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I hate my ports

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S

Susan Annala

Hi gang....I have an 85 H34 and the ports are horrible. Not only do they hold water (making it a pain in the ass to wash) they have faded in color and now they are yellow. My boat of course is still white and this looks ridiculous. I have been looking at the new Lewmar ports. They would be flush with the boat and don't have a water catcher lip. Not only that, these original ports protude out so much that they catch on my furling lines. I like the Lewmar hatches for two reasons. One, they open easy with two sliding knobs not the three screwing knobs (a pain) If you get in a hurry to close them (in case if a storm or knockdown) it will never happen. They are flush with the deck and won't catch water or lines. Since they are metal they aren't going to fade yellow. Has anyone changed their ports before? Have you used this model? I am concerned that the Lewmar won't quite fit, maybe a little too small...What do you think? Help !!!!!!!
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Expensive Swap

Susan: I thought about NFM ports and some of the others. The problem is the work involved. If you just get new Bomar/Gray ports the yellowing problem will be gone. This can be done for about $40/port. This probably is not going to take care of the water problem, but I am not sure that other ports are going to be completely dry either. The alternative solutions are probably going to cost in the neighbor hood of $200/port plus the extensive refit. Do the ports that you have, have any drains? The new ones do.
 
R

RON MILLS

Replaced all mine with Beckson

I replaced all of my ports with Beckson in May. I too did not like the screw latches that Gray Ent has. With Beckson you have the cam latch which once adjusted you just flip it open or close and you are done. They were cheaper than the Grays' and in my opinion better. All the marine stores handle Beckson. As to water collecting on the exposed part of the spigot, this is the result of improper installation. The spigot should be trimed so that it is just flush with the exterior. Mine were the same way and after talking with Beckson and reading their installation instructions online, I realized what the problem was. My ports are now flush with the exterior and do not catch any lines or water, both of which are very important. I had leaks everytime it rained with the old installation. Since the retro we have had heavy rains and not one single leak or drop of water. You also have to use Dow Corning 795andthe barrel nuts that Beckson sells.
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Where they difficult to replace?

Ron: How much work was it to replace the Gray ports with the Becksons? Which model did you use? I assume that you spent about $80-90/port.
 
R

RON MILLS

Incredibly easy.

They fit in the same openings with minor(and I mean minor) adjustmens with a Rotozip saw. Read the online instructions at their website to get an idea of what you need to do. They are the ones that told me why I had leaks. The proper installation of the ports if for the spigot(the part that sticks out from the inside to the outside) to be flush with the trim ring. If they are installed this way then there is no place for water to accumulate or lines to snag. I used to think that having the spigots stick past the hull was supposed to be sort of a sun shade(WRONG). This is where the water accumulates and seeps in. I sealed both the ports and the trim rings with DC 795. For the first time the ports look great from the outside and there is no water leaking into the inside. Yes, from West etc they are about $80.00
 
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Susan Annala

Thanks for the help!!

I appreciate your help. I don't want plastic ports anymore. I don't know of any other way that the previous owner or Hunter could have installed these windows. They all stick out. Every Hunter that is older has them. There is no way to fix them other than to get new ports that are flush with the incline in the area that they are put. Trust me there is no way to fix them. I could hacksaw them and take a chance in cutting the deck, but still they will be yellow. You are right about Lewmar being about 200.00 a pop, but they sure look nice and they won't dis-color. I am going to do one-at-a time for the obvious reason. What do you use to seet them in? Thanks.
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Belt sander will make them flush.

Susan: One of the the fellow sailors in our marina had an older Hunter. The older units stuck out about an inch or so. Every time you walked by them they would catch you ankle. He cut them down with a grinder and they are much better. Just remember that all the glitters is not gold. These ports have survived on these boats for 25 years on some of the older boats. I would look into the Becksons or Grays before I would consider changing out these units. You can get new Gray port for about $35 each. If you take care of them with a treatment to protect them from the sun they will last another 15 plus years. I would look at Becksons before I would consider the metal framed units. Once the anodized finish on these units start to go, you will be unhappy again. The big difference is the money that you have put out for something that may or may not be any more serviceable. Ask someone that has done this and find out what the REAL cost and consequences really are. Just remember that these ports will add NO VALUE to your boat when/if you decide to sell it. Granted they may look better and you will be more satisfied.
 
