Find out what our experts thought of RuptureSeal's solution to emergency leaks when they put the product to the test

Sealing a damaged

tank, plugging a broken through-hull fitting or patching up a fracture in the

hull while water is pouring through it, is difficult in the extreme and

invariably stressful. RuptureSeal with its squidgy silicon plugs claims to offer a solution.

The plugs come in three

sizes: 1in and 2in diameter and a rectangular 2in x 6in version. They are

hemispheres of silicon gel threaded on a length of plastic like a cable tie. In

operation the metal pin on the end of the tie is pushed through the hole, and

once through it creates an anchor to tighten the seal against. The length of

the plastic tail means that different thicknesses of tank, fitting or hull can

be accommodated. They are designated only for temporary repairs, not least

because the silicon will degrade if in contact with corrosive liquids such as

diesel for too long.

We devised several different types of problem hole, in plastic and metal – from a simple round hole to a raggedy fracture – to see how the seal coped. Overall it did well, sealing the more perfectly engineered holes with little trouble, and importantly it proved easy to use. On the simulated fracture, and especially where the surface was uneven, the seal did not make it 100% watertight but did stem the flow to a trickle.

Pricey but handy

The downside of the seals, apart from their price, is that they are single-use, soyou don’t get a second shot at sealing a hole if the plug is not positionedcorrectly. In a panic situation, would you trust your ability to get it rightfirst time? The hole or split also needs to be the appropriate size for theseal you have to hand, and you need to be able to pass the pin through thesubstrate. Impact fractures in fibreglass often tend to shear across the layersrather than being a neat hole.

These reservations aside, the silicon bubble ispliant and managed to mould itself to the various surfaces we tried it on. Ifyou were lucky enough to have holed your boat in a manner that suited one ofthe plugs, these might save your life. However, a well-placed cushion will stemthe flow of many hull punctures, giving you enough time to get your thoughts together and call for help.

Prices

1in diameter: £33.602in diameter: £57.60

2in x 6in: £100.80

Pack of all three: £174

Enquiries: rupturesealuk.com