Next steps

Submitted byfrankp onSat, 05/19/2018 - 23:30

I searched the archives and couldn't find any old posts about this, so I'll give some background... Sometime around 2001/2002 I built a Chesapeake Light Craft Northbay.  I paddled it very happily for a few years but had a few changes I wanted to make.  Sometime around 2007 I ripped the deck off and started a strip deck and some other modifications.  Then we had a couple of kids and I put the kayak up in the garage for a whole bunch of years.  

Now I'm back at it.  I finished stripping what was originally going to be a recessed cockpit, sanded the deck to 220, knocked down all the glue bumps on the underside of the deck and will be glassing it tomorrow pending decent weather.

After that it's building up the coaming, based on the original S&G coaming, putting in some new bulkheads and adding a fixed 2' x 2 inch skeg to replace the retractable skeg I had previously.  I'm also looking to add some hip braces. I might possibly add some under deck storage in the cockpit but haven't fully committed to it.  It's a relatively tight fit already.  

And, to fit the "pics or it didn't happen" mantra, a couple crappy cell phone pics.  One of her next to her skinless SOF sister (a modified Chuckanut) and one on the bench after some sanding and fitting the last of the cockpit strips.

Chuckanut frame and Stripped Deck NorthBay


Cockpit stips finished


Underdeck glassed with first wet-out and fill coat.  I'll put a second fill coat on tomorrow then see if I can start the Maroske fittings.  I previously had the soft webbing fittings but wanted to try these to clean up the deck a little bit more.  It will be a very simple rigging, just a couple bungees in front of the cockpit, a paddle cradle of some sort, and perhaps something at the stems.  A shot of the wet-out glass and a close up of my inlaid honu.   

The main decking is white cedar.  The "waves" are walnut.  The Honu are walnut on maple.

First wet-out



Etienne Muller

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 04:02

I guess you know the nature of the boat, but a two foot by two inch fixed skeg seems a lot.

If you have ever tried turning upwind with your skeg down you will know what I mean.


Etienne, yeah that is a concern.  The boat weathercocks pretty severely without a skeg of some kind.  I wasn't thinking 2" the full length, but tapering to 2" at the aft-most point with a fairly gradual taper.  I haven't modeled it up yet to see how extreme it feels, or calculated how much surface area I'm adding though I don't know if that's really going to give me much information.  

I'm not sure how I'd even go about determining a "right" length without some trial and error, especially since it's been a good 6 or 7 years since I paddled this boat and I'm only going by my vague memory of the plans I originally had.

I figure if I need to adjust afterward, I built it already, I can always make [more] mods later.  


On an entirely different subject, when you folks do maroske fittings, do you just fill your voids (between tube and underside of deck) with thickened epoxy and a little glass or stuff it full of glass and then lay a glass cloth over it?  



I put a silicon tube through the two holes in a "U" shape, cover it in a lump of thickened epoxy - Dookie Schmutz" as our host calls it - which also fills in the void under the "U" - and then put a little piece of glass over the top. The silicon tube comes out really easily, I just pull it out by hand when the epoxy has cured.


Etienne Muller

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 03:57

A better solution to reduce weather cocking would be to move the seat backward a little. One guy I know had a standard off the shelf plastic sea kayak which was weathercock on him all the time. He was new at the time, and thought his technique was at fault. I noticed the boat was a little nose down in the water, and thought he probably had something heavy in his front compartment, but he didn't. When we returned to the cars and got our drysuits off I realised the problem. He had huge powerful legs, but was normal above the waist. We had a look at the boat setup, and moving the seat back required the drilling of two holes, unscrewing the holding bolts, and moving it to the new location. we moved the seat back the full three inches that we're available. The boat became a completely different beast for him, and is still serving him well.

fitting a fixed skeg could cause you to Leacock all the time. It will certainly make the boat harder to turn. If I was doing it I would glue it on outside of the hull glass, and not glass over it. Then you can trim it down after each outing until you feel it is the optimum shape and size.

Regarding Maroskes... People do them in varying ways, but I just fill in and around them with thickened epoxy and cover the whole lump with an oval of cloth, cut on the bias. The cloth covering is not really necessary, but I find it helps to make the lump into a nice smooth shape.


I would strongly suggest a regular retractable skeg instead of fixed.  That way you can use as little or as much as you need in any conditions.  When you want more maneuverability, pull it up.  For better tracking, put it down.  There are many options out there.  I installed the skeg from KayakSport in my wife's Freg during construction and retrofit the CLC kit into my Chesapeake 17LT.  Both were pretty simple.  I am about to retrofit the KayakSport into my S&G Petrel Play.

C17LT with CLC skeg


Thanks for the advice about the skeg and the fittings, Etienne.  I am definitely no bow heavy and the boat has a fair bit of rocker so moving the seat wouldn't do much good, I think.  Your idea for trimming the skeg is what I was intending to do so I'll stick with that option.  

Mark, I had a retractable skeg in the boat before.  I literally never paddled without it, hence my desire to go to the fixed skeg option and maybe reduce a little weight and points of failure.  If I had bought the Cheesy 17 I would have kept the retractable skeg because I found it to handle quite well but I went with the NorthBay and it's a little more temperamental.