Mill creek 16.5 bulkhead fitting gaps

So im progressing on my build and am kinda test fitting the bulkheads into the boat before I drill more holes and tie them in, and I just wanted to get a sort of vibe check on the shape, theres some kind of large gaps in the sides when I line up the front bulkhead at 48" from the tip like shown on page 1 of the big blueprint pages.

another thing that might make a difference is I got this kit mostly unassembled off craigslist, it was manufactured in 2004. so it could have had updates compared to the current version being sold, I dont know what those are. Any advice would be appreciated as this is my first time boatbuilding.


Anyways i was considering cutting a bit away at the top edge so it slides in, but i wanted to check and make sure that these gaps arent too far out of the norm and actually i stitched it together wrong or something. I do have a stick stretching its beam out at 108" to the 33" from end to end, nothing else has been done besides stitching it.



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RE: Mill creek 16.5 bulkhead fitting gaps

   FWIW, I had to do alot of fitting to get the bulkheads in without gaps in my MC 16.5 build.  Have you put a spreader between the shear clamps to get appropriate beam?  This will affect fit.

And watch out when it comes time to plane the shear clamps - on mine the forward bulkhead was a good 3/16 - 1/4 inch proud of the ideal radius, so I had to cut it down.  Made me nervous but seems to have worked out!  I posted a question here and heard other reports of this problem:


RE: Mill creek 16.5 bulkhead fitting gaps

   Thank you for your reply. I have put in a length of scrap wood cut to length to get the spreader before trying to fit this. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the word proud in this context, is it a wider sort of radius you had to plane down?

RE: Mill creek 16.5 bulkhead fitting gaps

Did putting the spreader in affect the bulkhead fit?


"Proud" meaning (per wiktionary.  2nd example particularly appropriate)

    6.  Standing out or raisedswollen.

          After it had healed, the scar tissue stood proud of his flesh.

         The weld was still a bit proud of the panel, so she ground it down flush.  

Anyhow, I meant that the bulkhead stuck up across the entire span of the boat, ~3/16 - 1/4 in.  You can see ridges in some people's boats in the gallery of photos on this site.  I chose to cut it down (using the radius tool to mark), to the level where it was a smooth transition with the planed shear clamps, rather than force the deck over a hump.  May not be an issue for you!  First get the hull put together and then see.

RE: Mill creek 16.5 bulkhead fitting gaps

   @ Hyades

To Andrews point on the bulkhead being proud see this post 

Good Luck PP

RE: Mill creek 16.5 bulkhead fitting gaps

   Had similar problems with the bulkheads in my recently completed 16.5. I used the radius guides and my trusty block plane to get the bulkheads and sheer panels and sheer clamps all combined into a continuous arc. Also had some big gaps between the bottom panel and the bulkheads, filled with epoxy peanut butter. My main concern was to not let the bulkhead distort the shape of the hull or the deck. As I understand it the bulkheads are not structural members but are just there to prevent the boat from completely filling with water in the event of a capsize. They also provide some "dry" storage areas if you put deck plates in them or put hatches in the deck. Despite the little boo boos and setbacks the boat came out fine. 

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