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Remove Soggy Foam from Heavy SF?

Jimmy53

New Member
Hi... I love buying old boats and fixing them up. Well, I got a dandy of a boat this time.... ugh! Surface has cleaned up okay and the hull is solid; I just added two inspection ports, near the coaming, and on the back deck. The front hull is reasonably dry... but the back half of the boat is wet, soggy, and heavy. My daughter and I could not lift it to carry back into the garage after cleaning it on our lawn. I have read tons of articles about drying out the foam... shop lights, black plastic, desk fans, basking in the sun, etc. Eventually it will probably get lighter, but....... could I cut and scoop out the "ripe watemelon" textured foam from the back area? I know that the foam adds great flotation in the event of a hull rupture, but I also read that air is just as good for flotation if everything is water tight. What are the dangers of just scooping out about 20 pounds of old, soggy foam from underneath the back deck?

Thanks. Jim
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
What are the dangers of just scooping out about 20 pounds of old, soggy foam from underneath the back deck?
"Danger" may be too strong a word, but you will lose the structural integrity of the rear deck, and one bad fall will likely crack it at some time.

What I did with my old Porpoise II, was to remove the soggy foam by the handful (!) The old foam probably would never have provided that necessary strength even after drying, anyway.

I used an old outboard-boat racing trick in tightly stuffing as many sealed 1-liter soda bottles as could fit, and foaming the whole works together.

It's sorta "recycling". :p

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beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
The front hull is reasonably dry... but the back half of the boat is wet, soggy, and heavy. m
There are two kinds of foam in there. White blocks and then a yellow spray in foam to hold the white blocks in place. Scooping out the yellow should be OK. Then use one of the techniques you mentioned to dry out the white foam. If you need to re attach the white foam there are two part foams you can use, or the quick way is use Great Stuff aerosol foam.
 

Jimmy53

New Member
Thanks for your ideas. I am glad someone else has considered removing the wet foam rather than spending months/years trying to dry out the hull. The other idea I considered was to fill the empty rear deck space with an inflatable float/bladder like they do in kayaks and whitewater canoes. Maybe even a few inner tubes inflated after inserted into the space. These ideas would not add too much structural support, but the hull would lighten up. How about helium in the tubes? :)
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
What did you use? 2lb density marine foam? And how did you apply it so that it adhered to all of the bottles?
I stuffed the space full of 1-liter bottles to "full", then removed them all, setting them up in rows. Using "Great Stuff" spray-foam, I partially coated each one as they were inserted through the existing 6" inspection port at the transom. Again, jamming them in to produce some support. Once all were in and the foam fully set, I forcibly removed a few bottles to allow space for bailing.

It's not as good a repair as new Styrofoam blocks, which could have been placed inside in short 6" stacks, but it was a quick, light, and inexpensive way to restore floatation—and some rigidity.

I coulda filled each bottle with Helium, but now it's too late! ;)
 
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