Bulkhead Installation Question
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Bulkhead Installation Question

  1. #1
    Member BergerDirn171's Avatar
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    Default Bulkhead Installation Question

    I have a 1984 19ft bahner and was wanting to put in a bulkhead. I read on another thread to be sure to leave a gap for expansion and contraction. But before I glass it in I wanted to know if anyone knew why they didn't put one in to begin with. Is there a specific reason there's no bulkhead? Thanks

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    Boat Nut sleekcrafter's Avatar
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    If you want to run the bulkhead tight, you can, but it must be padded by wood. A 2"-4" pad must me glassed in for pad, to but the bulkhead to the hull. The other way is to shim the bulkhead off the hull, using shim stock, tab it in then glass. The first method is for a more solid boat, the second is for production type building. both methods minimise cracking at the bulkhead.
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    Member BergerDirn171's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleekcrafter View Post
    If you want to run the bulkhead tight, you can, but it must be padded by wood. A 2"-4" pad must me glassed in for pad, to but the bulkhead to the hull. The other way is to shim the bulkhead off the hull, using shim stock, tab it in then glass. The first method is for a more solid boat, the second is for production type building. both methods minimise cracking at the bulkhead.
    For the second method would balsa wood work for the shim stock or do I need something else? Balsa wood would give it a cushion for expansion. What would you recommend?

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    Senior Member Sanger-Spectra's Avatar
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    The reason for a pad or to leave a gap is to prevent the bulkhead form transfering through or breaking through boats will and do flex and with that movement if you have a bulkhead butted into the side top or bottom of teh boat it will transfer through teh gel or paint and of break thru.

    On daycruisers the top decks always sag around the cabin due to the weight, when I picked up my Spectra there was a big dip from this and it was behind the bulkheads. I added in some bacing after fixing the deck and set the bracing on a pad, the bulkheads are all glassed in with about a 1/4 to 3/8 gap, all areas are firm and tight.

    Don't think of leaving the gap to pevent damage during expansion think of it to prevent damage from movement because the boat will flex. I encapsulated all my bulkheads in glass prior to installing this way you are sure that they won't rot down the road and there definatly won't be any expansion also you can finish them off if you want to as well with gel or paint

    I was looking for a pic of the pad but can't find a good one I added a few picks of the one's I put in the Spectra. the Y shapped braces have the pads, you can see them at the top and sides. For the pad glass a good piece of plywood and the bulkhead gets glassed to it. Pics are pretty ugly but these look noce once everything is finished up. I put a pic of the almost final as well
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    Last edited by Sanger-Spectra; 12-18-2011 at 09:57 PM.

  7. #5
    Member BergerDirn171's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanger-Spectra View Post
    The reason for a pad or to leave a gap is to prevent the bulkhead form transfering through or breaking through boats will and do flex and with that movement if you have a bulkhead butted into the side top or bottom of teh boat it will transfer through teh gel or paint and of break thru.

    On daycruisers the top decks always sag around the cabin due to the weight, when I picked up my Spectra there was a big dip from this and it was behind the bulkheads. I added in some bacing after fixing the deck and set the bracing on a pad, the bulkheads are all glassed in with about a 1/4 to 3/8 gap, all areas are firm and tight.

    Don't think of leaving the gap to pevent damage during expansion think of it to prevent damage from movement because the boat will flex. I encapsulated all my bulkheads in glass prior to installing this way you are sure that they won't rot down the road and there definatly won't be any expansion also you can finish them off if you want to as well with gel or paint

    I was looking for a pic of the pad but can't find a good one I added a few picks of the one's I put in the Spectra. the Y shapped braces have the pads, you can see them at the top and sides. For the pad glass a good piece of plywood and the bulkhead gets glassed to it. Pics are pretty ugly but these look noce once everything is finished up. I put a pic of the almost final as well
    That helps a lot !! Thank you for the information and pictures! My plan was to glass the peice before I put it in like what you sugguested. And then sand in down to make sure it fit how I wanted it to. But I will be sure leave a gap now. Thanks

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