Reinstalling the flotation turned out to be a bit of a detour. Over the years, the custom-contoured blocks of Styrofoam fitted for the bow and stern had begun to crumble, victims of spinnaker poles javelined in the heat of battle and, apparently, some furry rodent who settled down for the winter with a hearty stash of acorns. I sanded off the dirt and flaking paint, and filled the cavities with spray-foam insulation. Sculpting the hardened insulation to match the contours of the flotation blocks turned out to be the most enjoyable part of the entire boat project. You can carve the foam with a serrated knife—borrowed from Mom's kitchen, of course—and you begin to feel like Michelangelo stripping away the parts that don't belong. After a few rounds of spraying foam and cutting away the excess, all the indentations were gone. I applied a few coats of latex house paint, and the flotation was ready for installation.