CH17-LT Deck beam thickness?

Good afternoon,

I have just started building my first kayak, a 17LT from plans.  While I wait for all of my materials to arrive, I've been preparing the wood pieces and I have a question about the deck beam.

The plans say to glue 6 strips of 4mm playwood together which will make a deck beam that is approximately 1 inch thick.  The manual on the other hand, says to glue 5 strips of 4mm plywood together which would make a slightly thinner deck beam.  I'm tending toward just the 5 strips rather than the 6 as long as the outside radius is 16".  To me that would seem strong enough.

Do you think I should use 5 or 6 strips?



4 replies:

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RE: CH17-LT Deck beam thickness?


I used 4 or 5 1/8" strips of ash, laminated over a 15" radius jig (which sprung back to 16" beautifully!).  My final thickness was about 3/4", which seems plenty strong..., especially considering some folks leave the beam out altogether!  My 17LT Modified is coming up on the paint/varnish stage.  Was a very fun project, can't wait to actually use it....

I'd go with 5, as 6 seems a bit extreme.

Good luck,


RE: CH17-LT Deck beam thickness?


I am working on a kit build of a 17LT.  The deck beam in the kit arrives as two parts already cut to radius.  These two parts are then laminated.  So rather than horizontal laminations of long rectangular pieces bent on a jig, the only glue joint is flat and vertical.  Finished height 1" x width 3/4."  note: the wood grain of the outside veneer of my pieces is oriented horizontally across the beam, not vertically.


RE: CH17-LT Deck beam thickness?

Thanks for that info Tim.  Sounds like the kit comes with two 3/8" pieces that make the 3/4" width. 

From the plans an manual I can't see an exact width for the beam other than  comment in the manual that say to make the 6 strips for the lamination a minimum of 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" wide.  If you glued 6 strips of 4mm at 1 1/2" wide, that would make a heavy duty deck beam.  (1 inch thick by 1 1/2" wide)

I'm going to go with 5 strips rough cut at 1 1/4" and then trim the laminated beam to 7/8" or 1" wide.  I think that will be more than strong enough.

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