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Thread: Tips for removing original portlights

  1. #16
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    Aluminum windos

    Adam:
    Catalina Direct has kits for those type windows. The two screws on each end hold the two halfs of the frame together. A good tool for acess to them in a Chapman Mfg. screwdriver set I have used one or the past 40 plus years. sales@chapmanmfg.com . The Catalina kits include PVC gasket for the glass, Dow Corning 795 Silicone sealant,for the glass to PVC and 2M 4000 UV fast cure for the frame to gel coat seal.
    Bob

  2. #17
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    +1 on Bob's post

    the kits work like a charm.

    peter

  3. #18
    Principal Partner bigd14's Avatar
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    For removal use a Fein Multimaster

    To remove portlights, use a Fein multimaster (or knockoff) and a flat sharpened blade (no serrations). Cut away a bunch of sealant from the inside first, then work your way around the outside under the flange. Use blue tape to protect the side of the deck from the blade. Took out 4 portlights in an hour this way. Previous boat took me about 6 times longer using putty knives and other manual tools. The Multimaster rocks!

    Good luck.
    1984 Ericson 30+
    Hull #651

    Formerly 1972 Ericson 27

  4. #19
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    Notes on replacing portlights

    This thread motivated me to put my scribbled notes into a cleaner blog version. Obviously everyone's situation will differ slightly, but I felt that a running account of the experience might help others. I certainly didn't do everything right, but tried to share my mistakes. Now, where I had six leaky ports I have 5 completely dry. And one that showed a minute leak after a driving day long rain. I'll rebed that one in the spring when it warms up and the memory has faded a bit . I hope the blog helps people. And please add to it. I have more pictures of the process if that would help anyone.
    Southpaw, E-27
    Yanmar 2qm15

  5. #20
    Sustaining Partner adam's Avatar
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    Window frame shifted...

    Well it seems over the decades the deck and or liner shifted or settled slightly such that they no longer lined up. I indeed did have to cut it down a bit to get the portlight out and a bit more to get it back in.

    Now there's no problem getting it in or out.

    Im planning on resealing it with 4200, but I'm curious about butyl tape for the portlight. I've been using it a lot recently, including on a new opening porthole for the head and am very happy with it. But as I understand it, and its been my experience so far, you need compression to get a good seal with butyl tape. The original portlights don't screw into the deck, there's no way to tighten them down, so I imagine they'd leak...
    Ericson 35 #282 - "Kiki"

  6. #21
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Screwing in the inner frames provides enough compression for butyl. (I found some weird problem with getting them to screw back in evenly that I never fully figured out.) I still have one port that's still "temporarily" sealed with butyl (I forgot that one.) Still doing good. One of the larger ports had been re-sealed with butyl at some point in the past, and it did not seem to be one of the leakers, even though the remaining butyl was pretty old and dried up.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  7. #22
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    The interior decorative frames hold the portlight in, so butyl works. Its characteristics are just probably not best for this application, because 4200 fills gaps and with painter's tape on the outside makes easy cleanup. And doesn't ooze over time. But I've done it that way.

    It is comforting to note that there is no outward force on a portlight at all. The flange is what keeps a thousand pounds of breaking wave from breaking in.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal M40
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    "Alone Together--the Book" trailer here

  8. #23
    Sustaining Partner adam's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'll try butyl tape, and the great thing about it is that if it leaks, I can pull out the portlight, clean it up in 10 minutes, and reseal it with 4200. :-)
    Ericson 35 #282 - "Kiki"

  9. #24
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    I did the ports on my previous boat with butyl as have several boat buddies, works well as long as the exterior frames are reasonably true and fit to the fiberglass without any serious dings or dents and as long as the interior screws engage properly and draw the exterior frame inwards and maintain compression. Yes there is a bit of oozing out for a short time but clean up with a razor blade and mineral spirits is super easy. Also as mentioned, future removal is very easy. To each their own on this one!
    There are many butyl formulations, don't use big box (plumbing) stuff... the product from mainesail has great reviews.
    1978 35-2
    Crystal Current

  10. #25
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam View Post
    Thanks for the info. I'll try butyl tape, and the great thing about it is that if it leaks, I can pull out the portlight, clean it up in 10 minutes, and reseal it with 4200. :-)
    That was my reasoning too. By the time the glazing was all finished, the weather had deteriorated too much to use liquid sealant. So I stuck everything back in "temporarily" with butyl tape.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  11. #26
    Principal Partner bigd14's Avatar
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    Learning Curve

    They say the third time is the charm. This is the second time I have rebedded portlights. The first was ok, this time was good, but not great. So hopefully next time I will get it right.

    The first time on the E27 I tried to rebed the tempered glass in the frame using the "standard" rubber frame gasket. However, the glass was much thicker than standard and after two tries of purchasing gasket that did not fit, I ended up bedding it in place with Dow 795 and used butyl tape for the frame to cabintop. This has been waterproof for 5+ years but it was a messy job.

    I just completed the first half of this job again, the sealing of the glass to the frame. I considered purchasing the gasket kit from CatalinaDirect, but with the frames suffering some corrosion and pitting, I figured it would be best to go the Dow 795 sealant route again. I spent many hours masking the frame and the glass, cleaned the channel and glass with Interlux 202, then acetone, then alcohol, used some leftover bits of gasket to center the glass in the frame, and made reference marks on the tape to center the glass piece all the way around. Then gooped up the channel with 795 and put the glass in, and smoothed it out. The first three I spent a ton of time smoothing it out with my finger and wiping up 795 from everywhere. This yielded a reasonably smooth and good seam, but with significant waviness. Definitely amateurish on close inspection. Finally on the last portlight I had an epiphany. Tools to smooth caulk are inexpensive, readily available, and there happened to be one sitting in my tool chest! Duh! The 45 angled portion was just right, and the results were utterly professional. Too bad the first three had already cured. Next time.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Use the old rubber gasket (cut down significantly) as spacers to center the glass in the aluminum channel.
    2. Screw one half of each aluminum connector to the bottom of the channel before installing sealant.
    3. Masking is unnecessary. Dow 795 cleans up easily with Kirkland brand Baby Wipes from Costco, or acetone or mineral spirits (I consider Baby Wipes to be an indispensable part of most boat projects).
    4. Use the $3 dollar flexible caulk spreader (the 45 degree angle part) to smooth the caulk. This is the difference between good and great.






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    Last edited by bigd14; 01-11-2017 at 12:10 PM.
    1984 Ericson 30+
    Hull #651

    Formerly 1972 Ericson 27

  12. #27
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    Don't forget a nice rubber mallet

    Having reversed all my port lights, most came out quickly. A few needed a bit of persuasion.

    Rick
    Pax et Bene
    Rick e29

  13. #28
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    port light removal

    Adam,

    Last year I removed 4 port lights and learned a lesson or two just like you are.

    2 ports I used putty knives and sharp objects to cut the putty away from the frame.

    Then one day an old hand walked by handed me a pry bar and a scrap of wood and said, "just put that pry bar in thra and she'll pop right out"

    Holy Crap, I spent weekends cutting two port lights and 15 minutes on the last two.

    Try it, it might work.

    MJS

  14. #29
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    I'd be very careful with this method... if you bend or crimp the thin aluminum frames you may never ever get a good seal again. Best to loosen with the thin blade first
    1978 35-2
    Crystal Current

  15. #30
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    Portlights

    I would be very interested in seeing your notes. I have a 1977, 27 and need to replace the port lights. I am considering surface mount on the exterior.

    Any pics and guidance is much apprenticed.

    Thanks

    Bink

    anselmrichards@hotmail.com

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