Fixed Port Windows

Discussion in 'Catalina 310' started by Long Story, Mar 11, 2014. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Long Story

    Long Story

    Joined Aug 24, 2009
    444 posts, 10 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Sturgeon Bay, WI
    I know there are a lot of articles posted on the subject on different suppliers web sites, but I wanted to ask if anyone has actually taken on and documented the process of replacing the four (4) Plexi / Lexan windows our our C-310's?

    Being frame-less and fastener free, they differ from some response I have received. In fact my boat yard wants to drill all kind of holes in the replacement window / boat as they feel it is the only "Right Way" to affix these windows.

    Looking for some feedback, with photos and steps preferred, on how bad (or easy) a job it was.

    Thanks in advance for any input that might be provided.

    s/v Long Story

  2. rpwillia


    Joined Sep 29, 2008
    1,750 posts, 26 likes
    Catalina 310 #185
    US Quantico
    Check this forum

    Someone posted about a year back the procedure they got from Catalina. I have not had to do this yet, but here is what they were told by Catalina.

    6.1 Window Replacement
    Catalina//Yachts Instructions for Replacing Salon Plexiglas Windows
    • Remove old window by cutting around edge and slowly cutting or prying as window comes away from deck.
    • Scrape or sand away all old adhesive/silicone on the deck’s gel coat, finish with 40 grit sand paper then wipe away all dust.
    • Do a dry run by positioning the new window in place with the help of masking tape and trace a pencil line onto the brown paper on the inside of the window as it will be installed.
    • Cut away the one inch or so protective paper on the perimeter of the inside edge. (Note: maintain paper coating on outside and inside to protect it from the silicone.)
    • 2-direction sand the edge that will adhere to deck with 40 grit sandpaper. Remove all dust or debris for good adhesion. Apply masking tape to inside area and deck outside where the pressed out silicone will flare out to shorten and ease clean up.
    • Apply the Dow-Corning 795 to the inside recess of the decks window area. Use a putty knife to smooth an even layer of the 795 that is about 3/16” thick on the flange area.
    • Press new window into place and use either lead weights (25 to 30 lbs) taped to 2x4’s with a piece of cloth to protect window and deck, (carpet can be used on deck, soft side down) in the fore and aft portions of window, or if possible by location, use block of wood or plastic batten like material to “bow” between handrail and genoa track with a block or piece of wood with cloth protecting window by pulling batten back like a bow and inserting block between it and window. Position pressure points so they give the window the most even match or contour with the decks natural curve while also supplying sufficient force to hold window fully in place. This may be approximately ¼ to 1/3” from each end and near the center-top to bottom of window.
    • Decide whether you would rather wait two days for adhesive sealant to cure and then trim off excess with a razor knife or scrape away excess while still wet and use alcohol carefully to it get as little onto the window itself (Note: generally it goes a bit easier to squeegee away the majority of the excess silicone initially, although many times additional sealant may come out as the first few hours go by and some trimming later will still be required.)

  3. duality


    Joined May 25, 2004
    389 posts, 14 likes
    Catalina 400 mkII
    US Harbor
    i did mine!!!! it was very easy following catalina instructions!.

    i would not let the yard drill any holes! get your replacement windows direct from catalina, follow the instructions. its brilliant how they use the foam tape as a thickness gauge for the dow sealant.

    to hold the windows during curing, i used oak battens of wood and wedges. the battens fit between the track for the jib fairlead and the hand rails, it worked perfect. 2 years later and no leaks.

    i do have a rash from the jib sheet from a crazy storm, but i think that would buff out.

    very easy diy. dont be surprised when the old windows break as you take them out. also i used a palm sander to remove the old caulk and provide a proper surface for the caulk.

    Attached Files:

  4. Long Story

    Long Story

    Joined Aug 24, 2009
    444 posts, 10 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Sturgeon Bay, WI
    thanks all - looks like I will take this one on as a spring project. (i'll try to remember to take photos step by step) Will hopefully have some warm days before launch that I can work under the shrink wrap, keep it all dry, and cured up.

