Blog

September 8, 2022

The Most Common Sealing Solutions for Your Boat

When you think of a boat, weatherstripping is probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but that doesn't make its role in protecting your watercraft any less important. Whether your boat is docked or you're enjoying a day on the water, there are potential dangers that our weatherstripping solutions can help prevent.

Of course, the most common issue you'd need a sealing solution for is water leaks, which can lead to damage or at least mold and mildew. Other problematic elements like debris and insects also need a barrier between them and certain areas of your boat. Additionally, seals are sometimes used to hold things in place and Steele Rubber Products has the solutions to keep your glass secure, eliminating noise and vibrations and preventing rust. 

In this post we cover the most common marine seals, their function and how they prolong the life of your boat.

 

Rubs Rails

 

Starting with our most popular product, because virtually every boat uses them, rub rail inserts. Rub rails are designed to be a protective barrier to absorb the shock of minor impacts and protect the hull of your boat. It's inevitable that your boat will bump into things like docks or pilings, so with adding further protection in mind, rub rail inserts were created to take the brunt of those impacts.

Our inserts are made of high-quality, EPDM dense rubber, making them durable yet flexible enough to go into the rub rail channel without having to pre-heat! A challenge that the original and replacement vinyl rub rail inserts pose to anyone trying to install them. EPDM rubber is extremely UV and Ozone resistant, and unlike vinyl it will not fade, shrink or crack.

We offer a variety of profiles and dimensions to fit your boat, as well as replacement kits that include at least 50ft of the new seal, a tuck tool and an instruction sheet. If you don't need to replace your entire insert, we've got you covered there too. We have repair kits that include a pre-cut length of the seal, a tuck tool, an instruction sheet and Loctite Super Bonder 495 to ensure a seamless bond on both ends of the repaired section. 

 

Windows & Glass

 

Next we have windows and glass seals. Like our rub rail inserts, all of our marine window and glass seals are made with high-quality materials ensuring a leak-proof seal for whatever application. They are also UV and Ozone resistant so they can withstand the weather while keeping your glass secure and keeping the elements out. Some boats only have the traditional windshield, while others have portholes, and some boats have a split windshield which features a walk-through window. No matter your glass, we have a sealing solution for you! 

We've categorized our glass and window seals to make it easier to find what you need. Starting with the windshield frame padding, these seals lay under your windshield frame and provide cushion control vibration. We see these deteriorate very frequently. Screw track covers will provide a watertight seal to protect your screws on the windshield frame from rust and provides a clean, finished look for your windshield. Often these shrink in the sun, leave gaps and allow water in, completely defeating its purpose. Our sliding window channel seals are made with electrostatic flocked rubber that is flexible and reduces friction to secure and allow your glass to slide quietly and smoothly inside the channel. And lastly our window edge trim, these seals fit between the glass and metal frame to create a secure seal and provide your glass with a clean, finished look. 

For those of you who have a walk-through window, the seals used in the example below were general Peel-N-Stick seals. We used a ribbed hollow rectangular seal and a large hollow half round seal, both with a 3M adhesive backing for easy installation! You don't have to use the same seals, but the hollow sponge rubber extrusions are perfect for this function as they can be easily compressed when the window door is closed and quickly return to its original shape once opened, even after being closed for long periods of time. Having these seals will prevent potential damage from the door slamming whether it's from hitting waves or someone dropping the door. This will also reduce noise and vibration in these areas while riding.

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Hatch & Compartment Doors

 

Every boat has a hatch or compartment to keep a number of things stowed in like gear, fish and equipment. In order to keep your hatch or compartment protected from the outdoor elements, your seal needs to be functional and you need to have the correct seal in place. Steele Rubber offers a variety of profiles and extrusions to accommodate your needs. Most of our compartment and hatch seals feature the 3M heat-applied Peel-N-Stick tape for easy installation but we do have the push-on design as well, to better serve all boat owners. 

Just like with windows above, we have categorized our hatch and compartment seals for an easy shopping experience. Our "D" & "P" profile seals are excellent replacements as they are closed-cell sponge rubber, meaning they don't absorb and hold moisture and they can withstand pressure for long periods of time without losing their shape. Our advanced profiles also feature closed-cell sponge rubber and are available in glue-on or 3M Peel-N-Stick tape . They have a more complex shape in order to serve many different applications and they are ideal for cabin doors as well as hatch and compartments. The rectangular profiles include sponge rubber as well as dense rubber extrusion options depending on the application. These profiles have different features such as a ribbed design, skirting design and hollow design for select seals. 

 

Adhesives & Tools

Okay, this section is not weatherstripping, however they still play a role in this process. Ranging from cleaner to tuck tools, we offer these products to ensure a seamless and efficient installation so your new seals will last for years to come.

We highly recommend using the 3M Super Weatherstrip Adhesive for any glue-on seals (we offer black or yellow). Loctite Super Bonder 495 is a general purpose adhesive that is excellent for bonding rubber, metal and plastic parts. Our Scraper/Tuck Tool is an extremely versatile tool that can help with any project from scraping off old glue and rubber without damaging your metal or paint to tucking your new seal into place without tearing or ripping the rubber. We also offer glazing compound, general purpose cleaners, undercoating and a variety of all purpose tools in this section to help with your next installation! 

 


Steele Rubber Products boat parts are made of a proprietary high-quality, weather and UV resistant rubber. This means years of precise fit and durable function that is easy to install.

When you purchase any rubber parts from Steele Rubber Products, you are covered under our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Additionally, you have access to our Product Specialists and other knowledgeable weatherstripping pros that are here to help answer any questions you may have about our products.


If you need help finding the right rubber part for your project, or need help installing your rubber parts, assistance is available with one of our Product Specialists over the phone (800-230-6752), on Live Chat or by emailing us at contact@steelerubber.com.

Not sure where to start with your project? Order a FREE Catalog here!

*For additional help check out our How To series on YouTube!

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