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Thread: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

  1. #1
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    Default Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    This has probably been discussed before, but I need to make a decision on this shortly.

    I purchased two cans of the Interlux without much research but Rich just posted that he did Sonja's seams with Slick Seam. If it's good enough for Sonja.....

    Any comments would be appreciated.

    - M

  2. #2
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    Different brands and different compounds for the same purpose. I'm partial to Interlux for no particular reason other than habit. Dance with the girl ya brought.

  3. #3
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    I'll throw you a curve ball; I like Pettit's. Easy application. But as you have the Interlux (I assume for underwater seams) go ahead and use it.

  4. #4
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    I don't have what I think are conventional seams so the slick seam squeezes out easily as the plank swells. I've probably left several cans of that stuff on the lake floor. I've never used the Interlux compound. What's it like? Does it set up or stay pliable for years? The Slick Seam goes in with a putty knife and it takes a while to do. It isn't like you can put it in a caulking gun and shoot it in, so your fingers are gonna know you've been using a putty knife.

  5. #5
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    The Interlux is a traditional and far superior product. The slickseam is easier to apply, BUT...it can literally wash out of the seam!

  6. #6
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    Hi Margo, We met long ago when you first started on SARAH. I'm getting ready to caulk the seams of my boat ROWDY. I've used both the interlux (brown) underwater seam compound and the slick seam. I will be putting interlux over the cotton in my bottom seams. Slick seam is very much like tallow. Tallow is still used by watermen on the Chesapeake Bay to keep the water out while the boat swells. The crabs also love the stuff and will pick it out of the seams.

    If you have really tight seams, like the wood Choey Lee's and some of the Swedish boats, Slick Seam works great! However, on wide seams, great gobs of the stuff squeeze out as the boat swells. Thats not to say that that is bad, it just happens.

    Finally, painting over Slick Seam does not yield the best finish. It is just about impossible to get all the waxy residue off the bottom and some bottom paint, regardless of the brand,will peel off through the season.

    Having said all that, I still keep a pot of Slick Seam for spot caulking and reserve the big job for interlux. Good Luck on your project.

    Jerry

  7. #7
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    Here's my .02 cents on the subject:

    I think that the choice of seam compound really revolves around how your boat is constructed and what your particular yearly schedule is like. With my Hinckley on Lake Champlain being stored all winter I had lots of problems with the planking drying out and opening up a lot. This meant that most seam compounds didn't work very well. It also meant that the large planking movement kept bottom paint from sticking for more than a season. (My boat was planked in Mahog and traditionally caulked) I needed to repaint my boat each spring, and sanding was by far the easiest way to remove the old flaking paint. Other boats with tight seams (no caulking) would use slick seam until the boat takes up.

    Slick Seam:
    Great for spot caulking, or if you really need to stop the boat from leaking when it's first launched. While I have seen some boats use slick seam as a seam compound I don't think it's a great idea. Compound is what keeps the cotton from being spat out of the planking and may help a bit with keeping the water out. Slick Seam won't really keep the cotton in. It also makes a mess when you need to sand the bottom, and once it's in the seam most other stuff won't stick to it. My impression is once you go slick seam you can't go back.

    Interlux Underwater Seam Compound - Nice stuff. It's hard to work when cold, but not terrible when warm. I found that it was easiest to tape both sides of the seam then fill. Once it's dry it sands pretty well. It does dry pretty hard though, and I wonder about compression set in the planks if the interlux has dried out thoroughly. My issue with it was that after a full winter on the hard it was dry and the seams had opened up enough that it would flake and fall out, especially when sanding the bottom. Sometimes it would take the cotton with it. I think that for a boat that stays in the water year round it would be a great solution.

    Life Caulk - In the end Life Caulk worked the best for my particular use. It could move with the planks, stayed in the seams and was easily sand-able year after year. For a boat that goes in and out of the water every 6 months it was the way to go, especially because I had so much planking movement.

    Good luck,

    Noah

  8. #8
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    Slick Seam and Underwater Seam Compound are different products for different uses. Slick Seam is used for temporarily sealing a seam on a newly launched boat while planks take up. It is not proper seam compound.

