Chesapeake 17 - puzzle joints and deck nails

I have two separate issues/questions - I apologize for combining in one post. I have started preparing my deck for glass and came across two problems.  First, this has been a long project with, for many reasons, lots of starts and stops.  When I first started working on the kayak - almost two years ago - I glued together the puzzle joints.  I got better, and maybe smarter, as I proceeded but I found that the deck puzzle joint seam is very uneven with still a fair amount of old squeeze-out showing.  Over time i have sanded to reduce the ridges at the seam and removed some of the squeeze out with a heat gun but still have an unattractive fit that I believe will show thru the glass. I have tried sanding further but have been afraid to get too aggressive.   At this point should I try to fill and fair it and, if so, what material do you suggest I use do that?  Or just keep sanding?  Other solutions?  

My second issue goes to the deck nails, some of which have gone in a bit crooked leaving a sharp edge on the side that is not flush with the deck. I am concerned that in those spots the edge may either tear the glass or prevent the glass from making proper contact with the wood. Is there a solution to this problem?  Thanks in advance







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RE: Chesapeake 17 - puzzle joints and deck nails

First your nails. You're right to be concerned, but it's easy (though possibly tedious) to take care of. Use a nail set and a light hammer to reshape them. It'll take lots of light taps and you'll want to use hearing protection. Practice on a spare nail in scrap wood before you go for the boat. It'll be almost more like riveting than nailing.

Once you've fixed the shapes the best you can, sand and fill (with unthickened epoxy) and repeat as needed to get, if not a totally smooth surface, than a nicely-faired bump.

It sounds to me that the puzzle joint wants some kind of decorative covering, either paint, a decal, an onlay, etc. If you decide to put an opaque covering on it, epoxy/microballoons are the easiest-sanding fairing mix. Otherwise there's unthickened epoxy.

Good luck,



RE: Chesapeake 17 - puzzle joints and deck nails

   I built this same boat. I chose to stain the hull in two colors. I filled all large gaps using wood flower, then sand. The remaning small holes, including those bent nails with wood putty, then sand and inspect. Then apply glass and of course I used Peel-ply throught the entire glass lay-up. Now you have very little work as far as filling in small defects with epoxy. Now to the nails, a small amount of epoxy and black pigment with a small model  paint brush over all deck nails looks great over my rich colored stain-water base. Then varnish. The boat is still perfect and ready to fish, Have fun. 

Ps, I installed into this build a Solar panel, deck mount, 35lb. trolling motor,foot pedels for stearing and Optima battery. I love the speed across our lake and with no hands.

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