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1979(80) 17 foam curiosity (or maybe not)?

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  • 1979(80) 17 foam curiosity (or maybe not)?

    Hello all,
    Enjoying exploring this site and learning about Glasplys and all the great things people are doing. Seems from all I have seen and read that have these boats have foam between the stringers under the floor. I have cut an opening in the floor, midship between the seats under the dash. It overlaps one of the stringers a few inches (floor was soft and showed signs of water damage.) Anyway, there is no sign of any foam in my boat, did they stop this in the 80s (79)? There was one wedge of foam under one side of the splash well. What do you all think, should I put foam back in? Will it float better, ride better, not sink better?

  • #2
    Foam is a requirement by the USCG for boats under something like 20 feet. Supposed to be enough to allow the boat to float relatively level, though by “float” it pretty much means swamped, but not sinking to the bottom. The foam fills the voids below the sole (floor) that would otherwise fill with water and sink the boat. By displacing that water, it allows the boat to stay at the surface.

    Often the foam gets soggy (though I believe it still mostly maintains its function even then) and a previous owner may have scraped it out. Whether you want to put it back in or not is up to you. If you were a manufacturer, the decision would be made for you! But as the owner, it’s your call.

    Besides flotation, the other benefits are sound deadening (less water slapping noise) and some additional structural support between the stringers, though most likely minimal.
    -- Tim Taylor

    1979 Glasply 21-foot I/O Overnighter w/ 5.0L Volvo-Penta duoprop (Cardinal)
    1982 Glasply 16-foot runabout w/ 50hp Mercury OB (JV Junior)
    1978 Glasply 19-1/2 foot runabout, project boat (Beer Goggles)

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.


    • #3
      Thanks, Bin. You are a wealth of knowledge. I would have to say my guess is that no one else has done anything to the boat, everything under the sole (floor) looks, very clean, rough but clean. There looks to be a a "padded" foam layer under the bow deck and then there was this wedge of foam under the splash well. Click image for larger version

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      Maybe this met the regs. Not sure what I will do yet, maybe just fill the space with a bunch of rubber duckies. Still thinking it might be good storage since right now its empty space. Hence the questions about sole and lateral support.