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Marine plywood: Building boats, homes and lives

Living in an archipelago with 7,000-plus islands located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the people of the Philippines have made their living from the seas surrounding the country. As a people living close to the water, Filipinos are familiar to both the bounty and the challenges coastal living brings. 

They have learned to weather through the heat of sun and the onslaught of rain. They are familiar to storms and typhoons —regular visitors to the country. Hence, there is a need for resilient homes for those in land, and durable boats for sea transport, especially for those who make a living out of the sea.

“The geography of our country makes boats an important means of transportation and livelihood, especially in the islands. For those in the coastal communities, boats mean life. In the same way, for those living in urban areas, having a secure home is a primary need,” says Randy Ng, executive vice president of SMWPI, maker of Santa Clara Marine Plywood. 

“When it comes to our primary needs, we want the construction durable and reliable. And reliability and durability of anything usually begins with the right materials. SMWPI is the producer of Santa Clara Marine Plywood and we’re proud of this product,” added Ng.

Santa Clara Marine Plywood—a household name in durable and long-lasting plywood—has placed quality first in its products. Since 1923, the Santa Clara brand has become the top choice among boat-builders, and recently to home developers, contractors, hardware store owners, and furniture makers. 

What used to be a small backyard manufacturer now creates jobs for around 600 individuals in the communities where it operates. Its two sizeable factories in the country—in Davao and Agusan—produces thousands of plywood sheets every month.

A further testament to the company’s growth, Santa Clara marine plywood is now available to major hardware stores CitiHardware branches in Davao and Surigao, and Wilcon in key cities in Luzon. 

Santa Clara marine plywood has been specifically tested to withstand continuous soaking and drying cycles of boats. Boatmen affirm that a Santa Clara-made boat does not need to be immediately taken from the water to dry since they are assured that the wood does not easily rot.

Marine plywood’s ability to withstand weather conditions that boats are continually subjected to also makes it ideal plywood for house-building materials. It is used for parts of the house that are exposed to different weather conditions, such as ceilings, wall panels, and as roofing base for asphalt shingles. 
Santa Clara Marine Plywood’s ability to withstand the weather conditions that boats are continually subjected to makes it also ideal plywood for house-building materials. The plywood is used for parts of the house that are exposed to different weather conditions, such as ceilings, wall panel and as roofing base for asphalt shingles. 

The plywood is also ideal for pieces that are prone to getting wet or soaked with water such as kitchen cabinets, counter tops, or as a base for granite or tile finish. 

Over the years, Santa Clara marine plywood has been synonymous to unparalleled quality. 

Ng says every plywood sheet that comes out of their factories goes through high quality control measures and a stringent process to ensure the integrity of every ply. It all starts with the log selection, followed by a quality-guided production process, using up to date technology and human expertise. 

Plywood samples from each batch undergo the 72 hours of the continuous boiling test to meet international quality standards. To this day, each sheet of plywood is still manually inspected by our skilled workers. It proves that their product has completely passed through quality control measures and they stand by it, the company’s laser-etched logo is stamped on each piece of Santa Clara Marine Plywood.

As the company looks at the years ahead — especially to its 100th year — Ng continues to have high hopes for Santa Clara and the industries it serves in the Philippines, as well as in other countries. Santa Clara’s quality products are now available in other countries, including Palau and Indonesia.

Topics: Marine plywood: Building boats , homes and lives

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