Aluminum Canoe Foam Falling Apart

Hi all,

I am looking for a little advice. I recently purchased a used T-15 Michicraft aluminum canoe. After my first trip out in it I noticed that there were some decaying leaves that had made their way into the bulkhead and were making a nasty brown “tea” in the bottom of the canoe. I sprayed the ends out with a garden hose and noticed that the styrofoam ballast was starting to come apart.

Short of opening up the ends of the canoe do I have options for repairing my problem? I used to install windows and used an expanding, closed cell foam that might seal up bulkheads if shot into the gaps of the end caps. Would something like that work or should I just replace all the foam in the canoe?

Open it up and replace foam
According to a lot of people here, foam that comes from a spray can is able to absorb a lot of water. Even ignoring the reduced effectiveness of the flotation, you wouldn’t want to be lugging around all that extra weight. Best thing is to open up that compartment, trim a new block of foam to fit, and close it up again.

Bear in mind the foam may not be in as bad a condition as flecks of material coming out might suggest. It may just be some surface loss. However, carpenter ants like to nest in that stuff, and if they have filled it with chambers and tunnels, the material’s condition could be pretty bad.