The world of marine sealants can be confusing, especially if you are new to the topic. Today, we’ll introduce silicone and silicone hybrid sealants. First, why you should you choose a silicone-based sealant? Well, silicone sealants provide a waterproof seal where two surfaces are joined together. Silicone provides a seal that can withstand nature’s harshest elements. The material is strong and durable, and serve as a great option for sealing off windows, doors, joints, and other areas exposed to the environment.
Why chose marine-grade silicone?
The best part of silicone sealants is that they are compatible with plastics, whereas polyurethane and polysulfide sealants are not (although polysulfide can be used with non-polycarbonate plastics). Favored in the marine and automobile industries, silicone sealants are great options for above the waterline boat repairs as they are incredibly strong waterproof. But not all silicone sealants are the same.
There are construction grade silicone sealants, and then there are marine-grade silicone sealants. When sealing cracks and gaps above the waterline, we recommend selecting a marine-grade sealant to do the job. Built to last in maritime conditions, marine-grade sealants are waterproof, mildew resistant, and UV resistant. A word of caution: most silicones use an acid curing system, which will cause corrosion to metal in the vicinity (think black streaks) which continues to corrode even after it’s cured. Try BoatLIFE’s Marine Silicone Rubber Sealant is a 100% marine silicone sealant that won’t corrode or yellow over time. Unlike other marine silicones on the market, this product can be used above or below the waterline. It is tack-free in 30 minutes or less and will fully cure within 24 hours as it uses an acid-free curing system.
Marine silicone sealant hybrids
In addition to 100% marine silicone sealants, silicone sealant hybrids also exist. Silicone sealant hybrids usually contain another polymer. Typically fast-curing and tenacious, silicone sealant hybrids could make good options for use on multiple surfaces that require movement between one another, especially in the presence of water.
For example, BoatLIFE’s LifeSeal® is a unique formula that combines marine silicone and polyurethane. This hybrid is specially formulated for use on fiberglass and can be used above or below the waterline. Offering a fast-curing, low odor, high adhesion, non-sagging, non-corrosive, and non-yellowing formula, LifeSeal provides a durable permanent watertight seal. What’s more, the product is completely removable without causing damage to the substrates or gel-coat. Mildew resistant and acid free, LifeSeal is great for sealing decks to hulls, thru-hull fittings, vinyl ports, sealing and glazing windshields and bedding marine hardware. Available in five colors from the factory, LifeSeal is also available in custom color matching.
For a list of all surfaces that LifeSeal will adhere to, please refer to our sealant chart.