Sealing around speaker: Butyl tape or caulk? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-18-2011 Thread Starter
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Sealing around speaker: Butyl tape or caulk?

I have a little topside leak that I want to plug. I've traced the leak to a poor exterior speaker installation by a prior owner. It's a Sony marine speaker that is glued in place by 5200 (I think) onto a coaming that is directly exposed to rainwater. On the starboard side it's water tight. On the port side, though, it leaks every time it rains. I went below and can see that there is sunlight passing through one part of the hole in the fiberglass at the bottom of the speaker. It appears that he did not use enough caulk to get a complete seal. So rainwater comes right through the grill and then seeps between the fiberglass and the speaker.

Because 5200 is so tough, I do not want to remove the speaker. It will almost certainly destroy the grill, the speaker, and possibly the fiberglass too. I want to reach back behind the speaker and slap some sealant into the void. If that does not work, then I'll have to risk removing it.

I basically have two choices - either squirt some 3M Marine Silicone in there, or take some butyl tape and roll it into a tubular shape and mash it into the void space.

Which would you guys suggest?


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post #2 of 16 Old 04-18-2011
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Caulk.

Butyl is good stuff, but really only works if you can get clean surfaces and then bolt them together as though it were a gasket.

(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-18-2011
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I agree butyl tape is most likely not going to work. Silicone might, but it's reputation for contaminating the surface so nothing else ever works again has been well discussd on this site. I have tried to fix leaks with stop gap measures on my boat in the past and it never worked.

Compared to other boat stuff a speaker is cheep. If it is 5200 it might be best to destroy the speaker in such a way that the outer ring and bulkead is intact. You could then grind down the 5200 to the original surface and put in a new speaker using a proper sealent or butyl. I that fails then it might be easy to just cut the whole thing out and put in a bigger speaker. This may sound exteme, but my limited experience with 5200 has convinced me to not even have a tube of it near the boat.
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Rick use 4200
http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawe...400-5507-1.pdf

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post #5 of 16 Old 04-18-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baboon View Post
I agree butyl tape is most likely not going to work. Silicone might, but it's reputation for contaminating the surface so nothing else ever works again has been well discussd on this site. I have tried to fix leaks with stop gap measures on my boat in the past and it never worked.

Compared to other boat stuff a speaker is cheep. If it is 5200 it might be best to destroy the speaker in such a way that the outer ring and bulkead is intact. You could then grind down the 5200 to the original surface and put in a new speaker using a proper sealent or butyl. I that fails then it might be easy to just cut the whole thing out and put in a bigger speaker. This may sound exteme, but my limited experience with 5200 has convinced me to not even have a tube of it near the boat.
Sorry, there are details that are just too time consuming to type out. Your suggestion will not work for me. It appears that the previous owner already enlarged a prior speaker, to the point where these speakers are as large as the available flat space. Going bigger is therefore not an option, and the risk of damaging the fiberglass by taking out the current speakers is too great. I will have to try a "stopgap" measure and hope it works.

I've got some leftover 4200 in the fridge, so if it is still good I will try that.


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post #6 of 16 Old 04-18-2011
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Good luck, sorry things are too difficult to get at it another way. I have used dental syringes (the type they give you to rinse a socket once a tooth is pulled) to get thick stuff into tight spots. I have even been able to use them with thickened epoxy, so inecting 4200 with one might work. I have also tried using a standard syringe with a big metal needle (14 g) but that did not work out too well.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sealing around speaker: Butyl tape or caulk?

It's time to reactivate this thread. Using 4200 to seal the speaker from behind last year did significantly reduce the amount of water leaking in, but did not completely eliminate it. For the past year I've taped plastic film over this speaker, but now I want to fix it.

The speaker grills have the Polyplanar logo, and after doing further research on their website I believe that the grills are integrated with the speakers. So just removing the grill is not an option. And removing the whole speaker/grill assembly really isn't an option at this point because I think the previous owner may have used 5200 to glue the speakers in.

Upon closer inspection it appears that there is incomplete bedding around the speaker grill. There are a couple of areas where there is clearly a gap of about a millimeter between the fiberglass and outside edge of the grill plastic.

I think the logical next step is to put a thin bead of caulk to plug these gaps around the outside edge of the speaker grill. I have some 3M marine silicone that I really do not like to use, but it's the only stuff that I know of the flows easily enough to penetrate the 1 mm cracks from above, and is also UV resistant. Plus, I can use a damp towel to wipe away excess (unlike polyurethane) and make the bead as narrow and inconspicuous as possible. I had used this same 3M silicone to plug the unused screw holes (through which a lot of water was leaking) two years ago, and it has held up well, stayed white and flexible, and maintained its seal in those spots.

Can anyone suggest a better caulk material that has UV stability and easy flow to penetrate a crack? Would an acrylic caulk be better? FYI, these cracks are too wide for Captain Tolley's to fill.


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post #8 of 16 Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sealing around speaker: Butyl tape or caulk?

Why not use a razor to cut the sealant from under the grill? Then re-bed with butyl.

Tim R.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-17-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sealing around speaker: Butyl tape or caulk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by treilley View Post
Why not use a razor to cut the sealant from under the grill? Then re-bed with butyl.
Removing the grill is not feasible, for the reasons I stated above.


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post #10 of 16 Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sealing around speaker: Butyl tape or caulk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I have a little topside leak that I want to plug. I've traced the leak to a poor exterior speaker installation by a prior owner. It's a Sony marine speaker that is glued in place by 5200 (I think) onto a coaming that is directly exposed to rainwater. On the starboard side it's water tight. On the port side, though, it leaks every time it rains. I went below and can see that there is sunlight passing through one part of the hole in the fiberglass at the bottom of the speaker. It appears that he did not use enough caulk to get a complete seal. So rainwater comes right through the grill and then seeps between the fiberglass and the speaker.

Because 5200 is so tough, I do not want to remove the speaker. It will almost certainly destroy the grill, the speaker, and possibly the fiberglass too. I want to reach back behind the speaker and slap some sealant into the void. If that does not work, then I'll have to risk removing it.

I basically have two choices - either squirt some 3M Marine Silicone in there, or take some butyl tape and roll it into a tubular shape and mash it into the void space.

Which would you guys suggest?
TakeFive,

(Sorry, I did not see your quote on Captain Trolley before I posted)

You might want to try this product first. Less invasive and works.

Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure


I had several Port Lights leaking. I used Captain Trolley and it sealed them up
perfectly.

Regards

Bill

Last edited by wmmulvey; 09-17-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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