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Author Topic:   Wet Foam
jhuiv posted 02-25-2001 12:22 AM ET (US)   Profile for jhuiv   Send Email to jhuiv  
While inspecting the hull of a '70 Katama my father and I are restoring, he discovered some water-saturated foam from a hole in the deck near the bow. We dug a little bit and can't seem to find where the moisture terminates. First, how do we handle this problem and secondly, what are the possible ramifications of this? Lastly, is there any way to correct it without cutting the entire deck out of the boat?

Thank You,

DIVE 1 posted 02-25-2001 08:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
Expand the Repairs/Mods section for the last year and go through the posts. There is a lot of good information on handling wet foam.
jimh posted 02-26-2001 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
One of the best ideas you'll find is to use a vacuum pump to extract the water.

Water retention in older hulls is a problem, which is why you have to really be diligent about keeping any fitting/hole/etc that pierces the gelcoat layer well sealed.


Easy E posted 02-26-2001 04:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Easy E    
Are there any dangers with running a whaler with wet foam? A friend of mine has a old 16 that has two 8in. cutouts in the back of the boat left and right (i dount no if all 16's have this) that has water in them all the time! Is there any danger with running a whaler like this? The boat runs fine and the floor doesnt seem to be lifting in the back at all.-Thanks
whalernut posted 02-26-2001 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Eaze, I have a 73` `16 Currituck and do not have those cutouts, and have never seen them? I would be quite nervous to all of a sudden see them in my hull! Maybee someone else knows more about this? Regards-Jack Graner.
dauntlass 18 posted 02-26-2001 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
Does anyone know how far into the foan water will spread .Is the foam like a spong or does it resist soaking. Also is there a moisture meter to ck. hull for saturation.Thanks for any input.
Easy E posted 02-27-2001 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Easy E    
I think the 2 cutouts was cut there to dry the hull while it was trailered and then never sealed off when it was put back in the water about 4 years ago.If you put your hand in the hole you can feel the bottom of the boat.The foam is gone in the holes.Is this really bad?I think the only worry i would have in that situation is if the transom crack or FALLS OFF from rotten/waterlogged wood.-Easy E
DIVE 1 posted 02-27-2001 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
Easy E,
Wet foam has some definite problems. If water freezes in the foam it breaks it down and the foam becomes mushy. If a lot of water is in the hull, the foam and fiberglass tend to seperate. When this happens the fiberglass is allowed to flex and will start to stress crack. Also as the fiberglass flexes it pounds the foam into powder and this thinning of the foam allows the fiberglass to flex even more.

Dauntlass 18,
The foam resists soaking if the skin of the foam is not punctured. The easiest way to get water into the foam is to drill a hole in the fiberglass and the foam. Once the skin of the foam is punctured water enters the foam and follows the path of least resistance, usually where the foam has the least amount of density. It is very important to seal all screws and holes in the hull of a BW to keep the foam dry. Most BWs have a very small amount of moisture in the hull(fiberglass and gelcoat are porous materials) but it does not seem to cause any problems. Water in the core, depending on the amount can be a serious problem. A high quality moisture meter in the hands of an individual familiar with cored hulls can provide acurate moisture readings.