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    Off the top of my head, I'd have given you the answer pc did above. I've always known Slick Seam as a replacement for "soft soap." You stick soft soap into open seams that you expect to swell. The swelling spits out the soft soap and it washes away. Slick Seam does indeed have waxes in it that makes it a bugger to paint over. However, I first checked out Davis' product description and this is what they say:

    "Slick Seam is an excellent underwater seam compound for wooden boats. Requires no mixing, stirring or priming. Made of wax, pure mineral products and silicate fibers, Slick Seam adheres well to most solid surfaces whether dry, wet or even oil stained. Applies easily and cleans up fast with mineral spirits. Cures ready for paint in 30 minutes. Stands up well to flexing and swelling wood. One jar is enough to caulk the seams on most boats to 20’."

    I never considered it a permanent seam compound, but the guys who make it say otherwise. Me, I'd stick with the Interlux. BTW, you can thin the Interlux seam compound with mineral spirits. It is tough to mix it in, but a bit of thinner makes it a lot easier to spread smoothly.

  10. #10
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    There was a local 38ft Nova Scotia built schooner that had it's seams compounded with Slick Seam. The boat was pine planked, and the slick seam worked very well according to the owner. The boat took on very little water when launched each year. Still, you can't really sand the bottom of a boat once it's been slick seamed, so for that reason alone I wouldn't use it for more than spot caulking.

  11. #11
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    I found that it was easiest to tape both sides of the seam then fill.
    Well that answers another question...

    Thinning with mineral spirits seems like a good idea. Anyone with techniques or helpful hints on getting it in the seams good let me know.

    Has anyone tried putting it in an empty caulking gun? We did that with (fresh) Dophinite with good results when we were fitting the new frames.

    Also, from a timing standpoint how long is the stuff good for before it dries out too much. The next few weeks will be busier and busier and I'd like to get this out of the way, but don't want to do it too early.

    Thanks gentlemen. You continue to be the best.

    - M

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    You can also thin it with linseed oil. But if you feel the need to thin it, try to find some of Pettit's seam compound. It goes in quite a bit easier as a result of it's somewhat looser consistency, but it does seem to wear every bit as well as the Interlux. I find that the Pettit is not always in stock at my local supplier, whereas the Interlux is always available. I believe that's because the Petit is locally more popular. All the caulkers I know prefer it, whatever that's worth.

    By the way, the same company owns both brands.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 08-07-2007 at 03:03 PM.

  13. #13
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    OK, here's my take on an inexpensive solution for seam compound. I use Dap 33 glazing compound cut with raw linseed oil, the sweedish oil from www.solventfreepaint.com that has been cleaned of proteins. Mix to workability and apply with a fillable caulking tube. Finish the seams with a good concave, we use our fingers and rags dipped in thinner. Let set a couple of days and paint. The beauty of the glazing compound is that paint sticks to it, we have used if for several years now with no problems.

    For below the waterline use, I throw in a slug of red lead paint. The raw linseed will keep it from drying out and the concave will push flush as the planks swell but won't break the paint. Of course the cotton has been primed with red lead before paying the seams. The glazing compound holds very well.

    Above the waterline, the compound can be tinted to match your paint if you are going with anything other than white, we finish the seams with a smaller concave above the waterline. We make no pretenses of hiding the seams on a 1915 Catboat.

    Much cheaper to buy a gallon of Dap 33. It's probably enough to do your boat with one can.

    Oakman

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    Concordia, you just add a bit of thinner and start stirring. It's a bugger, since the stuff gets stiff when the solvents it came with evaporate (as they are supposed to.) You just have to be patient and have a strong wrist and a stiff putty knife. You just putty it into the seams with your putty knife. I wouldn't mess with a caulking gun because you'd have to thin it way too much and the guy isn't going to work it into the seam as well as you would want. I haven't used the Pettit product, which is said to be thinner, but I'd bet it's really the same thing as Interlux, but only thinned more. Think about it... from the manufacturer's point of view, the thinner is a lot cheaper than the rest of the compound. You probably get more for your money with Interlux.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    I haven't used the Pettit product, which is said to be thinner, but I'd bet it's really the same thing as Interlux, but only thinned more. Think about it... from the manufacturer's point of view, the thinner is a lot cheaper than the rest of the compound. You probably get more for your money with Interlux.
    Bad choice of words perhaps on my part. Thinner isn't really how I should have described it. Pettit's consistency makes it much easier to trowel into the seams, and lasts as long or longer. Distinctly the premium product, not the other way around. I've used both. It's really not a big deal except that one is much easier to use than the other.
    Last edited by Lew Barrett; 08-07-2007 at 05:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    A trick I used to use with any brand is to get a hot plate and put the can in a shallow pan of water and keep it hot, goes in the seams like butter, deeper, cleans up easy, and stiffens back as it cools...saves the fingers, hands, and wrists...and makes the bottom go quicker.....and another plus is in the cleaning process when you knife off the excess flush, and then wipe with your cleaner soaked rag, you get a concave seam, which allows for a smoother look after the boards have swelled........
    Last edited by Big Fish Billy; 12-03-2012 at 08:36 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    I use slick seam because my seams swell almost shut after a couple of days. For a traditional carvel boat I would use interlux.

