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Boulder Oaks Owners Club

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Lucas Gonzalez
Lucas Gonzalez

Buy Bed It Butyl Tape WORK

Many builders used to use butyl tape, CS Yachts, Hinckley, Bristol, Sabre and many others did, but they all stopped because butyl in a production environment is significantly more labor intensive despite being a better mouse trap.

buy bed it butyl tape

As I mentioned a quality butyl tape is VERY, VERY flexible. This photo represents well over 1000% elongation of the original squished thickness and this pre-EPA butyl is still stretching and much of it has not yet failed.Unfortunately butyl tapes of today DO NOT perform like this but Bed-It does.

I re-bedded much of our 2005 Catalina in 2006 and the vessel already had multiple deck fitting leaks. This was a BRAND NEW BOAT!!! Properly installed Bed-It tape, in my humble opinion, is a superior deck sealant to any of the polysulfides or polyurethanes currently marketed for most applications.

This is the genoa track on our CS-36T as photographed at year 31. The track is still bedded with the original Pre-EPA butyl tape she left the factory with in 1979. The track 31 years later was still BONE DRY, does not leak and has not leaked, ever, in 31 years and 50,000+ nautical miles. We run a 150 genoa most of the year, just as the previous owner did, so this track sees some heavy loads.

Oh and this genoa track was installed without countersinking the holes. Just an aluminum genoa track bedded with Pre-EPAbutyl in 1979. Bevel the holes and it will probably go 70 years without a leak.. (wink)

For stanchions and other hardware I often re-install them with hex head bolts rather than Phillips or slot headed screws. This allows me to tape a wrench to the deck using Gorilla Tape to keep it from moving then hit the inside with the impact driver, wrench or socket wrench. If you use the impact driver to re-install pleas DO NOT over do it. These tools are powerful and fast. I would advise against the use of one for re-installing the hardware until you know you are competent with it.

A customer owned a mid eighties Catalina where the previous owner had used silicone to bed the chain plates. Even after re-bedding they leaked every year for four years straight. He had even resorted to tenacious glues like 3M 5200, still it leaked. He finally called me to discuss it and we simply masked off the surrounding areas with 3M film tape and ground and sanded away the silicone contamination. The chain plates have been dry since, lesson learned the silicone must be COMPLETELY removed before any re-bedding.

Hi there. Your post brought back memories from last summer! My teenage son and I re-bedded the stanchions on both sides of our 1975 Catalina 22. We never could have managed this work with any other type of sealant!! We also drilled out and re-potted the holes with epoxy. That did get a little messy because we are beginners. From my research I found that the best butyl tape comes from Compass Marine: -it-tape. Prompt service too. He also has excellent how-to photo essay on bedding marine hardware and re-potting holes with epoxy.

Have started using butyl tape this season on an old Catalina 36 where every thing is leaking. It will be hard pressed for 5200 or 4200 to find a spot on my boat ever again.Log onto for more great info like this site and to learn about butyl tape. They formulated their own tape and sell it.

An alternative to standard caulking compounds, flexible, compressible, Butyl Caulking Tape can be cut or shaped to fit practically any application. Uses include sealing deck hardware, including hatches, ventilators and more. Tough rubber, pressure sensitive mass, offers excellent adhesion to a variety of surfaces (no applicators required). Used to seal out: dirt, dust, moisture and water. Easy to use in tape form. Low moisture vapor transmission value. Tape is 1/8" thick and comes in a roll 3/4"W x 20' long.

Bed-It Tape is specifically formulated and extruded for the installation of deck fittings to the decks of boats. All aspects of the installation procedure and necessary formulation requirements have been brought together in a marine specific bedding tape.It has been designed to:*Work across wide temperature ranges with minimal "creep" or cold flow even in hot climates*Formulated to have exceptional tolerance to withstand slight movement between deck and fitting*Stand up to typical boat washing chemicals*Stick to the parts not your fingers*Have the proper density for use in a "compression" application.*Have right density to allow it to displace from under the fitting in a reasonable time frame

#2 By creating a bevel or countersunk recess in the surface of the deck the marine sealant or butyl tape has a cavity to fill. Without a bevel the hardware would compress the sealant to about 1/64th of an inch thick after the fasteners are tightened. Marine sealants do have some flexibility but not as much as you would guess. Follow me for a moment; Let's say you have a marine sealant that has a rating of 400% elongation before break on a 1/64" thick joint. Simple math shows you that 400% of 1/64" is only 1/16" of total allowable joint movement before a joint failure or leak starts. In the case of a stanchion base 1/16" is not much allowable movement before failure.

