Forward Bulkheads and Supports

The forward bulkheads, or walls, are now in completely and …permanently.

Recall that, due to the deck already on the hull, cutting the bulkheads as “one piece” was impossible as you could not get them into the boat. So they were “panel spliced” in place. The lower, port and starboard pieces, that are glassed against the hull, are from 1-1/2 inch Coosa board. The center pieces, that effectively become the “wall” between fwd salon/fwd head and fwd head/v-berth are 3/4 inch and are jointed into one side of the 1-1/2 inch bits. This leaves a nice 3/4 inch gap for the pocket doors.

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Forward wall spliced in. Note the hatch opening overhead. This is where the “ladder rungs” will be mounted.

I had originally planned to finish the paneling with 3/4 inch BW26 Coosa, and in fact had them cut and dry-fitted for some time. Then I discovered that 3/4 inch Aquatek plywood, had a bit less deflection (albeit heavier) than Coosa. As these two walls need to be weight bearing, and must span a large “unreinforced” area, I opted to use plywood to for the rest of the bulkhead.

Weight bearing?

Yes, the forward wall (between the head and v-berth) will, in the head compartment, have a set of stacked hand-holds/towel holders that will double as ladder rungs to assist one for climbing out of the forward deck hatch. Therefore, the “ladder rungs” need to support the weight of an adult. The minimal deflection of the plywood as the base for the ladder rungs is desirable.

As for the forward salon/forward head wall, this wall may, in the future, support a large flat screen LCD MONITOR (notice I did not say TV!). Maybe for displaying navigation charts, playing DVDs, whatever. While I am sure these devices are getting lighter, I thought it better to err on a stiffer substrate to mount such things (further reinforced by this post).

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Epoxy and glass taped corners.

So, the final bulkhead pieces were “glued and screwed” with thickened epoxy and thru-bolts. Corners were taped with glass and epoxy. They ain’t coming out.

Space ready for the head and related mechanicals.

I know things look a bit messy in the pictures, but this will all be covered up by some sort of decorative cladding (yet to be determined). The mechanical installation and finish out of the forward head can now proceed.

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