puzzle joints on 14 ft. skiff

I'm building a 14 ft. skiff powered by a 15 hp motor. I'm thinking of ordering plywood from CLC with puzzle joints for the hull. The plans call for scarf joints. Does anyone here have concerns with strength issues of a puzzle vs a scarf joint ? Do CLC puzzle joints have a slight gap for the thickened epoxy ? Does one glass the joint after its cured ? Thanks for any info.  Mark  

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RE: puzzle joints on 14 ft. skiff

I would use puzzle joints without hesitation.  We've been putting them in stitch-and-glue boats for more than a decade---thousands of boat kits.  My 31-foot proa, which has more than 15hp under sail, is 1/4-inch (6mm) plywood and 6-ounce fiberglass, and it's all puzzle-jointed.

We don't fiberglass the puzzle joints on LapStitch boats, because of the strength-doubling effect of the LapStitch seams.  We DO fiberglass puzzle joints on boats with broad, unsupported spans of plywood.  We do not make any special provision for gaps in the fitting of puzzle joints.  Averages plus-or-minus 0.002" of gap in the puzzle joints.

Some visible puzzle joints here:

Madness.  Complete, barking madness.

My first time!! puzzle joints on 14 ft. paddleboard

 I have never done anything like this before...............

 Where there are slightly high and low spots at the puzzle joints, should I sand the wood at the high spot or fill the low spots with thickened epoxy.

 Does the thickend epoxy fill look like regular epoxy, ie disappear, when the boat is coated with cloth and unthickened epoxy?




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