Bloody bulkheads !!


The aft bulkhead on my chesapeake 17 lt  ( cut out from the provided plans ) was far too small. First I thought perhaps my measurements were incorrect, so I double checked everything, including the cross beam positioning and width, the centre line, the levels of the supported kayak etc... but to no avail.  Nothing suggested anything wrong, even the front bulkhead fitted like a dream. I realise bulkheads rarely fit snugly and some cutting is often needed but this was nearly 1.5 '' too small. I came to the conclusion the plan must be wrong and made a new one after my own measurements.

Anyone else experienced similar problems with the bulkhead plans on this particular boat??

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RE: Bloody bulkheads !!


I had the same issue with one bulkhead - front, I think.  Not sure how I dorked it up 'cause I took it straight from the plans, as you did.  I wound up "fitting" the rear but had to re-cut the front.  Neither were a great fit but once epoxied into place, no issues.


RE: Bloody bulkheads !!

I had the same problem with my bulkhead. I am not sure if I did this correctly, but I just moved the forward bulkhead a few inches toward the front until the top fit and fill in the open space at the bottom of the bulkhead space with fillet and glass. I am not sure i did this correctly as a new builder?

RE: Bloody bulkheads !!

Yeah, a common problem, and if you troll through old Forum postings you'll find a lot of comments.  I had the same difficulty with the forward bulkhead of my plans-built LT-17, and did basically the same thing as Quickstart.  Still had to lay in a thick fillet of epoxy to seal the gap at the top of the bulkhead.  I had a similar problem with the forward bulkhead of my plans-built Ches. 14, but it wasn't as pronounced.  In retrospect, I wish I had made a mock-up out of cardboard.

RE: Bloody bulkheads !!

That's very common and typically caused by the fact that each sheet of wood has its own unique bending characteristics. It's part of the joy of working with a natural substance that was "manufactured" in the presence of wind, sun, squirrels, etc.

The unique bending can usually be compensated for by adjusting the stitches and moving the spreader and bulkheads around.



RE: Bloody bulkheads !!

If you haven't gotten too far along this is a good time to put a beanbag under the boat and sit in it where you think the seat will go.  then figure out how much leg room you need and if possible make a bulkhead that will be just beyond where your feet need to go.  The less room you leave down there the less water you get when you roll. A extra inche means a gallon more to pump.  I ended up putting a 3 inch foam block beyond my foot braces just to fill up the space. 

 it also makes an alternate foot rest when i want to straighten the knees a bit for relief.  I sometimes take it out and put a dry bag in there with stuff if I am camping.


RE: Bloody bulkheads !!

I just had this with a shearwater 14, the rear permanent bulkhead is about 20% too small. if I move it back to fit it ends up in the middle of the rear hatch. I have  checked the bulkhead against the plans and it is a perfect match. i checked the measurements of the bulkhead against the measurements of the panels and there is a huge discrepancy. I guess I will have to scale it up to fit..



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