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Caulk In Wide Gunwale Channel?

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On both of the wide gunwales of my Redfisher 18', there is a channel filled with what appears to be flexible marine caulk. It's a 2008 model and even though the caulk itself is smooth and intact, it is spotted with black specs that bring to mind mold. It's not the most annoying thing I ever saw but I thought I'd ask those in the know what to do about it. Sometimes scraping away such substances is a real pain in the *** as I'm sure some of you have probably found out. I'm not even sure of its purpose.

What would you do? What is the caulk that was used and what should I use to replace it? Could I just put a new layer of something over the old caulk as there is plenty of room in the channel? Any ideas are appreciated.


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Short answer is - it's a pain, but it looks great after you replace it.

I took the brute force approach and cut out the old caulking with a razor knife, plastic scrapers, etc.  After you get the big chunks out the plastic scrapers do a good job of peeling away the thin stuff.  Then I taped the edges near where it curves down - basically the width of the bead I wanted to end up with.  I bought a fresh tube of 3M Marine Silicone and gave it a good, heavy bead.  To smooth it out I pressed down hard against the tape with you finger, being careful to not to rework it too much and mess it up.  You'll get the hang of it.  Carefully peel off the tape before it cures and let it set up.  The whole process probably took me around 2 or 3 hours.

It will look so good you'll wish you didn't do it sooner.  I find that fixing up those little details, like moldy caulk and rub rail rope, really roll back the clock and make your rig look sharp.

Good luck!


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