BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!

Hello all,  Well I am excited because I am finally stiching my Kayak together.  I have stitched from the bow about half way to the stern.  This is when I realized that one of my shear clamps scarf joints had come apart.  Ouch! It also delaminated from the side panel a little, Maybe about 3 inches.  My only thought on how to fix this is to try and get some epoxy into the scarf joint some how and clamp it back together.   I had the thought that I could try to predrill a hole and run a 1 inch screw into the shear clamp but I am afraid of the kayak flexing and cracking the shear clamp.  I have put so much time into this so far and I am hopeing this can be fixed asap.  Please post your possible solutions. I will take a few pictures so you can more easily see my problem. 

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RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!

Upon further inspection I found that the same has started on the opposite side.  Here are the pictures.


RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!

The opposite side is not as bad.


RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!


Take a deep breath, everything will be fine. Since you haven't even finished stitching yet, it's still easy to fix.

First, no screws. It'll just weaken the wood. A proper epoxy bond is stronger, too.

Your instincts are right - get some epoxy glue into the failed areas and just clamp them for a day or two. A syringe works great, you can buy them here for only $1.75. The only wild card is whether you should undo the stitches or not. If you can get the epoxy in and the clamps close the gap without changing the boat's shape, you're fine. Otherwise, undo as many stitches as necessary, then add the glue and clamps.

Good luck,




RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!


I appreciate the quick response.  It also good to hear that my instincts are right.  I will mix up some epoxy and cab o sil and get this problem fixed. 

This problem is definately not as bad as when I accidentally snapped my bottom panels in half.  Yes, I snapped the bottom panels in half about a week ago. I went to move the bottom panels, and was not thinking but I had the panels over my head trying to turn them around and I heard a cracking and then a snap.  The panels landed on the floor and I wsa left cursing for the rest of the day.  I fixed them right away by cutting off the damaged area, scarfing the panels and then expoying them back together.

RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!

Take another deep breath, Danno - I hope I'm wrong in this but have you perhaps shortened your bottom panels by putting in that extra unwanted scarf joint?    

You're not the only one to snap things!   I've 'lost' one bow tip of my Shearwater 17, now under construction, just moving it around, and as for the number of times I've snapped-off the needle-like point of one of the sheer panels...

Enjoy the rest of the build...


RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!

Danno --

Before you try fixing the delaminated scarf, I suggest you try to figure out what went wrong in the first place.  One thought: Perhaps you clamped the scarf so tightly you forced the epoxy out?  The joint should be clamped sufficiently to hold it in place, but no tighter.  Clamp it tightly and there's not enough epoxy left to make a strong joint.  Properly done, the wood should fail before the scarf -- I've stressed sample joints to failure, and that's what happens.  You might want to sand the wood in the joints down so the first coat of thin (no filler) epoxy can penetrate the wood, before adding the thickened epoxy.

I'd also suggest unstitching everything, laying the shear clamp/panel assembly out flat, and dealing with it that way.  I'm thinking that if you attempt to re-epoxy to a curve other than the final curve, you might build in a kink.  Not sure about this, but why take the chance?  It should be easier to do it right in the assembly is flat, anyway.

I agree with Lazlo about the screw, for what it's worth.

  -- Jim

RE: BIG problem on my Chesapeake 17 build!! Help!

G'day danno, I agree with Jim and wonder why the joint failed in the first place. Did you mix glue powder with the epoxy or just use it unthickened ?.Did you prime the parts to be joined with unthickened epoxy first ?


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