Petrel Play S&G Bulkhead fit

The Petrel Play S&G build is progressing. I'm installing the bulkheads now. How neat should the bulkheads fit the inside of the hull?

I was able to get the aft bulkhead to fit within about 1/8 inch. I taped the forward edge of the joint and was able to put a bead of thickened epoxy around the aft end. After that cured, I removed the tape and did a filet on the forward joint.

But I'm finding that the forward bulkhead has gaps that are 3/16 to 1/4 inch in some spots. Should I:

1. Continue to shape the bulkhead so it fits, which will result in it moving further forward as I trim the edges.

2. Add some scrap wood to the edges so it's a tighter fit, then apply thickened epoxy to the forward edge joint.

3. Tape it in place on the forward edge and apply thickened epoxy to the aft of the joint, just as I did for the other bulkhead. Reaching the joint is the problem. Epoxy in a plastic bag won't work and I don't even think a caulking gun would allow me to reach. An alternative is to apply semi-thickened epoxy with a bruch on a stick, maybe with the kayak standing on end.



4 replies:

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RE: Petrel Play S&G Bulkhead fit

Hey Terry,  I built one of the first S&G PP kits in 2014 and absolutely love the boat.  Assuming that you are following the build manual, the hull and deck are joined so the shape of the boat is set.  This means that exact positioning of the fwd BH is not critical.  I would move it forward until you get a snug fit without deforming the hull.  This will minimize size of fillets and weight. 

Enjoy your boat.


RE: Petrel Play S&G Bulkhead fit

   Hi Terry. I am currently building a Mill Creek 16.5 and I remembered from my old boat building days that bulkheads should not come in contact with the hull. A small gap between the bh and hull is preferred to prevent high stress loads or "hard spots" in those areas. I'm thinking about adding a thin layer of closed cell foam around the bh in mine to prevent contact. I know this seems to contradict the manual and conventional wisdom but it's common in the boat building world. Doesn't seem to matter though with these craft as long as the hull is fair, I'm just following old instincts.


RE: Petrel Play S&G Bulkhead fit

Mark N & SB: Thanks for the advice.

I looked at it some more last night. The gaps are larger than I had estimated when the bulkhead gets as far forward as parts of it will allow. So the hull and bulkhead have different dimensions for some reason. I'd have to do some significant trimming to make it fit better, which will result in it moving farther forward. The hull is sufficiently stiff that a wooden bulkhead isn't necessary.

I made a template from a piece of cardboard and would need to add some strips around the perimeter of the bulkhead to make it a more snug fit. It also moved the bulkhead aft, but still sufficiently forward of the footbraces. The result would be more volume forward for storage and positive bouyancy when the cockpit is swamped.

SB: I understand about avoiding hard spots and that would definitely apply to a larger vessel. I doubt that there's enough movement to be a problem with this kayak. However, I noted in one of Nick Shade's videos that he used foam blocks for bulkheads. It makes me wonder about using a foam shim around the bulkhead or making a bulkhead from foam and caulking it in place.


RE: Petrel Play S&G Bulkhead fit

I decided to add shim pieces around the edge of the bulkhead and it fits much better now. When seated I can't touch the bulkhead with my feet. I'll also be able to reach the rear edges to apply a bead of epoxy using a caulking gun.


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