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tager 04-06-2009 12:35 AM

White Styrofoam Blocks
I have access to fantastically large styrofoam blocks. I am going to build a dinghy out of one. It will be my foredeck dink. I have a nice dinghy for putting around the lake, but I need one to tend my 24' sailboat.

Will this work? I don't really feel like spending any money on epoxy... maybe I will glass it along the keel and at the oarlocks but nowhere else.

Will oil paint melt the styro?

Has anyone done this with the white low density foam?

Pictures when it is done!

sailingdog 04-06-2009 07:49 AM

Not glassing it completely will generally mean that it will start breaking apart with every little impact... and you're going to have to spring for epoxy... the styrene in Polyester and Vinylester resins eats styrofoam for breakfast... dissolves it...

BTW, not coating the styrofoam with a layer of fiberglass also means that if you spill anything on it, you risk having it dissolve. Gasoline, paint thinners, and a lot of other commonly used chemicals on a boat eat styrofoam too. :)

tager 04-06-2009 12:52 PM

So you are telling me this will work! I am not going to glass it at all. It is free! I may bolt some cedar strips in, sandwiching the foam between. This would be along the keel, and on the gunwales.

This is gonna be awesome and ridiculous.

sailingdog 04-06-2009 02:30 PM

Ummm...just the opposite... you really should fiberglass the whole thing... using epoxy and fiberglass cloth. Otherwise, it won't last very long, since any impact will cause the styrofoam to break.

mgmhead 04-06-2009 02:44 PM

Tager ... you'd best wear your pfd when you use this dink.

tager 04-06-2009 04:40 PM

lol... I always wear my pfd in the dink... harder on the the sloop since I live there. Picture trying to get dressed in the morning without taking off the PFD. Women could do it...

I am pretty sure this will last quite well. If treated nicely.

quidam1947 04-06-2009 05:31 PM

sailingdog 04-06-2009 06:10 PM

ROFLMAO... Yeah, if he hits too many things with a pure styrofoam dinghy, that's what he'll be doing.


Originally Posted by quidam1947 (Post 471686)

peikenberry 04-06-2009 08:04 PM

Sure you can do it. It's been done before. But as sialing dog said, a lot of common things dissolve polystyrene foams. I would galss the whole inside and outside of the boat using an epoxy resin. Of course this will cost but you will have an unsinkable dink.

tager 04-07-2009 03:04 AM

Well. The free dink is sitting on the dinghy dock. I made it with 12" thick walls, and an extreme amount of freeboard. It is sturdy, and actually takes quite well to dragging over gravel. Handles it better than a GFRP boat! Not even kidding on that. GFRP grinds away quick when dragged over concrete, the styrofoam just loses a couple of peices, no joke. Try it sometime. All those chunks of styro floating around the ocean should be dinghys! Ugly slow cheap dinghys.

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