Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Ok, I know i must have just missed this somewhere...but a few questions:

1. I assume I should coat the underside of the deck with 2 coats of unthickened epoxy before i attach it to make it water tight. I just dont see that step.

2. I am planing down the sheer clamps and trying to see what the end result is.  Should i count on small seams where the deck meets the hull that will be filled in with some epoxy, or do i just keep planing until its absolutely perfect?

3. while I'm posting....the end pours.....on the front the volume looks pretty small, but on the stern, it looks like much more....should i pour them both in stages, like half, or just do them all at once?

Thanks for any advice for a first timer...

21 replies:

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RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

1: 2 coats, but don't let them set up. Apply the first one, wait for it to just get past the tacky stage, apply the second one, then try to get the deck installed when it is tacky. If you apply 2 coats and then wait a week the wood will be too stiff.

2: I didn't get my bevels correct on the front half. I ended up with about a 1/6th inch gap. Rolled the boat over, filled with thickened epoxy and sanded. It is barely noticeable. I was building a boat that I knew was going to get used alot. I didn't spend alot of time on looks.

3: Be carefull standing your boat up for the end pours. Mine meet the AC compressor and breached the bottom. My recipe is to mix a batch of epoxy, thicken to the mustard consistancy with wood flour, then add saw dust until is is really thick, won't fall off of the mixing stick. This recipe uses less epoxy and spreads the heat over a larger area.

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Suggestion for end pours to avoid having to prop your hull on end. 

Before putting on the deck, tape in a piece of cardboard to fit in the front/rear at the point where you want the end pour to end .  Pygmy Boats uses this "dam"method. 

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Thanks to both for the suggestions.  Do you ever do any fillets where the bulkheads meet the deck to make it water tight?  I did a dry fit of my deck and I can tell there are some gaps near the hull despite my careful layout.

I figure i could reach in through the cockpit for the rear one, and through the front hatch for the front.  thoughts?

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Yes, definately fillet the bulkheads to the deck.

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Another suggestion re: end pours. consider timber blocks instead of epoxy end pours. Lighter and not as messy.


RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

And a third, or fourth, suggestion for the end pours. I used MiniCel foam for a damn on my 17LT end pours. Cut them to fit snuggly then used hot glue to hold them in place and seal the edges. I also thickened the epoxy mix with Phenolic Micro Balloons to lighten the mix. Worked like a charm. Besides the light weight using the MiniCel as a damn gives you a padded surface when loading the hatch areas as well as some extra flotation, (albeit minimal).

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question


How do you judge the amount to put in so you don't have overflow in the enclosed space, or do I have this concept wrong.


RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question


I did the end pour before putting the deck on. I didn't like the idea of standing the kakak on end and trying to pour where I could not easily reach. Also, this way I could do both pours at one time. I did not do the whole pour at once. I mixed up one batch and poured it in, filling about half the space. Then went to the other end and did the same. Then as the epoxy started to cool I repeated the process. Any shaping of the pour once it hardened was done with a rasp and sander.

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Ahh, makes sense.  I suppose this technique would be easy to do along with placing a block of cedar roughly cut to the 3-d shape of the space that we are attemting to fill.


RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Thanks for all the replies, gives me some things to think about.  I was wondering about the end pours...i read somewhere that the heat that is created in the confined area can cause the material to foam up and spill over the edge.

In any case, I'm going to stand right there the whole time--I'm not going to come back to a bubbly oozy mess on the side of my hull. 


RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

It usually only foams up when using straight epoxy in a small space. End pours with no fillers.

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Don't know what I did but my mix of epoxy with mico balloons did foam up.


RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

A risk of Over thinking again here? Surely part of the value of an end pour is to join the deck and ends securely. The hull panels are already firmly stuck at this stage. Put your boat very carefully up on end and strap it to your steps, truck, bedroom window, tree, lamppost. I used three pumps of epoxy and folded in microballons, then just poured it in. Yes, there was some foaming, but you will never look at again. Why bother with all the carving (virtually no difference in density for wood or ballons/epoxy ) or dams ( recipe for mess) when you can just pour it in the end?

