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Old 30-10-2011, 18:56   #16
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Re: Replacing Glass in Old Portlights - Help !

Thanks for the info! The fact that McMaster-Carr doesn't ship here is a real pain- they have a lot of cool stuff. I'll have a better idea of how to deal with the ports once I get them cleaned up a bit. There is a local manufacturer of fishing boat hatches who will take a look and offer some input. He anodizes; I've got the paint in the shop, so either way they'll get "purtied up".
I'll be careful with the glass! Mine are pitted as well but very serviceable.

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Old 16-05-2012, 12:44   #17
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Re: Replacing Glass in Old Portlights - Help !

Buytal rubber tape for the glass gasket,1/4 round gasket material,for the flange oppening,Grainger carries the gasket 1/4.Just Did 11,No Leaks.

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Old 07-07-2012, 08:06   #18
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Re: Replacing Glass in Old Portlights - Help !

Hiya Bluemansailor and others in this thread

I dropped out for a while, sailing from Florida to the Virgin Islands. As a first time cruiser I have a new respect for anyone who has cruised for a time and lived to tell. So much maintenance and repair work ...

Anyway, I am at St. Thomas and desperately needing to replace the portlights' glazing. In addition to the crappy looking glass, they are all leaking badly. And I am tired of running around with cups and bowls in the middle of the night.

So the project begins. I will take one in to a glazier here and see what they say. I've printed off all the posts and want to say thanks to everyone who had advice and comments. I'm planning to try for glass with thin mounting tape or sealant and an EPDM gasket. Stay tuned ...
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:35   #19
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Re: Replacing Glass in Old Portlights - Help !

I have just finished my project - worked pretty well - Butyl from Maine Sail for the ports to-hull joints and Dow 795 for the lenses to port joint. Gasket is EPDM from McMaster Carr.
Remember - only use cast acrylic (such as Plexiglas).
Determine where the leaks are from - do you have to do the entire port or just change the lenses/gaskets?

Good luck with the project.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:15   #20
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Re: Replacing Glass in Old Portlights - Help !

my ports are tempered glass--i love being able to SEE out mine wheni need to--my huge formosa windoows in galley and dinette are a resin product of some kind and sukk----crazed and unable to be used for visibility either from a safety or from a location point of view.
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Old 01-08-2012, 19:22   #21
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Update from David onboard Nereia

This forum is great ! So much information from people with so much more experience than I have. Here's where I'm at with the portlights :

Took them down and soaked in a vinegar bath. Got a plastic serve-n-store from the grocery store, so that I can put the lid on overnight, which prevents me from kicking it over in the dark. After a day of soaking, all the nasty corrosion comes right off. I used a green scotch pad, but didn't have to rub hard at all. The best thing was that this loosened the crust covering the little screws.

As another poster said, you have to be careful removing the screws. Make sure to clean out the slot with a small screwdriver or utility knife before unscrewing them. Take the screws out and don't lose them !

Then I pulled the two frames (inner and outer) apart. Easy. What was weird was that a pane of glass stuck to each of them - the nasty glass is indeed laminated safety glass, like another poster surmised. In between is the vinyl laminating sheet and all the gunk which penetrated and caused the glazing failure Blueman Sailor and myself described.

The glass is held in with some nasty black stuff, maybe 5200 ? Anyway, if you press hard, the glass will come out, and you can then go after the black stuff. Vinegar will not do it. I changed out the bath for mineral spirits. Someone else suggested acetone, but this is not my favorite chemical to have in large quantity inside my boat. The mineral spirits worked fine. I soaked for two days, then used a putty knife to scrape out the black goo, then a heavy duty mini wire toothbrush (Lincoln Electric welding) to get the rest of the black off.

I tried contacting Select Plastics, who are supposed to be the kings of cast acrylic replacement glazing. Tried three or four times over the course of a week, using their online contact form and email, and never had a response. Pretty lame. Went to a local glass shop who said he could do the same laminated glass as I had - $200 for 12 pieces. But I wonder if laminated glass is prone to separating in that use. There's nothing to seal the edges where the joint is, except the silicone you bed it in. Called the woodshop at the nearest boatyard and they said they do cast acrylic (plexiglass) pieces all the time. Brought in the old glass, which they used for a template. One day later I had all 12 portlights done in 1/4 inch cast acrylic for $100. Fantastic !

They don't have Sika and Dow sealers here, but the woodshop guys recommended Boat Life silicone caulk, which is available at the marine supply store in small tubes or in the gun tubes.

Once I get the rubber seals, I will proceed. I bought some cheap seal material at Home Depot to check the size, and 3/8 inch seems right. This is 9.5 mm, and one poster said he used 10 mm for a tighter fit. I think this sounds right, but McMaster Carr only carries Imperial sizes. I am looking at a few different kinds of material - oddly, McM Carr will not recommend a product for a use, or say anything about their products other than what is posted on the website. What a world. Stay tuned.

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