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-   -   Leaky portholes HELP! (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f55/leaky-portholes-help-220124.html)

Bigjim 26-06-2019 12:51

Leaky portholes HELP!
 
I pulled out my old portholes and replaced them with new plastic ones. I sanded down the exterior and filled all the old screw holes with thickened epoxy. But when I installed the new portholes with butyl tape and filled all the new screw holes and gaps with butyl I'm still getting leaks when it rains.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...e-02_thumb.jpg

Should I remove the portholes and all the butyl and use Life Caulk or something else to seal up the gaps BEFORE putting the butyl down again?

model 10 26-06-2019 15:56

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
I would forget the butyl and use something that would fill all the little spaces when you tighten the screws without having to over tighten them and then distorting the cabin surface. I'm working my way thru 14 ports and I use 4200uv or 4200 fast cure.

coopec43 26-06-2019 16:46

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
I take it the portholes don't open?

I'd use Sika291 and as Ecos says don't over tighten the screws until the Sika has cured and then tighten the screws lightly next day.

Bill O 26-06-2019 17:14

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Are those Beckson opening ports? We have 17 installed and usually the only time we get a slight drip is when the gasket gets dirty.

Learned the hard way on the last boat, not to put the screws through the outer trim ring. Just used 3M silicone as adhesive for the trim ring then filled in around the port and a small bead around the outer edge with the same. After many years, we need to take the trim rings off to paint the cabin sides again. Once done painting, we will be sealing them up the same way.


Bill O.

Bigjim 26-06-2019 21:17

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by coopec43 (Post 2917602)
I take it the portholes don't open?

I'd use Sika291 and as Ecos says don't over tighten the screws until the Sika has cured and then tighten the screws lightly next day.

The portholes open. But when they are closed they leak. One leaks around the gasket, the others are leaking around the edges.

coopec43 26-06-2019 21:40

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigjim (Post 2917729)
The portholes open. But when they are closed they leak. One leaks around the gasket, the others are leaking around the edges.


Clean the rubber gasket then smear some Vaseline on on it. That has certainly stopped my leaks.

Bill O 27-06-2019 04:54

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Jim,
From our experience (if they are a Beckson), the screen needs to go in the correct way and the gasket seam needs to go to the top otherwise it can leak. If you don't use the screen, a spacer (backup ring) is usually provided and needs to be in place. Take out the backup ring when using the screen.
Also the port dogs need to be adjusted correctly and I adjust it slightly more than in the instruction link provided.
Here is the troubleshooting guide for leaks to help determine if its the gasket or the caulk.
Once you get them leak free, they really are nice ports.



Bill O.

chowdan 27-06-2019 05:51

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
I have installed new found metals port lights. I had to adjust the dogs to get a good seal on the gasket.

I used butyl. Jam as much as possible around the flange that comes from inside the boat through the cabin sides. You want to pack that area full to prevent leaks. The exterior flange I also had butyl on so when the two peices are sandwiched, the butyl is compressed and forced to fill in all remaining gaps.

I believe the use of products that are applied by caulking guns have gained popularity due to the time efficiency they provide than one jamming butyl into a gap. I sure wouldnt want to pay a yard to do spend an hour gooping up a single port light with butyl.

I believe the polysulphide base compounds work great until they dont. At that point, it's not worth **** and is a bear to remove things sealed with it.

Bigjim 02-07-2019 11:25

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
I pulled off one of the frames and scraped off the butyl and replaced it with Life Caulk, which is polysulfide. It rained the next day and there were no leaks around the frame.

I'm going to pull the remaining frames, scrape off the butyl and replace it with the Life Caulk. Butyl is probably better when you have steel or bronze. Life Caulk is probably better with plastic. Had I known, I would have dropped some big money and got metal portholes.

Another thing I noticed is that some porthole models are designed for angled deck houses. But, I can't find anyplace where this feature is offered. Most go straight through so the water simply fills up the porthole and sits there until it evaporates.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...type_thumb.jpg
Anyone know where you can get those angled windows?

a64pilot 02-07-2019 17:48

Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Vaseline can deteriorate some types of rubber, silicone grease will do the same thing and is safer.
My portlghts have drains on the bottom, maybe you can either drill drains or get different ones that come with drains?

chowdan 02-07-2019 19:56

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigjim (Post 2921940)
I pulled off one of the frames and scraped off the butyl and replaced it with Life Caulk, which is polysulfide. It rained the next day and there were no leaks around the frame.

