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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Soggy foam & Acetone

    Like so many old boats, I have one that I just replaced the transom in and part of the stringers. Off course, the foam in the area is water logged. If it is in the back, it likely is in the front too. This is a 21' boat with massive trim tabs on the back (not original). They're big enough for a 35' boat and fill all the transom save for the stern drive. I'm thinking someone was trying to compensate for excessive water weight with these things.

    So here's my question: since I cannot remove the deck-floor-liner to get down into the bowels, and know acetone melts foam quickly, what if I tipped the boat up bow high and drill one or more holes on each side strategically placed forward and poured in acetone to melt the foam. In my theory the water mostly settles even within the foam to the low point. So too would the acetone as it flows rearward. It needn't remove all the foam, just all it can while creating a drain path to the rear of the boat where the resultant sludge can be drained away. When satisfied, which includes plenty of days for any remaining water to drain away, I could introduce new foam via those same holes.

    To me this sounds viable and yet I've never heard of anyone trying it. So what am I missing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Maryland - USA

    Default Re: Soggy foam & Acetone

    I would say the concern I would have is your assumption regarding the foam....if its styrofoam, the acetone should make a flowing mess out of it. if its 'more complex', the acetone may not do anything to it.

    Depending upon where you are, there may be some environmental concerns...but that's your call to make.

    Personally, I wouldn't go thru the effort to replace the foam....if the hull is solid, it really doesn't make any difference...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Soggy foam & Acetone

    The boat is solid but I'd like to get that water out for weight concerns. I tried dropping the foam I dug out manually into acetone, it melts quickly. I can handle the environmental concern. My hesitation is two fold, might the water dilute the acetone beyond effectiveness (depends on volume) and is there some unforeseen pitfall I'm overlooking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Chaumont Bay, N.y., USA

    Default Re: Soggy foam & Acetone

    My hesitation is two fold, might the water dilute the acetone beyond effectiveness (depends on volume) and is there some unforeseen pitfall I'm overlooking.
    Ayuh,..... A couple of things I can think of,......

    If the foam is wet, the acetone may not get past the water to attack the foam,......

    Acetone flashes off fairly quickly,.... where ever, 'n whenever it flashes off, the melted foam will turn into hardened plastic,......

    'n because acetone flashes off so well, it could become a Bomb,.....
    Any Grease is Better,... Than No grease at All....

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