Construction Services

How Bulkheads Are Used

Waterfront bulkheads are used to prevent erosion that would otherwise destroy waterfront property. Bulkheads Construction Charleston SC also help define the boundary of your property, preventing erosion from carrying over onto neighboring properties. Bulkheads retain fills along the water perimeter of reclaimed areas and port basins. They are also found along natural and filled shorelines to separate land and sea.

Dock BuildingBulkheads are used to prevent erosion of property along the shoreline of an ocean, lake, or river. They keep sand, dirt, and other soils from naturally eroding into the water and act as a barrier between the land and the water to help with tidal surges and wave overtopping.

Many different types of bulkhead materials can be used. These include wood, steel and vinyl. The most popular type of bulkhead is a wooden seawall or timber bulkhead. These can be constructed from treated lumber or more modern and durable composites that look like wood but last much longer. These are typically installed with a top cap made from marine-grade wood to protect against rot and attack from marine boring worms. The top cap also helps to distribute the weight of the dirt the bulkhead is holding across all of the piles.

A more costly and advanced bulkhead material is steel sheet piling. This can be driven or pushed into the ground with a backhoe or vibratory hammer and has a service life of 30+ years. It is more stable than a wood or concrete seawall and can be designed to take a large amount of axial and lateral pressure. The main downside of a steel bulkhead is its cost, although it offers superior strength to a wood or concrete seawall.

Another common type of bulkhead material is riprap seawalls. These are typically composed of rocks and boulders piled in front of other seawalls to help curb erosion. Riprap seawalls are less expensive than a timber bulkhead, but their life span is shorter and they are more susceptible to corrosion.

Lastly, a concrete or pile/panel bulkhead can be installed. These are typically more expensive than a wood or riprap seawall, but they can have a service life of 30+ years with proper mix design and marine structural engineering. They are a good choice for coastal areas that experience heavy wave action and have soils with high cohesion.

While traditional bulkhead materials can work well, they can suffer from deterioration due to rusting and the water’s acidic effects on metal. Newer, more advanced bulkhead materials such as vinyl, composite and aluminum are more resistant to damage and rusting, and they can be designed to withstand higher loads than older bulkheads.


Bulkheads are one of the most important structural elements in any ship. They help in ensuring the safety of a vessel during undesired events such as flooding or collision. They are designed to a particular standard, which ensures that water is confined within a specific compartment, and the overall reserve buoyancy of the vessel remains intact and allows it to return safely to port without catastrophic damage.

Bulkhead design involves calculating the global loads on them over a ship’s lifecycle. Naval architects use computational tools such as FEA (Finite element analysis) to compute the load patterns and come up with an efficient bulkhead design solution. They can also be made using composite materials, which reduces the overall weight of the structure.

The bulkheads in a ship are usually classified by their usage, purpose, and construction method. For example, longitudinal bulkheads extend fore and aft to divide the ship into a number of longitudinal compartments. Engineers often use these to reinforce the longitudinal integrity of the ship, and they also provide better subdivision, which is a significant factor in determining a vessel’s stability.

Another type of bulkhead is the collision bulkhead, which is found at the bow. It is normally stronger than other bulkheads in a ship and is positioned at an optimal distance from the bow to prevent any collision-related damage.

It is important to note that the design of a bulkhead is not limited to its mechanical properties, but also includes the electrical systems and other essential components of a vessel. These must be free of hazards in their method of operation and their effects on other parts of the vessel. This is important as it will ensure the safety of passengers and crew members.

Bulkheads are also insulated to protect them against fire. They are insulated with non-combustible material that prevents smoke and flame from passing through the exposed side for a specified period of time. They are also rated according to their thermal performance. For instance, class A-60 bulkheads can withstand fire for up to 60 minutes. For this reason, these types of bulkheads are required in ships that carry hazardous chemicals or products.


When installing a bulkhead in an aquarium, it is important to thoroughly clean out the area where it will be installed. Any grains of sand or trapped detritus can cause leaks. A good way to do this is by having a helper hold a bucket underneath the holes, and fill it with water from the overflow, to flush out any solids. After that, the bulkhead can be inserted into the hole, and a nut tightened from below. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this can crack the aquarium glass.

Bulkheads are an excellent way to add extra living space in a home without having to break through walls. They can also be used to hide electrical wires, plumbing pipes and duct work. They can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal and drywall. Bulkheads can also be custom made to fit any specific requirements of homeowners.

In the maritime industry, the term bulkhead is used to describe any wall that separates an area of lower ceiling from a higher part above it. This type of wall can be used to create a curved ceiling, and it is often used as a way to increase the height of a room. Bulkheads are also commonly found in ships, airplanes and automobiles. The word is derived from the Latin term for cargo, “buli,” which means boatloads.

These barriers are designed to withstand the heavy load of cargo and other forces. They are made with the appropriate material to withstand any weather conditions and other stresses. Moreover, these structures are used to protect the shoreline from erosion and other coastal problems.

Coastal erosion is a huge problem, and bulkheads can be an effective solution to the issue. These shoreline structures are erected near the high-water mark to prevent the wash of sediment and the movement of soil into the sea. Bulkheads can be made from concrete, timber or steel piling. They are a great way to reduce the effects of erosion and are an inexpensive way to protect coastlines.

While there are many ways to install a bulkhead, it is important to get it right the first time. A properly installed bulkhead can last for years. However, it is essential to inspect the bulkhead regularly for signs of damage and make repairs if necessary. It is also important to keep the bulkhead free of debris and other objects that can clog the drain.


A bulkhead is a man-made vertical shoreline stabilization structure that protects commercial, industrial, and residential waterfront property. The primary purpose of a bulkhead is to slow erosion at the base of a bluff or beachfront, and they are very effective in doing so. But, like any structure, it’s important to maintain them properly so they continue to serve their intended function. If your bulkhead needs repair or replacement, contact a bulkhead specialist to help you make an informed decision and create a plan for doing so.

A good place to start is to have a qualified marine contractor conduct a visual inspection of your bulkhead. If you find signs of damage or deterioration, it’s important to take action quickly. In some cases, if the condition of your bulkhead is so severe that it poses a threat to other structures or water dependent activities, a Township Bulkhead Inspector may notify you of a need for repairs.


Over time, the supporting berm on the water side of a bulkhead can erode and give way, causing the toe of the bulkhead to slip outward. Typical signs of a berm failure include rust marks on the sheathing, or horizontal cracks. Sometimes a few supplemental helical tiebacks and extra pilings can correct this problem, but it’s important to have a qualified bulkhead installer check the overall stability of your berms.

Collision Bulkheads

The collision bulkhead is one of the most important bulkheads on a ship because it prevents flooding throughout the entire vessel during a collision. It’s positioned aft of the bow and is designed to be stronger than other bulkheads to ensure it can contain the water from other compartments and keep the overall reserve buoyancy of the boat intact.

There are several different types of collision bulkheads depending on their function and how the ship is rigged, but all have similar construction and materials. The main goal is to separate the engine rooms from other areas of the ship, and they should be fire-resistant following SOLAS requirements. They also act as a barrier to keep flammable cargo away from fire hazards on the ship.