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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    Hmm, this is another five year old thread......I think Margo may have it sorted by now
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    We not only bring old boats back from the dead, but old threads as well........

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    slick seam is friggin wax. wanna lubricate your seams/ soften up your boat?
    It keeps the water out jusfine, but I think it would make a carvel boat even loser.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    slickseam is a bugger to get out of your seams if you want to change it up....i actually used a blow torch to melt the remaing residue out of a few seams to get them clean for my next attempt at something that might work

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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    I know the prevailing opinion here is against it, but I like Slick Seam just fine. I caulked the seams on my Friendship with cotton, then applied slick seam. It's good for years, never squeezed out or fell out. I'm sure it is tough to remove, but that is true of any seam compound.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    Guys around here that use it say when you're ready to put the boat back in just knife the slickseam back in. They're even doing the same thing with a wax toilet ring for 1/10th the money........

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    +#8. Slick seam worked well on my tight seamed, uncaulked Danish Dragon. It's waxy enough to not interfere with the seams as the planks swell and it comes out almost as easily as it goes in, which is very easy. It's not a "seam compound" in the usual meaning of that term. The seams of my boat had no cotton nor were they beveled. When the planks swelled the slick seam bulged out and presented little resistance. I think it is a very useful product for a very narrow range of problems.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    alright, I understand the concept behind a very soft material that will squeaze out of seams as they swell but is there no material that is applied with a caulking gun that can accomplish the same purpose? I ask because I have several seams on the ORCA that have undoubtedly opened up sitting on the hard these past two months and before I relaunch her, I would like to put something in those gaps which will compress down but not come out. I also want to be sure that the antifouling I paint over it will not wash away leaving long lines on the bottom without paint on them.

    On a similar line...has anyone ever figured a way to put Interlux seam compound into a caulking gun?
    -1962 Weldcraft build 46' Ed Monk Sr. designed ex NOAA fisheries research vessel H.W. STREETER (soon to become ORCA)

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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    I have Slick Seam on Whimbrels bottom. I have no issues. It keeps the water out, stays smooth and fair. I wonder if it is as effective in tropical waters, but that is not a concern for me.
    For boats being hauled for the winter I think the continued workability of the Slick Seam might make spring fit out a little easier, and allow the spring swelling to do its thing a little better.....

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    I've used both Phenoseal and Sikaflex in my 1969 37' POST for years Both come in cartridges that can be put in a caulking gun, both hold paint well, Sika also comes in a sausage which can be used in a larger gun. I warm them up in Spring, caulk the seams, knife and wipe the excess off.
    "If you can't find the time to do it right, where will you find the time to do it over?"

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Fish Billy View Post
    I've used both Phenoseal and Sikaflex in my 1969 37' POST for years Both come in cartridges that can be put in a caulking gun, both hold paint well, Sika also comes in a sausage which can be used in a larger gun. I warm them up in Spring, caulk the seams, knife and wipe the excess off.
    Now, that's what I have been hoping to hear...something that comes out of a gun that is fast to apply and will not be damaging like 3M 5200 would be. Why don't these products get more airtime here? The thought of applying Interlux or Slick Seam with a putty knife to cover seam gaps that are maybe 1/8# is not something I relish one bit.
    -1962 Weldcraft build 46' Ed Monk Sr. designed ex NOAA fisheries research vessel H.W. STREETER (soon to become ORCA)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam

    Well people use what they will, I knew a boat builder once who swore by toilet seal wax rings, he said "put it in, in the Spring, and next Spring just knife it back in again." Phenoseal in a gun seemed easier to me, $4 a tube at Home Depot.
    "If you can't find the time to do it right, where will you find the time to do it over?"

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