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Foam vs balsa

harleyhopper

New member
I have put down a deposit on a 1979 Enchanter at a salvage yard. It has been sitting outside in the Ga weather for some time with weeds and such growing. There is no DNR sticker so I don’t know when it was last in the water. After ripping out everything, was wondering pros and cons of foam or stick with balsa.
 

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karzrus

Well-known member
I hope you know that you will spend more money in material and supplies restoring that boat than it will be worth when done. You will not be paid for your labor.

End grain balsa is a little easier to bend into and around curves, foam does not absorb water.
 

harleyhopper

New member

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harleyhopper

New member
The foam I was meaning was the pour in 2 part foam and not the foam board. Was really hoping someone had experience or point me in the right direction. I have always loved Checkmates. Steve
 

karzrus

Well-known member
The foam I was meaning was the pour in 2 part foam and not the foam board. Was really hoping someone had experience or point me in the right direction. I have always loved Checkmates.

But is sounds like you are planning to use it to replace balsa core? It likely will not expand evenly and you will have to shave it before glassing over it, I don’t think that sounds like a great plan. Second issue, 2 part foam has been used to fill the floatation boxes on old Checkmates. That has often turned out poorly as the foam used was not really water proof enough and over time water that gets inside the box is partly absorbed. If I was replacing balsa core I’d want to use what all the modern boat builders are using for that purpose.
 

harleyhopper

New member
But is sounds like you are planning to use it to replace balsa core? It likely will not expand evenly and you will have to shave it before glassing over it, I don’t think that sounds like a great plan. Second issue, 2 part foam has been used to fill the floatation boxes on old Checkmates. That has often turned out poorly as the foam used was not really water proof enough and over time water that gets inside the box is partly absorbed. If I was replacing balsa core I’d want to use what all the modern boat builders are using for that purpose.
Thanks Karzrus. Yes, I’ve seen numerous videos where they pour in 2 part foam and they caution to be sure of vents because it could blow out a floor or hole in the bottom because it expands so much. Apparently it fills in everywhere.That is info I was looking for. Thank you, Steve
 
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