Adding bulkheads & hatches to Pygmy Osprey Double

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by kineticdg, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. kineticdg

    kineticdg New Member

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    Jun 30, 2015
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    Hello,

    I have an old Pygmy Osprey Double that came with no deck hardware, bulkheads or hatches. For years we've paddled the boat (mostly lakes and protected water) with airbags stuffed in the ends for safety, but I would love to add bulkheads to make the boat ready to go as is. Has anybody tried putting a hatch in the bulkhead? I've done some searching, but haven't found anything on this. I know it wouldn't be very convenient, but it would be a very rare event for us to really load much of anything in the boat, and we already have a lot of space between the seats. What if the bulkhead were built as more of a plug, pull it out when we need to carry stuff with us?

    Cheers,
    David
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Best to cut hatches through the deck for easier packing and access to the compartments.

    Call Pygmy and order a couple hatch hardware kits, with instructions. Once those are cut, it makes installing bulkheads much easier. Bulkheads of thin plywood are easy to make and install. One method is to place a temp form where the bulkhead will go, then run a pencil stuck in a small bottlecap dead center around the perimeter, marking the temp form. The line shows the shape of the true bulkhead, if you extend it out half the diameter of the bottle cap. Cut the true bulkhead, fine tune with file and sandpaper as needed to fit. Then coat it with epoxy, glass if you like, to proteft it from water. Place in position and then epoxy it in place using filled resin fillets. Easier to do than to describe. I think Pygmy may have some instructions on all of this. I bet they have scrap plywood for a job like this, also.

    I like the forward bulkhead as far back as possible, leaving room for the tallest paddlers legs and feet.

    Have fun!
     
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Yes, I've put a hatch in a (forward) bulkhead, but that was to access the pedal adjustment in a small cockpit boat, from the front deck hatch. A friend installed a forward bulkhead with a hatch for loading gear, but that boat also has a smaller deck hatch in the front deck.
    One thing to consider is how you will install the bulkhead- I prefer to put an epoxy fillet on both sides of the bulkhead, sometimes adding glass tape as well. Without a hole cut in the deck you won't be able to access the 'far side' of the bulkhead easily.


    I doubt you could make such an arrangement waterproof, so IMO you'd be better off with (well-maintained and properly inflated) air bags. There's a basic principle in boat construction that no space should be without access via a hatch or inspection plate. An 'unvisited' space can be a breeding ground for molds and rot.

    I agree with Dave that you should go ahead and install deck hatches and bulkheads. I've modified a few commercial 'glass boats, adding bulkheads and hatches in deck recesses, and it was worth the work.
     
  4. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    I would just order a bulkhead and hatch kit from Pygmy. They sell a kit for your boat for about $70, plus epoxy. That sounds like a lot, but by the time you assemble together all the material it is going to cost maybe $50.
    You could build the bulkheads and hatch supports from 5mm floor underlayment. ( I built a whole kayak from the stuff) Just make sure it is the water proof type. Be sure to double coat all plywood edges with epoxy.

    To design the bulkheads:
    Using one 100mm wide X about 600mm long sections off plywood for each hull section, place each section on the hull to form ring in the area you want the bulkhead. Fasten these flat plates together with screws or glue or clamps. Use this ring to mark the bulkhead shape on a piece of plywood. Use Dave's suggestion to subtract the hull thickness, or just a short pice of 1/4 " spacer of any kind. You might first mark the bulkhead design on a piece of cardboard. Then trim and fit the cardboard pattern. This will be easy to do because your boat's hull is made from flat sections of plywood. So all cuts will be straight lines. To get "down and dirty" use cardboard to make the ring patterns.


    Roy
     
  5. kineticdg

    kineticdg New Member

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    Okay, it seems pretty clear what the answer is, I'll contact Pygmy and ask about the hatch and bulkhead kit. Thanks everyone for the feedback, this board is a fantastic source of information and advice!

    Cheers,
    David