How to bulkhead stern on molded Kayak?

Hi Everyone, Brand new here and a noobie. I have a 10.4 Viper sit in. It is a single plastic mold boat.
I am going to fill the bow with coke bottles and a bulkhead or a net to hold the bottles in or a float bag if I can figure out how to make one too small fit my bow.

But the stern is open to the cockpit around my chair. I want to build a bulkhead around that chair. There is a hatch in the back but you can’t reach the back of the seat from there.

Has this been done? To start out with I think I’ll glue in some pool noodles under the chair perimeter. But when I get to the side of the chair, I am at a loss.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

I’d just buy a couple of NRS float bags. They’re available in various sizes…

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Are you trying to preserve the space for storage? Hence need a bulkhead?

One option that mixes the two, but relieves you of trying to insert a bulkhead where non was intended, may be to purchase float bags that also have a chamber like a dry bag. They are admittedly pricier, but it may be a lot easier to figure out how to anchor them than to custom fit a bulkhead out of minicell foam.

These hybrid bags are a decent plan if you are not trying to carry bulky camping gear, just spare clothing and food for a day paddle.
These things are not cheap, will give you that. But I have a couple of them that I regularly use for shorter day paddles because they are easier than inflating a larger float bag.

Here is one example and I am sure there are other makers if you knock around.

Thank you guys. I will probably use a float bag for the bow. Problem is they are too small for my bow. I haven’t measured it but they are probably too small for the stern as well. I thought putting in a bulkhead would be much better.

Yes it would be nice to have a dry storage area but mainly I am doing this for safety. I use dry bags for stuff and keep my backpack on top of the deck so it would float off and not sink with the boat.

So here’s a couple of questions. Is it ok to use more than one float bag but only partially inflate them so I can fill the whole area?

If I were to make a bulkhead, is it ok to use regular close cell R-10 insulation foam or do I have to use the mini cell foam?

thanks again!

When ever I hear this I am reminded of my boy scout days. Yes we capsized. And in the excitement I noticed a bag float by. It was my bow paddler’s dry spare clothes and shoes. We never saw them again.

You ask tough questions. Boats like this one just weren’t made for compartments. So each one is a separate custom problem.

Float bags…you have to measure your area and then go to the NRS site and find the bag that fits that area. Or rather is just a bit larger than that area so when inflated it “snugs” in. They make two bag, split bag for boats with the between the feet foam structure holding the deck up. I bet a bulkhead installed forward would conflict with your feet. Either way you have to fasten the bags in place so they don’t pop out and float away with your back pack.

Bulkheads…they are often the minicell foam in thick pieces. You might be able to use closed cell foam insulation (Blue). But it has to be thick enough to withstand bumps from the cargo compartment when you slog stuff in there. Get the 2". Wife’s tandem has 2" foam of similar material. Use 3m Marine Sealant 5200 to seal and cement the bulkhead in. Caulk from back with kayak upside down. Stick head and one arm in hatch. Yes it is awkward. Remove seat and caulk front . Regular painters caulk will often not hold up to the movement or water.

Chances are you won’t have much room after you add bags and bulkheads. If you camp think camping like a back packer. I have seen some wild over packed boats that actually survived. But …why take the chance?

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Thank you Over, well I measured the stern and the float bags will be too small. Can I get 2 and partially inflate them?

As far as the bulkheads are concerned, I guess I’ll go with the sheet insulation. If they make kayaks out of the stuff, I am sure it would be ok for a bulkhead. I can make it very thick with such a big sheet.

I am also going to use pool noodles as well and shape them to fit the space.

The seat in the kayak does not come out. The boat is a single piece of plastic milk bottle. I’ll post a pic when I am done. Thank you.

one can never have too many beach balls (in different sizes) pool noodles, blow up spiders and monkeys to wedge in crannies- just make sure they are wedged in well- especially on the road or they might blow out in transit, the party supply store is your friend

Just be aware there is a point where one makes a lot of compromises to attempt to achieve a level of kayak sophistication above this boat’s ability to achieve. Often those compromises never reach that level.

The silk purse out of a sow’s ear principle.

Make your improvements. Test them . Then go see what at proper kayak does in the same test.

Yeah I hear ya. I didn’t know I would like kayaking. But I went down the yellowstone and the Missouri and had a blast. Now I am kayaking every other day in a lake for exercise.

I like the sit in Kayaks that are recreational. The next class I think is a touring kayak that would not be for me, too skinny. The fat kayak I have is comfortable and stable. Do they make a good recreational kayak?

Anyway my new plan is to close off the stern with pool noodles because they are so readily available and inexpensive. I am not real keen on spending more for floatation than what I paid for the boat.

