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Old 21-09-2009, 13:01   #1
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Bulkhead Hole Waterproofing Puzzler

You guys have earned a reputation now - hope you can live up to it!

I'm sitting up in the V-Berth and anchor well, puzzling over how to do something, and someone says "why don't you ask those forum friends of yours -- they always know what to do."

The problem:
Anchor windlass cables and wires were brought forward to under the V-berth in a run that works well until needing to transition from under the V-berth into the bow anchor well. There is an irregularly shaped hole (two 1" holes cut, overlapping, so it looks like an "8" sideways). Through this are run two ribbed PVC bilge pump hoses that sheath and protect the anchor cables and control wires, and take them up the side of the well, out of the range of the anchor chain. This well is filled with 250' of chain rode.

The hole in the bulkhead that divides the anchor well and the forward V-berth locker, in addition to being the shape described above, is quite long. It passes through glass, 3/4" plywood, glass, 3/4" plywood, and glass for a run of about 2". It has been coated with penetrating epoxy, and all the wood is solid all the way around.

This hole is about 6" above the bottom of the anchor well. In that the well is fed through a hawser vs an open door, one would hope that there wouldnt be 6" of standing water in the well (the drain at the bottom is large and runs well....for now). I want to make this hole waterproof enough that if water accumulates in the anchor well, it isn't going to run through this cable hole to under the V Berth. (worst case, the v berth area has a bulkhead and drain too, but.....)

My project: to seal this hole and make it waterproof, while leaving this ribbed hose passing through it. Its irregular shapes won't let me use a round fitting, so I am guessing I need to fill it with something waterpoof somehow, as well as ensure that the manner in which the cables/casing is fastened makes sure it is immovable.

Ideas:
Marine Tex putty
Expandable waterproofing foam, or spartite
a catsup consistency 406 epoxy fill
loading it with sikaflex and hoping I can fill all the voids.
finding that asphalt/bentonite stuff they put between concrete slabs that swells with moisture to seal......

Anybody out there have a brilliant solution or assistance?
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Old 21-09-2009, 13:14   #2
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Nothing brilliant here...I'm thinking any of the above....what’s handy!
There is also that stuff called "monkey ****" ...yes that’s its technical name....you use it inside goose necks and the sort to keep out water around the wires and cables...doesn’t get hard.
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Old 21-09-2009, 14:14   #3
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yea, no real revelations, I would probably use silicone sealant as it can be removed, stays pliable and seals real well and sets up good in thick chunks....
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Old 21-09-2009, 14:23   #4
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can you do the above but run the electrical thru a section of PVC conduit to keep the water out should the level ever rise?
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Old 21-09-2009, 14:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James S View Post
... There is also that stuff called "monkey ****" ...yes that’s its technical name....you use it inside goose necks and the sort to keep out water around the wires and cables...doesn’t get hard.
I think "monkey ****" is a vernacular term, never found on an actual product label.
Electricians use “Duct Seal”, a butyl (?) putty (manufactured by Ideal*, Appleton, Panduit, etc).

* ➥ http://www.idealindustries.ca/media/..._seal_msds.pdf
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Old 21-09-2009, 15:23   #6
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Research reveals that "monkey ****" is Dolphinite, and "bear ****" is some kind of asphalt tar compound, both used by traditional wooden boat builders......but.....not good for here.

Will check out the duct seal, Gord -- it looks like a good possibility, and def won't hurt the wires. (After research) - this material seems easy to apply, but is referenced as a fire stop/fire break for wiring, cannot find any info about its water resistance. ANyone know?
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Old 21-09-2009, 15:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I think "monkey ****" is a vernacular term, never found on an actual product label.
Electricians use “Duct Seal”, a butyl (?) putty (manufactured by Ideal*, Appleton, Panduit, etc).
On the money Gord. Duck seal or duck seal http://www.bakor.com/data/datasheets/DuckSeal.pdf
is what is used in the electrical industry to seal raceways. It is not the best at working into small cracks and crevices however. I would suggest a more liquid approach as in what is used in underground cable splice. Shop 3M: 3M Scotchcast Inline Resin Splice Kit

Monkey **** is what the monkeys throw at you when you visit them at the zoo.
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Old 21-09-2009, 17:44   #8
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You dont' need to seal the hole all the way through, just the chain locker side. I would go for a big gob of 'gorilla snot', AKA silicone injected from the chain locker side, and wiggle the cables/hose around to get things well coated. The gorrilla snot sticks to things much better than the duct seal. 3M 5200 would make an even better seal, but its a lot harder to remove things if you use it.

