Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR -

Dear Doc, I am con­fused about when to use an ad­he­sive sealant, such as Sikaflex 291, or a plain sealant, like sil­i­cone or poly­sul­fide. Can you of­fer some guid­ance? Doug Zachary Ac­co­mac, Vir­ginia

A: It would be eas­ier to an­swer your ques­tion if you sup­plied me with a spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tion. That said, an ad­he­sive sealant would gen­er­ally be used in cases where reg­u­lar re­moval of the fit­ting or fix­ture was not re­quired. A plain sealant would be prefer­able where the fit­ting be­ing sealed was ex­pected to be re­moved at some point. The screw­down hatch that con­ceals a fuel tank might best be bed­ded in sealant, for ex­am­ple, while the in­take through-hull for an air-con­di­tioner or livewell might be caulked in place with an ad­he­sive sealant.

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