BoatTECH TIP: HOW TO FIX A BUSTED HOSE
Turns out that there exists a magic tape that cures many boat ills, and here comes Tom to tell us all about it
I USED TO CARRY ABOARD around 75 pounds of spare hoses of many different types, materials, and lengths. Two years
ago, I discovered Rescue Tape, and took most of those spares off our boat. It’s a silicone tape that creates a permanent air-
tight, watertight seal in seconds; doesn’t get gummy like electrical or duct tape; has a long shelf life; is versatile; resists fuels,
oils, acids, solvents, saltwater, road salt, and UV; is self-fusing; has 950-psi tensile strength; insulates 8,000 volts per layer;
withstands 500 degrees F of heat; and remains flexible to - 85 degrees F (- 65 degrees C). You can put it on over wet or oily surfaces.
I’ve used it for many applications, including a busted water hose section that supplies dockside water to our boat when we’re in a marina. The hose split in a marina with around 70 to 80 pounds of pressure (way too much). I patched it more than two years ago. Since then
the hose has remained outside, suffered abuse, had almost daily exposure to UV, suffered 60-plus pounds of pressure for long periods, and
hasn’t failed. I’ve used the tape in applications involving hot water to repair pipes, to whip line ends, and to mark lines. You can put it on
over a wet pipe or hose; it doesn’t require dryness or sticking like other tape, just the pressure of a tight wrap during application.
This type of tape takes skill to apply. Read the instructions and practice before using it in an emergency. You must stretch it tightly over
itself as you wrap it, so it melds into itself. There’s no sticky surface; it fuses to itself almost at the touch. You’re stretching it tightly, so a
little goes much farther than you initially expect. The more layers you use, the more stress it’ll take, and the more durable the repair.
www.rescuetape.com — TOM NEALE
For more great tips and to learn step-by-step techniques from the experts, visit www.BoatUS.com/Boat TECH
add two coats of barrier coat after repairing
the blisters, then repaint with bottom paint.
Cost? More than $4,000. They claim that if I
just do an area repair, more blisters are likely
to develop elsewhere on the hull. This struck
me as overkill for a confined problem that
the surveyor made no special issue out of.
What’s your opinion?
DON CASEY: Follow the advice of your
surveyor. Blisters are a common problem. How
serious they might become can depend on
the chemical composition of the laminate, the
scheduling of the original lay-up, the skill of
the laminator, even the atmospheric conditions
at that time, and on where and how you use
the boat. In any case, this is a condition that
typically advances slowly, particularly on a boat
that is dry-stored part of the year. So make the
repair, then examine the hull every year when
you take it out of the water, and decide how to
proceed if you find new blisters. A few blisters
are a cosmetic problem, not the first signs of
the death of your hull. Fix them and forget
them. For the record, I hold the opinion that
sandblasting a fiberglass hull is nearly always
more damaging in the long run than the con-
dition it’s supposed to be correcting. If you
ever do barrier coat this hull, you’ll need to do
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