The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site


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.

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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David Hayward


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?


Victor Raymond

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.)

Victor Raymond

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. 🙂