  5. coxjam


    Joined Sep 7, 2009
    68 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Vision-32
    US Texas Gulf Coast
    I did this same think in my Hunter. Unfortunately, they leaked afterward. I've been told to add a spacer between the cabin top and actual window to maintain the 3/16 in space for the caulk to remain inbetween. I'm gona try this again using the spacer and see how it goes. anybody else with suggestions, please let me know.

  6. Shagdance


    Joined Mar 8, 2011
    21 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Oriental, NC
    Anybody know how to stop the opening port in this window from leaking.
    I have slow drip, have taken apart cleaned and still has slow leak. Any help appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  7. coxjam


    Joined Sep 7, 2009
    68 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter Vision-32
    US Texas Gulf Coast
    Make sure it's not the gasket. If not, try a bead of that stuff they sell on TV; Flex Shot. That stuff works great!!

  8. Long Story

    Long Story

    Joined Aug 24, 2009
    444 posts, 10 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Sturgeon Bay, WI
    The gasket on this one is rather inexpensive and easy to change, start there as the old ones get hard fast. Other item I found when I first purchased my boat, is the PO had left the frame from a broken screen in place and put a new screen on top of the old frame - leaked until I removed that extra layer of plastic.

    Good luck - Russ

  9. Tom J

    Tom J

    Joined Sep 30, 2008
    1,415 posts, 309 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Quincy, MA
    This type of port will tend to have a slow drip if there is any dirt at all on the outside of the Lexan, or on the gasket itself. It helps to wipe these areas frequently with a wet cloth. If you have the screen installed, make sure the weep holes are on the bottom of the screen, so that rain water doesn't build up on the outside edge of the opening.

  10. Shagdance


    Joined Mar 8, 2011
    21 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Oriental, NC
    Thanks Gentlemen,
    I appreciate the info, believe I'll order two gaskets and give that a try.

  11. Franzcat


    Joined Jan 28, 2017
    48 posts, 1 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk II
    US Williamsburg
    I just finished installing new deadlights in my Catalina 30 Mk II. I got a lot of advise from all over, including the excellent notes above. There are only a few things I would advise.
    1. Don't go into this thinking it is an easy process. I took 3 weeks on mine and while I am happy I did it, I am really glad it is done...hope I don't have any leaks because I don't feel like doing it over.
    2. The best source of information I had was Mike at Cruising Concepts. I tried to save my existing windows, although they leaked and worked hard to take them out in good shape. The only way to get the old windows out is very slowly. I used a square end xacto blade that had a little flex in it to go around the interior margin and a utility knife on the outside. After a lot of persuasion the windows came out. I was only partially successful in saving the windows and wound up having to get a couple windows made. If I did it again I would forget the savings and order the replacement windows and kit from Cruising Concepts.
    3. I got many recommendations on what adhesive/sealer to use. I wound up using Dow 795 black, and it worked well, using Mike's directions - available online. Put a thin layer of the 795 on both the gel coat and the window and an additional 1/8" bead on the window before pressing the window on (per instructions of the Cruising Concepts website). Masking the areas adjacent to the application is a must, and do any tooling of the 795 as soon as possible, including taking off the masking tape after cleaning up the excess as soon as possible. Otherwise it tends to bead when you take the tape off (as mine did).
    4. One thing that did go right was that since I was trying to match existing windows, I got holes drilled for screws. The screws worked well to position and secure the new windows while the sealer was curing. I took the screws out after and filled the holes. In the end it was a lot of very dirty work, but worth it. The boat looks so much better. Hopefully no leaks.

  12. Ron20324


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,837 posts, 857 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    Brings to mind a guy on SBO- Hermit Smith or something like that. A c30 IIRC. He, too was fed up with leaks, so just took all the ports out and fiberglassed over them all. DON'T KNOW WHAT EVER BECAME OF HIM????

  13. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    9,040 posts, 3,945 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Perhaps lost in his Man Cave.

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