Epic V7 Buoyancy with Failed Hatch

1 month 1 day ago #33087 by SpaceSputnik
Hi All
I recently had to deal with failing bulkhead seal in my V7. Upon a closer look I noticed something that is making me a little uncomfortable.
There are two thick foam bulkheads around the hatch. As I was dealing with the seal I noticed that both have openings. Confirmed with Epic that those are vent holes and are to be kept open. As they said, the purpose of the bulkheads is to slow down water ingress but not to be completely watertight. Ok, I get it and it makes sense given the design of the hull. However I keep thinking about the worst case when hatch fails in rough water. I do have the hard hatch cover but if the rope on the soft cover fails it won't stop the boat from taking on water.
So, worst case. The boat starts flooding and the water starts traveling through the bulkheads and fills most of it. Will I end up with a completely useless submerged log? The ski has no foam stringers. The material of the hull seems to be thick and bubbly so I am guessing it may have some boyancy to it. Would that, combined with flotation of the bulkheads be enough for a semi useful craft while waterlogged? 
Anyone ever flooded their V7?

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3 weeks 5 days ago #33102 by paddlepop
let's bring this to the top again.  surely an Epic dealer or someone has to answer this 'problem'

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3 weeks 5 days ago #33104 by Fath2o
Isn't this question somewhat self explanatory? I don't suppose surfskis with fabric covered storage compartments were ever intended to get submerged in the surf or rough water. Correct me if I'm wrong, they are touring kayaks for protected waters. If you have this problem or are concerned about the potential problem it's probably time for a new boat. Do yourself a favor and consider a composite water tight hull. A 50 lb plastic boat quickly becomes an unmanageable 200 lb+ boat when full of water.

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3 weeks 5 days ago - 3 weeks 5 days ago #33105 by SpaceSputnik
V7 is most certainly intended for rough water. What you call a fabric cover is a tightly fitted neoprene cover with a hard plastic shell on top of it. It can most certainly take waves breaking on it or being submerged. The hatch failure is a very hypothetical situation.
I did get in touch with Epic (not a dealer but the company itself). According to them complete waterlogging V7 is not an easy thing to achieve. The water will not travel easily through small openings in the bulkheads due to air that is present in otherwise sealed areas. According to them filling this hull with water takes a dedicated effort and is time consuming. With hatch cover off and the storage being completely filled the ski can still be paddled.
Completely waterlogged (however way you might have achieved that) the boat would remain positively buoyant but impossible to paddle. However, again, this does not appear to be a likely event.
I am considering a composite but for performance reasons. The ultra-level layups feel brittle to me, especially compared to a tank-like V7, so I would most likely use such boat with a lot more caution.

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3 weeks 4 days ago #33107 by Fath2o
I stand corrected. It's just that I have witnessed a surfski in the surf quickly become filled with water and sand when the hatch cover came off. You know, I was also involved in rescuing a sea kayaking couple 12 miles from shore and 2 miles downwind from there island destination in 6 foot + seas with 25 knot. winds. There kayak was full of water and they were in extreme peril. We saved them, but. lost the kayak and all their gear. The kayak was to heavy to lift and the towline soon parted.
Good luck with your bulkhead repair.

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3 weeks 4 days ago #33109 by SpaceSputnik

Fath2o wrote: I stand corrected. It's just that I have witnessed a surfski in the surf quickly become filled with water and sand when the hatch cover came off. You know, I was also involved in rescuing a sea kayaking couple 12 miles from shore and 2 miles downwind from there island destination in 6 foot + seas with 25 knot. winds. There kayak was full of water and they were in extreme peril. We saved them, but. lost the kayak and all their gear. The kayak was to heavy to lift and the towline soon parted.
Good luck with your bulkhead repair.


Good on you for helping. Happens too often as far as I am concerned. 12 miles into it is way way too far..
In a sea kayak, theoretically a fellow paddler can empty the flooded section, but obviously not in these conditions.

The bulkhead job is done, just waiting for adhesive to cure completely. Which is ok I suppose with snow on the ground and all :)

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