To fat for the boat

In 2008 I started building a Chesapeake 16.  I was at 172 when I started.  This was a plans build boat.  All the plans and books were geat.  The boat was very eays to build.  I took me from Sept 2008 unitil May 2010 to complete. 

Life got in the way of building so it took a little longer than usual.  In October 2009 I had a heard attack and slowed me down a little.  I launched the boat in on May 31st at Lake of the Ozarks.  I was very disapointed.  The boat seemed very unstable and turned over several times so I put it away.  I though I had done somthing wrong.  What I did not realize was the boat was 9 pounds heaver that the plans.  In additon I had gained 28 pounds during the last year.  Starting out at 179 adding 20  28 pounds and the boat being a little over weight I realized it was my fault. 

The maximum paddler weight is 180 pounds.  So over labor day weekend I attached styrofom noodles with bunge cords to add stability and it worked.  The boat is great.  But I will start a Chesapeake 17 with a paddler weight of 180 to 250 next week.

The moral of the story is the plans are great the boat is great but you need to pay attention to the charts for weight and what you will be doing with the boat.

If anyone is looking for a Chesapeake 16 I will let it go because I will never fit the max paddler weight.


4 replies:

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RE: To fat for the boat

Hi DH,

  I had the same problem with a "Mini Benny". Thought it would be a good small boat for solo paddeling and the specs said 6' 5" and 180 lbs max paddeler size. Being shorter but heavier and figuring there had to be some allowance for cargo weight was the wrong decision. It quickly became my daughters boat at the first launching when I had 1" of freeboard at the cockpit and water washing over the aft deck with me in it. Moral of the story, don't second guess the designer.



RE: To fat for the boat

Congratulations on finishing your boat. It is a big project.

Before you start your next boat it might be a good idea to paddle a 17 and see if it is what you really want. You could check the CLC Builders Club and see if there is a boat in the area you could try. CLC has done several demos in that area but now you would probably have to wait for next summer for another one.

While you might be on the heavy side for a 16 you are still under the suggested max load for the boat which means you should still be able to paddle it without gear. The 17 will have nowhere near the stability of a 16 with floats. If you liked the feel of the 16 with pool noodles you might be happier with something like a wood duck.

It would be too bad to put all the work into another boat and still wind up with the wrong boat.

RE: To fat for the boat

I also chose the CLC 16 and at 230 pounds I ned a 17'. I think the Max Paddler weight and the Max pay-load can cause some confusion. When packing "Pay-load" (camping gear, water etc,) the load is carried below the water line. I have a large chest and upper body. Not so much a fat guty but a rather large frame muscular guy. I definitely don't feel safe/stable in a lot of paddling conditions because my COG is just too high for the 16'. I just posted a WTT on the forum looking to trade my completed CLC 16 for a higher volume 17'...

Anyhoo, I am too heavy for the 16' hull.


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