I'm going to pull the remaining frames, scrape off the butyl and replace it with the Life Caulk. Butyl is probably better when you have steel or bronze. Life Caulk is probably better with plastic. Had I known, I would have dropped some big money and got metal portholes.

Another thing I noticed is that some porthole models are designed for angled deck houses. But, I can't find anyplace where this feature is offered. Most go straight through so the water simply fills up the porthole and sits there until it evaporates.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...type_thumb.jpg
Anyone know where you can get those angled windows?

I went with Newfound Metals for 4 of my small port lights. They were expensive. The big ones I am going to rebuild and reuse rather than get new opening ones. My deck house is very low profile and very angled(think Swan 41/42 design), so water does pool unfortunately.

I was unable to find portlights that are like your drawing. The only other design I could find was the flush mounted style made by Lewmar. These have the glass pretty much flush to the exterior of the boat, so there would be very minimal amounts of water pooling. The draw back is low quality portlights IMO.

It would be nice if they drained properly. If i could find slanted ones I would have much preferred those.

David M 02-07-2019 20:04

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
"Ports"....sorry. :)

Never use Vaseline on rubber, it can cause certain rubber to swell and it eventually dries out. Use silicone grease instead which is not petroleum based.

roverhi 02-07-2019 20:18

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
If Beckson is still using the same type of plastic they started with, don't use polysulfide (LifeCaulk, 101) or Polyurethane (4200/5200, Sikaflex) as it causes the plastic to crack. Think butyl works okay but they say to use sillycone. The sillycone recommendation is enough to convince me never to use Beckson.

David M 02-07-2019 21:11

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Yikes, silicone sealant? Do they think it is a home bathtub we are talking about? :)

Bigjim 03-07-2019 07:13

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chowdan (Post 2922264)
I went with Newfound Metals for 4 of my small port lights. They were expensive. The big ones I am going to rebuild and reuse rather than get new opening ones. My deck house is very low profile and very angled(think Swan 41/42 design), so water does pool unfortunately.

I was unable to find portlights that are like your drawing. The only other design I could find was the flush mounted style made by Lewmar. These have the glass pretty much flush to the exterior of the boat, so there would be very minimal amounts of water pooling. The draw back is low quality portlights IMO.

It would be nice if they drained properly. If i could find slanted ones I would have much preferred those.

Here is a link to one model that is angled:
https://www.marinedepotdirect.com/ma...ngular-7-x-14-

I think New Found Metals has one too, but their website is hopeless

Bigjim 03-07-2019 07:16

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
The angled one in the previous link is quite expensive.

a64pilot 03-07-2019 07:19

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Even though itís a silicone the GE silpruf is a very good sealant.
I use it to seal my chain plates, itís supposedly the best thing there is for that, lasts for decades apparently.
https://www.siliconeforbuilding.com/...0-SilPruf.aspx

Bill O 03-07-2019 07:40

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by a64pilot (Post 2922549)
Even though it’s a silicone the GE silpruf is a very good sealant.
I use it to seal my chain plates, it’s supposedly the best thing there is for that, lasts for decades apparently.
https://www.siliconeforbuilding.com/...0-SilPruf.aspx


Not certain about "decades", but we used 3M silicone on our Beckson ports. Good for nearly a decade so far with no leaks.

Have used structural silicone for our dodger glass and hatches. It works very well if one follows the recommended bead amount.

Discovery 15797 03-07-2019 08:08

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
First...never use butyl tape...that stuff sucks. It is usually much firmer and not as pliable as pure butyl rubber.

Personally, I would never use sealants on a port or hatch frame. The metal heats and expands at different rates than does the FRP. (Same for plastic...but not nearly as drastic). That heating and cooling cause expansion and contraction which puts tension on the sealant eventually causing it to break the seal (either against the fiberglass or the portal flange) which leads to a leak. Simply put...this will not happen with properly bedded butyl rubber.

4 years ago I bought 8 ports from Newfound Metals to replace the plastic ones in the hull (I don't know why any boat builder would put plastic opening ports in a hull..but they did). I used butyl in all ports...I also re-bedded all my pilothouse windows and frames with butyl and have not worried since.

