FAQs » Lapstitch
What is LapStitch Construction?
CLC'S EXCLUSIVE LAPSTITCHTM CONSTRUCTION
Patent No. 6,142,093
The strength of the LapStitchTM joint is such that the designs require comparatively little fiberglass or fillet work, making them especially easy to build. Our system combines the unquestioned grace of lapstrake hulls with the proven ease of stitch-and-glue construction.
Lapstrake hull shapes evolved over millennia. Many would suggest that the type reached a high water mark with the Viking longboats, but the actual building method was little changed right up into the 20th century. Planks were nailed or riveted together, and the technique required prodigious skill on the part of boatbuilders.
Over the last 30 years, the advent of modern adhesives and high quality marine plywoods brought about the first major innovation in lapstrake building methods: glued plywood lapstrake hulls. This method of planking produces very strong, stiff, and beautiful hulls that never leak. This is progress, to be sure, but glued lapstrake boats still require molds and arcane joinery skills. It isn't a process suited to amateurs.
In 1997, Chesapeake Light Craft developed a way to build lapstrake boats without molds or complex "rolling bevels" on the lapstrake planking. Using sophisticated computer design software, we are now able to devise hull shapes that will assume a round-bottomed shape without a jig or "torturing" of the wood. A special "rabbet", or groove, is machined into each strake so that they are self-aligning. They are wired together just like a stitch-and-glue kayak. When these joints are filled with epoxy, the result is a remarkably stiff and strong hull that has the appearance of traditional lapstrake planking.
LapStitchTM construction is featured on these CLC boats:
- Northeaster Dory
- CLC Cradle Boat
- Passagemaker Dinghy Standard
- Passagemaker Dinghy Take-Apart
- Eastport Pram
- Annapolis Wherry
- Chester Yawl
- Sassafras 12 Canoe
- Sassafras 16 Canoe