughts, comments and suggestions are welcome....

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Points to consider:

1. Adding plywood to the outside of a plywood boat will add unneeded weight,

2. a great deal of labor,

3.difficulty in sealing the plywood to prevent intrusion of water,

4. difficulty in bonding and clamping the plywood to the plywood,

5. the need to repair the underlying plywood,

6. the need to prep the underlying plywood to laminate to the outside plywood,

7. the expense for epoxy to encapsulate the new plywood,

8. the need to sand and prepare the epoxied surface with many new edges and surfaces to be prepared without sanding through the epoxy.

I don't know if this would be less work than repairing, sanding and painting the existing plywood for you or not. The other alternative is to remove the sides and replace it with new plywood using the old piece as a pattern.

Almost any wooden boat can be repaired with enough time, money or effort. You get to choose!

Rick Newman

Rick - 

I think all of your points are right on, though I would pay more (re #7) if it kept me from doing more work, especially sanding.  However, in this case I think you are right in that the work load would increase.  I'm leaning toward abandoning my desire to have a natural finish, unless the sides clean up better than I expect.  I think paint is in my future.  

Thanks for your input!

Jim

Good luck on your project. Send pictures!

Rick

I think I remember seeing this boat on Craigslist.

It was on there.  

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