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Reattaching Flotation Foam - 1982 O'Day 19

GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
So I have a bunch of projects due for the winter. I'm varnishing and sealing, etc. I'm also changing out the deck plate in the cockpit, which does not have a gasket on it any longer. However, due to, (I think) rain water getting in the bilge area because of the missing gasket, (I resealed the deck hardware with butyl tape last spring, which did wonders) a piece of the flotation foam under the cockpit floor detached from the underside of the floor. I can pull it up and hold it in place and it's not broken. The plywood under the cockpit floor seems solid as well. I'm thinking that I can just use some construction adhesive to reattach it, but I thought I'd see what you all think about that.

Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Feb 21, 2013
1,732
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
............The plywood under the cockpit floor seems solid as well. I'm thinking that I can just use some construction adhesive to reattach it, but I thought I'd see what you all think about that..............
Since no one responded let me take a guess and attach it with West System epoxy and hardener
 
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Dec 2, 2003
562
Hunter 260 winnipeg, Manitoba
I would look to use something like window and door spray foam or big crack filler spray foam.

Both construction adhesive and epoxy become too hard and any movement between the foam and what it’s attached to would shear the foam where it attaches to the adhesive. The spray foam - particularly the door and window will remain somewhat flexible and they are strong enough adhesives for this type of application.
 
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Dec 28, 2015
1,017
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I’d use polyuroglue like gorilla glue. Premix it with a little water then inject it.
 
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GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
These are good ideas and good points on the hardness/flexibility of the adhesives. The spray foam is an interesting idea, but do you think the adhesion would be strong enough? I actually came across this stuff that might be just perfect. I used it to seal a drippy gutter seam and it is thick and gooey and pretty tenacious. What do you all think? It's a solvent caulk, so I'm a little concerned about the solvent interacting with the foam, but it's a pretty thick caulk with a 400% stretch.
Lexel 10.5-fl oz Clear Paintable Solvent Caulk
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,887
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Gerry Hi
No knowledge of the O'Day 19. So hard to picture your specific foam.
On my 15 ft Montgomery there was styrofoam in some of the voids. It gave the boat flotation. In most of the spots it was just placed in the voids and covered over with a panel. You have the foam attached to the underside of the cockpit floor. How did it come off? Did the material holding it in place get wet? That would be a clue to the puzzle, indicating the foam was attached with a water soluble glue. Did the foam get bumped and there are pieces of the foam still attached, where other parts have ripped off. That would indicate a more permanent form of glue.

Does the foam have another purpose than possible floatation if you tip too far over?

A picture of the area would give us sailors without experience on your boat some clues that may give us a chance to provide more relevant assistance.

As it was said in the Jerry McGuire movie...
image.gif
 
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GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
John, Hunter, thanks. I just assumed it was some standard type of foam, but thinking about it, it makes sense it could be varied. I just took the opportunity to go outside and take the tarp off the boat that I've already got a replacement for and pull a few pieces of trim off that I am going to refinish and take a couple of photos of the foam area I'm talking about. Thanks for the inspiration to stop procrastinating!

Here are the photos. The one from above indicates the area in the cockpit where the foam was attached.

2020-12-27 11.17.25.jpg
2020-12-27 11.17.25.jpg


2020-12-27 11.17.31.jpg


2020-12-27 11.21.42-1.jpg
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,887
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Happy we motivated you.

Not sure about the purpose of the foam, other than possible some floatation. It looks like it is aged and has been covered with paint. Not sure if it is still working as initially intended. If I was going to reattach it to the underside of the cockpit, I would choose a water resistant adhesive.

That center cockpit access port, it may be the source of water that worked it's way between the foam and the underside of the cockpit releasing it and causing your concern.

What happens if you remove the foam? Should you replace the foam with new material? Which ever way I chose, I would reseal the opening in the cockpit.

To get a solid surface to reattach the foam, I am guessing you will need to clean and like sand the underside of the cockpit. It looks like a space that would attack mold and gunk between the foam and the fiberglass. Bad news... looks like not a lot of space within which to work.
 
