If you are a boat owner, you need to be aware of boat flotation. Closed cell foam is an ideal product to use for buoyancy, and Versi-Foam® is one of the easiest closed cell foam kits to use for this purpose.
A boat’s job is to float. The US Coast Guard requires that all boats under 20 feet in length provide level flotation. Level flotation means that if the boat is swamped it will float level and upright, which means that the flotation product must be distributed symmetrically.
The Boatbuilder’s Handbook is published by the United States Coast Guard. Subparts F, G, and H deal with flotation requirements. The document addresses the federal regulations for boat manufacturers and is intended to help them comply with marine flotation requirements.
Recreational boats 20 feet and smaller are required to leave the manufacturer with foam flotation. However, there are no laws prohibiting owners from removing the flotation material. If the flotation foam is removed and the boat is sold to a new owner, they may not realize that it lacks the proper safety flotation.
Check your boat if you purchased it used, and consider how much weight it needs to support. Has that changed since the boat was new? Do you have a heavier motor? Do you require the foam to fill unusually-shaped cavities? Answering these questions can ensure that you are using enough of the best flotation product available.
In its excellent fact sheet, “Buoyancy in Boats”, the state government of Victoria in Australia says, “A prime function of a boat is to provide buoyancy to its occupants. A boat should float on the surface, even if it is flooded, swamped, or has capsized. Ideally, the boat will stay upright, even if full of water, and will support its own weight plus the motors and occupants. This is referred to as level flotation.” They say that, even though there are other options, boat cavities “are best filled with closed-cell foam that is designed for marine use.”
This is something you can do yourself with Versi-Foam®. It’s definitely better than using “noodles” for boat flotation as some suggest. Closed cell foam is less susceptible than most other products to moisture intrusion. In case of leakage, closed cell foam absorbs less water than open cell foam. Our closed cell foam kits meet the U.S. Coast Guard’s specifications for marine flotation.