This is Marshall Seddon, from The River Connection, a kayak specialty store and instructional center in Hyde Park, NY. Today I'm going to be talking to you, in this paddling.com video, about bulkheads & storage.
Being that bulkheads are an internal feature to the kayak, most people associate bulkheads with hatches. The bulkheads create trapped air spaces inside of the kayak and the hatches allow access into those spaces. So small hatches provide quick and easy access to the necessities you need during the trip, like this day hatch. Whereas larger oval hatches, such as this large cargo hatch allow large objects like tent poles to be stored inside the kayak. When the hatch is pressed back into place, it is sealed up, maintaining the air-tight seal, again giving you trapped air space that is a safety feature, which we will get into on the water.
A bulkhead is the vertical wall that runs from the hull up to the deck and it is sealed. So I'm going to demonstrate what a bulkhead does, I'm going to get into the kayak and take on a little water. Even full of water with the hatches sealed, I am above waterline. So if this kayak did not have bulkheads or the hatches were left off negating the bulkheads, it would be a little bit more like thus, which obviously is not so easy to paddle or so easy to empty. So, with the importance here, bulkheads create trapped air at the ends of the boat, which keeps you afloat.
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