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Telstar 28
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It isn't strong enough to work with plastic ports that are frameless, which shouldn't be screwed or through-bolted to the cabintop, due to thermal expansion issues.
For port lights, I think butyl tape is perfect as it forms a nice flexible gasket. I see no difference if the frame is metal or plastic as far as butyl tape is concerned.
 

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Stuff under the water line, through-hulls near the water line, and anything that may be exposed to significant amounts of fuel, like the diesel deck fill, should also not be bedded using Butyl, since butyl dissolves in petroleum products.
So what is the preferred sealant for through-hulls?
 

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Polyurethanes like Sika 291, 3M 4200 or a Polysulfide like Boat Life Life Calk..
Thanks MS

Since the boat stores all carry 4200 and do not carry butyl for small jobs what it the biggest downside to using 4200 for deck bedding in a pinch?
I know it cures so you have to get the part bolted down before it drys.
 
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Glad I found Sailnet
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Thanks MS

Since the boat stores all carry 4200 and do not carry butyl for small jobs what it the biggest downside to using 4200 for deck bedding in a pinch?
I know it cures so you have to get the part bolted down before it drys.

David,

I just got a big roll in the mail. You want some of it?

Regards,
Brad
 

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Thanks MS

Since the boat stores all carry 4200 and do not carry butyl for small jobs what it the biggest downside to using 4200 for deck bedding in a pinch?
I know it cures so you have to get the part bolted down before it drys.
David,

4200 is the product I usually use too. I know it's good at what it does, but I hate the mess it can make if you're not really careful. And also the problems/cleanup it creates if you need to remove hardware. Too bad the chandleries don't make butyl tape available.
 

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My experience with butyl tape - sticky and messy!

Last season I bedeed my traveler track, along with other stuff, with butyl tape. I made a few mistakes and caused myself some problems, which I am now fixing. :(

First, I ran the butyl tape all along the bottom of the track, which was not necessary. At the time I figured "why not?" Here is why. After the traveler was fully tightened, I removed the excess oozed tape, but I could not get it all. Some spots were hard to access, because of where my traveler is mounted, but other spots that were accessible still always had a very small bead of the tape there.

During the season, it remained sticky, and collected all kinds of dirt and junk. This dirt and junk then got into the traveler cars ball bearings, which of course screwed up the operation of the traveler. I just learned all this the other day, when I removed the damaged traveler from the boat to repair it.

I may go with a marine sealant that cures and so does not remain sticky when it goes back, but I may also use butyl tape again. If i do, it will go only where the holes are. I'll probably use less of it and maybe not put to across the full width of the track.

The upside was that it didn't leak even a drop, which is why I am considering using it again. I am thinking its better for chain plates, cleats and such, and less so for tracks that have things rolling across them.
 

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Telstar 28
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Jarcher—

Butyl tape is fine for tracks, but you do need to remove the excess properly.

I wouldn't recommend doing just the fastener holes, as that can lead to water collecting under the traveler, and if it freezes, you could get screwed. A cotton swab, like a q-tip, moistened with mineral spirits will often allow you to remove stuff that is difficult to access areas.
 

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A New Adventurer
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What about using butyl tape on the chain plates that previously had silicon chalk? I tried removing as much of the chalk as possible, but the butyl tape still doesn't seem to want to stick the that chain plates themselves or the covers that screw on. Is there a trick from getting the adhesive action of the tape to work with previously siliconed metal, or should I not worry and just bolt them down?
 

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Thanks for the great post!

I bought some butyl tape from the mobile home website and used it last weekend puting my boarding ladder back on. It worked great and I didn't have to wory about dripping goo all over the freshly panted transom.

Thanks again.
 

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Butyl Tape

I have been using butyl tape for years. You can buy rolls of it at most RV centers. I get it at one near my marina and pay about $5 a roll. That is why West Marine and others don't sell it. It is way too cheap.

Another benefit - the leftover 4200 and such in a tube will harden and get thrown away - you don't have any waste with butyl.

