The world of marine sealants can be daunting, especially if you are new to the topic. Today, we’ll introduce silicone and silicone hybrid sealants. First off, why 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. Incredibly strong and durable, silicone and silicone hybrid sealants provide great options for sealing off windows, doors, joints, and other areas exposed to the environment.
Why chose marine-grade silicone?
Probably the greatest selling point 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, most silicone sealants are great options for any above the waterline boat repair 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, can be mildew resistant, and some have UV resistance. 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 for 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, is tack-free in only 30 minutes or less and will fully cure within 24 hours and 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.