Airex Core

jnoon

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Curious if anyone still builds with Airex coring. I recently did a bit of poking around online after inquiring about a boat which had an airex cored hull. There is quite a bit of negative info out there. Does anyone have any first hand experience with it.

Water intrusion was not the concern, rather thermal breakdown or stress related breakdown of the material and possible delamination or distortion.
 

jnoon

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Ok, I wasn't even focusing on that issue. What is "old"? Did they change from an open cell, to a closed cell at some point? I was originally under the impression it would be a safer bet in a used hull than balsa coring. I'm not so sure about that anymore....
 

hntrss

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I never heard that airex would absorb water, closed cell foam i thought? I have been around and used quite a bit of corecell foam. If you can afford it, it is a great product to work with. I would definitely rather have an airex cored hull as opposed to balsa. Too many balsa nightmares
 

eyschulman

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As with everything there are pros and cons. The cored hull is lighter=faster more fuel efficent boat). core is better insulated( warmer dryer boat). Some builders core down to waterline then go solid trying to get the best of both. Any core can delaminate balsa if wet will rot. Intact cored boat is very stong and less likely to flex. All cored boats are harder to repair and insert fittings rails etc-must be very carefull about sealing any fittings or holes. Solid glass boats are usually heavy and damp inside. They can also get blisters like cored and can have lamination issues. No wood to rot but a bad case of blisters is like rot and can cost more to fix if extensive. Aluminum starts to sound good except it can be ugly in work boat very poular in North West and would do little for DE look. What about wood soaked in epoxy and sheathed in glass? If you keep water out it is maybe the best option. That option usually means a 0ne off boat no plugs and more costly to build. That is how my new boat is being built.
 

F/V First Team

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The cored hull is lighter
How do you figure that exactly? Pick up a box of core, it doesn't fly out of your hands and head to outer space, that stuff is heavy. Not only that, but it needs, NEEDS resin to impregnate it so it doesn't rot, that resin adds weight too.

Solid glass boats are usually heavy and damp inside.
If you have a damp hull, it's a ventilation issue, cored boats can have the same thing.

They can also get blisters like cored and can have lamination issues. No wood to rot but a bad case of blisters is like rot and can cost more to fix if extensive.
You guys always say blisters this, blisters that. I don't encounter them. Guess these downeast boats aren't your average Clorox bottle boats that are just tossed together on a whim. If you have a piss poor laminate there's a reason for that, lack of attention.

I've stated a comparison between a cored hull and a solid glass hull. Here's the link: http://downeastboatforum.com/downeast-boat-general-discussion/cored-hulls-3365-2.html#post29617
 
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jnoon

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A solid glass hull is also my first choice. When looking at used boats, there is clearly a difference in price in solid glass hulls, and cored hulls. I've looked at thousands of used boats, probably 10's of thousands online and the trend of cored hulls commanding a lower selling price is certainly a generalization, yet it is an undeniable trend. That is not to say that a balsa or possibly foam cored hull can not last indefinitely if constructed to extremely high standards and cared for properly. I don't want the Fortier(or any other well built cored boats) owners to get defensive.

The original question was specifically relating to airex, and if anyone has any firsthand knowledge of issues relating to delamination due to poor core adhesion, temperature related distortion, or any type of breakdown due to repetitive shock etc. My understanding is that Airex is closed cell foam, but I did read that water can migrate along kerf lines made to facilitate shaping of core material to curves,or any other possible voids. Obviously freezing can do further damage. The hull which got me thinking was a 25ish year old Airex cored Young Brothers
 
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