Adding a bulkhead? It it worth it?

-- Last Updated: Jan-15-06 11:04 PM EST --

I have a used Daggar Blackwater 10.5.; I've noticed that while the 11.5 has a sealed rear bulkhead, to my knowlege, the 10.5 is still manufactured with a semi-bulkhead. Why is this? Is there any pressing reason why I shouldn't fashion and seal in a mini-cell bulkhead and remove the flotation block wedged into the stern/skeg pocket?

What's the point of designing a boat with a rear hatch only to fill half of the storage area with a big foam block because the "bulkhead" behind the seat has two giant holes cut in it?

I realize the 10.5 is no "tripper", but'd be nice to have the extra storage space for a day paddle or light overnighter in addition to negating the need for a rear flotation bag.



Something to think about…
I not really familiar with that boat but many times the foam blocks are part of the structural strength of the hull and deck removing it could allow the boat to “oil can”.

It should be worth it. My first kayak was a Perception America 13.5. It had a rear bulkhead but the front was the same as you describe you rear. I made a cardboard pattern, tranferred it to some foam and cut out a bulkhead. The benefit for me (and you) is the kayak will now hold a lot less water if tipped over. You have the advantage of also gaining storage.

Go for it

– Last Updated: Jan-16-06 4:30 PM EST –

I do an annual demo for the state of CT and the USCG in which I swamp a kayak with no bulkheads & try to paddle it and then rescue.

I then do the same with one with float bags, and show that it is still hard, but much easier than the first.

Then, I do the same scenario in one of my SK's --- I'm in and away real quick and easy in comparison.

Bulkheads cannot be beat for safety and convenience. All you need is some 3" foam and a tube of 3M 5200, and you're in business.


What type of foam?
I happen to live within a few miles of a rubber and foam supplier. Is there a specific name for the type of foam I should use, beyond calling it “minicell”?



I don’t exactly know what it’s called outside of a paddle shop, but if you know it by sight & feel, you should be able to pick it out.

I believe it’s a marine polyurethane foam, but maybe someone else here knows better?


Newer Blackwater 10.5
Just for general info I know the 2005 & 2006 Dagger Blackwaters have a closed cell foam bulkhead.

I have and older blackwater. I find the floatation bags work just fine. You need the floatation bags if you blow a hatch cover in rough water so why bother with the bulkhead too?