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Old 26-11-2015, 07:17   #1
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Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Hello,

I'm a new member so please excuse me if this question has been asked and answered before. I was trying to find discussions about the pro's & con's of using spray in foam to seal off water spots like the chain locker but when I searched for "foam passage" or foam+passage I seemed to get posts that have one or the other words but not limited to entries that have both. Is there a way in the forum to limit a search to only cases that have both words?

So, since I'm here I would appreciate any advice about the practicallity of using spray foam. Is there way to use it without creating a major cleanup mess?

Thanks!

Peter
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Old 26-11-2015, 07:34   #2
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Use the Google custom search feature instead of the forum software search. It gives better results.

Foam's messy but a "trick" is too pour it in small amounts and progressively build up to the volume that you want to avoid excessive mess and to help ensure complete filling. It's also possible to cast it within a mould although this tends to result in a denser foam and can also result in the containment deforming or bursting if not careful. Not sure about using it to plug against water ingress, because even though it's closed cell it will absorb water over time if in constant contact with it.
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Old 26-11-2015, 07:55   #3
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Only some spray foam insulations are waterproof.
This depends on the density of the foam.
Open cell foams are definitely not waterproof or water resistant. Rather, open cell foams can hold a tremendous volume of water.
Lower density closed cell foams are water resistant, but not completely water proof. However, higher density closed cell foams can be water proof - so, read the label.
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Old 26-11-2015, 11:38   #4
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Thanks! The pointer to use the local google search feature really helped!!

I've decided against trying to mess with foam and will just tape everything up as much s I can.

Peter
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Old 26-11-2015, 13:05   #5
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Peter,

For leaks that develop during a passage, you may have to live with them till you reaach your destination. I have found that women's sanitary napkins are great salt water absorbers, and easier to deal with than towels. FWIW


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Old 27-11-2015, 09:10   #6
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

For quick leak handling I carry modelling clay. For more permanent repair I carry butyl tape. I also have an in hull depth translucent firmly bedded in modelling clay. That was not my intent, but it sure is happy there.

I use to keep toilet bowl wax handy. Messy stuff.
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Old 27-11-2015, 09:56   #7
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Sealing passages and voids are the duty of pour in foam - there are a number of venders of USCG approved closed cell foam and they all (that I've used) seem about the same, excellent.

I foamed 7 floatation chambers on my older Gemini 3400 - 3 were full when I inspected them, the others were leaking from the hull/deck joint of various cleats.

When I sold her 4 years later, the chambers were bone dry, the boat waterline was about 1/12" higher (to the good), and she seemed somewhat quieter.

Used properly, pour in foam is very neat, no cleanup required, just pour in very small amounts - estimating about 2/3 the size of the void. Take your time, it is easy to do, and the stuff is very, very strong - stiff sort of strong. One area that had oil canned from a bad haulout poppout back into shape and was solid and strong to a ball pean hammer tap.

Think Boston Whaler

Foam in Place foam (trade:Great Stuff) is good for emergency repair of your dinghy (I sewed and foamed a 18" long nail tear - held for years - but it is not suitable for structural repairs like the pouring stuff.

I carry two cans - at least I did when I had a sailboat. One day I hit a coral head in the channel at spinnaker speed. Boom. The boat was taking on water, but after all, she had a spare hull. I jammed a couple of wash clothes into the hole so she dropped to bilge pump speed, and took a boat cushion and two cans of foam. Foamed the hole area, slammed a boat cushion on the foam and sat there for 20 minutes. Foamed the second can, let it set up with was paper covering the cushion and new foam, and sailed off.

Six months later, I pulled her and repaired the hole at the next regular bottom job.

This stuff could save your boat.
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Old 27-11-2015, 10:29   #8
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

And THAT'S why I read this forum!
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Old 27-11-2015, 15:37   #9
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Hi Peter,

If you are also looking for something to temporarily stop leaks until permanent repairs can be implemented, Stay Afloat from stayafloatmarine.com is another product worth having around. [In addition to the usual suspects: toilet bowl wax, duct tape foam, etc.]

In case this is of interest.

Cheers!

-Bill
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Old 27-11-2015, 16:48   #10
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
For quick leak handling I carry modelling clay. For more permanent repair I carry butyl tape. I also have an in hull depth translucent firmly bedded in modelling clay. That was not my intent, but it sure is happy there.

I use to keep toilet bowl wax handy. Messy stuff.

Thank you, it is reassuring to see that clearly others thoughts are not always transparent having just posted something that contravened sailor's jargon. It's a boon to be able to keep something this side of the hull rather than yet another hole in the boat under the waterline.
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Old 27-11-2015, 19:20   #11
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

At one time i was going to fill all the empty spaces in my sailboat with spray foam insulation for buoyancy . I was told not to it will absorb and retain water and i just could not believe that . So i bought 6 different kinds Dow , Dap , etc, even the type to make waterproof landscape rocks sprayed each different one on a piece of plastic and let dry .After each was dry i sunk each ball in a 5 gal bucket of water overnight .All 6 absorbed water like a sponge . just saying .
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Old 27-11-2015, 21:48   #12
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Having spent quite a few hours digging this crap out of a small aft bilge compartment I would never use it. It didn't absorb water but water crept up between the foam and the glass to make a sour smelling interface that never dried out. It was also in the way of dealing with some other issues I had to address. I'd stay away from it personally.
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Old 27-11-2015, 22:43   #13
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

They do work very well and of course so do pampers type diapers. Get the 'super' ones. they hold more.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:23   #14
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Years back I was a Gusmer-certified spray foam installer. Most of my work was roofing, but some wall insulation. Used closed cell only, as open cell is really just a sponge. A good quality closed cell, say 2.5 to 4 pound density (weight per cubic foot) will never absorb water. We kept samples submerged to show customers. After 5 years they were still dry. Cautions: degrades rapidly if exposed to sunlight, so it should be coated; if you plan to put much volume in place, be sure to leave each pass a long time to protect against spontaneous combustion. It's such a fabulous insulator that the heat generated by the mixing process can escape only very slowly. Cover everything you don't want foamed; it gets everywhere and settles, and it's hard to remove. Be SURE to wear breathing protection.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:15   #15
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Re: Forum Search Questions & use of Spray FOAM for passages

Thanks for the info on spray foam. I love this forum. There is so much helpful advice.
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