I keep a ball of it handy while I work on the boat. Need to plug some holes temporarily? Just stuff some butyl tape in the hole. I plugged some holes when I removed deck hardware when I was painting the boat. Had no leaks at all.

I also use a bit of it on the end of a screw to "glue" it to a screwdriver when needed.
 

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What about using butyl tape on the chain plates that previously had silicon chalk? I tried removing as much of the chalk as possible, but the butyl tape still doesn't seem to want to stick the that chain plates themselves or the covers that screw on. Is there a trick from getting the adhesive action of the tape to work with previously siliconed metal, or should I not worry and just bolt them down?
Funjohnson,
Soften up and clean off the silicon with "Maring Formula" by DeBond Corp and wipe clean with acetone or some other solvent that will not leave any residue behind. Then get Sikaflex 210T Primer. Apply primer to the metal as the directions say. No more problems with butyl tape sticking to any metal.

Mhancock,
What I do to keep 4200, 5200 or any other sealant that uses moisture to cure, I remove the plastic point and clean off the tip down a little then incert a button head screw that the head is the same size as the tip. Now for the secret part, I go out and buy a container of "RedCaps". The container looks and is almost the size of a can of chewing tobacco. The red caps are rubber and look like mini condoms. They go over the tip of the adhesive. It will keep out all moisture. They are designed to go over the plastic tip and pull down, hence the condom look. But I've found that it doesn't keep the adhesive long that way. The way I described on doing it I have used a tube of 5200 for over 3 months and still flow out the tube. Just my 2 cents worth.
WD
 

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I like the idea! However, I do have a question about sealing the hole in your vessel. Are you planning on the Butyl to prevent water from getting between the layers or are you drilling through solid glass?

If you're drilling through core then I'd consider adding some glass and resin to protect the hole from absorbing moisture. Other than that, it appears that the Butyl will do quite well in your application, and come apart easier that 5200.
 

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Telstar 28
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Maine Sail, myself and others have addressed potting the core material properly in several threads.

I like the idea! However, I do have a question about sealing the hole in your vessel. Are you planning on the Butyl to prevent water from getting between the layers or are you drilling through solid glass?

If you're drilling through core then I'd consider adding some glass and resin to protect the hole from absorbing moisture. Other than that, it appears that the Butyl will do quite well in your application, and come apart easier that 5200.
 

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San Juan 21 MKII
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I did both my grabrails with butyl a couple of weeks ago, used an impact driver to tighten them down progressively over the course of a long afternoon, then trimmed up the excess the next morning with a plastic razor blade.

The problem is that I am still getting a tiny additional bead of squeeze out after a day or two. I've cleaned it up three times now and it keeps coming back. You have to look very close to even see it, but it is enough that I think it will collect dirt over time, get on lines or gloves, and etc.

I covered the entire pad rather than just a bit in the middle as in the pic above. Is that the source of my trouble?
 

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I covered the entire pad rather than just a bit in the middle as in the pic above. Is that the source of my trouble?
Others here have pointed out that if you don't cover the entire surface water can get in between and freeze, potentially damaging stuff. I have found that the seeping never stops. Personally, I no longer use butyl tape on tracks and other areas with moving parts. I used it on my traveler once and it got into the bearings.
 

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Mr. Bill
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I've spent the last several weeks re-bedding a lot of hardware, removing deck coring, filling with epoxy, re-drilling fastener holes, and remounting with butyl tape. In the past, I've used other products, but I'm now convinced butyl tape has to be the easiest product I’ve ever used.

Now it's time for the chainplates, and my concern is getting enough butyl tape below the deck and between the chainplate-deck gap without enlarging the gap too much. My thought is to heat up both the chanplate and then wrap the butyl tape on, heat the tape, and the slide the chainplate from the top. I could then try to pack more butyl from above. The other option is Boatlife, which is more viscous.
 

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Telstar 28
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You shouldn't need that much butyl tape for the chainplates. Heating the butyl tape and then working it into the gap between the chainplate and the deck with a plastic putty knife is probably your best bet.
 
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