Blog Comments

  1. footrope's Avatar
    It is on its way, Martin. Good luck.

  2. Taylor Craft's Avatar
    Hi Craig,
    thank you for offering to share info about the APC monitor. I have an identical system on my Alberg 37, it has some problems. With a manual and diagram they would be much easier to solve. Can you please e-mail your info to
    Thank you for your help.
  3. footrope's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments. I looked up the Dow Corning 795. I see it's an industrial use silicone, which should be pretty strong compared to bathtub silicone caulk. I may try it. At least I know it isn't likely to hurt the vinyl gasket. I went back to the CatalinaDirect site and tried to find the Window Reseal kits. Silly me "port" is a search keyword for just about everything on the site (clutch plates?) except the fixed ports. They don't even tell what the sealers are for the most part, using generic pictures with the numbers blocked out. They do have the gray stuff that was probably used to secure the lexan to my Bomar opening ports. That was sticky stuff. I'm using glass and polysulfide in the Bomars now. And they have the Bomar "round" gasket material for the frame. It's available elsewhere, but they might be a convenient source if shipping isn't too expensive. I have some spare and fortunately that neoprene type gasket doesn't degrade much.

    On the two big overhead ports I used a Sikaflex product (10 years ago?) that worked ok. It wore out on the salon port after a few years and started leaking at the corners. The smaller port over the v-berth took longer to start leaking. It doesn't get stepped on as much and since it's smaller it flexes less. I'm not sure when I'll get to that as the ever attractive gorilla tape is working pretty well.
  4. Christian Williams's Avatar
    I used Dow 795 to re-bed big overhead hatch lenses, and the seal between acrylic and aluminum is very secure.
  5. bigd14's Avatar
    Craig- Look into Dow 795. It is a high performance sealant used on glass and aluminum windows in high rise buildings. I think Catalina sells it for your intended purpose as part of their gasket replacement kit. I used it in lieu of the whole gasket on this boat. No leaks this winter yet. On my last boat I just used black Sikaflex 291 instead of gasket material, and it is still going strong 6 years later with no issues. Good luck.
  6. footrope's Avatar
    Dropping the glass would not be acceptable. I'd have to pull another one if a pattern was the best way to get an accurate replacement. I think I'll be pulling them all over the next year or so. I'm still working up a plan to put this first one back together.
  7. mjsouleman's Avatar
    Many of us can attest to the expertise of taking port lights apart. My experience was similar except that it was too easy, so I added some drama and dropped one of the plates of glass. Don't do that!

    I got very lucky at a local glass shop that matched the thickness, which was a pleasant surprise after reading so many other experienced Ericson owners talking about replacing their lenses.

  8. footrope's Avatar
    Thanks for the testimonial. I will be doing something like that. My first port does leak and I've done the obligatory local search (fruitless). Online I did find a 50 ft roll of 5/16 x 5/16 rubber channel for 1/8 thick material that might work, but the Catalina Direct kits look better and for a reasonable price. I need to get the port apart and measure the "glass" which may be plastic except that it is pretty old and shows no signs of scratches or crazing. Gonna have to be careful.
  9. frick's Avatar
    I systematically re- bedded all the ports on the 1971 e29.
    I have found that if you can squeeze the Silicon seal it works really really well.
    I going on 12 years since that work and I have no leaks.

    I also discovered that I needed at rubber Mallet to persuade some window frames to come out and go back in.

    Also, I have found that Capt' Tolley's creaping crack cure is a fine product to seal the rubber gaskets that hold the glass into the frame..

  10. footrope's Avatar
    Thanks for the link. I have no use for silicone sealers for bedding material, but I don't like the flat, gray butyl putty material, either. I used that once on the plastic base for my new rope clutch, but it had to be perfectly dry and warm to make me feel like it would work. I will use 4000UV or maybe 4200 to seal the port frame to the opening.

    In the linked thread, Herbert's inner gasket (third picture) is badly deteriorated. Fortunately it is only a filler and performs no sealing functions. It does hide leaks coming from the glass to frame seal, though, which collect in the trough. I have removed the inside seal for the time being on my ports to watch for window seal issues. I hope I won't have to split any frames. It appears that the glass seal on my first port is ok.
  11. kapnkd's Avatar
    Fixing Ports is not a job for the faint of heart. That being said - It CAN be done.

    There was discussion on it some time back and here's a link to what I did as well as a few others. My older Ericson did not have the wood trim on the interior but the window frames are pretty much the same. Should you attempt to replace the inner rubber seal by taking the frames apart, you may want to create a two part jig as I did to insure being able to squeeze the tapered ends securely without the clamps slipping off. (See the drawing I did in the old discussion) Word of advice - "IF" the inner seals don't leak - let the sleeping dog lie. My older grey seals were really dried out and leaked.

    BTW - Butyl rubber is the route to go instead of silicon sealant. Much easier to clean and best of all (so far) NO LEAKS!

    kapnkd - '73 E32 MkII
    Updated 01-07-2018 at 10:14 AM by kapnkd
  12. footrope's Avatar
    Hi MJS,
    I will be posting the re-installation of the port with new plywood. Now that I have one out I can see that these fixed ports are not a great design for a number of reasons. I'll get into that in the next post, hopefully with an improvement on the original installation method while keeping the original look. Thanks for the comment.
  13. mjsouleman's Avatar

    As most of us have replaced ports lights, and found interior paneling in rotted shape, I would be interested in how you handle the paneling.

    I followed Christen's suggestion and removed the rotted material and bonded the delaminated back together. Followed up with a coat of primer and two coats of semi-gloss eggshell.

