Boatlife Life Caulk Vs. Life Seal – the great debate that has divided sailors since the dawn of waterproofing. On one side, stalwart defenders of Life Caulk stand by their flexible, versatile sealant that has plugged boat leaks for generations. In the opposing corner, newcomer Life Seal boasts loyalty from fiberglass fanatics for its durability and specialty formulation.
Before you stock up for your next recaulking, weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each option. Life Caulk may have history on its side, but Life Seal’s niche fiberglass abilities give it a fighting chance. Consult the detailed comparison below before declaring your allegiance in the battle between caulk and seal!
Boatlife Life Caulk Vs. Life Seal: What’s The Difference?
The main difference between Boatlife Life Caulk Vs. Life Seal is:
Boat Life Caulk is perfect for bedding hardware and windows, while Boat Life Sealant is better suited for general caulking joints, as well as around windows and doors where the caulking is visible. Please note that Lifecalk is not recommended for use in hull repairs or in high-pressure areas of boats, as it is not designed to withstand the stresses and pressures experienced in those applications.
📝 My Hands-on Test of BoatLife Sealant Lifecalk
Once I figured out how to set up the tube for easy dispensing, it went on easily and stuck to anything it touched. I used light clamping pressure to secure the planks while I nailed them in place. This stuff is fierce – as in you can actually use it underwater. It works miracles when used to fill caulk my transom bolts.
The caulk sticks to wood better than anything else I’ve tried and does not shrink and stays elastic. It is not the easiest caulk to work with, but it’s worth it for its superior performance. The directions advise masking anything around the area to be caulked, and planning ahead is crucial since the working time before it begins to skin over is short. Working in my dry garage, the caulk can take a week to cure fully.
I’ve used this product for many boat-related applications, including sealing through hull fittings under the waterline, plugging drill holes on the transom, and covering cotton seams on my wooden boat. It’s been under the water line in saltwater for over 9 months without any issues.
This is the best sealant out there for boats. Don’t use silicone, which disintegrates with weather and time. I’ve written an analysis of Acrylic Vs. Silicone Caulk about its drawbacks.
LifeCaulk lasts forever. However, I did have an issue when I painted over the caulk with some KILZ 2 primer after about 3 weeks, and the primer got and stayed tacky over the caulk. Everywhere else was fine. I went on ahead and painted, but it appears the paint didn’t adhere to the primer over the caulk. Everywhere else the paint and primer bond is great. All work was done in a garage with temps probably around 85 degrees F.
💬 FAQ of BoatLife Sealant Lifecalk
Q: Would prolonged exposure to saltwater affect the product?
A: LifeCaulk is designed to withstand prolonged exposure to saltwater, making it an ideal choice for marine applications. It is specially formulated to resist the corrosive effects of saltwater and other harsh marine environments.
Q: Can LifeCaulk be painted over?
A: Yes, it can be painted over once it has fully cured. However, it is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before painting to ensure that the caulk has fully dried and cured. It’s also a good idea to test a small area first to ensure that the paint adheres properly.
Q: Can LifeCaulk be used to seal leaks in a boat hull?
A: LifeCaulk is not recommended for use in hull repairs, as it is not designed to withstand the high pressures and stresses that hulls are subjected to. It works as an adhesive for fiberglass and is best used for sealing wood planking and deck items to fiberglasses, such as cleats and deck hardware.
Q: Is LifeCaulk suitable for sealing around windows and hatches on a boat?
A: Yes, LifeCaulk is an excellent choice for sealing windows and hatches on a boat. It is specially formulated to provide a watertight seal in harsh marine environments, and its flexibility allows it to move and flex with the boat’s movement.
Q: How long does it take for LifeCaulk to cure?
A: The curing time for LifeCaulk can vary depending on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. In general, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to several days for the caulk to fully cure and reach its maximum strength.
Q: Is LifeCaulk easy to apply?
A: LifeCaulk can be a bit tricky to work with, especially if you’re not used to working with caulk. However, with a bit of practice, most people find it relatively easy to apply. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to take your time to ensure a proper seal.
Q: Can LifeCaulk be used on metal surfaces?
A: Yes, LifeCaulk can be used on metal surfaces, but it is primarily designed for use on wood and fiberglass. If you’re using it on metal surfaces, it’s important to ensure that the surface is clean and free of rust and other debris before applying the caulk.
Q: Is it safe to use LifeCaulk indoors?
A: LifeCaulk is generally safe to use indoors, but it’s important to ensure that the area is well-ventilated. The fumes can be strong and may cause respiratory irritation, so it’s a good idea to wear a mask or respirator while working with the product.
📝 My Hands-on Test of BoatLife Life Seal
Firstly, let’s talk about the pros of LIFESEAL. One of the standout features is that it is approved for above and below the waterline, ensuring versatile usage. Additionally, it cures in 24 hours, although it may have some issues in colder climates. The ease of cleanup is impressive, as you can easily remove it from your hands. Another advantage is that it attaches to most plastics, which is often a challenge for other sealants.
