Chesapeake 17 cockpit tolerances are tight!

According to the plans, the distance between the aft bulkhead and the aft edge of the deck beam is 31 inches.  I did a dry run for deck installation and by chance held up the cockpit combing to the opening in the deck panels to see how the two matched up.  I was surprised to see that the fore/aft dimension of the combing was 30 5/8 inches which left only 3/8 inches margin of error!  Not a lot on a 17 foot boat.  Any reason why a couple of inches couldn't have been incorporated into the plans to give a little more wiggle room?  As it was mine will fit by only the smallest margin.


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RE: Chesapeake 17 cockpit tolerances are tight!

Hi Scott,

I had the same experience.  My aft bulkhead is right under the rear cockpit coaming with about 1/2 an inch to spare (just enough to hook up a backrest I think) and the deck beam is right under the front of the coaming.  Nice to bang my knees on when getting in and out!

I moved the deck beam forward a little, but didn't want to go too far so the cockpit front edge had good support.  As it is, I can probably stand on the coaming without flexing the deck :-)

I'm just on 6' and 190 lbs and although I've only paddled the kayak a few times, feel it's trimmed forward a bit too much.  Too late now to move the cockpit, so will have to ensure I store gear in the back.

Long answer, but yes it's tight and I wondered the same as you...


Melbourne Australia

RE: Chesapeake 17 cockpit tolerances are tight!


3/8" is actually a fairly generous tolerance. 1/8" or less is pretty common for S&G boats of that size. That said, the Chessie's coaming does not have to rest directly on the deck beam and bulkhead. The boat will be plenty strong with the coaming a couople of inches in front of the bulkhead and a couple of inches behind the deck beam, so there's your wiggle room.


RE: Chesapeake 17 cockpit tolerances are tight!

The whole thing is infinitely customizeable (is that a word) however you want it to be.  Hell, I have my rear bulkhead 3 inches behind my coaming and completely removed the deck beam at the fore of the cockpit.  The boat will be plenty strong enough if you make some minor adjustments. 


The tolerance is really just for fixing a "one size fits all" plan for the boat, not a specific must be here rule for safety or anything.



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