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RON MILLS

Been there, done that

First don't use belt sander as this will take off too much too quick. use a 31/2 X 9 finishing sander starting with 60 grit and ending with 150. Second, if you use a wood chisel and place the beveled side down you can easily remove the trim ring without breaking it. I did this per Beckson instructions and did not break any of the 9 trim rings. Third, make a template out of formica that fits around the spigots sticking out past the hull plane. Use this to keep hacksaw blade from damaging the boat. Saw off the excess spigot. Fourth, use Dow Corning to reseat trim ring assuming you feel that the portlights are not leaking. Fifth, if not interested in 1 thru 4, buy Lewmar metal portlights and install as directed.
 
S

Susan Annala

Thanks Steve

Yeah I know this will not ad any value when I sell, I sell boats for a living...I will check out the company that you are talking about. What kind of protective coating would I use to combat the yellowing? Are these flush or do they stick out? I don't want any ports that stick out anymore. I see so many different ones on all of the boats that I show every day and I like all of them but mine. Sorry I don't mean to rag on about these but this is certainly a priority. I am very anal about my boat what and who goes on it, etc.
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Island Girl finish.

Susan: I would recommend that you use something like the Island Girl Products. They have ingredents that protect the finish on plastics and gel coat. The new ports can be installed and trimmed with whatever method you find satisfactory. I would use the belt sander (I know Ron thinks it will trim too fast) depending on how much is sticking out. Then you can change over to another unit to do the final trimming. I think that there are a lot of other places on the boat that the $2000-3000 can be spent to make the boat better and more comfortable. You want to check out the Beckson site. The have a couple of different models that Ron points out that can be easily swapped.
 
J

Jim Oursler

latch replacement for H34 ports

I seem to recall a replacement latch that locks in place readily. Can anyone remind me?
 
E

Evan

missing something

Am I missing something here? I just looked at the Beckson site, and the ports pictured there (the ones you could see from the exerior side) all had the inner frame sticking out about 1/4". . .
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
exterior stick out.

Evan: I believe that the exterior is the problem that Susan is referring to. All of these ports (beckson or bomar/gray) are made to be adjustable thru what ever cabin thickness you may have. Even the NFM have a lip that extends beyond the sides of the cabin. The advantage of the plastic ports is that they can be trimmed to be nearly flush with the trim ring. One option that we did not discuss is the fact that you can order the exterior trim from The Thrifty Mariner. This would get rid of most of the yellow that Susan is seeing on her existing ports. Of course this is NOT going to get rid of the water standing in the port.
 
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RON MILLS

Evan, I think so

Please go to instruction online and read "Proper Spigot Length". This should also convince Susan that all the boats she is showing do not have correctly installed portlights. Proper Spigot Length Proper spigot length is imperative for proper drainage involving installations with angles greater than 15 degrees. With the spigots cut flush, the windows are more attractive and functional. Dry mount the port. If the spigot is too long (not flush with the trim ring), now is the time to trim the spigot to provide maximum drainage. Trace a pencil mark around the port at the edge of the trim ring. Remove the port and cut (with a fine tooth saw) on the outside of the pencil line to allow sufficient room for caulk.
 
S

Susan Annala

Thanks gang...

Hey thanks alot and since you have been so helpful...please see my next post, "I hate my non-skid" Susan :)
 
Dec 2, 1999
15,184
Hunter Vision-36 Rio Vista, CA.
Before we go ANY further.....

Susan: Before we go any further with "I Hate......", I would like you to spill and beans and list them all right here and now! <g>
 
C

Craig

we have the camber locks on org. ports

the previous owner replaced all the screw types with camber types on our 1987 34. no screw'n round here. craig
 
C

Carl

Mine leaked too.....

Mine leaked also when I purchased the boat 2 years ago... But when I checked each port close all the drainage weep holes where clogged so the water had no where to go.. I used Q tips to ream out each hole and had no leaks this year. Although they are getting yellow.. I like the Beckson ports so I will be replacing mine with thoses over the winter..Along with many other things..
 
J

Jerry Keto

Good ideas but no part numbers provided?

Lots of great input in this thread but I don't recall seeing any portlight part numbers for the replacements talked about? Anyone have the model/part numbers for the Beckson or others that fit the H34?
 
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