How exact do the seams need to match up?


 I'm building a Shearwate 14.  I've got the entire thing stitched together per the manual.  I'm just wondering how well all the seams need to match up.  Most of them are perfectly aligned, but there are a few where there is a slight overlap of one panel on the other (maybe 1/16 inch).  Particularly on the deck in front of the cockpit where there is quite a bend in the Sapele.  The top (Sapele) panel is slightly higher than the bottom(Okume) panel.  I've put in some extra stitches, but it's still riding a bit high in a few spots.  Would tape help?  SHould I put in even more stitches? 

 This probably depends on how much these joints will be sanded/rounded prior to fiberglassing I'm guessing.  Having never done this before, I don't want to mess it up and end up sanding through the top layer of the plywood to get the seams to match.




4 replies:

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RE: How exact do the seams need to match up?

Try pulling the pieces together with straps, dampen the panels and put in extra stitches. Strapping tape helps too. You don't want to sand the sapele any more than necessary because the outer plies are quite thin.

RE: How exact do the seams need to match up?

Great, thanks.  As far as using tape goes, what type of tape is best?  I'm a little afraid to use anything too strong that will pull splinters of wood off when I remove it.  Obviously there is a trade-off between having enough strenth to hold the joint and not so much that you pull bits of wood off when you remove it.  Maybe I'll do a few tape tests on some of the pieces I have from my kit that you don't see (hatch doubler, coaming spacers)  I think I'm going to have to use tape on those little skinny wing pieces at the ends of the Okume pieces on the deck (front and back); they are too narrow to wire and they tend to stick up or down. 

 I'm so glad this forum is here.  I don't know how I would have done it if it weren't for help from people who have done this before, and who have posted replies and photos.  


RE: How exact do the seams need to match up?

It is a good bit more work but you can also loosen or remove a few ties, and use a sharp knife to slightly bevel the inside corners.  Then you do not need to get two corners to line up but two slight flat spots.



PS on my chesapeaks I just got it reasonably close, tabbed with epoxy smutz, pulled the wires, and then used some epoxy / wood flour to "caulk the joint" on the outside before final sanding.

The boat still floats.



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