19 July 2023

Marine Plywood

In the nautical world there is a fundamental component that can make the difference: marine plywood.
This material can be defined as the secret behind the best boats. In this article we delve into the characteristics and reasons for its importance.

Let’s get to know Marine Plywood better

With the term “marine plywood” we refer to some types of wood species and to the gluing that defines the type of plywood. The gluing of marine plywood is in class 3 according to the European standard EN314, therefore it means that it resists for 72 hours in boiling water and is therefore ideal for outdoor use and in humid environments.
These products have a wide range of applications in the marine sector, they are used to build structural parts such as the hull but also for interior fittings and furnishings. Their resistance to water and deformation makes them ideal for meeting the challenges that the seas and oceans can present.
Marine Plywood

In a nutshell, marine plywood are special wood panels designed to withstand the harsh marine environments. Their composition alternates layers of thin wood, glued together with waterproof resins so that the fibers are placed in an alternating direction and are always in an odd number. The resulting panel is particularly robust given that the tensions and deformations are “compensated” by the alternating arrangement of the fibres. This unique combination of materials gives them exceptional resistance to salt water, humidity and bad weather, making them perfect for marine use.

The different wood species of Bellotti’s marine plywood

Bellotti began the production of its marine plywood in the 1960s and was the first company in Italy to have obtained RI.NA. approval according to the strict regulations also shared by Lloyd British Standard.
Bellotti marine plywood are made using different types of wood species (mahogany, okoumè, iroko, teak) all processed internally in the company’s historic headquarters by selecting high quality raw materials (rotary cut veneers, sliced cut veneers and glues).

These processes take into account the specific European regulations on the subject but also the expectations of an aware and, rightly, demanding clientele. Our production department is also able to customize the panels covering them with different finishes through the use of veneers of many wood species, papers, laminates up to lacquering and cnc machining.

Each wood species has its own characteristics

Now we come to the different types of wood species that are used to produce marine plywood. Here are the most common:


This wood species is renowned for its beauty and strength. Mahogany is known for its fine texture and ability to resist salt water. It’s a popular choice for boat furniture, thanks to its warm red color and durability.
Mahogany marine plywood
Sapelli veneer marine plywood


This wood comes from the forests of West Africa and is widely used in boat building. It is light, strong and easy to work with. Okoume offers excellent dimensional stability and good moisture resistance, making it a reliable option for marine plywood.
Exterior okoume plywood
IGNIPLY® – Fireproof plywood
Okoumè marine plywood


Originally from tropical Africa, it is a robust and weather-resistant wood. It is known for its stability, durability and beauty of amber color. Iroko is often used to build bridges and other parts exposed to extreme marine conditions.
Iroko marine plywood


You’ve probably heard of this precious wood species.
The relevant hardness, the constant dimensional stability, the impermeability and the beauty are its main characteristics.
It tolerates temperature changes, humidity, saltiness and atmospheric agents very well. QThese characteristics linked to its great hardness, make it one of the most durable woods ever. It contains a natural oily resin which makes it extremely resistant to water and pest attack. It is incredibly durable and its golden color is loved by many owners. Teak is often used for decks, interior flooring of cabin and outdoor furniture of luxury yachts.
Teak marine plywood
Teak marine plywood with white threading
Teak marine plywood with black threading
Teak marine plywood with black rubber

To know more

In conclusion, as mentioned above, marine plywood is essential to ensure the strength and longevity of boats in particularly harsh marine environments.
Therefore, when you come across a quality boat, remember that behind her beauty there is a well-kept secret: marine plywood, its wood species and the experience of those who work them.

We hope that this information has intrigued you and taught you the importance of marine plywood and the role it plays in boat building.

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