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1984 Hunter 31 - Port replacement

Jul 29, 2016
48
Hunter 31 Comox BC
We bought our boat a week or so ago, and knew we had one port leaking, no big deal, but we now know 7 of the 9 leak!
Started work on the smaller ones first. Port side aft of the large fixed window.
No issues getting it off, cleaned the fiberglass completely inside and out, and using sikaflex put it back in this morning. We let it dry two days as the plywood inside wall was wet.
Decided this morning to tackle the large fixed window port side, because that had the biggest leak. Kinda cheap window. Undid all the screws holding the trim on the inside, and that's it for screws! The window is simply sealed in from the outside, pressure fit I guess, no screws to anchor it. Took a while to carefully get it out but did OK, prying and cutting with a knife both inside and out.
The plywood inner wall was rotten and water logged at the two ends on the bottom part of the window. Dug at least three inches out until I got to decent wood. Covered it all up after cleaning the fiberglass in and out, and now letting it dry for a few days.
Then filling the space with epoxy and then putting the window back in.
To note, PO had added sealant on the outside some time ago, which is next to useless, The windows all have to come out and rebed/seal them. These have been leaking for a long time. They wont for a long time once we are done.
Also to note every gasket on the opening ones is shot, rock hard, need 21 feet of new to replace.
3 feet per port.
The opening window drain holes were all plugged with crap, All were caked shut from crud, algae etc, was worried about breaking them trying to get them open. All did and now all are clean and work well, however all are coming out and being rebedded/sealed.
If anyone has any tips or questions would like to hear from you.
 

SFS

.
Aug 18, 2015
1,871
Hunter 31 Tampa Bay
Lots of threads here on replacing ports, a search will keep you reading a while.

The SBO store here may have the gaskets, as well as other port parts, at decent prices. They are in Seattle, so on your time zone. Give them a call, really friendly folks. Dave G usually answers the phone.
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
Mine were pretty bad off, with lots of old sealant.
2014-11-30 13.05.36.jpg 2014-11-30 13.10.23.jpg 2015-01-02 21.32.12.jpg
Had to hog out a lot of soft wood surrounding them
2015-01-02 21.37.05.jpg 2014-11-30 16.28.31.jpg

Let dry for a couple of days and filled the spaces with Bondo-Glass, This stuff is really drippy, so use lots of masking tape and plastic sheeting to protect whats below the ports.
2014-12-21 13.12.25.jpg
I then routed/ground/sanded the openings to the correct shape, and coated with white pigmented epoxy. I really didn't need the pigment and did not use it on the other ports.
2015-01-03 15.47.37.jpg

I had picked up a deal on some factory second ports from Pompanette at the Ft Lauderdale Boatshow. They had minor blemishes, but the final results made me quite happy.
2015-01-03 17.35.05.jpg


Let me know if you have any questions. Hope this helps.
 
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Reg M

.
May 21, 2016
131
Hunter 31 Montague
I just finished doing the six side opening ports, one was a bit waterlogged so I dug out about an inch of rotten plywood and then I put duct tape over all the holes and put a dehumidifier inside the boat for about 10 days, just take out the tank and run a hose into the bilge and let the bilge pump take care of what the dehumidifier soakes out of the boat. This did a great job of drying things out. I then mixed up some west system epoxy and poured some in the bottom of the opening just to firm up what was left in there and then mixed some more with microballons and forced that in all around the opening with a putty knife. Next I did some serious research on what to use when bedding plastic ports. You need to know that plastic is made from petroleum products and over time (years) will leach petroleum in miniscule amounts which will affect the seal between the port and the sealant. The best sealant to use is made by Boatlife and is called LifeSeal, it won't affect plastic. You will find that after a week or so the duct tape will leave a mess when you remove it but if you buy a can of 3M spray adhesive remover it comes off really easy. Give the outside gelcoat which will be under the port when you install it a good rub with 220 sandpaper. The rest of the job is pretty straight forward (and a bit messy). Good luck!
 
Jul 29, 2016
48
Hunter 31 Comox BC
Great info, thanks for sharing. I now have all the ports out and on some have removed anywhere from 1 to 8" of rotten soggy plywood from the interior part of the wall. Some was dry, but this boat has been leaking for years and no one did anything more than squeeze some silcon around the outside trim. I am thinking I got taken on this boat, I should have been able to see this, but being pretty newb to owning, it got me. Am seeing boats coming on the market now in much batter shape, same vintage for the same price. Oh well, cant go back now, just press onward.
Have a dehumidifier running 24-7 and wood is drying so I can fill and then get the ports back in.
The PO kept it in terrible condition, and soooo dirty inside and out.
 
