kayak deck misaligned joint issue

Has anyone run into a bad joint one panel jutted out to far after tack welding? When I plane it down to round of the edge I've got a stretch of about 5" where I'm cutting into the second layer of playwood. 

It's a Shearwater Sport between the deck and shear panel just ahead of the cockpit where the deck has the greatest curve. I had trouble on both sides with the deck to shear panel alignment when wiring it up. The shear panels wanted so slide in so the edge of the deck panel would stick out. 

I thought I had got it pretty well, but when I checked it out this morning after tack welding it one side was worse than I thought.

Has anyone dealt with this? How badly will it show? I' thinking about cutting out the exposed strip and doing a veneer repair.  


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RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue


if you could snap a picture and attach it, then we can make some suggestions.

there is not a lot that can't be repaired/reset if we know what the current situation is.

all the best, 

RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue

I put a photo on dropbox but couldn't figure out how to attach the image.  Here's the link, hopefullly it works.


I'm doing a natural finish on the deck. It'll bother me but I don't think anyone else will notice it. I'm inclined to just leave it as an offering to the god of mistakes. I've never done an inlay and while I think I can do it, there's always the chance of screwing up and making things worse.

In hindsight I think part of my issue is that I did the deck using 4mm Okoume rather than the 3mm Sapelle. I used Okoume because I've stained the hull a color and wanted the single wood color for the shear panels and deck.


RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue

I don't think you should let this feature bother you. Note that I don't call it a flaw! If you think of it as a flaw, you'll have to fix it somehow. If it's a feature, you'll have an easier time appreciating that it is a result of the careful sanding you did to make your hull beautiful and smooth! If you are like me, you'll put some deep scratches in your boat as soon as you start using it. . . . And we'll both have to learn to accept those, too, and realize that the performance and overall beauty of our kayaks is in no way reduced by proving they are durable and fast on the water.

FWIW, I've just completed my Shearwater Sport Sectional (as you may have noted from my earlier post). On both sides of the stern I had to grind through the top layer of the ply where two strakes overlapped. On one side I couldn't even get it smooth without risking the second layer of ply. For a few inches I had to add a bit of peanut-butter epoxy to achieve a smooth hull. I didn't like it, but "eyes on the prize," as stated above.

My worst builder's error was slicing into one of the bulkheads when I sawed the hull into three parts. That was nearly a disaster since the boat leaked about a cup of water per hour during my first sea trial, and the joint between the sections was visibly asymmetrical. I eventually fixed things so that the boat doesn't leak and the joint looks just fine. Peanut butter paste can be a wonderful thing!   

RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue

I did see your post, it looks great. Are you already planning your next build? I'm looking forward to getting it into the water next spring.

The bow and stern a bit of a challenging to wire up, but worked out well. I was sanding the hull last night (stalling on cutting the hatches). The joints are all good, I just need to figure out how much to round off the bow and stern.

The most trouble I had was with the fore deck over the temp bulkhead, which where my 'feature' is. On a first build it's hard to know how much to fuss over things.

I dyed the hull panels a dark green and gave them a coat of epoxy before assembling to protect it. From everything I've read, when I re-dye the rounded off joints it should match.   

Cutting out all the pieces was a chore, but I really enjoyed planning the bevels on them. I also really liked planning the scarf joints. I think I need to find more things to plane.



RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue

thanks for the picture.  

i agree with Birch.....i would not be overly concerned about your 'feature'.

i think any attempt at repair would simply increase the size of the feature and draw more attention to it.....this type of line is a fairly common element on a stitch and glue unless you get panel seams pretty much perfect.

i think your picture, which is a close-up,  overstates the impact on the boat and how it will look.   

remember you will also have rigging on the decks which tends to draw attention away from little features like this.  you also mentioned that you have a colored hull....so i think you really have a beautiful boat on the way.

below is a picture of my shearwater 17 with similar flaws that i built from parts from somebody's 'failed project'  shot from a little distance back.  

i let a friend borrow it and on their first outing they smashed the bow into a concrete dock....which i dutifully repaired.    so like birch says....you will get scratches and will have to learn to cope.  i think you will be just fine :)




RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue


I have SW17 and you might consider making the 'feature' symetrical by making s simular 'feature' in the other side of the boat. All it takes is sandpaper. Ok maybe that is a goofy thought.

More important, you mentioned you enjoyed planning. Me too. A great project that can be done with planes (and Spokeshaves) is making a Greenland style paddle for your yak. I have made 6 or 7 and nothing is more enjoyable than turning a cedar 2x4 in to a pile of curly shavings and a paddle. There are tons of advice online and in books like Starr's and Morris's Skin-on-frame kayak books - both have a chapter on paddles. It is really fun turning a $30 peice of wood into a super light paddle.


RE: kayak deck misaligned joint issue

Joel, I've been reading about Greenland paddles, it's on my list for when I finish the kayak.

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