Missing flotation styrofoam

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PrairieMoon
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:41 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Omaha Nebraska

Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by PrairieMoon » Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:50 am

Just traded my Hobie 18 catamaran for a 1995 Mac 26S, and am looking forward to a whole new lifestyle. Sticking my head into the access ports, I noticed a lot of styrofoam crumbs. Then I remembered reading that this boat came with styrofoam flotation built in. Welp, it's gone now, and I don't know what it ever looked like.
So grateful for you all sharing your experienced opinions. Is it worth replacing the flotation, or should I skip it? Landlocked in Nebraska, there isn't much big water around.

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Russ
Admiral
Posts: 6514
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi

Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by Russ » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:08 am

Welcome to the forum and Mac ownership. Newest member buys pizza. :)

Quite a change from a Hobie cat.

Macgregor stuffed styrofoam EVERYWHERE. I'm not sure where on the S, but on the M it's tucked into any unusable space, including the forward V-berth center compartment. It's found between headliner and the deck. The factory just used scraps. Nothing special. Just scraps they stuffed into cavities.

I've never owned a boat that I didn't expect to sink if I put a hole in it. This "unsinkable" feature sounds nice, but I personally wouldn't depend much on it.

Many owners remove the foam, especially in places where storage is needed.
It's up to you.
You can save every piece of styrofoam from stuffs you buy and look for places to cram it into the boat's cavities, that would be the way to go.

Also, if you haven't already, head over to the Resources tab and download the manual for your boat
https://www.macgregorsailors.com/resources.html
--Russ

BillyBobV
Just Enlisted
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:52 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S

Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by BillyBobV » Mon Oct 18, 2021 1:25 pm

I have a 1991 26S and the foam looks like chunks of cheap icechest/cooler styrofoam. On mine it's between the liner and deck in the overhead area. It was a one owner boat before I bought it and have no reason to think the previous owner reduced the amount of foam in it.
FWIW

Cheers
Bill V
Areion
1991 26S

chipveres
Engineer
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:53 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 22
Location: Dania, FL

Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by chipveres » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:18 pm

My Mac 22 came with four blocks of Styrofoam under the cockpit. Each block is a foot square and three feet long. The area under the v-berth is stuffed with scrap Styro. I didn't see any need to remove it so it is still there.

Chip V.
S/V Sand Dollar

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Stickinthemud57
Chief Steward
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Grapevine, TX
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Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by Stickinthemud57 » Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:24 am

Echoing what others have said. Blocks of scrap styrofoam in the area above the galley, recess above the V-berths, in the bulkhead, and virtually anywhere it can be stuffed.

The styrofoam is supposedly essential to maintain the "un-sinkable" feature of this boat. It is designed to be self-righting, but without the extra flotation from the styrofoam is more likely to sink should it become completely swamped.

JeffJuneau
Engineer
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:37 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Juneau, Alaska

Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by JeffJuneau » Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:05 am

Does anyone know if the Styrofoam in our Macs has been treated with any sort of flame retardant? I realize that some other boats have foamed in place areas, but aren't loose Styrofoam pieces like this quite flammable?

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Russ
Admiral
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi

Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by Russ » Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:06 am

JeffJuneau wrote:
Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:05 am
Does anyone know if the Styrofoam in our Macs has been treated with any sort of flame retardant? I realize that some other boats have foamed in place areas, but aren't loose Styrofoam pieces like this quite flammable?
That would add a lot of cost and we know these boats were made at an affordable price point.
Frankly, fiberglass resin is quite flammable by itself. The fact that the foam all appear to be leftover scrap, I seriously doubt it is treated for fire retardant.
--Russ

bubby-joe
Deckhand
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:58 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: Kitimat

Re: Missing flotation styrofoam

Post by bubby-joe » Thu Oct 28, 2021 10:07 am

I'd like to make a suggestion, the flat packs from the meat department come in different sizes, wash save and tape into bundles to add to areas where the flotation has broken down. Remember removing it could be bad for you or your loved ones. Better safe than the option, the water I sail in the water temp will probable kill me before I could reach shore as I have the glide ratio of a very large rock in the water. Just a thought stay safe don't take the risk if you can avoid it. I'd be more concerned with off gassing in the event of a fire stay up wind or get off if you can boats that burn most times stop at the water line.

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