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Old 04-01-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
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Bedding compound

I know that this topic has been discussed but I don't remember seeing opinions on my project. I have removed the ladder that goes from the mid-deck, as we call it to the bridge. The bottom of the ladder screws into frp and the top goes into teak. Will the same compound work for both surfaces?
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:00 AM   #2
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Depends on what you use. I would tend to use Sikaflex for that and so would use the same product top and bottom.

Dolfinite, which is a great bedding compound for things like window frames and larger pieces of hardware is not so good for small things like ladder bases because it will dry out sooner rather than later. It also has zero adhesive properties so would do nothing to help prevent the ladder "feet" from working/flexing as you used the ladder.

You could also use 3M 4200 for this although I think Sikaflex is the superior product. If you were concerned about use working the ladder base fasteners loose you could even use 5200 although I probably would only use that up top, not on the teak. Contrary to popular belief, 5200 can be removed fairly easily if you have to take the ladder off again in the future. The secret is to use heat.

Lifecaulk makes a sealant/adhesive that some people like but I have never been impressed with it although I do use it to seal up the tips of deck screws when I re-insert them.

But in thinking about it, given the kind of use a ladder gets, I might well be inclinded to bed the upper ladder bases with 5200 and the lower ones with Sikaflex.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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I know that this topic has been discussed but I don't remember seeing opinions on my project. I have removed the ladder that goes from the mid-deck, as we call it to the bridge. The bottom of the ladder screws into frp and the top goes into teak. Will the same compound work for both surfaces?
I use 5200 on everything, wood, fiberglass, metal, SS. However, caulking has not strength, so if sealing plus strength is need I use epoxy with additive/mix. I use West System #4 additive.
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Old 04-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #4
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I use 5200 on everything, wood, fiberglass, metal, SS.
5200 = Satan's glue!

As long as the teak and FRP are in good shape (not stripped) any caulk that is compatible with teak or FRP will be fine. You are just looking for a gasket basically. The strength is in the correct mounting hardware with the caulk to allow a little movement without letting moisture into the subsurface.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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5200 = Satan's glue!

As long as the teak and FRP are in good shape (not stripped) any caulk that is compatible with teak or FRP will be fine. You are just looking for a gasket basically. The strength is in the correct mounting hardware with the caulk to allow a little movement without letting moisture into the subsurface.
At my age having to take it apart is going to be somebody elses problem.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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Sounds like wishfull thinking Phil.

I like Dolfinite because of the ease of renewal. If I'm concerned it's not a seal I can quickly re do it.
Doing a bug area it oozes out for months. A constant oozeing of Dolfinite from overhead is not welcome. Especially on our berth.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:43 PM   #7
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5200 = Satan's glue!

As long as the teak and FRP are in good shape (not stripped) any caulk that is compatible with teak or FRP will be fine. You are just looking for a gasket basically. The strength is in the correct mounting hardware with the caulk to allow a little movement without letting moisture into the subsurface.
This!

5200 is perhaps the most inappropriately and over-used marine product out there. It is great for sealing through-hulls below the waterline. Through hulls above the waterline, OK but only if if you paint it. Any other use? Fuggedabowdit. UV tears it up and it molds and blackens easily. As they say, don't ask me how I learned this.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:20 PM   #8
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Step back and ask what you really need.

Glue, sealant, bedding compound...etc...etc...

All have different properties and limitations.

It's easy to say something isn't suitable...yet just because of a limitation that someone perceives doesn't mean it isn't correct for the job, it just means be flexibe...no pun intended.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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The OP asked for bedding compound. Sika Flex 291 says bedding compound on the tube but it seems more like a caulk or adhesive to me. I use lots of it. Bedding compounds aren't supposed to be glue. The only real bedding compound I know of is Dolfinite.

Do the members as a whole here think 5200, 4200, Sika Flex and the like are bedding compounds?

Re reading the OP I feel the O poster actually needs a sealer. 5200 NO. A caulking compound may be closer to his needs. And as I see it he needs a sealer to keep the water out of the fastener holes. That's all. Life caulk is supposed to be especially formulated for teak and they provide smaller tubes that are about as re sealable as anything. I think the "Life Caulk" should work fine on the FG too so I'd say try Life Caulk. I think Marin's right ... Dolfinite would probably dry up prematurely.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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Many might discuss that an adhesive is VERY appropriate for fittings that work.

Mant top "marine experts" otherwise known as magazine writers advise epoxy for things such a stanchions, ladders, cleats, etc...etc...
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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The OP asked for bedding compound. Sika Flex 291 says bedding compound on the tube but it seems more like a caulk or adhesive to me. I use lots of it. Bedding compounds aren't supposed to be glue. The only real bedding compound I know of is Dolfinite.

