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Thread: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

  1. #1
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    Default Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Has anyone built one of these?


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    I'm not sure it's really much easier than a skin-on-frame boat, or any sturdier, but I admit it's intriguing.

    The PROOF is... I paid money for a set of boat plans, and I haven't done that for a long, long time... and having reviewed them, I don't regret it. I learned a few things.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    I’ve used big box styrofoam as main structure and flotation in some 7’ skiffs for grandkids.
    The other materials are 1/4” ply, glass tape and epoxy.
    10168329-F86B-4DE1-B67C-9A2BE6CADC9F.jpg
    THe foam blocks serve as frames, seats and flotation. The foam and the seams are glassed. About 30 lbs.

    The sign on the wall shows our motto: We don’t do good work but we’re slow.

  4. #4
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    Carol Stream, IL
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    This was a very interesting video of a simple design and construction boat.
    I wonder about the handling capabilities on anything but mirror surface water.

    An alternate foam boat of a “heavy duty” type - MLB layout duck boat.
    https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/h...n-layout-boat/

    I found this site while “surfing”. I was not aware of the existence of specialty foam adhesives and coatings... https://hotwirefoamfactory.com/

    You can make your own DIY foam cutter with an AC/DC adapter (from old electronic equipment). Or purchase a commercial version from above link and others.
    https://www.instructables.com/5-DIY-...rofoam-Cutter/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILWA2s_zyNY

    NiChrome Wire (NiCr) is the optimal cutting wire choice for Foam cutting equipment.

    • It is resistant to corrosion and oxidation at very high temperature.
    • The wire reaches the temperature of a few hundred Celsius degrees in few seconds.
    • It has high tensile strength and a high melting point.


    This link compares various foam cutting wires and associated AC/DC adapters.
    https://www.instructables.com/Easy-H...-guitar-strin/

    Hijack Alert: JimConlin your 7’ skiff looks interesting and pretty simple. Can you supply any other information on it?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Sure, but when you read the plans he stresses to NOT use a hot wire cutter. The melted edges are harder to sand. He emphasizes that the hacksaw is the more useful tool here.

    I've had good experiences with other hard-chine boats I've designed and used, although I've never built with foam.

    New Canoe Levitates - Page 2 (woodenboat.com)

    loading Skimmer.jpg

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Sure, but when you read the plans he stresses to NOT use a hot wire cutter. The melted edges are harder to sand. He emphasizes that the hacksaw is the more useful tool here.
    Makes sense. i didn't order the plans.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by JOBBER View Post
    <SNIP>
    Hijack Alert: JimConlin your 7’ skiff looks interesting and pretty simple. Can you supply any other information on it?
    Not much to say. The boat consists of three foam blocks, four pieces of plywood (from one sheet), a few other bits of pine, and some glass cloth and tape. It’s strictly for kids , no more than about 200 lbs total.
    Van Fancy made me some nice 4-1/2’ oars that work well with it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Cutting lots of soft foam pieces for berth cushins, an electric carving knive was the best tool, might work OK on that rigid stuff too.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Good idea!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Does anyone know how susceptible the foam is to punctures?
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    Japanese handsaws work very well in styrofoam.


    To answer Rbgarr’s question, I found that I could puncture 1” styrofoam with an ordinary #2 pencil but not with a Crayola.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Foam Boat -- Sharpie Rowboat

    The foam is finish-coated with a polyester fabric coating attached with a non-epoxy glue. Obviously this adds abrasion resistance.

    More than that I shouldn't say because the designer is trying to make a small return off his ideas and research.

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