Chesapeake 17 problems in Australia

Hi, First of all I bought a Chesapeake 17 kit from the Australian distributor and I have a few questions.

1, the puzzle joints did not fit together at all, some areas were much to big and other areas had quite large gaps (1/16 to 3/32) after 4 hours of sanding the excess off the larger puzzles the joins fit but the ones with gaps are still there.  I wanted to do a bright finish but I'm worried that the joins will stand out with such large epoxy fills, any recomendations?


2, the panels didnt line up as I hoped they would so I drew out the offsets? from the plans on my table so I could make sure the panels were glued together in the right shape but I found that the panels didnt match the dimensions given in the plans, some stations were out by up to 1/8 to high when the next station is 1/8 to low, so my question is will the panels stitch together ok or will it be a big unfair mess.


3, am I better off drawing up and cutting new panels or will the panels I have be ok to use?


I'd just like to say the CLC part of the kit (plans manuals etc) is absolutely great I'm just a little dissapointed with the quality of the Australian supplied parts, ANY advice would be much appreciated


6 replies:

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RE: Chesapeake 17 problems in Australia

Hi Dave, 


I am nearly finished a ches double I got through Cape Boat Works. I did find the puzzle joints needed a great deal of sanding before they fitted cleanly together. I don't think I have any gaps as big as you report, maybe 1mm or so in one place. I am no expert, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the plans measurements do not exactly match the kit.

I did find Karin at Capeboat quite helpful. It would be worth raining them before you cut more panels.


Hope this helps.


RE: Chesapeake 17 problems in Australia

This is a total drag.  The whole point of puzzle-jointed parts is painless assembly.  If this happened here, we would replace the parts instantly.  But it wouldn't happen. 

I will work the problem.  

RE: Chesapeake 17 problems in Australia

Have built two Shearwaters w/ puzzle joints & perfect fit. Try changing pieces out from one side to the other...if you haven't glued them together yet. Make sure the sides are not flipped bow for stern, not sure that can be done, but they are pretty similar at each end.

RE: Chesapeake 17 problems in Australia

Hi Guys thanks for the info,

Mike, I also found Karin very helpful thats why I didnt want to make to much noise on the fitting issue, I've decided to just use these panels and do a painted finish on the hull and bright on the deck, so if I have any gaps I can just fill them up.

Dirk, yeah I tried just about every configuration of panels going together just couldnt get a fit I was happy with,

John, as I said in my original comment I am very happy with the quality of your stuff, the plans and manual are great.

Thanks, DAVE

RE: Chesapeake 17 problems in Australia

Wow, that is interesting, a little discrepancy is ok, just be sure both chine contours on each side & bottom match before you stitch and are fair lines. One solution is to stitch it up, and if you see a loose line that you just can't close easily, mark the area on each end, unwire the tight area one wire and slip a thin saw in the tight areas adjacent to the open joint and trim that area next to those marks for a short distance. Re-stitch and observe. If you want a varnished hull, you can place a thin veneer over the puzzle joint, at about a 60 degree angle, and feather the edge in, leaving a very slight ridge. Finish sanding the rest of the hull. Fill the very small ridge with epoxy, just like you would fill glass weave. When you glass, this edge will disappear after filling the glass. Final careful sanding will not let you expose the glass or sand into the edge of the veneer. I have done this two times and it looks pretty good. Different colors of wood veneers can make a really classy looking surface...dark/light/dark in a wide/narrow/wide pattern or just one solid piece. Used each, one on a Sh 17H & one on a Sh 16H.

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