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weephee 03-29-2010 10:58 AM

Sealing Thru Deck Hardware
I am embarassed to even ask this question but it is very important to me. I have started removing some of the hardware on my deck that is leaking. One piece in particular is the chain plate opening. I have sealed around it with no problem but there is a cover plate with 2 bolts securing it. The cover plate is cosmetic and does not need to be sealed but how do I seal the bolt holes. If I apply sealant to the holes and then insert the bolts, I have basically pushed all the sealant out of the holes and ended up with sealant all over the threaded part of the bolts. I know this seems like a basic silly question, but I need to be assured everything is properly sealed. Is there a trick to sealing thru bolt holes. Perhaps I should use rubber grommets? Thanks

jrd22 03-29-2010 11:43 AM

Bolts (threads,nuts) or screws that just go into fiberglas? If your deck is cored with balsa you will need to pot the holes with thickened epoxy. There should be an excellent post here on how to do all of this by MaineSail, might be a sticky in maintenance. Do a search, should be able to find it.

weephee 03-29-2010 01:55 PM

Thanks jrd22. It sounds like Butyl tape is the answer. Only question is what thickness do I want. I will ask that on another topic. Thanks again

mackconsult 03-29-2010 01:56 PM

Use 5200, although getting things back off after using this can be very difficult.

PorFin 03-29-2010 02:02 PM


Originally Posted by mackconsult (Post 586788)
Use 5200, although getting things back off after using this can be very difficult.

This qualifies as an understatement. With all due respect to Mack, 5200 is a poor choice. Butyl tape is likely the best option. As with most jobs, proper prep is important.

Maine Sail's step-by-step pictorial is exceptional -- check it out.

weephee 03-29-2010 02:26 PM

Great Porfin. Where do I find Main Sails step by step. Thanks

sailingdog 03-29-2010 02:58 PM

The trick is to countersink the fastener holes slightly. This allows some sealant to form a nice little o-ring.. :D The holes should be properly potted, as seen on Maine Sail's photo site.

weephee 03-29-2010 03:10 PM

Thank you Sailingdog. I appreciate your help.

weephee 03-29-2010 07:12 PM

Hopefully just one last question on this. I found a supplier of Butyl tape at a nearby RV park. Do I want the 1 inch wide x 1/4 inch thick tape or the smaller, thinner 1/2 inch wide x 1/8 inch thick.
Thanks again

Maine Sail 03-29-2010 07:41 PM

You want as thin as you can get. I find 1/2" X 1/8" is the one I use most. 1" X 1/8" would also be good..

Oh and use gray or white not black...

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