Please help! I have floatation foam questions!

Discussion in 'Stability' started by kdanderson5, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. kdanderson5
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Iowa

    kdanderson5 New Member

    Hello all!

    I have a question about floatation foam for boats. I drug my dads old flat bottom out of the woods after 8 years of sitting there and the mice have gotten into the foam and it is shot.

    My question is, is there a cheaper alternative then using closed cell marine foam (it would cost me more then the boat is worth!) that would still hold the boat above water if the boat flips for some reason? We were thinking about sealing up the compartments and using regular styrofoam, but I do not know if it would have enough buoyancy to keep it floating in case of a tip over.

    I have been searching on the web for about 2 hours now, and finally decided I would just post a question in a forum full of people who know boats inside and out!

    Any help is greatly appreciated! :)
  2. Delane
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Okinawa, Japan

    Delane Senior Member

    Simple & Cheap

    Here's a cheap and simple soulution to your problem.

    Plastic 2 liter PET bottles. They are light sealed and contain a great free gas (Air ). I'm sealing up the entire forpeak of my boat with closed cell foam wrapped in plastic and about 50 PET bottles. They weight nearly nothing and provide lots of flotation.
  3. Specmar.Aus
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Queensland Australia

    Specmar.Aus DREDGIE

    Flotation in Boats in the USA.


    Take a look at the US Coastguard web site start here and view all the options available.

    The ABYC requirements are available but you will need to pay for them.
    The Coast Guard provide several links to State and Federal laws as well.

    Always pays to check first before you waste your time and money where boating safety is concerned.

    Cheers SpecmarAus
  4. kdanderson5
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Iowa

    kdanderson5 New Member

    Thank you both very much! I will check into all of these! :D
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Sealed compartments (with clean out access of course) work just fine.

  6. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Foam is not required. Anything that seals air in and supplies the flotation works just fine. Air chambers are perfectly adequate especially for an older boat.

    See my web site page on flotation.

    I have seen all kinds of things used for flotation, plastic bottles, ping pong balls, beer cans, air bags, an pool noodles.

    A cheap alternative is styrofoam. You can get 2" sheets of it at Home Depot or other hardware stores. They are 2" by 2 feet by 8 feet which is about 2.67 cubic feet. Cut them to a convenient size and seal them in fibergalss with epoxy resign. That is exactly what I did on my 12 foot rowboat. If I recall right it cost me less than $20 to buy 2 sheets of foam and I already had the epoxy and Glass. You seal them to keep the foam from being dissolved by gas or oils or cleaners, and it keeps the water out. Cheap and effective.
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