I am going to cut them open and glue them together and make the shape I need.
As far as the bow is concerned. I am going to fill it with floaties and fasten a net in there to hold them from floating out.

I believe the pool noodles are polyethylene. What glue do I use to glue them together and then to the plastic kayak?

Gorilla glue NG cause it expands, Weldwood contact cement says not to use on foam. 3M spray was shot down somewhere on the internet cause they said it wouldn’t last one season.

Any ideas about this?

Contact cement like used on cabinet tops is often used. How it does with pool noodles I don’t know. Test it first. Can be $$$_

Gorilla glue expansion is a good thingif the two surfaces are held together. The expanding glue seeps into pores, fishers, grain, etc.

I think that’s a smart move to use inexpensive pool noodles. I would also give Gorilla glue a try.

But really, you should consider a better boat. There is just no comparison in terms of performance between a 10’ long 32" wide boat and say, a 14’ long 24" wide boat. Yes, a skinnier boat will feel a little unstable at first but you’ll get used to it in no time. And the longer boat will be faster, will track better, will handle rough water much better and will help you improve your paddling skills enormously.

I really do appreciate that. But I am not worthy for a nice boat. I have to get it on top of my lifted jeep. Im old-er and a girl so I am kinda limited. If I didn’t travel with it (dragging the jeep with an RV), I might try that using a kayak trailer when I m home.

That boat sounds like a “touring” kayak. Don’t they make nice rec boats?

I think you’re underselling yourself! You sound like you’re keen on paddling but the boat you have is really only suitable for flat, calm water. And there are touring boats and touring boats. They don’t all have to be 18’ long, 20" wide, with tiny cockpits.and a price of $3K. Go look at something like a used Perception Carolina or Venture Easky, which are more like 14’ transitional kayaks. Good boats are available at low prices if you look around and are patient.

And I understand the “older” part as my wife and I are no spring chickens. There are ways to get a kayak on top of a vehicle that don’t cost a lot of money, and in fact a longer boat is easier to handle. There are lots of folks here who will give you tips on how to do it.

Overall I think you’ll have much more fun in a better boat.

Don’t give me any crap about big boat vs little car behind an RV. This is a tandem kayak and a bicycle on a little thing.

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Sorry for getting angry. I have friends with heart conditions carrying canoes and electric bikes in a similar rig. I get tired of hearing how things are impossible where people that shouldn’t be able to are doing it. It is a case of not finding solutions to problems.

We carry Sea kayaks on a 3/4 ton Z 71 I have to use a step stool to get into the tool box.

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Let’s talk about car topping boats without overly undue emphasis…

I am 68 yrs old, 5’4" and weigh in at 135 pounds in the morning now. Used to be less. I am 20 years into putting up full length sea kayaks by myself on top of a pretty tall Rav4 most recently and a string of station wagons before that. All the time since my husband died and sometimes before that. Granted on one side I finally treated myself to a Hullivator - at the age of 65.

The other side is still saddles and glide pads, on the cars before this it was stackers. I take two boats to Maine each summer so I am always using the non-Hullivator side for that trip. And at times when I have brought a second boat somewhere local for someone to use.

I have used an Amagansett Roller Loader for years and there there are other devices out there that also work to assist. Yes, I do have to stay in some level of condition to do this. But I have to do that to paddle where I want and manage some minor yard work as well. And in general avoid ending up in a wheelchair too soon like my stepmother.

The error is on assuming that the problem cannot be solved just because you are smaller, older and the boats look big. It is 90% about the tools you get, the racks etc.

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Hey I am all for gadgets to get the boat on top. My husband always stops me from doing stuff, really he doesn’t like me messing with stuff. But get this, I have a $1200 wench he thought I should have, what if I had someone manufacture some kind of roller on a piece of metal sticking up higher than the engine hood, I could put the cable on it so the cable doesn’t touch the car, lay it over the roof of the jeep, hook it to the kayaks in the back of the jeep, and then winch it on top of the roof from the back of the jeep to the front of the jeep?

What do ya think? Hey thanks guys, I am going to look into those other kayaks.

Back in the day we used punch balloons for cheap flotation, but I haven’t seen one in years. The good ones got 2 feet in in diameter. They were low pressure, thick tough kid’s toys that included a thick rubber band; you held the other end of the band, punched the ball, and it bounced back to your hand so you could punch it again. They weren’t at all slippery and you could inflate them more after jamming them into the bow and stern. But they slowly lost air and you had to untie and reinflate them every few days, which was a pita.

“But get this, I have a $1200 wench he thought I should have,”

I just hope that wench is a strong young girl!

But I do think you’re on to something using a winch. I’m sure it could be done.