Wednesday, April 29, 2015

EPS Foam can take on water

We took off 2 lbs when we took of the water break.   But the boat did not really seem to ride any higher.  We wondered if the foam might be taking on some water.

The floats are EPS foam.   I had read that it was closed cell but checking further it turns out there is more to it.   It is really a bunch of closed cells stuck together with open air gaps between them.   So it seems we did not really use the ideal foam for the floats.  There have been cracks between the wood and the foam, between the driveshaft and the foam, and so water could get into the foam.

We did a test last night to see how bad this is.  We cut out a big piece of EPS foam, put it in a 5 gallon bucket with a sledge hammer to hold it down and filled it with water.  Then left it overnight (like 10 pm to 7 am).

We put a piece of Saran Wrap over our digital scale so water would not get to it.

After cut and dust off:  53 grams
Put under water and then shake off:  65 grams
After soaking all night:  170 grams.

So it does take on water.  Around 105 grams overnight. 

This is not the ideal foam for crossing the Atlantic.   We are probably ok going to St Marten and back though.

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