chesapeake 17 - tabs

Thanks to all who resonded to my earlier fillet questions.  I now have one - hopefully final -  question before I begin the fillets.  I am very confused about tabbing/tacking. The manual suggests that it is an optional technique to permit the fillets to be put down over a period of time rather than all at one time.  Some earlier postings on the forum suggest it as a way to avoid leaving the wires in the fillets. (The manual does not mention removing the wires as a benefit of tabbing).  As to the former, I don't understand the issue of keeping the boat's shape if not doing all the fillets at one time -my boat has been elevated for several weeks while I fussed and tightened, etc and was not able to be at the boat all that much but the shape sems fine - If I fillet in pieces (forward, aft and cockpit area) will that cause a shape problem without tabbing? ?  Also, if tabbing,  do I need to place wedges along the full length of the bottom between each set of wires all at the same time or only section by section?  Also, my bottom panels are pretty tight - I'm concerned that I will creat new  problems trying to force wedges into the seam which I gather  from the manual is required to tab.  Any clarity on any of this would be much appreciated.  Thanks.  Bruce

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RE: chesapeake 17 - tabs

First, wedges are not required when tabbing. Here's my WD12 with tabs, without wedges and, since it's the end of the process, without wires.

Second, I used tabbing/tacking so that I could remove the wires. Removing the wires let me make minimum thickness fillets so the boat was lighter, I used less epoxy and I did not run out of wood flour. I suppose that you could also put the fillets on over an extended period of time that way, but I didn't. I put them all on at once.

If you leave in the wires, you are correct, there's no problem with filleting over an extended period of time. The tabs are there to hold the boat together in lieu of the wires.

When I did my WD12, I just smeared some epoxy/woodflour mix between the wires. When it cured, I took the wires out and put on the fillets. I also did this with my schooner that had 6 mm sides, 9 mm bulkheads and 12 mm bottom. So this technique works  well even on larger boats.

If you think it would help answer your questions, here's my Interior Fillets & Glass page from my WD12 build.

Good luck,



RE: chesapeake 17 - tabs

   Tacking is adding small dabs of thickened epoxy between wires (on the outside of the ch's, unless you beveled the joints); tabbing is fiberglass boatbuilder-speak for the usually substantial glassing of a bulkhead to the hull skin- in our boats this is the same as taping.

I'm pretty sure the manual makes these distinctions properly. You should tack all hull seams and bulkheads at once after tuning and adjusting the wires and checking the hull bottom for fairness with a batten (use very fine wedges in the seam to raise low areas). Then fillet and glass or tape (tab) as directed, at your leisure, in up to three different sessions. Do fillet and glass or tape each section in a single session though- there's no use filleting and leaving it to cure before taping.

RE: chesapeake 17 - tabs


RE: chesapeake 17 - tabs

I would tape off the width of fillets for a cleaner look and control the width for slim fillets.  Also not necessary to cut wires if    they are flat.  Do a dry run and if the the fillet tool touches just remove that wire.  You only need a few wires to hold the shape.

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