Black material inside of laser behind cockpit

Thread starter #1
Yes, the subject sounds weird, but I can't describe it. Put an endoscopic camera into the hull drain to check the inside of my '73 for standing water. Ran into a black matrial that looks a bit "squishy" (real technical terms, I know) right behind the cockpit and was curious if this is standard or something someone placed in here after a repair. Just not sure what it is. I have a picture I can post here tomorrow.


Active Member
Pics would help a lot. The only thing I can think of is that in my '73 boat, the flotation in there is blocks of rigid foam maybe 8 - 12 inches on a side, and some of those blocks are or were inside of a black plastic bag that's very similiar to a standard-issue Hefty garbage bag.


Active Member
It does look like water drops on the plastic. You could tape a kleenex on a dowel + pull it back out + feel it would tell for sure.

FWIW, my boat leaks maybe a gallon of water after 2 hrs or so out in 20+ kts. It leaks a lot less when it's less windy + the rail's not in+out of the water, and together with looking at the joint between the deck + hull, I think that's probably most of the problem. Someday I'll get around to it. For myself, I wouldn't care a hoot if the outside of the plastic bag or the inside of the hull is wet. Mine's wet after every sail, I open up the 3 8-inch ports and it dries out after a while, and I don't think it's doing too much bad to be wet for a while. On the other hand, if it were me, I'd check to make sure the block INSIDE the bag wasn't heavy + waterlogged. It's closed cell foam so it shouldn't be, but it's 44 years old and I'd be concerned that the material could have degraded. I'd do that by simply LIFTING it in my hands + gauging it's weight. I realize you don't have ports installed so that probably isn't much help. Maybe you can push them around with a dowel or something and see if you can gauge their weight??

FWIW, the old flotation in mine is very lightweight. The blocks that are out of plastic bags feel very dry once the surface moisture dries off, but they're getting kinda crumbly. I haven't deliberately removed the old blocks. But I have made a habit of slipping every 2-quart/liter milk + soda container down the inspection ports. I hope it'll never matter, but I'm aware that my boat's 40+ yrs old, and I love to sail in heavy wind + waves and I sail most of the winter in a drysuit, and I'm on reservoirs which go up+down and there's the risk of banging that daggerboard HARD on the bottom one bad day. If that cracked / broke the boat on a day when the water's 40 degrees, I hope all those milk jugs will stay inside + keep the deck above water til I limp home - even with a drysuit.

Hope it's helpful, hope not more than you wanted.
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