A Sticky topic
When we first took up sailing we learned quickly that there was a whole new set of words that we needed to add to our vocabulary. In addition to the boat terms though we have also come to realize that there is a complete set of boating products that we need to familiarize ourselves with too. Such is the case with marine adhesive sealants.
The above pic shows a sampling of the various types of adhesives and sealants that are available. The trick is to know the properties of each of them so that we choose the right product for the job. As an example, the infamous 5200 made by 3M is essentially permanent. Use this to bed something to the deck and you will NOT have a fun time trying to get it back off. Unfortunately (because I am now trying to remove it), I’m pretty sure that is what was used to seal the stainless steel hawsepipe cover to our boat’s deck!
In addition to the holding power of the sealants there are other qualities to be aware of too, one of which is UV resistance. I have two jobs in “the queue” that may require both UV resistance and the ability to remove the items (fasteners) at some point in the future. Because of these two requirements I “think” the product for the job is 3M’s 4000 (it’s not in the above photo because it is actually on the boat right now).
3M isn’t the only manufacturer of products like this of course. Sika’s Sikaflex is another line of sealants that I have seen on the chandlery’s shelves, and I’m sure there are others too. It would be super convenient if there was just one product that could suit every application but it doesn’t appear like that’s the case. I guess I’ll just have to go against my manly nature and actually read the packaging to know which one to use.