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Sep 22, 2018
1,833
Hunter 216 Kingston
This is an older thread that might help you understand the “value” of the foam.

 

GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
John, you're right on about the access port leaking. There is no gasket there and I'm sure the sealant is non-existent. I already have a replacement in hand which will go in this spring. I can't remove the foam as there isn't enough clearance. I just want to keep it out of the bilge water. I'm thinking gorilla glue might be the best thing if I can wedge a board under it to lever it against the plywood hard enough.

The thread that Hunter linked to is one I've seen before. Reading it actually gave me a much better confidence in handling the boat this summer. The ballast does make a world of difference and it does indeed tend to head into the wind more than I'd like. I don't think it would be possible to fight it hard enough to get high enough to even wash the windows. Rub rail, yes, but with a big gust, she turns in quickly. It would have to be some kind of gust! The positive flotation was one of the big reasons that I bought the 19. Mine is an 82 and I'm out with my wife and young kids a few times a week.
 
Sep 22, 2018
1,833
Hunter 216 Kingston
Great that your getting out there with everyone that frequently! Hope you give the kids a turn at the tiller :)

I don’t know much about your boat but bear in mind that “unsinkable” was a big marketing thing back in the day.

The original amount of flotation was for a bare boat and new foam. Add in a motor, paraphernalia and the possibility that the foam might have lost a bit ;) and it might not be the life raft you think it is.

Might not be a big deal to replace the original foam with new water resistant product both in the bilge area and other accessible parts of the boat. :)
 
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Dec 28, 2015
1,017
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
Spread a bunch of gorilla glue on it, spritz with water and mix up with a acid brush and wedge it back up into place and be done.
 
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GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
Yep, all good points. The points that gave me more confidence about it were that the way Sunbird22358 described it turning into the wind was precisely what I experienced, and the ballast definitely gives it more stability over an unballasted boat. Before I bought this one, the only thing I'd sailed were lasers that went over all the time, so it was what I was expecting. When I felt the 19 start to heel, I would instinctively dump wind and point in, but coming to terms with the fact that I have a ballast down there and also the shape of the hull made me feel far more confident in rolling with it and building trust in the boat.
I only bought this thing a couple of years ago. The first summer, we trail sailed it, but with the coronavirus situation this year, my wife suggested renting a slip, which we did. That facilitated sailing out of Bayport, on the south shore of Long Island, NY over to Fire Island whenever we wanted. The kids got the beach and I got the sail. After a while, we even strapped our bikes on and went for a ride when we were over there. We'll probably do the same thing next summer. It worked out well. My wife and I are both teachers, so we can get out a lot during the summer months.
I actually played with the idea of trying to sail up the south coast of CT and Rhode Island then cutting across to Martha's Vineyard and then over to Nantucket, which has been a goal of mine for a long time, but I ran it by Sunbird22358 since he has sailed those waters a long time and he made me realize that it probably wouldn't be a great idea. The 19 is a great bay boat, but to make that trip, I'll have to wait until I can upsize to something more substantial, sea worthy and comfortable. One day....
 

GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
Spread a bunch of gorilla glue on it, spritz with water and mix up with a acid brush and wedge it back up into place and be done.
I think I agree. I have to find a big enough container of it. It'll be a spring project.
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,017
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I think I agree. I have to find a big enough container of it. It'll be a spring project.
Shouldn’t take more than a bottle. You’re just trying to keep it there, not hold the world together. It foams up pretty good when you premix it with water so a little goes a long ways.
 
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GerryG

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Sep 16, 2018
29
O'Day 19 Bayport, NY
I've never used it before. I picked up a small bottle today and I'll experiment with it a bit.
 
Dec 28, 2015
1,017
Laser, Hunter H30 Cherubini Tacoma
I've never used it before. I picked up a small bottle today and I'll experiment with it a bit.
It’s interesting stuff. Don’t get it places you don’t want it. I use to use it allot with outdoor woodworking projects until I reviewed a couple studies that showed its binding want superior to Titbond III so I went away from it due to the mess.