Cutting plywood deck beams

Sorry if this has already been asked and answered. I looked but couldn't find it. 

For the Ch17LT, is it permissable to cut the deck beams to the correct radius out of ply (and laminating to the correct thickness) instead of making the jig, laminating the ply, and hoping for correct springback? Is it a structural issue? It looks like that is the way kit builders would do it. I'm building from plans and it seems easier to do it the "kit" way. Not trying to cut corners, but the less I have to fabricate, the less chance I have to screw it up!




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RE: Cutting plywood deck beams


There is absolutely no problem doing it that way. As you say, that's how it's done in the kits. My wife's CH16LT has lasted 13 years now with a sawn, not laminated, deck beam.

There may be a strength advantage to the lamination but for the Chessies it's not needed. They're lightly stressed boats. Personally, I suspect that any strength advantage disappears when you compare a first-time amateur builder's lamination to a professionally manufactured piece of plywood.

I suspect that it's specified as laminated for historical reasons or for wood conservation. If I remember correctly, the deckbeam is the only piece of wood that thick in the kit.

Have fun,


RE: Cutting plywood deck beams

That's a great idea and possibly should be in the manual as an option with the understanding that it may use more materials.  Stack Fab is huge in the CNC industry.  No reason to not take advantage of that at home.  I've watched a million woodworking videos where people do laminations and every single one of them had different amounts of springback.  No need for that to be a variable.

RE: Cutting plywood deck beams

   Looking back, I wish I'd made my 17 LT deck beam that way. It would have saved an awful lot of work. Of course, if the first one had turned out OK that would have saved some work  but hey ho!  :-)

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