Whoops there's foam here: On inspection ports

Thread starter #1
Hello all!

I just last week purchased my very first Sunfish sailboat for $350. The previous owner expressed some concern that some water made its way into the hull, and after my first expedition on the water (wow what a blast) there was defiantly water in the hull. At this realization I made two resolutions, search for the leak(s) I obviously have and install two inspection ports so I can air out the inside. After draining the hull from the deck drain, I decided to install the ports first. The first went in with out a hitch just forward of the dagger-board and aft of the splash guard. The second was to be installed on the aft deck just a few inched forward of the rudder mount. To my dismay as I cut out the fiberglass, there was foam underneath; where according to the PDF on this very forum, no foam should have been present. So my question to you all is this. Wtf do I do now?? The foam is pretty saturated in water I wonder if I cant just scoop it out, or should I just fiberglass over the hole and forget the second port? Thanks all!


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--Joeslost
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#2
That's odd. Will sit back and watch the replies on this one. Someone must have added that in the past. Any visual clues of past surgery?
 
Thread starter #3
No clues that my untrained eye can see. I believe the desk to be original. The prev owners brother did not even believe water could get into the hull, so I doubt they would be doing any opening of the hull.
 
Thread starter #4
Update found some clues. Dunked my phone in my new front inspection port and noticed two things: 1: The foam in the front is a different color than what I ran into. 2: There is what looks to me greatstuff inside the hull.
IMG_20170701_211300.jpg
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#5
Remember they may have cut in from the bottom and not the deck. I did that for alum backing plates for my deck hardware, not wanting to cut the deck.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#6
btw, that pic you posted is normal as the foam blocks are held in place with the yellow foam. What you had on the rear deck was not factory.
 
#7
I just put an inspection hole in the back of my '71 era Sunfish last weekend and ran into the exact same situation. In fact, the foam made it pretty hard to pull up the piece of fiberglass after it was cut as it was bonded to it. To my relief, the foam you see is only a couple inches thick and you still have pretty good access once you remove it. I used a small round file to cut it out.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#8
Ye
I just put an inspection hole in the back of my '71 era Sunfish last weekend and ran into the exact same situation. In fact, the foam made it pretty hard to pull up the piece of fiberglass after it was cut as it was bonded to it. To my relief, the foam you see is only a couple inches thick and you still have pretty good access once you remove it. I used a small round file to cut it out.
Just offering another vote that the foam found is totally normal. It is straight from the factory.
 
Thread starter #9
Great! Thanks guys! Unless someone cautions me otherwise, I will set to digging the foam out in the morning.
 

oldpaint

Active Member
#14
More like we don't have factory pictures of the foam in the Alcort and AMF Alcort boats, so we can't really be sure.

I recall that in the late 60’s talk that there was one Sunfish at the Harvey Cedars Yacht Club that was supposed to be very light because it had no foam. Of course that might have just been said to intimidate other racers.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#15
They have all had pretty much the same arrangement of white foam blocks. The difference is in how much yellow foam got blasted in to hold things together. Some definitely have more than necessary. There was a post a few years ago on here where a guy took the deck completely off a 70s era boat and that would be interesting to see again, but I cannot find the thread. BTW that is an ill-advised idea - about impossible to bond everything together again properly.
 

mixmkr

Active Member
#16
A slow curing foam or putty that doesn't eat the foam would be a solution to "gluing" the deck back on.
Wonder what they do in production
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#18
What happened was the factory switched from pouring expanding foam to hold the flotation blocks in to a foam gun in the early 70s. And then foam went EVERYWHERE. Big blobs in the stern. We took 38 pounds out of one boat.

hoops foam.jpg

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