Real butyl is messy to work with (unlike butyl tape) but IMHO it is the best for sealing ports, hatches, windows, etc. Another down side is that It's also very susceptible to chemicals...including plastic cleaner. It will also 'ooze' for a while as it gets hotter and need to be 'cleaned up.'

I order my butyl from NFM...(https://newfoundmetals.com/product/butyl-bedding/) and always keep a couple extra rolls on the boat.

Lepke 03-07-2019 15:44

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
1 Attachment(s)
If you can't find the correct angle...
Wood boat hulls with tumble home, I drill a 1/4" drain line as close to the seal as possible and use 1/4" plastic tubing, pushed thru the hole and cut to match the angles. On the top I drill out a bigger hole to make a sump and epoxy in the tubing. On the bottom I usually just seal wood with paint or colored epoxy for fiberglass. I have several ports on my current boat done this way. I've never had one plug up but would be easy to clean. Drain isn't obvious. You could do it with stainless tubing, but the plastic blends in.










chowdan 03-07-2019 17:37

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lepke (Post 2922935)
If you can't find the correct angle...
Wood boat hulls with tumble home, I drill a 1/4" drain line as close to the seal as possible and use 1/4" plastic tubing, pushed thru the hole and cut to match the angles. On the top I drill out a bigger hole to make a sump and epoxy in the tubing. On the bottom I usually just seal wood with paint or colored epoxy for fiberglass. I have several ports on my current boat done this way. I've never had one plug up but would be easy to clean. Drain isn't obvious. You could do it with stainless tubing, but the plastic blends in.









Do you have photos of your setup?

I've thought about this. The one issue I have with it is that sealing that tubing seems like a PITA due to epoxy not bonding to metal very well.

CassidyNZ 03-07-2019 18:10

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigjim (Post 2921940)
Another thing I noticed is that some porthole models are designed for angled deck houses. But, I can't find anyplace where this feature is offered. Most go straight through so the water simply fills up the porthole and sits there until it evaporates.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...type_thumb.jpg
Anyone know where you can get those angled windows?

The cross section you show indicates a much deeper port than Iím used to. I have Lewmar ports which have the glass seating well inside the frame and the rubber and rim very thin. Result of that is very little water gathers on the port. I canít recall ever having to wipe the outside before opening.

Is your diagram a ďrepresentationĒ or does the glass actually close onto the inside of the frame as shown? If yes, thatís not very clever design.

chowdan 03-07-2019 18:47

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CassidyNZ (Post 2923045)
The cross section you show indicates a much deeper port than Iím used to. I have Lewmar ports which have the glass seating well inside the frame and the rubber and rim very thin. Result of that is very little water gathers on the port. I canít recall ever having to wipe the outside before opening.

Is your diagram a ďrepresentationĒ or does the glass actually close onto the inside of the frame as shown? If yes, thatís not very clever design.

For regular vertical cabin top, or slightly slanted, it works just fine. On a boat like mine, or on ones such as a swan, the design doesnt work the best.

The lewmar design you describe would probably be the better design for super angled cabin tops. The problem I have with them is that I feel like they are cheaply made and not as durable feeling as NFM.

My cabin thickness is roughly 1.5" thick if I recall correctly, so that was another reason i went with new found metals.

Teknishn 03-07-2019 19:39

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Don't know the age of your boat, but are you sure the leaks are coming from the outside of the boat and not from water intrusion into the coachtop sidewalls? When you pulled out the portlights was the sidewall coring material dry? Had this problem on my '81 Hunter 27. Outsides were sealing well but the portlights were still leaking on the inside from water intrusion from a topside hatch.

For sealants I'm using 3M 4200 for the portlights along with Gray RV Tape for the bezels (a form of butyl tape used to seal the roofs of RV's which stay pliable for a few years).

CassidyNZ 04-07-2019 03:16

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chowdan (Post 2923064)
The lewmar design you describe would probably be the better design for super angled cabin tops. The problem I have with them is that I feel like they are cheaply made and not as durable feeling as NFM.

My cabin thickness is roughly 1.5" thick if I recall correctly, so that was another reason i went with new found metals.

