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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently removed all of the old foam out of my ThunderJet. It was easy to do, except for a few places that were hard to get to. I left all of the bow foam in, as that didn't look fun to get out. A question for you guys who have done this to your boats is, did you replace the foam, or did you leave it out? I'm afraid that if I leave it empty, the boat will be loud when I walk or drive in rough water. I also discovered that I might need to drill drain holes for water to be able to drain down into the bottom of the hull better. It seems water sits on channels with no where to escape to. The good news is that the foam that I removed was dry and there was no signs of pitting or corrosion to the aluminum hull. There was also no signs of broken welds to the support runners.
 

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I don't have allot of experience in this but I would think you'd put foam back in it. New flooring that is somewhat removable so later if there's an issue you can get to it easily. And maybe foam sheeting instead of poured expandable. Just thoughts
 

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Removed foam from my Willie predator about 7 years ago. Did not replace but pool noodles seem like a good idea. Made boat a little louder but not enough to bother me.
 

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If you have taken it out, I would at a minimum out pool noodles in especially if you plan to go off shore. One large roller over the bow can sink it and with flotation hopefully the boat would stay at the surface to hang onto. Change it out every few years if your concerned about it getting waterlogged. If it was strictly an inshore boat I wouldn鈥檛 worry about it
 

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I wonder if you could use cement backer rod for the same purpose, it is closed cell and does not retain moisture, it is used in chinking for log cabins also, Just a thought?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After removing all the expanded foam...

Automotive tire Tire Road surface Asphalt Trunk


Automotive tire Asphalt Road surface Motor vehicle Wood


Replaced with pool noodles. I bought 66 and it took EXACTLY that much.

Purple Automotive tire Wood Road surface Flooring


And yes, this job SUCKED! I have scrapped knuckles, bruised forearms, a cut on each elbow and head, and a sore, sore back. Glad this is done. Now, onto replacing the bad cable steering with hydrolic steering!
 
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Not arguing with the safety intent of the foam but, keep in mind, only required under 20'. So my 19.5' with no foam will sink like a rock but same boat 6 inches longer would be fine? :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice work! At least your foam was dry. I removed over 200# of water and gas-soaked foam.
Gas and foam makes a crude napalm. YIKES!

Yes, the foam was dry, for the most part. It certainly wasn't waterlogged. I saw a video of a guy who took 500lbs of foam from his boat. It sat so much higher in the water after that. With gas prices the way they are, we need any advantages we can get.
 

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Gas and foam makes a crude napalm. YIKES!

Yes, the foam was dry, for the most part. It certainly wasn't waterlogged. I saw a video of a guy who took 500lbs of foam from his boat. It sat so much higher in the water after that. With gas prices the way they are, we need any advantages we can get.
Yup. Gas was much cheaper when I did mine. Today I would probably ring it out of the foam and use it.
 

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Gas and foam makes a crude napalm. YIKES!

Yes, the foam was dry, for the most part. It certainly wasn't waterlogged. I saw a video of a guy who took 500lbs of foam from his boat. It sat so much higher in the water after that. With gas prices the way they are, we need any advantages we can get.
That was a lot of work for sure but you now have a better boat for it, good job. I thought why don't the manufactures utilize the area under the gunnels and foam that in, or add dimpled or ridged barrier sheeting in the hull before they squirt the foam this would allow drainage and no foam contact with the hull. It would also reduce water contact with the foam. But it all costs money to develop that solution and put that into production.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Soulakala thank you. Yes, I do have a better boat now. I like the way you think. They manufacturers should have some kind of stilt sheeting to hold the foam off of the aluminum. I'm wondering if new boats made today have foam in them. My friends boat is super loud when he hits waves.
 

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@Soulakala I'm wondering if new boats made today have foam in them.
Pretty sure still required under 20'. Asked a guy from Willie about it a few years ago and nhe said that's why they stopped building anything under 20'.

So much great design and engineering in NW alum boats. Baffling to me how they could finish a build then knowling plug the drain holes filling with foam. If I knew about this when I bought my boat, definitely would have been sure to buy one with no foam.
 

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Some boat mfgs of sub-20鈥 models meet the foam floatation requirements by attaching extra aluminum encased foam structures inside the boat that the user can remove later without much trouble (if desired). Bigger boats command a disproportionately higher purchase price (per foot charge), but thankfully some mfgs still give options under 20鈥.
 

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This will be my summer project, as well. Might even start it this weekend with the rivers out. Great job.

Is there any data to suggest that pool noodles will actually float a boat?
 
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