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Old 02-01-2012
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butyl tape issue

I ordered some butyl tape recently to seal some fittings on my boat. Problem is, it has a an unremovable thin plastic backing on one side. Can I still use this tape?

If I must order a new roll, one without that backing, does anyone have a link where I can get it? (I checked Amazon, but I can't tell if I will just be ordering the same one I ordered last time)
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Old 02-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
I ordered some butyl tape recently to seal some fittings on my boat. Problem is, it has a an unremovable thin plastic backing on one side. Can I still use this tape?

If I must order a new roll, one without that backing, does anyone have a link where I can get it? (I checked Amazon, but I can't tell if I will just be ordering the same one I ordered last time)
Peter,

You got the wrong stuff, probably the tape used in the construction industry to seal windows into window framing members. This won't work for you.

What you need to get is the stuff sold at RV supply stores, or if you want to order some on line, SN member MaineSail can hook you up with the right product.
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Old 02-01-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
I ordered some butyl tape recently to seal some fittings on my boat. Problem is, it has a an unremovable thin plastic backing on one side. Can I still use this tape?

If I must order a new roll, one without that backing, does anyone have a link where I can get it? (I checked Amazon, but I can't tell if I will just be ordering the same one I ordered last time)
That is very likely not a real "butyl" tape. It sounds like a mastic putty tape... There is a lot of "butyl tapes" out there, sold as "butyl tape", when in-fact it may not even be butyl at all. Much of it is not suitable for bedding deck hardware but you really have no way of knowing what you're getting.

You generally do not want an RV grade tape or a construction grade tape. While some "may work" many of them are nothing more than cheap mastic products loaded with fillers and thickeners and less butyl than you ideally want for longevity. I had one customer send me a roll he bought labeled as "butyl tape" that was WATER SOLUBLE!

Below is a link for a high quality butyl tape suitable for the marine environment. I sourced it because of issues identical to what you've just experienced..

Bed-It Butyl Tape
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-01-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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buyt tape

Maine Sail
Hi, ! I'm looking to rebed under the rub rail of the freeboard of our 42' vagabond ketch. this tape looks to thin. the original was black in color and thick. Do you know of a place to purchase this?
Many thanks
chuck
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Old 02-01-2012
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Maine Sail,
I bought some of this tape. It is excellent. A question though, what is the problem with the RV type for marine use?
Thanks
Richard
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Thanks for the quick responses, I will def be ordering a few rolls.

I will be re-bedding the aluminum toe rails, stanchions and chainplates in the spring. The toe rail is prob about 1.5 inches wide. It's a 25' boat. I might as well order enough for that project as well. I notice that the tape is 1/2 inch wide. How many rolls would I need for the toe rail? I'm thinking one 50' roll per rail, is that about right? (two 1/2 inch layers next to one another)
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A lot of builders used 1" wide butyl tape on deck joint/toe rails. If you are doubling up on 1/2" to make the inch butt joint it to be 1" rather than leaving a gap - reducing bolt hole leak risk.
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Old 02-01-2012
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Originally Posted by rrh View Post
Maine Sail,
I bought some of this tape. It is excellent. A question though, what is the problem with the RV type for marine use?
Thanks
Richard
The quality and consistency can be all over the map so it sort of becomes like going to Vegas. Some may be suitable, while others are just pure junk and may not even be "butyl" at all. The range of product I have seen called "butyl tape" is simply stunning. All the way from excellent quality to stuff that literally melts in water...

I guess it would be the same as asking; "Why can't I just use a polyurethane caulk from Wal*Mart instead of Sikaflex, Boat Life or 3M 4200, its all polyurethane?" Not all polyurethane sealants are made the same and not all butyl tapes are made the same.

"Butyl tape" is a very, very broad spectrum generic term like "sailboat".. "Why can't I race in the America's cup in my Pearson Triton, it's a sailboat?" You can't because within the term sailboat there are different types, just as with "butyl tape"..

RV tape is often a gummier, if that is a word, wetter, more solventy, and has more "fillers" in it as opposed to virgin butyl. This can make its ability to stretch, when pressed very thin between a deck and hardware, difficult without a failure. RV tape is generally less dense and less consistent in its extrusion/mix too. This is because it does not have to pass any sort of "industry standard" for quality, consistency, density or other measures.

Much of the tape sold as a butyl tape is not even butyl tape but a "putty tape" and some of it, sold as butyl, may even be water soluble.

While you may get lucky, I have many customers who bough elsewhere first then bought Bed-It Tape and were amazed at the difference.

Here's a few shots of a customers RV tape:

Image courtesy Triton106


This is a high filler content tape very typical of RV tape. Instead of stretching it tears and fails..

This is what Bed-It Tape can do...




And here's a comment about the differences;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triton106
I received my order from Maine Sail today for three rolls of Bed-it Tape. I could not wait to see the difference between that and the (brand name removed) butyl tape I ordered from (vendor removed). I cut a 2 inch piece from one of the rolls and stretched it horizontally as far as I could and it clearly is far more stretchy than the (manufacturer removed) tape. I also noticed that the texture of the tape is a lot finer than the other tape.
I am not out to publicly malign other products, just to show there are differences, so have removed the vendor and manufacturer. If you want to try and save money I say go for it, you may get lucky. I like to save where I can too. Bed-It Tape is not the least expensive product you'll find but also not the most but it is a good quality without any guesswork involved.


Hope this helps...
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-01-2012 at 01:25 PM.
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Back before Maine was offering the Bed-it tape, I bought the cheap stuff (which wasn't really any cheaper cost-wise than the Bed-it), not realizing there was any difference. When I started working with the stuff I ordered, I got to thinking all the people talking about how flexible and long lasting butyl tape was must be crazy. Luckily I didn't get that far with my rebedding project and plan to start over again in the spring using better quality products.
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Maine Sail,
Again, thanks for the reply and explanation. As I said, I bought a couple of rolls of the Bed-It tape. I am in the process of going through my Watkins 23 for a major overhaul. As I go, every deck fitting is getting this treatment. Glad I found out about it. The differences you noted are consistent with what I saw in the Bed-It and RV tape (I did use the RV stuff on the RV). Now I better see the importance of the difference. Thanks again!
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