Re: Bulkheads

Posted by CLC on Nov 16, 2005

Bulkheads for the early boats were 3-inch minicel foam. They were easy to install, tolerant of misfits, and the fashion at the time.

There's also a good argument that the foam bulkheads don't concentrate stress against the thin kayak skin. Sometimes a hull will slide over a rock at just the wrong angle. The hull deflects, the energy dissipated by the flex of the hull, until the rock encounters a rigid bulkhead, whereupon the hull breaks. I've gotten a half-dozen calls over the years describing that particular failure, accompanied by a stiff lecture on how it wouldn't have happened in their old boat with the foam bulkheads.

Nevertheless, I prefer plywood bulkheads for a whole host of reasons. Now most people use the 3-inch foam for carving seats and knee braces.

In Response to: Bulkheads by Fred Gangloff on Nov 16, 2005