Re: buying a used clc 14

Posted by Laszlo on Feb 15, 2005

With all due respect to Toby, if you watched the shopcam last week at the end of the first day the panels were scarfed and waiting for the epoxy to set. In the same length of time (real time, not just labor) you could be out on the water in a complete boat.

For some reason, many time estimates ignore waiting for the kit to arrive, unpacking the box, cleaning out and setting up the workshop, building the support frame, reading the instructions until you understand every step and waiting for the epoxy, varnish and paint to cure. Not to mention getting all the stuff you need that's not in the kit - sandpaper, skin, ear, eye and breathing protection, etc. In addition, there's the skill and experience factor.

At the CLC boatbuilding class, all the materials and tools are provided, as well as an experienced instructor, and you don't do anything else for the whole week. So it's pretty much the best case scenario. Watching the shopcam again, at the end of the week although the hulls were pretty much complete, they still hadn't even started the sanding and finishing phase which the manual states will take the majority of building time.

So while building is a blast (I'm building boat #4 right now), if you just want a boat and don't care about building, an 8-hour clock time investment is hard to beat.

That said, you can ask all the questions you want and until you actually see the boat you won't really know what you have so you're going to have to spend the 8 hours anyway.

The main thing I would look for is the general quality of workmanship. Take a flashlight and look inside the hatches at the seams. Don't worry too much if the weave is not filled because that does not affect the seam strength. Look for nice even seams with completely transparent glass. White glass means either the glass wasn't properly saturated or that the glass was sanded and not resealed with epoxy. Too much of either means a weak seam.

Check out the cockpit seams for the same criteria. The cockpit glass should also be well saturated.

If the seams are thick, that'll cause excess weight but no structural issues. Any unfilled glass weave is a purely cosmetic problem as long as the glass is transparent.

Taped seams that are slightly bumpy along the puttied portion are OK. If they're bumpy along the glass that indicates that the glass has floated and is not directly bonded to the wood. That point will be somewhat brittle. A few of these is OK, but if it's consistent over the seam then that's a weak seam.

A raised edge along the glass tape is just the selvedge and is purely cosmetic.

Check for black and dark spots on all exposed wood, inside and out. That indicates cracks in the epoxy that have let some moisture in. Tap the wood at those areas and listen for differences in sound that indicate rot. If the cracks were caught early enough and correctly repaired, there will be no rot and the spots will be just a cosmetic thing.

Tap the whole boat and listen for changes in sound that indicate rot. Be aware of the bulkhead locations and other internal structures that will modify the tapping sound (use the plans for this).

Make sure that the seller includes the plans and instruction book so that you can repair or modify the boat, if necessary.

I'm sure others will have more to say.

Good luck,


In Response to: buying a used clc 14 by kayakpurchaser on Feb 14, 2005


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