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Determining condition of foam (in a '77)

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  • Determining condition of foam (in a '77)

    What is the best way to determine whether my foam is waterlogged? Despite the boat being 40 years young, the PO was convinced there was no water logged foam.

    If true at the end of PO's ownership, would the combination of forgetting to put the plug in once, and using a thread stripped plug that let water seep in ~10 times be sufficient to soak the foam during my ownership?

    I do have a compulsive habit of flipping the bilge on when I am out, but it has gotten full enough a few times to take a few minutes to drain out.

    Anyone know the year in which Mako began using closed cell foam in the factory?
    Last edited by PizzaMatt; 04-27-2021, 08:48 PM.

  • #2
    Weigh it at a truck stop or dump. Or cut it open and look. The only two ways I can think of. Foam has come a long way since then. Unless your taking water over the transom or bow, I don't think you should have that much water in the bilge. I'd be looking for a leak.

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    • #3
      If I am sanding and regelcoating and then painting the hull, that should take care of any leaks, right?

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      • #4
        Water doesn't just get into the foam. It soaks in over time. It gets in when the pvc drain lines that Mako used to drain the various compartments crack. It gets in around penetrations in the floor and bulkheads. It gets in around the fuel tank cover if it isn't sealed well. Places like that.

        Other than cutting into it, it is pretty hard to determine if you have wet foam. I think though that if you took a poll here of the people who have removed their floor, you would probably find that most found wet foam in at least some places.

        Having water in the bilge shouldn't be a problem for the foam unless it is getting around a bulkhead or something and then getting trapped. Not having your bilge pump on a float switch is something that you should change though. You don't want the boat to sink if something goes wrong...

        Curious why you would re-gelcoat and then paint?
        Toronto, Canada
        76 Mako 23
        https://forum.classicmako.com/forum/...t-s-23-rebuild

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        • #5
          Are civilians allowed to just pull into a truck stop off the highway and drive onto the scale? Don’t wanna get shot!

          Jamie
          Thanks. I have a float also but I like to flip on the manual pump periodically anyway. I meant bottom paint. Hopefully this process will seal any leaks?

          Are there typical places on the deck other than the fuel tank hatch that are usual suspects for leaks?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PizzaMatt View Post
            Are there typical places on the deck other than the fuel tank hatch that are usual suspects for leaks?
            Yes. Your rod holders unless the PO installed a drain system for them. Also, and your hatches as Jamie mentioned.

            Some of us take on water while underway. I think it is rare, but if there is a seperation of you gunnel cap from the hull, water riding up the side of the hull in rough seas will enter through that gap. The bruised area of your gunnel is a likely spot for that to happen. Check the pics in SlackTide's post for clairity on this.

            Ole Joe
            Just floundering around
            White Hall, Maryland
            1978 Mako 25

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            • #7
              Just cut out my front deck. It was wet. PVC in anchor locker was stubbed off at center locker. Water got in through deck at lift ring ran down anchor locker through PVC and into boat. First bulkhead wet and rotted. 40 year old boats need a good inspection, got to make sure they are sea worthy. The consequences could be dangerous if you cut corners.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PizzaMatt View Post
                Thanks. I have a float also but I like to flip on the manual pump periodically anyway. I meant bottom paint. Hopefully this process will seal any leaks?
                I wouldn't count on bottom paint sealing any leaks. If it is leaking around thru hulls or transducers or something like that, the leaking part should be removed and re-bedded in 3M 4200 or similar. If it is leaking through damaged fiberglass, then that should be fixed before you paint it.

                If it takes your pump "a few minutes to drain out" like you said in your first post and you have a float switch, then something is not working properly. Either the float is not working or you have an ON-OFF-AUTO switch for your bilge pump and you are leaving it OFF.

                Toronto, Canada
                76 Mako 23
                https://forum.classicmako.com/forum/...t-s-23-rebuild

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