Foam density/Rudder repair - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-04-2010
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Foam density/Rudder repair

I'll be working on repairing the rudder on my Sabre 30 this winter. I can't find any reference on which foam density to use (there is 2lb.,4lb, 8lb) I was thinking of ordering the foam from US composites. My son uses alot of their products when he customizes his jet ski. Looking for your opinions.Thanks!
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I just rebuilt the rudder on my Etap 26 which also has a foam filled hull. I dug out the old foam and bought the 4 lb foam to replace it. That foam was very close in density to what came out of the old rudder. The foam in the old rudder was not water logged, despite a big gash in the rudder and it sat on a mooring for 25 years.

I found that you can't foam the rudder in one shot. I put a 3/4" polyethylene tube down into the rudder to about 1/3 from the bottom and poured the foam into that to get it to the bottom past the structural parts of the rudder. Then I pulled it out cleaned it off and put it in about 1/3 of the way from the top and did a second pour. I pulled it out and finished with a third pour.

Hope this helps.

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 11-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticsailor View Post
I'll be working on repairing the rudder on my Sabre 30 this winter. I can't find any reference on which foam density to use (there is 2lb.,4lb, 8lb) I was thinking of ordering the foam from US composites. My son uses alot of their products when he customizes his jet ski. Looking for your opinions.Thanks!
I did that a few years ago on my Columbia 32, I would think it would be similar for a Sabre 30. I have the original manufacturer's specs and it was the heaviest foam that US Composites offers. I forgot what it was, I seem to remember 15lb but could be wrong; I am positive it was the heaviest (and most expensive) they have. It seemed similar to the original foam that I replaced completely.

And yes, you have to do it in several layers, otherwise you get incomplete filling.
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The heaviest foam US composites has is 16 lb. I read on their web site that for optimum expansion of the foam, the temperature should be warm. They mentioned 80 degrees.I don't think i'll be able to get the garage or basement that warm! Any comments on temperature affecting your application?

thank you both for the pouring tips.
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Old 11-04-2010
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Take it over to an elderly aunt's house--they usually have the heater cranked up to 80...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticsailor View Post
The heaviest foam US composites has is 16 lb. I read on their web site that for optimum expansion of the foam, the temperature should be warm. They mentioned 80 degrees.I don't think i'll be able to get the garage or basement that warm! Any comments on temperature affecting your application?

thank you both for the pouring tips.
Yes, it was definitely the 16lb foam then.

And yes, it was definitely not 80 degrees. I did try to keep it warmish, maybe it was 70 degrees, dunno. The foam develops quite a bit of heat by itself.

I would not sweat the temperature but of course you wouldn't want to do it in a freezing unheated space either. The stuff has a high heat storage capacity, so even if the space where you do the pouring is not super-warm, if you keep it in a nice cosy room and only bring it out for the pour you should be fine.

Oh, one more tip, this one is important: Go to Home Depot, buy a paint stirrer for your power drill. You have about a minute time to mix each batch, no way you can do this with a wooden paddle or something. I got the one with the plastic vanes; after the foam had hardened on them, you can get it off easily and think about the next batch.

I did at least 10 batches for the rudder. You don't want to pour too much at once for two reasons: one is that the stuff hardens before it fills the volume, and two, because it develops a lot of heat. And there is no harm to have lots of batches (other than that it takes a bit more time): This stuff adheres WONDERFULLY to itself. As well as to anything else

Last edited by niebur; 11-04-2010 at 10:34 PM.
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do a search on emkay he redid his hunter 27 rudder and took lots of pics.
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Old 11-05-2010
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"I don't think i'll be able to get the garage or basement that warm! "
Can your rudder fit, mostly, into a metal trash can? If so, brace the rudder in the can, fill with hot water from your sink, use your imagination and find a way to heat up the trash can so the water stays warm. No need to heat up the whole room.
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