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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Re-Bedding Deck Hardware With Bed-It Tape > Clean Up Butyl Ooze
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Clean Up Butyl Ooze

Step 8 - Peel away excess ooze and clean with Meguiars cleaner wax, or a rag slightly dampened with mineral spirits. Do not saturate the rag with mineral spirits as it can creep under the fitting, just damp.

I find a ball of already "peeled" butyl works well at pulling away excess using a stab and pull motion. Stab the ball into the joint and pull away. The butyl will stick to the ball first and usually peel away from the joint. Alternatively you can use plastic razor blades or scrapers.

Contrary to popular myths about bedding all the Bed-It Tape does not squeeze out from between the surfaces even after the fitting is fully tight. This is the magic of Bed-It Tape, but it does take multiple small tightening events, ideally without letting the bolt spin, to get the vast majority of the butyl to squeeze out. If you do spin the bolt a little don't fret about it. Butyl does not harden of change consistency, like in the two step process with a marine sealant, and can take some spinning without causing a leak. Still the less spinning the better.


I know I may sound like a broken record but people keep emailing me about this issue and the ONLY reason is because they did not fully read or comprehend TIGHTEN SLOWLY..

DO NOT try and tighten the hardware to fully tight right away. Bed-It Tape relies on a slow compression to do it's job and seal properly. It takes time for it to compress, displace and move into every nook and cranny. The larger the deck fitting the MORE TIME it takes for this process to take place. Because of the density and formulation of Bed-It Tape it takes time for it to get displaced and squished out the edges of the fitting. When it stops you can stop making small tightening adjustments.

Bed-It Tape is pretty dense, and the perfect consistency for bedding marine deck hardware, but you must be patient when tightening the hardware. Remember you're not waiting for the butyl to change consistency, harden or cure so these tightening adjustments are not time constrained at all. If you can't get back to it for a month just pick up where you left off.

I sometimes take about two to three days of small tightening events to bed the hardware. Yes this is more labor intensive but the finished product, when done correctly, can still be bone dry beyond 30 years as it has been on over 80% of our own boat. Yes, over 80% of the deck hardware on our boat is still un-rebedded at 33 years old and still NOT leaking.

In colder weather butyl flows slower than in warm so just adjust the tightening adjustments based on temp and how fast it is displacing..

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Tom Cassidy 09-May-2012 13:11
I owned a Sabre 30 for 12 yrs and went to the factory before I bought it. The bedding method was really impressive. Never had a leak and should never have sold the boat. I'm rebedding a genoa track on my S27.9 and am concerned about cleaning up butyl excess on the side of the track next to the cabin where there is minimal space. Should I put the bead of tape between the screws towards the outboard side of the track base so it'll be easier to clean up the excess? Thanks Tom Cassidy