Do the members as a whole here think 5200, 4200, Sika Flex and the like are bedding compounds?
Technically things like 5200, 4200, etc may not be bedding compounds but even the shipwrights we've used refer to "bedding" something in 5200, Sikaflex, etc.

Dolfinite's major problem is that it dries out when exposed to air. This is why, for example, when we rebed a window frame with it we run a faired bead of Polyseamseal around the exposed joint. The Polyseamseal prevents the edge of the Dolfinite bedding from drying out, a process that over time will gradually migrate deeper into the bedding. And once Dolfinite dries out, it's pretty much worthless as an effective bedding anymore.

Probably a more accurate term for Sikaflex, 4200, etc. is adhesive sealant.

And FWIW, we tried Lifecaulk products when we first got the boat and found that they are really crappy in terms of longevity. We would never use them today, although the one use I have found for it is to dip the tips of deck screws in before seating them. In this application the stuff is loose enough to seal up the threads in the wood/fiberglass subdeck and since it's in the dark it won't fail under UV light, which in our experience is a Lifecaulk "feature"if it is exposed to UV. Terrible products in our opinions, for anything else. We think the only thing worse to use on a boat is silicone.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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You guys can hash the pro's and con's of magic goo in a tube all you want but the only bedding compound I'll ever use is Butyl tape.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:52 AM   #13
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You guys can hash the pro's and con's of magic goo in a tube all you want but the only bedding compound I'll ever use is Butyl tape.
Thank you, Craig! I can't believe it took 12 posts for someone to mention butyl tape.

I've got extra from a huge roll I had to buy on the internet, if you need any. In a small way, maybe it'll make up for helping you spend all your money at the Intl Sportsman's Show.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:57 AM   #14
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You guys can hash the pro's and con's of magic goo in a tube all you want but the only bedding compound I'll ever use is Butyl tape.

I took a Power Squadron "boat maintenance" course a while back. The instructors swore by Butyl Tape for re-bedding. Many of you have probably seen this, but here is a great 'how to' site using Butyl Tape:


Re-Bedding Deck Hardware Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:53 AM   #15
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Great link Paul. Al keep it in an airtight ziplock bag and it'll be in just as usable condition 20 years from now. My brother and I tossed some 30 year old rolls away two years ago while cleaning out our fathers shop after his death. It was not in sealed bags and STILL in serviceable condition. Why anyone would use anything else baffles me.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:01 AM   #16
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psneeld wrote;

"Many might discuss that an adhesive is VERY appropriate for fittings that work."

By "work" you mean move around I assume and if 2 parts were to move the bond of an adhesive would likely break and water would enter. I guess the question would be how much movement would take place? With Dolfinite a great deal of movement could take place w/o allowing the water in but then it would probably dry out like Marin says so Catch 22?

Looks like we should use an adhesive that will allow movement enough or use a bedding compound and change it often enough. For the little base plates (or flanges (2x3")) for my radar platform struts I use an adhesive/sealant. And I think there has not been enough movement to fail but for my anchor winch deck plate (ply) I use Dolfinite so I can easily remove it and re bed.

I have taken appart things that I'm sure were bedded down w bedding compound (probably Dolfinite) that were original on my Willard. Didn't dry out but I suspect my Willard was in covered moorage untill I got her.

Thanks Paul and all re the butyl tape. Never seen it. Where do you buy it? Do you heat it and shape it? I've been plugging holes w the truss head machine screws and 5200. BT looks like a better bedding.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #17
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You guys can hash the pro's and con's of magic goo in a tube all you want but the only bedding compound I'll ever use is Butyl tape.
Interesting! I've never heard of it but will look into it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:45 AM   #18
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I'm sorry, I should have said that the screw holes at the feet of the ladder are the suspects for some water intrusion into the aft cabin. The existing compound has dried out and shrunken or just came off a little at a time. I have no idea which compound it was, but clearly it needs replacing.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:40 PM   #19
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I'm sorry, I should have said that the screw holes at the feet of the ladder are the suspects for some water intrusion into the aft cabin. The existing compound has dried out and shrunken or just came off a little at a time. I have no idea which compound it was, but clearly it needs replacing.

So does the fastener/screw still tighten/hold?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:39 AM   #20
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It is great for sealing through-hulls below the waterline. Through hulls above the waterline,

NOT if you have an inspected vessel !!!

The USCG frequently requires the thru hull to be pulled to look for dezincification.

Gluing the seacock to the hull with a backing spacer and bolts is fine.

But any thru hull, esp one underwater needs to be inspected and replaced with ease.
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