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

I just did the dam method per the instructions using wood flour as a thickener. No problem with foaming, though the ambient temps were around 70 -75 deg F. YMMV If you do the dam method, make sure you have things sealed well, as the epoxy likes to creep through any small gap and then you have a minor mess. Once my pours were cured, I added some more very thickened epoxy on top and carved to shape with a block plane. I have not tried the "stand-on-end" end pour method, and don't really see any need to go through that hassle for any future builds. just my $0.02. Dave

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

We did the end pours, after we had planed the sheer clamps down to size. 

We made a cardboard template to fit inside the hull (a small triangle with cut outs where the sheer clamps go) and then taped the template in place with masking tape. Putting the masking tape on the side of the template away from the pour. 

We also put masking tape on top of the sheer clamps so as to keep any stray epoxy off of them and to make clean up easy.

The pour was done with Botecote epoxy and a mix of micro balloons, but any epoxy and lightweight filler would do.

The hull was right way up and level (fore and aft and sideways), and not stood on its end to do the pour. We poured in the thickened epoxy until the epoxy was level with the top of the sheer clamps. 

Leave for a few minutes and then see if any epoxy is leaking out from behind the masking tape, if it is put on some more tape.

The masking tape and cardboard needs to be removed before the epoxy fully hardens, but if it does go off, a bit of water and some hard rubbing with a scouring pad easily removes the cardboard from the epoxy.

Before we put the deck on we screwed into the vertical face of the end pour a stainless steel saddle. Great to tie things to later on inside the hull.

At the stern we "dry" fitted the rudder after we had done the end pour. as it was easy access without the deck on.




RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question


this was on a 14 but yoiu can get the general idea

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

I built my 17LT when the manual had been changed to putting in the dams instead of standing on end.  Then they changed it back, probably because the stand-up method fills w/epoxy up to the deck for even more strength.

It may also have been because of what happened to me--the tape broke loose on one of my dams, causing a huge mess and then a lot more epoxy than I wanted to fix the problem. 

So make sure your tape is very secure.  Or, I like the MineCel idea mentioned in one of the earlier posts.  Just make sure tape and/or hot glue are secure and totally fill any gaps on that also.

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

Just to follow up...thanks everyone for your input, I have enjoyed reading the posts. 

1. I ended up rolling on a a couple thin coats to the underside of the deck, but it came out pretty rough feeling.

2. Turns out the sheer clamps didnt have to be 100% perfect and they turned out fine.  Mine turned out like jnjclark mentioned above with a very tiny gap easily filled with epoxy once i turned it upside down to cure.  I did have a hard time getting the front deck to mate up to the sheer clamps.  While the instructions said to not apply too much pressure to the straps to hold it in place, I had to apply 100% of the force I could muster on the strap just to get them to touch at all. Not sure what i did wrong, but it worked.  Thankfully i had 6 straps available and a helper.

3. Had to laugh at the end pour comments. I went in with some small pieces of wood and tape, convinced I could build a lead proof damn.  Yep, my bravado was met with an ooozing mess.  Once the tape got wet, it would not stick, and adding more tape just made things worse.  My fat fingers hardly fit in there at all.  I am glad no one will ever see it, but i've got to find a better way for next time. 

RE: Chesapeake 17LT Deck Question

with the end pours we used epoxy thickened with microballons and we started with about a three to one mix. The mix was still a bit runny at 3:1 so we added a bit more microballoon till the mix was about the consistency of toothpaste


I dont know what the extra did for the structural integrity, but the hardened mix was still solid enough to screw into and fix the stainless steel saddle you see in the photos above.


With the deck we temporarily strapped the plywood down on the boat for a few days before we applied any epoxy. This gave the ply a curve and seemed to make our job easier when we did the permanent fix with the epoxy.


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