Tag Archives: Foam

Fun with foam

Time for some progress! I’ve been really busy with work lately, but I also have found some free moments to work on boat things. First, I recovered the bunks for my boat trailer. The old bunk carpet had worn through. I got some new carpet made specifically for trailer bunks (the part the boat rests on when it is sitting on a trailer).

Carpet Bunk
The new black carpet bunk

Bunk End
The end of the bunk - and a messy garage

The carpet bunk got me motivated on a warmish day to finally pour in the foam to get ready to seal up the floor. It was a hilarious afternoon. I mixed the foam, poured it into the hole and waited for things to happen. The foam started to grow but not as quickly as I thought it would. So, I started to mix another batch. By the time I did this, the first batch really started to grow. In fact, I now had a filled hole and a growing bucket of foam. By the time I was done I had a huge bucket of foam in a cardboard box and foam growing out of my boat like a creature from a 50’s horror movie! I was laughing the entire way. I was laughing so hard that Susie came out to see what the commotion was about.

Foam
Part A and Part B, mix equally

Growing Foam
It grew right out of my floor

The Foam from the Black Lagoon
It grew like a tan-colored blob!

I have trimmed the foam back down and am ready to fiberglass over the opening. After that, the next step will be to lay down carpet.

October 30th Update

The wet foam is gone. Hurray! I have a sore arm and numb fingers that were rubbed raw by the digging and prying and rubbing against the rough side of fiberglass. It was not fun, but there is a sense of accomplishment in reaching this point.

Go back and look at the old posts on this topic and you can see the difference. I’ll post some photos of the empty bay where the wet foam used to be and the buckets of old wet foam. Now I need to put in few foam and then teach myself how to repair fiberglass. I’m told it is easy.

The final photos are of a fin I purchased to repair my bent one. For those who don’t know, a competition ski boat has three fins in the bottom of the boat about 1/2 way back to help the boat track straight with a skier pulling to the sides which make other boats wander off course. I got the fin from a guy whose boat burned in a storage compartment fire in Mississippi. I almost got an engine from him, but that didn’t work out.

While doing this job I discovered how easy it is to disconnect everything in the dash. After the foam and fiberglass I might have to go after that next. Or the carpet. Or maybe an engine will appear. The fun stuff happens next. Putting it all back together.

 

Current status: The foam issue

Approximately one month ago I decided to have look at a crack on my floor. The passenger / observers seat (it faces aft) in my boat flips up so that you can store things, like skis, up in the bow of the boat. Kind of a neat feature. Anyhow, the frame of that seat had broken through the floor. Here is the crack in the floor.

Crack in the floor

The floor is made of fiberglass and in this area it is not super-thick. I’d say it is about 1/16″ thick. To repair the crack I needed to cut it out, sand the fiberglass and then lay in new fiberglass. When I opened up the floor I found more problems. Remember how the early pictures showed leaves and such in the floor of the boat? It sat outside for a long time getting rained on and rained on…. so the water found its way into this crack in down to the foam underneath.

The little hole I cut

Not to become overly technical here, but almost all boats have foam in the hull. The foam is a material that is used to provide flotation and noise dampening. It is a rigid foam that is roughly the consistency of cardboard. Kind of stiff at first, but you can easily crush it in your hand. It feels like an old dry sponge. Foam works great until it gets wet. Then it starts to break down and if there is wood in your hull then the wood will start to deteriorate. My hull is all composite. But wet foam still weighs too much and needs to be removed.

Here you can see that when I push down on the foam water appears. Wet foam. 😦

Squish = there's the water

So, in the days following this discovery I have been digging out foam. It’s not easy and I don’t want to cut out my entire floor. So I’m going at it slowly and figuring out how to do this bit by bit. Here’s the current look of my floor and some pictures of my prey, the wet foam.

The big hole in my floor

Camera down in the hole

All the details