dauntlass 18 posted 02-28-2001 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
DIVE 1 thanks for your info. on foam my only concerne with Whaler is foam getting soaked. I have a Whaler now and hope to go to a larger Whaler this summer.
Steve Leone posted 03-04-2001 12:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Steve Leone  Send Email to Steve Leone     
My friend had a saturated Montauk. He used a hole saw and drilled trough the Whaler in three places: 1) He drilled a 3inch hole in the foward floor (just back of the front storage) 2) Then he drilled two 3inch holes either side of the bilge in the back (before the well). 3) The last two holes were drilled on the outside of the boat on the back of the transom just below the foor deck. These were smaller about 1 inch. He then proceeded to tilt the boat with the stem in the air and the stern on the ground at about a 75 degree angle. It dripped until it dripped no more and then he let it sit for about a month like that. By the way this was done inside. That boat was bone dry when he sealed it back up. That was two years age and the boat is moored in the water in a slip year round. All the best, Steve in El Cerrito.
boatsaver posted 03-04-2001 05:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for boatsaver  Send Email to boatsaver     
On my 1978 montauk the foam on the anchor box and in the "tunnel" for cables is exposed. If this is the way it was manufactured (?) then the foam must not absorb much water.
JimU posted 03-05-2001 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
After restoring one old whaler that had some water in a delaminated protion of the hull that I removed using a vacuum, I decided to ask Chuck Bennet on how Whaler recommended drying out wet foam. Here is what he said: "I'd say the easiest method would be similar to what you used on the other
boat, use a vacuum to remove as much of the moisture as possible.
After drying, on larger voids (such as a 6" hole through the deck) fill the
hole with a tanking foam and build up the glass on the deck after.

I don't really know what is going on in this particular boat as far as
water in between the hulls or how much, however, I would not recommend
going to extremes to remove every bit of moisture.
To remove every bit of moisture out of an old hull could involve drilling
1" holes, every foot or so, on the bottom of the boat in random patterns to
allow air movement around the foam.
Place the boat in a dry, well heated area. Place a plastic tent (a tarp)
from the gun'ls down to the ground (this will act as an oven and eventually
draw out any moisture).
This could actually take up to several months to work....When you think the
moisture is gone, tape plastic wrap over several holes in different
locations on the hull and allow to sit 24 hours. Any moisture will appear
on the plastic wrap...If it is dry, you can start the hole repairing and

Just as a not remove an excess amount of foam as this is
the structure of the boat. Any foam added later will not work the same as
the original, and it would be necessary to tie the inner and outer hulls
together with fiberglass material to make up any strength loss from foam

I have already drilled 6-8 one-inch holes in areas where I suspected moisture (where the deck had holes though the fiberglass skin) I used a one-inch hole saw and only cut through the skin to remove the round plug. The foam around the holes appear to have dried over-night. We flipped the boat upside down since we are stripping bottom paint and will sand and paint the hull. I plan to let the foam air dry for the next several weeks pursuant to Chuck's recommentadions. Then I'll see what happens. JIM

Orca posted 03-07-2001 02:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
I understand that Whaler changed the type of foam as technology progressed.If so, anybody know the year? My 78 9'was very badly soaked. I drilled two 1" holes in the transom at the bottom and stood it on end in my barn for a couple months. The way it floats says it worked.
Tom W Clark posted 03-07-2001 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I think Whaler actually changed foam a few times over the years. I'm not sure about the water absorbancy of the foams, but I remember in the early 80's there was a problem with the foam shrinking back and pulling the sides of the boats with it. My own '83 Outrage had this problem to a small degree. The sides near the stern appeared slighly puckered. I've seen outrages of the vintage with the same problem and I remember seeing a 18' bare hull at my local dealer (Jacobsen's) which had been stripped of everything except the rubrail. Boy! Was it ever ugly. It had severe puckering. I asked the dealer what the deal was and he told me the owner returned the boat under warranty and Whaler gave (or sold, as Whaler's warranty is pro-rated) the guy a new hull. The dealer also told me Whaler had been having problems with the vendor of the foam during those years and that they had changed vendors. The dealer also told me Whaler insisted the returned hull be destroyed. They didn't want it out in public ever again.

hauptjm posted 03-07-2001 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    

I wasn't aware Whaler pro-rated the warranty. I always thought that the warranty fully covered the hull for 10 years. No questions. Has anyone else heard of the warranty being pro-rated. Maybe that guy got shafted by the dealer??

lhg posted 03-07-2001 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
There is prior discussion on the defective hull problems that plagued the first 100 or so of the 1982-1983 Outrage 18 hulls. Most were replaced, as Tom indicates.

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