I have a 1999 Seda Glider in great condition. This boat came from the factory without a front bulkhead. The forward hatch has a fairly small access cover, I think it is 6" across. Anyway, the previous owner installed a forward bulkhead that was a complete hack job and it bugged me so much I wanted to remove it and install a much more pro install. I got so far as removing the old bulkhead and shaping and getting ready to install a new one. Before I do…Should I even install one? I have read that it is easier to load big or long items into the front of the kayak from the cockpit. Isn’t kinda dangerous to not have a front bulkhead in case of a wet exit? I have float bags front and rear. Should I install the bulkhead with an access hatch in it? I want to use the boat for touring. Any suggestions welcome. P.S. I noticed the new Seda Gliders come with a bigger bow hatch opening and a front bulkhead. Thanks!
I would choose the complete hack job, assuming it was functional without adding a bunch of weight, over the kayak with the functional hack job removed. So I would say yes, I highly recommend installing a better front bulkhead. If you already have a 6" wide access cover, I personally wouldn’t bother installing additional access, but that’s me. You will be adding a huge margin of safety with a simple procedure. Something to consider, I can’t tell you the number of times through being in waves and whitecaps where a significant amount of water builds up in the cockpit. If you need to surf to shore, or you happen to be cruising in following seas, where that water weight will work it’s way around float bags and put its weight all the way at the end of the bow, it will effect performance a far greater measure than water collecting against the bulkhead in front of your feet. So this is a performance benefit even for a person that knows they will never capsize. For people like me who will capsize and even swim occasionally, the benefits of complete isolation of the bow of the kayak from the cockpit become much more significant. That would be a fun boat to paddle, especially if, as the name suggests, you appreciate some glide. I hope you’re enjoying it!
Thank you for your response. You make some very good points. Just yesterday I did a wet exit test see what would happen. The amount of water in the cockpit and bow was ridiculous. This is a 19’ boat and I was unable to lift the bow and remove any water. I was able to get back in and the pump out took forever. I am definitely installing the bulkhead. It actually boggles my mind that Seda would manufacture a touring kayak without a front bulkhead. Seems pretty dangerous. I am using Divinicel. It is super light and strong and easy to glass. I still might add small waterproof deck fitting the the bulkhead in case I want to slide anything through the cockpit. Cheers!