waterlogged foam under floorboards

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by dan123, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. dan123
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: Canada

    dan123 New Member

    I have taken on the task of restoring my grandpas Y-Flyer sailboat. it has a false floorboard with foam underneath it. The foam has become waterlogged and needs to be removed. What are the best ways to do this without removing the floorboard?
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You will have to at least remove several large areas to remove the foam. I don't think it will save you any time, and the job will probably end up being of poor quality.
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Dan; If you are to do justice to the Y Flyer.........Take the floorboards up and do the job well. Some tasks have no easy way out. This is one of them. If the Y is one of the wooden ones, for sure get that foam out of there and let the wood dry. If it is a glass boat, then it may need new foam to reinforce those flat bottom panels.

  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum Dan.

    The foam used on that boat is solvent resistant, but open cell. It's common of boats of that era and this in general is a common issue.

    There's no easy way to get the foam out, but if you're neat, you can pull the sole in one piece and put it back after you've removed the foam.

    The foam is really easy to cut. I use flexible hand saws that will conform to the hull shell, without doing much damage. For detail work a hack saw blade works well. Once the bulk of the foam is out, just use a grinder to knock off the rest of it.

    Prep the area for more foam (if you're adding it back), which means rough up all contact surfaces with 40 - 100 grit. Two part, pourable polyurethane foam is available. Get the 2 pound stuff and follow the directions. Be prepared, because this stuff expands about 30 times it's liquid volume. Let it ooze out the top of the compartment(s), then use a hand saw to whack it down flush.

    Lastly, taper the edges of the old sole piece and their reciprocal locations around the perimeter. Wet the foam and "tabbing" locations with goo and replace the sole piece. apply sufficient tabbing to the perimeter, to restore it's participation in load bearing.
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