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Boat Foam necessary?

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  • Boat Foam necessary?

    If a boat has wet foam and it is removed,how does it affect the boat with no foam??
    89 Sea Ray Seville 4.3 merc


  • #2
    Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

    its a legal thing, i think. it would only affect the buoyancy if it capsized or was taking on water, i believe.

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    • #3
      Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

      In every boat foam provides positive buoyancy, in some it also adds structural strength. Just think of it this way, water can get into empty spaces but if that space is occupied by foam there is no room for water. No water = things float.

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

        I pulled the foam out of mine and never replaced it BUT, my boat si trailer and I fish rivers and a small lake so I am never more than 50 yards from shore and I have an alarm on my second bilge pump so if something goes wrong and I start taking on water I know right away.

        The spray in foam actually adds a bit to the structure of the boat but removing it shouldn't hurt anything, I noticed mine hull runs a bit loader now but nothing else.

        If you are going to keep this boat in the water or fish ocean or a big lake where the shore is far off the replace the foam.
        GO IRISH!!!!

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        • #5
          Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

          Originally posted by 5150abf View Post
          removing it shouldn't hurt anything
          If that is the case, I wonder why it was installed at the factory?
          From Mercruiser:
          Anyone who uses a service procedure and/or tool, which is not recommended by the manufacturer, first must completely satisfy himself that neither his nor the product’s safety will be endangered by the service procedure selected.

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          • #6
            Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

            If that is the case, I wonder why it was installed at the factory?
            Because in 1971 your daddy the government decided that they were smarter than the people who could only afford boats under 20' and knew better than you what you needed in a small boat. They passed laws requiring that all boats under 20' must have enough floatation to keep part of the boat out of the water for 18 hours to save you from yourself. So all boats under 20' built for commercial sale must comply with these laws. You don't have to comply with them if you aren't building boats to make money. You can build your own boat or modify your personal boat (remove foam, etc) any way you want.

            For example, a lot of people around here build their own boats. There's a quick-n-dirty boat building contest every year where people build and race their own boats using limited materials and time. There is no requirement for any of those boats to have flotation foam or meet any type of flotation requirement (the Coast Gaurd sits there and watches while about one third of them usually sink).

            Kind of the same reason a lot of high-performance cars are sold as "kit cars", because the manufacturer's couldn't sell them commercially without having to meet a bunch of government safety regs. But you can build one for personal use without all the impact requirements, airbags, etc.

            There are some boats that use foam as a structural element. Not a good idea to leave the foam out of those unless you want your boat to break in half.

            From Coast Guard Boat Builders Handbook
            In August 1971, Congress passed the Federal Boat Safety Act. Among other things, this act authorized the Coast Guard to establish national construction and performance standards for manufacturers of recreational boats, and to develop enforcement mechanisms. This includes (as listed in 33 CFR §179-181) the display of capacity information, safe loading, safe powering and flotation standards for monohull boats of less than 20 feet in length, except sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and inflatables.
            http://www.uscgboating.org/regulatio.../part_1_a.aspx

            Federal Regs, Title 33 Part 183.105 Flotation Requirements:

            § 183.105 Quantity of flotation required.

            (a) Each boat must have enough flotation to keep any portion of the boat above the surface of the water when the boat has been submerged in calm, fresh water for at least 18 hours and loaded with:

            (more stuff here, see link if you really care)
            http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...8.45.6&idno=33

            Article on flotation by Glen-L:

            http://www.glen-l.com/weblettr/weble...flotation.html
            Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

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            • #7
              Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

              To the OP - what kind of boat are we talking about? Some boats use the foam for structure, some for stiffening, some for addtional floatation. I'd look careful at removing it and not replacing it - as mkast said, the engineers likely though it was nessecary enough that the bean counters weren't allowed to remove it (no offense to any engineers or bean counters on the forum - you can guess which I am!).
              Jon Hunter
              Marion, NY

              2006 Procraft 200 Combo with Merc 200 Opti
              2007 Homemade Duck Boat with Merc 39

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

                Nothing to do with engineers or bean counters - the majority of boats over 20' don't have any kind of foam or flotation because it's not required by law. It's a government reg for boats under 20', so the bean counters, engineers, and buyers don't have a choice. See Post #6 (no offense to the bean counters, I'm an engineer, I have to do all kinds of stupid things because of government regs ....).
                Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

                  Originally posted by 45Auto View Post
                  Kind of the same reason a lot of high-performance cars are sold as "kit cars", because the manufacturer's couldn't sell them commercially without having to meet a bunch of government safety regs. But you can build one for personal use without all the impact requirements, airbags, etc.
                  Kit cars still have to meet 100% of the legal rules/regulations... They are all based (or SUPPOSED to be based) on an existing car platform which is either old enough it doesn't need to meet emissions, or new enough it does and still allows for an easy transplant.

                  If you go the home built route, it will have to be inspected and meet all emissions requirements at time of construction (including cats). Some states go one step further and say that home builts have to meet safety standards, which are 100% impossible to meet without crash testing.

                  What generally happens is that most kit cars are based on vehicles 25 years or older, bypassing most emissions/safety stuff. The homebuilts often still use a frame (or at least pieces of frame) from an older vehicle, and get an updated title based on that.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

                    This is why your boat has foam


                    Should the worst happen, I'd much rather have this to hold onto waiting for help to arrive. I'd also like to be able to have this to drag back to shore than pay thousands in salvage/cleanup costs.
                    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
                    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767
                    1966 16' Starcraft Jupiter 85HP Johnson
                    Restoration thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=338633 sold

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                    • #11
                      Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

                      The best & only correct reply to the OP, Thanks ezmobee.
                      No Matter where you go.......There you are.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

                        What generally happens is that most kit cars are based on vehicles 25 years or older, bypassing most emissions/safety stuff. The homebuilts often still use a frame (or at least pieces of frame) from an older vehicle, and get an updated title based on that.
                        All of the kit cars use a brand new frame and body. Nothing even remotely related to the original in most cases except the general look of the car. The frame manufacturer issues a COO (Certificate of Origin) just like you get when you buy a brand new car or trailer that's never been titled before. Registration requirements vary by stste from that point.

                        What you're referring to is a restoration or salvage title.
                        Any opinions expressed above are worth exactly what you paid for them!

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Boat Foam nessasary?

                          i took the foam out of my 8 foot kayak didnt notice anything but then agian your talking a 20 lbs kayak not a 1000 lbs boat also i am not worried about loseing it if i tip going down a river i will grab it and head for shore to dump it. all things considered if your in that picture you have a problem, otherwise unless you run off shore[ocean or large lakes like the great lakes] i wouldnt worry about it. however coastguard may not like that if you got pulled over for something.
                          repair shops are for the rich and lazy, want something done right? do it yourself.
                          with knowledge grants perfection

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                          • #14
                            Re: Boat Foam necessary?

                            i figure that after 1971 when the boat manufacturers where forced to use foam, they redesigned and retooled in order to use the foam as part of the structural integrity of the boat and be able to shave cost and material elsewhere. i mean its 40 years since that law passed. do you think manufacturers are still just slapping in foam on boats that really dont require it? i would think by the 80s foam was an integral part of a small boats hull structure. just sayin
                            "Just Chillin" 1995 Donzi 275 Medallion Merc 7.4 I/O Bravo 3
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Boat Foam necessary?

                              If the foam is able to absorb water like it seems to it kind of defeats the purpose of it. seems like there is always a post about water logged foam, Didn't someone replace their foam with pool noodles or pop bottles? That crap that the factory uses seems to cause a lot of problems.

                              LK

                              1997 Sea Ray Sundancer 250 5.7EFI / BIII

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