You are right about the V berth, if you are pounding into a head sea the water will definitely find its way there unless you seal things up.
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Old 21-09-2009, 18:41   #9
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Similar to what others have recommended, try butyl tape.

The gray stuff seals well to nearly everything, waterproofs , remains flexible and stretchy for decades, and cleans up easily. It's what is used for RV windows and, in a slightly different and messier black version, for car windshields. Stuff the hole with butyl tape, pressing it in deep around the wires. It doesn't have to stay in tape form to work, it can be layered and smooshed into crevices. Butyl tape does not act as an adhesive, but you don't need it to keep the wires in place, just to seal them. It'll also be very easy to remove if you ever need to.

Your local RV parts store will have it, cheap. It's across the country, but here's where I buy it: Butyl Tape
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Old 21-09-2009, 19:34   #10
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Great guys! A nice forum member posts for an answer, and all you can come up with is Monkey ****, Bear ****, and Gorilla snot! Winds, go to: Smooth-On - Mold Making and Casting Materials for a World of Applications! and get yourself some two part silicone or urethane, build a dam and pour it in. All done, without the vile animal wastes...
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Old 22-09-2009, 03:50   #11
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Having re-read (more carefully this time) the original question, I might not recommend electrical Duct Seal. Duct seal is flexible & malleable, waterproof (impermeable), and won’t shrink or crack; but doesn’t have very good adhesive properties (except if you get it on your non-skid). Although “weather-tite”, it may not suffice as a dam against a head of standing water.
Like Butyl tapes, and Silicone, once you’ve applied it, the surfaces will be contaminated, and won’t accept a true adhesive product (without VERY RIGOROUS cleaning - usually abrasion).

I’d recommend an underwater sealant, such you were originally contemplating, to include 3M “5200/4200", Sikaflex “290/291", Thickened Epoxy (Marine Tex, West), etc.

The Bakor “Duck-Seal”, to which Dune linked, is used to seal ventilation duct joints (in lieu of Duct Tape), and (IMO) wouldn’t be suitable in this application. It’s like a thick paint.
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Old 22-09-2009, 07:47   #12
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Since you may want to remove the wire at some point. I wouldn't recommend epoxy or 5200. Some poor bastard (maybe you) will have to figure out how to remove the wire to fix a short etc. Butyl paste (duct seal) is pretty good when put of the pressure (chain locker ) side. But for this job, I'd use silicone, boat life caulk or 4200 ( and receive the praises of those who come after me)
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Old 22-09-2009, 10:59   #13
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Since you may want to remove the wire at some point. I wouldn't recommend epoxy or 5200. Some poor bastard (maybe you) will have to figure out how to remove the wire to fix a short etc. Butyl paste (duct seal) is pretty good when put of (sic: on) the pressure (chain locker ) side. But for this job, I'd use silicone, boat life caulk or 4200 (and receive the praises of those who come after me)
The wire is installed within (2) “conduits” of corrugated bilge pump hose; so he’s only trying to seal the annular space between conduit & bulkhead.

I seldom recommend the use of Silicone in applications where I expect to have to disassemble then reassemble an installation; because the oils in Silicone sealants contaminate the surfaces so that nothing, including Silicone will subsequently adhere to them. Additionally, most Silicones don’t have a particularly high adhesion, and work best under pressure, as in “gasket” type applications.

In this case, the plug of caulking (even a super adhesive, such as 5200) will be easy enough to drive out of the opening.

S&S is correct that Duct Seal MIGHT be an adequate plug.

I agree that we should try to make it easy on the next guy, for we may be he.
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Old 22-09-2009, 12:25   #14
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The wire is installed within (2) “conduits” of corrugated bilge pump hose; so he’s only trying to seal the annular space between conduit & bulkhead.

.
Aah, I didn't see that they went that high in the locker. I'd agree for this skip the silicone but go for a lower strength polysulfide like 4200 or something like duct seal.
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Old 22-09-2009, 22:07   #15
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Thanks for all the consideration and discussion -- with your input, and doing some reading on the many suggestions, am going to go with 4200 --- the duct seal was a close second, but I think the ability to really fill all voids is important to me. I appreciate, as always, your attention and focus, and solving yet another conondrum. When the anchor windlass whizzes up and down, I will raise a toast of Tullamore Dew in your honor!
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