Most of us have glued things together with 3M 5200 when we really should have used something that would have given us a snowball's chance of undoing our actions. It's then that we find out how tough and sticky a good sealant can be, and how difficult to remove once in place.
Anti-Bond 2015 (which has been mentioned once or twice in this magazine) makes the job feasible, if not exactly easy. It's a citrus-smelling liquid supplied in a pressurized container. Company president Lois Boulicault says the liquid is odorless in its natural state; it's neither citrus-based nor petroleum-based. The sample we tried came in a 4-oz. can ($12.99) with a press-top valve and a thin tube to direct the release.
As the manufacturer clearly states, Anti-Bond does not work by dissolving the sealant; it loosens the bond between the sealant and the surface that it's been bonded to. You apply the Anti-Bond to the edge of the bonded surface, wait 10-20 minutes, and then try to separate the surfaces. If there's a large area being bonded, you remove the loosened material at the edges with a putty knife and reapply the Anti-Bond.
To test Anti-Bond, we took a clean, gelcoated, fiberglass panel and attached small strips of fiberglass to it, using a variety of urethane adhesives. Since some of these cure very slowly, we waited for three months before trying to remove the strips.
Anti-Bond works. The strips we tried to remove without it simply refused to come free. When we did pry them off, chunks of gelcoat came with them. The ones on which we used Anti-Bond came off cleanly, though they required some judicious prying and three or four applications of Anti-Bond.
It also did a good job of removing old decals and vinyl lettering. Lois Boulicault says it also removes beach tar, magic marker, and a number of other substances, and doesn't hurt skin.
Contact— JWB Environmental, Inc., 1227 Royal Oak Dr., Winter Springs, FL 32700; 800/557-6579; www.antibond.com.
The Streakless, from White Horse Marine, is one of those "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" products. It's basically a nicely finished 316-stainless steel washer with the bottom bent out to form a deflector. It's simple to install: You remove your through-hull fitting, put a bead of sealant on both sides of the Streakless where it will contact the hull and the outer part of the through-hull, and replace the outer fitting with the Streakless underneath (lip down).
That ought to combat those grubby-looking hull stains, right? And to think of what Nick Nicholson went through to have an anti-streak pipe extension welded for Calypso in Thailand.
The fittings are available in a variety of sizes to fit just about any through-hull. They cost about $10.
Contact— White Horse Marine, 4095 Fruitvale Rd., Montague, MI 49437; 321/893-4636; www.whitehorsemarine.com.