Jimmy Skiff - seats not fitting

I'm trying to dry fit the seats as per the instructions, but running into some difficulty. I don't know if the angle of my transom is off or the curve of the bottom is off compared to the curve of the seat side, or something else entirely.

I can get the sides in, but they end up with a significant bow with part of the bottom edge scrapping the bottom of the boat in some places (so that it doesn't move, even with a mallet) and significant gaps in other places.

I also tried to put the seat tops in place, but they do not fit into the space in the transom cut out. The width of the end of the seat top and the width of the transom doubler are both 9.5", which means it would need to sit on top of the edge of the seat side, but the seat side seems to take up the whole space.

Things I have tried:

-Checking for and removing any globs of epoxy that might be obstructing

-Sanding down the end of the seat side to see if that helps it fit into the transom cut out better.

So far, no luck. Other thoughts are:

-shaving off part of the seat sides and top until they fit in

-sanding down the seat side bottom edge to see if that helps better align with the curve of the boat.

Before I attempt those, I wanted to check with those with more experience to see if they have any thoughts or suggestions.

Some photos below (I hope they appear):





5 replies:

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RE: Jimmy Skiff - seats not fitting


RE: Jimmy Skiff - seats not fitting

Hi Ariel,

If I'm interpreting the pictures correctly, the transom, bottom and seat supports are already securely glued in, right? In that case, unless you've got the seats and tops flipped over the wrong way, your only choice is to shape the pieces to fit by sanding, rasping or whatever your favorite method of wood removal is. It's far too late to try and re-arrange the hull shape to accommodate the seats. So that's what I'd do if that was my boat. It should be fine that way and the only way anyone would be able to tell that you had to do that is with a tape measure, if they even knew to look for it (they won't).

As to why this happened, wood is a natural product so each sheet bends slightly differently than other sheets, even with identical shapes. If the difference all add up the same way, you can get this kind of fit issue. Or maybe there was a very slight twist in the hull that was camouflaged by the background in your shop or something. Again, it's not a big deal and doesn't indicate a poorly built boat.

Stitch and glue construction is not furniture joinery. A less than regular joint is at least as strong (according to some theories actually stronger than) as a perfect joint in total contact. So you will have a good-looking strong boat. My plans-built stitch and glue boats never had seats that matched the plans exactly. In fact, I pretty much needed to build them by fitting a cardboard template, transferring the pattern to the wood and then rasping/sanding in the final fit. I have one that is 12 years old and still going strong. You'll be fine.




RE: Jimmy Skiff - seats not fitting

   Thanks so much Laszlo, that is very comforting to hear! Much appreciated.

RE: Jimmy Skiff - seats not fitting

I'm of a mind to agree with Laszlo's comments also, maybe add a bit of a suspicion I have.

CLC's been doing this long enough to know how their products behave during assembly. Perhaps they've engineered some parts to the plus side of things so to ensure they're big enough to fit tight once they've been carefully 'tuned' by the builder?

Even if "1/8" is close enough" in Dillon's words, those who prefer seeing wood to wood contact can take pride in doing the last-step fitting with plane & rasp... as long as the part being fitted is too big rather than a tad undersize....

Having produced literally thousands of kits by now, they must have learned some things along the way about how to do them well.

RE: Jimmy Skiff - seats not fitting

   I am happy to report that we solved the problem with the use of an electric planer. We shaved off one side until it seemed to fit properly (that took a lot of incremental trials), got it to fit, checked that it fit the other side and then traced it on to the second side, which made for quick work. Now I'm back on book, after a little side track. Thanks all.


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