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Sealing Sheet Tracks


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Has anyone ever successfully sealed one of these tracks? Both of mine are leaking through into the cabin. Planning on first sail in a few weeks but I can't for the life of me stop water getting into this boat (rain that is)!!!

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2 minutes ago, L00seM00se said:

Only thing I’ve ever been able to get working properly is Butyl Tape. I bought three rolls when I was in the states last as I couldn’t find it here. 

Yes I get that answer a lot but I can't source the stuff here in NZ! 

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3 hours ago, Jasetheace02 said:

Has anyone ever successfully sealed one of these tracks? Both of mine are leaking through into the cabin. Planning on first sail in a few weeks but I can't for the life of me stop water getting into this boat (rain that is)!!!

IMG_2070.jpeg

Yes, I've done it. Not sure if its the exact same track, but I've sealed track that takes genoa car on the side decks.

Take the whole thing off, seal underneath the track and around each bolt hole with sika sealant. Re-mount the track, and ONLY FINGER TIGHTEN the bolts. Let the sika set, one or two days, and then snug them down firm, but don't try cranking the f*ck out of them, just snug. Idea is to leave a bed of sika, and not squeeze it out. You've got to put light pressure on to get it to bed down, but wait for it to set before putting any tension on the bolts.

We also had little plastic inserts that go between the bolt head and the track. Shaped kind of like a funnel. I understand these also help seal and stop water ingress from around the top of the bolt. Fairly sure our track was harken, with harken plastic insert thingees. I remember getting snaffueed cause we extended the track and ended up with metric hole spacings and imperial track, got half way up the track and the existing bolt holes wouldn't line up....

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48 minutes ago, Fish said:

Yes, I've done it. Not sure if its the exact same track, but I've sealed track that takes genoa car on the side decks.

Take the whole thing off, seal underneath the track and around each bolt hole with sika sealant. Re-mount the track, and ONLY FINGER TIGHTEN the bolts. Let the sika set, one or two days, and then snug them down firm, but don't try cranking the f*ck out of them, just snug. Idea is to leave a bed of sika, and not squeeze it out. You've got to put light pressure on to get it to bed down, but wait for it to set before putting any tension on the bolts.

We also had little plastic inserts that go between the bolt head and the track. Shaped kind of like a funnel. I understand these also help seal and stop water ingress from around the top of the bolt. Fairly sure our track was harken, with harken plastic insert thingees. I remember getting snaffueed cause we extended the track and ended up with metric hole spacings and imperial track, got half way up the track and the existing bolt holes wouldn't line up....

Ok sounds good thanks Fish. I am using Mastersil SMP 50, should be ok?

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No idea sorry. I know there is sika, and there is sika. Has a particular number (which I can find if you want). a lot of that sealant stuff looks the same, but performs completely differently. If you are going to go to the effort of doing the job again, I'd make sure you get the right stuff.

 

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2 minutes ago, Fish said:

No idea sorry. I know there is sika, and there is sika. Has a particular number (which I can find if you want). a lot of that sealant stuff looks the same, but performs completely differently. If you are going to go to the effort of doing the job again, I'd make sure you get the right stuff.

 

Thanks Fish, if you could get the Sika number that would be great, may as well give myself the best chance of success, don't want to be doing it a 3rd time!!!

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I did the same as Fish using Sika 291, the trick is too do the last tighten after it’s hardened but before it’s fully cured. And tighten the nuts not the screw of course

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2 hours ago, Jasetheace02 said:

This is the shape of the track, not flat on the bottom so makes it a little difficult to seal.

I would definitely use Bed-It for that kind of track.  https://shop.marinehowto.com/products/bed-it-tape

Also I would countersink all the deck holes so that the Bed-It can seal around the bolts. 

Have you seen this instruction article? https://marinehowto.com/bed-it-tape/

 

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Yes, 291 is the stuff, and 180S is spot on, and in better detail than me. It is definitely a 2 person job. Firstly to lay down the sika and place the track on it, then to tighten the nuts while someone uses a big screw driver to ensure the bolts don't rotate.

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I second the countersink the holes from the deck so you create a good washer of sealant between the track and deck

plus tighten nuts and don’t let the bolts rotate 

Did mine twice, then found water was coming from around windows and tracking along track bolts, fixed that and now tracks don’t leak. 😂

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Plus 1 for countersinking the holes. It provides a lot more sealing surface area.  With that track profile I would also be tempted to put the track down on top of a 3/4mm plastic strip, just wider than the track. Push all the screws through track and plastic, put sealant between plastic and deck, tighten from below.  It would be challenging to get a good sealing effect just putting the bolts straight through as there is nothing to "squeeze" the sealant, so it forms a good gasket.

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14 minutes ago, Dtwo said:

Plus 1 for countersinking the holes. It provides a lot more sealing surface area.  With that track profile I would also be tempted to put the track down on top of a 3/4mm plastic strip, just wider than the track. Push all the screws through track and plastic, put sealant between plastic and deck, tighten from below.  It would be challenging to get a good sealing effect just putting the bolts straight through as there is nothing to "squeeze" the sealant, so it forms a good gasket.

Cheers. I understand the concept of counter sinking however in this case I am not sure as the current holes 'just' fit inside the two rails that sit on the deck. Any countersink would put the diameter outside the rails and into open deck, if that makes sense?

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Butyl tape formed rings under track and 291 under washers below deck worked for me.

Five years now.

My track came with a wider aluminium spacer for under the track, which I didn't use

Countersink is not only  a hard edge stress reliever,  the butyl gets to form a compression  O ring in the countersink.

Was suss on nylon fitting under screw head, hence 291 backup.

My old ones had split.

 

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The shape of the track means that you will struggle to get a proper seal around all the holes unless you either completely fill the groove underneath with sealant, or have some sort of additional strip between the track and the deck.  Most fittings, when tightened down, clamp the sealant and effectively squeeze the sealant around the fastenings.  Your track is not able to do that so you will need to think outside the box.

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10 hours ago, mcp said:

No question,  use Butyl tape and counter sink the holes a little and wrap a small amount around the top end of the threads before insertion.  Tighten 90% and re-tighten/torque a week later.   I have never had a leak with butyl tape.

https://www.premiertapes.co.nz/butyl-tape-gp/ 

Thanks MCP. Is someone able to briefly explain how I would go about using Butyl tape on an application such as the sheet track pictured above? 

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On 2/01/2021 at 4:49 PM, 180S said:

I did the same as Fish using Sika 291, the trick is too do the last tighten after it’s hardened but before it’s fully cured. And tighten the nuts not the screw of course

Same here. Get someone to hold the screw in place with a screwdriver to prevent it turning and breaking its bond with the sealant, while you tighten the nut from below.

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