Eliminating my Bulkhead - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-16-2008 Thread Starter
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Eliminating my Bulkhead

Yep, that's what I want to do. Partially, at least. I started a thread a while back on cabin heater ideas. I've decided to buy the little sardine heater. Quite a beautiful little unit. Thank you so much for all the info. and advice. My choice ended up 180' from where I started.

Now I have to make room for the little guy to fit, and I have a structural concern. Since I unbelievably don't have a digital camera I'll try to explain the situation with flowing prose:

The bulkhead seperating the saloon from the head/hanging locker area is in two halves with a centered walk-through. I would like to put the stove on an insulated shelf in what is now the hanging locker. Then I was thinking of removing the top, inner portion of that bulkhead so it visually becomes part of the main cabin.

The bulkhead on that side already has a huge hole in it from a built-in bookcase which came stock ('68 Bristol 27). All I would be removing is a flimsy little piece on the inside of the walk-through, 2" wide, and a little near the top of the cabin, inside of the side deck, maybe 16" wide and 12" tall. The rest of the bulkhead would remain as is. The bulkhead supporting my deck-stepped mast seperates the head/hanging locker area from the v-berth.

So, should I build a wooden beam to bear the load over this new span? Any ideas on how to attach it at both ends? Would I be removing so much structural integrity that the whole project is suspect?

I think this project will add a lot to my little cabin's atmosphere, but I don't want to make my cabintop weak.


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post #2 of 13 Old 01-16-2008
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Even a cell phone picture, or a link to someone else's pictures online, would help.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-16-2008
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My short answer from your desciption is YES you want to reinforce that cutout as this is a load-bearing structural component of your boat.

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post #4 of 13 Old 01-16-2008
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Soulesailor

I dug up this picture of a Bristol 27 interior... is it helpful?


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post #5 of 13 Old 01-16-2008 Thread Starter
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Faster~
Thank you. I've been trying to dig up a photo but I don't have one. This photo is the dinette version of the B27. Take those exact dimensions and put a bulkhead on each side, not one half-way across, splittling the distance into thirds.

See how they don't have any bulkhead on one whole side. I want that but my bulkhead on the port side doesn't come quite all the way to the center line.


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post #6 of 13 Old 01-16-2008
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The other problem is that removing the bookcase probably weakened the bulkhead considerably, so you probably will want to reinforce the bulkhead both horizontally and vertically.

Torsion may also be a problem. The bulkhead probably acts to stiffen the boat torsionally, as well as vertically and horizontally—a lot like the difference on a cardboard box that has the top and bottom open versus the same box with all six sides taped shut. One is much less prone to collapsing than the other and staying in its original shape. Reinforcing the bulkhead with beams may not help restore the torsional stiffness lost by removing the bookcase.

Does the Bristol 27 have a deck-stepped mast? Was the bulkhead may have been acting as a compression post for the boat?

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-16-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
The other problem is that removing the bookcase probably weakened the bulkhead considerably, so you probably will want to reinforce the bulkhead both horizontally and vertically.

Does the Bristol 27 have a deck-stepped mast? Was the bulkhead may have been acting as a compression post for the boat?
The bookcase didn't appear to be very structural. It was just sitting in the hole and screwed in enough to not fall out. The bulkhead would still be intact along the hull and under the side deck. The next bulkhead forward, towards the v-berth, is the load bearing one for the deck-stepped mast.


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post #8 of 13 Old 01-16-2008
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Oh, in that case... have at it...

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Originally Posted by soulesailor View Post
The bookcase didn't appear to be very structural. It was just sitting in the hole and screwed in enough to not fall out. The bulkhead would still be intact along the hull and under the side deck. The next bulkhead forward, towards the v-berth, is the load bearing one for the deck-stepped mast.

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post #9 of 13 Old 01-16-2008
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You might want to post this on a Bristol owners' forum. I highly suspect you aren't the first guy to want to modify his boat in this fashion in 40 years.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-18-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Torsion may also be a problem. The bulkhead probably acts to stiffen the boat torsionally, as well as vertically and horizontally
Sailingdog~ I've been thinking about this and I think you are right. I'll add some torsional stiffeners in the ceiling of the hanging locker, spanning from the mast-step beam to the beam I'm gonna make. Thanks for the brainstorm.


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