Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips > Wood Care:

Ply starting or actually de-laminating. What to do?

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Hi guys,

I have recently bought an Aerokits Sea Commander and there are a few parts of it where the ply is either starting to, or has de-laminated.

Now I'm guessing that ideally, replacement of the area is more than likely the recommended option, but seeing as my skills aren't that great as yet, I don't really want to go down that route, especially as one area is the front half of the keel and also two if the bulkheads.

Before buying it the boat was, and is now stored somewhere nice and dry. So, are there any products that anyone can recommend that will get between the laminations and once the areas are clamped, will bond the laminations back together. Obviously, unless there's some miracle product or process, I'm guessing that nothing will 'fully' bond all of the laminations back together, but for me, keel replacement especially, isn't an option. The bulkheads, maybe I could do something about replacing if I really had to, but for now at least, I'd really rather not.

The underside of the hull itself and keel all appear solid, as does the rear half of the keel, with no obvious signs of previous leaks or any soft spots, so this is another reason that I don't really want to attempt keel replacement.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Will if it was me I'd have some tiny G clamps (they're cheap enough) and see if that delamination pulls back flat first -maybe make up some wood blocks etc to spread the force evenly.  Then just pour in Deluxe "super phatic"* alphatic glue in and re-clamp so it's all straight and forget about it for 24h apart from making it neat and not getting spillage on the clamps!

*I'm not a general fan of Deluxe products but for me they nailed it bang-on with "super phatic" and worth every penny of it in the right circumstance.

...Others will no doubt advise properly.


I have tried squeezing the areas of the keel that I can currently reach (haven't removed the motor yet) and the bulkheads too and they all seem to close up.
My thoughts were using whatever recommended product and then with either some thickish timber that won't distort when clamped, or some flat steel/aluminium and numerous clamps along the length to compress it all while it cures.

So, I'm confident that with the right product, these laminations would close up and hold together.


I am sure Rich is on the correct path......and from the photograph shown, a repair of his nature is totally acceptable in bringing the keel timbers back to a sound condition

The only extra precautions are to dry the delaminated keel plate timbers carefully......10 minutes extra with a domestic hair dryer will assist, although if you use an aliphatic glue, these are water soluble so the extreme dryness may not be necessary

I don't believe we have Super Deluxe aliphatic glue in Australia, however we do have Titebond and Gorilla products.......must remember, the keel plate on the lower externals must be protected from the ingress of water from that direction

The use of a semi rigid plastic sheet as a membrane against the keel wood + clamped supports will assist in ensuring that any support timber doesn't end up as a glued part   :-X

If the surrounding timbers are bare, a liberal coating of a clear polyurethane paint or even Z-Poxy will assist in ensuring no further de-laminations occur


Just a small note of caution on polyurethane glues, like Gorilla Glue. They foam and expand as they react, unless they are tightly clamped this can force the wood joint apart. As you are gluing ply that is already delaminating, it might be an idea to avoid this type of glue.


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