Do pool noodles ever get soggy...

and lose buoyancy? Even if submerged for a few days?

they degrade with uv exposure as well.

(overcooked pasta in Italian) :wink:

Pool noodles are made of ethafoam, which is the same stuff many boat makers use for supplemental floatation in the bow and stearn. It’s cheaper than minicel and, as long as you’re not using it as a waterproof bulkhead, works just as well. This is straight from DOW’s website:

The US and Canadian Coast Guards approve flotation materials for use in Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) via the Component Recognition programs of Underwriters’ Laboratories and Underwriters’ Laboratories Canada, under UL 1191.

Although most ETHAFOAM™ brand foam products will meet the UL 1191 requirements, the only product in the line of ETHAFOAM products for which this certification currently is maintained is ETHAFOAM 221 sheet polyethylene foam.

This means that ETHAFOAM products meet the requirements of this rigorous testing procedure, and that ETHAFOAM 220 and ETHAFOAM 50 products are suitable buoyancy materials for use in buoyancy collar and life jacket applications.

…Hope this helps.


Pulled a pool noodle used as a catfish
jug out of the brush a week ago. It had been in the water for two years…dated as required by law. While water logged, it still floated after it dried. The weather and waves had worn it down a bit.

If they did there wouldn’t be so many of them floating in and around the Florida off shore Keys.




– Last Updated: Jun-05-08 3:49 PM EST –

Thanks. I'm trying to decide whether to make an outrigger or a pair of sponsons for stability while fishing, and what to make them out of. I might use noodle just for testing, then I think I'll use foam and fiberglass once I find a design I like.

Sounds like a good inexpensive plan
to me.

I would persue it.

Now if only you could luck out like I did at the end of last season when I bought a close out box of them (about 20) for a nickle a piece at Wally world.

I use them for setting the boats on home made cradles and racks.



Noodles NOT Ethafoam
Closed-cell polyethylene foam is produced by various mfrs. to differing specs. Pool noodles started out as ‘backer rods’ for filling gaps in lage-scale construction expansion joints. The cheapie ones sold in discount toy stores are not UV stabile and will break down eventually. Ethafoam is a Dow product manufactured to close specifications and is, generally, a high quality and expensive product available in different specialized grades.

I was wondering what to pad the BHC
with on the rack.

We’ve had’em on the crossbars on the various roof racks to cushion the boats. Just strapped the boats face-down directly on the noodle-clad racks, and never had a water problem. But down here, the South Florida sun eventually catches up with them, and they get kind of fuzzy & gnarly and rather ugly from the near0incessant sunlight-induced UV degradation.

And no, they ain’t sure as heck worth spraying with 303…

And as Jack noted, they make fine cushions for the support arms for boat racks -we even got a pair from his truckload and happily used them on the roof rack…

…even tho’ they were (sort of) yellow…


Side benefits of roof rack applications include drastic (good) reduction in rack wind howl, and increased findability in mall parking lots.

They’re a great way to augment the rack -on the car or at home -when you tote or store the boats you


-Frank in Miami