Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

Oops again - while planing my sheer clamps I noticed something didn't look quite right about the placement of my deck beam and aft bulkhead - didn't look like there is sufficient space for the  cockpit coamng.  Indeed, despite measuring multiple times when installing it, the bulkhead is about 3/4 -1 in too forward.  Since it will be far easier to move the deck beam (glued and screwed) than cutting  out the bulkhead and reinstalling it I just wanted to check how badly I will screw up everything else if I do that.  Thanks.

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RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

Ouch....that hurts.  but heck, you have the forum.  so what seems difficult can often be solved with a bit of technique. my perspective is that if you have the bulkhead in the wrong place, re-position the bulkhead.  while it may not be a big difference, by moving the cockpit opening, you start deviating from the design with some kind of why start down the path of deviating from the design to then sort out all the other issues?

anyway, getting something wrong is part of the process and learning how to fix mistakes is one of the fun parts of building your own boat.  for the mistake you have made, a heat gun will quickly soften the epoxy and a sharp blade will easily cut the now-taffy consistency epoxy allowing you to easily remove the bulkhead.   a good heat gun is an almost essential tool for building an epoxy boat for its ability to basically 'undo' most glueing mistakes.

all that said, do double check your measurements.  it is fairly important that the inside of the front of the coaming be pretty much aligned or just slightly behind the back edge of the deck beam.  otherwise you will have lots of problems bending the coaming over the deck.  there is a lot of bending going on you need the deck beam in the correct position relative to the front of the coaming to make it all work.  

for the rear can give yourself a bit more play.  the inner most part of the rear of the coaming can/should be about at least a half inch in front of the bulkhead but you can add more space to the cockpit internally if you want it with little consequence by having the rear bulkhead more aft of its design postion to accomodate  aft-of-the seat storage.   the important thing is that the coaming is where it is supposed to be.

anyway....hope that helps




RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

   My head was telling me that was the answer but my heart was hoping otherwise. If learning how to fix mistakes is part of the fun - and I don't disagree - then I am having a ball.  One remaining question about the fix.  It is likely that the fiberglass tape along the seams has "turned the corner" slightly onto the bulkhead.  I assume that the heat gun will not loosen the tape and that I will have to cut it.  If that is correct, what is the best way to do that without damaging the bulkhead, if that is possible, since it seems to require "slicing" along the bottom of the bulkhead.  Thanks.

RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

First: The Chesapeakes like more weight in the back. So, if you had positioned the bulkhead to the rear, maybe not that critical. Towards the bow, needs to be fixed. When day-paddling alot of us throw a gallon of water in the rear hatch for trim. When camping the heavier stuff goes in back.

Second: To remove the bulkhead try one of the newer vibrating saws. You will probably be able to get a clean cut without much clean-up.

Good luck. JRC   

RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

on 'cutting' the epoxy.  

once heated with a heat gun, the epoxy becomes gummy.  so i just use a paint scraper/razor blade to cut it and quickly scrape the old epoxy off.  with a little care and technique, you will not even scratch the will scrape the epoxy off the wood.

while i appreciate what a reciprocating saw can need to use one for this task

heatgun and scraper is the way to go.

RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

   I'm having the same problem. Even after remeasuring everything is in the correct spot but only about a 1/4" too short. I'm not really keen on removing the bulkhead for a 1/4" and was debating of either moving the deck beam a little or just sanding that 1/4" out as it would only be about 3" wide area and placing a reinforcing piece on the backside so as not to lose any strength. What do you think?

RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

hi Tcroak, 

based on what you are saying i have a couple ideas.

first, if your bulkhead is in the 'right place' and only 1/4 inch forward of being totally under the rear of the cockpit opening, why not move the rear deck deck a 1/4 inch forward?  (i would actually move the deck up a 1/2 inch to an inch to create a bit of space right behind the cockpit).

so you might be saying, then, what about the thin little triangle that would be open on the deck at the stern of the boat?  i would just glue a small piece of scrap okoume there to cover the gap.  if you are painting the chesapeake with a standard scheme that you see in the pictures (very pretty i might add) the end is painted and you would never notice the little patch.  in the standard paint scheme about 6 inches from the ends towards the center of the boat is covered with plenty of room to cover any little patch.  fwiw,   a lot of folks also do their end pours before the deck is attached to the this wouldn't even create a problem with that.  

my second thought if you are just talking a 1/4 inch is to, as you suggest, move the deck beam a bit to adjust.  this would be pretty straight forward to cut it and move it.  a 1/4 inch is not going to throw the boat off in terms of how it handles or that's easy.

my third option would be to cut the bulkhead out and reposition it back an have the thread above which describes that.  a bit of work but doable.

and i would put your recommendation in the 4th position as i just think its a bit messy to plug the gap that you would create and don't think it would look very nice.

anyway, those are my thoughts.


RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

   just a note that i tried to address your question above but the website did not display clearly that there was a new entry....

RE: Chesapeake 17 - misplaced aft bulkhead

   I've actually have enough deck to go past the bulkhead and still cover all the way back so I think I'll do that and move the deck beam forward just a little and it'll all be fine. I double checked the measurements and everything is in the right place per the drawing. Never built a kayak so this is a learning experience for me . I know on the next one that aft bulkhead will be farther back though.

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