Retro fitting a strip deck to S&G kayak

I've got a Cheseapeke 16 (mine) and 16LT (my wifes) I built maybe 20 years ago.  Still in very good shape in spite of a lot of outdoor storage.  Very clear suntan lines from hatch straps and bungie cords.

We aren't as spry as we used to be and those little keyhole cockpits are nearly impossible to get in to and out of so the boats have gone a couple of years with zero use.

My wife even bought a 9' x 30" plastic tub, which she paddles some.

I cut a new, much bigger, cockpit hole in my boat and made a new coaming with strips of ash.  Also added a comfy seat from Amazon.  Now I love it!  Paddling for exercise 4-5 times a week. The reduced sea-worthiness is not a concern as we only paddle on a small inland lake.

Anyway, she is ready for the same modification to her C 16LT.  I'd love to replace the entire deck with a strip planked one and am puzzling out how to do it.

One way would be to copy the shape of the existing deck and make temporary molds 12" on center.  Any thoughts about the best way to pick up the deck shape accurately and also how to secure the molds in the hull firmly enough to support the stripping yet be easy to get out without damaging the hull?

A crazier thought I have is to leave the plywood deck on and use it as the mold to create the stripper deck, remove the new deck, sand, fiberglass inside and out as usual, then remove the plywood and attach the lovely new deck.  Thoughts about how to temporarily attach the strips to the plywood while the glue between the strips drys?  That 4mm ply seems pretty bouncy to nail or staple into plus I'm hoping to avoid all those holes in the strips.

Or how about just epoxying the strips to the old plywood deck?  Do you see any issues with this besides a little more weight?

Thanks for reading my windy post and I appreciate your feedback.


2 replies:

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RE: Retro fitting a strip deck to S&G kayak

  I should have done the math before pressing submit above.  Appears the 4 mm Ocoume deck weighs about 7 pounds, probably too much to leave under the strip deck. 

RE: Retro fitting a strip deck to S&G kayak

This is a fun problem. 

Just spitballing here, but what if you cut out ~1ft sections of the old plywood deck in a transverse fashion (little trapezoids), sparing a series of 1-2cm "ribs" of the old deck on top of which you could add a stripped deck? It'd be like creating forms from the deck.

You'd save on the weight of the okoume while maintaining the complex curves. I'd imagine you'd have to feather things a bit at the deck/hull interfact but a nice roundover could make it work.

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