Chesapeake 14 Stern

Hi everyone!  I'm almost ready for fillets, but I have a gap between the bottom panels and the side panels at the stern that won't close.  It starts 3 3/4" from the stern, and gradually opens to its widest point - 1/8" at the stern.  I've done a lot of fiddling with the wires but it doesn't want to come together.  Is this something that just happens sometimes?  Is there a trick to getting them to close, or should I work around it by cutting slivers of wood to put in there, or simply mask it off and fill it with wood flourthickened epoxy during filleting?  

Thanks for your time and advice!
- Mike

4 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Chesapeake 14 Stern


What's the order you used? Close stern on bottom, then add the side panels? Or add side panels to bottom and then close the stern? If you've only tried one, try the other.

That said, unless you're varnishing the hull, an 1/8th inch gap can be filled in with epoxy/woodflour putty and never be noticed. It won't affect the way the boat handles and it won't be a strength issue.

For that matter, if you paint the bottom and run it up a quarter inch onto the side panel, it'll be invisible on a varnished boat, too.  

Good luck,



RE: Chesapeake 14 Stern

Hi Mike, 

I will sometimes use strapping tape in addition to copper wire to pull pieces into position.  you can apply a lot of pressure safely.  its a great little tool in to have in the arsenal.  there are actually some stitch and glue designs where all the "stitching" is done with high grade strapping tape (the kind with fibreglass fibres in it - example )

so if laszlo's suggestion doesn't close it up. you can try that.

the other thing i would do is look at the piece carfully to ensure you don't have a nub on the wood (where the CNC cutter did not go all the way) that is interfering with the correct profile of the piece and interfering with it coming together.  i have had that be the problem as well in the past.



RE: Chesapeake 14 Stern

Hi Laszlo and hspira - sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I wanted to thank you for your advice and give you an update!  I had initially wired the keel the stern plate fairly tightly, then was wiring the sides.  How tight to make the wires and when was something I didn't quite understand from the video and instruction book.  I think I might have gone too tight, too soon across the board.  I loosened the wires on the keel and the stern plate, and that let me get the sides closer to the bottom panels, and also fixed a twist that i hadn't noticed until after I posted here.  There is still a gap, but it's small enough that I didn't have any issues with anything squishing through while filleting.  After filleting, I noticed that there is a bit of the darn twist back in the stern (I sanded the puzzle joints too thin on one side, causing a lot of problems that I battled, and almost won, but lost in the end).  I'm going to keep building, keep screwing things up, and keep learning.  Might need to invest in a rudder for this one, but the next one will be better!

RE: Chesapeake 14 Stern

...and this boat is probably going to be painted thanks to some body filler that is going to be needed to fair the wobbles from my thinly-sanded side.  I'm lobbying for stripes of varished wood toward the bow (like the Coast Guard's red stripe, but wood), but the boat is my 11 year old son's - so it might end up 100% day-glow purple or something ridiculous.  I'm leaving it up to him :D 

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.