Step 4 - Strip some more butyl tape and make another round string. Wrap the string around the bolt threads or shoulder. Knead and work & twist the cones into the threads of the bolt and shape them like a cone.

Step 6- In colder climates you may want to pre-heat the butyl to soften it some. After pre-heating, with heat gun on the warm setting, line up the bolts with the holes and press the hardware firmly onto the deck. I will often stand on the fitting, if possible, to partially displace and seat the butyl.

You will be best to have two people or a good way to keep the bolt from moving. Ideally you do not want the machine screw or bolt to spin, but if you absolutely have to, you can slightly soften the butyl with a q-tip and some mineral spirits and go for it.

Tighten a little bit at a time as the butyl will ooze out slowly because the consistency is quite thick by design. Tighten, let sit, tighten, let sit etc. etc.. When little to none squishes out & the bolt & nut become tight you can stop. This can take DAYS of small tightening events or weeks if you want to spread it out. It does not cure so do not rush it..

If you have a wood deck core DO NOT crush it by over tightening, better yet bore out some core and pot the hole with thickened epoxy. Unlike the "two step" method you are not waiting for the butyl to "cure" or change consistency but you do need to allow it to slowly displace out from under the fitting. This compression & squeezing forces the butyl into every nook and cranny and makes for an excellent seal..

After tightening, the excess butyl will squeeze out around the edges. The easiest way to clean it up is to pull or peel it away first. Use some of the excess butyl to make a small ball that you can then make quick stab & pull motions at the remaining oooze around the fitting. This quick stab & pull with a butyl ball in hand motion will get about 85-90% of the butyl cleaned up.

I find a ball of already "peeled" butyl works well at pulling away excess using a stab and pull motion. Stab the ball into the joint and pull away. The butyl will stick to the ball first and usually peel away from the joint. Alternatively you can use plastic razor blades or scrapers.

Contrary to popular myths about bedding all the Bed-It Tape does not squeeze out from between the surfaces even after the fitting is fully tight. This is the magic of Bed-It Tape, but it does take multiple small tightening events, ideally without letting the bolt spin, to get the vast majority of the butyl to squeeze out. If you do spin the bolt a little don't fret about it. Butyl does not harden of change consistency, like in the two step process with a marine sealant, and can take some spinning without causing a leak. Still the less spinning the better.

Bed-It Tape is pretty dense, and the perfect consistency for bedding marine deck hardware, but you must be patient when tightening the hardware. Remember you're not waiting for the butyl to change consistency, harden or cure so these tightening adjustments are not time constrained at all. If you can't get back to it for a month just pick up where you left off.

Silicone has a mediocre shelf life. Once a tube has been opened it will last for a year or two before drying out. A 3 oz. tube of marine silicone is comparable in cost to a 45-foot long roll of butyl tape.

There is no problem with epoxy; the silicone can with some effort, be scraped off of linear polyurethane paints. I admit I was thinking of my application- wood epoxy boats that I build and paint. Nothing beats household silicone above the waterline. I have no interest in having to retighten a butyl beddex fitting until the cows come home and dealing with the dirt attracting mess around the edges.

If you try to put screws through butyl tape without first cutting holes in the tape, the tape will wrap around the screw and mess up your nicely fit piece of tape under whatever it is you are bedding.

As a result, many repairs and maintenance projects use butyl tape to minimize risks from moisture. Some camper manufacturers even install long sections of it along the seams to keep water from penetrating the rig.

To fix this I could have ordered new foam gaskets from Lewmar. But I felt that a better repair was possible. I went to my boat guru, RC from Compass Marine (aka Maine Sail). I had previously learned of the wonders of butyl tape from him for bedding hardware. I felt that butyl tape would make a longer lasting fix for the hinges. After a quick confirmation with RC that the plastic could handle the butyl tape if I took time to tighten the screws, I decided to use butyl tape for the repair. I had previously purchased a couple of rolls Bed-It Butyl Tape from Compass Marine, so I was all set to do the repair. 041b061a72


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