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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 12-26-2009
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To Airex Or Not To Airex?

I'm trying to find some definite opinion on airex cored hulls, though I know it is imposible. anyway I would like to hear some kind of final judgement. some questions that I have: how many boats are being built with airex nowdays? Is there any way to know what kind of airex was used in any specific boat, there seems to be many different kinds? which one would be the best? do they have a lifespam? does it or doesn;t make the hull stronger? is it cheaper or more expensive than balsa?
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Old 12-26-2009
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Hi
Welcome to Sailnet

I have not heard much about Airex for a long time. Foam core definitely has less of an issue with water absorption than balsa core does although most problems occur in the deck structure where there are many bolt penetrations. But you might find this interesting. Professional Boatbuilder June/July 2005 issue Professional BoatBuilder - June/July 2005
has an advertising supplement on pages 9 to about 15 discussing cores used in great detail. I found it very informative. That link is to the digital version which can be read online, as can many others. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-07-2010
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thanks for the link but that is too technical for me, and biased. dont unswer my questions, or I dont understand enough. any other opinions????????
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Old 01-07-2010
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Are you looking at buying a boat that is Airex cored or are you planning on building one. If buying it will depend on the specific manufacturer and how it was done. If building that is a different issue and there are many options including balsa which is stronger and not subject to heat deformation which the foam cores exhibit in a warm climate. The link I provided gives a good explanation of modern cores and shows test results of same. Here's a link to a discussion on Boat Design Forum about Airex vs others.
Airex and any foam based hull materials - Boat Design Forums
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Old 01-07-2010
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I guess I don't understand your interest in the technicalities of the product. All cored panels as they age as subject to pretty much the same risks, maybe some material more than other or less than, but the risk are there and would need to be addressed.

I know an owner of a Hinchley SW42 who found it necessary to completely recore his Airex-core hull...who cares what flavor of Airex was used?
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Old 01-07-2010
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IMHP balsa has the best long term bonding abilty and issues with it have more to do with the initial Design and long term maintenance of the various holes made in the boat

And in a good Design the Balsa OR any core will not be used in areas that have holes BUT this tends to cost to much in production boats
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