Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

Introduce yourself here
KenO
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:29 pm

Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#1

Post by KenO » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:36 pm

I recently purchased a 1988 Starcraft that has been used on only freshwater. I plan on using on Saltwater. I am restoring the boat and have removed the console, the floor, and he old old old flotation foam (which released a lot of water while being removed). With all of the water trapped under the foam I am hesitant going back with foam because I do not want any saltwater getting trapped between the foam and the aluminum. I plan on coating the inside of the hull with Gluvit and having the exterior bottom done professionally. What type of flotation material should I go back with if my goal is not to allow any water to become trapped under the foam?

Fisherman
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:24 pm

Re: Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#2

Post by Fisherman » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:26 pm

I know some guys who used a lot of pool noodles...not sure if that's a good idea or not but thought I'd throw it out there...

KenO
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:29 pm

Re: Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#3

Post by KenO » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:50 pm

Thank you, I also considered noodles but they will melt if they come in contact with fuel.

Chaps
Donator '09
Posts: 2133
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:19 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#4

Post by Chaps » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:00 am

loose styrofoam blocks, ping pong balls, inflatable air bladders, shipping peanuts . . . let your imagination run wild
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
Image
please view and like: https://www.facebook.com/bottompainting/

MacGyver
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:56 pm

Re: Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#5

Post by MacGyver » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:28 pm

The solution is to keep (fresh or salt) water from getting the foam wet. If it is not possible to keep the bulge dry, remove the foam. That is the only long term solution. At the end of the season wash the bulge out using fresh water, and salt-away to remove salt build up, and dry it out before putting it away.

kmorin
Donator 08','09,'10,'11,'12,'13,'14,'15,'16,'17,'18'
Posts: 1357
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#6

Post by kmorin » Fri Jul 14, 2017 1:58 pm

KenO, a couple of considerations regarding foam in your hull.
#1 if the hull is longer than 20'LOA even 20'-1"; then foam is not required for level flotation, as near as I understand the CFR?
#2 (if you need the foam for your own reasons or circumstances?) you mentioned coating your hull inside (?)- if that work is done by etching with acid, dilution rinsing and then chromate conversion while wet- followed by primer and finally some form of topcoat ?? THEN the water held in close contact to the coating by foam material won't be reactive with the metal. The only way the bilge water would be reactive is if the metal is bare or the paint coating is compromised, or you introduced large or small ph solutions into the bilge.
#3 if you're adding foam, then styrene types are much less reactive by themselves- they're more inert. So you can buy the blue or pink 'bury-able' foam sheeting and cut pieces to fit and stack them under a ply deck- with minimum chemical reaction.

However, even a styrene plastic can form a thin film of water to metal if they're in close contact for palm or larger size area-& that can lead to a corrosion cell. Running 'ribs' of silicone glue on the foam panels - letting it dry before installing would put a small set of 'ribs' on the foam resulting very small areas of contact- so the points of contact are not wide flat sheet areas. That would allow the bilge water to move and therefore stay aerated enough to remain neutral ph. For example; Chaps suggested ping pong balls- they'd all have very small points of contact so there would be small chance of forming acid cells due the geometry of the two shapes' intersection- not much water volume in the area of contact.

I'm not sure how well any foam stands up to fuel in the bilge? So I'm not remarking about that aspect of material selection.

Not sure I'm any help in speculating about flotation foam? IMO, these considerations are valid when planning to install foam in your boat's bilge.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
kmorin

Landy_Andy
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:15 pm

Re: Floatation Foam in an Aluminum Boat used in Saltwater

#7

Post by Landy_Andy » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:23 pm

I'm looking to replace the spray in foam in my hull too, any idea if this type of product is available in NA ?

https://www.marconindustries.com.au/mar ... yancy-foam

So far only source I've found for blocks in Aus & NZ.... so, it'd have to be air freight :doh:

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic