I recently purchased a roughly 9 year old Chesapeake 18, which unfortunately has a pretty large crack in the deck beam. While some bug thought it was a great place for a cocoon, I think I should repair it before going off-shore farther than I can swim!
At first I thought I could just grab a clamp and some glue, and have it fixed in no time. Like I said, I bought the boat, I didn't build the boat, I'm definitely a beginner! Now I realize that I would need a clamp with a 12+ inch throat to even reach the crack given its distance from the cockpit. I have not found such a clamp for sale for less than $200+ which is definitely more than I want to spend. I'm wondering if I could improvise in essence some big chop-sticks which I tighten from the cockpit using a more modest clamp. Has anyone done something like that? Any other suggestions on how to pull the crack tight again?
Should I pull the crack tight before I apply glue, or apply glue and then pull the crack tight? There are some nails/screws involved, and I'm a little worried if I pull the crack tight without glue, I'll have difficulty re-openning the crack enought to apply the glue. However, if I apply the glue first, I'm worried that I will fail to pull the crack tight.
I don't even know what glue to use. Should I order epoxy (is it even safe to ship epoxy during freezing weather?), or can I just buy something at the local big-box store that would work as well?
Instead of pulling the crack tight, would I be better off just filling the crack with something like an epoxy sawdust mix?
I'll try to include a low-res picture in this post. A higher resolution version is at http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gMdS1RZUJBOOLFfB5ZwJvw?feat=directlink