    I have also followed other threads that removed and replaced which required a lot of work but the results were beautiful.

  14. footrope's Avatar
    Sounds like a good technique. I do have access to one. At this point, my plan is to check with a putty knife around the outside frame for any gaps between the cabin and the frame. They all look good - I've been watching them for a long time. And it's easy to remove the inside black filler gasket to look for evidence of water getting in and pooling there. If the outside frame checks are good, then I'll probably try to seal up any suspect spots in the glass to frame gasket and see how the rest of the winter goes.

    I'm going to take the inside frame off the pictured port on the left side and see if the sealer is holding and how bad any cracking looks. If the sealer is ok, or can be repaired with 4200 under the inside frame, then I'll do that. I'll replace the plywood panel and put it all back together. That particular port has the worst looking veneer plywood of the four.
  15. bigd14's Avatar
    If you have a multi master or other oscillating tool use a flat scraper blade in it. Tape around the outside of the port light to protect the gelcoat before using the tool. I first cut into the sealant from the inside with this blade then from the outside. 10 minutes for each port light. I managed not to damage any gelcoat this way.
  16. footrope's Avatar
    As if by magic, a Leave comment link has appeared.

    Thanks for the comments. I will consider a no-frame external lens, perhaps, after I get the first couple of fixed port frames pulled out. I am reluctant to go to Lexan, but that might still be the best. I have seen several boats with that type of installation around the marina. The apparent simplicity has its appeal. As for the bottomless hole, the second fill was topped off with some very sticky epoxy - almost like a paste because it had kicked and was hardening. It looks like that filled in the hole where the epoxy was escaping. In the past I have stuffed tape into holes to cure that situation, but in this case I hope I don't have to drill again.

    Thanks for the tip. I didn't realize the inside frame was non-structural. It must just be used to hold the external frame and glass in place while the sealer/bedding compound sets. The difficulty in getting the external frame and glass out must depend on the opening size and the relative health of the old sealer. The old sealer that I've found on the frames of the opening ports is as tenacious in some areas as it is brittle and leaky in others. More of the same, I guess, and maybe worse if it is also a filler. I have no idea how to deal with the gasket around the glass pane. More research.

    The blue tint, I think, is a trick of the light due to the cloud-filtered early dusk at the time I took the picture.
    Updated 12-12-2017 at 10:42 PM by footrope
  17. Christian Williams's Avatar

    Re the fixed ports, I don't know how to fix a gasket/glass leak (still waiting for the definitive thread on that). But I don't think you would have any problem yanking out the entire fixed ports to re-caulk them. The interior frames are just cosmetic. The portlight unit is just held by bedding compound, the bedding is likely dried out anyhow. It's usually an easy seal to break and then they just push out. If reinstalling the same units, the cut-out is as adequate as it ever was.

    Rick R. ordered brand new fixed ports to a template of his originals. I recall it was pretty expensive, though.

    By the way--I think the photos show that you still have the factory interior anti-glare film on the glass of the fixed ports. I thought my glass was horribly aged. Then I took a razor blade to it and discovered the film. After I scraped and peeled it off the glass was clear and like new--and the cabin was a lot brighter, too. I may be all wrong about your glass, but removing the film changed everything inside the boat. Crystal-clear portlights over the galley!
    Updated 12-11-2017 at 11:56 PM by Christian Williams
  18. Loren Beach's Avatar
    If you reach the point of removal of the fixed ports and might consider a different approach, consider the external lexan lens system used on the Olson's.
    This would require some tidying up of the old edge of the cabin side (outer layer of frp and inner teak plywood) and then sealing that visible edge with paint.
    The final shape of the new lens would mimic the shape of the present frame. The outside dimension would have about an inch of overlap onto the cabin side.

    This eliminates the problem of frame-to-lens leaks, and it's very strong.

    There is an E-27 in one of the site splash screens with this change. I think it looks great, but then I would say that.

    There is a required technique to applying an external lens such that it will not leak, and I can advise. The set of four that I replaced in '95 is still leak free.

    As for the hassle of epoxy-filling a vertical hole with no apparent backing, perhaps you could over drill it and then drop an oval-shape disc in with a thread thru a hole in the center. The disc has to just barely fit with the narrower dimension. Pull it tight and insert some thickened epoxy. Ancient trick, but sometimes it still works.

    Updated 12-07-2017 at 07:53 AM by Loren Beach
  19. footrope's Avatar
    Very interesting story, thanks for sharing that. It is a strange thing to overlook on such a high quality yacht. Oops, we can't glass over the core in the dorade box and storage area.

    I use the 1" stainless guard over the dorades as a place for one of my feet, while I secure the sail cover. There is a fold down step on the mast for my other foot. So, I will be keeping the dorades for that reason too.
  20. hilco woudstra's Avatar
    You will have more luck in sealing the plywood than can be done.

    My reason for cutting off and replacing with a wood outer box.....readers will be appalled by this...but.

    In 1983 when I bought the boat, discovered the leaks right away. talked with dealer that sold me the boat (warranty item) they said they would fix.
    Next time I came to the leak, but noticed a black material in the box....WHAT?? was TAR. Now when the sun came out...tar leaked on the floor.
    Talked with factory.....could hear a loud groan on the phone line...and WHAT DID THEY DO? The engineer said "cut off the box, clean it up and fiber glass in area".
    He suggested reattaching box, I asked if they would pay for making a wood one, they did.

    The good thing about the experience...Ericson was VERY helpful!

    Hilco on Sketcher
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