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rgleason 23-06-2018 06:03

Something better than Starboard?
I am having trouble with a panel of Starboard which spans a small difference in the Yanmar Engine panel size. Since this panel is protecting my house panel, engine gauges and electronics and some of my instruments, it is essential that it be totally water proof even though it is under the dodger most of the time.

Starboard is a horrible material to seal because nothing sticks to it.

Should I build a fiberglass G10 adapter panel that has some grooves in the back and front, for the sealant? I might also add a small weather cap at the top. Then paint white with polyurethane paint.

Any material or design suggestions would be appreciated. Also photos. Thanks.

Suijin 23-06-2018 06:10

Re: Something better than Starboard?
G10 is overkill, expensive, and difficult to shape/cut, but I can't think of a better material other than wood. My surround for my engine panel is the original teak and it's lasted fine all these years, either varnished or with Cetol. I made a lexan "shield" that covers the gauges and lights down to the glow/start buttons and the key.

G10 is a serious %*$&@ to cut due to it's hardness. It will eat through bimetal blades on a jigsaw at an alarming rate. Buy pack of them if you end up going with G10.

You can get smaller cut sheets of G10 fairly reasonably on eBay.

I suppose another option is to bed the starboard with butyl (provided it's thick enough and will compress the butyl) and then cut a rubber gasket for where the panel seats on the starboard surround.

thinwater 23-06-2018 06:40

Re: Something better than Starboard?
Starboard is tough to bond for two reasons. One, it expands and contracts more with temperature change than other materials. Second, it has a very low surface energy (it's slippery). The first we can't do much about, other than use small pieces.

The bonding is not that bad IF you do it right. I've used urethane to polyurethanes for underwater repairs that have been service for 15 years. I've gotten sealants to work on white water kayaks.
  • Clean and sand with coarse grit.
  • Heat treat. wave a propane torch over the bond area enough to make it blush. This alters the surface chemistry.
  • Use the right sealant. 3M products are not good on low energy surfaces, but Locktite and Sika are considerably better.

  • Don't clamp/tighten too tight in this application. More sealant in the joint means more flexibility.
I'd clean it up and try the above procedure with Locktite PL S40 (Home Depot has it). This is the stuff I used on my PE fish pond 15 years ago. It's a lot like 3M 4200, but it sticks to plastics better.

dkenny64 24-06-2018 14:49

Re: Something better than Starboard?
what about PVC board?

not sure what kind of plastic Starboard is made from?

PVC board is just that PVC in flat board.. can be glued using PVC pipe


hellosailor 24-06-2018 17:23

Re: Something better than Starboard?
What is a "small" difference? 1/16" ? An inch?

If it is small like a crack or crevice, glue a strip of formica scrap behind it, then fill the crack with white marine-tex. Smooth over with a piece of cellophane or other plastic to get a nice flat surface & just let it harden up.

If it is wider...formica again, just trim a second piece to fill in the gap, letting the piece in back be the actual bond.

rgleason 24-06-2018 18:52

Re: Something better than Starboard?
These are all good ideas.

I think I will improvise with several of them.
1. Rout a small rabbit out of the back of the starboard along the edge.
2. Rout a small sealant groove inside of that. (or build it up with formica)

3. Rough sand the rabbit and groove and backside.
4. Torch it to change chemistry and bonding.
5. Use Locktite PL S40 (Home Depot) or Sikaflex on the rabbit.
6. Use butyl tape on the inside groove.


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