Thursday, January 25, 2007

DIY Boating Tips: The Joy of 5200.

DIY Tips for Boat Owners: The Joy of 5200

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) manufacturers a lot of great products but for the average boat owner none is better that 5200. This is the boat owner’s version of duct tape. Know it, love it and you won’t get enough of it.

Any properly fitted through hull fitting will be bedded in 5200. Silicon chalk and boats just don’t mix. So give that silicon crude non-boating neighbor. After you have spent a few dozen years working on boats you will learn that or you can just take it from a pro. This is a proven product for many marine applications.

Bedding through-hull fittings is the most common use for 5200. A through-hull fitting or a fitting that passes through the boat’s outside to its inside for you lubbers has to be watertight. 5200 applied to both the outside and the inside of the fitting makes that happen. A ¼ inch bead on both sides does the job if you drilled the hole right. And if you are drilling a hole in your hull you should have measured thrice and drilled once.

This magic chalk is great for bedding every thing but your wife. Screws in fiberglass tend to back out. A dap of 5200 helps stop that from happening. Take the offending screw out and put a dab in the hole and a dab on the screw and reinsert.

Does your topside stainless hardware tend to bleed rust? Get the 5200! Pull the hardware and put a thin coat of the magical 5200 on it where the hardware meets the fiberglass. Put a touch on the bolts near the base of the cleat or whatever is bleeding, then reinstall. Don’t worry about the 5200 that’s all over everything! I’ll tell you how to fix that in a sec.

Here’s another great 5200 tip. That bilge pump you have to replace and you don’t have all the fancy heat shrink tubing. Guess what? Put a dab of 5200 in a wire nut and wire it up! The connection will last longer than the bilge pump. Marine surveyors don’t like it, but I had one 5200 modified wire nut last three years in the bilge. Heck it was still fine the dang pump bit the bullet.

Now that you have tried 5200 you know the one draw back. All you have to do is look at it and it’s all over you and everything else. Ha! I laugh at that problem. Get the WD 40 out and spray it on the errant 5200 and wipe it away. Not only will WD 40 clean it up, its good for your sensitive sun burnt complexion.

One last tip, spray a little WD 40 in the end of the 5200 tube before replacing the cap. The tube will stay fresh much longer. When you find another 5200 project, just trash the first little bit out of the tube and go to it!

Until next tip, tight lines and good boating.



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