Foam Removal

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by Bluegrass Boy, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. I'm removing the old floor in my fiberglass 19' bowrider. What's the best way to remove the foam? I spent a couple hours yesterday just chipping away at it and seems like it will take forever.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. WHY are you removing the foam???

  3. freyedknot

    freyedknot useless poster

    yea ,it will be expensive to replace.
  4. I've read on boat repair sites that the best way is to use a sawzall & neatly cut it out in sections you can put back using an adhesive to secure it into place. Unless your stringers need to be replaced there is really no reason to tear that out.
  5. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

    foam=floation. unless there is a reason to remove it, id leave it where it at.
  6. KaGee

    KaGee Monkeywrench Staff Member

    Nine out of 10 times if the floor is soft, so is the structure underneath. If the stringers need replaced the foam has to come out. If the foam is wet it has to come out. They sell a two part system to replace it after the repair work is complete.

    Sorry, there is no easy way to remove it. I've read where some guys have used small chain saws to make quick work of it. You have to have a steady hand or you'll be repairing a slit in the hull.
  7. this may sound strange but gas eats foam i dont no what kind of mess it would make or damage it would do but a little test patch would be in order just a thought
  8. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    When no one is lookin (like the EPA) take a propane torch with a brazing tip and burn it out. Burns REAL FAST. Just be careful, don't tell anyone you did it that way, and more importantly...Don't tell anyone I recommended it.
  9. Thanks for the replies.

    I'm removing the foam for 2 reasons. First, the stringers are shot and need to be replaced. Second, the foam is holding some water and I want everything as dry as possible.

    I am definately replacing the foam when the new stringers are in. Its really a pain in the butt to remove, though.
  10. KaGee

    KaGee Monkeywrench Staff Member

    Hey BB, Go to the link below at Iboats... there a a lot of guys doing or have done what you are going through. Very good information to help you complete your project.

  11. A keyhole aka drywall saw worked well on my tin boat. You'd need to be a little more careful with glass but it still might be a good way to go.

    Cut about 7" squares almost all the way through and then gently pry them out with a wonder bar/flat piece of steel. Crowbar/big screwdriver doesn't work quite as well.

    If you don't have a keyhole saw, it would be well worth borrowing or buying one IMO.

    One foam source with some info:

    Good Luck
  12. I tried to reply yesterday & received a message that the moderator had to check the post. I'm going to skip the link I provided and see what happens.

    I used a keyhole (aka drywall) saw & an type of wonderbar to remove the floor foam on my tin boat. I didn't need to be too concerned about the saw touching the metal hull but tried to avoid it anyway & was pretty successful. I think it would work on a glass boat if your careful.

    Basically I cut 7 inch squares & used a "flat" wide bar to pry them loose. I also used a small crowbar & a monster flat edge screwdriver. The keyhole saw was definitely the ticket. On a glass boat; I might try a horizontal cut across the bottom in addition to the vertical cuts.

    I'll try to put up a link in another post but US Composites has a decent price & their web site has more info than I could find anywhere else. If your so inclined, I think you can determine the density of the foam your removing by weighing a 3" by 3" or whatever size chunk with a postal scale and then doing some math.

  13. Alright, moderators have to approve links.

    Google -- us composites -- The 1st hit will be shopmaninc. com. Click on the blue text urethane foam link & scroll down when it opens.

    If your on any kind of a budget, you definitely want to do some price comparisons before you buzz down to West Marine & grab what is on the shelf.
  14. LakeRaider

    LakeRaider EEEEEK!

    One thing to remember. Before you remove the stringers make sure the hull is fully supported in the area you replace.. It you don,t the hull will distort and your boat hull will develope hooks and rockers and handle poorly. Vinylester resin is about $70 gallon now.(ouch!) Make sure the resin you buy is fresh. It has a shelf life of 6 months. (You,ll know because the resin wants to stay tacky), and adding more hardener to make it cure faster is a bad thing. We use okuma wood for stringers and fully glass them in. Then screw (stainless screws )the floor to the stringers also. Seal everything or you,ll be doing the job over again. Hope this helps. Raider
  15. LakeRaider

    LakeRaider EEEEEK!

    DO NOT use gasoline to melt the foam. It will soak into the fiberglass (there is no gelcoat on the inside to protect the fiberglass, and it will weakin the hull. And don,t burn it out with a torch either. :( Unless you want to get rid of the boat. Fiberglass burns and is very tuff to extinguish. Raider
  16. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    Raiders right. Torch is not a good idea. We used to use a small torch and a hot wire (thin copper wire with a low voltage charge that makes it HOT) to shape, cut, and remove foam in construction. Properly done a torch will not ignite the foam, just rapidly melt and displace it. That was the old days. It was dangerous then and not wise to try now. (There was no OSHA in those days).I apoligize for the suggestion.
  17. LakeRaider

    LakeRaider EEEEEK!

    I saw one of those hot wire foam cutting gizmos once. Pretty cool.
    I saw a dragboat catch fire two years ago, a nitros line then melted and the nitrous made the flames accelerate big time. Couldn,t put the dang boat fire out. When we finally got the boat to shore is was still intact, but the resin all burnt out of the fibergalss top and it looked like a coleman lantern mantle. Very strange. Raider
  18. Thanks for the replies. I cut the foam with the key hole saw and pried it up. Still a little slow, but much better than chipping it out as I started. Stringers are out, floor ground clean. Hoping to get the new stringers in this weekend.

    Thanks again, guys!!