closed cell that isn't

Bernard Johnson (
Sat, 08 May 1999 08:40:33 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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A couple of days ago I was really getting into this pour in foam
business - searches on the internet, almost ordered some from Defender
('til they told me about the surcharge), went out at lunch time to
Orchard Supply looking for spray stuff. Bought some spray stuff, one
can,"33% more free!" .Couldn't wait to check it out. Didn't say on can
whether it was closed cell or not, but apparently could do all sorts of
wonderful things. Sprayed some on a piece of cardboard before going back
into work so would be ready to test immediately after. Rushed out to
parking lot, broke a piece off, turned on windshield washers, dipped
piece of foam in little pool of water, squeezed, removed, squeezed
again, water came out, foam looked like wet bread. Glad only bought one
Had day vacation yesterday. Fixing boat. Looking under flooring. Find
piece of IM's foam. Took in kitchen. Placed in pan of water. Bubbles
came out!!!!! Squeezed. More bubbles!!!! Appalled!!! This stuff is
bloody useless, to downright dangerous. True, it doesn't absorb water
instantaneously, so it would act as floatation in case of a swamping.
The fact that it will absorb water gradually over a period of time is
completely unnacceptable. I expect that when a material is described as
closed cell, it should be closed cell, PERIOD. I wrote back to Utah
Foams requesting full technical specifications. If I do purchase from
them, it will only be after thorough research, capped with written
assurance from them that their product will not absorb water over time.
I now feel uncomfortable with whatever IM has done, to the extent of
contemplating removing their pour in stuff. This would be a messy an
awkward job though.
I still feel very comfortable with my floatation to waterline level
theory. Another benefit is that it takes the guesswork out of how many
cubic feet you need since the boat itself is telling you by requiring
that amount of displacement. Should the boat become waterlogged the
further displacement due to fiberglass etc. would only be extra
buoyancy. To calculate the absolute minimum amount of floatation by
including fiberglass displacement is cutting it way too fine for me. It
would all too easy to miscalculate and/or use too optimistic assumptions
to where you come up slight short. If you come up half a cubic foot
short, you are going down just as surely as if you didn't have any
floatation at all. Let's say you go the other way and have half a cubic
foot too much. You won't go down, but the boat will be imitating a
submarine on the point of diving. It would take some ingenuity to pump
it out. (It could be done). Why skimp? My requirements are simple. I
want the boat to stay afloat, I want it to be right side up, and I want
it to not contain water. After that, I can worry about getting dry and
staying reasonably protected from the elements. After that comes food
and water. After that comes a warm bed, a female companion, a glass of
brandy, and Beethoven's string quartets.