Five Things to Look for In a Boat Sealant Product

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When’s the last time you took the time to consider what
makes one boat sealant better than another?

Boat sealant, after all, tends to be inexpensive. It
doesn’t cost a lot to keep boat sealant handy—and as a consequence, many boat
owners simply buy the first boat sealant they come across. But there are a lot
of characteristics that can determine whether one boat sealant outperforms
another. If you’re going to take the best possible care of your boat for the
best possible price, it helps to know what makes one product better than
another.

Durability

If a sealant has all of the qualities you read about here
but then fails to retain the seal after a short period of time, it’s fair to say
that its usefulness has worn out. A boat sealant has to be strong and durable,
withstanding the demand placed upon it by even the most normal of boating
activities.

To look for durability, watch for sealants that will cure
to a firm and yet flexible rubber seal. This kind of seal will be strong—not
brittle—and should be able to endure the demands of boating for some time.

Waterproofing
Qualities

Your boat, and its sealant, aren’t very useful unless
they’re capable of doing boat things. That means getting in the water.
A good boat sealant is waterproof to a high degree, but it should also retain
its adhesion over time, which is an aspect that many boaters forget about. Even
waterproof sealants that don’t adhere well to the boat will eventually lose
their usefulness when exposed to water, rendering the entire sealant worthless.

Versatility
in Bonding

If you want to get the most possible value out of your
sealant, then you have to make sure that it can adhere to a number of different
surfaces, including:

  • Fiberglass
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Glass

Life-Calk, for
example, adheres to each of these materials as well as adhering to itself.
Without this basic versatility, your sealant will be at the mercy of whatever
materials you need to seal.

Resistance
to Oils and Fuels

A sealant on a boat needs to be able to handle more than
just water. Resisting oils, gasoline, and diesel fuel is important to ensure
that a sealant maintains its quality despite the chemicals it comes across.
Without this basic feature, a sealant can be prone to reaction and degradation,
which not only defeats the purpose of the sealant but does not promote a safe
boat environment.

Price

All other things being equal, you should look for a great
price for your sealant. A simple Life-Calk Cartridge runs less than $30,
ensuring that you have a versatile sealant for a wide range of leaks on your
boat without having to pay exorbitant prices for every single feature. Look for
a strong, versatile, and durable sealant that you can safely use on a number of
different materials so you aren’t constantly running to the store to buy new
sealant. Your wallet—and your boat—will thank you.

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