Re: "Tabbing" on a CH-16

Posted by Laszlo on Mar 14, 2005


On my wife's 16LT, first thing I did was drill all the wiring holes, but I skipped every other wire in most places. Besides saving labor, it makes a fairer hull. The only places you actually need closely spaced wire is where you really torture (bend in multiple directions at once) the wood.

Next, I duct taped the outside of all the seams and painted all the edges with epoxy. This was to prevent starved joints and to seal the edges against rot.

Then, while the epoxy was still wet, or just getting tacky, I tabbed the hull using small tabs (about 3/8 inch long, maybe 1/4 inch wide) spaced 2 wire holes apart (more on the long flat runs) and let everything cure 24 hours. At that point the boat was solid enough to pick up.

Pulling the wire was next. I cut the twists with diagonal wire cutters and pulled the wires with heavy neadle-nosed pliers - no soldering iron, blowtorch, flamethrower, thermonuclear bomb, etc. for most. A few that did get involved with epoxy came out with a really hard, steady pull. The others needed a quick touch with a soldering iron.

Filleting and taping was a matter of painting a couple of inches on each side of the seam with epoxy for the entire length of the seam, then putting in a glob of putty and dragging it the length of the seam with a rounded implement. This time it was a plastic putty knife that had a 3/4 inch diameter end cut on it. In the past I've also used a root beer bottle or a gloved finger. A flat plastic putty knife was used to clean up the edges. The masking tape in the manual is unecessary and gets in the way.

As soon as the seams were done, I took the lengths of glass tape (which I had cut and labeled the night before, prep is everything), and unrolled them onto a plastic sheet and wet them out with epoxy. When each was perfect, it was put into the boat over a fillet and flattened out with a squeegee. Extra epoxy was added, if needed. The seams were perfectly wet out, smooth and of minimal size and weight. Any tape that was not right never made it into the boat.

Finally, after 24 hours I turned the boat over, peeled off the duct tape and rounded the outside of the seams with a sander. The couple of low spots and voids got a bit more putty.

So endeth the story of the seams.

It's a lot easier than it sounds, especially if you practice each step with some scrap before you do it for real. have fun,


In Response to: "Tabbing" on a CH-16 by Matt Croce on Mar 13, 2005