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Old 26-11-2010, 14:26   #1
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Has Anyone Considered Spray Foam ?

To insulate your boat...I want to know the pros and cons of spray foam...why you did it or why you changed your mind about doing it...for those who did how do you like it?

I am considering the option of spraying all my interior...need opinions

cheers
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Old 26-11-2010, 14:42   #2
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I did it.........A few years ago.... on a Catalina 22 MK ll fixed fin..... started racing it offshore and needed to tighten up the hull.. I drilled over 100 holes into the interior hull and got the tanks, Part (A) & (B) from "TAP" plastics.. started shooting it into the holes until it came out others.. the area between the inter and outer hull tightened up concederable...
on our 42, I did the same around the reffer when I refitted it.. if there was a hole, I filled it..
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Old 26-11-2010, 14:59   #3
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I see what you mean...but my hull is direct solid glass...I want to spray directly on the hull bottom to cabin top and then cap it off with nice wood...basicly my entire interior will be laminated wood exept the hiden crawl spaces.
this boat I have has no balsa or any core...its solid glass all over
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Old 26-11-2010, 15:35   #4
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I see this as an excellent choice for preventing condensation and for sound attentuation in V-berths and open exposed cabin areas, but I don't think the return is practical for areas in small spaces behind drawers and lockers. My thoughts should be tempered with the knowledge that I'm not spending winters in places that have frequent freezing temperatures.
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Old 26-11-2010, 15:47   #5
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some reports say the spray stuff will absorb moisture. I haven't tested this but would before i made a mess squirting it into unknown areas. The other uhh ooh you dont want is a material trapping moisture. So if you spray stuff against the hull and water comes down will it pool or drain off. If it pools imagine mold and other stuff causing problems. Better to oversize your heater.
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Old 26-11-2010, 15:59   #6
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I think the idea of a spray foam is going to be easier if you construct something between the hull first then fill the void as the Catalina example above shows. The idea that you could spray first sounds like a mess that really won't totally fill the void. Anything that can trap moisture will come back to curse you. Areas untreated still can form condensation.

You can always expect some even if it just is dripping off the ports. Living aboard poses a problem unless the crew can be instructed to quit breathing. You make a lot of moisture when you breath. Condensation goes away when you remove all the moisture. With cold water on the hull the dew point is pretty low.

As a practical matter I think you need to weight the potential payoffs against other alternatives. Increased ventilation is a good cure for condensation but it does release heat to the outside. It's a good approach if you can make extra heat. Removal of the moisture is critical in any solution too.

The whole issue of wintering aboard needs a lot of details addressed and this could be but one of them.
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Old 26-11-2010, 16:07   #7
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some reports say the spray stuff will absorb moisture. I haven't tested this but would before I made a mess squirting it into unknown areas. The other uhh ooh you dont want is a material trapping moisture. So if you spray stuff against the hull and water comes down will it pool or drain off. If it pools imagine mold and other stuff causing problems. Better to oversize your heater.

I will navigate the north atlantic alot...oversizing the heater or at least wasting more energy to keep warm is what most sailors do...just wondering how well they do up north?

as for the spray foam, its non absorbing...after decades it may start to decompose a little and absorb but it will be old by then...the main advantage of spray foam is to keep heat inn...use less energy to heat up...retain heat for a longer period...and keep the boat cool in summer times...also from my reserch it stops condensation.

as for spraying the little spaces under berths, sink, head, anchor locker
its worth it if it stops condensation in those places we dont often see.

if the only price to pay is to lose a few inches of cabine space...I can live with that...however if its unnessary and it doen't improve boat comfort I will not do it...why every opinions count
rgds
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Old 26-11-2010, 16:15   #8
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I think the idea of a spray foam is going to be easier if you construct something between the hull first then fill the void as the Catalina example above shows. The idea that you could spray first sounds like a mess that really won't totally fill the void. Anything that can trap moisture will come back to curse you. Areas untreated still can form condensation.

You can always expect some even if it just is dripping off the ports. Living aboard poses a problem unless the crew can be instructed to quit breathing. You make a lot of moisture when you breath. Condensation goes away when you remove all the moisture. With cold water on the hull the dew point is pretty low.

As a practical matter I think you need to weight the potential payoffs against other alternatives. Increased ventilation is a good cure for condensation but it does release heat to the outside. It's a good approach if you can make extra heat. Removal of the moisture is critical in any solution too.

