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Old 06-18-2015, 08:29 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
I've used 3M5200 in a number of places as a substitute for welding parts together on my fishing boat. Incredible stuff. But - it takes a full 7 days to cure - although a bit faster in humid or wet conditions. Don't count on being able to remove it without prying, cutting or heating. (None of which I would attempt on my shiny new Escape.)

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How did you prep the surfaces the 3M5200 was applied to ?
Will 3M5200 bond to aluminum ?
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:42 PM   #132
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I notice on amazon both 3M 4200 and 5200 as well as Marine Adhesive 4000 fast cure which eliminates the 7 days to 24 hours and made for previously fastened joints 3M Marine 4000 UV Adhesive/Sealant Fast Cure (White, 1/10 Gallon): Industrial Sealants: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific, a plethora from which to choose and pick.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:52 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
How did you prep the surfaces the 3M5200 was applied to ?
Will 3M5200 bond to aluminum ?
Best prep for most metal surfaces is a light sanding with fine sandpaper, followed by acetone wipe. Knowing my habits, I probably did neither but the bond is still incredible. Don't know specifically about aluminum. My experience was with stainless steel.

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Old 06-18-2015, 10:13 PM   #134
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Yes, fast cure versions of 3M 5200 and 4200 are available. I guess I just prefer the regular formula and am willing to wait for it to fully cure. It is my first choice for something on a boat that needs a strong permanent bond and seal below the waterline. Although I don't have experience with it, I understand there is a debond made specifically for 3M 5200 that would allow you to remove it and clean it up if/when necessary. Wouldn't we want something that is almost impossible to remove without a specific debond agent - might make the aluminium tubes almost become one with the roof of the trailer. Again, I don't know if this is a good application or not, I just thought it's reputation for an incredibly stubborn, flexible, and waterproof bond might make it worth a look...

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Old 06-18-2015, 10:23 PM   #135
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Okay, I'm from the "other" camp. Drilling holes in the roof area of an all-molded towable only hurts that first time. I mounted an A&E case awning on my Scamp. Twelve holes through the roof. That first hole... OH MY STARS. The last one, easy peasy. Doesn't matter, there's lots of BIG holes in the roof of Ten Forward... two vents and a power vent. What's a few more dime sizes holes? It's ALL about maintenance.

On one of the forum... someone mentioned hanging a piece of 1" string from any hole through the roof. IF it leaks the string will let you know long before floor rot. Hummm.

