I have to admit I’m relieved!

Well, I can stop worrying about the bulkhead fitting (or not!) in front of the foot brace rails. I made bulkhead templates that I could file and adjust as much as I want without worrying about wrecking the actual bulkheads. I was able to get both the fore and aft bulkheads sized to fit and the forward bulkhead fits in front of the foot brace rails and leaves just enough room between the bulkhead and the front hatch for the internal spacer and lip for the hatch lid. As I thought it might be, it’s very close. But it will work and I won’t have to cut the foot brace rails. Had I decided to try the Slidelock foot braces before I put the studs in the kayak or cut the hatches, I could have moved the hatch forward an inch or two, or moved the mounting studs back an inch or two. But of course I didn’t decide until both were already “written in stone.” But now I don’t have to worry about it any longer. I may have to fiddle around a bit to get the epoxy fillets and fiberglass tape that will hold the bulkhead in and make it water tight, so that it doesn’t interfere with the internal hatch parts. I am certain I can do that. Now that my template pieces are shaped the way I want them I will trace them onto the actual bulkheads, which have been fiberglassed on both sides, and cut or file the bulkheads until they match the templates, and Bob’s your uncle!

This photo shows how far the rail extends past the stud. The rails for the Keepers foot braces would have given me a lot more wiggle room, but the Slidelock braces will be SO nice to have when I’m paddling!
Autofocus failed me on this photo. Sorry. This shows the distance between the bulkhead and the forward hatch opening. It will be enough.
Aft bulkhead looking from the cockpit.
Aft bulkhead looking from the cargo hold.

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