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S&S Swan General - Problems with Sikaflex 290 iDC
26 July 2016 - 20:26
Join Date: 19 January 2016
Posts: 3

Problems with Sikaflex 290 iDC

We recently had new decks installed in Finike, Turkey. After a year and half our caulk began to fail.

It started to pull away from the cracks, it shrank to produce a noticeable cupping, and the top surface became crazed and is actually rubbing off in places.


Sikaflex is making good on a number of boats, mainly those who had decks done in Turkey. We believe the company will reimburse us to replace our bad caulk. Further, it may do so in Italy, where we are now cruising. Americans, including us, have been advised by our State Department not to travel back to Turkey anytime soon.


If you are a part of this mess, or have had successful re decking or re caulking done in Italy we would like to know what yard did the work so we can seek a bid for our work.


We hope you have missed this adventure, thanks for your help.


Robert Way  Email: 

s/v Quest, S&S Swan No. 12 

27 July 2016 - 11:54
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1018

Dear Robert

this problem with Sika is very well known, but unfortunately it just happens randomly and even when the wood has been properly cleaned and well treated with Sika primer before caulking, so there is not a known mistake in the job itself but it definitely is in the product

Do they just pay for the Sika or even for the manpower you need to do the caulking again, because I think on a 47 the hours to do the job are quite a lot...

Fair winds!

Matteo (47/069 Vanessa)

19 August 2016 - 12:03
Join Date: 02 February 2007
Posts: 202

Dear Robert,

after experiencing lots of problems with Sikaflex 290  dc I would, like Matteo, be really surprised if they were ready to pay for the replacement of your deck calking! They are probably only offering to give you some product for free, but that's all.

Our own story is rather old, but it is the following: after one year the calking was beginnig to produce black stains on anythig which was rubbing on it such as sheets, footwear, bathing suits, etc... First discussion with Sika commercial person: it was "obviously our fault" since we had been using WD 40 in some places. Totally untrue at the time.

Second year, things got worse, even more black being liberated, the surface of the joints showing some sort of "crazing". New discussion with Sika: "obviously our fault" since we had been using some cleaning products on the deck. True, but the manufacturer of the product stated it was "obviously Sika's problem" since the had known quality problems.

Feeling like a wild dog trying to catch his tail....!

So my conclusions:

- dont you ever use any cleaning product on your deck! I understand they are often basic products (high pH) which any polyurethane calking seems not to like at all. Only salt water!

- never use Sika 290 dc whatsoever.

From the professor I remember this information: "some of the products used in older calking product are now forbidden for H&S reasons, this makes the calking very sensitive to any chemical aggression."

So I am patiently replacing my deck calking, line by line, and there are a lot....

Products tested:

    - SABA calk. Apparently not manufactured any more? At least not available in France. Also had quality problems. Some Sensitivity to cleaners. Some curious compatibility problems with the remaining 290 dc...

    - Nautichem WKT sealing compound. It is silicone based, and supposedly less sensitive to chemical aggressio. Have been using it for the last two years without problem. (Remember: no cleaning agent on my deck!)

Good luck to you, this is a major problem.

Happy sailing anyway.

Philippe. 41/022




20 August 2016 - 22:17
Join Date: 23 October 2011
Posts: 150

This is only my humble opinion and my personal experience only.

My 47' was produced in 1977 and since 1978 in the water. Around 2009, after more then thirty years, the maintenance of the deck was becoming impossible, tripping over the bolts of the deck, so I looked around for a new deck.

My first enquires regarding the teak wood were to a hi quality and expensive deck manufacturer, Magnino, and I asked them which were the suggested products for maintaining their wonderful decks. The reply was: nothing, absolutely. Salt water, and no brushing at all. But how do you get this wonderful honey tonality? What do you think regarding a sealer for the wood, I asked. Nothing, the only thing you may add is vaseline oil, but very very little and be ready to clean immediately. If this is your desire, you may wipe some cut lemons soaked in a bucket of water...

With regards to the sealant, again, Sika is the best known and I enquired their technical office. I printed their brochure regarding all the instructions for laying a deck with their products and for the products to maintain it. I was really astonished to read: no soap, no alkaline washing, no acid washing, and, most of all, no oily products on Sika. I called their technical responsible for marine applications in Italy and he was, too, very reluctant to allow for more. The only advise that I received was to wash and wash again with clean water after any tentative with chemical products.

The factors for not having a good and lasting deck are so many, and it might be boring to summerize them. The only thing I would like to recall is, as I was in Finike when the new deck was made for this boat, is to be very careful after application, to have the deck protected from sun light for 12 hours if this is made in the open air, so the best hours for curing are after sunset, and, second, to wait at least 4-5 days before sanding on the seams. Third, the right application of the sealer is important. and the right ratio between deepness and broadness of the seam.


Matteo45, Grampus 47/016



21 August 2016 - 11:19
Join Date: 23 October 2011
Posts: 150

Oops, as a third point, the correct application of the primer, not only the Sika silicone.

The boat I saw  aside in the marina of Finike in 2014,was Quest. The work was in progress. It was a very nice job indeed, yet I remember that there was something not much convincing, probably the way in which the job was progressing, but I have lost the detail,

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