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Poplar as a Boat Dash Panel

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Forum topic by Blackfin29 posted 11-11-2018 10:27 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blackfin29

47 posts in 374 days


11-11-2018 10:27 PM

I’m fabricating a new dash panel to house some Marine Chartplotters on a boat here in New England. Fully enclosed flybridge. I plan to finish it off with a gloss white interlux paint.

This board will basically fill a large gap in the fiberglass dash… and measures 15’ x 24” or so…

I wanted to use a hardwood, but painted… Is Poplar the WRONG wood for this? Might this warp over time even if heavily finished??

The other option is Plywood… but I wanted to stay away from that beause the edges will be exposed.

THANKS for any help!!

Lou


19 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1490 posts in 368 days


#1 posted 11-11-2018 10:37 PM

Lou – with the proper filling with epoxy then thickened epoxy,
you can finish the edges of plywood that will sand as smooth as regular lumber.
in the enclosed flybridge, constant wetting will not be an issue.
but of course ~ plywood and poplar have no place on a nice boat !!
I would go with teak or mahogany, varnished and finished nicely.
jus my Dos Centavos
.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Rich07081's profile

Rich07081

4 posts in 1601 days


#2 posted 11-11-2018 11:14 PM

In my experience on the Maine coast , poplar is very prone to rot. I’d suggest marine grade plywood or teak like John recommended. If the dash is 100% protected from the weather, poplar will be OK.

Having read a fair amount of boat “porn”, I don’t remember anyone use poplar in a marine environment.

Have fun with your project!

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MSquared

80 posts in 119 days


#3 posted 11-12-2018 12:20 AM

Ahem, if you have a Blackfin 29 …... TEAK!!!!!!

-- Marty, Long Island, NY

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John Smith

1490 posts in 368 days


#4 posted 11-12-2018 12:50 AM

I guess my A-D-D is kicking in . . . I didn’t put the name to the boat

that is like someone that owns a mansion on the beach and asks if
it would be okay to use MDF for kitchen cabinet doors.
some things just aren’t supposed to be.

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

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GR8HUNTER

5159 posts in 918 days


#5 posted 11-12-2018 01:24 AM

hey some of them chartplotters are not that cheap TEAK :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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Blackfin29

47 posts in 374 days


#6 posted 11-12-2018 01:38 AM

Geeeesh Guys you’re rough….hahah… Trust me my entire salon is teak, from custom table top to all trim and cabinet doors and such. Teak deck is also the plan inside this winter on raised areas. So I’m not cheaping out.

Having said this, my flybridge look is the “Glass Helm” look… All black screens and white backdrops. Some guys use freaking Starboard which is the Marine version of MDF in my humble opinion. Though that Starboard has it’s uses in my cockpit as we fish exclusively.

Anyways… I was just looking for a wood, aside from Plywood, that I could finish in white gloss, 2-part Interlux paint. I can’t imagine the rash of heat had I said I was using PINE….hahhahahahaha…

But, you guys DEFINITELY snapped me back to reality and I’ll at the dag-gone very least use Mahogany EVEN if I am painting it!!! Maybe less prone to warping… then brings me back to Plywood like John said epoxy the edges etc….

All in good fun Gentlemen!!! Appreciate the input from all!!!

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GR8HUNTER

5159 posts in 918 days


#7 posted 11-12-2018 01:46 AM

you could very easy just use bondo for all edges …. and if you paint all the sides front and back I think ply wood would be a better choice the popular sorry if I sounded off :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1490 posts in 368 days


#8 posted 11-12-2018 02:05 AM

there is nothing wrong with painting mahogany – I have done it many times.
is there a way you could fill the cavity with a fiberglass panel and scab it in ??
then you would have a solid fiberglass dash ready for any new equipment and gauges.
lots of grinding, sanding and coating out – but would look great !!
I make transoms for outboard boats using plain B/CX from the Box Store.
not even marine grade – epoxy it just right and it will last for the life of the boat.

[but, if you have been around boats long enough, you already know the tricks of the trade].

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

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sawdustdad

366 posts in 1090 days


#9 posted 11-12-2018 03:02 AM

If you want a clean look, fiberglass over marine ply, fair, then paint.

I used black starboard on my boat shown here, but I did not have a white helm. Don’t agree that it’s the MDF of the marine world.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

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John Smith

1490 posts in 368 days


#10 posted 11-12-2018 12:52 PM

I didn’t know this was such a highly discussed topic on the web
until I googled “Glass Helm look on boat” this morning . . . . .
several boating forums have tons of good projects on this subject.
I guess the “Marine Craftsmen” that do this type of work
for a living are demanding such high prices that it is steering the
boat owners into doing the modifications themselves.
I still lean towards glassing in the cavity to accept the new electronics.
Fair Winds and Following Seas in all your nautical adventures.

(I personally have never used Starboard just because of the shear weight of it).

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

366 posts in 1090 days


#11 posted 11-12-2018 01:45 PM

I agree with John, glassing in the opening is the BEST way to do it.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View Blackfin29's profile

Blackfin29

47 posts in 374 days


#12 posted 11-12-2018 11:28 PM



I agree with John, glassing in the opening is the BEST way to do it.

- sawdustdad

Let me guess… Tiara? Great helm…. regardless.

Impossible to argue that fiberglass would be the best way to go… Finish with gelcoat.

Sawdustdad.. I’m a Garmin guy as well. Furuno convert, go figure, but the simplicity of Garmin eventually got me.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

854 posts in 2164 days


#13 posted 11-13-2018 02:39 AM



Geeeesh Guys you re rough….hahah… Trust me my entire salon is teak, from custom table top to all trim and cabinet doors and such. Teak deck is also the plan inside this winter on raised areas. So I m not cheaping out.

Having said this, my flybridge look is the “Glass Helm” look… All black screens and white backdrops. Some guys use freaking Starboard which is the Marine version of MDF in my humble opinion. Though that Starboard has it s uses in my cockpit as we fish exclusively.

Anyways… I was just looking for a wood, aside from Plywood, that I could finish in white gloss, 2-part Interlux paint. I can t imagine the rash of heat had I said I was using PINE….hahhahahahaha…

But, you guys DEFINITELY snapped me back to reality and I ll at the dag-gone very least use Mahogany EVEN if I am painting it!!! Maybe less prone to warping… then brings me back to Plywood like John said epoxy the edges etc….

All in good fun Gentlemen!!! Appreciate the input from all!!!

- Blackfin29

That is smart bud. Inside or not, you are in a humid environment all the time. I would hate to refinish is because the wood did not play nicely. Too much work.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1490 posts in 368 days


#14 posted 11-13-2018 12:39 PM

and when you are entertaining the afternoon cocktail group,
the lady, holding her martini glass to her cheek while talking
blah blah blah and she glances over her shoulder and says . . . . . .
eeewwwwwwww is that PLYWOOD on your console ???
and the party goes downhill from there.

just food for thought.

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Blackfin29's profile

Blackfin29

47 posts in 374 days


#15 posted 11-14-2018 12:01 AM



and when you are entertaining the afternoon cocktail group,
the lady, holding her martini glass to her cheek while talking
blah blah blah and she glances over her shoulder and says . . . . . .
eeewwwwwwww is that PLYWOOD on your console ???
and the party goes downhill from there.

just food for thought.

.

.

- John Smith

haha… well if she’s opposed to that there Plywood, I would be happy to take her in the salon and show her plenty of hard wood…. I mean Teak ;-)

Now that I think of it, I have a few long pieces of Iroko, or as my Teak Dealer calls it, African Teak…haha

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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