Advice on replacing crazed and cracked portside fixed portlight on Catalina 310

Apr 6, 2013
75
Catalina 310 Annapolis
Somewhat embarrassingly, I incorrectly posted this in the engines and propulsion forum originally. I did get some helpful advice on doing it but for a Catalina 36. I am re-posting it here in the hopes that somebody with a Catalina 310 has some experience replacing the portlight on their 310 and might even have the dimensions? It is the forward fixed portlight in my saloon on the portside (pictures attached). It looks like it shouldn't be too difficult a fabrication and installation as it is installed proud of the cutout in the hull for the portlight not into a recess. Here is the original post.

I have a crazed and cracked forward portside fixed portlight on my 2002 Catalina 310 that I hope to replace myself. I plan to get a new portlight acrylic lens fabricated locally here in Annapolis, MD where I keep my boat. But I need some pointers on how to remove the old lens and install the new one. Anyone done this before?

Thanks!
 

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Apr 5, 2009
1,654
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
This past summer, I installed new fixed portlights in my 88 C30. In the originals, the lens was held in place with screws around the perimeter but I used 3M VHB tape and Dow 795. Here are some photos. The three vertical strips of white tape form a hinge to allow the lens to be properly aligned and then rotated up out of the way to strip the paper off the back and wipe down with alcohol before sticking to the tape.
I removed the old lenses with a kitchen pairing knife that was thin and flexible enough to fit into the small gap and cut the old silicone.
I then used the original lenses as a template to cut new "dark smoke" cast plexiglass to shape. I ordered the rough shapes from Tap Plastic online. On my C30 the lens material was 1/4" thick but that should be verified for the C310. I was able to find a location on one of the lenses where the factory sealant did not come the the face and was able to measure the thickness there. You could also pull one of the screws to check the thickness.
After drawing the shape on the protective paper on the sheet of plexiglass, I cut the rough shape on my bandsaw and then stuck the old to the new with SailRite SeamStick tape.
Then I used a flush cutting router bit to trim the rough blanks to the same size as the originals. After switching to a 45º bevel bit with bottom bearing I cut the 45º bevel with bearing into the back side.
The original lenses were tight fitting with almost no gap around the edges with a very thin layer of silicone between them and the cabin. If the sealant is too thin, it can cause leaks from thermal stresses so i needed to make the new lens about 1/8" smaller. This also gave me a big enough gap to gun the silicone into. I did this by adjusting the depth of the 45º bevel deeper to cut the extra 1/8".
Next was cutting all of the old silicone off with a sharp chisel and cleaning it with sealant remover and sanding. This was the most difficult and time consuming part of the installs. We then applied VHB tape to the edge of the opening and used a razor blade to trim any that extended past the edge of the opening. We then positioned the new lens in the opening and when happy with the location, added three tape "hinges" to the top to hold it in position. With the lens rough fitted in place we attached masking tape to the perimeter to form the caulk joint line.
The lens was flipped up, paper removed from back and the inside face of the lens was cleaned with alcohol. Then the backing on the VHB was removed and the lens rotated back into place using the tape hinges to hold it in the correct place. The alignment was perfect.
The project was then finished with black Dow 795. Note that this adhesive takes a very long time to cure so do not plan to use the boat for half a week to a full week after install to allow the 795 to fully cure. The benifit if the long curing time is that it does not tend to "skin over" while you are applying it so it is very easy to finger the joint after you have gunned it into place. While gunning the caulk, be careful to get the gap completely filled. I used a pushing technique rather than pulling because it gave me better control of how deep it flowed into the joint.
So nice to have clear window for the first time in 20 years.
 

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May 6, 2019
40
Catalina 310 0063 Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa
We replaced both the port and starboard port lights last spring on our 2001 310 (hull063). I ordered the windows from Catalina through Warren Pandy (a great guy) the price was less than having them fabricated and they were from the original template! Catalina has great instructions for replacing the port lights easily found online. I’ll see if I still have them.
 
Feb 20, 2013
44
Catalina 310 Channel Islands Harbor
I recently replaced all of the ports on my boat. I bought the windows thru Warren at Catalina. It was a big project as my windows were in bad shape. There is a better/newer set of instructions available from Catalina that I can't find at the moment. Would be worth a call to them to get that document. Hopefully someone can post it here. Hope these pics are of some help.
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Apr 6, 2013
75
Catalina 310 Annapolis
I recently replaced all of the ports on my boat. I bought the windows thru Warren at Catalina. It was a big project as my windows were in bad shape. There is a better/newer set of instructions available from Catalina that I can't find at the moment. Would be worth a call to them to get that document. Hopefully someone can post it here. Hope these pics are of some help. View attachment 200325View attachment 200326View attachment 200327View attachment 200328View attachment 200329View attachment 200330View attachment 200331
Thanks! I can't tell from your pictures but how did you set up the clamps on the inside?
 
Feb 20, 2013
44
Catalina 310 Channel Islands Harbor
The clamps are in the aft window where the cut out for the opening port light is.
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,654
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
@SimiSAilor, Did your lenses come without the protective paper covering? When I installed mine. I left it on until after the 795 was gunned into place and the excess wiped away. That way the paper kept it off the lens.

Did you use VHB tape or just adhesive? I had push stick ready but found that the VHB was more than strong enough to hold everything in place.

One other note. If you use 795 without the VHB, you will need to keep the push sticks in place for at least a week because it does not even skin over for 6-12 hours and take 7-24 days to reach full cure.
 
Feb 20, 2013
44
Catalina 310 Channel Islands Harbor
Yes the windows came from Catalina with the protective paper. These pics were taken after the sticks had been inplace for a few days and the covering was removed. When I got the windows they came with a newer set of instructions, that I can't find at this time. They were installed exactly per the new instructions. No VHB tape is used, just some spacers between the window and the frame and 795.
The install went well and have not had any leaks. Still searching for the instructions............
 
Apr 6, 2013
75
Catalina 310 Annapolis
Many thanks to all who helped with h suggestions! I was able to get the lens out in under an hour using a flexible paring knife. Also, it looks legit me the Catalina na factory in FL will be able to sell me a duplicate lens! Very happy and grateful to all who helped.
 
May 10, 2012
12
Catalina 310 Bayport
Somewhat embarrassingly, I incorrectly posted this in the engines and propulsion forum originally. I did get some helpful advice on doing it but for a Catalina 36. I am re-posting it here in the hopes that somebody with a Catalina 310 has some experience replacing the portlight on their 310 and might even have the dimensions? It is the forward fixed portlight in my saloon on the portside (pictures attached). It looks like it shouldn't be too difficult a fabrication and installation as it is installed proud of the cutout in the hull for the portlight not into a recess. Here is the original post.

I have a crazed and cracked forward portside fixed portlight on my 2002 Catalina 310 that I hope to replace myself. I plan to get a new portlight acrylic lens fabricated locally here in Annapolis, MD where I keep my boat. But I need some pointers on how to remove the old lens and install the new one. Anyone done this before?

Thanks!


I replaced some crazed portlights on C310 #26 three years ago. Very do able on your own......see link Salon Windows Leaking!
Happy to answer any questions you might have.