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the dream of dawn

Yet another fixed port thread. Removal

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This project was from a past season, but there seem to be a fresh crop of the perennial questions lately. I'm not sure if the photos I took add anything to the topic or not. The portlites on my boat were foggy-to-opaque from age. The plastic layer of the laminated glass eventually goes opaque, especially if moisture gets into it. Also, I thought that the port seals might be the cause of some of the mystery leaks plaguing my boat.

The first step was un-mounting the aluminum fixed ports. The inner trim unscrewed easily, and all of the ports were then loose in their openings - no trace of old sealant really remained. Some of them had been bedded with butyl tape, some with silicone, and some with... something else. All long dried up. FWIW, the ones bedded in butyl tape did not seem to be the ones leaking.

I was unable to get most of the ports out of the holes. Apparently the liner and the cabin have shifted slightly with respect to one another over the years? Most attempts to pry out a port that almost fit through the opening resulted in broken glass. In any case, I ended up using an oscillating tool to enlarge most of the openings. I spent more time worrying about it than doing it.

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Next, four small screws that hold the two frame halves together were removed, and the frames carefully pried apart. This was straightforward.
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The next step was the most time-consuming: cleaning all of the old sealants and grime out of the frames. I used a combination of a heat gun, scraper, and goof-off solvent, depending on what was in there.

We appear to have arrived at the three photo limit, so I will break here and put the reassembly in a separate post.

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