Flotation

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Aripeka Angler
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Flotation

Post by Aripeka Angler » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:50 am

I know this may sound ridiculous, but I'm going to ask the question anyway.
Has anyone ever heard of using ping pong balls for flotation?
I was fishing recently with a fellow builder and he brought up the subject.
He said he read somewhere that a builder could fill a compartment with ping pong balls and overcover with buoyancy foam.
The idea is supposed to save weight. Thoughts?


Richard
Completed boats...XF20 "Red Alert", Aripeka Angler's Strip Canoe
Currently building...PY12 Kayak and FS18 "Bare Bones"
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cape man
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Re: Flotation

Post by cape man » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:12 am

Go that path and plastic bottles are cheaper. Ping pong balls ain't cheap.

No such thing as a ridiculous question, but that one is certainly out there...
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jacquesmm
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Re: Flotation

Post by jacquesmm » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:16 am

Yes, it has been done. When I was a teenager, Donald Ccampbell broke the boat speed record in a boat named Bluebird. I did read all I could about it, still have the plans from the Uffa Fox book. The buoyancy material was ping pong balls. That was in the 60's.

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terrulian
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Re: Flotation

Post by terrulian » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:24 am

Tony
Image

Jaysen
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Re: Flotation

Post by Jaysen » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:06 am

On the "is it stupid" front...

I was thinking about the floatation aspect we all focus on. JM has made some interesting points over the various threads.
1. The hull will float since the core is lighter density. The issue will always been the glass/epoxy ratio to wood.
2. There are floatation areas in all the designs except the little ones. Good fillets will create positive buoyancy in all but the little hulls.
3. The only advantage to foam/styrene/etc is puncture of built in "air chambers".

As much as i hate to suggest this, I think Fuzz it on the right track. Recycling some plastic bottles of some type can be cheap, eco friendly, and very effective since the bottles will each act as a sealed cell AND be much lighter than any foam. You can always pour foam to encapsulate the bottles to get suspenders+belt type security. But as far as light and safe... The bottle may be a winning combination.

I now think I need to drink enough to erase the memory of suggesting Fuzz may have a good idea...

Fuzz
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Re: Flotation

Post by Fuzz » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:07 pm

Jaysen wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:06 am
I now think I need to drink enough to erase the memory of suggesting Fuzz may have a good idea...
To which one of my many brilliant ideas are you referring :doh:

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Re: Flotation

Post by Jaysen » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:26 pm

Fuzz wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:07 pm
Jaysen wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:06 am
I now think I need to drink enough to erase the memory of suggesting Fuzz may have a good idea...
To which one of my many brilliant ideas are you referring :doh:
Any of the ones I've ever supported?

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cape man
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Re: Flotation

Post by cape man » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:00 pm

Hey! The plastic bottles were mine! There is another advantage to the foam...it really stiffens everything up between the hull, stringers, and bulkheads and deadens the noise when running through a chop. That stuff is like glue when it sets...
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before - Neil Gaiman

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BarraMan
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Re: Flotation

Post by BarraMan » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:18 pm

I think stiffening, strength and sound deadening effects of foam far outweigh and weight issues. People comment on how quite my boat is a rest - no water slap against the hull.

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Re: Flotation

Post by Jaysen » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:24 pm

Well shoot. Now I've been drinking for no reason.

I'm thinking the stiffening and deadening are "big motor boat" things. For the record "big motor" would be anything bigger than a pair of oars :P

I didn't Think about those specific things but I can see how foam would help. It would be interesting to see how much bottles would impact deadening. I'd think there's a point where too many bottles undermines the benefit of foam.

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