Marinair Ltd. : multiproducts

Floatation Safety Products 

& Applications

                New boat too expensive?

                         Try upgrading the one you have!

Our current  products are:    

Floatfoam™ white closed cell foam blocks, sizes 24” x 25” x 1” or 2” or 3” or 4” thick   =

60 cm x 62 cm x 2.5 cm or 5 cm or 7.5 cm or 10 cm thick.

Also:  billets 2 ft x 4 ft x 8" thick = 60 cm x 120 cm x 15 cm thick

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Could this boat have been saved by FLOATFOAM ?


Internal applications:

FLOATFOAM 25”x18”x4” sectors, captured inside boat hull.  Inside deck support are bonded scrap FLOATFOAM pieces for boat buoyancy if capsized.

See also photo and article "Hitting A Foam Run" in INFORMATIVE section of website.


Floatfoam™sections outside hull, serving as Floatation elements, Bumpers (replaceable), Splash guards, and boat Stabilizers (for rough waters):

View from front.

Side view:

Note: made in 2 ft sections, combining 4" and 2" thicknesses, for easy replacement.

Another side view, repainted:


Safety Floatation devices:

Floatfoam™ 24”x25”x3” block with 15”x17” oval hole (plug) and connection ties, painted

safety orange, ready to be tossed to person overboard.  Better yet would be  4” thick.


  Rafts: Three blocks as described above, with loose ties and long safety rope, ready to serve as a one to three person raft.  Each has plug in hole, ready to be extracted with a simple punch.


The three part raft, folded, with ties, shown without safety rope.  Stow to aid boat floatation.


Seat shown unpainted with plug inserted.   Without plug, can be used as arm support for overboard person.  Plug can be inserted under shirt for additional support & insulation.

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Floatfoam™ advantages:

  • Cuts, works easier, resists disintegration much better than PolyStyrene packaging material (PS), and is both stronger and tougher.
  • FLOATFOAM is not brittle as PolyUrethane (PU) foam is, NOT a mess to clean as is PU poured in place, and is of consistent density.
  • FLOATFOAM assembles neatly, is rustproof, absorbs vibration, deadens noise, insulates, isolates, not brittle, and is both stiff and resilient.  FLOATFOAM can be used wherever polystyrene was allowed, with better results.  Follow the USCG instructions in the Boater's Handbook for polystyrene.
  • Unpainted FLOATFOAM sponges up gasoline from spills,  whereas PS instantly dissolves in it.
  • FLOATFOAM-A of 1.5 #/cuft will support 976 kg/cumeter = 61 lb/cuft, i.e.
  • a volume of FLOATFOAM-A of 1 cuft will float 61 lbs of external weight.
  • Calculate the net maximal floatation based on 976 kg/cumeter = 61 lb/cuft of FLOATFOAM-A, i.e.
  • a volume of 1 cuft of FLOATFOAM-A of 1.5 #/cuft will support up to 61 lbs of external weight:
    25” x 24” x 1” weighs .5 lb, will support 21 lbs;
    25” x 24” x 2” weighs 1 lb, will support 42 lbs;
    25” x 24” x 3” weighs 1.5 lbs, will support 63 lbs;
    25” x 24” x 4” weighs 2 lbs, will support 84 lbs.
  • a volume of 1 cumeter of FLOATFOAM-A of 16 kg/cum will support up to 27.5 kg of external weight:    62cm x 60cm x 2.5cm weighs .23 kg, will support 9.5 kg;
    62cm x 60cm x 5cm weighs .46 kg, will support 19 kg;
    62cm x 60 cm x 7.5cm weighs .68 kg, will support 28.5 kg;
    62cm x 60 cm x 10cm weighs .92 kg, will support 38 kg.

Special orders:  larger blocks, greater thickness, different grades, quantity discounts.





Sail & Motorboats:

Make your boat unsinkable even if rammed, by using FLOATFOAM™.

  • Double duty the boat’s floatation aids, to Safety Aids for people overboard
  • Reduce noise
  • Reduce heat losses
  • Reduce damage to panels and bulkheads from unsecured materials
  • Reduce injuries from being tossed onto bulkheads
  • Eliminate contact with cold surfaces.
  • Bond or tape to items you would rather not be lost at sea



Comply with US law and save lives by using FLOATFOAM to make your craft unsinkable.



  • Pad bulkheads and hull to reduce energy loss, using FLOATFOAM
  • Pad bulkheads and hull to reduce injuries
  • Pad bulkheads and hull to reduce noise
  • Pad bulkheads and hull to reduce recurrent painting
  • Replace heavy furniture with items made of sturdy, lightweight, floatable FLOATFOAM

Connect (9) slabs 4” thick together loosely to make a 3 person square raft (three units of three blocks as shown above);  cover with tarp for more comfort.


Protect your home with FLOATFOAM:

  • Isolate all vibrating appliances from floor  using FLOATFOAM
  • Protect your windows from vandals, wind, hail and storms with FLOATFOAM


Make floating and semifloating swim aids for children, floating tables and chairs/recliners, of FLOATFOAM.


