Construction comparisons - Shearwaters vs Chesapeakes

Could any builder with experience of constructing both a Chesapeake 17 (or any other version) and a Shearwater 17 – both in S&G – give me some guidance on the relative difficulties and differences between the two jobs?   I particularly like the lines of the Shearwater and have seen some fine examples Down Here with strip-plank decks, however I prefer at this stage of my building expertise to stick with S&G.   I’m about to order a seat and some other bits from CLC for my Chesapeake, and could combine an order for Shearwater plans if it seems the way to go for the next project.  

I’m particularly interested in what I see on the Construction Gallery photos, where there appear to be no sheer clamps, which in a Chesapeake form the hull-to-deck joint.   I assume this may be to do with the fairly large angle on the Shearwater where the ‘tumblehome’ or outer part of the deck meets the top of the hull – maybe it’s too steep for a conventional timber sheer clamp.   I recall I had a similar query with the SIS, which has a similar deck-hull angle.Also, the three-part deck appears to be separately constructed upside down and glass-clothed and epoxied all over the underside before attaching to the hull – is this correct?I imagine that if there is no sheer clamp the deck-to-hull joint is stitched, then finished from inside by means of epoxy and tape (maybe fillets too – though I cannot see how it could be done, even by a contortionist!) via very long arms or midget helpers operating through the cockpit opening and hatches.   Is this so?   Here’s the rub – I don’t want to install hatches!   So – is there a way for me to construct a Shearwater with this constraint?   Advice and info gladly accepted and appreciated, as always.   Cheers – Lol from Oz

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RE: Construction comparisons - Shearwaters vs Chesapeakes

I built a Shearwater and posted the build start to finish at my blog, here...

I think you will have trouble building one with no hatches on such a long boat. The hull to deck joint, as you guessed, is filleted and taped.

If you build with recessed hatches, like mine, they are about as 'invisible' as hatches can be. The bulkheads also help with shaping and assembly, not to mention the safety factor they provide if you go over.


RE: Construction comparisons - Shearwaters vs Chesapeakes

Fishbuster - thanks - I have looked at your blog previously and it is a real inspiration!   I guess my query really boils down to one principle - is it possible to build the Shearwater with conventional inner sheer clamps like almost all other sea kayaks of its kind (and if not, rationally, why not?).   If the worst comes to the worst I will clearly have to put hatches in, although for my day-paddling intentions (no expeditioning for me!) they would be superfluous and rarely if ever used.   But if I have to, I will!

Thanks for your response.

Lol from Oz

RE: Construction comparisons - Shearwaters vs Chesapeakes

I suppose you could if you were determined to do so. Your sheer panels would have to be cut oversize to hang off the sides for trimming later on as your bevels on the sheer clamps would not be absolutely perfect.

You can do whatever you want when you are building your own boat. If you can see the method and see it finished in your head, then you can do it.

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