Re: Making the boat light

Posted by Terry Mcadams on Jul 22, 2004

I did use a deck beam in my last Ches., but it was just a narrow strip of 4mm notched and glued into the clamps at the appropriate radius. Gave just enough support to bend the deck on, and a bit extra support for the thin deck outboard of the forward part of the combing. Maybe not necessary, but still much lighter than the stock beam.

When I epoxy the undersides of the deck panels, I roll it on, let it gel for an hour or so, then squeegee it well to leave a thin coat, but one that has penetrated the wood well. Seems to eliminate the drips-on-the-bottom problem.

Carfully adding a very thin skim coat of epoxy to a well-sanded deck, followed by hand sanding can minimize the need for umpteen coats of varnish to get a nice, deep, lustre. I usually go with three coats, four max. and get pretty nice decks. On my most recent boat I probably went to far with the epoxy misering and got a few areas of mild print-trough on the decks. A black art, epoxying decks.

I also think the nylon hatch straps that come with the deck are overkill. I used thinner nylon on the most recent boat. The next one will have 3/4" buckles and straps.

For folks like myself who have disabilities that limit their lifting ability, you might consider building a wider/deeper version of the CH 14 as I did. It was pretty eady to modify the plans, and the resulting boats, are under 32 lbs. and a joy to paddle in more sheltered waters with light loads.

I'm sure there are even more ways to save weight without compromising safety, if we all think about it.

Terry

In Response to: Re: Making the boat light by Howard on Jul 22, 2004

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