Can ya stand 1 more post about bulkheads

My Explorer LV has a vented front BH plus a vented rear BH (between the day hatch and rear hatch compartments). There is no vent between the cockpit and the mid BH, which makes sense because it is a slanted BH and a hole would let draining water get into the day hatch.

Consequently, while the front compartment never ever bulges, the two rear ones do. They merely equalize between them. I have heard a loud HISSSSSsssssss when I remove either the day or rear hatch covers and watched the bulging covers go down in sequence. (Kinda fun to watch.)

Here’s my warning to owners of similar set-ups:

Remove one of those rearward hatch covers when traveling between vastly different elevations in your car!!! Tuesday, I had been paddling at altitude of about 10,000 ft and left the hatch covers in their flat condition when I drove toward Fremont Pass, which is even higher. I’m sure they bulged when I got to the top of the pass, but that wasn’t the real eye-opener. What shocked me was what happened when I dropped down to the metro Denver area to fill the gas tank, at about 6000 ft elevation. The two rear hatch covers were severely sucked in–far more sunken than I’d ever seen them–AND the top of the stern deck was sucked in! When I popped off one cover, the deck popped back to normal. Talk about oil-canning. Eek. I’d never had that happen before, but then again I had never taken a boat with solidly sealed hatches between such large elevation differences.

Sea Kayaking at 10,000’
So where do you paddle your Explorer at 10,000 feet?

keep an eye on the gelcoat
above the bulkhead between the day hatch and stern hatch. The deck probably flexed quite a bit at this point and you may develop a large crack in the gelcoat.

It happened to a friends Explorer and mine as well. Not really a design flaw because you shouldn’t experience those types of pressure changes during a normal kayak trip. I always leave my hatch covers off unless I am kayaking, or on a kayaking trip.

I always take my covers off
Used to have at least a 5000ft elevation change to paddle Tahoe or The Golden Gate/SF Bay Area when I lived in Reno.

I’m with tsc, take the covers off.

Drill the third bulkhead
A tiny (1/32") hole is not going to let in any significant water - if any at all - when you’re draining the boat. It’s definitely not work risking damaging the hull or deck to prevent a drop or two from getting into your day hatch.

A couple of places
This one was Twin Lakes, near Leadville. I’ve also paddled at Turquoise Lake nearby, which is similar elevation. Homestake Reservoir is another high one, though I have not paddled there.

Fairplay has a small res with an area called “Two Mile High Beach” or something like that.

There are others.

I’ll examine it carefully
I didn’t see (or hear) any obvious problems, but you are right in that the deck flexed a lot. The rear BH location was visible by the fact that it was the pillar holding up the deck there! Instead of a clean downward slope there was a bump at the BH.

I’m just going to remove one hatch cover
If either the day hatch or rear hatch cover is removed, that will allow full venting.

Listen to Bnystrom!
Once again excellent advice. There’s no rationale supporting a slanted BH being more prone to water infiltration over a vertical one. Think about it… if anything probably less. When you invert a flooded yak water rushes to the aft bulkhead be it vertical or slanted…and both drain just fine BTW.

What’s the point…
…in leaving a known problem and consciously having to compensate for it when you can just fix it and forget about it? There is no downside to venting the third bulkhead.

For now
…I’ll just remove the day hatch cover when transporting it.

In the winter I will drill the slanted BH plus fit a sealing plug into it. I’d like to remove the plug during transport and install it when paddling. It’d be good to leave hatch covers on to keep out rain, bugs, dust, sand, or garbage that idiots like to stick in other people’s possessions.

Just another winter chore, in addition to drilling skegs to accept an “unjammit” line, adding hatch cover tethers, replacing the bungies and decklines on my Tempest 165, and who knows what else. We do have an offseason here, so I want to make hay while the sun shines.

Ah Turquoise Lake !
Forgot about that one. So many nice places in Colorado. Would not mind spending a Fall afternoon in the Aspen or at Maroon Bells.

I’m talking with a former client in Boulder and my friend that I used to work with in Denver about starting our own company. It would be based in Broomfield but I’d work from San Diego. Trying to decide if we are crazy or not.

Simple 1/64" hole…30 seconds. No plug

I can’t think of a paddling locale in Aspen but one thing I would love to do is ride up the road that gets closed on certain days in early summer. Imagine riding up to see the Bells with only other cyclists, runners, walkers, skaters, etc. No lazy tourons.

New WW parks springing up in Colorado…you’d get some beautiful mountain lakes and rivers to paddle in when you visit “on business”, of course!

Experience bears out bnystrom
All three bulkheads are vented (my husband did it). My day hatch is bone dry in all kinds of wet work.

That said, we did finally find a situation in which the day hatch picked up maybe a half a spongefull of water. My LV spent an overnight this last weekend on a roof, deck up, with no cockpit cover as storm Hannah came thru with driving rain along the midline of the boat. (Drink one more beer, go out in the rain to put the cockpit cover on… WW You Do) So you probably need a cockpit cover if any hurricanes come up to Colorado.

But other than that, you are fine by drilling the hole. The slope of the bulkhead behind the seat won’t have any effect on relative water-proofness.

No hurricanes
But other types of torrential downpours would have the same effect. Dirt roads in steep areas can literally become flash flood rivers (it has happened twice in 10 years to the road I live on).

I’m going to drill AND plug that mid bulkhead, AND cover the cockpit if it looks like rain is coming.

Third, drill the hole, You are lucky to
have such a tight boat … hope you did not kill it.

Drill the hole and bond a piece of gortex to it ; 0

Funny Onno!
dude, you have a marketing gig here that sea kayakers will swarm to! Gore Tex bulkhead valves…with a Kevlar support ring. $$$$$$$ Chaching.

Have not found any cracks
Maybe I was just lucky. Isn’t the glass supposed to have some flex, anyway?

Last time I took it out I only rolled it 16 times but it was still watertight. But I am removing the day hatch cover during transport now.