View Full Version : The other foam rubber
05-31-2008, 07:19 AM
Looking for that material the Coast Guard and other rescue RIB manufactures use on their hull sides. Its a very dense foam rubber much like a swimming noodle. Anybody know what it is and where it can be found?
05-31-2008, 09:06 AM
It might be Ethafoam. Google it up and see if that's right.
06-01-2008, 03:34 AM
I think Chesapeake Light Craft sells mini cell foam. It may be similar to what you're looking for..
06-01-2008, 07:43 AM
I'm looking for larger pieces, say 12' long by 8" by 4" thick. I have a scow hull and I'm thinking of shaping and affixing a piece on each hullside just below the gunwale like the rescue boats. Just gave the boat a paint job and did all the brightwork over. We raft the boat alongside our motoryacht in the summer sharing the same slip, so she gets banged around a little. I wouldn't mind picking up a little buoyancy in the bargain to help dampen the motion while fishing in the inlet. Everything I'm seeing on the net is in smaller dimensions.
06-01-2008, 02:28 PM
When I bought mini-cell years ago (also for kayak outfitting), I bought a "half bun." I understood "bun" to be a measurement of the size of the piece, but I could have been wrong.
Mini-cell is closed cell so it doesn't absorb water. I was using it in a place where UV and abrasion resistance didn't matter (bulkheads and knee braces), so I don't know about those properties. Also, it was pre-Internet and not as easy to research different types. I just went with what others had used.
I still remember the bun part because it struck me as kind of funny.
06-01-2008, 03:44 PM
Ethafoam tends to be more common for sponsons on canoes, probably because it resists getting chewed-up from banging around a little better than minicell foam does. It may also be cheaper, but it still isn't cheap. As far as I know, the longest dimension of full sheets of the thick ethafoam planks is 108" (9'). A sheet (108" by 24") of 4" thick ethafoam, which would yield what you are looking for, runs nearly $200 plus the cost to ship it. It might be a better idea to see if you can buy some ready to mount sponsons from somebody who uses them on the canoes they build. Lincoln Canoes in Maine would be one possible source.
The boat pictured is 14' long and the sponsons are 2" thick black ethafoam and about 8' long by maybe 6" tall with a slight bevel cut on their edges. They're held to the hull using bolts with a thick plastic washer (maybe 3" in diameter) under the bolt heads to keep the bolts from pulling through the foam. The company website is www.canoesandkayaks.com. The stuff cuts neatly on a band saw or with a serrated knife like a bread knife, so it wouldn't be too difficult to splice a couple of chunks to 12' if you really need it that long.
Another source is here:
Their sponsons are round on their outside face, rather than the beveled slabs that Lincoln and SportsPal use. They do come the full 108" long, but I suspect that the round face would yield slightly less flotation and padding than the other type.
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