Chesapeake hybrid build tips

�I'm about 3/4 done with the hull on my Chesapeake 18 and will hopefully be starting on the strip deck soon. The hybrid page on this site has some good basic info but I do enjoy researching others tips and suggestions. Unfortunately I just don't see to much info anywhere on this build. Just looking for some info on things such as forming the deck molds (understanding use of stock radius templates), and any other good suggestions as to help make the process smoother. So if you have completed a Chesapeake hybrid I'd love to hear from you. Thanks.

11 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

i will take a crack at this since there are no replies.  my caveats, i have done strippers/hybrids...just not on a chesapeake model. i have built several chesapeakes but all with the standard deck.  and i have customized decks on strip-builts so they were my own design....not according to designers plans

my understanding on the chesapeake is that you will make the forms yourself using the radius that comes with the kit.   a couple thoughts:

  1. the hull needs to be properly supported and not twisted so that everything is in its proper shape/alignment before starting to outline/build forms.  it is important that the hull is completed/stable.  that means the epoxy/glass work on the inside and outside is completed and the hull is basically locked into shape.
  2. make sure you have a system you are comfortable with on how you will handle the interface of the hull with the temporary form. the forms need to be stable/sturdy so they are not moving around. when cutting the forms, you will use the radius to create the top of the form.  i would shoot for at least three inches into the hull of the forms so hot glue (to temporarily attach the form to the hull) has some space to work, hold the form steady.
  3. spacing -- every would be unwise to go farther than 12 inches betwee forms.
  4. test-strips before glueing your strips.  when you make a custom form and/or you haven't developed (through experience) a reliable alignment system, it is important to confirm your work by putting test strips that are not glued to adjoining strips so you can see that the curves are as expected and that you will not get waves, bulges or other imperfections in you deck.   when i do a custom deck i will do at least three test down the centerline and two strips that bisect the centerline and the sheer line (one on each side).  and carefully check these strips for waves/fareness/bulges or other indications of problems in any of the underlying forms.  if it is a large deck i might do a couple more test strips to ensure i have coverage to ensure the deck will glue up fair.   bulges are gotten rid of by taking a rasp to the form...and taking it down.  depressions can be built up with some tape.  severe problems can be dealth with by replacing the form.
  5. anything you find on other hybrids like the shearwater is probably good reading and useful in terms of general ideas/concepts.  there is really nothing 'unique' in my view about a chesapeake hull/hybrid other than it does not appear to have a kit option that is sold with the forms pre-cut for you.  so i think focusing on cutting your forms and how you want to integrate it with the hull is the most critical area of consideration.

RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

I know some time has gone by but thanks for the tips. I just finished the forms while the end pours were drying over New Years. I'll be starting the striping this week and revisited this post for your tips. 

RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips


a couple notes since i saw you are getting ready.

i will assume that you are using shearclamps as part of your construction and that they will provide the glueing surface for the to-be-completed deck to the completed hull.

if you have not already, it is important that you plane your shear clamps now in the same curve as your deck forms making sure that the outside-most (outisde of the hull)   part of the curve is planed down into the hull sides.   this is no different than how you would plane them if you were doing a regular deck.    the point being that if you do the deck forms and shear clamps properly....when you strip the will be exactly like the deck/hull interface that you are building towards....with no significant gap between the full and deck....other than the final attachment, what you see is what you are going to get.   i would also note that you do not need the deck beams if you are doing a strip deck.  where the deck beams are should be forms.

so a couple ideas for the steps from here.

1) finish the forms/planing the shear.

2) a couple test strips to make sure your forms are 'fare'

3) use duct tape or packing tape to cover the forms and shear clamp to prevent wood glue from strips accidently from sticking the deck to the forms or shearclamps.  you should also use some plastic inside the hull to prevent glue drips from collecting inside the hull.

4) strip your deck

5) sort out how you will handle the cockpit....there are a couple different can decide once you are well along your stripping.   depending on how you approach this this can impact order of operations for the following:

6) glass inside of deck

7) glass outside of deck

8) final hatch and cockpit work

9) final inside hull work (e.g., foot rests/tracks, attachment points, etc.)

9) attach deck to hull

10) glass over the deck/hull interface on the outside of the boat (not necessary on the inside becuase you are using shear clamps).

i think the most interesting sorting out phase will be how you want to handle cockpit and coaming (e.g., recessed/not recessed, how you want to buld risers and coaming, etc......but you can sort that out a bit later.

all the best


RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

   i should have noted after 5 'sanding and fairing the stripped deck'

again, after you sort out cockpit can change how you order 5,6,7, it does not have to follow the order i have described here.

RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

Yep, planed the shear clamps already. The hybrid deck page on this site did have that detail. I did add the deck beam under hesitation. Wasn't sure if it was integral to the strength of the hull or ultimate purpose. On the other hand I knew the strip deck adds plenty of strength. No worries, I can easily cut it out. I'll fill the screw holes with a little epoxy/wood flour and they will get glassed over when the deck goes on ;-)

Q: I've done plenty of searching on beginning the deck and assume that you start with a couple on the sides temporarily held down and then the one in the center of the deck following a string line from bow to keel and then build "inwards"?

The directions show running the strips several inches into the cockpit area. I plan to use the stock coaming ring/risers that come with the plywood hull as my color scheme should match up there.

Q: For the cockpit area I think on the stock build the ring lays over the deck. I guess I'll just lay the strips well into the estimated cockpit area and then I could lay the coaming ring over the strips and trim the excess strips on the inside of the ring???

I know the strip built sites I have looked at they butt the strips up to some sort of cockpit form and glue to it. This might be a bit tricky though since the cockpit area will lack deck forms due to rolling bevel. I am sure I’ll be in for some challenges.



RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips


would recommend the book  or both available at CLC.....they have a very good overall treatment of the strip build process and either one is a great reference document.

that said....on your questions:

stripping plan:  the approach you cited is fine, simple and elegant.  however, if you are using cove and bead strips you have to modify it a bit.  if you are using cove and bead you always want cove facing cove.  so the piece on shearline (where the hull and deck meet) should have its cove facing toward the center-line of the boat.  and the stip down the center needs its cove facing towards the sheer.  so unless you can mill a two-cove-sided strip, in the center line you would take two strips, rip the beads off and glue them flat edge to flat edge and run that down the center line so the cove edges now faces towards the sheers (and away from the center line).  if you are not using cove and bead strips, forget all of above.....but the books i mentioned (either one) talks about some of these intricacies....and explain the rationale of why you would want to do what i am suggesting.

on your second question, i think your approach is the strips a bit inside of where the cockpit will be.  that said, if it were me, i would create forms for the cockpit area.  i would be making my transition from the forward arc to the rear arc around the last 1/3 of the cockpit.  i don't think you want to do it equidistant as it may inadvertently lower the knee height of the cockpit.  whatever you decide, you want to make sure the left side and right side get set up the same and my personal opinion is spanning all that distance with no forms could get you an inconsistent result.  the other thing i ithink is that you may find it challenging to do the risers and coaming with the plywood when you are doing the deck strip.  the materials handle pretty differently so my initial concern was the clamping pressure i remember using on the regular chesapeake coaming build and how soft cedar is relative to the plywood and would you end up breaking your deck trying to torque the risers down onto the deck.  personally, i would build the coaming strip built if i were doing a strip-built deck.  again, either book will give you alternatives for how to build a recessed or non-recessed coaming.  its really very simple when explained and not a lot of extra work.  by the time you get to the will be handy handling the strips.

the only other point i wanted to mention is that without the forward deck beam, while a strip built deck is certainly strong the underside of the deck in cockpit region (underside of cockpit plus ~ 6 inches fore and aft of the opening), you typically put another layer or two of glass to increase the strength of the deck in this area.   either of the the books i mentioned will hit on some of these subtle points.

all the best


RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

Curious if you keep the bead on the outside perimeter edge and leave an overhang or if you remove the bead and plane flush with the hull or a variation of above. Its hard to tell in the book and videos. I started flush however its eating at me in the event the deck slides off an fraction when permanently mounted. 

I'm also considering if mixing some wood sawdust of matching wood with epoxy in the event I have to fill and minor gaps. I've done a good deal of woodworking however my experience with this intracate plane wook is minimal. 

RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

i would remove any overhang and plane flush.  

when you actually mount the deck you will use strapping tape to hold it in the exact position against the hull and you will, at that time, reconfirm you have it flush...and use the strapping tape to hold it all exactly in place.

on filling gaps....yes the approach you talk about will work.  that said, very minor gaps can actually be filled with wood glue....then sawdust sprinkled over it/into it....then sanded back flush to the surface (while the glue is still wet).  bigger gaps...instead of wood glue, use the epoxy. 


RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

   Thanks again Howard. You've been a great help and I think I have all the info needed to keep me busy for a while. I was worried this would be a tough one to tackle as my first boat build, but the help here makes it doable. 


RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips


one last comment on above.  it's important when you are planing the deck flush that the hull is properly supported and in its final shape.   so those temporary forms you used to build the deck need to stay in place while you do this.

the reason for this is that, if you removed the temporary forms, you could potentially push/deflect the side of the hull in with the pressure of the plane....and then you would end up taking too much off the deck.

hope what i am saying here is clear.....

generally things are relatively wobbly/bendable until the deck is formally the forms are important to keep everything lined up/shaped properly until final assembly (gluing the hull to the deck).




RE: Chesapeake hybrid build tips

   Got it, good tip. Thanks.

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.