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Thread: Hewes Foam Fun

  1. #1

    Default Hewes Foam Fun

    So embarked on removing the flotation foam on the Quickwater. Some of you may know I had an explosion on the boat from gas fumes about 3 weeks ago and resulting from that I'm in the process of removing & replacing the fuel tank, rewiring, replacing the wheelhouse deck as I had to pull it anyway to inspect belowdecks. Found the factory plywood vinyl covered deck to be somewhat waterlogged so the old is out.
    Had a welder friend of mine inspect the boat and determined the old gal was more than worth putting the effort into getting her back in action.
    I'll post pics but just in starting to remove the foam I'm already seeing some water soaked stuff below the helm area and I expect that's going to be more and more an issue working aft.
    Tools of choice? A Sawzall and flat pry bar. It's going to be a whole lotta fun but seeing what's going on its pretty obvious the foam has to come out and that makes me think about the thousands of Hewescrafts & other factory boats out there.
    Stay tuned....
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  2. #2
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Have fun Jim. I've been there and it was the best thing I ever did to my Alaskan 260 Mine was rotten all the way thru. 3/16 diamond plate with strips of 1/4" foam along the stringers made for a great deck. Can't wait to see your pictures along the way


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  3. #3

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    Rob did ya get the foam out of the hollow fore & aft boxed stringers? Talked to my welder and I'm gonna rip the lid off of those with a skill saw and leave a 6" section attached every so often to hold its shape and spacing and we can weld up the lid after the fact.
    Any other tips, told, etc? Did you put any other flotation back in under the deck?
    I'm thinkin that to have it insured and back in business I want something, maybe foam packing peanuts. Something easy and not attached.
    Thanks
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  4. #4
    Member bkmail's Avatar
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    Noodles for a pool Jim or pipe insulation, Cleaner and won't end up in little pieces in the bilge.
    Glad your making progress and look forward to pics.
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  5. #5
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Welding & foam don't go together well so i'd make some kind of bolt on caps for those stringer openings and then when that foam soaks up you can open the stringers and replace it with dry foam. Check the hull plates anywhere the foam is touching the metal for metal rot you've heard of all the nightmares with boats over in bristol bay with foam insulation touching metal. Since your hauling people with the boat i'd check with the insurance co to see if pool noodles are a approved flotation for your business.

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  6. #6
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    Stringers are used to stiffen the hull. Cutting a section out and welding a cap on is going to weaken it. I would not do to it until I talked to a marine structural engineer.

    By the time you cut out the section of the stringer, clean up all the foam and aluminum for welding make a new cap and weld it in place. It would be cheaper to replace the stringer with a new one and there would be no question about its strength.

  7. #7

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    The "stringers" I'm referring to are not the actual hull stringers; these are a thinner material that's boxed in and only stitch welded from the factory to give the deck its height and allow a place for the tank to nestle in between. The actual hull stringers are much stouter and are fine as is.
    Noted guys on what to use for flotation material; keep the suggestions coming and thanks for the feedback.
    Have calls into a couple local surveyors to verify; the surveyor from SE told me that any welding if done by a certified welder and boat inspected as it goes back together should be fine and it seems we're going to be in better shape than the factory cracked welds I'm seeing as we go.
    The old foam is coming out pretty easily; there are spots where it has to be scraped from the hull and there is water in/on lots of these areas.
    All in all I'm pretty satisfied with how it's going and the end result will be better than when it left the factory.
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  8. #8
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Jim, I have this project in my future with my 220 OP as well. If you get a chance could you post some pictures of the project. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I did the same as you, Sawmill big scraper and lots of hard work. A drywall hand saw works pretty good too. i never put anything back in my hull. i pressure washed out all the residue and left it bare. Those darn sealed boxes were impossible to get into without cutting so I left them alone. One thing to be sure and clean out if the small channel in the back of those boxes at the transom. They are there to let water run from the sides into the bilge but they are full of foam too. i used a twisted up wire hanger in a drill to dig it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Rob did ya get the foam out of the hollow fore & aft boxed stringers? Talked to my welder and I'm gonna rip the lid off of those with a skill saw and leave a 6" section attached every so often to hold its shape and spacing and we can weld up the lid after the fact.
    Any other tips, told, etc? Did you put any other flotation back in under the deck?
    I'm thinkin that to have it insured and back in business I want something, maybe foam packing peanuts. Something easy and not attached.
    Thanks
    BOATLESS for now......
    Heavy Hitter Fishing
    MMSI#

  10. #10

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    I bought a 2006 Hewes Alaskan this year so will also be undertaking this project soon. All the tips/advice so far are definitely appreciated-I am all ears if anyone has any more.
    Thanks!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    i never put anything back in my hull. i pressure washed out all the residue and left it bare.
    Rob,
    Did you notice it being any louder than with the foam in it? We spent quite a few nights sleeping on the boat and am curious if the small waves slapping against the hull would be a lot louder?

  12. #12
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I don't think it got any louder while anchored up at night. But then again we carpeted the entire inside too. I did notice a little bit of drone when under way. Nothing remotely close to make me do anything different with removing the foam. Too many other benefits.


