Building Pair of Chesapeake 17LT's...

Hoping to get some expert advice about build times.  I have 5 weeks coming up with essentially nothing to do but build my two 17LT's.  My question is whether 5 weeks of non-stop time is enough to complete the pair of kayaks?? 


Thanks in advance!

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RE: Building Pair of Chesapeake 17LT's...

It took me 4 months to build one Ch16, but I'm a perfectionist. It's a curse

RE: Building Pair of Chesapeake 17LT's...

Probably.  I built a Ches 14 and an LT-17 simultaneously, both from plans.  Of course, it took me two years, but I can't quite say I was working full time on them!

Seriously, I think you can do it if you are working full time, and think carefully about scheduling tasks that necessarily take a fixed amount of time, like epoxy curing and varnish drying.  Be sure to have some useful task you can work on while waiting for something else to cure or dry.  I'm assuming you won't be working indoors, and won't be impeded by foul weather or cold temperatures?  If you're bulding from plans, it will be more of a push, for sure.

Bear in mind that finishing a kayak that is structurally complete probably takes just about as long as building the thing in the first place.  Figure 5 coats or more (and more is nice!) of varnish with the boat right side up, and 5 more with it upside down.  Plus all the sanding -- try really, really hard to keep your epoxy coats smooth with few if any runs, so the sanding goes more quickly.  But you'll still be amazed (depressed?) at how much time you'll spend sanding!

RE: Building Pair of Chesapeake 17LT's...


It took me 4 weeks to get the 17LT I built (from a kit) to the stage where I could paddle it, no hatches cut or varnish done.  That was over the Christmas period, so a few days off here and there and only three weeks off work.  The slow part is the finishing off bit.

Read the manual and watch the video, repeat this and number of times so you know exactly what to do.  A number of tasks can be done simultaneously, like gluing the shear clamps on the sides and the bits of the deck beam together.  Planing your epoxying is important as well as frequently I spent the day waiting for it to go off before I could proceed.  After glassing I did a coat in the morning and another at night to minimize the time.

Sanding does take a bit off time, just make sure you have plenty of sand paper (it is a consumable).  I started with 10 sheets each of 80, 120, 240 flat and the same for the random orbital sander.  I had to buy more 120 for the ROS.

If these are your first builds I would suggest doing them one at a time for the most part so you can learn from what you did the hard way.



RE: Building Pair of Chesapeake 17LT's...

Building a Chesapeake 17 lt would take 15 consecutive days if you plan things out, in this 15 days you will find most days will be 3-4hours then wait 24hours for curing so you could actually do two boats in more or less the same time frame for example am install deck on boat a, pm install deck on boat b wait 24hrs etc.

You can really save time when building two of the same boat by doubling up on tasks like cutting out shapes by layering up the ply so you cut once but end up with two parts.

I do think it would be a good idea to build one at a time if it is your first build as a lot of learning as you go takes place and if you do two, things could get a bit hectic you might feel rushed. 

RE: Building Pair of Chesapeake 17LT's...

I agree with Craig.  Build them one at a time, or at least build the second one several steps behind the first one.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what you did wrong or could have done better.

I am building 2 Chesapeake 16s.  The second one is much better than the first one.  On boat 2, my fillets are smaller and much cleaner, I took more time to smooth out the fiberglass and the surface is smoother (wrinkles where the glass was folded take time to smooth out and show up if you don't smooth them). Deck beam and rear bulkhead placement affect the cockpit opening in ways that are much more apparent once they are all in place and you start to put the deck on, putting the deck on boat two will be much easier. The end pours are smaller in boat two.  I'll be more careful with epoxy drips on the remainder of boat two.....

What you spend time agonizing over on boat one will be much easier and enjoyable on boat two.

Paul in Phoenix




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