Frequently used on docks and in barge repair, flotation foam is also an important solution for boaters. In fact, flotation foam can be beneficial on vessels of all sizes, from sailboats, luxury yachts and cargo ships to aluminum v-hull fishing boats, canoes, jon boats, speed boats, kayaks and pontoon boats.
Adding boat flotation foam will not only protect your vessel from sinking in the event of an accident or act of nature, but it can also provide added insulation, sound proofing and structure.
Benefits of Flotation Foam
Flotation foam can prevent your boat, ship or yacht from sinking in the event of a hull breech, as well as reduce energy consumption, and dampen sound.
Flotation foam acts as a life jacket for your boat. If the vessel is punctured and develops a hole or leak, it will still take on water, but the flotation foam will significantly slow the rate at which the boat sinks. In most cases, flotation foam provides enough time to radio for help and wait for a rescue, or to make it to shore before the boat goes under. In fact, if you have enough foam, it could prevent the boat from sinking entirely, saving your gear and your life.
Flotation foam, specifically polyurethane spray and injection foam, is ideal for providing thermal insulation on a boat. While this is not a common reason to add flotation foam on small boats, it is important on larger vessels, especially those used for habitation, or ships that have climate-controlled cargo or refrigerated storage areas. Foam can also be used to insulate the pipes on a boat. Much like adding insulation in your garage to prevent pipes from freezing in winter, flotation foam can protect the pipes on a boat in colder temperatures.
If you’ve ever dropped a fishing sinker in an aluminum boat, you understand the value of flotation foam to lessen sound. Every little noise on the surface is amplified and carried underwater, which is particularly frustrating for fisherman. Even shifting weight in the boat or the simple rocking of the waves can create unwanted sound. By padding the deck of an aluminum or wooden boat with flotation foam, you’ll be less likely to spook the fish, and more able to enjoy a quiet day on the water.
Polystyrene vs. Polyurethane Flotation Foam
Polystyrene is a poor choice for flotation foam because it soaks up water. It can also soak up petroleum, making it a very dangerous fire hazard in the event of a gas leak on a boat.
Polyurethane is a much safer choice because it will not absorb water or petrochemicals. It is also available in liquid and spray form, which allows it to mold perfectly to your boat.
Empire Foam Solutions’ 2.2 Closed-cell Bio-Renewable Spray Flotation Foam insulation has an R-Value of 6.5 / inch and will not only insulate, it will simultaneously add 59 lbs. of positive flotation force for every cubic foot of installed product. In addition, our flotation foam is flame retardant and self-extinguishing, as seen in this video demonstration.