Author Topic: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?  (Read 194 times)

Offline BruceW

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Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« on: March 12, 2017, 11:30:49 AM »
Hi, folks,

My 1981 Mark 1 has full bulkheads between quarterberths and vberth. Solid, as in, they work, but they close off the space and I would like a more open feel. Mine have lamps and hooks toward the top.

I have heard that a person can remove these, replace with a stainless rod on each side of the opening, thus making it look more open. However, that would imply I lose the hooks and lamps.

Can you guys post pictures of any cut down bulkheads, or maybe updated factory versions? I feel like I would at the very least like to cut big damn open windows into my bulkheads, but maybe I would change the lamps and hooks and just get rid of the bulkheads altogether.

Thanks!
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline brackish

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 02:06:02 PM »
You might look at an interior photo of a Precision 23 to see how it is configured.  Basically they have glassed in a beam across the inside of the coach roof, I'm sure cored with wood, probably marine ply laminated, then tie it into the hull sides with short panels.  Makes for a nice open forward cabin.  You are trying to spread the load from the mast and I like how they do that.

Offline Jeff S

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 03:26:08 PM »
The current version Com-Pac 23/IV has a cut out bulkhead which can be seen in the C23/IV photo gallery on their web site.  Looks like the current version is a compromise of privacy/open feeling a still provides enough surface for light/hooks, etc.  Hope this helps.

Offline BruceW

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 03:44:51 PM »
Brackish: I actually had a P 21 with that type of compression spreader. Mine had cracked before I bought it, and the PO had fixed it, but there was a bit of sag that I really didn't care for. I am a bit leery of making one.


Jeff: thanks; I took a look. I think I would like more taken out; also, it looks like they have a header up high across the middle which I would not want. On the other hand, I think I could cut a hole in each side that might go nearer the center, higher close to the current light & hook, and down lower to give a bit more openness.

One good thing: I have other things to finish first, so who knows if I will still want to do this.

Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline mattman

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2017, 09:44:12 PM »
Just a thought, do you use the bulkhead to lean against while sitting? Don't cut too low to loose that function. On my cat 22 the dinette seat backs were just a few inches too low for comfort... here was no place to sit where you could lean back in comfort...best of luck.

Offline BruceW

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2017, 10:40:51 PM »
Just a thought, do you use the bulkhead to lean against while sitting? Don't cut too low to loose that function. On my cat 22 the dinette seat backs were just a few inches too low for comfort... here was no place to sit where you could lean back in comfort...best of luck.

That's an excellent observation. I need to cut just above where my pillow leans. Might need to see about the same issue from Vberth side also. Something I thought of was to cut out a window, but put a frame in so I could fill it if I wanted to. I'll have to think it out again, as Fagin said.
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline Bob23

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 05:18:04 AM »
  Keep in mind, mates that this is a structural member who's job is to transfer load from the mast to the keel. While we aren't talking about large numbers here, the bulkhead is there for a reason.
  A few years ago I began day dreaming about a C-shaped structural beam that would still allow the loads to be sent to the keep while leaving one entire side of the boat completely open. Although I know it would work, I didn't pursue it as I'm not ready to completely reconfigure the interior.
  Mine is a Mark2 and the bulkheads are not as restrictive looking as the Mark 1. Interesting thread, here and I'm curious to see where it's going.
Bob23

Offline Wes

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 07:08:33 AM »
Comrade Bob speak truth. Even on my smaller 19, the downward forces from the mast were sufficient to bend the two 3/8" bolts that attach the compression post to the bulkhead. I replaced them with grade 8 rated bolts but not before noting that there is some serious force at work here. Be cautious!

Wes
"Bella", 1988 CP 19/3 #453
Washington, North Carolina

Offline BruceW

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2017, 08:15:44 AM »
Caution duly noted, Bob & Wes.

I actually brought up this topic with Keith Scott. He is the one who suggested a 1" stainless pole. He was thinking it would be a good pull up rod for when you are getting up from the bed. I asked him about 2: one on each side of the opening, and he thought that would be cool too.

It wasn't until I got to the boat that I remembered the lights & hooks. This got me thinking more about cutting windows in, which is why I asked about how much was open in the later models. Got a good view from the Hutchins site as suggested above.

I'd really like a compression arch or something out of the way, but not made by me, haha.

Keith's suggestion is to get a 2 x 4 on top of a bottle jack, raise the roof a tad, unscrew the bulkheads from the seats, and take them out. Do this when I have the stainless poles ready, one side at a time. He wasn't worried about spreading the load on the rim of the tube like I was, rather just make sure the cut is flat.

This is something I would like to be able to say presto-change-o and have it already done, haha. I will have to sidle up to this task, if I ever actually do it.
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline kickingbug1

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 04:39:08 PM »
    i have to say that i would leave the bulkheads in. think structure. its like the commercial where the contractor says " we can take out the wall to open up the kitchen----never mind that it is load bearing.
oday 14 daysailor, chrysler musketeer cat, chrysler mutineer, com-pac 16-1 "kicknbug" renamed "audrey j", catalina capri 18 "audrey j"

Offline BruceW

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Re: Compression Bulkhead alterations/removal?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 04:56:54 PM »
Fine that you wouldn't. Mr. Kicking; the Hutchins company eventually reduced the bulkhead also. As posited in the original post, I am not trying to have zero support, just different support.

My choices are:

a. reduce the current bulkhead by cutting out windows
b. take them out and put replacement support in, as mentioned in a prior post with input from a very respected boat dealer.
c. leave it alone.

Not really sure why you put your oar in.
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23