The whole issue of wintering aboard needs a lot of details addressed and this could be but one of them.
You know Paul you have good points...first, yes I would make trusts with glassed blue styrofoam and spray inbetween, then screw my varnished wood over...my concern is if condensation forms inbetween my insolation and the wood? then I would still have the problem because heating humid air is a wast of energy good insulation is not?

maybe this is why sailors dont insulate?
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Old 26-11-2010, 16:40   #9
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I had my aluminum schooner spray foamed before building the interior. I bolted nailers to the frames first, then sprayed, then installed 1/4" ply. Had the boat ten years, and it was fine. Made heating easier, stopped condensation [except on the cabin house sides, which I foolishly left bare ....]. I once cut out a deck piece to install a prism. On a whim I tossed the piece over the side. The foam adhering to the metal floated it!!! Nice stuff. Toxic as hell until it sets up, like epoxy is, but .... In a metal boat or fiberglass I would do it again. The boat I am building is wooden, so I don't need to.
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Old 26-11-2010, 18:35   #10
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I had my aluminum schooner spray foamed before building the interior. I bolted nailers to the frames first, then sprayed, then installed 1/4" ply. Had the boat ten years, and it was fine. Made heating easier, stopped condensation [except on the cabin house sides, which I foolishly left bare ....]. I once cut out a deck piece to install a prism. On a whim I tossed the piece over the side. The foam adhering to the metal floated it!!! Nice stuff. Toxic as hell until it sets up, like epoxy is, but .... In a metal boat or fiberglass I would do it again. The boat I am building is wooden, so I don't need to.
I have a question for you...my first idea was 1/4 ply...then I considered 1in wide planks of thin hard wood...my thinking is that it would look more estetique andalow air flo between planks 1/8in.

do you think this is over doing it? frankly beside my time the price is about the same.
Thanks for your post
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Old 26-11-2010, 19:02   #11
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i had an aluminium boat built and I used blocks of styrene foam wherever I could. In retrospect I should have used spray foam for noise and temperature control. Necessary on an Aluminium boat.
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Old 26-11-2010, 20:00   #12
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A couple things to think about:
  • Urethane foam expands as it cures; sometimes with tremendous force.... It can and will bulge interior paneling
  • Foam can hide corrosion on a metal boat very effectively. particularly in the bilge areas
  • Urethane foam is VERY hard to extinguish once ignited
  • Urethane foam is VERY flammable and gives off poison fumes when burning
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Old 26-11-2010, 20:09   #13
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I have done it underneath the vee berth and afterberth on a boat i built but i did it for floatation,the boat was foam cored so didnt need it for insulation,i built the bunk tops of pink styrofoam with glass cloth each side,then peppered them with 2"holes to alow the foam to escape and not blow things apart much like Randy did and Paul suggests.The A/B polyurethane foams can absorb water even though they are supposed to be closed cell but if you do it this way it forms a skin on curing which is waterproof so wherever you have to cut it,seal it with epoxy,we had all these little cupcakes expanding out of the holes that were shaved off and glassed over,its worked great for 22yrs,this boat is very dry however and does not suffer from condensation.
Steve.
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Old 26-11-2010, 20:22   #14
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A couple things to think about:
  • Urethane foam expands as it cures; sometimes with tremendous force.... It can and will bulge interior paneling
  • Foam can hide corrosion on a metal boat very effectively. particularly in the bilge areas
  • Urethane foam is VERY hard to extinguish once ignited
  • Urethane foam is VERY flammable and gives off poison fumes when burning
Thers are different density spray foams witch expand very little to 10+ folds...foam seals a sane surface, no oxigen no oxidation...new tecknology allows for fire resistant foam, in my house iv used the old foam and I needed to paint no flamatory paint to make it legal...no need to worry nowdays.
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Old 26-11-2010, 20:35   #15
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Quote:
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Thers are different density spray foams witch expand very little to 10+ folds...foam seals a sane surface, no oxigen no oxidation...new tecknology allows for fire resistant foam, in my house iv used the old foam and I needed to paint no flamatory paint to make it legal...no need to worry nowdays.
True to a point.... unlike a house, a boat is wet and flexes. EVENTUALLY there will be a de-lamination between the foam and the metal. Oxidation is a fact of life on a metal boat.... HIDDEN oxidation is the killer, as it cannot be corrected.

Yes there are latex based foams that are fire retardant BUT to the best of my knowledge they absorb water, again a BAD idea on a boat.

I do believe the OP had a FRP boat, hence corrosion is not an issue.
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