Current Designs bulkhead problems

I recently bought a used Current Designs Gulfstream 2000, a fiberglass 17-footer. After I’d used it half a dozen times, I heard some water sloshing in the front compartment, and opened the hatch to discover the front bulkhead had completely come loose and was lying on the floor. The bulkhead had been attached to the hull with a silicon-type sealant. The sealant was still firmly attached to the fiberglass hull, but the bulkhead, which was made of a very thin non-fiberglass material, had just popped completely loose from the sealant. There wasn’t even a remnant of sealant on the bulkhead; the mating surface was clean as a whistle.

Has anybody else had this problem? I called Current Designs, and they seemed to have a very casual attitude about what seems to me to be a serious problem that in extreme conditions might even be life-threatening. “Yeah, it happens sometimes if you leave it out in the sun, or tie it down too tight on the roof rack,” I was told.

Are other kayaks built this way? I had just assumed the bulkheads were glassed in.

Any advice on repairs? I bought some 3M marine-grade adhesive/sealant (I’m certainly not going to use the same crappy sealant the factory used, which they tell me is called Cop-R-Lastic), but it requires a clean surface to work. My problem is getting the old sealant off. It sticks tenaciously to the fiberglass, and I can’t get it all off, even with a small, sharp putty knife. Is there a solvent that will dissolve this stuff?

Same problem
I’ve got a first year Sirocco (plastic) and had the same problems. I just took several tubes of Lexell caulk (great stuff!) and gooped it on both sides of the bulkheads. Had to do all three bulkheads. Worked great. Just remember not to go off half-caulked!

mask it off and sand it off

– Last Updated: Sep-23-04 12:29 AM EST –

might be a good way. then clean with laquer thinner.

Let's hope that Nystrom or some of the other guys with serious experience help you before you take my advice, but if left to my own devices that is what I would do.

CD Does that plastic thing with many of its composite boats; an abominable practice. The will do you a glass bulkhead custom for $$$.

Most of the heavies around here go with the 3m but Lexel has its followers too. Lexel should not be used in areas of continuous submersion, lexel is not designed to be used in environments below freezing. I do not want it in my boat. The 3M product is designed as a marine sealant so...

It might well be reasonable for you to put in your own glass bulkhead now, but you'll need better advice than mine for that.

I’ve got those in my Caribou
and they are a bit worrisome, for good reason, obviously. It looks just like regular clear silicone glue to me (something that seldom sticks good to plastic). Looking up silicone solvent on google I see something that suggests acetic acid would be a solvent for it. I think that’s what comes mixed in the tube with it originally so that certainly makes sense.

I’d be tempted to just sort of caulk it in place so it stays put long enough for you to sandwich it in with fiberglass matting+resin on each side. In fact I may try that before mine decide to fall out.


unless you are adept at glassing or have to have every inch of volume in the compartment make a bulkhead out of 3" minicell and glue it in with 3M5200. I don’t know where the previous bulkhead is located but you could probably reduce the cockpit volume by placing the bulkhead right up against the footbraces and not lose anything in the forward compartment.

CD replacement bulkheads?
You may want to contact CD again and inquire about the black foam replacement bulkheads. I have a 3 year old Sirocco with the same plastic bulkheads you have and had resigned myself to the fact that they require periodic re-caulking. It never occurred to me that they had the potential to blowout catastrophically! I did notice in the Review Section of this site, that CD had replaced the bulkheads in someone else’s Sirocco. I’m selling the boat so I haven’t pursued the issue. I was going to purchase a Gulfstream but bought a P&H boat with ‘glass bulkheads instead. The bulkhead issue was one of my deciding factors.