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  13. #13

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    Trying to post pics, tapatalk throwing a fit.
    As I thought encountering more saturated foam as I work aft, as of right now I'm transitioning past the door onto the back deck area. One piece of foam barely bigger than my hand weighs about 2 lbs.
    the "boxes" definitely have water, if you step on them water comes up thru the screw holes so that foam is coming out. Also found the welds are broken that connect the floor supports to the stringers so that's going to be fixed; the supports are only welded on one side. Have pics of all this.
    One thing I don't understand is why Hewes didn't put a simple race along each stringer at the lower elevation of the "V" of the hull to allow water to drain aft. All it would've taken is 3/4" diam lengths of pvc laid along the stringers then foam them in place.
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  14. #14
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Jim
    Most of the sprayed in foam in boats is an open cell foam.
    It soaks up water. I recommend using a closed cell foam if you're replacing it.
    You can get a home insulation company to spray in some Wall Tite Eco foam insulation.
    It is a closed cell foam and will not absorb water and will be much less likely to cause rot problems.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    Jim
    Most of the sprayed in foam in boats is an open cell foam.
    It soaks up water. I recommend using a closed cell foam if you're replacing it.
    You can get a home insulation company to spray in some Wall Tite Eco foam insulation.
    It is a closed cell foam and will not absorb water and will be much less likely to cause rot problems.

    I respectfully and completely disagree. As a boat builder, I've seen (and sometimes used) every miracle urethane compound used to either insulate/add flotation and or provide a skin for said insulation/added floatation. ALL of them have failed when submerged for prolonged periods and until the 20 year data is in on anything relatively new, I say, let the greater fool try it.

    The first misery (created by economics) with these light-duty skiffs is the idea that plywood covered with vinyl somehow makes a good deck system. Then, add a adherent foam that is known to be permeable to create submerged buoyancy and rigidity to hull plating and thus we have all these charming not-THAT-long -after-manufacture stories! Why? Because no one ever gets a peek under that cool vinyl until it's rather late in the game; usually indicated by (Geez, what is my fuel economy getting so crappy, or, the pump coming on suspiciously frequently?" I could riff on much more detail but I'm ready for bed after a long day of moose butchering.

    The real solution is an actual, honest-to-gawd welded deck.

    The easy solution is cheap styrene insulation under whatever mixture one decides fits the budget for the new decks. BUT! gawd help you if you spill 5 gals of gas and let it run below! It is the cheapest least permeable expanded foam there is but solvents are a no-no in contact. Now, if you want a completely bomb proof (unless your skiff catches fire) and pricey solution - expanded polyethylene foam is the nuts.

  16. #16

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    So as of today, all of the foam in the openly accessed areas is out, not as difficult as originally fears and although the boat is 16 yrs old, not as soaked as anticipated. Yep for sure quite a bit of it was wet in some areas and probably took 300 lbs to the dump. Not as bad as it could be all things considered but not good either. Haven't seen any corrosion on the hull plating. 12 out of the 14 stringer to deck framing connections have broken welds, not happy bout that but easily repaired and had the factory actually welded both sides of these supports might be a better scene; again not important to hull integrity but irritating and needs to be addressed.
    Next is to remove foam in the fore and aft deck support "boxes"; seems to be more of a water issue in there, will post on that as progress continues.
    Copperlake obviously has the years and experience in boats/boatbuilding; while I agree that a welded deck would be tits, I am satisfied with the 3/4 plywood Speed Lined encapsulated deck; after 3 years of YEAR ROUND use, it's held up perfectly fine. I'm not talking about occasional recreational use, honest summer long 7 days a week 6 passenger and all manner of gear being dropped on it, people jumping down from the dock, propane tanks, etc. then winter king fishing and back to summer stuff. If I was looking for a new boat or having one built yeah I'd specify for an aluminum welded deck.
    For sure the vinyl covered factory deck sucks, plus the treated plywood reacts corrosively with aluminum.
    All in all in dismantling this boat, I'm learning tons about it, pretty satisfied overall with it after 4 years of commercial duty of which it was never really intended for, the economy & speed is good, and it handles conditions better than quite a few bigger boats that I've been on.

    ;
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  17. #17
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    those broken stringer to deck welds let the deck flex and take the shock of all the people jumping on it and stuff being dropped on it ??? just a thought but maybe coating the inside of the hull with coal tar epoxy might go a long way in keeping corrosion at bay in areas where there is a lot of saltwater, it works wonders on aluminum fuel tanks.

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  18. #18
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    A self adjusting flexing deck what a great idea. Is that why trailers have all those crack welds is to take up the shock of the heavy load?

    I like the idea of coating the outside of a tank or the inside of a hull if done right and for the right reasons. The problem as I see it is coating aluminum can cause more problems than it solved. In all fairness the problems can be resolved by proper application of the coating and design of the boat to reduce corrosion. If that was done there would be no reason for the coating.

  19. #19

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    Fortunately didn't see any noticeable hull corrosion


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  20. #20

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    ANY protective coating on AL is a two edged sword. If applied correctly and maintained it can certainly add to life in an electrolyte environment. However, it is oxygen that creates the miracle of AL's utility. Aluminum oxide is the most common refractory compound in and on earth; it resists being altered:

    "According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, “Aluminum has excellent corrosion resistance in a wide range of water and soil conditions because of the tough oxide film that forms on its surface. Although aluminum is an active metal in the galvanic series, this film affords excellent protection except in several special cases.”



    BUT! We have a special case! Denied oxygen to create it's protective coating of oxide we have so-called crevice corrosion. Here is a random interweb pic of crevice corrosion under paint of aluminium mast. 2 years old. I will add that in my work-life, I've encountered lots and lots of AL that was painted or foamed or rhino hided or CMAed etc. below the water line that was unrepairable in a straightforward way because of crevice corrosion.




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