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DRIVE Marine Services offers a range of marine plywood for all your boat building needs.
Our range includes;


Hoop marine ply is made from Australian plantation grown hoop pine. It is by far the best plywood available in Australia today. The veneers are of an even thickness and the marine plywood is made to AS 2272 which is a more stringent standard than the BS 1088 but like all good things you pay a premium for it. The A-C exterior Plywood meets AS 2271 and again is superior to the imported Marine plywoods to BS 1088 as most are only B-B faces.
The B-B hoop exterior plywood is manufactured to AS 2271 and is superior to most of the imported marine plywoods to BS 1088.  The B-B exterior plywood is a similar price to pacific maple and if the colour is to your liking I would recommend it over the pacific maple and Gaboon.


The Gaboon we sell is sourced from Greece, the quality is sensational, the price respectable and is the most lightweight marine plywood we sell. Beware the Chinese made Gaboon, its quality is nowhere near as good, or as lightweight. It is high quality plywood produced with 100% veneers of the tropical hardwood Okoume, specially manufactured to provide durability and longevity. Its physical characteristics are very stable and can withstand exposure to severe weather conditions for long periods of time. It meets the requirements of BS 1088-1:2003 and EN 13986. Okoupanel Marine is suitable for both external and interior use and coating with Bote-Cote Epoxy Resin to seal and densify the surface as it is fairly soft. Mourikis Gaboon has a density of 500kgr/m3 +or- 10% making it the lightest plywood available. The face veneers present a solid surface that is free from open defects. Face veneers are free of knots other than occasional sparse "sound pin" knots. The veneers are reasonably free from irregular grain. Face veneers are B/BB and veneer thickness is between 1mm and 1.5mm. The core veneers have the same basic requirements as face veneers, except that small splits may occur, and there is no limit on the number of pin knots or edge joints. Core veneer thickness is between 1.5mm and 3mm. All boards are sanded on both sides equally and the finished size is 2500mmx1220mm. Available in 1.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, 18mm and 25mm.

Pacific Maple marine plywood is especially designed for boat construction. It is manufactured under strict quality control conditions to comply with the internationally recognised British Standard BS 1088. The adhesive used is a special marine grade phenol formaldehyde resin that complies with BS 1203. Both faces of the sheets are sanded to A grade quality.


This premium plywood is used in Model Aircraft, LightAircraft, Display and Exhibition, Models, Telescopes, furniture, and Souvenirs. It comes in thickness down to 0.4mm which is a 3 ply. Sheet size is 1.22mx1.22m. It is manufactured of Finish Birch in Finland by Koskisen. KoskiPly birch is a strong yet flexible cross-banded plywood, made throughout from birch veneers and faced with a joint-free birch veneer. Veneers can be left in it natural state, lacquered, waxed or stained. Faces grade is AB/B so that the AB can be clear finished and the B face will provide a abuse for a high quality paint finish.

Birch plywood can be used both indoors and outdoors. The flexibility of the material is such that 1.5 mm thick birch can be bent through 180 degrees, this greatly extends the range of design possibilities.


Pink Marine Plywood is the best of the economical marine plywood available. It is the most compliant Asian sourced marine plywood to BS1088. The fac veneers are approx 1mm thick and the central veneer are thicker. The faces are a uniform pink/brown colour. It does have some core gaps, a few of which exceed the allowable 0.5mm. Provided it is sealed with epoxy (and preferably sheathed with fibreglass cloth) it will be quite satisfactory for many boatbuilding purposes. It clear finishes nicely to a reddish brown colour. It is made in Indonesia and is labeled B-B/A Bond/WBP.


  • European Made
  • British Standard 1088
  • Light Weight
  • A Grade Top and Bottom Face
  • Waterproof Glue
  • No Core Voids

Sapelli Marine is a high quality plywood produced with 100% veneers of tropical hardwood Sapelli, specially manufactured to provide durability and longevity. Its physical characteristics are very stable and can withstand exposure to severe weather conditions for prolonged periods of time. It is suitable for both external and interior use, and meets BS 1088-1:2003 and EN 13986 requirements Type approved by Lloyds Register. This plywood is sexy and exhibits those beautiful mahogany grain - red and brown colours. Available is rotary and crosscut with the grain appearance quite different.


Click here for the Plywood Brochure

Freight General

We can ship plywood to anywhere in Australia, how-ever we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you also buy 2 of the 3mm MDF Sheets  which we will cut into 2 x 1200x1200 pieces to act as protector sheets for your plywood to protect your plywood from damage whilst in transit. If your order weighs more than 30kg, please give some thought as to how it is going to be unloaded from the delivery truck. We take no responsibility for damage caused if not shipped with MDF.

