Leaky skeg box - what is this putty?

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by AM, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Folks, I found one of our club boats (stored outside and upside down) filled with water in the back hatch after the recent rain. Upon inspection, the guilty culprit was found: the skeg cable housing had detached from the skeg box.

    This boat is a polyethylene Capella with a rope/bungie skeg system. The cable was held in place by some sort of putty that, at first glance, looked like hardened epoxy putty, but is actually sort of rubbery to the touch. Does anyone know what this stuff is? Looks like I'll have to reapply it to fix the leak.

    Thanks,
    Andrew
    LeakySkeg.JPG
     
  2. OrcaBoats

    OrcaBoats Paddler

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    How hard is it to remove? Could be either a bedding compound like Sikaflex (easier to remove) or an adhesive like 3M 5200 (difficult to remove)
     
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Andrew-
    Have you contacted P&H to ask them?

    It looks like it's been 'finger molded' so that would eliminate any of the more 'gooey' sealants if I were guessing.

    Is Sugru sticky enough to work in a spot like this?

    And, unless you know the complete boat history, you may be looking at a 'quick fix' put on top of the factory effort by another paddler.....
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Andrew, whatever it is, it needs replacing because it failed. After a thorough cleaning of the area where it was with hot soapy water, followed by a good rinse with clear tap water, let it dry for a while. Then test the cleaned area with whatever you decide to use as a replacement to make sure it sticks.

    Polyethylene does not bond well with most adhesives. I am guessing, emphasis guessing, that one of the polyurethane adhesives from 3M might work, but a consult with someone knowledgeable at a really good hardware store is in order.

    Here is a link to a one-part adhesive, to get you started on 3M's site. Search on their site with "two-part polyurethane adhesive" for other alternatives.

    https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company...sive-Sealant-540/?N=5002385+3293013851&rt=rud
     
  5. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Thanks, all. I too thought Sikaflex or 3m. It is stuck on to the skeg rope tube and doesn't want to budge. There is no threaded male/female connection between the tube and the skeg box, so I am assuming that this goop is an adhesive as well as a sealant, though clearly it doesn't adhere to PE plastic too well.

    Email sent to P&H. Won't hold my breath...

    I was thinking a third option for a repair (besides Sikaflex or 3M), and that would be JB Weld plastic epoxy or similar. I've never tried that stuff, but the literature says it bonds to PE plastic.

    Thanks for all the input. If you have any other ideas, I'm open to hearing them!

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  6. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

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    I don't know all the details and others please chime in but I understand adhesion to PE or other low surface energy plastics can be improved by "flaming" (passing a propane torch quickly over the surface).
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I have no idea what is under the 'putty', but it's basic shape [small round area of contact] seems to be all wrong for adhesion to the PE hull material [there does seem to be a reasonable area of the tubing covered].

    As G-Flex epoxy does have a track record of adhesion for these materials [using the flame tech also], it just might make some sense to apply a g-flex and glass foundation around the skeg hole area and then after setup and possible roughening - applying some more spread out sealant blob between that and the wire covering. the thought being that sealants will 'adhere' way better to the g-flex epoxy than the PE plastic.

    an idea anyway.
     
  8. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I was thinking along the same lines. Perhaps an 'intermediate layer' of G-Flex or methacrylate, then some sort of putty.
     
  9. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Yeah, that is worth a test somewhere on the hull before tackling the skeg area. I have never tried G-Flex on polyethylene. Is that pretty straightforward?
     
  10. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    It seems fairly straightforward but with the addition of flame treatment to oxidize the surface. The first link below is a PE process before G-Flex was introduced and the second links to a few more recent articles as well.

    http://epoxyworks.com/index.php/bonding-a-skeg-to-a-polyethylene-kayak/
    http://epoxyworks.com/index.php/category/boat-repair/plastic-boat-repair/

    My reading between the lines is that adhesion can be very good, but I still can't help feel that there must be some provisos. I would imagine that an important aspect is that the repair be as close to the same flexibility as the substrate otherwise the likely more flexible PE could flex away from the repair. I also wonder about the thermal expansion characteristic differences if used year round or left outside yr round.
     
  11. red kite

    red kite Paddler

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    Slightly different (and more labour intensive) angle of approach... is there just a hole in the skeg box or is there a molded sleeve that positions the tubing? Would you be able to retrofit / attach a marine grade water hose coupling of some sort (thread into the skeg box, possibly compression fit for the tube?). Using the adhesive of your choice as needed. (My personal preference would be G-Flex.)
     
  12. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Andrew,
    you might consider using a melt.

    Roy