Deck beam on Chesapeake

I don't like the idea of putting a screw through the side to hold the deck beam in place?

Has anyone successfully mounted the deck beam without the screws through the top of the side panels. I am considering using Ca glue to hold the in place while the Epoxy sets up. Any suggestions?

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RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

Hi Sandy, 

i have built several chesapeakes and offer the following thoughts:

first, the purpose of the deckbeam is to provide a form over which you can bend the deck and lock the deck into its rounded shape.

the main reason for the screws is to secure the deck beam securely enough so while bending the deck over it, it will not break free.   but once the deck is securely in place and glued, the screw is overkill. 

while bending the deck over the form, there is a lot of down force put on the can be a real wrestling match.  so that said, if you can secure it such that it doesn't break free during this are home free.

fwiw i don't think CA glue will do the trick and would recommend a glue of epoxy thickened with cabosil.   you could do that adn when that is all cured and secure, you could  test bend the deck over the beam.  if it doesn't break free.....then you are ok.   you could also do the screw from the inside into the deck beam  for some temporary strength and then pull it out after you do the deck - (you could also do this from the outside....but then you will have a hole that you will need to do something with --- not a problem if you are painting the hull....but maybe not what you want if you are thinking of a varnished (bright) finish.)

my second thought is i don't really understand the reason you are looking to avoid using the screw....perhaps if you could tell us more about that, we could propose a solution that is better aimed at the problem you are trying to solve (or avoid).





RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

I built my wife's CH16LT entirely without metal fasteners of any sort and it worked out just fine. I glued the deck beam in place with epoxy/woodflour glue and gave it several days to cure before attaching the deck. There were no issues.

I'm with Howard on the unsuitability of CA glue.

Have fun,




RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

   Does this mean you are going to try and not put deck nails in the deck?

RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

That's definitely possible to do. My wife's boat has no nails and I've seen many others built the same way over the years. Straps, tape and shrink wrap do a good job of holding the deck on while the glue cures.



RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

   I just finished a C-17 a couple of months ago.  No screws in the deck beam - thickened epoxy for the glue joint, then a nice filet after that.  It was a bit finicky holding everything straight on the first gluing - the epoxy makes everything slippery.  While dry for fit up, the friction just held it in place, but I found I needed some strategic clamping to keep everythingabout the deck beam lined up while waiting for the first glue to set.

I dis (and do) suspect the screw is overkill structurally; with the deck glued on and filets in place the beam isn't goin anywhere without a full-force body slam to the top of the deck - and in that case I don't think the screws would make a difference either, just more splits in the wood.

I did nail the deck down.  I see above that others have done well with no nails, but without a lot of effort I'd guess there would be a high chance of achieving a "wavy" hull to deck seam.  Maybe a helper and a good roll of shrink wrap would be the way to go.  But I think the nails look kind of nice.

RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

  Thanks for all  suggestions. I was planning to nail the deck, but after reading Laszlo's post, I may choose to use straps tape and shrink wrap to hold the deck in place.

I used a roller to apply the Epoxy on the outside of the hull as suggested by Laszlo, when I was working on a Shearwater Sport, and I have not had to deal with any runs on my Chesapeake so far. I have applied 4 very thin coats of Epoxy so far, and may need a 5th coat in some spots. 

My Shearwater required a lot of sanding to even out the finish, but thanks to the roller method this build will on require a little hand sanding to get a mirror finish,prior to Varnishing.

RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

i have also built a number of the chesapeake series without nails.

the technique i have used with good success is fibreglass reinforced strapping tape (this is an ~ $8 dollar item at the local hardware store).

a deck will eat up a roll....but the glass in the strapping tape prevents it from stretching and it comes off easily if removed in within and week or so.   it is also easy to see what you are doing when using it.

another pair of hands is always useful doing this....but like others have said above, i have had great success in going without nails.



RE: Deck beam on Chesapeake

   Just as a follow-up to the discussion. I did end up installing the deckbeam without the supplied screws, and with the addition to substantial epoxy fillets, the deckbeam wasn't going anywhere. After trying a dry fit on the Bow section of the deck,I decided to go with the supplied nails. In fact, I ended up spacing the nails 3 inches apart instead of the recommended 4 inches. The nails look okay, and they definitely make it easier to achieve a good result. I can see there is a lot of thought put into the instructions provided with these kits. I will leave making major changes, like not using nails to install the deck, until I have many more builds completed.Thanks again to ali of builders who regularly give advice on this forum. Also thanks to the staff at Chesapeake for continually updating and improving the instruction manuals supplied with the kits. I compared the manual I had from the Chesapeake 17 that I built about 20 years ago to the one supplied with this kit,and there is no comparison. The instructions and extra explanations included ,is like a magazine artical compared to a complete book today.

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