Where is the foam buoyancy in an Austral 20?

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Where is the foam buoyancy in an Austral 20?

Post by MartinDreaming » Feb 6th, '18, 21:39

According to the aged brochures on John Crawford Marine's excellent library, the Austral 20 has "Built in foam bouyancy ... included while the boat is under construction making it unsinkable".

Though this claim is reassuring, I'd like to verify it by finding the alleged foam. The boat has a solid GRP (not sandwich) hull. I think I've found most of the cavities, and there seem to be none left that are big enough to provide substantial buoyancy. I suppose I could drill a hole into the remaining spaces to find out, but I have a justifiable reluctance about drilling holes into the hull. Even if I don't make a hole into the outer hull, I could expose some of the timber on the inside, which could get damp and rot.

My concern is that the foam buoyancy has disappeared, deteriorated or got waterlogged. It might be appropriate to replace it with bean-bag filling, or something similar. There is a large volume of air under the seats around the back of to cockpit that is not sealed, and I could fill it with bean-bag-liners filled with bean-bag-beans and secure them with some webbing.

Alternatively, a less messy approach could be mesh bags filled with plastic play balls. Better air circulation, and less chance of getting polystyrene beans everywhere.

Any suggestions?
Austral 20 Mark 2 "Yakumin", Sail Number 108

Able Skipper
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Re: Where is the foam buoyancy in an Austral 20?

Post by rseydler » Feb 6th, '18, 23:17

Put a bung at the bottom of each cavity. When you drill out the hole stick your finger in it to see if there is foam or sea life ;)

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