Risk Management and Watertight Bulkheads

Chapter 17 of 20 in the Online Book How To Buy an Offshore Voyaging Boat

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In the second of his excellent articles on impact resistance, Matt Marsh, AAC technical correspondent stated:

At a minimum, I like to see one good solid forepeak bulkhead; additional ones throughout the boat are highly desirable.

My thinking is that, while I agree that a forward watertight bulkhead is a desirable feature in a voyaging boat, it is far from essential and that trying to incorporate multiple watertight bulkheads can cause more problems than it’s worth.

I’m going to write at some length (what else is new) on this subject because I think it represents an interesting exercise in risk evaluation, a process all of us who wish to sail offshore must become adept at, because if we treat all risks as equal, and try to guard against each of them equally, we will quite simply never leave the wharf.


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