One of the issues with leaky buoyancy compartments is that you need to bail them out from time to time. This is a real hassle when they are filled with 40-year-old expanded polystyrene – the water comes out with lots of plastic bobbles in it. These need to be removed before the water can go over the side.
To avoid this hassle I’ve been removing the polystyrene from the buoyancy compartments. Issue here is that the blocks are much too big to go through the access hatches so they have to be cut up in-situ – not a pleasant job. However, I’ve now got all the accessible ones out.
There are still a few blocks left under the aft ends of the side seats but (a) I can’t get these out without major surgery and (b) they seem to be in good condition, so I’ve taken the decision to leave them in place.
I’ve replaced the polystyrene with plastic bottles. I’ve been saving them for a few months – there are now enough to keep the boat afloat but I’ll keep adding more until the compartment is full.