I love the slanted bulkhead

Turn the kayak over and lift the bow…all water gone. I don’t even need to sponge inside.

Why don’t more composite kayaks come with these?

I love it too

– Last Updated: Jul-10-08 12:12 AM EST –

I asked someone at Necky about it once (the Chatham doesn't have one) and he said it was a question of taste. I'm sure that's true, but--all things being equal--I think a slanted bulkhead's superior for the reason you give.

Think about it folks!
Does water NOT spill out of an inverted tilted boat with a vertical bulkhead??? Perhaps you try it?

Many like vertical so they have room for kit behind the seat. I too like slanted bulkheads, but the water issue is NULL. What matters is the strength / integrity, and waterproofness of said bulkhead, slanted or not.

A curved straight bulkhead will shed more water than a straight slanted bulkhead. No water leaft in the corners. Water conforms to Gravity’s wishes.

Good day.

I love it three
I have tried rescues with a number of boats. My NFK boats with the slanted bulkhead is amazingly dry if you go to the bow, lift and flip.

If the water issue is null, why does Nigel Foster design his kayaks all with slant bulkheads behind the seat - and only the one behind the seat? Is there another purpose for this design I don’t know about? Or maybe there is a technique for emptying with a straight bulkhead that I don’t know about - they always come up with much more water.

When you go to the bow and raise it up, a straight bulkhead then has a slant which produces a pool, where the slanted bulkhead is now pretty vertical. Anyhow, regardless of theory, I notice a big difference in less H2O to pump.

no difference
one boat slanted one boat straight, i notice no difference in tip outs. the water comes out either way, a small amount remains and the boat is wet anyways in either case. and then as i get back in more water. sometimes the slanted one is a drag in that i can’t even get a sponge back there, nothing. a bit more volume in the day hatch though…

It’s Definitely a Tradeoff
I can’t fit my water bottle behind the seat like I used to but you’re right, the boat empties nicely.

I installed a drain plug…

…in the cockpit, as far forward as I could get it.

Makes draining very simple, and being in the bow,

I tip it on the bow and not on the rudder.

What matters for draining is
whether the bulkhead is very near or flush with the rear cockpit coaming. By curving it and keeping it very near All water drains and there are no areas where water collects. Straight, sloped bulkheads will still collect some water in the corners, but insignificant.

What matters for you folks is you like the sloped bulkhead and that’s cool. Probably a more legit rationale is that is maximizes space in the storage compartment, thus minimizing floodable cockpit area.

This helps with lower volume boats.

You’ll also note that such boats with sloped bulkheads often have the seat a bit further forward to allow for some space.

The water draining issue is more a function of how near bulkhead is to cockpit ring aft. If we put a sloped bulkhead in 3" aft of the cockpit ring we’ll collect some water…which is why it’s good to rock the inverted boat side to side when draining.

What Salty said in reply #2
…its all about WHERE the bulkhead connects with the deck, not the angle of it. My kid’s Tsunami SP has about 6" between the bulkhead to deck connection and the back of the coaming…frustrating to empty and always extra water left behind.

My Outer Island does have a slanted bulkhead, but my seat is forward far enough not to matter and hey - if we can all get bombproof rolls - who cares?


A slanted bulkhead not as strong
A vertical bulkhead provides more structural integrity.

That is true puddlefish
but both are strong enough.

Get a Harmony drainplug
kit for your child’s Tsunami. It is easy to install, looks ok, and doesn’t interfere with use. I installed on in my 120 for the same reason, all that water collecting by the bulkhead. I put it in the back corner as close as I could to the bulkhead. Now when I clean and drain the boat no more then a sponge worth of water is left behind.

Differently strong
A slanted bulkhead will distribute an eternally-applied point load in a very different way then a straight one.

It is an over-simplification to say that one is stronger than the other.

NO sponging
When I said it gets all the water out, I meant it. At the end of a paddle now I just turn the boat over to rid it of what comes in just from stepping in and out a couple times. That’s how well it empties the boat—I used to sponge repeatedly to get that small amount of water out. It’s also handy because even without flubbing any rolls, water does accumulate in the cockpit from my sprayskirt (I never cinch the Velcro flaps down real tight).

I still have room to carry a bike water bottle behind the seat.