Furthermore, it comes in black, white, and clear options, providing flexibility to match various applications. The UV resistance of LIFESEAL is exceptional, ensuring that it stays white and does not crack for quite a few years. The flexibility it offers is another benefit, making it suitable for various sealing needs. Moreover, it can be used as a caulk, and the fact that you can use the same bottle later just by capping it is highly convenient. Lastly, it excels in bedding deck hardware, giving you peace of mind.
Despite these drawbacks, I feel that LIFESEAL is the easiest sealant to use for the most applications. Its versatility and user-friendly nature make it a top choice for boat owners.
💬 FAQ of BoatLife Life Seal
Q: What are the differences between Boat Life Sealant and Boat Life Caulk?
A: In my experience, I use both of them for different purposes. Boat Life Caulk is perfect for bedding hardware and windows, while Boat Life Sealant is better suited for general caulking joints, as well as around windows and doors where the caulking is visible.
Q: How can I clean up residue from the sealant?
A: If you don’t allow it to dry, you can easily clean up residue with mineral spirits.
Q: Is it suitable for sealing the bolt hole from an old motor on my aluminum boat’s transom?
A: It’s not recommended for filling empty holes as it is too flexible. However, you can fill the holes with nuts, bolts, and washers, and then bed them with Lifeseal.
Q: How many tubes would I need to seal the fuel tank access panels on a Grady Explorer 244?
A: I believe that two tubes should be sufficient for the job. I sealed every seam and around every fitting on my 18′ center console and didn’t even use a whole tube.
Q: How many tubes would be required to seal the deck joint around a center console with a large enough console to hold a head?
A: It might require more than one tube, so it’s advisable to purchase two to be on the safe side.
Q: I’m interested in buying a tube, but I would like to know the expiration date. There’s a five-digit number near the bottom of the tube. Can you provide more information?
A: The black tube has the code 05457, while the white tubes’ code has worn off. These were purchased in August of 2014.
Q: I ordered new windows for my home, and the manufacturer recommended using marine-grade caulking. Can I use Lifeseal for that purpose?
A: Yes, Lifeseal will work perfectly. The other type of Boat Life sealant, polysulfide, will not work on vinyl, but Lifeseal will.
Q: Can I use this as caulk for tiles in a pool, applying it dry and below the waterline?
A: No, it is not suitable for long-term use in that application.
Q: Will this product adhere to neoprene to fiberglass?
A: According to a post by BoatLife, the product has not been tested with neoprene. It may work, but it’s best to do a small test piece first.
Q: Can you paint this caulk?
A: Yes, you can paint this caulk. However, based on my experience, I wouldn’t recommend buying this sealant, as it dried up and cracked in one season on my sailboat.
Q: How many ounces are in this tube (1170)?
A: The tube does not indicate the number of ounces. However, most standard caulk cartridges are 10 oz.
Q: Is this sealant used for caulking deck seams?
A: Lifeseal is a water-tight sealant that maintains joint integrity even when surfaces expand and contract. However, if the seams are subject to significant expansion from water absorption, such as a wood hull, I’m not sure if the seal would hold. Otherwise, it stays pliable and holds well.
Q: Should I use Boat Life Caulk or Lifeseal for below the waterline applications?
A: Both Boat Life Caulk and Lifeseal are suitable for use above or below the waterline. Boat Life Caulk is sandable and paintable, making it great for wood, fiberglass, and metal. Lifeseal is more like a silicone sealant and is ideal for fiberglass, glass, metal, and more.
Q: Is this a polysulfide caulk?
A: No, Lifeseal is not a polysulfide caulk. It is a modified silicone sealer that is pleasant to work with. Boat Life Caulk is their polysulfide caulk.
Q: Will this product adhere to wood keel and aluminum on the bottom of a boat?
A: For adhering wood keel and aluminum on the bottom of a boat, I would recommend using GLUViT by Marine Tex. You can check it out for better results.
Q: Does this product come in brown?
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A: Hello! We can provide this product in Teak Brown or Mahogany, although currently, these colors are not listed on Amazon. However, you can order the white version from us on Amazon and then send us a message with the color you prefer. We can arrange to send the requested color to you. Additionally, this product is also available in Black. Thank you!
Q: I’m curious about the working time of this product. How fast does it cure? The manufacturer’s website doesn’t provide any insight. Thank you.
A: Based on my regular use of this product, it does an excellent job as a sealing caulk. For bedding, I use Boat Life Caulk. The time it takes to skin over canvary depending on temperature and humidity. When caulking around a large window frame, I typically caulk and then smooth it out with my finger dipped in mineral spirits. I usually remove the masking tape within approximately 20 minutes, if possible. I hope this information helps!