Save lives by adding FLOATFOAM externally to basket for water landings and crashes.

Lightweight aircraft:

Add rigidity and floatability with FLOATFOAM.


Keep your craft afloat in  water landings using FLOATFOAM.

Model airplanes:

Add FLOATFOAM to your array of strong, lightweight materials.

Artist and hobbyist:               

Express ideas and skills, with FLOATFOAM.


Protect your building walls and partitions and machinery with impact absorbing FLOATFOAM.


Evaluate using FLOATFOAM to reduce building weight.

Modelmaking using FLOATFOAM.


Vehicles builder:

Improve crashworthiness, and improve mpg by reducing vehicle weight, by strategic use of FLOATFOAM.  However, test and engineer carefully!!



Review properties of FLOATFOAM to improve your designs and products.


Exploit lightweight and easy-to-work-with FLOATFOAM.

Hospitals designer:

Review properties of FLOATFOAM for panel hallways & reduced painting maintenance.


Use FLOATFOAM to make insulated, lightweight structures and habitats and igloos (arctic or tropical) and truck roofs/panels, paintable for camouflage;  to isolate noisy and vibrating equipment;  to shield from wind, sun, trench caveins (esp. in sand), tunnels, etc.;  create dummy vehicles and installations;  instant rafts;  extremely lightweight furniture, field clinics;  more, MUCH more!

 Floatfoam™ -A: Description & Properties

Is NOT polystyrene (PS, common in hot cups and packing materials).  It is both a much tougher and stronger material.  See #18 for a technique to tell the difference.


Comparison between PS and FLOATFOAM-A :

PS shreds/crumbs easily

FLOATFOAM-A does not shred/crumb easily

PS difficult to cut smoothly

FLOATFOAM-A cuts easily

PS dissolves in gasoline, fast

FLOATFOAM-A only softens in gasoline, but soaks it up

PS is less strong

FLOATFOAM-A is stronger

PS is less tough

FLOATFOAM-A is tougher

 FLOATFOAM-A is also NOT polyurethane (PU, a common foaming material).  It is both tougher and stronger, and less brittle than PU.

Also:  PU is applied by foam-in-place liquids into fully closed cavities, with foam always escaping from air-vent holes.  The foam is extremely adhesive in both semi cured and fully cured forms, and once landing on cloth, the cloth cannot be cleaned.  Though a cured blob of foam can be very easily broken off, the remnant material in touch with the canister will be difficult to remove.  Within the cavity the density of material, usually nominally 2 lb/cuft, is not uniform, i.e. will vary from place to place.  Note that 2 lb/cuft is 33% more than the density of FLOATFOAM-A of 1.5 lb/cuft.  This means that for the same floatation results, FLOATFOAM-A is much more efficient, uniform, does not need closed cavities, performs multiple tasks, and is much less messy.  Also, if a hull is breached and the PU is smashed, it will absorb a measure of water, whereas FLOATFOAM-A will remain dry.

For information on how to calculate how much floatation foam your boat needs, please see the USCG BOATBUILDER’S HANDBOOK [REVISED NOVEMBER, 2003]
Title 33 CFR, Sections 183.101–183.335
( )

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Floatfoam-A blocks:

available sizes:  approximately 25” x 24” x 1”, 2”, 3”, and 4” thick, i.e.

62 cm x 60 cm x 2.5 cm or 5 cm or 7.5 cm or 10 cm thick.  Color: white.

Available density:  1.5 lb/cuft.  By special order also:  2 lb/cuft.  Samples available on request.

[  tolerances on thickness +- 1/16" (+- 2 mm);  on width and length +0, -5/8" (+0, -16 mm) ]

For “How To Work” please see endnotes.  Note multiple purpose applications:


Marine Applications:

1.                 Floatation support for boats, loosely captured along the inside of hulls, doubling as personal life-savers (rectangular “rings”).

2.                 Floatation support for boats, captured inside boat cavities, doubling as personal life-savers.

3.                 For floatation of deflated inflatables, captured inside vessel pockets, preferably underdeck.

4.                 Can replace cork and wood and hollow shells for floatation aids.

6.                Noise and vibration dampeners, when affixed to structural panels.  Works better when epoxied to panels, but will work even if placed loosely.

7.                Inside boats, will absorb shocks, protect hulls, panels, bulkheads and people bashing into them.  FLOATFOAM-A 1” thick might suffice for these applications.

8.                 Seating and back supports.

9.                 Casings for, or bonded to, tools or other heavy items that otherwise will sink.

10.             Coolers, built-in or transportable.

11.             Swimming training aids.

12.             Decorative uses.

13.            Items (e.g. straps, ropes, tools) can be attached to FLOATFOAM-A using deep thread anchors and screws available from Marinair Ltd.

14.             For external use (bumpers), this version of FLOATFOAM-A is recommended only if inside a retaining bag.  For bare FLOATFOAM bumpers, even stronger and tougher versions are available.

