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Additional portholes

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Jun 25, 2010
3
catalina 27 mexico
I am new here and new to sailing. I have done searches all over this forum and the internet. Maybe that should tell me something. Anyway, my question is, have any of you heard of installing addition watertight portholes in the side of a catalina 27 on each rear quarter berths on each side. or for that matter in the front quarter for the forward v berth
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,736
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
One reason to NOT do this

From the C36 Forum:

The porthole in the hull in our aft cabin leaks like a sieve whenever it rains, I'm sure it will also do that when we're sailing in any kind of waves at all.

I had a look at it from the inside and it appears the water is coming inside at the horizontal joint halfway down on both ends of it, the gasket looks like it's been nicked or dinged there. It looks like this thing is two pieces held together by a bunch of machine screws going from the inside half into the outside half and a gasket inside the outer half.

I hate these things, I hate any hole in the hull below the rub rail, I've always felt it was asking for trouble to put port holes down there. If I felt I could do a good job I'd pull the thing out and fill it in. But that's a tall order so not likely happening.

Anyone ever taken one of these out before? Would kind of like to get an idea of what to expect before I start dropping things into the water.
 
Jun 25, 2010
3
catalina 27 mexico
Re: One reason to NOT do this

Is there one made that is totaly watertight? It just seems like it would really open it up back there
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,736
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
If you're talking about the quarterberth, then why not put one in the cockpit well?
 
Jun 25, 2010
3
catalina 27 mexico
Ithe cockpit well is a good alternative for light and so on. although i really want to look out ove the water when i wake up in the morning. It may be too much trouble. i difinitly dont want to install one if i cant find any that doesnt leak.
 
Feb 26, 2004
20,736
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
i difinitly dont want to install one if i cant find any that doesnt leak.
Lewmars have a reputation for leaking. That's why I posted that thread. There may well be others that don't, but I personally don't know of any. The Lewmar discussed in that thread was a non-opening portlight, too. A friend with a C34 did one in his aft cabin, don't recall the make. New Found Metals has a very good reputation for portlights, try them. I still think you'd be better off with an opening portlight into the cockpit for both light AND ventilation. And, you could use a less expensive Beckson, like a 5x12, since they are ubiquitous and have parts availability. They still make the same ones as are on my 1986 boat, and I have eight of them.

To see the water when you wake up, you could consider a periscope!:):):)

Further discussion on the C36 board says:

Mine leaked, too. You're correct that it's in 2 pieces, an upper and a lower aluminum frame, with a rubber 'gasket' between the 2 pieces. The gasket is what was leaking. I contacted Lewmar and the ports can't be fixed. So, I bought a new one. I was lucky that they still had them in stock as they've changed to a more rounded profile in the current line.

However, I decided not to replace the port, and to fix the seal instead, keeping the port as a spare. I took some clear silicone and forced it into the gap between the upper and lower frame pieces and covered it with electrical tape, so it would harden flush, and to protect the remaining rubber gasket from the UV light that caused it to fail in the first place. That black electrical tape is still on there, and has been there at least 5 years...!!! I trimmed it flush with the edges of the frame and it looks like it's supposed to be there.

So, check that rubber seal between the upper and lower frames. Mine was obviously leaky, you could see light from inside the aft cabin once the trim ring was removed. Lewmar confirmed that they degrade; I'm surprised none of my opening ports leak. My 'fix' has held and no more leak in the aft cabin.

and

These Lewmar’s commonly leak at the rubber gasket between the two halves of the frame. My wife and I bought a 1999 C-36 last year and all the top side ports leaked. The rubber gasket material was gray and soft enough that I thought it was actually caulking. On the 1988 Catalina 30 we sold, the same Lewmars had black rubber gaskets that were good as new and never leaked. The black rubber gaskets must be much more impervious to UV, because they were still hard, after 20 years.

I took a metal pick and removed much of the soft gray rubber gaskets at the two joints and caulked the gap. No more leaks.

**********

Your boat, your choice.
 
Apr 5, 2010
565
Catalina 27- 1984 Grapevine
I've never seen an aftermarket porthole that doesn't leak, or a factory or for that matter. Below the rubrail on a sailboat is like a screen door on a submarine, you will at some point heel your boat over and submerge that porthole. I had my C27 heeled over so far I had water up to the port windows last weekend, and they leak too.
 
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