Re: Panel Length:Total =?

Posted by Laszlo on Jul 12, 2004

Hey Lloyd,

I'm building a 16LT from the kit and just finished winding the hull last night, so I can help with that boat at least.

The quick answers are:

1. In the kits scarf alignment rules

2. Don't worry about the absolute lengths, concentrate on symmetry in the panel pairs.

3. For specific dimensions, use the plans.

Now the log-winded stuff:

In general, the manual contains the generic assembly info, while the plans are specific to the boat model. When in doubt about dimensions, go to the plans.

But you don't need to worry about the actual length of the panels. Your lone team member was right. Since we're building from kits, all we have to do is properly align the scarfs. The CNC cutter was programmed to give us the correct lengths if we correctly align the scarfs.

Also, on these boats the absolute length is not the main thing to worry about. Stitch and glue is very forgiving that way. If the boat ends up a quarter to an entire inch too short, you'd have a tough time noticing that, as long as the difference is consistent on all the panels.

What is very important, though, is the relative lengths of the panel pairs and their symmetry. Each panel pair should be as close to identical as possible. A difference in relative lengths will bend your boat toward the shorter panle and/or leave a bubble in the hull. I believe the stated tolerance is 1/8 ". But since you're building from a kit, you can very easily achieve that.

When I did my panels I used the stacked assembly method (it's actually visible in that joke picture about butt blocks vs. scarfs that I posted here a while ago) described in the book and ended up with each pair within 1/32" of each other in each dimension without even trying too hard.

So be careful, but don't get hung up on it. Do a bunch of practice runs without the glue to get confidence in your procedure, then just hop in and do it. I spent 4 hours setting everything up and practicing all the moves, found the ideal spots to put the weights, the ideal amount of weight for each spot, found how much I could lift the panels without changing the alignment, etc., then got everything (all panels & sheer clamps) glued in 15 minutes.

One last tip. For the 16LT, I mixed up 3 oz of unthickened epoxy and 3 oz of glue at the same time. Each joint was slathered with the unthickened stuff before the glue was applied. Absolutely no chance of a starved joint that way. Then I just slopped on the glue and ran a serrated scraper along the length of the joint to properly distribute it.

Good luck,


In Response to: Panel Length:Total =? by Lloyd on Jul 11, 2004