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Comparison of starboard & seaboard

Updated November 21, 2016

Starboard and Seaboard are brands of marine board. Both are a type of plastic plywood which can be used in building things that are exposed to a lot of water such as boats and pool platforms. Both products claim not to rust, splinter, crack, rot, swell or delaminate. Starboard and Seaboard are both available in a variety of colours, and are UV-stabilised, which means the colour won't fade in the sun.

Starboard

King Starboard refers to itself as the "original marine-grade polymer" on its website. It is made of FDA- and USDA-approved materials and is guaranteed to hold out in the nastiest maritime conditions. When purchasing King Starboard, you can choose by material, which includes high-density polythene (HDPE), nylon and acrylic cast; industry, such as marine, signage, display, aerospace or transportation; application including gaskets and seals; and design, meaning sheets, rods or tubings. Starboard is low maintenance and does not need to be painted or stained.

Seaboard

Seaboard is high-density polythene-based (HDPE) material as well. The Modern Plastics website claims HDPE is the "toughest marine sheet on the market." The hardness allows the material to resist scratching. Like Starboard, Seaboard is FDA- and USDA-approved for food processing uses and it boasts of low maintenance and long-term durability.

Applications

Starboard can be used in building swim platforms, handrails, grab rails, steps, frames, trims, countertops and fish-cleaning tables. The antiskid version of the product is recommended for use in showers and cockpits. It can be notched and bent. Seaboard can be used in constructing recreational boat items as well, including seats and benches, step and dock boxes, and frames and trim. It is also used in building playground equipment.

Considerations

Marine board cannot be used to construct a boat hull. Buck Woodcraft claims on their website that marine board "needs to be supported by a load-bearing frame or substrate." The material expands and contracts with normal temperatures and will melt where temperatures exceed 82.2 degrees Celsius. Both materials work like wood and when constructing with them, you use common wood tools. Both are also easy to clean. King Starboard is available in standard, antiskid (AS), scratch-resistant (ST) and lightweight (XL) versions. Seaboard is available in standard, XL and nonskid.

Costs

Prices vary depending on the size, colour and product you desire. King Starboard offers a standard ¼-inch-thick sheet at £97, a 3/8-inch-thick sheet at £152 and a ½-inch-thick sheet at £200. The sheet measures 54 inches by 96 inches. U.S. Plastics carries standard Seaboard sheets measuring 48 inches by 96 inches at £59.7 for ¼-inch-thick, £119.50 for ½-inch-thick and £260.40 for ¾-inch-thick.

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About the Author

Based in Defiance, Ohio, Becky Martinez has over seven years of reporting experience, having written numerous articles for two newspapers, "The Crescent News" and "The Bryan Times." She has a Master of Arts in English from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, and has taken multiple creative writing courses since obtaining that degree.