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Old 16-03-2014, 08:07   #1
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To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Fixing my Columbia 9.6. leaks by removing the old grey plexiglass windows (non-opening ports -I'll get the lingo down soon...), with the option of nice brass port holes. Ventilation thus far is forward and aft hatches.

The sleek racing design of progressively smaller windows towards the bow consists of two each side in the main salon, then one in the starboard head /port side closet. The option of v-birth window light/ ventilation beyond the ceiling hatch requires drilling new fiberglass holes.

My choices are: mess with the original design aesthetics with brass portholes, or replace and seal up with new grey plexiglass.

What would my contractor do if it were HIS boat? Leave the design alone. Later, I can always add new ceiling hatches in the salon for even better ventilation and added light. He explained how water would get trapped and come in whenever I opened them near the bow, and I could at best only use them at anchor.

So I'm hoping for members' thoughts on this. would I ruin the look or just make it different? Also, Even if I keep the original design, proper ventilation for the head is a concern, but a ceiling hatch may be the answer there? I don't want to do an open window if I don't match it on the closet.

The brass portholes I can get for $20 a piece so I may buy them for the price and trade/sell them.
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Old 16-03-2014, 09:17   #2
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Ruin it. Another owner mod that: 1) if you decide to sell will detriment your asset 2) seriously make people laugh and avoid you in port.

+1 on the hatch. I'd put in a hatch with a solar vent.
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Old 16-03-2014, 09:56   #3
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Brass portholes with all that white plastic would make it look like a kitsch 1950's throwback I think. If it has laid teak decks and a dark hull that might look OK, but maybe still harder to sell.

I'd just take the profit on the brass portholes.

re. sailor-speak: I refuse flat out to call them "she."
A boat is an "it" in my book. Like a dog or a cat... (bornyesterday ducks-and-covers)
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Old 16-03-2014, 14:32   #4
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Yes, I am leaning more towards the original and buy the brass to sell.
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Old 22-04-2014, 09:30   #5
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

I am reconstructing an old wood sailboat and am considering whether to have opening or non-opening ports. On my current sailboat, a Pearson Triton, there are opening ports which I rarely use. The ones on the side don't seem to provide much ventilation (especially @ anchor). The ones that face forward also supply limited ventilation. I use scoops at the hatches which provides far more ventilation than any openIng porthole. I would stick with the non-opening. Yes - buy the brass ones - at $20 each there's profit!
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Old 22-04-2014, 09:45   #6
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

I have all brass opening ports on my traditional schooner and they look cool because it goes with the design, but as far as practicality, there are much better products now for ventilation. I would stick with the original design and ad deck ventilation as mentioned. Besides if the brass or bronze opening ports are anything like mine, they are heavy and will add weight to the boat. What size are the brass ports? I may be interested in them
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Old 22-04-2014, 09:49   #7
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

My port holes provide good ventilation when the current outweighs the wind at anchor giving me a cross wind, or of course when I'm in the slip and I have a cross wind.
I'm glad they open.
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Old 22-04-2014, 10:01   #8
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Port holes are for boats that stay in port.
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Old 22-04-2014, 10:18   #9
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

I find the value of opening side portlites very limited. As you mentioned, it's difficult to get much ventialtion from them, but easy to get leaks and water in when you open them! If it saves some bucks I'd opt for overhaed hatches for ventilation over portlites. Caveat, one opener above the stove is nice.
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Old 22-04-2014, 13:34   #10
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Always preferred big fixed sidelights for the light, hatches for ventilation (A shade awning over the decks and cabin trunk, reduces heat rise, and helps protect the open hatches from rain) Only caveat with big fixed sidelights... prudent to carry a couple precut plywood covers for emergency. A big chunk of green water can pop that acrylic out of the aluminum frame faster than opening a beer. (Don't ask how I know this)

Been thinking about installing some channel brackets on the exterior of the cabin trunk to allow me to drop in "weather-boards" in heavy weather somewhat in advance of a sidelight-ectomi...
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Old 22-04-2014, 16:19   #11
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

Brass portholes on a Columbia 9.6? Come on!
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Old 22-04-2014, 19:08   #12
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Re: To Porthole Or Not To Porthole...

I'm gonna go with thick safety glass for my sidelights. Since I am constructing the new cabin trunk with strong wood the glass will be recessed into the wood with sufficient support that it is less likely that a wave could break it out. Nonetheless, a prudent sailor keeps a fee scraps of wood on hand for such eventualities. Respect for the sa is paramount.
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