CH 16LT or CH 17LT

Hello you all.

I'm going to build a kayakk but can't deside which one of the Chesapeake 16LT or 17LT to build. I have paddled a little earlier so I don't consider myself a total newbee:)

My size is 170lb and about 5ft,7inch or 77kg and 170cm.

I guess I need a LT because of my length?

Any suggestions?

Best regards, Yngve Sekkenes, Norway.

10 replies:

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RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

I'm about the same height and weight as you and CLC recommended the 16LT, so that's what I'm building.


RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

Thanks, then I will go for the 16LT. How many ours do you think you need to build one?

RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

Build times a re difficult to predict, they depend on many individual factors. In CLC's boatbuilding classes, the students put together a bare hull in a week. They start with kits. Tools, workspace and experienced instructors are provided. Other than biological necessities, they do nothing but work on that boat all week. At the end of the class the boat still needs to be sanded, painted and/or varnished and rigged. This can take another 1 to 2 weeks because of the need to wait for paint and varnish to dry between coats. So 1 very intense week of construction, then 2 weeks of steady work should do it for the best case.

Other people have taken years.

If you don't have a heated workspace, weather becomes very important. If the daytime temperatures get below 60F (16C), epoxy cures slowly, if at all. You'll need to either wait for warmer weather or set up heaters, heat lamps, etc. When I built a 16LT I ended up not doing any work between November and March.

If you have a very busy personal life with many family and work commitments, that can add to the amount of calendar time you need to build the boat.

Finally, if you decide to customize the boat with inlays, fanciful paint jobs, recessed bungee holders, rubrails, carvings, woodburnings, etc., that can add up to much more time than actually building the hull. Simpler is faster.

Good luck,




RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

Thanks Laszlo. I sent an order today. Do you think of something that I missed? or don't need? I have no kayak gear at all. I want the flush hatch system.


NRS Vista PFDs
Yellow - S/M
$60.00 1 Requires Rate Quote $60.00
Flush Hatch Kit$59.00 1 Requires Rate Quote $59.00
Mistral Hybrid by Grey Owl
$169.00 1 Requires Rate Quote $169.00
Footbrace Mounting Kit$12.50 1 Requires Rate Quote $12.50
Bonsai Saw$18.50 1 Requires Rate Quote $18.50
Retractable Skeg Kit
Complete Kit
$59.00 1 Requires Rate Quote $59.00
Invisible Hatch Hold-Down Kit$35.00 1 Requires Rate Quote $35.00
Chesapeake 16LT
Complete Kit
$849.00 1 Requires Rate Quote $849.00
Item Subtotal:$1262.00
Shipping & Handling:$0.00
ORDER TOTAL:$1262.00

RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

That looks like a good list. Now just tools & supplies depending on what you have. Clamps, lots of sand paper, squeegee, mixing cups (I often used old yogurt containers), paint (chip) brushes, tape, lots of surgical gloves, old clothes, time & patience, etc.


Have fun, Ralph 

RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

My parts list (used for building my 17LT in 2007):

Kayak Parts List

  • Temporary/ movable lighting devices (when you get beyond construction to finishing, there is no such thing as too much light!)
  • Sawhorses
  • Heavy plywood (used over saw horses, provides you initial temporary worktable until hull is fully formed)
  • Random Orbital Sander
  • Small block plane (Stanley block plane from CLC or Lie-Neilson makes a real good one)
  • Japanese pull saw
  • Shinto rasp (nice tool for rounding the bow/stern.)
  • Cabinet scraper
  • Wirecutter
  • 20ft measuring tape
  • A good respirator
  • String for marking & laying out panels)
  • C-Clamps (lots of them – particularly when building hatches and cockpit combing)
  • Lots of latex gloves
  • Apron?
  • White vinegar – cleaning epoxy off spreaders (better than acetone?)
  • Lacquer Thinner (I use it for wiping down hull after sanding between epoxy and finish coats
  • Cloth rags – lots of them
  • picnic cups for epoxy
  • Sandpaper disks for orbital sander (in 60 (or 80!), 150 and 220 grits)
  • Sandpaper sheets in 60 (or 80!), 150 and 220 grits, wet/dry sandpaper in 320-400 grits
  • Rubber sanding block

As fo build time: 95 hours for me. As I got into it I benefited from taking the time before tackling the next steps to plan in advance what I was going to do (action steps) and what I was going to need. That eventully reduced the amount of time spent standing in front of my boat scratching my head and asking (what am I going to do now?)

Don't hurry. Just enjoy the process!

Best Wishes,

Tim Clark

RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

That's a great list, Tim!  I wish I had the Shinto rasp when I built my first boat, a CH16.  It's been a big help on my current project, a Guillemot stripper.
My CH16 took about 70 hours of "hands-on" but many, many more spent planning.

RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

What the heck is a Shinto rasp ???

RE: CH 16LT or CH 17LT

Just the best hand tool ever developed.  It's sold here and is worth every penny they charge for it. It chops through epoxy boogers, smooths and shapes wood, rounds the inside of coamings, etc, etc,. It's so sharp that it replaces power tools for a lot of stuff. If you don't have one, buy one. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it.



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