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Old 13-05-2013, 11:29   #1
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Portholes on small boat

Hi I was thinking about changing my portholes. They were initially made of some sort of wood that is now completely rotten and brittle. One of my 4 port holes has no wood at all i just used some screws and lots of silicone to keep it in place.

Any commercially available solution is extremely expensive around 200$ per port hole. One of the other options that i was considering is using some sort of H style rubber gasket to hold it in place. Problem with that is availabilty.

Any ideas or suggestions are quite appreciated
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Old 13-05-2013, 13:01   #2
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Re: Portholes on small boat

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Originally Posted by Andrei123 View Post
Hi I was thinking about changing my portholes. They were initially made of some sort of wood that is now completely rotten and brittle. One of my 4 port holes has no wood at all i just used some screws and lots of silicone to keep it in place.

Any commercially available solution is extremely expensive around 200$ per port hole. One of the other options that i was considering is using some sort of H style rubber gasket to hold it in place. Problem with that is availabilty.

Any ideas or suggestions are quite appreciated
Well, on a 16 footer, I think cost it going to always be your primary driver, including the value of your boat. So, with that in mind, it is worth buying or building another (I'm building a Seaclipper 20 now) as a replacement? If it isn't and you are just looking to stop leaking and get the portholes to say in and aren't worried about much else, you might consider replacement and using a marine adhesive or epoxy.

A bit more might be helpful.
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Old 13-05-2013, 13:41   #3
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Re: Portholes on small boat

Silicone really will not work. Are these frames which hold in glass that are wood that you are talking about?

If you want to keep this boat and not have it disintegrate further, you have a couple of options. The first thing I would try to do is replace them with vintage bronze or stainless steel ports. You might not be able to find the precise size, but if you can find 4 that are close enough you can always enlarge the openings to fit. Just measure carefully to know what will work. I am guessing you aren't planning on crossing oceans in this so what you need is light and to keep the water out, correct?I would then start looking in used/consignment and salvage shops for 4 that would work.

Check Ebay, Used Sailboat Hardware , Boaters Resale Shop of Texas and you can always Google up more. Good luck!
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Old 13-05-2013, 15:58   #4
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Re: Portholes on small boat

I need to keep the boat for a bit longer. I dont want to spend too much money on new portholes and so far i have not found any inexpensive ones. The windows are not glass but plexiglas and they are intendedto fit right in the hole and there are wooden frames sandwiching it in between.
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Old 13-05-2013, 16:24   #5
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Re: Portholes on small boat

Photos might help.
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Old 13-05-2013, 16:58   #6
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Re: Portholes on small boat

I saw plenty of plastic ports on Ebay and they were not very expensive at all. if you want to keep her, you will have to spend something. If its a disposable boat, you can probably cobble something that will work but keep in mind, most times you have to pay to have a derelict boat hauled to the dump anyway. Much better plan to spend a little to keep it in shape, then sell it later.
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Old 13-05-2013, 16:59   #7
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Re: Portholes on small boat

Consider replacing the inner and outer wood mounts with Delrin. With the mounts rotted I don't see it as necessary to purchase an entire port frame. With a sealant suitable for Plexiglass (Poly(methyl methacrylate)) you should not have a leakage problem.
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Old 13-05-2013, 17:07   #8
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pirate Re: Portholes on small boat

Why don't you get a half sheet... might just get away with a quarter sheet.. of 1/4" marine ply, a jig saw and cut yourself some frames...
Some varnish, roundhead screws and Sikaflex or similar and you've a smart but cheap solution
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Old 13-05-2013, 17:49   #9
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Re: Portholes on small boat

I definitely want to keep this boat. I have spent quite a bit of money on it so far. The boat is in really nice shape now that I have done the work on it. The last crummy part on it is the portholes.
I was thinking about using some plywood too but getting the shape right is crazy since I don't have any way to shape them properly. The existing windows are so brittle that I cant take them out without them falling apart ... literarily.
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Old 13-05-2013, 17:57   #10
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As others said, photos would help understand.


Look at Beckson they made the port lights on my Tartan, and buying parts from them is MUCH cheaper than the numbers you are stating.
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Old 13-05-2013, 18:05   #11
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Re: Portholes on small boat

It sounds like you have non opening ports...? New or used ones shouldnt be too expensive. The H style and other gasket material is still available to install glass directly into an opening. ho w thick is the surround glass or wood?
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Old 13-05-2013, 18:08   #12
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pirate Re: Portholes on small boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrei123 View Post
I definitely want to keep this boat. I have spent quite a bit of money on it so far. The boat is in really nice shape now that I have done the work on it. The last crummy part on it is the portholes.
I was thinking about using some plywood too but getting the shape right is crazy since I don't have any way to shape them properly. The existing windows are so brittle that I cant take them out without them falling apart ... literarily.
You must be able to make a template in situ surely if one is already out... you get the inner/glass measurement height and width...
Measure the outer edge of the in situ frames height and width... width of frame to work out the overlap for the glass then measure it out on cardboard.. any curves can easily be incorporated as you go... and if that makes sense I'm amazed
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Old 14-05-2013, 08:23   #13
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Re: Portholes on small boat

I think going with plywood cutout will have to do. The idea is pretty simple and easy to execute. Just measure the dimensions and cutout a rectangle shape then shave off the corners and that should be good.
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Old 14-05-2013, 09:59   #14
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Re: Portholes on small boat

Before you jump into plywood, price out marine grade ply. If you already have the necessary tools you don't have to add that in but if you start having to buy tools, that needs to come into your budget as well. You are going to glass/epoxy them aren't you? factor that cost in as well.

The plastic ports I saw on Ebay and elsewhere were indeed Beckson and I saw a couple for around $48 a piece. Do your due diligence and price everything out. You need to also consider how the finished product will look in regards to resale. On an inexpensive boat, attractive, solid, well done port replacement could be a big factor in resale.

Be sure to post photos of whatever you end up doing. Good luck!
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Old 14-05-2013, 10:08   #15
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Re: Portholes on small boat

I have attached two pictures of how the ones now are. The one without frame is the one i tried to work with but the frame just disintegrated. After that i just covered them with silicone so they dont soak up any more water. That is the dirty stuff around them.

As for the plywood cutting out, i was planning on using regular plywood and i have some really nice waterproof coating that hardens to a glaze and is oil based. I have used it on other parts of the boat and it works great. Either that or i was thinking of using some white marine urathane based paint to just make it white.
As for tools i have all i need and wood also, non-marine grade tho.

Now that i know how to post pictures i will post some more as i go along.
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