Stress crack in my CLC

Near the bow and on the curved section of my deck a stress crack has developed. It’s about 3 inches long and has lifted up about an eith of an inch.

Any suggestions on how I should fix this?



A picture would really help.
It’s hard to visualize the problem without one.

You could/should also post that question on the CLC board. You might get a better responce.

I’ll post a photo tonight
I’ll post something on CLC’s board too. Just thought I’d get a quicker response here.



Photo of stress crack

Ijust want to nip it in the bud before it gets worse.


Stress Crack
Your deck doesn’t appear to be fiberglassed. Is that correct? If it’s not, sanding it completely, filling the crack with thickened epoxy & fiberglassing the entire deck may be the answer. Fiberglassing around the cockpit rim would be a challenge but you could glass the majority of the deck and hopefully prevent future cracks from developing.

not glassed

No glass either inside or out?
Yeah, I’d put glass on both exterior and interior after repairing the crack.

Post your question on also; you’re likely to get lots of helpful advice there, quickly.

Hull and inside the cockpit area is glassed.

It appears to me (from the picture) that there was (is) a void in the middle layer of the plywood. Was the boat made of marine grade plywood or something else?

If there is a void, it needs to be strengthened from the inside before you glass it, or the crack will continue along the void.

other things
From the black around the nail heads, I’m guessing the deck did not get a coating of epoxy before it was varnished. If you want to keep the boat much longer, I would sand the deck down to wood, at least epoxy the deck if not glass it and then keep it varnished. The black is a sign of starting rot. If not fixed you will loose the boat.

Also the plywood on the deck may have been too thick to start with which helped cause the stress crack.

I know your boats a little old
and since CLC doesn’t glass the decks I’d say that was probably inevitable. With the cambered deck you’ll probably have a difficult time getting it perfect, but you should be able to prevent further damage. Here’s my guess.

1 - Whip up some epoxy thickened with cabosil and fill the crack, cover with wax paper, put a board over the crack and paper, then winch it down with a ratchet strap

2 - After it dries sand smooth and remove all varnish on the foredeck. Add a 6 oz layer of glass on the outside and if you can put a patch in the area of the crack on the inside.

3 - Finish like new and enjoy!


Your idea is what I’ve been leaning towards. Someone on CLC’s board mentioned drilling small holes (1/16th) at each end of the crack to prevent it from getting worse and then I’d do exactly as you suggested.

When I built the boat I did epoxy the deck and varnished it but did not glass the deck. The plywoood is marine grade. As a rule, I’ve revarnished the boat twice each year (spring and fall). The hull is in excellent shape. The deck has some cracks near the screw holes and tacks in spots that have developed over time. Many of these small cracks have had some water seep in and have blackened.

I’m toying with the idea (long term) of replacing the deck entirely and glassing it.


Pressure relief

Do you have a pressure relief hole in your bulkheads? This is something that wasn’t specified in the plans when you built your boat. A pressure relief hole will keep heated moisture from being forced to work it’s was out of the bulkheads through the weakest part of the wood, which predicates wood rot.

Just a thought

the plywood isn’t like sheet of window glass where a crack can travel. A repair can be partial with gluing, glassing or if there was a big hole with torn wood then a patch attempting to recreate the same curve with a replacement section.

I’d just do a two part re-gluing. One to soak the exposed wood using a strap or external form to push the exposed edge down,sand,then fill with thickned epoxy,sand and re-finish. Putting glass on that one little area when there are other more vulnerable areas make little sense.

For the effort of re-building the entire deck I’d strongly suggest making a Merganswer 17W or similar displacement hull.

When CLC made the original MC16 the deck was done in 3mm and no deck glass to get the lowest published weight figure,and that deck suffered terribly,it was getting repaired all the time,was glassed/painted,then an entire new glassed 4mm deck was put on. But a new MC16 was made for the show room.

It’s just that for the effort of redoing the deck,coaming, hatches, etc, etc. on top of the old sheer clamps with ring nails ripping out wood,why not make a new boat?

that’s what happens when plywood is stressed to failure, it breaks.

I trust your advice because I know you’ve built many boats. My boat is what it is. When I mentioned long term, that I’m thinking about replacing the entire deck…I’m still thinking. Short term, yes I want to repair the crack. Easiest way is what you and some others have suggested.

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of my boat and the deck is a bit worse for the wear. It’s exposed to the sun and it’s been bleached out slightly. As an example, the wood under my hatch straps is darker than the surrounding wood. No matter how often I varnish it’s bound to happen. In hindsight, I should have glassed the deck. The hull as I mentioned before is in excellent shape.

If I decide to replace the deck, removing the old one would not be difficult. Wherever I had put screws down into the sheer clamp, I’d just fill in the old holes and offset the screw 2 or 3 inches from their original locations. The tack nails should come out easily enough. 2nd time around I know I won’t make the mistakes I did the first time.

Really not interested at the moment to build another kayak. I’m in the process of planning to build a sailboat. Hate paddling long crossings, would rather sail and tow the kayak, then anchor and explore with the kayak. Sail boat will be big enough to sleep and cook in.


need to relieve the stress
A fiberglass patch will work temporarily but the crack will probably show up again just outside the patch because of the camber. When? Hard to say. Depends on how much and how hard you use the boat.

Hate to say this, but you might want to consider popping the entire deck loose, patching the wood flat, then re-installing. Of course if you go through all that, might as well put a new deck on.

Hi Andy.
You have received the same advice I would give. Good luck. I am responding due to your sailboat plans. Let us know how it goes. I have the plans for 5 different pocket cruisers, the Weekender and Pocket Cruiser among them. the PC looks like a fun boat! I’m torn between a light unballasted boat like the PC or going all out and building the Micro with the lead ballast. Plus I have no room to build right now!

Good luck on both the repair and the PC!

my $.02 would be to sand,glue,slam some 6oz over it, fill coats, and live with an obvious repair then save the time for the next boat as this one is so obviously worn that the effort for a cosmetically perfect repair is beyond where the rest of the kayak is. Just gluing it was from the standpoint that the kayak wasn’t going to be used much more.

I got the Weekender vidio and manual for fun. My brother who used to sail and design small boats (he built a 24’ glass racing sailboat, small boat racer in the 70’s) said there are better designs out there. The weekender looks cute.

For a trailerable boat something with water ballast makes sense.