Best flotation reserve method

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Cacciatore, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Cacciatore
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Italy

    Cacciatore Junior Member

    Hi Guys , what is the best flotation reserve for an aluminium boat ? I don't like so much sprayed foam and i wonder if there are good solid foam or suggest to me other methods.

    Thank you for support
  2. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Basically there are two ways to go. Spray foam (two part mixed pour foam) or block pre-made foam. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages.

    If this is a one off boat the best and least expensive way to go is block foam in boxes under the seats. You can buy it at any hardware store (blue or pink insulation foam) cut it to size and put it in place.

    If this is a production boat pour foam with a gun that mixes it and sprays it in is they way to go. Put compartments on the boat for the foam leaving a hole that can be sealed with a cap, and spray the foam in.

    Block foam is usually polystyrene (not styrofoam) and is subject to damage by gas, oiks and various cleaners, so it must be installed out of the bilges, and where it won't be exposed to those. Sealed compartments or bagging will work.

    Pour foam (polyurethane) is not subject to degradation by gas, oils and cleaners, but is notorious for absorbing water. So it to has to be sealed or bagged. But it can be in the bilges or other places where water collects.

    Of course there are alternatives. Air chambers. but it must be able to float when swamped with the largest airchamber punctured.

    Air bags that inflate is an option.

    Other things can be used. I have seen plastic bottles, ping pong balls, pool noodles, even beer cans. Use your imagination.
  3. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    Click on Sailboats and then search for Extra buoyance, It will give you all the answers. The pro and negative. I like the ball solution. simple, not water absorbing and easy to remove and add. Bert
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