Getting Ready for First Build

Am fortunate to receive (scheduled to ship 1/25th) a Chesapeake 18 Kit as a Christmas gift.

Question:  What is the best way to prepare myself for this new experience?

I do woodworking and have good hand tools and a shop large enough to handle the build.

Am also looking forward to being a member of the Forum and to learn from you.

8 replies:

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RE: Getting Ready for First Build

1. Read the manual. Read it again. Read it a couple more times.

2. Use this forum. Several of us have web sites documenting our experiences.

3. Don't be too clever. Many, many people have built these boats before and it is extremely rare - but not unheard of - for a new builder to find a better way to do it.

4. If you do get a new idea, run it by the forum first.

5. Use the epoxy very sparingly. It holds everything together, but adds little strength in itself. It does add weight, though, that can add up quickly.

6. Do your best work, but don't fret if it's imperfect. Nobody else will ever notice and imperfections rarely affect performance.

7. Have fun with the build. If it isn't fun, set it aside for a day.

8. Show us pictures when you are done.


RE: Getting Ready for First Build

All great points. 

Keep you your work area as clean as possible. Dust is your enemy!

While impossible to keep all it away (it is smaller than 1 micron when sanding resin. 

What drops into your coats of resin, varnish and paint you will spend time sanding it out. 

This is very important! 

Like wearing seat belts... get in habit of wearing a dust mask and a good mask with an organic filter when working with resin. Since the resin is very low odor it is easy to forget that it is not good to breath the vapors. 

Maintain adequate ventalation and keep a fire extinguisher handy in your shop. 

Ask questions for clarification.  I have been building for many years and I am always learning more and filling in my brain fart gaps. 


RE: Getting Ready for First Build

No matter how many clamps you have you will need more.....

George K

RE: Getting Ready for First Build

Here is a link to my notes on building a Shearwater 17 from a CLC kit. Note that there are some items you will need that are not included in your kit. I mentioned using alcohol to clean up uncured epoxy, but have since found that white vinegar works better.


RE: Getting Ready for First Build

Get BRIGHT lights for your shop. Its easier to see where to sand, thin spots, thick spots, drips, sags--all rely on good light.

 Mix little less epoxy at first than you think you'll need.  A little goes a long way.  For example just one pump of expoxy/hardener gives enough to glue all the sheer clamps together.  Unless you have another step that needs the epoxy right then, it's wasted in the cup.  But the little pucks it makes are good coasters. :)

Get a thermometer for your shop. Varnish/epoxy really are temp/humidity sensitive.  Follow the guidelines printed on the container.

Take lots of pictures so we can see how it's going.  And they are helpful when you get to your next build.

Have fun!

RE: Getting Ready for First Build

All good points -

I'd add to the first responder ("read the manual again and again") - the video series on this site is excellent for reducing anxiety - and Chris is very entertaining.

I've found the CLC staff to be very friendly and willing to help by phone or email I have run into puzzling parts - and they reply quickly.

I am more than halfway through my first build myself, two 17LT's in parallel.  Started in october.  Once you get into it you'll be a lot more comfortable with the process.


Good luck, and enjoy!

RE: Getting Ready for First Build

Thanks to each of you for your advice and experience.  I'm anticipating a good time!

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