foam filler for steel barge

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Sue Fox, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. Sue Fox
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Sue Fox New Member

    I am in the marine construction business and have barges that we are constantly having to pump. My question is, has anyone heard of filling the hull of the barge with foam in order to seal it and keep it floating?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Dutch Peter
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    Dutch Peter Senior Member

    For the life time of a steel boat, filling it with foam is a bad idea.
    Repair the leaks and your alright. I'm pretty sure that's also a lot cheaper!
  3. Sandy McKerrow
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Sandy McKerrow Junior Member

    I agree - cure the leak, it will be cheaper in the long run. If you do need to make structural repairs at a later date, after foaming a space, consider the time and effort, i.e. cost required to remove the foam.
  4. diver1382

    diver1382 Guest

    my advice would be to tell the company owner to not mess with the foam and buy new barges I would also tell him to give your husband a raise
  5. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Very bad idea

    You just end up digging the foam out again so you can weld it later on.

    Sand blast the inside, repair the thin /holed plating , paint with zinc rich primer then 2 coats of epoxy.

    Joined: Nov 2004
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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    leaking barges

    I guess that your problem consists of barges that are brought for repair and that have to wait for their turn to be docked. If you want to keep them from sinking put some collapsible rubber tanks in them. You might find in army stores usable stock. It depend of course how big they are. Filling it up with foam is as Dutch Peter says a very bad idea and after all - when the barge is going to be repaired you are still left with a mess of foam material. Second to that is expensive and
    the result might be negligible.
    Put your specific problem here, with the proper dimension of the barges and you might find an answer, for free....
  7. StorTrissJules
    Joined: Jun 2012
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    Location: mid Sweden

    StorTrissJules New Member

    Hi Sue, I used EPDM synthetic rubber sheeting in my former business as a specialist flat roofer in the UK for years and I can't say enough good things about it. Now, the lads at my suppliers used to have fun making great big water or airfilled balloons from the stuff and trying to pop them (not easy!) by driving trucks over them etc. Air floatation bags sound like what you need, and it's just possible that Permaroof may make you some up. It's worth asking. The other option is of course to make one huge 'bag' up out of EPDM - drag it under the boat (assuming it's still afloat) and if there aren't sharp projections then it will keep the barge afloat. A third alternative I can think of is, depending on the steel/iron used on the barges, using oxy-actylene underwater welding to weld patches on - that's how oil rigs do it. Good luck with it, Cheers, Jules

  8. pauloman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: New Hampshire

    pauloman Epoxy Vendor

    have some apply underwater epoxy and fiberglass cloth on hand for prompt emergency leak repair. Note that in saltwater and with metal hulls, known or unknown electrical charges can affect underwater epoxy adhesion (so test in advance to make sure you don't have a problem).

    you can email me at - we've save a number of sinking yachts and floating barge homes.

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