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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

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Telstar 28
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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. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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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Umm, shedding little pieces of styrofoam is really bad for the environment. Birds, fish and other wildlife often mistake tiny pieces of plastic for edible food, and can't digest the plastics. If they eat enough of it...they die.
 

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There have been a few commercially made boats that were plain uncovered styrofoam, it does make for a nice solid boat.

Typically, if you look around you'll see styrofoam cups and floats for swim docks etc, that have 'erosion' at the waterline from all the crud in the water. A layer of fiberglass would work nicely to protect it from that.

If you do the fiberglass, adding runners on the bottom will allow for sacrififial wear strips and keep the boat useable for a long while.

Cheap is good, but if you have to keep replacing something, it's no longer cheap.

Ken.
 

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Super Fuzzy
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That is the silliest thing of heard in ages !

Styrofoam dinghy indeed.

Dog is dead right....its also environmental vandalism.
 

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I'm looking for large 1 foot X 3 foot X 32 inch styrofoam blocks

I need two of them to fit under the wood seats in my sailboat. Can you let me know where I might get them? Or could you sell them to me?

Thanks, Gailstrail

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!
 
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