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Date: 15 October 2015. Rescue Tape Saves Boats.


Ever since I discovered Rescue Tape I have been a believer. It is great stuff and costs just ten dollars a roll. Rescue Tape is something you absolutely NEED to have aboard your boat. You might even want more than one roll. As for self on Seaweed, one is sufficient. Still, I might move up to two rolls, just so I will always have a spare one on hand.

My first use of Rescue Tape came back when I had Beast. Beast, my gasoline engine, had an exhaust hose that was not well secured. It slipped and the belt from my alternator started to wear the hose. The hose developed a leak.

There were two options: Replace the hose or wrap it in Rescue Tape and call it good. I secured the hose so it would not again rub the fan belt, then used the Rescue Tape. As you can see in the next picture, the stats are impressive.



DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES go cheap with this product. I've seen the knock-offs and they are not the same. The thickness was about half of the real thing. It did not adhere well. Also, there was nothing on the packaging suggesting it could withstand 500 degree temperatures.

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RESCUE TAPE Self-Fusing Silicone Tape (1", Clear)


You know me if you have read my website for any length of time. I am all about saving money. In the case of Rescue Tape I believe you absolutely MUST have the real thing. I prefer clear so I can see through though I've used white on Beast.

Rescue Tape could literally Save your Boat one day.


Back when I was in Steinhatchee I met a Westsail32 (Thursday's Child) that had a leaking stuffing box. That is serious and could easily have resulted in the boat sinking. The owner had tried to seal the leak but was unsuccessful. I gave him my partial roll of Rescue Tape and he was able to stop the leak.

Thursday's Child (as shown above) probably has a new roll of Rescue Tape aboard for his spare parts inventory. The Rescue Tape enabled him to buy time before haul-out and repair. The tape definitely solved his problem in the short-term.

A while back a friend at a nearby dock asked for my help. He had run his engine and the diesel overheated. Of course he shut down immediately. When the owner opened up the hatch, there was oil everywhere. First things first, he refilled the oil.

That was followed by a quick clean up. (Full cleaning would occur later.)

Every boat should have a stack of bilge diapers. They are actually now called Oil Absorbent Pads or Mats.

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Bilge Diapers AKA Oil Absorbent Pads, 50 Mats

Next he asked if I could come aboard and look to see if I could see where the oil had originated. A cursory look did not turn up anything apparent. Then he turned on the engine. It only took about ten seconds to locate a split oil line. Problem solved. At least the diagnosis was made...

Sometimes we are fortunate and what might have been an expensive repair turns out to be not-so-bad. Replacing the hoses is not a cheap item. Still it could have been worse. Hoses are a lot less costly than pumps.


If one hose is bad, in my view it's time to replace all hoses.
That is the first thing I did for my engine when I bought Seaweed.

And a couple that looked okay, turned out to be not-so-good on the inside.


In any event, while in the engine compartment I noticed a problem that was Serious. A raw water intake hose had a split in it. The spray was not large, yet, but the potential for a catastrophic failure was THISclose. And the situation quickly got worse.

The nearby thru-hull had not been *exercised. It would not close.

*Exercise: To exercise a thru-hull you open and close it. There is a handle and they do get stiff over time. I open and close each of mine once a month.


The problem was that hose. It needed to be sealed immediately. Fixing the thru-hull is next, followed by replacement of the hose. But first things first.

Stop the water from coming in!

This was a job for me as I fit best down there. Being petite has its advantages on a boat.

  1. First I sprayed hose with cleaner. Then I washed it with Dawn detergent. (Don't go cheap with those knock-off dollar store imitation dish soaps. Dawn gets sudsy in salt water and we want this hose clean.) Last, I poured fresh water over the hose to rinse it off.

    The theory was to clean the hose and get rid of the salt water. The boat owner was able to hold the hose in a position so the spray of salt water was stopped.

  2. Next I smeared a generous portion of Life Calk sealant on the crack. I'm not certain if that did any good or not. I did not think it would harm the process. The LifeCalk gave me an indication of where the problem was centered.

  3. Finally, I took out a brand new roll of black Rescue Tape and had at it. I used the entire roll.

With Rescue Tape you pull and stretch it as you do your wraps. It is a bit unwieldy as the plastic that separates the tape has to be removed as you proceed. Still, in this case the Rescue Tape is definitely saving the boat until proper repairs can take place.

As for me and my boat: I keep Rescue Tape aboard and would not be without it.

I suggest you do the same.

Also, be sure to exercise all thru-hulls on a regular basis.

I open and close the thru-hulls on Seaweed every month. This is important.

Rescue Tape comes in a variety of colors. Though I have the one-inch wide clear aboard Seaweed, there is a 2" version that has tempted me. This is one of those things that until you see it work, you might dismiss it as unneeded on your boat. That would in my view be a mistake.

Buy some for your home.

Do you have Rescue Tape onboard your boat?
Have you ever used Rescue Tape?

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2015, 2023

Categories: Boat Talk, Boats, Gear, In the Bilges, Money,

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