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Reg M

.
May 21, 2016
131
Hunter 31 Montague
Great info, thanks for sharing. I now have all the ports out and on some have removed anywhere from 1 to 8" of rotten soggy plywood from the interior part of the wall. Some was dry, but this boat has been leaking for years and no one did anything more than squeeze some silcon around the outside trim. I am thinking I got taken on this boat, I should have been able to see this, but being pretty newb to owning, it got me. Am seeing boats coming on the market now in much batter shape, same vintage for the same price. Oh well, cant go back now, just press onward.
Have a dehumidifier running 24-7 and wood is drying so I can fill and then get the ports back in.
The PO kept it in terrible condition, and soooo dirty inside and out.
I forgot to mention that you need to keep the boat closed up for the whole week and a half with the dehumidifier running, if you open it to keep checking progress you let the humidity rush back in as soon as you open the hatch thus defeating the progress of the dehumidifier. It probably takes a day just to suck the moisture out of the air before it actually starts to draw the moisture out of the wood.
 
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Jul 29, 2016
48
Hunter 31 Comox BC
Been busy trying to clean up and get all the old silicon off the windows before I can put them in.
As suspected, on both large fixed windows, the ends at the point literally fell off, so am going to have to order two new ones or do some creative fixing. Was trying to salvage them, but couldn't do it. They are cheaply made however, disappointed at that.
Would have liked to replace them all with better quality, however $$ doesn't grow on trees so they are all going back in except these two. Ordered the Boat Life sealer as recommended.

Update: the two large fixed portlights were so brittle, the ends broke off both at the pointed end. So, we are going to be building new ones and installing them.
http://hunter.sailboatowners.com/mods.php?task=article&mid=31&aid=8052&mn=34
 
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Mar 20, 2011
542
Hunter 31_83-87 New Orleans
Check out pricing from Mark Plastics in Corona, Ca for replacements. He has the molds for the original fixed portlights for the H31. I tried repairing my plastic frames without any success and went with new ones.
 
Jul 29, 2016
48
Hunter 31 Comox BC
Great tip, thanks for that I would look into it. Yeah those original ones were just beyond repair they were so degraded over 30 years and brittle.
 
Jan 11, 2004
65
Hunter 31_83-87 Middle River, MD
Replaced our fixed ports a few years ago. Had a local plastics fabricator cut new ports using the old ones as a template, and the cost was much less than Mark Plastics. BTW, your new opening ports look great!
 
Jul 29, 2016
48
Hunter 31 Comox BC
Well, managed to get the 6 cabin small opening port-lights back in today. Used Boat Life Life Seal. Made sure the outside surface was completely clean, no old silicon residue using scrapers and acetone. Where the lights go through the wall, the plywood is no longer showing, I made sure the exposed plywood was covered with fiberglass resin all the way around. No more rotten wood if they ever leak again. Did not get new port-lights, installed the old ones. The lenses were completely opaque from sun and water exposure, however I used car headlight cleaner (wet sand then applied the buffing cream and a protectant coat after on both sides of the lens) and they came out pretty clear. Not as good as new but almost! Have added a before and after shot (Hadn't quite finished when I took the after shot, it is the dirt line at the top is gone ). Now to tackle the two large fixed port-lights; the plexiglass is ready so will try and get them done in the next few days.
 

Attachments

Reg M

.
May 21, 2016
131
Hunter 31 Montague
Looks pretty nice Glenn. I will be interested in the details on the fixed ports as I need to do mine next year. Reg
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
Glenn,

Do you have the plastic framed fixed ports or the metal frames?
 
Jul 29, 2016
48
Hunter 31 Comox BC
I had the plastic ones, however they were so old and brittle they literally broke after getting them out, the pointed ends came off. Replacing them is simply outrageous for the cheap quality they are!
We are replacing with smoked plexiglass which will be sealed to the outer cabin wall with Boat Works Life Seal Black, using a 1" overlap from the opening. The pointed end will be a rounded edge.
Inside I am having someone build a mahogany wooden trim piece made from antique Cuban Mahogany from the Empress Hotel in Victoria. It will just be screwed on so it will come off easy to check for leaks in the future.
Total cost for these is $289 and my labour.
 
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pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
I had the metal ones.
The opening needed a lot of work and epoxy.
2016-02-20 14.43.49.jpg


Mine were definitely showing their age
2016-02-19 23.22.38.jpg


My son Helped to sand and Polish the frames
2016-02-20 11.32.18.jpg

They Came out Pretty Shiny
2016-02-20 19.41.03.jpg

Taped them up nice.
2016-02-20 20.05.22.jpg
Re-bedded them with Butyl Tape and DOW 795
2016-03-12 11.14.28.jpg

Turned out OK
2016-03-13 21.37.28.jpg
 

Reg M

.
May 21, 2016
131
Hunter 31 Montague
I assume the metal one are even more expensive but then they should last forever. Has anybody found any other sources for the plastic ones?