I had Ten Forward built Solar Ready, whatever that means... but, I'm not opposed to drilling holes for a solar panel, if the bolts can be hidden in the cabinetry. YMMV
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:55 PM   #136
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Our current RV is a 52 foot fiberglass trawler, which we had built and have owned for the past 7 years. We now have Maritime for sale and plan to order an Escape 21. Having worked on the boat's commissioning when new and on maintenance all along, I have tried to listen a learn a bit along the way. First off, kudos to ETI for standing behind this problem on all the trailers they built and not just those under warranty! This is really exceptional customer service, and hard to find in this age of throw away crap. On any large FRP boat, numerous holes have been drilled to add equipment, both above and below the waterline. There are sealants that will do a great job, but it takes research to find the proper one for each job. I believe that bolts are the correct solution and leakage an unlikely and minor issue. Hand rails on larger boats that I have seen are bolted on, as is most everything else on a boat deck. I have added structural pad eyes to fiberglass decks by adding an aluminum or stainless backing plate to the inside to distribute the load over a larger area to prevent flexing and subsequent stress cracks in the fiberglass or gelcoat. Gelcoat is not nearly as strong as the underlying FRP, which is why all structural additions on a boat's hull involve grinding off the gelcoat to get a sound surface to bond to. This would have been prohibitively expensive to do for the addition of solar panels, and gel coat cured outside the mold can present its own set of issues. Several folks have brought up fairings as a possible solution to wind tearing off solar panels, but you'd have the same issues attaching the fairings as with the panels. To prevent water intrusion, everything bolted is bedded in a suitable sealant, which is not necessarily the strongest adhesive! Last summer my anchor windlass failed. After retrieving the 120 lb anchor and 100 ft of 7/16" chain by hand, I set about detaching the powder coated aluminum windlass from the gelcoated deck. Some idiot had bedded with 3M 5200 (an adhesive/sealant with 700psi cured strength). It took me 6 hours with a heat gun, wood wedges and a sledge hammer to get the windlass off. No, I did not use the sledge hammer on the windlass. The next day I spent another 10 hours cleaning off the remnants of the 5200 so I could remount it in less permanent bedding material after replacing an end on one of the electric cables. I did not have the proper solvent on hand, but it is quite expensive and only helps with removal of 5200. You do it yourselfers out there might like to read this article in Boat US about choosing the right sealant: Boat Sealants - BoatUS Magazine. When we order our Escape 21 with solar panels, I will go for a raised rack-like frame bolted through the "hull" with adequate backing plates and bedded with a suitable sealant. The bolt holes are nothing to worry about as long as the bolts are in them. Worst case scenario is in 5 or 10 years you might have to remove the bolts to renew the bedding. No big deal. Sounds like the community, with ETI's help, is moving toward a permanent solution that will let everyone with solar panels concentrate on the road ahead rather than looking in the rear view mirror when going down the road!
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:53 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgun View Post
Our current RV is a 52 foot fiberglass trawler, which we had built and have owned for the past 7 years. We now have Maritime for sale and plan to order an Escape 21. Having worked on the boat's commissioning when new and on maintenance all along, I have tried to listen a learn a bit along the way. First off, kudos to ETI for standing behind this problem on all the trailers they built and not just those under warranty! This is really exceptional customer service, and hard to find in this age of throw away crap. On any large FRP boat, numerous holes have been drilled to add equipment, both above and below the waterline. There are sealants that will do a great job, but it takes research to find the proper one for each job. I believe that bolts are the correct solution and leakage an unlikely and minor issue. Hand rails on larger boats that I have seen are bolted on, as is most everything else on a boat deck. I have added structural pad eyes to fiberglass decks by adding an aluminum or stainless backing plate to the inside to distribute the load over a larger area to prevent flexing and subsequent stress cracks in the fiberglass or gelcoat. Gelcoat is not nearly as strong as the underlying FRP, which is why all structural additions on a boat's hull involve grinding off the gelcoat to get a sound surface to bond to. This would have been prohibitively expensive to do for the addition of solar panels, and gel coat cured outside the mold can present its own set of issues. Several folks have brought up fairings as a possible solution to wind tearing off solar panels, but you'd have the same issues attaching the fairings as with the panels. To prevent water intrusion, everything bolted is bedded in a suitable sealant, which is not necessarily the strongest adhesive! Last summer my anchor windlass failed. After retrieving the 120 lb anchor and 100 ft of 7/16" chain by hand, I set about detaching the powder coated aluminum windlass from the gelcoated deck. Some idiot had bedded with 3M 5200 (an adhesive/sealant with 700psi cured strength). It took me 6 hours with a heat gun, wood wedges and a sledge hammer to get the windlass off. No, I did not use the sledge hammer on the windlass. The next day I spent another 10 hours cleaning off the remnants of the 5200 so I could remount it in less permanent bedding material after replacing an end on one of the electric cables. I did not have the proper solvent on hand, but it is quite expensive and only helps with removal of 5200. You do it yourselfers out there might like to read this article in Boat US about choosing the right sealant: Boat Sealants - BoatUS Magazine. When we order our Escape 21 with solar panels, I will go for a raised rack-like frame bolted through the "hull" with adequate backing plates and bedded with a suitable sealant. The bolt holes are nothing to worry about as long as the bolts are in them. Worst case scenario is in 5 or 10 years you might have to remove the bolts to renew the bedding. No big deal. Sounds like the community, with ETI's help, is moving toward a permanent solution that will let everyone with solar panels concentrate on the road ahead rather than looking in the rear view mirror when going down the road!
Thank you so much for the information you have provided . Pat
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:30 PM   #138
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Solar panel. I have, in my life been in situations where fear was a valid emotion at the time. However fearing breakdowns, blowouts, dislocated solar panels, speeding tickets and other day to day eventualities, has never been a cause for fear. You're only gonna live so long, respect the weather and the physics at hand, develop your plan and put the hammer down. It's worked for me for going on 7 decades and I'm not changing now. ETI has consistently shown me that they have a great corporate moral compass, I'll ride with them any where any day.
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Very well said.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:49 PM   #139
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Just recieved an email from Escape saying they are providing a "solar mail out kit" to all customers who have had solar panels installed as some sort of workaround for this problem. Only had three failures. I wonder if it is a design issue or a manufacturing issue where there was a lapse in standards for those three installations.
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Old 06-19-2015, 09:02 PM   #140
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See post 87
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