Cockpit Coaming question

Im building a Shearwater 17 from plans. It calls for two 3mm sapele coaming spacers. I do not have sapele so need to use 4mm mahogany. It still shows very little clearance between the coaming and the deck for a spray skirt to fit into. Anybody had issues with this set up not working for a skirt? I'm considering adding one or more spacers to give more room... anyone done this and what did you think of the results? Any advice or suggestions welcome

thanks


9 replies:

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RE: Cockpit Coaming question

Are you sure about your coaming spacer dimension?  I measured our 2 Shearwaters (just finished our 5th varnish coats tonight) and it appears that the CLC kits came with 2 about 8mm spacers, or at least the spacing now measures about 16 mm.

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

I'm pretty sure the two coaming spacers should be cut from 9mm plywood, at least based on the Wood Duck plans I'm working from and based on the coaming spacers that came with my Shearwater 14 kit (2 x 9 mm = total 18 mm - nearly the same as cogtooth measured).

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

Those instructions are wrong - or you might have misread them. You want two layers of 9mm or three layers of 6mm. Okuome or other mahogany is fine. I don't understand why the plan would specify Sapele. - Wes

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

Ah OK! yes, the plans say 9mm on the layout and the pictures in the booklet show and mention 3 pieces all together with the coaming. So I thought it was calling for 9mm total with the coaming because the sapele sheet used for the deck is 3mm. Those plans need to be explained that a little better for the plans-only builders, I would think. Glad I didnt glue it on yet! Now on to the challenge of finding 9mm without having to buy a whole sheet..

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

I too am building a SW 17 from plans and had that same question. John Harris from CLC responded that the ideal spacing is 14 to 18mm so we have room to play. He also said there is no need to go try to find 9mm marine plywood. If you have large enough leftover pcs 4mm can be used. I  plan on using 4 pcs of Okuome for a 16mm spacer. Sanding the hull now in prep for the final glassing!!

 

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

I ran into the same thing on a WD10...somehow got the idea that I just needed two layers of 4mm to make a set of spacers for the coaming. It's a good thing I've spent so much time looking at other people's builds, and it's a good thing I spend so much time in the garage staring at my own, because I caught the error before gluing the assembly down thank goodness.

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

Rather than use up a half sheet of $60 plywood to make eight 4 mm spacer halves plus the coaming itself, I was considering using solid cedar board 3/4" cut as the spacer. Saving time, epoxy glue.. Seems like it would look nicer as well without all of the layers visible from the plywood ends. I'm wondering though if it sacrifices strenght or whatever. Also wondering if I'll have to soak the pieces in water to flex to the shape of the cockpit.

RE: Cockpit Coaming question

Solid wood blocking should work fine. That's the way coamings are sometimes made for strip-built kayaks. Look at some of the on-line instructions for strip boats and you will see several good alternatives. The strength of the coaming lies mostly in the fiberglass coating. If you choose to use solid wood spacers with a plywood coaming, piece it together with small blocks, say 3/4" square x 2" to overcome the bending problem.
-Wes

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