Plexus

It used to be that when we wanted to attach something to our aluminum hull we had it welded. This requires special equipment and a skilled operator, not to speak of all the attendant mess and paint damage. Not anymore, we now use Plexus.

Plexus will stick to just about anything, and without much, or in most cases, any surface preparation. Hard to believe, I know, but we have used it and it works. It even adheres aluminum to itself and to other materials. (A primer is recommended for aluminum, but not required.) We have used it to install a depth sounder transducer into an aluminum hull.

But Plexus is not just for big projects. Our latest use was to glue stainless steel nuts and washers to the soon to be inaccessible back of some wood cabinetry to take the machine screws that hold grab rails. Sure, we could have used epoxy and the nuts might even have stayed stuck if we cleaned everything perfectly. With Plexus we just gooped up some nuts and washers, stuck them on and an hour later they were a permanent part of the cabinetry. We did not even make sure that the nuts and washers were a good fit to the wood since Plexus has great gap filling. We treated the machine screw threads with Tef-Gel.

There is just one drawback with Plexus: It is highly toxic and the fumes are particularly noxious. Don’t even think about working around this stuff without a well fitted respirator with new organic cartridges, eye protection, and gloves.

The manufacturer provides several automatic mixing dispensers

Plexus is a two part product with a 1:1 mix ratio, which comes in many different formulations with kick times that range from a few minutes to several hours.

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

5 comments… add one
  • David Hayward Mar 23, 2013, 10:44 pm

    Hi

    You recommended Plexus in 2008, any change in your recommendation?

    I have a question about door and drawer locks. On my last boat, EvenSong a 36 ft 1971 Moody Halberder fiberglass ketch of 19,000 pounds displacement, there was a horizontal barrel bolt on a locker that opened every time underway. I quick fix was to drill the bolt for a cotter key. I’ve some cabinetry work to do on my fix-er-upper, Attila a 36 Trisbal aluminum cutter 16,000 pounds displacement, and am wondering what cabinet hardware you found to be secure and reliable?

    Thanks
    David

  • Victor Raymond May 1, 2015, 11:20 am

    Plexus makes many different two part adhesives. I was wondering if you knew the exact product number of the Plexus product(s) you use? MA 832 seems to be specifically for metal to metal and metal to plastics. MA 310 seems to be used primarily by fiberglass boat builders (according to Jamestown Distributors.)

    • John May 3, 2015, 7:44 pm

      Hi Victor,

      Just got back from rummaging around in the basement to see if I had any, but no such luck and I’m afraid that my memory has failed here too.

      Anyway, not to worry. First off Plexus have a very good web site, but even better they have a very helpful technical support department. So you best bet is to give them a call at 1-855-489-7262 and get the goods directly from the horses mouth. I have done this a couple of times and always come away with a clear recommendation of which Plexus to use and also advice on application.

      • Victor Raymond May 3, 2015, 11:50 pm

        Thanks John. I will give them a call but for this job I just had the welder come and make the few changes I needed.

        I would like to have something like that onboard at all times but between the shelf life and little tolerance freezing it might not be money well spent. I think it will a project by project investment. I believe Colin had recommended something else if my memory serves me well and I will try to search for that to keep onboard.

        Being ready for anything at all times is not an easy task. 🙂

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