Actually my coachroof has near-vertical sides. In an earlier post someone mentioned Lewmar ports made of plastic being not so flash. Mine are made of aluminium with 8mm acrylic panes and are pretty robust construction. Assuming they are original (no reason not to), they have been doing a pretty good job since 1986 :smile:

I am presently in a program of replacement of the acrylic panes and seals as the originals have been distorted over time by the catches and have started leaking but the frames are still perfect.

I have no affiliation with Lewmar and donít approve of their after sales support and marketing philosophy :wink:

gulfstar37 05-07-2019 07:00

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigjim (Post 2921940)
I pulled off one of the frames and scraped off the butyl and replaced it with Life Caulk, which is polysulfide. It rained the next day and there were no leaks around the frame.

I'm going to pull the remaining frames, scrape off the butyl and replace it with the Life Caulk. Butyl is probably better when you have steel or bronze. Life Caulk is probably better with plastic. Had I known, I would have dropped some big money and got metal portholes.

Another thing I noticed is that some porthole models are designed for angled deck houses. But, I can't find anyplace where this feature is offered. Most go straight through so the water simply fills up the porthole and sits there until it evaporates.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...type_thumb.jpg
Anyone know where you can get those angled windows?

Haven't seen angles ones like you show but Beckson makes ports for side angle install to minimize amount of residual water trapped in window. We installed the rain drain and works very well. Note there will be some drips directly following a downpour mostly from screen but after 15 minutes it's dry. See attached photo.Attachment 195359

siamese 05-07-2019 07:16

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
I replaced a Beckson port a couple years ago. I recall that Beckson was very specific about using silicone. Not what you'd expect for a marine product, but they warn that 3M 4000 or 4200 or similar will attach the plastic and degrade it.

This spring, I replaced the acrylic windows in the Lewmar ports on the side of my cabin (Catalina 28). My research showed that this is another instance where 3M 4000 & 4200 are not recommended, as they'll degrade the plastic. I used Dow 795 silicone adhesive.

a64pilot 05-07-2019 07:21

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill O (Post 2922566)
Not certain about "decades", but we used 3M silicone on our Beckson ports. Good for nearly a decade so far with no leaks.

Have used structural silicone for our dodger glass and hatches. It works very well if one follows the recommended bead amount.



Click on the link and read the spec sheet, this is not your normal silicone.

Bigjim 15-07-2019 09:54

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Those Man Ship port lights look great. But very pricey.

Bigjim 15-07-2019 10:05

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Unfortunately, all the videos I watched and posts I read were installing windows and recommending butyl tape. Now I realize all those windows had metal frames that bolted to a metal trim ring. So, the interface was metal on metal and not metal on fiberglass or plastic on plastic.

I recently saw several other videos on installing plastic windows and they were very insistent on using a silicone-based sealant made for plastic, because other sealants could actually wreck the windows. Sheesh.

Anyway, I gave up. I pulled the windows entirely and replaced them with deadlights that do not open.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...w-02_thumb.jpg

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...w-01_thumb.jpg

These will NOT leak, I guarantee it. One day, when I have plenty of time and money (ha!) I may try again with some metal windows. I've given up on plastic windows.

Bigjim 15-07-2019 10:13

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Teknishn (Post 2923096)
Don't know the age of your boat, but are you sure the leaks are coming from the outside of the boat and not from water intrusion into the coachtop sidewalls? When you pulled out the portlights was the sidewall coring material dry? Had this problem on my '81 Hunter 27. Outsides were sealing well but the portlights were still leaking on the inside from water intrusion from a topside hatch.

Yes. The water was coming from the windows. The damage was all localized from the screw holes on the deadlights and from the frames of the old portholes.

Here is a photo of the damage before I pulled out the windows:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...w-01_thumb.jpg

You can see the damage to the core from the lower right corner of the window where it was leaking for a long time.

The previous owner had replaced the deadlights but did NOT seal the old screw holes. They simply just used the old holes and water started coming in.

Bigjim 15-07-2019 10:17

Re: Leaky portholes HELP!
 
Before installing my new windows, I drilled out and sealed ALL the old screw holes with Epoxy. Then I drilled new holes and used butyl tape to seal the windows and screws.

All the deadlights I installed earlier have not leaked. I pulled and replaced my NEW portholes with similar deadlights using butyl tape.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I will be able to check for any new leaks then. Wish me luck!


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