15.             Unpainted FLOATFOAM-A will repel water but selectively sponge up gasoline spilled in boat or on water, but soften in the process.  Encasing is necessary if sponging effect is not desired. 

16.            Will work inside engine compartments, but encasing is necessary, as cleanup of petroleum spills from bare FLOATFOAM-A is not possible.

17.             Recommendation:  for visibility, paint FLOATFOAM-A with marine safety orange paint for lobster bouys.  This will also protect the material from UV.  For stronger paint adherence please ask us for a special undercoat paint we developed, and have available in very small quantities.

18.             If unsure whether the material is FLOATFOAM or PS, immerse a small sample into a glass jar containing about ½” (1 cm) of gasoline.  If the material dissolves immediately it is not FLOATFOAM (it is probably PS).  If it survives intact for longer (hours or days), it is definitely not PS.


Non marine Applications:  AIRBORNE CRAFT

19.             Floatation blocks for balloon baskets, for water landings.

20.             Lightweight stiffeners for ultralights, recommended only for non-load- carrying uses other than floatation elements.  If used as a force loaded member, test before using.  If in doubt, brace!

21.             Glider and aircraft parts – non-load-carrying unless tested.  May be used as water displacing floatation elements to prevent craft sinking in water.

22.            Model airplanes – may be load carrying but must be tested before relying on the material.  In some cases bracing may be necessary.  If used as replacement for PS, the result will be a stronger and tougher end item.


Land Applications:

23.             Anti-vibration supports for home washers & driers.

24.             Vibration and noise diminishers for light machine tools and vibrating equipment.

25.             Arts & Crafts material.

26.             Tools organizers.

27.             Science projects.

28.             Architectural models.

29.          Windows protectors for storms, hail, wind, hurricanes, vandalism, vacant houses, etc.

30.          Buildings & sheds:  hollow wall insulation, on experimental basis (is NOT fire resistant).

31.           Garden plot supports and delineators.

32.          Theatre scenery.

33.           Furniture, e.g. beds without mattresses, lightweight desktops & panels.


34.           Mannikins (by special order).


35.          Parade floats.


36.          Sports decoratives and exercise devices (e.g. impact absorbing):

Fencing -  targets for lunging and point control excercises,  understrip support; 

Archery – targets;

Swimming – learning aids;

Pools – safety aids;

Trampolines & Gymnastics – semisoft landing pads;  Bicycling – lightweight trailers.



Suggested Military Applications:

 Use FLOATFOAM to make insulated, lightweight structures and habitats and igloos (both polar and tropical) and truck roofs/panels, paintable for camouflage;  to isolate noisy and vibrating equipment;  to shield from wind, sun, trench caveins (esp. in sand), tunnels, etc.;  create dummy decoy vehicles and installations;  ultralightweight furniture, desks, beds, medical facilities;  more, MUCH more!


NOTE:  Marinair Ltd. will be grateful for additional application ideas.  The better ones we will feature on our website, with attribution. 


“How to work” suggestions:

1.     Using a thin knife, do repeated cuts using a guide or template, to depths of 1/2” (1 cm) per cut, to ensure smoother surfaces.  Be sure to always cut perpendicular to the block surface.  When cold knife-cutting a hole in the FLOATFOAM-A block, the plug can be reinserted into the hole for easy extraction, and remain there due to the friction from the unsmooth surfaces.

2.     Using a toothless, unheated sharp band blade and a band sawing machine, good surfaces can be created.

3.     Hot Wire or Hot Knife or Hot Cookie Cutter techniques create very good surfaces but plugs may not self-retain in the holes.  Example of technique, to create a round hole and plug:  use a thin walled clean can without ripples, remove paper, cut off the thick rim and remove burrs, heat edge with propane or oxyacetylene torch or on hot plate to less than red-hot, hold other end of can with insulating mitten, and press hot end onto the block surface.  If not through on first press, reheat and do again.

4.     If gap is thin, paint or coat plug with wood filler or other thick agent and let cure outside of hole.  After curing the plug will probably tight fit in hole.

5.     If coating is not advisable, for a plug to swell immerse it in boiling water for approximately one minute;  the surface of the FLOATFOAM plug will swell somewhat.

6.     Using saws or blades with teeth is not recommended, especially when teeth are offset from blade plane.  The surfaces generated are very rough.

7.     Painting: we have been successful in using orange lobster buoy paint.  Please see #17 above.


8.  Bonds readily with many adhesives including marine epoxies.  Please test bonding on small pieces first.

9.     Contact Marinair Ltd. by e-mail for any questions:



A.               All potential applications & techniques including all above, require testing and study.  Marinair Ltd. will not take responsibility for any application or technique, mentioned or not in our publications, without a formal engineering and safety study by Marinair Ltd.

B.                For larger quantities of material, not shrink packaged, please contact Marinair Ltd. directly.  Larger quantities are discounted.

C.               For special shapes requiring molding forms or large volumes, please contact Marinair Ltd. directly.

D.               For Composite Materials uses, please contact Marinair Ltd. directly.





The products offered by Marinair Ltd. were developed by R&DA Co.,