Another thing to note are tailgate fees. Incurring a tailgate fee is dependent on a few variables: If the freight is long or is palletised then a tailgate will be needed. If the freight is over 30kg and there is no-one to assist the unloading, a fee may also be incurred. Be sure to provide us with as much information as you can when you are ordering, so both you and us are not slapped with a surprise tailgate fee, which can be upwards of $120


 DRIVE Marine Services is able to supply special veneered plywoods. We supply the sheets of plywood and PURBOND Polyurethane Glue to our veneering specialist who adhere the veneer to the Marine or exterior Plywood ensuring an “A” grade joint which is waterproof.

The Deck show to the right is jarrah and Ash to the customers specifications.

NOTE: Be mindful that most commercially available plywood with a veneered facing are bonded using a “B” grade adhesive which is not waterproof. If using any of these insure the plywoods adequately sealed using three (3) coats of BOTE COTE Marine Epoxy System.

Marine & Exterior Plywood Glue Bond Inspection.

Plywood is a wonderful material, but like all things man made, occasionally things can be less than perfect. No matter where in the world plywood is manufactured and even with the most sophisticated quality systems and procedures the mills cannot achieve 100% pass rate in their bond ratings. The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) requires that glue bond samples be taken daily from a production run and that all but a very small percentage must be of the highest strength. Please note that this means that they do allow a small number of poor glue bond strength samples to occur in a batch of plywood and not to reject the batch for that reason.

Mills that produce plywood to astandard must, under that standard, conduct ongoing testing and third party auditing to maintain their stamp of approval. However due to the fact that sheets which have areas with low bond strength or no areas with no bond are hard, and sometimes impossible to detect without destructive testing, these sheets will inevitably find their way into the market. We use the term delamination to describe this fault.

Plywood intended for truly life and death situations, such as aircraft applications can be non destructively inspected and certified sheet by sheet, using ultrasonics, at considerable cost and delay.

For the rest of us, we have to adopt simpler methods. The first thing to understand is that this doesn’t happen very often. The second thing is that you can’t tell by just looking at the sheet. The third thing is that it is just as likely in a top of the quality range sheet of AS2272 hoop pine marine ply as it is in a sheet of cheap imported almost BS1088 marine ply. The fourth thing to understand is that it might only be a small part of the sheet which is affected.

So what to do.

Cut the sheet up as per normal. Take an off cut, throw it into a bucket of water. Leave it there for 24 hours, then put it in the sun. Do that a couple of times and if it is still intact, then there is no problem with the glue bonds in that off cut. You could also boil the off cut for a few hours to see what happens.

Please understand that these water tests will not damage a good glue bond. If it comes apart it is because the glue bond was unsatisfactory. The water test simply highlights the unglued areas that were already present, which were impossible to see.

Admittedly, this only tests the off cut, not the whole sheet, how-ever our experience is that this will detect almost all of the bond failure situations. Most of the bond faults that we have seen cover most or all of the sheet. You would get further assurance by testing other off cuts from the sheet. They don’t need to be big pieces, 2” x3” (50mm x 75mm) is more than big enough. Alternatively you can water test the actual piece of plywood that will ultimately be used. Please remember to air dry the pieces flat, and remember, water testing may cause some grain to rise which can be sanded smooth again once dry.

~NEWS from our supplier~

Non-Compliant Imported Plywood

We have seen a lot of bad press against imported panel products that don’t comply with Australian standards for manufacture and emission controls.  In a lot of cases this bad press has been justified.

We have seen numerous press releases from building authorities, state governments and even the CFMEU warning of bad imports and the consequences of using them: the reseller market needs to be very wary of what they are buying for their customers.

Formaldehyde levels alone in some imported products have been way over acceptable Australian standards.

At Plywood services we take the Australian Standards (which are some of the most stringent in the world) very seriously, that is why we spend a great deal of money on our research and development to ensure that our products comply with Australian requirements including bond tests, structural testing and third party auditing.

Always make sure you supplier can provide documentary proof of their claims.
Plywood Services newsletter “The Panel” December 2009

At DRIVE Marine services we stock Plywood Services Pacific Maple Marine Plywood as it is best value for the quality.

Marine Plywood Pdf's
Latest Update on Plywood

Plywood Glue Bonding Test Article
Qualities of Plywood Article

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DRIVE Marine Services provides Good Quality products at a reasonable price
(02) 9533 5470
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